Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Double Yolks

We have been getting these giant double yolk eggs lately. Oh, the poor girls.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sandals and Ice Cream

Wow we are blessed with some warmth. Yesterday, the six children and I went to town to go to the market to stock up on some basics and we simply couldn’t resist celebrating the opening of the local ice cream shop.

Today the temperature has reached into the 80s and Sarah, Abby and Isaac went outside in their bathing suits with spray bottles.

I loved something Isaac said today, “We are kind of like free range kids.” He hears us refer to our chickens as such. He explained further that it is neat that he and his brothers and sisters are able to just go outside and play in the meadow or go for hikes in the woods. I really liked his use of words.

Today I planted some pansies and hope to still get some more lettuce, radishes, and maybe the brussel sprouts seeds planted.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Home Again

We were blessed to be able to go to Cape Cod last week for vacation. My Mom rented a home for the second year in a row that accommodates our large family as well as she and my stepfather. Just a brief walk down a path through the back yard and an ocean inlet was in full view.

In addition to the ocean we enjoyed two nice bike rides – one for about 24 miles! Boy did I use some leg muscles that had been neglected for awhile. It was wonderful that all the children were able to go – Sarah and Abraham each sat in the back of Mike and I in a carrier bike seat and the other four are strong enough now to ride their own bikes at a good pace.

We especially enjoyed our two visits to Nauset Beach.

Here is a scene that was particularly touching – an older couple (maybe even in their early 90’s) – walking the beach using ski poles for stability.

It is wonderful to be home to our gardens that need to be planted and to our chickens that missed their daily loving care from the children. As we return to the routine that is life, our hearts and minds are filled with gratitude.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Doll and Bed

For Sarah's fifth birtday gift, I sewed her a doll with a hand knit sweater and hat and Mike built a little doll bed with scrap lumber. She loves her and we spent very little money just used our hands and poured love into them as they were created.

Planting Time!

Over the weekend I was able to plant leaf bowl lettuce, red leaf lettuce, shell peas (our children just love to eat these off the plants!), and beets.

I am also doubling the size of my herb/perennial garden to compliment a stone walk way I am slowly putting in (as I dig up nice flat sided rocks) an entry way to our front door.

It has been so very dry here. I must go out and water the newly planted seeds and clean up the sod I have dug out.

Sarah planted and marked off her "own garden". I helped her mark out an area with some wooden stakes Michael cut for us and then outlined the area with string. She planted lettuce seeds. I have said a prayer that she will have some growth!

Blessings on your spring plantings.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

More about our Newsletter

Our family began writing Plain and Joyful Living last fall with the hopes of developing a hand written newsletter sharing the joys and convictions of living for God, for our family, and for community. Our journey has included living much more simply and by also living close to the earth. Our hope with the newsletter is for it to become a welcome addition to your mail (not email) and that it will be a place for others to write, share their ideas and questions. We are not crazy about the internet and miss the days of hand penned letters. I worry about the loss of the written word in books and on paper. Thus, our contribution - Plain and Joyful Living - a seasonally newsletter of the sharing of simpler lives.

Thanks and warm wishes,

Friday, April 10, 2009

Birthday Today!

It is our little Sarah's birthday - five years old today.

Here she is dressed up like a "princess" with the help of her big sister.

The children are blowing up balloons we found at a thrift shop. Thomas, our oldest, is hanging up a pin the tail on the donkey game he just made.
We will be making Sarah's favorite Grandma's Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting and sprinkles.
I sewed Sarah a doll and knit a hat and sweater for the doll and Mike made a small wooden bed for her new doll. Pictures to follow soon.
Sarah has requested french toast with our own maple syrup for breakfast.
What a blessing to have little Sarah in our lives - a bright, beautiful, engaging young girl.
Warm wishes,

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Plain and Joyful Living Spring Newsletter

The spring edition of Plain and Joyful Living is ready to be copied at my local office supply store. This issue includes articles on living off grid, quilting, maple sugaring, recipes, and more. I ask for $3.00 per issue and it is mailed (not emailed) to you. I have a paypal account at or can accept a check, money order, or cash mailed to: Tonya Gunn, 5504 Loop Road, Westfield, VT 05874. Many thanks and blessings,