Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year from our family to Yours!!

Happy,Happy New Year's from our home and family to yours! May 2011 be filled with the knowlege of the heart of our Lord and Saviour in your home!

Our year was extraordinarily full and many blessings came our way. We await all the lessons and spiritual gifts our Heavenly Father has for us in this new year.
2010 was our year to learn camping as a family, settle into a new house, renew our wedding vows and observe our 10th anniversary, travel and learn a lot of things along the way.
I have little idea but some inklings of what this new year might hold. I know that whatever it holds in store that with our All-Powerful God beside us it will all be ok.
                                                                             Prayers,Joy and Love in Christ,

Saturday, December 25, 2010

re: a joyous holiday to all

Dear Julia Charlotte,
           Christmas morning here! The living room is cozy and twinkly lights are all around. The tree has a moderate little pile of surprises under it. And it's softly snowing outside. Amazing to have it snow on exactly this day in our part of the world where snowfall can be erratic!

Last night we carried on our new tradition of reading stories of the manger scene etc. before bed. Our pastor and his daughters brought us a basketfull of treats as we were reading. So sweet!

I made blueberry banana pancakes topped with Cool Whip and served up chocolate milk with new snowman straws.
A breakfast for dinner tradition could happen maybe. Or maybe we will just see what God provides!
This year we were brought the pancake batter and given some of the other food items on our dinner table.
I must say that as Lee and I have been working ever closer toward being footloose and debt-free  I often thank God for all the providential ways we have been provided for even when we have had very little extra from a logic point of view. What could seem like random happenings to some I call occasions to thank God for all our needs being met!
God is good!    Have a joyous holiday!
                                                                                                            Somewhat Sleep Deprived,

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

re: journaling about a site called Cookusinterruptus

To Julia Charlotte,
      Today the message is short. Are you hungry? Do you have hungry children to feed?  Want to eat well so you can feel well?
Well, visit this site. And while we're at it, how about making an Eat Kale T'shirt? I may try my hand at it one of these days.
Well, take a peek .

                                                     hungry now,
                                                                                                         ~ Pilgrimama

Thursday, December 9, 2010

re: journaling about my kitchen corner

So today I am cleaning out My Kitchen Corner of shame. I am trying lots of tactics to get away from this but the organized part of my personality is not having it!
I have now made a pile to go into a Things to Do basket, a pile for all things Letter writing and Thank-you note related and lots of things to be hauled to their actual spots of residence.
Things like a dvd about swamp tigers without the case, a lot of lists( I am a Listmaker) ,a little book with the lyrics to the Jungle Book movie's songs, recipes, flashcards and a new CD. And birthday money and gift certificates. And an abandoned thank-you note project. And more...

But now I have a plan of attack!  To:do projects get their own basket in a less visible spot. Letterwriting basket-ditto!  I must not let my tiny amount of counter space get overrun like this again!
I tell myself I am still digging out from the craziness of a vow renewal ceremony and planning, honeymoon, farming children out, four birthdays in two months kind of Autumn.
Fortunately for us the Christmas is a laidback season as far as gift giving pressure. Thankfully!
I hope to make cookie or some such thing plates for the neighbors and keep the focus on serving others. We have been going to midnight services every Saturday night this month which the little people sorta dig....
 So we will try to stay calm and keep things simple and our countertops under control,yep!
Last but not least it is really cold nowadays. We got some snow and the weather is cold. Like 11 degrees F cold!
                                                                                                                   The Cleaning Lady,

Thursday, December 2, 2010

re: winter things in the journal

Dear Julia Charlotte,
            Here we are, finishing up salt dough manger scenes and snipping paper for snowflakes for the windows.
We are playing seasonal music and prepped our Winter book basket with a lovely handpainted sign by Alex.
Now I need to clean the kitchen and do laundry. I'm still recovering from a weekend trip that turned epic as well!
Last but not least, check out the giveaways over at Crafty Crow this week! I'm hoping for the children's sewing book....

Saturday, November 27, 2010

re: Thanksgiving

Dear Julia Charlotte,
         We had a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Wishing the best to you and yours!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

re: Thanksgiving-here we come!

Dear Julia Charlotte,
        Two pumpkin pies and one Apple pie have been made. The green beans are in the fridge waiting to be tipped.. My part of the family Thanksgiving feast is close to done! Even if I did spend half of the day in bed with a stiff neck and upper back.
My children are  super !   They helped clean up from the birthday party last night and make this whole day work!

                                                                                               Thankful for my lovely children,

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

re: and a happy birthday to her!

Today our Squirrelgirl is three!
Three years  ago today a very special person arrived, freshly created from the Creator's hand.
Her middle name is Faith.
She has brought great joy to our family.
We" sing for joy at the work of His hands"!
Thank-you Father for this little life.

Tonight we plan to celebrate with a burrito dinner  and cake!
                                      ~ off to cook and bake,

Friday, November 19, 2010

re: journal scribblings #2

Dear Julia Charlotte,
                Anyone who has raised children, especially a larger family knows the truth of what cleaning up is like. Like the old saying that goes something like "cleaning the house while the children are growing is like shoveling snow while it's still snowing." Nevertheless it still has to be done.
Today I managed to finish writing thank-you notes to the ladies of our church family for a party they threw this fall to celebrate our 10th anniversary. I also made a bunch of  homemade cards using tie-died paper the children made with a friend. I layered the paper over a white card made from printer paper. Kelsey managed to finish one thank-you note already. This is a huge thing off my mind, getting that well underway!

Prepping for Thanksgiving is underway!
I must map out plans for the pies who will make the journey to relatives with us! Must get on that tonight!
Neglected to sleep last night in favor of reading Jane Eyre. Must not do that tonight.
Split pea soup, toast, brown rice and tea are ready in the kitchen. We ladies of the estate are waiting for our guys to get home- they have been out working this afternoon. They will arrive bearing firewood I believe.

Monday, November 15, 2010

re: journal jottings

Dear Julia Charlotte,
                  The rain has started. I hear we may be in for a bit of that wet stuff.
Early morning church service here as usual.
We were still without gas with which to cook but maybe tomorrow the gas tanks will finally be re-hooked up.
The children had music class as usual as well. It went great and that made me glad!
I also got to see with my very own eyes an answer to prayer that was most amazing! I am still marveling.
Read and did important laundry. The children and their visiting friend watched a movie as well as starting a fire in the grill so we could make soup for dinner. So I made soup and ran around prepping for another batch of friends who would arrive to take us with them to children's choir practice night where they could bring friends (us!).
We had a great time doing that and then coming home to sing and read from No Compromise.
Read from Romans afterwards and put some sheets we were given into the laundry.
My synopsis from yesterday's sermon-" Seek to glorify God in everything you do".

Friday, November 12, 2010

re:notebook jottings # 4

Dear Julia Charlotte,
        Had breakfast at the community center this morning. Afterwards we came home and got some laundry rolling and did school related stuff like finish our chapter book on Squanto(which held the children's attention very well) and reread a book (storybook) on the Pilgrims which we were given back when Jess and Alex were babies. We discovered the book was really old too-like going on a hundred old!
We heated sandwich meat on the woodstove as our gas tanks ran dry yesterday and we are in the process of getting them refilled.
Then I saw an offer on Freecycle for some really pretty sounding colors of paint for giveaway and so we packed up and walked over for them.The street was immensely interesting in and of itself as well.
Hurried home to prep for dinner guests,a family who lives nearby who was coming for dinner.
We planned to cook over the fire in the grill.
They brought the rice.
I burned the beans.
But everything else was good-maybe because Lee cooked...
They brought Squirrelgirl a tutu and that pleased her very much. She looks like a pink turkey.
We had prayers with the children anmd Lee read some more to Jess and me from No Compromise.
                                                          Feeling Sleepy,

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

re: notebook jottings #3

Dear Julia Charlotte,
Spent yesterday in BED.
Today, feeling much better.
Sent off one card and one tiny care package.
Lee made breakfast before he left for work- he is one stinkin' cool dude.
I tubbed the girls and washed their hair. I did the same for me later. We were a smelly, tangly-haired bunch.
The sweet woman who gave me clothes at church, showed up with a giant princess bag and one shopping bag, all full of presents for the children. Don't you think that is most Amazing?
Alex worked on a homemade ladder in our livingroom.
We went for a family walk after dinner.
Then Lee read more to us from Keith Green's book No Compromise.
Then I didn't feel sleepy.
So here I am......
                                                                                    Late for Bed,

Sunday, November 7, 2010

re: notebook jotting # 2

Dear Julia Charlotte,
Well.. these have been a busy couple of days! Still fighting a sinus something which is nasty. Yesterday I took a long walk with the girls and a friend to a benefit yard sale for the community center/ church meeting space.The guys are working on some projects which gives us girls some girl time.
The boys then went with a friend to act in a film a local university student is making.
 Lee helped me do some needed fixit jobs around the house which was GREAT!

Last eve. we attended a party for some newly wed friends of ours abt. 40 minutes from here. It was a potluck and a "pounding" which meant people could bring a pound of food or other items.
Took beans and a copy of The Velveteen Rabbit for the bride,  with whom I have shared deep talks on the meaning of Real.
Shopped for Chelsea's b-day as well.
This morn. I slept in.
Finally went to church late. Our church family is wonderful! A sometimes homeless aquaintance so sweetly gave me a bag of clothes for the children. She has little ones too but is not allowed custody of them. Life has Strange and Beautiful moments-how does one respond Properly?
The boys were asked to sit in on the worship team's meeting today-such a good place to expend their talents and energy especially as they grow older.
Lunch was amazing- including a leafy greens salad with dried cranberries(?) and walnuts and grapes and topped with feta cheese.
Went home and rested a lot more, feel crummy.
A friend dropped by with fresh cilantro and fresh greens-yum!
I started to clean my messy house and talked on the phone to a friend who recently had a a second child about mothering's amazing requirements!
My cousin stopped by to visit, bringing homemade pumpkin pie! Yum again!
Guys came home- hungry!
Children's Sunday School teacher dropped by with the children's offering envelopes, collecting money for hungry people in Haiti and pictures of my birthday picnic.
Today she said they will give us One Whole Day of babysitting all our children so Lee and I can have a getaway day! She is also giving me some "mom-time" gifts by babysitting . So sweet of them!
The gang is asleep and I am typing this. Lee is snuggled by the fire, sleeping in the cozy lamplight.
I should wrap presents.....

Friday, November 5, 2010

re: notebook jottings

Dear Julia Charlotte,
        So I am making personal sacrifices right now.
We would like to travel to spend Thanksgiving with Lee's niece.
We have also had many, many expenses this fall .
So I have given up cheese for a month.
And the library book sale.
I am trying hard to only spend for needed items. Books are not exactly a need when the library has so many.... But sometimes I forget...
Ah, well.
Got up this morning and washed dishes and cleaned up from last night's get -together. Also hauled in the garbage cans and recycling bins from the curb and tidied up the back yard a bit.
Worked on backlog of laundry and then went downstairs around noon to visit our good friends who had a severely handicapped relative with them for the day. So inspiring! We were sent home with lots of yummy chicken!
Boys went with Lee to do a project, so the girls and my cousin accompanied me to the thrift store.
Found: 1 pottery looking soap dispenser (for the kitchen)
            1 mini First Aid kit
             1 comfy blanket for taking naps under on the couch!
A friend came over to pick up a handdrawn "logo" Alex drew for a "club" poster she is making.
Afterwards the girls and I went grocery shopping (sort of) and hauled Stuff to drop off at the community center.
Today was also busy with arranging etc. freecycle pickups. I adore Freecycle and think lots more people should do it.
Well, cheerio!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

re: another good day

Dear Julia Charlotte,
Still sick with a cold-snuffle!
Got some Important Things done today like giving Jess a very long reading lesson and sleeping in way late. Cut a bunch of fabric leaves out to use on a thankful tree for this month. I plan to hang the fabric leaves from a large branch that I plan on setting into a vase. On the leaves we will write things we are thankful for.
Lee's sister came by and had lunch with us. She brought us a number of goodly gifts including some yummy cheese curds.
Lee came home early so we snuggled up by the fire while our offspring watched a movie. Got to have snuggly moments -oh yeah!
The homegroup we host from church met at our house tonight. We have started a little tradition of burrito nights. Wonder how long it will last..
Talked to my sister tonight and had good prayer time with the children.
                                                                   Another Good Day,

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

re: another journal entry

To: Julia Charlotte,
       Came down with a very sore throat last night. Lee made me hot tea which was lovely and made sure I was comfy. Jess and Lee had gone out shopping for shoes and came back with a bargain DVD. So they disappeared into the bedroom while I curled on thew couch by the fire. The two middle children were out with family tonight so I waited up for them.
This morning I still felt pretty rotten. Jess and Alex spoiled me, making food, bringing me a hot water bottle and tea, even washing dishes.
This afternoon I was slated to cook at the community center so I cleaned up and dragged myself out. The evening actually did me good, though I did not help with cleanup! And the food all of us whipped up was amazingly yummy! Pomegranate, grape and apple fruit salad included on the menu! Fresh!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Pilgrimama Cleans

Dear Julia Charlotte,
        It is a New Day. Hopefully it will be a day In Which I get Things Done!
Yesterday I decided that when I don't feel motivated, I should always find one corner and get started. Because,you see, then I usually find other things that need doing at then the ball is rolling and then poof! Suddenly I am no longer Undermotivated!
Which, speaking of getting going-I should go water the mums by my front door. And empty a bucket of cleaning water.
Yesterday I cleaned my stairway which was very dusty and stowed an errant suitcase which had the nerve to be waiting on my the stairwell for days!
Now if only I can soon pick up some Patterned Duct Tape and patch the ottoman which had the nerve to hunker down in the foyer, I will be all set!
Maybe today could be a Day for Cleaning out Freecycle Clothes?
                                                                                                         In a Cleanup Mood,

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

re: random thoughts late at night

Dear Julia Charlotte,
        I do not plan to eat so much raw cinnamon roll dough ever again if I can help it.
It causes one to suffer the effects of drinking soda pop but in a "bready" flavor. Gross!

A friend has my sons tonight for a sleepover. Lee-sweetie is working. Me and ma-girls (who are sleeping) here.
I am reading too many late night blog stories and folding laundry.
I am feeling very happy with the three pans of cinnamon rolls Chelsea and I made that are now resting on our kitchen counter AND the tiedye window decorations I hung on the kitchen window (which is by my roughboard shelf). Accomplishment I say!
My internet connection was out for a long while today.
I should go wash late night dishes which means I should dress appropriately as my kitchen windows are curtainless and I have neighbors closeby in a couple directions...
I am also sad because I received some sad news tonight about a friend being hurt in an accident-possibly seriously.
I have closed my other curtains and tidied my rooms for the night. It always feels so cozy and so this is a major incentive in tidying up in the evening for yours truly.
I think I should now wash my hair and brush my teeth for the night.That would be truly mature of me.

Ok, all clean and shiny.
Someone sent over four freezer pops for the small fry, I have numerous mosquito bites and opened the door leading to the deck to welcome in some cool air today-what is up with the weather. That said it is also rainy. Laundry I have out does not seem like it will dry too quickly...

                                                                                               Ever  Rambling,

Friday, October 22, 2010

re: question

Dear Julia Charlotte,

Day full of promise
flu going around
husband made food
smells good
discipline is called for
house messy after visitors
last night
lots of things
on the to-do list
get ready
for the birthday celebration
my schedule
is cut out for me
for at least 3 days
is there room
for creativity
in the midst of


Update:  One of my children is working on making an apple crisp today, another is busy making homemade stickers to use as party favors for his birthday, another has started the woodstove and has candles lit, and the fourth has happily spread baking soda on the bathroom floor and (it seems) pooped on the toilet and in her potty.
It is a good and creative day.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

re: weaving and busy

Dear Julia Charlotte,
        This week is ending up so much busier than I'd hoped . Babysitting,guests,  a baby blessing, loving on a pregnant friend, sewing night, monthly carryin lunch at Lee's work, church meetings-it's all adding up to a little crazy!
I adore being home, working on projects for long stretches without interruption and besides there are still bags to unpack from our trip and stuff to reshift from the day we renewed our vows.
So this? This is not so fun!
Next week I may have to put the foot down and just hibernate.
I adore all I'm doing too, it's just I wish for a bit of a breather!
Today I went to craft class and started weaving a scarf. That was a very restful thing to do.
Lacy weaving strip in amongst the off white material and the floral.
It has an overall scrappy look.
And Alex learned to fingerknit and I am most pleased!
I think this letter is very rambling.
More later!

Monday, October 11, 2010

re: a season of quietness

Dear Julia Charlotte,
           Our camera has pretty much slowly declined and now gasped it's last breaths.
Somehow this feels right for this particular moment in our lives. It seems to me that usually I would be quite down about having no camera for some of the amazing and memorable moments we've been having of late. But right now it feels mostly right.
A hideyhole time of no private images of our lives being projected out into the big world.
A moment of respite. of resting quietly in each others arms,not articulating and publicizing every beautiful detail.
And too, it sits well with me,this waiting for a camera to be in the budget. Of late I am striving to bring beauty and contentment  to life even when the resources to accomplish that might be sparce.And so I hope to keep my little blog afloat and alive and hopefully a lovely reading place in which to store up the thoughts of my head which often emerge as letters to the beloved and ficticious Julia Charlotte.
Tonight I will go in search of more quiet moments, of a fluid settling into the  empty moments left me in this day, of restfulness.
In the coming days?
Hopefully some updates of recent events in our little lives!
But know that I will probably not be able to capture in mere words the half of it.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

re: more cat...

More CAT  pictures.   See the culprits of the MESS?

re: the part of homeschooling I don't like...

Dear Julia Charlotte,
      Homeschooling has a side I do not like. My  house is often messy
This seems to be somewhat normal for homeschoolers.
Oh what can I do?
Learn to accept it?
This cat we have does not help matters any let me tell you.
Cat pee issues are disgusting!

Monday, September 27, 2010

re: rainy weather and the forest

Dear Julia Charlotte,
    Finally rain has come to end a long,long drought.
There's a bit of wind and it is gray, gray,gray. The leaves are falling and and there's a chill in the air.
Perfect, perfect!  Autumn is such a wonderful, "snuggleup" time of year and the richness of color never ceases to amaze and delight me!
We spent all weekend in the forest camping with lots of our brothers and sisters in Christ from our family in Christ (church).
It was an amazing,awesome time.
We lounged, sat in purposeful silence, cooked up feasts together, hauled gear up the long trail, read aloud to the children and read poetry.
We held plays(even though we had to read our parts since we had no time to really memorize them), took funny pictures, passed around babies and hauled water.
We taught each other new songs and handwashed stacks of dishes.
But maybe most memorable of all the many memories made was all the amazing musical talent that lead us in worship over and over.
There was an especially amazing evening when we were up late around the campfire reading and praying together, then late, late we were rather tiredly chanting what probably would have been one of the last songs of the night when a whole band of unexpected but very welcome guests arrived through the darkness- a whole group of young folks from church that we had not expected could make it etc. But there they were -having gotten on the wrong trail for a while and a really long hike to boot. And we were all just so glad to see each other there in the firelight around 11 at night.They, amazed that not only were we not sleeping, but that we were chanting and we, delighted to get their sweet company at that hour.
And somehow their coming revived us and the music got lively again and the prayers flowed out  and the conversation turned to our beliefs as Christians and finally in the wee hours of the morning we all finally bunked down.
It was a bonding weekend and really sweet to remember -may we have many more such times if our Lord wills.
                                                                                                                  ~In His Love,

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

re: the cure

Dear Julia Charlotte,
One of my friends recently described planning a wedding as a full time job. Well, I am here to tell you that planning a vow renewal ceremony is almost as bad.
Planning a vow renewal and celebration dinner on the low budget is certainly tricky!
We are trying to find our rhythm amidst the busyness of all this planning.
It definitely takes some concentrated headwork which is not so easy to accomplish amidst a houseful of energetic young ones. One night recently my little head just refused to be pushed anymore.
I surveyed my options the best I could.
Simple dinner-check.
Tell husband we need a burnout action plan involving a change of focus-check.
Watch a new movie which had come in the mail while eating supper-helpful.
Instead of the marshmallow roast we were thinking of we got a late text from a friend.
It said our children's music teacher was storytelling and singing at a nearby restaurant.
We bundled up the crew and marched into the dark.
It was a good cure and a good night.
Above are pics.
Our poor camera is about dead so thereby the poor quality shots...!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

re : lovely toys

Dear Julia Charlotte,
Thinking about toys today.
My little people don't have a large amount of toys. I know other parents who also are not into large stockpiles of toys. It is a choice we make. Ours is not the only choice but of course I tend to think it can be a good one!
One of the reasons we do not own many toys is that we have been on pretty tight budgets most of our married life.
We also do not have wealthy relatives nor family inclined to buy many toys for our offspring.
(Our family is good about buying things on our wish lists like nice markers.)
Which has worked out quite well for us as I have come to greatly dislike picking up after many nastily colored (in my opinion) cheap plastic toys. Toys that the gang has tired of after a few uses, now providing visual stress and clutter.
So now we ask for things like sewing kits or glow in the dark underwear (ahem) for birthdays.
And I buy a few quality toys here and there that are not only useful but also beautiful.
To me as the mama it makes a world of difference!
So these are my thoughts. Usually I do not see the whole picture myself. And I am aware there are different approaches to this issue. Mine is one of them.
Be well,

Thursday, September 16, 2010

re: Rhythm of the Home

Dear Julia Charlotte,
I've been particularly excited to talk about a lovely resource for mamas here in internet land. Making our homes cozy and clean and sweet really strikes a chord with me as does caring for our little ones. So I'm particularly happy to share a link today to Rhythm of the Home online magazine! The autumn edition has some particularly good content-but maybe I'm biased. Autumn is my very favorite season!
My day today has included making one birthday card (using one of the amazing stamps that came in a collection of stamps as a birthday gift from a cousin this year!) and preparing another card for a cousin's baby daughter. She is so special !
Now I sit here with my cup of tea thinking about the laundry I really should tackle....
Happy Day friends!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

re: morning fresh babies

"eating a peanut butter sandwich"(Squirrelgirl)
Dear Julia Charlotte,
Have I ever written to you about how yummy baby girls are first thing in the morning or right after a nap? How their hair is all "poufy" and fluffed and you can just bury your nose in it and nuzzle down into their warm necks?
How their limbs are all soft and fluid and drape so perfectly? How you can lie on the couch on your back and fit their little bodies just so over your chest and it feels like maybe this is the contentedness we'll feel in Heaven?
I haven't ever told you that? Well it's high time I did!

I think I am going to go help Lee decorate at a job today. Decorate for autumn !

Last night I put my papers and pencil and a jar of supper food in my bag and walked downtown to work on the wording for our vow rewnewal declaration of intent.(Wow, that's a funny sentence...)
It was sweet. I sat at a cute little sitting area near the library which has tables and chairs and a large fountain. It manages to feel Secluded and it was perfect.
Lee met me later and he said it was a good thinking place.

(thoughts from Pilgrimama, who should now go do laundry....)


Saturday, September 11, 2010

re: hosting a bridal shower

a brownie fruit pizza for your information- my friend made one like this for my birthday this year as well! They are scrumptious!

flowers ( below) decorating a ledge that night...
Dear Julia Charlotte,
I am sending you these long overdue pictures that I took a while back. They are from a bridal shower I hosted for a young woman who was renewing her vows after being separated from her husband.
It was a lovely evening- it had been a while since I'd hosted a "girls" party. (Even if the kitten did climb into the gift bags of lingerie...) Some light food was had, followed by lots of loving on our guest of honor. We soaked her feet in essential oil scented water and gave her candles and beads and lots of blessings. And then we had to give gifts and have some laughs together that would not be appropriate to write about so publicly,Julia my dear.
So we had a happy night all in all and stayed up really late!
And now, my next letter to you should really be about September's arrival and cold nights(mmmmm) and washing this very warm summer's grime off the windows...!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

re: thankful list

To Julia Charlotte,
Life has definitely had its challenging moments these days. Often these things are too much information for the internets and go into my journal instead.
But a lot of challenges have been surmounted or things I worry about aren't as bad as I thought they would be and so today I am feeling very grateful.
I am grateful that God is full of tender mercies as well as stern training.
So here is my thankful list!

* I am thankful for good friends in Christ who invite us into their backyards to share campfires and marshmallows.
* I am thankful that a lot of us in our church family are comfortable sitting around being quiet together.
* I am thankful for friends who share so freely.
* I am thankful Lee hauled out the old dinosaur tv so I could clean my rug.
*I am thankful that the laundry monster is being tamed again!
* I'm thankful we got the compost dealt with yesterday.
*I am thankful for schedule editing so I can focus on organizing our vow renewal ceremony and celebration.
I am thankful Lee made Dutch apple pie yesterday.
I am thankful my bathroom is in such a clean state.
*I am thankful Alex cleaned the deck yesterday!
So, if you're still reading, I am thankful for major and minor blessings in other words.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

re: God is enough

To: Julia Charlotte,
This morning is such a good morning. Saturday. Lee had to work this morning which isn't quite the norm for Saturday. My yard sale ideas went down the drain with that, since we are a one vehicle family. But the morning is still good.
I awoke from a nightmare this morning, which ended with the assurance I'd heard from a brother in Christ the other day. "God is enough, whatever the situation."
It was such a peace giving phrase to remember while within a scary dream and was so special to awake thinking that thought.
God is enough.
The children are making mud houses and such on the back deck and it's a mess. Their dusty footprints can be seen on the kitchen floor. The air is cooler this weekend which is sweet relief since September came in stubbornly sultry. I can feel the cool air breezing through the house and it is wonderful, this breeze, those children.
So alive, so full.
It is a good morning.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

re: cluttery or uncluttered?

( my main shelf in my kitchen. Yeah, my kitchen is pretty small!)

To: Julia Charlotte,
I've been thinking about how much tidier my house looks with as many uncluttered surface areas as possible.
I like to go to people's houses that have cluttery spaces. It gives me clues as to who they are. It's mentally stimulating.
In other people's houses that is.
In my house? Not so much.
My homes are usually on the small and "cozy" end of the spectrum. So visual clutter often starts to feel like "mess"!
So, if your home is feeling a little too cozy and closed in, I suggest you clear as many surfaces as possible. You may be amazed!
~ Pilgrimama

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

re: book recommendations for you

To: Julia Charlotte,
Here are two book recommendations for you!
Sonhouse people recommend:
The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare
The Giant Jam Sandwich....story and pictures by John Vernon Lord,verses by Janet Burroway
One book for your preteen-teen reader (or a mama!) and one for the kindergarten set.
Happy reading!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

re: my sweetheart

To: Julia Charlotte:
Do you want to see pictures of my Lee-darling? Well, here is a picture!
My Lee has been off traveling the world for a bit. I miss him! Lord willing he will be home soon. Seriously, wouldn't you miss a sweet looking guy like this too?
My Lee thinks I am pretty amazing. I think HE is pretty amazing. Anyone who has lived with me and put up with me for almost 10 years and still has nice things to say HAS to be amazing!
Love you my sweet!

Monday, August 23, 2010

re: today's doings

To: Julia Charlotte,
Today was music lesson day, a biking field trip to the music store and doing apprentice work at the bike shop.
Today was paying my children's teachers.
Today was making a Mexican style lunch for the music teacher and my gang.
Today was making a little mud pie kitchen with tree stumps and accessories so the gang can make a mess on the deck.
Today is making dinner and maybe having our downstairs housemates dine with us.
Tonight I must do laundry!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

re: thoughts on summer's end

~pictures of a wedding reception my dear friend and I were in charge of decorating and setting up for~

To: Julia Charlotte,
I have to confess I have been journaling a lot more privately and so I've neglected this little blog a bit. Life has been full too and it can be hard to find the energy to write besides.
I have had the delight to help with some weddings etc. this year and it definitely has made for a busy year. We also had a big family reunion which called for a trip to New York state.

Now we are trying to empty our plates of too many obligations, digging into homeschooling, and gearing up for Lee's and my 10th wedding anniversary celebration!

As August winds quickly to an end, I feel like the summer passed quickly and was full of a lot of personal learning and growth and I am looking forward to so much more!

May your Sunday be full of love and inspiration.


Friday, August 20, 2010

re: I am thankful for blueberry jam!

To Julia Charlotte:
I am thankful for friends who go on trips and come back with stories and homemade blueberry jam. Friends, thoughtfulness and blueberries-beautiful things reflecting a beautiful Father.
~ Pilgrimama

Saturday, August 14, 2010

re: this morning at Sonhouse!

guitar playing
coloring handouts from the play they attended last night...
To: Julia Charlotte,
Greetings from Sonhouse!
We Pilgrims really are alive and joyful! Life has just had us very fully engaged!
I need to keep rolling this morning as well, but thought I'd share a few pictures from this morning. Hope to be back next week with some stories!

Friday, August 6, 2010

re: presenting the newest little big girl!

To: Julia Charlotte,
May I present to you my little big girl?
Here is the Squirrelgirl, all weaned, potty trained and sleeping through the night(mostly).
For her (and me) this is big. Thanks to her visiting grandma for taking her a night for a good part of the first week and keeping us both accountable!

*I am officially a non-nursing, non-pregnant mama for one of the first times in almost ten years of marriage. (I do nurse longish!) Maybe this is TMI but it is true. Sorry!
*I need to get out the door and I am blogging instead. See ya!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

re: we approach September...

To: Julia Charlotte,
September is coming for us! We are buckling into projects more seriously around here. Summer camp and family reunion and out of state company and big weddings are over (mostly) and I think all of us are very glad to come back to more routine again.I know I have missed routine sorely!
Hurrah, hurrah for August and autumn coming (my favorite time of year) and routines and my birthday this weekend when I get to do some favorite things!
But speaking of routines and homeschool projects and keeping it all together here's a link for you to share... from Camp Creek blog.

Happy routining to you my dear!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

re: weddings and babies

To:Julia Charlotte,
I am so busy these days! It feels like so many of the people I know from church are having babies or getting married. So this usually means lots of details for the church community of women to attend to.
Napkin batiking, blessings, showers etc.,helping to coordinate wedding receptions. Busy times! Lee and I both have bachelor/bachelorette get-togethers tonight. Thankfully my mom is in town.
Plus I am weaning my "baby" this week. Cold turkey. Busy times!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

re:skillet granola

To: Julia Charlotte,
Skillet granola and mulberries,banana slices and strawberries.
Plain yogurt. Yum!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

re:sickeningly sweet cat post

To:Julia Charlotte,
Sorry for the sweet cat pics-I am mostly not responsible for these sweet pics.
Can you tell my sweet ones are really into this cat?

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

re: a cat!

To Julia Charlotte:
You may or may not want to see pictures of our little cat darling.That's ok, but humor us please! This little tomcat is large part of our children's day, especially Chelsea's.
Poor cat is put to bed in a doll cradle and carried around like a baby.
I have stopped her from kissing him on the lips though by telling her about parasites. Yecch!
He is the house cat and lives on two floors. This means that I can send him downstairs when I get sick of him. Awesome!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

re: education outside the box

To Julia Charlotte,
I've been thinking today that perhaps one of the bigger challenges to the American family and community is the ability to use transportation to go here,there and everywhere, thereby leading us to participate in a pace of life that is not truly sustainable or healthful for a strong family and church/community life.
Supposing I had the many greenbacks to afford it I could enroll the children in all manner of enriching classes and proceed to run here and there keeping them and me frightfully busy and supposedly better for all our trouble.
Since I do not have the aforementioned generous supply of greenbacks nor the second vehicle to allow me to do this, I have proceeded to find, within my church and friend community, a far more organic way of training for my brood. One friend teaches them music and singing and we trade him lunch and gifts and on occasion a check. We all like this arrangement. He's young and single and seems to like hanging out with a family sometimes, we like his company and benefit from his talents.
Another friend teaches our boys bicycle repair. (Actually the music teacher also is teaching road biking skills to our children.) The bike repairing friend wants to do a simple version of Boy Scouts with the boys also. A grandmother without many grandchildren teaches Bible stories and crafts. One friend is willing to come do some drama lessons. Art may be in the works too.
And instead of running around to kiddie sport team events, our boys have adult mentors that play pick-up games with them and oftentimes children and adults from households that have extra needs.Our boys play hard and thrive in these unconventional setups and pose the question of the need for many of the somewhat contrived classes and teams that our culture has come to think of as needful and normal. And we do most of this using little gas and travel time for anyone involved. Green and community enriching, no?

Friday, July 16, 2010

re: family time!

To :Julia Charlotte:
Lee and I are passing up two birthday parties this weekend. It feels awesome!
Don't get me wrong-we love our friends and we often enjoy gettting to see them and love on them.
But we have a goodsized family of our own and also out of certain neccesities we have long work days around here. So our weekends are precious to us . We have very close family time then and too many events can just wear us out and take the joy out of our time together as we become frazzled!
So here's to happy weekending friends!
We've already worked and played together, a spy board game, basketball and supper in the park etc. We forge such deep bonds just spending time together and loving each other and we are so glad to fill our time with such LOVE!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

re: around my house these days

To Julia Charlotte,
so we had quite the drought... Our backyard felt it badly it seems. One of the trees lost a lot of leaves, especially in the rainstorm that followed. Doesn't it look like fall to you?

Lee found a set of kid encyclopedia's at a " free sale" recently. I am thankful to have a man who puts up with and encourages my book habit!

Stoneware circles of yellow.

Sweet dreams amongst the book piles.

Painting rocks on a Monday morning with a friend. Wouldn't you like to have rock painting on YOUR Monday morning agenda? So happy to make things like this happen for the children!