Thursday, May 28, 2015

5 Ways to Bless Your Husband

#1 - De-clutter your bedroom.
Your room is an oasis within the oasis of your home.  Spend 15 minutes, pull out the clutter and your room will be like a breath of fresh air.  This task always looms large in my eyes.  That clutter has to go somewhere and I'm the person that has to figure that out.  Hey, I want him to come home to peace and if a little lack of clutter (say that five times fast) will do it, then, heck yeah, let's de-clutter!

#2 - Scrub the toilet he uses.
Sometimes the bathroom is the only peace and quiet he might get at home.  A little elbow grease can make it a place where he can take a breather, gather his thoughts and come out to conquer the world!

#3 - Bake him a favorite seasonal treat.
Summer slips quickly by.  Pick the best seasonal fruit and make him something delectable... just for him.  (I like to call with a sassy, flirty voice and say, "You'll bring vanilla ice cream home, if you know what's good for you!")  (Side note: Someone once asked me if my baking was the reason why my husband stays and her string of boyfriends marches on.  It isn't the cooking; it's the fact that you're keeping the home fires burnin.'  That's no one else's responsibility but mine.  And I take that seriously.)

#4 - Look him in the eyes and listen.
You might have five things you want to tell him and ten things you want to discuss with him, but just look him in the eyes and listen.  Even if there's girlies whining and dogs panting in the background, truly look and listen.

#5 - Make yourself look pretty.
I work in summer.  Like REALLY work (garden, wood, cleaning), so makeup and stillettos aren't much of an option here in the Hollow.  I do always wear a skirt (even if it's a work one), earrings, necklace and a right hand ring.  When I check the clock and see Daddy arrival time approaching, I wash my face, redo my hair and reapply the deodorant.  My husband deserves a fresh, happy face.  Sometimes, it's a struggle to wash away my tired Mommy look, but I give it my best shot.  And, I'm truthful when he asks me about my day.

Do keep the home fires burnin,' friend.  It's a wicked, stinky, raunchy, mean world out there and he's fighting it every day.  Let him come home to peace and beauty so God can bless and refresh his heart each evening.  It's the crux of our mission as wives.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Quickie Trip - Just Look Around

We arrived and unpacked while the Rugged Mountain Man got the fire going.  Then, we flopped down on the 1980era sectional and breathed a sigh of relief.  It's a like a switch when you walk into our cabin.  You KNOW it's time to chill.  The absence of Wi-Fi, cell service and technology probably has something to do with that.  And we love it.

The reason for our trip (as if we need a reason) was Homeschool Day at the nearest State Park.  (And, Daddy wanted to squeeze in a little more Trout fishing.)

All this beauty always sets my mind on the right track.  The song, "There is a God" was scrolling through my head as a result.

"Try and put your arms around
the 100 year old tree,"

"Climb up on a horse
and let it run full speed,
Take a look down at the world from 30,000 feet
on your next flight..."

"Watch a flock of birds
against the morning sun,"

"Close your eyes and listen
to the river run..."

"Catch a firefly in your hand
or a raindrop on your tongue.
That's right..."

"There is a God,
There is a God,
There is a God,
How much proof do you need?"

"Plant a seed and see
what comes out of the ground,"

"Find the heartbeat on your baby's ultrasound,
In a few years hear it laughing,
and don't it sound like a song?"

"Stop and think about
what you don't understand,"

"Things like life and love,
and how the world began..."

"Hear the doctor say he can't explain it,
but the cancer is gone..."

"There is a God,
There is a God,
There is a God,
How much proof do you need?"

"Science says it's all just circumstance.
Like this whole world's just an accident..."

"But if you want to shoot that theory down,
Look around."

 "Just look around."

 "There is a God,
There is a God,
There is a God,
How much proof do you need?"

"Oh there is a God
There is a God
There is a God
How much proof do you need?"

Friday, May 22, 2015


My favorite pic from yesterday:

What I'd love to make this weekend:
It's Red Velvet Fruit Pizza from

Red Velvet Fruit Pizza - a giant pizza cookie made from cake mix and topped with cream cheese whipped cream and fruit. It's the perfect potluck recipe!

Monday's plans:
Watching Blossom1 on her 4-H float in a Memorial Day parade and gathering CANDY.

I'm thankful for:
Weather forecasts!  Since I had a heads-up that yesterday was chilly, we were dressed for the weather and we still had a wonderful quick trip to the cabin.  More on that soon... but now I need to wash all those wet, muddy jeans.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Work Equipment for Kids

Teaching our Blossoms to work is something that's pretty important to the Rugged Mountain Man and me.  Truly, I know the temptation to tell your children to leave you alone so you just can get some work done.  I fight that temptation!  Now that Blossom1 is 9 years old and Blossom2 is 7 years old, we've found that the investments are paying off. 

I've also noticed that it takes a good bit of material investment to make it easier for the girlies to work and help around our little spot on God's green Earth.  Kids need equipment their size to help them work harder and work smarter.  It's hard for them to handle rakes, shovels and such that are much too large for them.  If you wait til they grow into a shovel (teenager), it's already almost too late to teach them how to work!

#1 - Leather Work Gloves - Kids Sizes:
The day I invested in quality leather work gloves for me, was a day worth celebrating.  No more hesitating at splintery logs.  No more gingerly grabbing hold of stuff.  Nope.  The leather is between me and tough stuff!  Why not do the same for the girlies?  I thought the price was affordable.  The quality is good.  The girls' names are on their glove and they have been taking good care of them.  I call these gloves an investment entirely worth making!  I now expect them to manhandle their Blossom jobs without any hesitation.

(Yes, they really do run the log-splitter by themselves.)

#2 - Rakes & Shovels
We bought this child size rake at Lowe's.  They always have them at the beginning of the season.  Additionally, the Rugged Mountain Man picked up a set of medium sized rakes at Tractor Supply Co. for the older Blossoms.  From raking rocks to raking bark, these things are totally worth it.  I found a similar child sized rake here.

#3 - Muck boots
As I type those words, I simultaneously exhale a huge sigh of relief and contentment.  They are that worth it.  I realize that not everyone sends their kids out three times a day to "chore," feed, water and check animals, but we do (and more people should).  Sliding into a pair of waterproof, mud-proof boots is as easy as one-two-three!   They have all sizes at Tractor Supply Co. for $20-$30 depending on size.  The designer patterns you see in the pics were gifts.  We don't buy pretty, 'cuz pretty doesn't last.  We need stuff to WORK and LAST. 

#4 - Plastic Sled
I realize that seems really strange, but I spent some time researching child-size wheelbarrows and was pretty discontent with what I found.  The price was wrong.  The size was wrong and they really didn't haul "thangs" - REAL "thangs!"  Plastic sleds are cheap and you can haul wood, wood shavings, bark, rocks, logs, branches, manure, anything.  They are a country girl's first wheelbarrow! 
I challenge you to invest, little by little in tools for making teaching your children to work easier.  It's worth it in the long run. 
End result:

Monday, May 18, 2015

Meandering thoughts

Writing has always helped me to sort my thoughts.  Thoughts and emotions swirl around in my head, but it all solidifies when I write.

I think the theme for the last seven days here would be WORK.  Not that I'm going to pontificate about all we accomplished, since that could seem a little bit like "Momdescension."  Suffice it to say that there is always a big end of school year, beginning of warm weather push.  The physical labor is exhausting but invigorating too.  My faithful Blossom Bunch are real hard workers.  I sure am thankful for that.  This year, the Rugged Mountain Man and I could see how much they helped.  As a parent, that was such an encouragement.  Thank God for those little glimpses every now and then.

Daddy was out of town for a few days, so we held down the micro-farm, just us girlies.  I sure am thankful for that man.  He brings such stability to this house.  I defined it as an intangible when I was talking to him about it.  When he is away, the girls are more emotional(!)  I don't know why this is.  It actually makes me marvel about God's design for the family.  Mommy and Daddy are both needed, together.  Children are healthiest that way.  We were so glad to see him when he returned.

I printed off a few ice-breakers/conversation starters from pinterest the other day.  I thought it might start us off all at the same point and direct our family conversations a bit.  If anything, it's been great for laughs. Shouts for more can be heard at the dinner table.  What a simple, easy thing to do to make mealtimes even more fun!

Well, I must sign off for now.  Sleep calls, so we can hit the ground running tomorrow.

Blessings!!! :)

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Three Victories

#1 - I went to the feed store and did not return with any new animals.  (This is monumental, please cheer excessively.)

#2 - The wood is done.  HUzZAH!!!!!

#3 - They didn't get ALL the way soaked!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Chore Packs!!!

I like those little things that make a big difference in our lives.  I've used the chore system from Managers of their Chores by Steve and Teri Maxwell since Blossom1 was about four years old. 

Product Details

The system employs "chore packs," which are small index cards detailing chores in numerical and chronological order.  The children place the cards inside a small trade show like badge holder that clips on their clothing as they are working.  We've long since worn out the original "chore packs" and have just used the leftover trade show badge holders from Grandpa, Grandma or Daddy's show attendance.  However, it was time for a real solution as these badges were no longer holding up.  Chores weren't getting done properly because "chore packs" were getting lost, set down or not used at all!  I was so happy to find this option at and we've got our game on now! 

Baumgartens Sicurix ID Neck Pouch Badge Holders

We're rocking the chores again!  This mama says HURRAY!!!! 

If you've never read Managers of their Chores, it's a great read for coordinating all that needs to be done in the home.  I can't recommend it enough.  From the reasons for chores to the nuts and bolts of setting up a good system, this book covers it all.  (Additionally, I found their book, Managers of their Homes extremely helpful as well.)  So, chore on, my friends!

Monday, May 11, 2015


So lately, I am ~

Because Blossom4 caught a chicken for the first time, all by herself.  At two years old, that's quite an accomplishment!  She was so pleased.  I didn't help her at all.  In fact, I thought those Mommy thoughts, "At least if she is chasing a chicken to catch it, she will run off a lot of energy." 

Because LG, the pheasant died.  Seeing him hatch and grow was such a great experience.  It was also really interesting to see how much wilder he was than the other animals.  The Blossoms were (understandably so) VERY upset, as was Mommy.

With everything.  You all know that I was at the CHAP convention and was also out of town with the Blossoms.  (Daddy had to hold down the fort here.)  I accomplished so much, but enjoyed myself too.  It was like a mini working vacation.  I'm hoping to take the same approach next year - go for two days, survey the whole show, taking notes and then buy the second day.  It really helped being able to think, read about and pray about the decisions I was making.  God was faithful to direct, as He always is.

For Mother's Day.  Getting spoiled a little by my family is so nice.  A good salad, a pretty necklace, yummy ice cream and lots of good chilling time with them makes for a great day.

Parenting is Heart Work by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller.  The authors were guests at the CHAP convention.  I enjoyed their session on sibling squabbles which gets to the heart of the issue - honor.  Children bicker and argue because they aren't honoring each other and treating the other better than themselves.  The book is great thus far.  It goes deeper than just getting obedience from your kids - reaching their hearts for the Lord. 

Have a great day, friends!

Friday, May 8, 2015

CHAP and sunshine

Good morning, friends.  The birds are chirping.  They're awake with the sun and so am I.  Today is the first day of the largest homeschool convention on the East Coast.  In a little while (after I've had some tea), I'm off to be inspired afresh about learning.  Literally, the thought of this many educational resources and like-minded people in one place makes me drool.  Take a gander at  In the meantime, enjoy the sunshine and think of something nice to tell your Mom.... it's Mother's Day weekend, after all.  Now, I'm off to make some tea.  Blessings!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Little Sweat, Big Difference

Hey, a little sweat can take a small change and make a huge difference...

Daddy was away for a day-long fishing trip.  Mommy was suddenly inspired to do a DIY project in the kitchen.  (You gotta understand, I come from a long line of furniture rearranging, power tool wielding women.)  Check out the next picture for my "Before."  (You may recognize the shot from our 2014 Christmas Tea Party.)  The tall pantry cabinet  keeps the laundry room door from opening all the way.  There is a separate cabinet for the microwave and the table is squished in the corner. 

Check out the "After!"  I moved the pantry cabinet over a few feet so that we could turn the table to better accommodate the six of us.  (Yes, that's Rory dozing under the table.)

Additionally, I was inspired by Jenn from IHeartOrganizing to put my microwave inside the pantry cupboard.  I built the shelf and it all fit perfectly.  (Victory yell!)

It's so light and roomy.  I've fallen in love with my kitchen all over again.  (I was pretty smitten before this, so that's saying something.) 

(Have no fear.  The shelf is sturdy and the pantry cabinet is secured to studs in the wall.  No one was hurt in the wielding of the power tools.  My husband even complimented me on my increasing power tool prowess.)  After the Blossoms helped me mound the contents of all the cupboards on all the other countertops in the kitchen, they promptly slept through the sawing, drilling and pounding.  Um, wow.

 Daddy pronounced his approval and now family mealtimes are more relaxed because we have more elbow room.  Since family mealtimes are such a big deal to us here, I call that a major improvement!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Just Duckies

Everything is just ducky here!

Blossom2 is happy as a duck, since she is now the proud owner of Pongo & Perdita.  They are a pair of Khaki Campbell ducks, an excellent dual purpose breed.

Additionally, Blossom1 now owns two Sebright Bantams chicks, named Reepiceep and Susan.  To make things fair, LG belongs to Blossom3, which made her rosy cheeks squish into a happy smile. 

I've wanted ducks for quite some time.  Blossom2 apparently shared this desire and is SO HAPPY to own the cute little things. 

LG, Pongo, Perdita, Reepiceep and Susan all are housed together and make up quite a little Motley Crew.  It's sweet to peek in and see all of them sound asleep in the wood chips.

 These delightful duckies actually follow Blossom2 through the grass, peeping insistently!

Their antics in shallow water are highly entertaining - plopping down, scurrying out, furiously wiggling their tails, scurrying around some more and intermittently jumping to catch bugs out of the air... then, doing it all over again, while weaving in and out between the Bantam Chicks and the Pheasant Chick.  It made for good Sunday evening entertainment!  (Critters beat TV any day!)

Micro Farm spring sure is fun! 

Friday, May 1, 2015