Tuesday, June 30, 2009


My mother and step-father drove up from Connecticut last Wednesday and we met them at the campground they stayed at in Shelburne, Vermont. They took our oldest daughter, Abby, for several days to bike ride and go see area waterfalls.
On Sunday we met them in Stowe to see two more waterfalls and take Abby home. This picture is from one of the falls - it was spectacular in person.

We also stopped by the Stowe Farmers' Market - what an abundance of vendors! Many food processors - making jams, relishes, dressings, mustards, flavored honey. There was of course some vegetable farmers with lettuce varieties, beet greens, scallions, broccoli, radishes and more. I was impressed that there were several local meat sources offered as well. There were a few crafters/artists. We are considering looking into this market as a source to offer our handcrafts beginning in August. Not only where there many vendors but there was also an abundance of shoppers. It was wonderful. Nothing compared to the little farmers' market we attend on Saturdays in our little hometown.

We are busy moving into our new home, sorry for the lack of posts.
I will be posting pictures of the progress.
Have a joyful weekend!


Friday, June 26, 2009

TV Free

We are a TV free family. For us it seems to work best to just eliminate it all together.
Do the children want to watch television when we visit family that has one? Yes they do. However, because
watching television is not an option in our family at home, the children choose other ways to spend their time. They
read, make movies, build, play wiffle ball or kick ball, ride their bikes, and so much more.
Here is a picture of Sarah's creation in our bedroom window with wool roving.

A book, Living Outside the Box: TV-free Families Share Their Secrets, documents the reasons some families have eliminated the television from their homes. 90% of the paticipants that the author interviewed reported that they had no regrets in their decision.
Another reason we chose to not watch television is because of the repeated media images in the commercials, during the programs. Seeing images over and over and hearing language we don't allow over and over can only weaken one's convictions. Not to mention the news or adult situations.
I like this quote - "What bothers me about TV is that it tends to take our minds off our minds." - Robert Orben
Try turning the TV off for one week and see what happens.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Fabric Lunch Bags

These are lined lunch bags that are quick and easy to sew up. This one I did with all hand sewing, however, I have cut out several more and will use the sewing machine and offer them at the Farmers' Market.

To Make:
Cut out one side piece and one front piece and the bottom piece from a paper lunch bag.
You are going to make two bags of fabric - one for the outside and one for the liner.
For each bag, pin and cut out two front/back pieces, two side pieces, and one bottom piece, using the paper bag template pieces you cut out. Sew the side pieces together, right sides together, leaving a 1/4 inch seam, continue around bag. Sew the bottom piece on after pinning right sides together.
Repeat for liner.
Now: Turn the outside piece (bag) right side out and the lining piece (bag) inside out. Fit the outside piece inside the lining, and line up the top edges. Pin and sew around the edge, leaving a 2 inch opening. Through the opening, turn piece right side out, sew opening closed. I cut a rectangle out of paper for a template for the handles. Turned in a 1/4 " seam allowance on each long side, pinned together (lengthwise) (right sides are out), and sewed along edge and then sewed the handles on. You can also add some velcro to the inside top edges to close securely.


Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fathers Day - Summer Day

What a beautiful day. We spent the day together celebrating Fathers Day and will end the day celebrating the first day of summer.

Here is a picture of the gift Sarah made for Dad - a portrait bookmark inspired by Amanda at the Soule Mama blog. It is one of the projects in her new book, which will be available in August.

Sarah drew the picture on fabric and she hand embroidered most of it herself. I just helped with the backing and sewing the ribbon in.

Here is dear father letting the girls put a silk flower in his hair.

Here is Abraham taking his afternoon rest. Yesterday we had a long day of traveling to go to a highschool graduation get together with Mike's family.
Finally, I snapped a picture of this foxglove in bloom - a sure sign of summer's arrival. The children will be staying up until dark this evening to play wiffle ball, catch fire flies and light some sparklers to welcome in the new season.

Warm wishes,


Monday, June 15, 2009

New Home

It is a possibility....

We have been blessed with an offer by family to help us finance a home if we find something....

Michael and I sat down and drew up a floor plan that would meet our family's needs. We also wanted to find something within a mile or two of where we live now (and please keep in mind there are very few homes around here.) It also has to be VERY affordable.

Well, we have had two visits with a home just a mile down the road and at the last visit we brought a contractor to give us his opinion about jacking up the home, putting in a foundation and drainage. Right now there are just piers and a caving in concrete block foundation on the newer section. He was impressed with the condition of the frame of the house and gave us an affordable quote. If our offer is accepted from the owner, I will have a root celler!! I can't wait to be able to store all the wonderful squashes, potatoes and onions.

We will have adequate space to provide for homeschooling supplies and be comfortable when we host others. There are built in bookshelves and lots of storage. Of course, we will need to be mindful to keep it simple and use the resources wisely.

The house is rustic and does need lots of work, however to have our own home on our land will be great.

At first I didn't want God to think I was not content with our small mobile home on leased land, however a woman from church said that when someone offers to do something for you, remember it is God blessing you for being faithful and if it all comes together, that is God's work.

Oh, what a blessing her words were to me.

Please keep us in your prayers.
Half the living room area:

Friday, June 12, 2009

Beauty Abounds

It hardly seems possible that June is nearly half over. But after a quick walk around the yard, nature gives away the truth. The flowers are blooming. The lettuce, radishes, and scallions are ready to be picked (and eaten!!) And the grass is taller than Abraham!

I am baking up four batches of cookie bars for the farmers' market and for our farmstand.

It was great fun to set up the farmstand this morning with the freshly picked produce.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Last Baseball Game

Here are some photos from our last baseball game of this spring season. Isaac, at ten years old (almost 11), will be at the next level next year, majors, and Abby, age almost 9, will probably take the season off as having two children at two different levels is too much time away from home for our large family. We have tried it before:)

They had a good season, although certainly not a winning season, I think each of the players improved and I do believe they had fun. Dear husband, Mike was their head coach.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Quick Update

No pictures yet today - just a quick update.

We spent the last few days:
our older two boys had two brothers over Friday night for a camp out - they had a nice camping area complete with tent, fire pit and picnic table with lantern

planting and weeding

working in the woods cutting, gathering the cut logs to the edge of the path

attending our first farmers market - were happy with the results as this is the first year it is on Saturdays - we sold cookies, eggs, honey, branch coasters and branch hooks - next week we will have lettuce, scallions and radishes (I forgot the camera)

visited an Icelandic sheep farm right down the road to learn about the possibility of buying a couple of lambs to have our very own wool

Today I have baked bread and a chocolate cake to celebrate a friend's birthday this evening, completed some home learning and now am off to do laundry (by hand).

Many warm wishes for a joyful Monday,


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

When you have wood

We live our life on faith - faith in God to provide for us as we are faithful followers. As we don't feel led to make earning large sums of money one of our goals in life, we work and wait upon God to provide us with what we do need.

We recently acquired a large pile of log ends. Mike does some work for a man across the way. He is clearing and milling the wood and did not have a use for the milled ends of the logs. Our neighbor even delivered the three loads right to our yard.

Here is Nolan's (age 13) work on a play house for Sarah and Abraham.

Here is Isaac's fort (age 10).

We plan to use it to make a deck off our back door and a small barn for two sheep ( I can't wait!). Having our own sheep for wool has been on my wish list.

So when God gives you wood, start building:)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Shared Award

Gina at http://malachi4-black.blogspot.com/ has shared a favorite blog award with me and 7 other blogs. You can visit the other seven by visiting her blog. I don't feel worthy of this but hope that God does have something worthwhile for me to keep sharing!

Thank you Gina.

Warm wishes,

Monday, June 1, 2009

Learning At Home

The joy of home learning was made obvious today when after listening to a program on NPR about linguistics, my two teenage sons began developing their own language.

Only minutes later, Isaac, our ten year old, came inside showing me some maple he had cut into play house lengths and tied up with a layer of bark. He also took the inner layer of bark to make "paper" out of and he was able to write on it.

While we have formal learning each day, much of the day is spent in discovery and reading and following one's interests (of course, after their chores are done as well).