Friday, May 31, 2013

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - AS

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Poems to set her heart dancing

Adventures of Isabel
Isabel met an enormous bear,
Isabel, Isabel, didn't care.
The bear was hungry, the bear was ravenous,
The bear's big mouth was cruel and cavernous.
The bear said, Isabel, glad to meet you,
How do Isabel, now I'll eat you!
Isabel, Isabel, didn't worry;
Isabel didn't scream or scurry.
She washed her hands and straightened her hair up,
Then Isabel quietly ate the bear up.

~Ogden Nash

I found a jewel a while back, tucked away in a thrift store. A discard from a local library. Piping Down the Valleys Wild, edited by Nancy Larrick. More than two hundred pages of poetry just for children. This is such a fun collection. I found so many beautiful and thoughtful poems - you might find them popping up around here. The editor likens the child in the poem below, The Piper, to the child today that grows up with poems which set "his heart dancing." I just love finding these old books.

The Piper
Piping down the valleys wild
Piping songs of pleasant glee
On a cloud I saw a child.
And he laughing said to me.

Pipe a song about a Lamb:
So I piped with merry chear,
Piper, pipe that song again--
So I piped, he wept to hear.

Drop thy pipe thy happy pipe
Sing thy songs of happy chear,
So I sung the same again
While he wept with joy to hear

Piper sit thee down and write
In a book that all may read--
So he vanished from my sight
And I pluck'd a hollow reed.

And I made a rural pen,
And I stained the water clear,
And I wrote my happy songs,
Every child may joy to hear.

~William Blake

Larrick Crosby, Nancy. Piping Down the Valleys Wild. 
New York: Delacorte Press, 1968. Print.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Reading with Oma

Oma might be several planes away, but that doesn't stop her! The kids are excited that Oma is done teaching and is now available at a moments notice. Another hour of reading this morning makes everyone happy in the house.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Snuggles from Maya

In the late afternoon I found this scene after putting Juliana to bed. Nothing like a good book and a quiet house to kick off an involuntary nap. Maya always seems to find this little boy when he is at his best - sound asleep. She loves to snuggle up to a warm body. Even after I covered him up, Maya was ready to snuggle back in for the rest of the afternoon.

Cats sleep
Any table,
Any chair,
Top of piano,
In the middle,
On the edge,
Open drawer,
Empty shoe,
Lap will do,
Fitted in a
Cardboard box,
In the cupboard
With your frocks-
They don't care!
Cats sleep

~Eleanor Farjeon

Larrick Crosby, Nancy. Piping Down the Valleys Wild. 
New York: Delacorte Press, 1968. Print.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

All tuckered out

What fun to have visitors! After playing outside all day long, Pieter just couldn't keep his eyes open for the bedtime reading last night. Can a Mama get any more satisfaction than that? We had so much fun with our friends and were sad to see them leave today.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Adventures in Wyoming

Yesterday we explored Devils Tower with our friends. I don't think I'll ever get bored going to see this amazing place. Surprisingly, this was Juliana's first visit. We'll have to come again when she can run around with the big kids, leaping from boulder to boulder.

{all the big kids}

The landscape looked quite a bit different from our last visit. Just two weeks ago the Park Service did a controlled burn and thinned the forest to battle the Mountain Pine Beetle.

Pieter and Leila had a blast together. They got along so well and loved to sniff the bark of Ponderosa Pine trees for that butterscotch smell!

{Juliana in beneath the tower}

Friday, May 24, 2013

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - AS

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Wee Woodland Quilts

There was a huge sigh of relief coming from our home today. Finally, I finished piecing two twin size quilts for the kids. Up to this project, I had only put together a few small quilts, so this was a big undertaking. It started out innocently enough last fall, when I found some Wee Woodland fabric (by Keiki for Moda) on the clearance rack at my favorite local fabric shop, The Bakery Fabrics. At $4 a yard, of course I had to do it! Being new to quilting, I didn't have any ideas on designs, so I started doing some searching online for inspiration. I found this great quilt and decided to give it a try. I ordered the pattern, McGuffy (by Carrie Nelson for Miss Rosie's Quilt Company) and 7 charm packs and a jelly roll in the Wee Woodland collection. I spent a month piecing 120 blocks together and then had them all laid out just so and my little destroyer, Juliana, found them in the guest room and thew the blocks everywhere! It took me until March to get up the desire to start again.

Finally I finished the fronts and then I went to my quilting board on Pinterest for inspiration to put together the backs. I found this lovely modern quilt and I loved the back strip that shows when you fold down the quilt. I put a strip like that on the back of each quilt. Here it is turned down. 
Now, I am packing them up and shipping them off to Montana, where Kathy will quilt them together. I am so excited to see them finished!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Your one wild and precious life

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

~Mary Oliver

What makes me a Mama

These little ones make me a mama. A crazy mama, a happy mama and all in between. It's a good life! Happy Mothers Day!

Friday, May 10, 2013

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. - AS

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Oma's Oatmeal

Oma's name comes up frequently around here...
...look up to the moon, like Oma says, while I rinse your hair
...turn out the light and use God's light, like Oma showed you
...we are going to have Oma's oatmeal this morning

Yes, Oma does everything the way it is supposed to be done in the eyes of a three year old little boy. One of which is oatmeal for breakfast. This has become our staple food in the morning and is super cheap when you buy at 25 lb bag of organic rolled oats for twenty bucks. I've made slight adjustments to it, but the basic recipe is still there. And I believe this actually came via Aunt Becky. It makes the best tasting oatmeal - moist and fluffy, without any mush.

Oma's Oatmeal
  • Bring to a boil 2 cups water and a large handful of raisins*.
  • Add 2 cups rolled oats, a shake of cinnamon and nutmeg and a glug of vanilla.
  • Stir, cover and remove from heat. Let sit for five minutes.
  • Fluff up with a large spoon and serve with milk.
*When I started adding raisins, I found that we didn't need any other sweetener, as much as I do enjoy a bit of honey or maple syrup on oatmeal.

Monday, May 6, 2013


Finally, the warm temperatures have arrived. The kids are loving it. This is a common scene in the backyard. And this mama is loving the quieter times indoors while the shrieking and playing happen out-of-doors. This is when I wonder how I made it through the long winter, but I sure am glad I did.

Sunday, May 5, 2013


At church today Juliana used the small slide in the nursery all by herself quite a bit. Then in the afternoon the kids were playing outside and she decided this slide was no trouble at all!
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