Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dressed as mommy and daddy. This was their game this am and it was cute! They are in our hats, boots and coats. Nathalie is wearing my barn shirt in first pictures.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sunset and floods

I just think these pictures are beautiful. Much more beautiful in person. My mom and I spent many cold hours trying to capture the Ks night sky in december, its a very difficult thing to photo. Were I painter, I would be constantly at the canvas. The sky here is lovely at sunrise and sunset, the clouds are so large. They seem more 3d than clouds in other states.
Once again I learned a lot from my mom on photography lately, these photos are 10 of 90 taken and they are all I kept. The other 80 were deleted. The first pictures I took were not coming out well so I changed my angle, took the picture by getting underneath of the sky rather than facing it straight on because the earth is curved so taking a flat photo wasnt working.
I know that isnt photography lingo but my mom will understand what I mean. I have tried to imagine how she would take a picture lately and the pictures have come out much better.

Less interesting and more expensive in news here tonight, our basement is flooding! Yes this is Un-lovely. It is an unfinished room so no drywall or carpet ruined yet but we are supposed to have rain and flash floods/floods until thursday so the only thing we can do is get the shop vac in here tomorrow am and keep towels down as well in order to absorb the water before it reaches the side walls. We will be busy emptying the humidifier and shop vac over the next few days! It isnt flooding heavily or I would have already brought the shop vac in but just opening the front door to take these photos caused my entire shirt and pants to be soaked, truly dripping water. So I think I will wait unless the water creeps farther tonight!


This is an almond tree. I took the picture because we planted him along with 3 raspberry bushes, 3 blueberry bushes, 1 cherry tree, 1 peach tree and 1 apple tree. Oh and a lot of strawberries. After taking the picture, I was unpleased by how poor the picture was. My mom is a good photographer, always has been. However, with the new digital age she has gotten better as there is no film waste. Now she is taking a photography class. While I was with her in Tn, I was able to benefit from watching her photograph things and just in that few day period I learned a lot. See next photo.
Same photo, different angle. I used the lighting to enhance the photo and the different colors added to the background make the little tree stand out, rather than blend in. Same tree, same 1 minute period. These pictures are taken back to back and are the only pictures I took of this tree, I backed up from it several feet and sat down scrunched so I was quite short (yes thank you for all short jokes just sent my direction). Not saying this is going to win a photography contest, but what a difference! Angle, lighting and color made it a much better picture.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Tonight I have spoken with a friend (and herbalist) concerning the swine flu that has hit Mexico and some cases have popped up in the US. There is a lot of news on this right now, some saying it could be pandemic. Of course there are some reports that say it could be mild though it can travel quickly from person to person.

2 new cases of this have just popped up in the county I live in. I was worried at first and this worry began to grow for me so I called my mom, emailed my husband and called my herbalist. We talked it over. No response yet from my optomistic husband who rarely worries, mom said she will tell me when to worry and herbalist gave me a bible chapter to read which was wonderful and the children and I have read it together.

We then prayed for the families who have been infected with this, and for those who have lost loved ones. We prayed for them to have strength and trust in God and for them to allow God to come into their hearts and lead them through it.

This is a rather personal blog post. I have recently come into a few things to cause me worry, smallish things that I should not worry about. I want to be able to give my worries to God, he says he will take them for me so why should I hold onto them? I want to be strong in God rather than allowing worries to take over me. My friend gave me these verses to read:

Psalms 91
1He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
3Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
4He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
5Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
6Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
7A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
8Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.
9Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;
10There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
11For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.
12They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.
13Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.
14Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
15He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
16With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.


Tad and Nathalie looking at pictures of Frank, he sent print outs and they each stuck one to their wall. These are the ones not stuck to the wall. They have enjoyed them, they get them out from time to time and talk about them (as if they were there) and always point daddy out "the fastest" which is of course a quick game for either of them.

Night Photos

These are night photos of a fire we watched across the way. The pictures are not very good, but I like the greenish look to night photos. I will learn how to take better night pictures but dont know the camera well enough yet to take good pictures with it on all settings.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Ks prairie children

"Mommy can you come into my room?" I go to Nathalie's room and look out the window. There is smoke and the sun is just disappearing thus looking like the sky is on fire. I run for the camera despite the fact that my child is crying. And I STILL missed the sun...

Nathalie comes outside to join me, Tad comes running also and she is still crying. "Nathalie, baby why are you crying?" I ask while looking through camera
"Because I thought the world was ending and I didn't get to have any children." Oh. "No sweetie, the world isn't ending."
"But I have my flashlight, just in case it does." Adds Tad

The previous pictures were taken on day setting. These next 3 are taken with no flash on night setting, and you have to be very still to take these and a tripod is nice because it exposes longer than a regular shot. I love these pictures, because in the dark and smoke and the near night sky there are the silhouettes of 2 children.

Look very closely here to see them, I love these pictures! I love the prairie and her flatness, the wind and the fires, the way your voice echos when you speak loudly through the wind. Only a prairie has an echo like this.

See the smoke rising from the left of the picture, a farmer beyond the dirt road that passes this field was burning off. The children played on the RR tie fence out front for an hour watching the burning. I took about 400 pictures... and a few of them are beautiful and almost capture the wonder of our skies.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


"I have to go see the Dalai Lama." Tad says as he walks past me towards the basement stairway.


"Because he is a spiritual guru."

"Where are you going then to see him?" I ask this as he is still on route to the basement. Nathalie is in the living room on the floor cutting out pants for a doll and looks up at me as if I have lost my mind.

"Um, mom, he is in Tibet." She says, as if she feels sorry for me that I dont remember this fact. Tad has now gone downstairs with no addition to the conversation and I guess he is in Tibet now bc he DID say he was going to see the Dalai Lama and as Nathalie pointed out, he isnt in our basement.

Now as I sit here I think, well, I am glad my children know who the Dalai Lama is. Not because he is OUR spiritual guru, but because he exists. Outside of our yard, our town, our state, our country. Because how many 6-8 yr olds in public school (no offense please) are offered the chance to learn about the Dalai Lama and how many of them know that Tibet exists, that it is a different country, that one cannot walk/drive to from the state they live in. Ask a regular child on the street in America, how would go to Tibet? What type of transport would you need? I guarantee you many of them have not been given this information, much less found it worth remembering.

The last thing I have to add on this, I did not teach my children about Tibet, the Dalai Lama or Ireland. Ireland is what they have moved onto during this blog post. Tad has made a kilt out of a paper bag, he is wearing my knee socks, dancing and pretending to play bagpipes. He is speaking some gibberish and calling it gaelic. They know that Ireland is an Island, they know many things about it. And they can speak in an Irish accent. Again, I didnt teach this. They learned it by listening, reading and asking questions. And by the huge amount of puzzles and games that we play. This year we have unschooled, due the deployement of daddy they needed more fun than workbooks. And they have learned more this year than ever before, from any workbook.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tennessee Farm

My mom took the kids and myself to a farm in Tn, The Land Between the Lakes. They have a living homeplace with buildings that are from the 1800s and were moved here and set up. There are several homes and then other buildings like a smoke house, a tool building, a work shop, many barns with animals living in them and there are people who work here and dress as people did many years ago. We had a wonderful time at the farm and surrounding land.

Can you see the little girl? Nathalie is walking through the underbrush to the creek.

Mom and Tad were brave a bit sooner than her AND her shoes were tie shoes and unlike Tad, she didnt just step into the water with the shoes on and thus spend the day in wet shoes! This water is extremely cold and I had the good sense to stay out of it.

Mom is ready to come back through this cold water and is using the children as moral and physical support. This was a beautiful clear creek, the water tasted good!

Me of course, mom took this picture.

Nathalie is "haycorn gathering" (acorns if you are not piglet) and I thought she was cute, I was quite a distance away and zoomed in. Mom and Tad are talking creek talk down below.

A beautiful flower no? Mom is taking photography classes, though she is quite good already and we found many chances to take neat photos for her class. Of course she took her photos to class, not mine, but I still took pictures of the same things. I only take around 40 pictures per item and then delete 99 % of them....

This is called "A discovery" and it involved Tad finding something very neat which we hadnt seen before.
Frog eggs! They were all over this little pond, the pond was more frog egg sacs than water! We moved them gently with a stick to see them better but didnt break or hurt the sacs in any way.
A root by the big lake, or root system. The kids didnt climb up here, mom perched them so she could photo them. This was my favorite of Nathalie.

This was my favorite of Tad.
This is a spring house on the farm.

A work room, there were many items made in here and lots of old fashioned tools. Many more pictures were taken but I cant possibly show them all here.

One of the people who works here, he is making a basket. The kids watched him for some time. We have attemped basket making and were quite poor at it...

One of the houses, the kids call this one the Laura and Mary house for Laura Ingalls Wilder. We are reading the books she wrote in school this year. The other house was much larger and had more rooms, a boys room, girls room, ma and pa bedroom, kitchen etc. This little house though, was a front room, tiny kitchen and an attic. The kids liked this house the best.

Percheron horses, not quite as large as a clydesdale but no small animal. The kids went right up to the fence and convinced these gentle beasts to come and eat green grass from the other side of the fence, from their hands and to be hugged, hung upon, loved, kissed and told how lovely they were over and over.
The horses didnt seem to mind one bit. They were a bit nervous at first, mom thought maybe some children are noisy and not sure what to do with a big horse but they were comfortable very quickly. My children adored them and would have happily budged up in the van and made space to bring at least ONE of them home.
I like this picture, the horse is watching him so intently as he gathers a handful of green tasty things.
*Sigh* yes, we do need a horse... I must agree with you there. Look how beautiful he is! So big and strong and yet so well made.
An extra hug for the road and from Tad some more nice grass.

You can see these were their favorite animals and perhaps the best part of the day, other than frog eggs of course.

This is a rooster who has spotted a hen nearby and was running quickly to say hello to her! He was pecked in return.
A little hand belonging to Nathalie here is poking through the fence to pet the "nice cute pig" who smelled absolutely VILE. There were 2 of them and yes from afar they are fairly cute and cuddly looking but are rough feeling and stinky and just ewww...
Tobacco drying, they had fires underneath in the floor. There were long pits dug in the floor that were filled with ash. The tobacco was dry and we were not there while the pits were burning but you could smell it still. It smelled nice!
Last but not least, we have the shy sheep. Mom said that they came up to be patted last time she visited but this time they didnt. As a matter of fact, one seemed to have an anxiety attack at our very presence and went into some sort of convulsions so we walked quietly away... the kids were disappointed that they didnt get to pet them but shortly found a large stump and played king of the stump and forgot all of their previous trials...oh to be 6 or 8!
So there was our day at the farm. I still have many more pictures to post, am so behind on blogging!