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Saturday, November 28, 2009

More Remembering Fun Summer Times

Its Saturday night and homemade pizza has just been heartily consumed by the extended family. We are still at The Wood Artist's parents house. The guys took the kiddos to the gym for game night at the church. We have a puzzle going that is impossible.

I found some more great pictures from last summer that I thought I'd share. We are stomping through the National Forest Service wetlands counting frogs, snakes and tadpoles.

Love looking through these pictures during the
long, cold days of winter! - Nanette

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I'm Thankful For

Thanksgiving dinner is eaten. Our tummies are happy. The children are playing happily. Good conversation is flowing. I'm thankful for family.

I look around at the people gracing our Thanksgiving Day and I'm thankful for each of them. Some of them have been close to me for a long time. Some I've met just today. Like the pilgrim's and native Americans, we've each come from vastly different backgrounds. We each have our sorrows and issues. And yet, we are together. We've drawn together to celebrate God's bounty in our lives. Background and worldview have nothing to do with why we are together. We are coming together in thankfulness and peace and bounty.

I've had fun going through some of this summer's pictures. The natural bounty we were blessed with this year was amazing. I am thankful for these things. Of course, I am thankful for all of the normal things, too - my husband, kids, family and friends. But nature ministered to me a lot this year and that is why I'm choosing to showcase it today. - Nanette

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

It is a really lazy kind of day. We had a consultation this morning and from there, I've just been sitting around drinking herbal tea! This is so not me. I have plenty to do, but just don't feel like it! Really now! I need to kick it in gear.

The Wood Artist is working away at his lathe. Laughing Water is making batches and batches of her wonderful peanut butter cookies. (I can't believe she is old enough to do it ALL by herself!) Mr. Blueberry Eyes is bing-bonging around. And being lazy.

I did make a batch of goat cheese this morning. And, when Laughing Water is done with the kitchen I will start the huckleberry pies. I'm making two to take to my in-laws for Thanksgiving.

Then I need to finish up the laundry and start packing. Have I said before I really don't feel like it? Why can't the suitcases pack themselves?! O.k. I'm done.

It would make my day to hear from all of you who still read my ramblings. What are you up to today? -Nanette

Monday, November 23, 2009

Birthdays and History Dilemmas

Today was great day. I cleaned and organized some spots in my house that were getting cluttered. That always makes me feel good!

School was good, too. I pushed the kids quickly through several history lessons. I feel a little frustrated with the history curriculum I've chosen. I like it for the most part. I like that it ties in Bible events into history, but I think it goes too far. We end up spending more time on Bible stories than other historical events. My kids get lots of Bible in Bible classes in our home school and at church and in family worship. I want them to see how the Bible ties in with history, but not to be the majority of the history. During Laughing Water's first trivium, I used Susan Wise Bower's "The Story of the World" curriculum and really liked it. This trivium, I decided to use another. I think it will still work if I breeze over the Bible stories and spend more time going deep in the secular lessons. I love the activities, etc.

Tomorrow I make huckleberry pies to take to my in-laws for Thanksgiving. Yummy! Can't wait!
I celebrated a birthday (I won't say which one!) yesterday. It was fun and relaxed. It was in keeping with my new resolve to take care of myself. No hype. Just my sweet family around me. The Wood Artist made me a LOVELY spelted birch candle holder. (I'll post pictures when my camera lense returns from the repair place.) Laughing Water gave me a travel Chai tea mug! Mr. Blueberry Eyes gave me a candle. My Bible class at church gave me a huge boquet of rose buds of the most charming, antique color. My kids also bought a fabulous huckleberry picker from the Wanderer for my birthday. I'm told by him that they bought it fair and square, but I'm told by the children what they paid and I'm thinkin' there was some subsidizing going on! I will be able to dream all winter of those legendary patches and how many berries I'll be able to gather for next winter!

I should settle in for the night. Why do I usually wake up now, when I should be winding down! TTFN - Nanette

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Salsa and Adventures

This picture of Mr. Blueberry Eyes cracks me up. He is crawling out on the top branches of birch or cottonwood tree that had been felled by beavers. He is out over a river, but it is not as dangerous as it looks. We were having a walk with The Wood Artist's family and The Wanderer when we took this picture.

The kids have developed a funny tradition of wading through the shallow part of the river with The Wanderer in the late fall when the water is very cold. Then we rush them home and into a hot bath!

I made a LOT of fire roasted salsa with my abundant tomatillo harvest this year. Here is a picture of a batch of tomatillos, garlic and serrano peppers headed into the broiler. We will have a lot of yummy mexican food this winter!

I seem to be having a bit of trouble keeping up with all of my homeschool goals. I think I expect too much out of myself sometimes. We have to catch up on history and science. We've been doing them, but not as consistently as we need to. Another problem I have is that we tend to take more time on the lessons of history and dig a little deeper on certain lessons and that gets us "behind". But, I don't think that is necessarily bad. The learning is definitely taking place. It is just that my personality seems to enjoy checking off a list and this style of learning isn't quite as tidy. I still like it, though.

I'm using Sequential Spelling with Laughing Water twice a week to supplement her regular spelling workbook this year. I love the improvement I see! Mr. Blueberry Eyes seems to have hit a bump in his reading readiness. He was doing so well, but now shows a great deal of frustration and inability to do what he did so well a few weeks ago. I'm going to lay off the reading for a while.

I attended an educational conference a few weeks ago and sat spellbound by a professor of education from LaSierra (?). She talked about the danger of pushing a child to read before they are ready - even up to age 12. She said that if you push them, they will learn, but when they hit their integrated maturity level, where they would normally have started learning, they can develop neuroses. She talked about their fovial vision not being developed yet. I want to research fovial vision. I don't understand it, but I'm thinking that is what is getting in Mr. Blueberry Eyes' way right now. There is something about the way he isn't tracking on the words like he was for a while.

I find it so much easier to advise the clients I work with to wait with their children than to do it with my own!

Today is a lovely day, weather wise. There are nuthatches eating the vegetarian suet that The Wanderer helped Mr. Blueberry Eyes make a few weeks ago. It is almost gone and we need to refill the feeders. Maybe I'll share the recipe on here sometime.

We are going to do history and then study the planets and then have lunch and hit the road for an afternoon of piano, guitar, and violin lessons and ice skating lessons! Wish me luck. I'm really tired today! - Nanette

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Our camera lense has been sent in for repairs, so I don't have any new pictures to share. In going through my old ones, though, I realized that there is a lot I haven't written about. So, here is a kaleidescope of our life recently.

* I have more time to write today because Mr. Blueberry Eyes is sick. He was up most of the night with a stomach bug. Of course, that means I was up, too. So, we are having a pajama day. Music and ice skating lessons have been cancelled. Laughing Water is faithfully doing her schoolwork in the LazyBoy chair. Mr. Blueberry Eyes is still complaining of stomach pain and has a little fever. A Clifford video is playing.

*I heard from the publisher I had submitted my manuscript to. It was a denial because his company doesn't do books like that. However, he took a lot of time to give me suggestions of how to go about getting it published. He was very kind and said that, in his opinion, I'd pulled off a good thing. He liked it! That really encouraged me!

*A few Sundays ago, we went to a cider-making party. These pictures are from that. It was great fun and SO pretty! We came home with a few quarts of fabulous cider to keep in our freezer for winter.

*I'm enjoying our homeschooling very much. Laughing Water is so fun to teach because she is extremely goal oriented. We added the study of logic to her curriculum this year and she is enjoying it! Mr. Blueberry Eyes is stretching me a little. He is a wild card, but is doing well, for the most part. He has suddenly taken a leap forward in reading music!

*I repotted some of my house plants yesterday and freshened up the decor on my cabinet tops. I am committing to taking better care of my plants. I may enjoy gardening, but I am really pathetic at keeping house plants. Our friend, The Wanderer, has entrusted his plants to me to keep while he is on his frequent and extended travels. I'm afraid I'm still learning how not to kill his plants!

*My garden is being neglected right now. I desparately need to go pull up dead plants and plant garlic. It probably isn't going to happen this fall. I was thankful that my father-in-law dug the carrots.

*Still waiting for the sauerkraut to finish fermenting. The pickles we made this summer, though, are yummy! Still making goat cheese. I think my favorite was the lemon-dill cheese, or maybe the garlic-basil.

*I'm spending the month of November trying to take better care of myself on several different levels. I'm trying to take more quiet moments to enjoy relaxation. That is easier said than done, being a homeschooling mom with a business! But, I'm trying! (I'm also trying not to freak about what isn't getting done! :)

TTFN - Nanette

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


My cousin recently posted this picture to my Facebook page. I had seen it long ago, but it was such a treat to reconnect with it! I am sitting on the back, with my cousin in front. We are perched on Porky, my cowboy-grandfather's faithful horse. Behind us are the wide open spaces of the North Dakota prairie, near the birthplace of Sacajawea (North Dakotans spell it Sacagawea).
Porky was so gentle that we grandchildren often sat on his back with no fear. He became a treasured family pet and a large photograph of him hung in my grandparents' kitchen for a long time.
One day when I was very young (about 3 or 4), my aunt hoisted me up onto Porky's back in the farmhouse yard. She was called away for a moment and Porky started to wander down the road with me perched fearfully on his back. I had no idea how to steer him home again. He gently clip-clopped for about 1/4 a mile down the long driveway. My grandfather was returning from town at that moment with my uncle. They stopped when they spotted the tiny, lone rider headed for the highway. My uncle hopped on Porky with me and steared us back toward the house.
Just a little memory I thought I'd share. - Nanette

Monday, November 9, 2009

Head Over Heals For Tuma

My brother has recently acquired the cutest red healer pup. She is in that adorable puppy stage of soft and cuddly, yet adventurous. She is cream colored with rusty accents. So have I fallen for her? In more ways than one.

Ike and I decided to take a bike ride last Sabbath. We were going along having a great time, when we noticed that Tuma was having trouble keeping up. Her little puppy legs were going as fast as they could, but she just couldn't keep up with our bikes. Since my coat had a draw string on the bottom, I tucked her in to give her a lift. We had ridden only a few yards when Tuma decided she didn't prefer that method of transportation.

I felt her struggle and started to break, thinking, "Right brake should be harder....right brake, right brake." Unfortunately, Tuma decided to make a move before I had stopped. In a desparate atttempt to save her, my right hand flew to grab her. Of course, that left only the left hand breaking.....

Flying over the handlebars of a bicycle was not on my particular bucket list. It is not graceful. It does not feel nice. It is not creative, educational, or sustainable.

I was certain that my arm was broken, but after about 1 1/2 hours, I was able to determine that it was merely bruised. I have bruises all over my legs and my shoulders are stiff and sore. But, it could've been so much worse!

Oh, yes, I landed on Tuma, but she is just fine. - Nanette

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Seattle Trip

Life has been a blur lately. Homeschooling the kiddos is absorbing a lot of attention. They started ice skating lessons a couple of weeks ago.

Last weekend I went on a trip with three of my girlfriends. We go on an annual trip to celebrate our birthdays around October/November. This year, we decided to be adventurous and headed for Seattle. We had an amazing amount of fun! We dined at the top of the Space Needle, took a Ferry to Bainbridge Island, and had wayyyy too much fun at Pike's Place Market. I bought a sweat shirt cardigan at a Tibetan shop. We ate Indian, Greek, and Thai. So much fun! I'll post some pics when I get the c.d. from one of the girls. TTFN- Nanette

Monday, November 2, 2009

Update Coming Soon

I apologize for taking so long to post. I don't have time now, but will be posting pics and story of my girls' weekend in Seattle! Great stuff! - Nanette