Friday, December 24, 2010

Twas the night before the night before....

And all through the house, the children were finally sleeping, one with a cough.
Ooohhh, December, it is you and NOT February that are the shortest month. You whizz by, with Nutcracker performances and St. Nicholas visits and Santa Lucia buns all blurred together until the longest night gets here. Even that felt short this year, alight as it was with the beautiful full moon eclipse.
We have had a trying month, week and day. I have threatened and heard Papa Bear threaten to cancel Christmas or at least postpone it a week. Perhaps some of us ate a bit too much of the candy that was supposed to go on the gingerbread house that was not supposed to, but did, get eaten by the dog the first go 'round. It has been reconstructed, with more candy ingested and tempers shortened and lengthened again.
There was a live nativity nearby and we could not manage to get out of the house without catastrophe, so we didn't go.
Mr. Baby is getting his teeth all in one go, it would seem and has taken to waking up screaming several times per night. Mama's nerves are a bit fried.
And yet,
And yet.... tonight as Robert read to us from our lovely copy of A Christmas Carol (with illustrations form Roberto Innocenti) about the ghost of Christmas Present, a kind of peace came to this frazzled mama. The peace of knowing that what is most important is not the handmade gifts that will not be finished, or the Nativity that won't be observed, or the thousand and one things that have happened and been accomplished. Nope, they don't matter much. Even the little fights and squabbles that try my patience seem of little consequence when I listen to the story of Scrooge going 'round with the great GCP, seeing, encouraging and adding magic to the celebrations of Christmas everywhere.
Thank you kindly, Charles Dickens.
mama did get a handmade birthday gift finished and wrote about it here:

Rhythm of the Home Blog

Monday, November 29, 2010

Gratuitous Baby Shots!

oooooh so grateful for babies! These three were in arms and underfoot at Emily and Charlie's Thanksgiving feast. What lovely beasties!
Our Hostess, Lady Scarlett would like to play some Connect 4. Or, have it for an appetizer.

Miss Esther Rose and her scrumtious cheeks:

I like baby bums, and I cannot lie. What a dupa on this one. Forest loved to play with Scarlett's new walking cart. He sort of reminded me of Hans or Franz. He is not a girly mon.
In other news: We made a beautiful braided bread of gratitude on Monday with our pal, Raina and then she got to stay overnight because the power was out and there was a blizzard! 3 whole inches!

Sunday, November 28, 2010


I do a lot of reading of self-help books. In fact, next to parenting books, they are what I read the most. Then there are the self-help/parenting books, and the self-help/homeschooling books. What do they all say? Start with gratitude. So I do, I start each day with a little gratitude for the day. I look out my window, it's gorgeous here on Mama Earth. Especially right here, in these Coast Range Foothills. I am grateful for my warm covers right now--and that I remembered to pick up my clean comforter from the cleaners, and that they didn't throw it away or donate it since it had been there for so incredibly long.
I am grateful for the warm little body next to me, sleeping peacefully on his lambskin, looking like a cherub, and that he chose us for his family, when we didn't think we were going to have any more littles around here.
I am grateful for the Dude I live with, who gets up very early a couple mornings a week to make a not so nice drive 100 miles away to work so that I can be a homeschooling mama, so that we can eat local, organic food most days, so that our children can have all sorts of amazing opportunities like music lessons, ballet, gymnastics and days at the horse barn.
I am grateful for those ever growing children. I cannot think of another job that I would rather have right now that being present for their childhood. It IS fleeting, going so fast that I am nearly afraid to blink. They continue to be my teachers. The lessons are no less challenging than they were when they were all under 3.

I am grateful that we could spend Thanksgiving with some of our extended family in Portland. I fantasize sometimes about living close enough to share a meal weekly--or at least every other week. I don't know if it will ever happen, but it sure was lovely to be in the same room with those folks (and all the babies!) for a few hours.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


we've been doing a lot of driving. to and fro, back and forth. then, the weekend comes and we do big projects, like move half the books (which is a lot of books) around to different places and different shelves, and dust and vacuum and rearrange so that our house is more baby proof. why? because our bumblebee is very mobile. flitting from place to place finding the most dangerous stuff in the house to chew on or crawl over.

and that smile you see up there... well, it's about to change, because i think the teeth are finally coming after much hard work to get here. this is early for a doggett kid (lucy got her first at 9 months, and that was 3 months before anyone else had.) mr. f. has been in an unhappy mood for the past day and i am pretty darn sure he is going to have something to show for it soon.

meanwhile, we got a new dishwasher, so i can stop pretending to be ma ingalls (a good way to feel like handwashing dishes is no big deal) and move on to prep for thanksgiving.

i am feeling so grateful for my four lovely kids, my amazing and supportive dude husband, my extended family of beautiful people, and my amazing friends.

these photos are from the weekend before last when i finally decided it was time to move some woodchips. the pile has only been there for about a year and a half, and, well, it is TIME--also, if it gets moved, we will have nice garden paths to walk on and if we ever get wood delivered we won't have to haul it AROUND the pile to put it in the wood shed. good plan, huh?

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


In the words of my friend Kat, "Halloween in this town is an endurance sport!" We have had a very full weekend of Halloween fun, and now, we are recovering. Here are some of the photos:
Pre-Halloween Hair-doing

Samantha, An American Girl from The Turn of the Century

Rose Wilder

Harry Potter casting Expelliarmus!

Our very own Baby Bumblebee!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Mom! You ruined my day!

uhhh.... Yes, this is what my lovely seven year old said to me, with the appropriate amount of eye rolling included just for extra emphasis.
This is how our day went: We got up and I made some (gluten-free!) pancakes for breakfast while the kids folded some laundry and listened to a story on CD--Now, I know what you're thinking, I'm such a slave driver! Well, the day wasn't ruined just yet. Actually that pill was swallowed easily, maybe because it had a pancake chaser. The baby decided to take a nap at 9:30, weird but true.
Then, violin practicing--also awesome because she 'gets' the new tune, and her brother volunteered to help her learn it, while I made the kitchen cleaner than it's been in weeks (thanks to my new aromatherapy vinegar spray. = water, vinegar and tea-tree--also anti bacterial.)
Meanwhile, her sister took a bath and then changed and dressed the baby in several different kinds of stripes. Rock on, brother.
We left on time, got to the barn on time, and had a lesson in trotting on a sweet lovable old gal named Amber, after which she had a lunch of requested items: leftover pancakes, peppers, apples and peanut butter.
Then, she got to hang out at the barn for several more hours with her friend and sister while the boys and I went into town. I believe she got to scoop horse poop. This was actually exciting for her.
The boys and I bought a pair of men's size 9 shoes for the big bro. BIG bro. Little bro fell asleep, shoe shopping is not his bag.
We had a fiddle lesson, and ate a wholesome lunch ourselves, and checked several stores for a lost hat. :( We even went to the library to try to get the last Harry Potter book for reading material on the plane.
We dropped big bro off at a friend's house so he could help destroy the Millennium Falcon, and start building a lunar station.
The baby and I drove back to the barn to pick up 3 girls for dance. In the car, they played they were horses and decided what colors their manes were and what their names would be. They had their first practice for the Nutcracker as angels, big sis had her first as a palace dancer. I think we left her dance bag there because it is nowhere to be found at home or in the car.
We dropped her friend off and I said it was only a drop off, and ended up staying for way too long chatting and wondered how I was going to make dinner at home. Our friends invited us to stay if we could supply chips, cumin and avocados--yes yes and yes...
Off to pick up the brother, and said items.
Two more hours into an unexpected play date, with yummy dinner and good company, it was time to leave, and that's when the above comment made its appearance.
"Would 10 more minutes with your friend make it less likely for you to feel like I ruined this day?"
Sometimes you just have to say yes to having a good day the WHOLE day.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Friday, September 24, 2010

{{this moment}} a la soulemama

There must be some words with this.... I know it's not the tradition but here is what was heard during this moment:

There is a young pirate, who lives on the seas
His boat and his parrot are his only companions
He works in the rigging and he sleeps in his hammock
Waiting for summer, the winds to change

And as the moon rises he stands by his wheel
Dreaming about women and bottles of rum
He closes his eyes as his shipmates retire
And he sings out a song that is soft, but it's clear
As if maybe someone could hear...

Goodnight you moonlight babies,
And rockabye sweet Captain Forest
Deep greens and blues are the colors I'd choose
Won't you let me go down in my dreams
And rockabye sweet Captain Forest.

(with no apologies to Mr. Taylor, the children made this up themselves. :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Friday, September 17, 2010

our new activity

we didn't really need another activity. really we didn't. but somehow, perhaps due to much pleading from the youngest girlie, and days with big beautiful creatures remembered by mom and dad, we spent wednesday afternoon here:

Monday, September 13, 2010

lately in crafting news....

the harvest was crafted into blueberry jam and peach butter (and lots of frozen fruits for later yum)

Eleanor crafted "Joy" from Martha Stewarts Big Book of Sewing Crafts,
which she received from Nana for her birthday.

At long last, Lucy crafted a Mei Tai so she can carry around her babies.

Forest received and proudly weird his 'Manly Vest' made by Momo while I await another skein of 'cherry twist' aka the red yarn for Nana's sweater

Cousin Esther rocks and rolls with her bonnet, also made by me, when she was incubating, and looks like rasta baby. I hope she will grow into it and it will fit her during a season it's needed.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

*this moment* (a la soulemama)

{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. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Nearly Fall!

I seem to be perpetually blogging about how fast life is going... perhaps it's part of being alive at this time, or something that goes along with being mother to four. Whatever the case is, we are feeling rather fall-like around here with two rains behind us, and nights that leave the house so cold I need slippers for half the day.
Fall is my most creative time of the year--something about being a fall-born baby, perhaps. I see inspiration everywhere right now, both inside, outside and in the blogosphere. I am also learning to limit my screen time so that my family doesn't see me buried in my 'glowing rock'. (after The Wretched Stone by Chris van Allsburg) Sometimes it's necessary to step away from the computer! We use it for so many things: music, recipes, keeping in touch, curriculum, crafty patterns, and so much more. As the world outside changes from one color to the next I'd like to notice it, and be in it, especially as wee (or not so) Forest experiences his first Autumn.
I have been getting online inspiration from a lot of places, one of which is Rhythm of the Home. This stuff is right up my alley. I feel happy and peaceful when I think about a 'rhythm' to our life, rather than a schedule or a routine. Schedules are strict and routines, are, well... routine = boring! But rhythm, well, that's what you drum or dance to, that's how your heart goes, and that's just what we need. Reading the pages of ROTH's website, I feel inspired to make a life of beauty in my home--a place of rest that we return to to feel that rhythm as we go about our activities which will be starting up again in a week or so. I am also making use of some of the ideas from Melissa over at A Little Garden Flower, Donna at The Waldorf Connection, and the book Heaven on Earth by Sharifa Oppenheimer. These include:
•using a huge piece of paper folded into 12 to pencil in the celebrations and holidays of the year along with handwork ideas from Syrendell
•making a weekly rainbow colored schedule of our outside of home activites so the children are aware of what happens what day
•including on the weekly rainbow time for painting, handwork, family time, and gardening
•making another rainbow chart with tentative dinner menu categories : Monday = Mexican, Tuesday = Pasta, Wednesday = Stir fry, etc
•asking for and receiving a couple of hours on the weekends to work on homeschool planning, Thanks Robert!

We also had the First Annual Slow Lane Summer Theatre and Storytelling camp last week. It was fabulously fun. I haven't even downloaded photos and videos yet, but when I do. I will post them here.

I wonder what everyone else has in store for fall.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Summer Days

August is heating up in Oregon. And while no one around here was complaining about the cool summer weather, the heat does make it seem more summery. We have been having some summer time fun around here: eating popsicles, playing at Meg's pond, building forts, swimming at the swimming hole Of course when things were supposed to get too hot on Saturday, we headed for the coast and it was weather for warm long-sleeved and legged things. It's always surprising.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Good Day

Lately, it has been a struggle for me to maintain my patience and calm as a mother. People say, "Well, you have FOUR children." And, I think, I will always have four children. Now is the time to cultivate some sense of calm within myself. And daily I wonder how I will do that. My goal is to go to bed a bit earlier and wake up a bit earlier so that I can have some quiet meditation time in the morning, to enjoy the still both within and outside of me.

Today was a good day. We spent a very long time at a great pond birthday party. I have rediscovered that putting the children into water changes the energy.... what some call elemental play. I don't have any photos of today's elemental play but here are a few from one day last week:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

another beginning

so.. i got a new mac because mine bit the dust. i had grand plans for that mac, and now i have grand plans for this mac, one of which is to become a more frequent blogger, and to somehow combine my business blog and my pleasure blog... hmm. today, the pleasure:

what i am enjoying today::
•bath time with baby
•watching and gus and his buddy build while listening to 'elvis presley' station on pandora
•the wonderland we live in:

•the latest installment of the cirque:
•bluberries blueberries blueberries!
•watching these two siblings: