A space where family, friends and anyone else can follow our adventures. We are a homeschooling, crafting, music-making, back-flipping wonderfully crazy family living on the coast of Maine enjoying everything life has to offer us!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Things have been in full swing around here these days.  I've been working on a post about finding inner strength that I still haven't managed to finish it up  (I worked all weekend and saw some amazing women birth and felt truly inspired).  Apparently I can't find the inner strength to say what I need to say...I'll get there, I'm sure:)
 Mostly we are just moving along through our days, one thing after the next trying to find time to give each other a little love and encouragement while getting it all done.
A certain 11 year old girl around here who has hated the color pink most of her life is now embracing it with a passion!  Solution: dye her yellow quilt pink:
 It came out fantastic and she is thrilled with the result!  I couldn't resist snapping a shot of sleeping beauty with her new quilt.  We used good old RIT dye, though we've had some luck dying wool with purple cabbage lately we didn't have the same luck with cotton.

 I've had great luck with yogurt lately thanks to The Homesteaders Kitchen, I had failed in the past, but this simple recipe warm by the wood stove has been fantastic!  I tried straining it to make Greek style yogurt today, if it works I'll be sure and post about it. 
The fellowship is always on hand to help out in the kitchen.

A recent trip to the library resulted in a big pile of books for mama and a big game of chess for these two.
Which of course has resulted in some pretty intense chess matches morning, noon and night right here at home. 
There was a new new nephew born last week and we are all anxiously waiting to meet him.  A road trip is in the works my friends.

Our lovely little Molly has qualified for regionals so we'll be heading off to Glenns Falls NY in May to watch her compete with her team mates.

Corey has been keeping busy with his travel basketball team.

Greg has been busy writing lots of new music recently (such fun to hear it first).  The band has been getting a lot of play on the local radio station!  You can listen to some bits of the new album here, it's actually an EP available at gigs but not online yet.  The old album is available here if you want to check them out.

 I've been trying to pay some attention to my etsy shop as it's been a bit neglected these days, look for some spring goodness soon.
 and finally this dog of ours is ready to play some ball any time anyone is interested! 
So as you can see lately we've been up to lots,  Hope that you've been finding fun and I'll be back with more soon.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Fever

It has hit...not a thing I can do about it.  I'm not talking the fever that is accompanying a pesky GI bug that has reared its ugly head to certain members of my sweet family.  I'm also not referring to the kind of fever struck by John Travolta in the late seventies.  No this is a different fever all together, a fever I fight every year around this time.  Normally it's pretty snowy and we start to have a warm day here and there, but this winter it's been extra tough, we haven't had a typical snowy winter and we've had a lot of warm days.
Yes my friends I'm talking about spring fever.  I fight it because I know that here in Northern New England there is still plenty of winter to be had.  Snow in March can happen and a storm in April is not unheard of.  So I fight it.
Outside this morning the sun felt good on my face.  I was overcome with a wash of emotions.  You see, the change of seasons for me is so much more than weather.  I feel the change deep inside my being.  There is a shift with every season, a slight change in emotion, hard to explain but I love it with all my heart.  Maybe it's the wanderlust that I often suffer from, change can be a good thing.  Staying stagnant for too long doesn't work.  But the danger in this early fever is the chance of disappointment. After all it is February in Maine.  Strange as this winter has been it is still indeed winter.
 I find myself looking at the garden beds and thinking "this soil could be worked". 

 But yet there are buds on the forsythia and the peach tree!  Even the poor trees are confused.  I didn't notice any crocus' but I'm sure I'll see them soon.  So for today I cut a few branches to force in a vase.  If you haven't done this before I highly recommend it to bring a bit of springtime to your winter.

So here I sit, waiting for my boys to come home from Vermont.  I'll enjoy the new bag I made for spring. It's the city tote from Sew What You Love.  I'll probably make some more of these little spring chicks I've created.  I'll enjoy the feeling and accept the fact that I've got the fever and go with it.

Friday, February 17, 2012

This Moment

It's Friday and I'm linking up with Soulemama for {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.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love Love Love

I tend to go back and forth about this valentines day thing...Sometimes I'm sure it's nothing more than another hallmark holiday meant for people to spend money on things they plainly don't need.  But every year I seam to find myself caught up in some sort of heart crafting mania of one thing or another.  I guess I enjoy the idea of Love and spreading it anyway anyhow. I'll skip the heart-shaped box of chocolates (not chocolate in general mind you...never).
So today, here is a little list of some things I love:
These sweet heart pot-holders I made for a friend.  Aren't they so cute, the fabric is Oz and the pattern is here . Super quick and easy,  I think I may have to make more!
I love the fact that this boy of mine can just sit and listen to a book or music while knitting....melts my heart.
This is the gift he's made for a friends birthday, a tunic with a crest and a knitted medieval mace.  I told him he may need to do a tutorial for this fun and safe battle tool, he designed it all on his own and boy is he proud!

I love hearing my sweet hubby being played on the radio!  You can check it out here.

I love how dedicated sweet Molly is to gymnastics even if it scares me a little, or makes it so I'm at the gym 4 nights a week.
I love homeschooling my kids and know we made the right choice.
I love my new floor.
I love dreaming of life on a farm.
I love the smell of wool, weird I know but I love it so.
I love watching Downton Abbey on the laptop in bed (thanks Rachel for this latest addiction, I think I found this on your blog).
I love the amazing group of women I work with helping babies come into the world.
I love my new cuppow that a friend just gifted me this am!  Coolest invention ever.
I love my wonderfully crazy family and all the joy they have given me in this life.

Have a Happy Valentines Day, however you chose to celebrate!

Monday, February 13, 2012

More Chemistry

Well, not much "school" last week, a lot of time was spent out of the house while the floors were being replaced (I'll post pictures later, the camera is visiting friends).  They look fantastic and I do feel some home dec projects coming on so stay tuned! 
We really have been enjoying the chemistry lessons, it seems each experiment gets just a bit more fun.  The mess is getting a bit more as well, but clean up is manageable. We made our own acid base indicator from coffee filters and red cabbage!  How cool is that?  I know all you savvy home school moms out there have probably done this tons of times, but I was as excited as the kids that this actually works! We boiled red cabbage for about 20 minutes and let the resulting purple water cool to room temp.  Next we wet some strips of coffee filter with the liquid and let that dry.  Well, let me just tell you that dipping these little strips in our control base (ammonia) turned them green and the control acid (vinegar) turned bright pink!
Like I said I was a bit doubtful so my excitement matched the kids for sure.  Of course we had lots of others to try and the whole day was  a blast.  Molly really enjoys writing out her conclusions in her lab book, Corey not so much, he just wants more experiments, but all in all it's a grand old time had by all!
We have a jar of left over cabbage liquid in the fridge that will be used for this weeks experiment as we start to talk about acid base neutralization and titration.  Should be fun. 
How was your week/weekend?  Any fun science going on?

Friday, February 10, 2012

This Moment

Joining soulemama for {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.
 happy weekend!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Things to do

We've got a a busy week ahead so I don't know how much I'll be around this space.  In typical Maine winter fashion we had some pipes burst and freeze a few weeks ago.  Everything is fine all is OK, but we need the living room and front entry floors replaced.  Today things are pretty much chaos as we try to continue with normal.
 Here's a perfect example, Normal morning, bread dough rising in front of the fire (along w/ Molly eating her breakfast).  But turn to your left and there is a huge pile of wood flooring acclimating to the environment before it starts to go down later this week.
I'm not complaining mind you, New floors will be great, home owners is helping us out and we have a contractor/builder that we know and trust!  Just means chaos for our week.
To add to this said chaos, Molly is bugging me to finish her room (she's supposed to be moving to the third floor) and last night Corey's bed frame broke!  So this morning while I am supposed to be cleaning and getting ready to empty out this room I've been looking on the Internet for a while trying to find some good ideas for a loft bed. 
I've started a board on pintrest with ideas so if you have any please let me know:)  We already knew a loft was the way to go for him.  His room is small and while he's been offered Molly's room when she moves upstairs he doesn't want a different room (doesn't like change), he wants to find a way to fit a record listening station into his room.  A loft is a perfect answer!  He can hang underneath and listen to all the records he wants!  Oh and did I mention I could then claim Molly's room as my own???  Then I could have a closet/dressing/craft/office... instead of a craffice would I have a claffice?  or a cloffice?  or perhaps cloaftice? 
I'll do my best to update this week, but things may get a little hectic.
Hope your weekend and the following week were/are filled with fun.

Heading off to the gorgeous Georgia coast last year...wouldn't mind being there now:)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Keeping Up With This Boy

Some days I just have to giggle a bit as I watch this boy throughout his day.  He's up long before the girl, smile on his face ready to start the day.  First off is a quick round of breakfast, usually a bowl of cold cereal or sometimes oatmeal.  Nothing too big, he will have several more breakfasts you know, after all he is a hobbit! It has become so clear to me as an adult how Tolkien modeled those little hobbits after sweet young children.
Yesterday I was thinking about all of this and started snapping pictures...He just reminded me of himself at 3, in the standard school uniform happily playing all by himself.  There was commentary of course, but not for my benefit, he was clearly wrapped up in his own play.
Before I knew though he was done.  Cars were tossed back into a basket and he was busy with some art-work.  Not just any art work mind you, this is the Crest that is going onto something he is building for his friend, He's very excited and proud.

Check out these oil pastels, found them in a bit of cleaning in the attic recently, They were Greg's and he's pretty sure he wasn't much older than Corey when his parents bought them for him!  Yup his mom saved everything!  He has such great memories from childhood thanks to that.
Anyway, back to this busy boy.  After the crest was done he started in knitting!  I'm not kidding!  This is all one morning:)  He is working on a mace to go with the birthday present.  His mace will be much gentler than a real medieval mace, it will be knitted and stuffed with wool as to not hurt anyone.  He got the idea for the ball part from Toymaking with Children .  Of course he's not following the pattern (this boy doesn't have time for a pattern) just a general idea.  By the way, if you haven't seen this book and you have a small children it is absolutely worth checking out, such a fantastic book! I got so much inspiration when the kids were young, and now they are using it!

 OK, are you keeping up with this boy?  See what I mean?  Next he was off to play with a bit of Lego Harry Potter.  Did I mention he's had audio Harry Potter on the iPod in the back ground this whole time?  He's pretty much got these books memorized and has recently been on a kick of listening to them on audio.  For a while I had to put them in the "vault" so we could read a few other things, but alas we are listening again.

Eventually he got his sister to play some ping pong on the craft/work table for a bit.  I did have to put a stop to it so we could have lunch and finally do a bit of schoolwork.  Another fun chemistry experiment that I'll save for another post.
Keeping up with this sweet boy of mine no doubt is busy work, but work that I love and work that I am so grateful to have...I am truly blessed.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Yarn Along

'Tis the season for knitting I guess, joining the Yarn Along again this week.  Nothing feels better some days than sitting next to the wood stove and knitting (with the smell of fresh baking bread of course).

I still haven't made any more progress on my own sweater, but I will, that yarn will be lovely in the spring I'm sure.  Right now I'm making up another Milo vest, this time for a special friend who's turning 5 very soon. 
I'm using some knit Picks Wool of the Andes from my stash that I've had forever (trying hard for the 2012 stash-busting challenge).  He's quite the adventure driven soul so I'll be calling this one some sort of magical Elvin tunic to make is special just for him.  I'm in love with the avocado color and wondering if it would be worth making my boy one to match.  Seams easy enough to make the pattern bigger, the question is will my boy actually wear it???  Maybe on Elvin adventures in the forest???
As far as reading, no new exciting book for me, I've been doing my usual perusing through a few that I have on the kindle reader on my computer.  The Unschool Unmanual, Unschooling Rules and Back to Basics: Raising Self Sufficient Kids.  Honestly don't have an opinion either way on any of these books as I've just started looking through so I'd love to hear what folks who've read them think.

Thanks to Ginny for hosting as always.