Sunday, November 30, 2008


This is our band, Nathalie started it and "made her own guitar" which does not, of course, look like a orange mouldy and hairy squash. She also made a microphone and pick from her orange construction paper. I dont know whats up with the safety glasses.

Nathalies outfit yesterday left a bit to be desired. She had a pink stripe shirt on under the blue wooly shirt, I am not very good at teaching outfit coordination! I just make the clothes and live here...

This is Tads stick sheath, he wears this over his shoulder so that he can quickly pull out his ninja stick when its needed. He made the sheath himself.

This little furry creature was on my porch, I had a lump of unrisen bread (my chi was off) and I stuck it outside on a plate so I didnt have to be reminded of my missing chi. I planned on taking it to the composte in the morning.

Did you know that opossums are the only marsupials native to the United States? Pictures are not great bc they are through the glass.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

More talk

"Mama, my thumb hurts right here when I color." Nathalie holds out her hand to me.

"Thats because you wont stop sucking your thumb, its chapped there."

"Oh, well I guess I will color with my left hand."

"Why dont you just stop sucking your thumb?"

"Oh no, that wont be necessary, I will just become left handed." Oh great, now why doesnt she just suck her left thumb? I mean she hasnt been thumb specific, its just the right one thats chapped. I guess it healing will take longer than her becoming ambidextrous.

Earlier in convo heard here:

"I just lost a sewing pin." Tad is searching the carpeted area.

"Find it." Me

"Its lost." Tad

"I know, but nobody wants to step on it."

"But if they step on it we will know where it is and it wont be lost." Tad says. I now give him a look that says clearly that isnt going to work and he gives me his question eyes.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


"Mama, could Jesus have changed his mind?" Tad

"About what Tad?"

"Dying, dying on the cross to save us from our sins."

"Yes Tad, he could have." My son turns to look at me from the spot where he is laying on the floor listening to Christmas music. He looks at me long and his eyes fill with tears. They dont spill. He looks away.

Its pretty neat when the gift of salvation becomes more than words. I marvel that my near 8 year old just felt it. And on thanksgiving day.

Diaper art

So this is something I am proud of, I am an instant gratification kind of person. So I make diapers quickly, if a diaper takes very long, I wont make it twice. Which is why I dont make 40 $ a diaper and yes, some people do! I make form and function, not fancy. I do feel proud that this one is so pretty. The top picture here is a double layer wool wrap.

This is the fitted diaper, the wool wrap and the topstitched insert. There are tiny leaves all the way around the insert, the sulky thread on this breaks easily so it was 30 min just topstitching that while paying attention for a break. You can see this set in my store on hyenacart,

I ordered some cheap linen drawstring bags in a coop, just because you never know when you might need them. Each child earned 2 of them for turning them all right sides out (they came unturned) and tying off the drawstring ends so we dont lose them. I didnt ask them to do this, it was Tads idea and they had fun. They spent about an hr on it, I bought 50 bags!

These are knits I ordered for diaper outers, knit diapers dont pill up as much as flannel but they are much more expensive because of the knit prices. Some of these are the kids. The spider one at bottom left is for Tad pjs, the horsie knit and octopus knit are for Nathalie's new nightgowns (nowties) and then some are for my new nephew due in april.

Guinea dinner

Tad was speaking about a friend who called him this am from SC.

"Her sister had 2 guinea hens as pets. Their dog ate it."

"What? Why?" Nathalie asks, I was also feeling surprised by this

"I know right? She was well fed!" Says tad, its funny the way he says things so matter of fact. He often says things that are kind of "duh" and Nathalie (like me) is simply stunned and startled by the world and its unexplainable things.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Happy thanksgiving, 2 min ago.

Sometimes I feel sorry for myself, having to be without my husband. Tonight I was listening to 3rd day Christmas music and he was singing about an orphan girl in the cold on Christmas because she couldn't go to her family yet. He was singing for HER not those missing her.

So this thanksgiving, I am thankful for the man I married. He is the best man I know. And it is him who is away for the holidays, not me. I am here, where he was, in his home. With his pictures, his hat and his boots. Most of all, his children.

I am thankful for this. Thankful to God for my blessings, for salvation, for my children, my husband, my family.

Thankful to the soldiers who serve away from home on the holidays. I don't think you have days off deployed, even if you are having down time, time spent with a gun at arms reach is not time off. I am grateful to all of them for the chance to be here safe.

Thankful that my children are here safe, not a child soldier, not an orphan, not unloved or neglected.

To my soldier, thank you for being the best man I know. For being a wonderful daddy, an amazing husband, a strong leader and my best friend. I love you.


"Nathalie you need to shower, you kind of smell bad and tomorrow is thanksgiving."

"Oh man, I am clean mama!"

"No you're not. Come on." I walk in to start the shower and she undresses. I know (as I do laundry sometimes) that she only has one pair of solid white panties. Now, I remember a morning, and not this one or yesterday her wearing these, I am sure of this.

"Nathalie," who has wet her bed until a few weeks ago and thus always took off panties at night, "Do you change your panties every day?" Blank stare from her and then,

"Mama, I havent wet the bed. I had one accident at night 4 nights ago."

"What... but you... I mean you really dont... did you not know... I mean, Nathalie! You are supposed to change them each day even if you dont shower every day. You didnt shower night before last?" They shower every other in winter.

"No because I fell asleep remember but I put these clean panties on 4 nights ago when I woke up in my bed wet. "

Oh my. I am flailing about in the sea of single parenthood! Help!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Nathalie did this, it is a number puzzle I bought for Frank years ago. Its easier to put it in order from 1-15 which is what Tad was trying to do for days. He is like me where puzzles are concerned, not great... She is like Frank. She once told me that she sees things as pieces of a whole which is why by age of 3 with one thumb in her mouth, she could easily work 50-100 piece puzzles that Tad and I had struggled with during her nap. She told me that I am poor at puzzles because I see a whole picture rather than pieces.
She did this number puzzle backwards after lunch yesterday, just sitting in the floor working while I cleaned up. She brought it to me and set it on the cabinet. Since then Tad has tried again but gave it up and instead went outside to chop wood.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Guineas for dinner

Last night, two of our guineas made the executive decision not to go into the barn. Perhaps they were out dating or something. They are not smart. They dont realize that their 4th member was out only 1 night and he/she was thoroughly eaten. Feathers and down were left behind in a rather messy pile.

So this morning I went out and let the chickens (who may be dumb but willingly go in at night) and one guinea out of the barn. They spend their sunny hrs pecking at the ground and being aggravated by goats and cats. The one poor guinea raised such a fuss looking for her friends!(yes she is a female, they call differently). As I walked back to the house, nona started at something and I looked, I mean she starts at an empty feed bag but I looked, and there is a near frozen guinea! I mean really, his tail feathers are frozen on his butt! He ruffled up a bit when nona budged him and he began to slowly travel to the barn and regained his voice as he went and called to the girl guinea. I laughed at laughed at his frozen butt!

I am amazed he made it a night out, I really am. I wish I could say he was "smart" enough to go into the barn tonight but I doubt it. He may, but the other may not and it wont be sense but chance.

My grammie said yesterday how she worried about me going out in the cold doing chores alone. I love the cold so so much! I waited years to live where it is cold and sunny (germany for 2.5 yrs, rained for 2 of them and was cold.) I wear wool out and many layers and I feel nice and cozy unless watering bc that is a gloveless job. I have waited all summer for the cold and love it love it now! Especially alone in the early mornings while my children snooze in a warm house and the sun is in the east casting pink and purple and orange. I love this prairie and her cold, cold wind and happy sun that casts its light and heat through the cold as if it is happy to be here with the wind. Kansas is lovely, to all of you who have been told otherwise, me included. Its just lovely to people like me. Dont move here, you wont like it because you are predisposed not to and plus, I like it underpopulated.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Nephews diapers

2 flannel outer/bamboo inner and bamboo soaker diapers-these are the same size/same pattern. The right one is obviously prewashed!

The picture below has bamboo diapers that have inner, outer and soaker from bamboo and because it its thicker, the diapers are slightly larger from it.

Okay, I have many more pictures of these diapers but my internet is so cruddy I cant make it upload anymore! My phone wont work today either bc it works off the internet. These are some of my sisters diapers.

This is the diaper package I mailed to my sister, she will need many more for newborn size but this is her start so she can see some over thanksgiving holiday. She is due in April with their first born, a little boy name Niklas Alexander (spelling???). Her husband (John) is swedish and that is the spelling (I think) for the swedish version of Nicholas.
Diaper package includes (though we are lacking the REST of the pretty pictures showing them), batman wipes, 4 diaper covers-1 with gussets which is good for nightime, 3 bamboo french terry fitted diapers, 8 flannel print diapers though they are otherwise all bamboo. This is only 11 changes. I have more wipes, more fitted diapers and covers cut out and I am going to make several newborn all in ones, though many people say all in ones dont do as well until size small. Might as well find out!

Slips of the tongue

"In this magazine there is an outfit from carrots of the pyrobean." Tad, looking at a medival spam snail mail magazine.

"Carrots of the pyrobean? Dont you mean pirates of the carribean?" Nathalie

"Oh! I cant believe I said that!!!" Tad

(Nathalie burps loudly, well enough to put most men to shame)

"Nathalie I have asked you not to do that at the table, you can cover your mouth and close it! It isnt ladylike." Me

"Yeah I am not allowed to either Nathalie, it isnt ladylike when I do it either." Tad. Both nathalie and I look at him and he looks at us, then puts his head in his hands and says, "What is wrong with my mouth today??? I am not a lady!" He needs male influence... Maybe I should find a wrestling match for him to attend or get him into boxing or something.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Daddy dinner

I have had a hard time uploading these, I had to do it one picture at a time! I had a hard day today, seemed like I was constantly busy and wasnt with the kids. This evening they seemed a bit bummed, we had to go to the grocery store so I had them pick a "daddy dinner."

They picked eggs, sausage and tator tots and as you see, they largly made dinner. Tad did the eggs, she did sausage and I put the tator tots in the oven.

This is the first time Nathalie has "cooked." She was pleased and said, it was easier than kneading bread!

Then of course because it was daddy dinner, we needed a movie to go with it. We watched Avatar re-runs which Daddy likes.

Here they are with their plates.

And whats a daddy dinner without ice cream? No Nathalie didnt eat all of that and Tad wanted mint chocolate chip because he remembered eating it with daddy once a long time ago when we lived in our tennessee apartment (duplex-and he was 2!) so we bought a big container of it bc there was no little one.

And then we needed to have a recreation of the clemintine book cover, she can stand on one hand (her head isnt on the floor but then again its a drawing) with her finger and feet on the doorframe.

Here is Tad helping Nathalie with that task.

Some of tonights conversation:

"Daddy likes to help you in the kitchen, but he hates dishes. Why does he help you?" Tad asked.

"I think its because he likes me and he might even think I am cute." Me, and giggle by both kids

"Why do you help him in the shop?" Nathalie

"Um, because I like him and I think he's cute." Me

"OH, well I think he is handsome and I would have married him if you hadnt." Nathalie

"You cant nathalie, thats called incest." Tad

"Nathalie I am glad I am quick on the draw because you are pretty cute yourself." Me

"Well anyways, I talk to daddy every night. His yellow shirt is him for now." Yes, she is still sleeping with the naked mermaid t shirt, last night she commented that it still smelled of him. um, I washed that t shirt... It doesnt smell of him but we WONT tell her that bc it pleases her as it is deeply.

"our eggs have clear parts like clemintine hates." Tad-clementine is a childrens chapter book we are reading/just finished aloud.

"Yes they do, clementine wouldnt eat them." Me

"I would eat the clear parts even if you called me clementine." Nathalie

"Would you name a child that?" Tad

"No." me

"Why?" Tad

"Because its an orange!" Me

"So. I am going to name my boy Scout Isaac." Tad, these happen to be 2 of my fav names though the scout for a girl.

"Tad, scout is a girl name and Isaac is a boy name." Me

"Oh, so Isaac scout for a boy?" Tad, oh yes this helps to switch it up...

After dinner we played 2 games, read Tads favorite book and finished clementine. It was a nice evening, we miss daddy but its fun to do things he would do.

Comic relief

So I was out in the barn this morning, feeling like a crazy lady bc who purposely sets themselves up to go outside every morning in freezing weather... I broke the ice in the big black trash barrels, milked 2 goats, fed 7 birds (chickens and guineas), petted 4 cats who were sleeping in the feedbarn straw, gave everyone fresh water and then started in with my milk bucket full of 1 gal of fresh milk. I heard a strange noise behind me and saw nona coming out the feed barn with a sour cream container on her nose/mouth! I started laughing of course, she ran up to me for help. This is one of the containers the kids use to scoop out bird grains. There were some grains in the bottom of it I am sure and nona thought she would eat them.

I laughed quite a bit and didnt help her at first, by the time I meant to she got it off with her foot and then she began to stamp on it over and over with both front feet, ran away from it and then back again to stomp it some more. She wasnt able to crush it as it kept popping away from her hoove. I took it back to the feedbarn where she had stolen in from and put it on the shelve to save her from herself.

It was comic relief at 7 am when its cold and frosty and pretty and quiet. Frank would have loved to see her get her face stuck in a cup!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Kansas wind

I may have put this picture up before, but I just love it and for the next 10 mo and 20 days, I wont have new ones with this wonderful man so you will have to see doubles!

My husband has worried, and probably does worry that we wont get out enough while he is gone. Anyone who knows me will know I am happy to stay home for days on end without getting "cabin fever" or in our case, "homestead fever" bc I have to go outside no matter what. As it stands, I like going outside. The children and I do a lot of outdoorsy things here and to make up for him being gone, we do daddy things. Its hard for me to go window shopping, out for ice cream or mexican restaurant but I manage.

Today was a nice day, sunny, not much wind and relativly warm. The kids and I went out to the goat yard (the 2 acre section where the goats roam, has the greenhouse, milk shed, chicken barn, goat barn etc on it) to put the chickens and guineas out. We let them out of the barn during the day, but at night put them up. One of our guineas got loose, and we found a nice sized pile of feathers-this bird was adequately adorned for sure! whereever he is, he doesnt need feathers...I know that skunks, cyotes and other carnivores will off with my birds so bedtime happens in the barn.

We spent about 2 hrs putting down new straw, observing the birds, the guineas do an alarm call if they see anything odd like a cat, or feel a stiff breeze... The goats like to go into the chicken barn while the chickens are in, they are hesitant to wander out at first, and the goats chase them, head butt them and generally rile them until they fly at their heads! We cleaned water dishes, and the kids fed the goats as if the goats couldnt forage alone.

As I leaned on the fence, I thought of my husband worrying that I will be too alone. My children were laughing in the background. My eyes filled with tears for missing him and then in the palm of my hand which was behind my back, I felt a warm nose. Nona (larger goat) edged her head under my arm and she leaned on my hip like she loves to do. She is so warm and kind. She tasted my pocket, my sweater and chewed on my belt for a moment to get my attention. She leaned there until my tears were gone. Then she went off to run and head butt her sister. My children threw grass upon me to intice me to chase them. The guineas made me laugh the way they puff up their feathers and down in anger at being pecked by a fellow bird. All the barn cats perch on the fence. The mailman comes and the kids running screaming to see if we have any fabric packages.

I miss him, and I know he will worry. But Oh I am happy here! I will miss him so, and be so happy to have him back to this home we have made on purpose. Some things just happen in life, some people just are. We are on purpose. And we love it here. I love my Kansas with the wide open spaces and the wind, the big sky and the sunsets. The smells and sounds of the prairie. Kansas and her wind miss him with me and I feel stronger for it.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Just because

Because I love the picture. He is one nice looking man...

Reason to party

My dad came to visit us for a wk and while he was here, we threw Nathalie a party. She picked her cake and she even iced it all alone. She also made party hats from color paper and duct tape. Nathalie has been wetting at night her whole life. She was potty trained very young, 17-18 mo, but never stopped needing pull ups. Its the reason I got into the diaper/pull up making business.

So right after Frank left, she said she was going to stop wetting the bed. She tried last yr and it didnt work. She needed to be woken 3 times a night. This time, I woke her once a night for a wk and then she has gotten herself up.

We made this a huge deal, I am very proud of her and I know Frank would be too. She did this as a surprise for daddy coming home, which is of course many months away. I think the party will be a good memory for her.

School again

This was part of school yesterday, each child helped with measurements adding them to the bowl. Then they took turns mixing, turing on oven, greasing pan. Once they were done, they got to learn how it tasted! This was a very yummy banana cake. Low sugar but had chocolate chips, this is definately one we will do again. Tad didnt like it, well he said he did but this meant he would pick out the chocolate chips and then say, I am not hungry. Hmmm. Our local homeschool friends enjoyed it as well.

This was an interesting science experiment. I had a piece of very nice sage green wool flannel and I wanted to make some wooly pants to sell from it. However, as it was a "free gift" in a pkg of fabric I ordered this summer, I couldnt be sure that it was 100 % wool. I needed to know before selling it so I took a tablespoon of bleach and a tiny square of the wool and put them in a bowl. The kids enjoyed stirring it and trying not to breathe (which was best), while it dissolved. It dissolved completely, there were not even any threads left. Had there been an acrylic or lycra content, I assume there would have been fibers left from this but I cant be sure. I have a piece with lycra that we will test.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


What do you do when your transmission makes a funny whining noise and doesnt sound like it wants to shift into 2nd/3rd gear?

1. Turn up the CD you are listening to, the kids like this song anyways.

2. Drive the truck. Her transmission sounds fine and its fun to drive a stick shift.

What do you do when your goat refuses to go into her barn area at 11 pm at night when you want to go in and its cold?

1. Get behind her and push- really hard, she only weighs a few pounds more than you do.

2. If that doesnt work, ignore her and leave her out in the cold. What can she do to you, dry up?

What do you do if no one in the house wants to water the guineas because they poop in their water?

1. Eat them for dinner.

2. Let them go and hope for the best, and the owls can eat them for dinner.

What do you do when your house is a huge mess, and there are no more clean rooms for you to escape to?

1. Go to a friends house, she wont mind your kids messing up her play room. (thanks Danielle)

2. Sit UNDER the table with an IPOD. No one eats there anyways so there is no mess under there.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veterans Day

To my husband who is deployed, and is surely the best soldier in the world
To all of the women and men who are missing someone today, a soldier who is deployed, missing, or passed on.
To the children who lost a parent, a sibling, a friend, or who are missing someone deployed
To retired veterans, to honorably discharged soldiers and their families
To all of those lost in past wars and actions in defense of freedom
To my grandfather, my father, mother, sister and brother, to myself and all others who have served or are serving
Most of all to MY children, who are some of the bravest people I know
Happy veterans day, and thank you for serving, thank you for giving up those you love and thank you for your bravery in serving, in missing and most of all to those of you who have suffered an ultimate loss.

School pictures

Tad has spent hrs reading a toy magazine that came as what we call spam snail mail. Its basically junk mail, I will never buy anything from them. However, it was a great reading lesson! He read item descriptions out loud to my dad and myself.

Nathalie doing handwriting at the table, I was noticing that I made everything that they wear in pictures. Maybe thats because I make everything that they wear!

I especially like his pj pants here, the eggs and bacon are so realistic they almost look 3 D. The orange top is a washable wool shirt, I was able to get some more of this fabric and this time its greige. Meaning, undyed. I can dye it any color I want!

I was thinking, what a fabulous way to do school! Laid out in the floor or sitting if you choose, still in pjs, no shoes, no early waking, no long periods of sitting bored with a work book. We accomplish more than kids in school do in 1/3 of the time this way.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


I read something hilarious in the tag line of a coop members email-

"If nursing in public offends you, feel free to cover your head with a blanket and finish your meal in the bathroom."

Thats awesome... I want a t shirt.

Lots of pictures

Top picture is of scaredy squirrels house. This has been mentioned in previous posts. The right side (as you stand looking at it) is the emergancy area where nuts and first aid things will be stored. Tad lives in the "top house" and she lives below. It actually does hold his weight due to reinforcing of thick cardboard and you guessed it, duct tape! This one took an afternoon and evening.

Below pictures:
I caught nathalie standing and working on top of her desk. Her doll babies head has fallen off and she is trying to fix it.

Bread making, they are getting pretty good.

Me, yes I look rather disinterested, I wasnt expecting to be photographed that very second.

This is the back of our land, everything you see is ours. To the right, are most of our outbuildings including goat barn. The left is the back of our house.

These following pictures are of our rr track walk, the cat came with us and wanted to be carried home. She fell asleep on me. The kids had a great time, we found many neat bugs, birds and the neighbors cows.

These 2 below are of Tad and Nathalie fixing the poles on the dog sled downstairs.

These next 3 pictures are of Nathalie being me. They are out of cinc. First one was actually in the ratty, slightly trashy dressing gown and my shoes. I mean that dressing gown is ragged and sad, and made of some very cheap shiny material. She loves it though... The shoes and "purse" are mine. Frank hates these shoes, they are affectionately called the potato shoes bc they look like poor irish farmer shoes. My purse is an old diaper bag which I love. Her baby doll, well that clearly doesnt represent me in any way...

Pair of pants I made, these are particularly nice. The zipper went in easy but I broke the button when applying it. As I have no husband here to pry it off, it will fall off on its own and I can replace it then.

Dog sled, description under next photo.

A dog sled, you can clearly see balto. Now there are pcs of yarn for him to hold while he yells mush.

This is Tads doghouse, this one also took a whole evening. His dog door allowed him to work inside and still "have air."

This is a picture of Tad and Nathalies high chair, this is patterned after baby high chairs that have no legs. They are made to sit on a regular chair. This creation took them a whole evening.

Nathalie dressed herself as an old lady, padded with blankets and dressing gown. She was trying to look crotchty, I think she came off as silly.