Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Last week(on Thursday), we where sitting around our kitchen table having lunch. Rodrigo had the day off and we had just found out that he'd have off the next day as well. Why don't we take the family and go to the beach, he asked....  Hmmm.... why not indeed?!?! So we threw some clothes and food in the van and we where off!

We went to the beach in South Carolina. It was lovely! The days where warm and the evenings cool. The water still held enough of summer's warmth for the boys to spend hours playing in the waves. 

When they started feeling cold they joined us in the sand to warm up and play for a while in the sunshine.

Logan and Rodrigo went to the salt marsh and explored for hours. They collected all sorts of interesting creatures from the tidal flats.

Sometimes the best things happen when you don't have a plan!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Seed Saving ~ Let's share seeds 2010

For the past few months the boys and I have been saving seeds from our garden to use again next spring and summer. Then in July I joined Earth Mama in her 2010 Seed Share. What a great idea she had! We would save our seeds (like we always do...) and send some of them all over the country to new friends who would do the same thing and send some back to us! (Sadly we can't send them internationally, I guess customs frowns on things like that.)

This afternoon while everyone was busy playing I sat down for a little while and made some seed packets for our seeds to go traveling in!

I used a simple template for my packets and painted a flower or vegetable on each one.

Wild violets. Local wildflower, one of the first to bloom each spring.
 Purple flowering sage. Bumble bees love this stuff! So do I!

 Sweet William, a lovely little biennial flower that smells very spicy-sweet!

Ruby Queen Okra. Nice and tender and soooo yummy! Prolific too!

 Orange cosmos..self sows in my flower beds and in the veggie garden. Very cheerful and attracts lots of good bugs!

 Mullein, a local wildflower (introduced here from European settlers in the 1700's) it is a great medicinal herb... good for coughs and congestion.
 Calabaza Squash... a very yummy Guatemalan winter squash, not very sweet, excelent in savory dishes!
Guatemalan seeds brought to me by my mother-in-law several years ago! We save seeds for these mild chilis every year! Guatmalan Chili Dulce.

 Hungarian bread seed poppies... I don't have seed packets made for these yet, but we do have the seeds saved!

 My larkspurs, they are some of my favorite spring flowers. They self-sow every year and are so easy to care for!

We have several more types of seeds saved that I might be able to share, so I am hoping to get some more seed packets made up soon! I had fun messing around with the paints this afternoon, and before long the boys had abandoned their own projects and where seated at the table painting with me!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Cooking and Cleaning can wait...

The past two weeks have flown by in a rush of "hurry up's", "must do's" and "don't have time to sit and rest right now's".  Right up until I came down with a yucky case of mastitis. I had managed to avoid getting even a plugged duct with this baby. I always nurse on demand, and for as long as she would like. But in the busyness and stress of the past two weeks, my girl and I haven't sat down to nurse like we should have every day, and then I had to pay for it big time! She is such a happy baby and is often so easy to distract that if I was doing something *important* I could convince her to play for just a bit longer or have a snack instead of nursing.

I realized that I hadn't really enjoyed doing any of the things that I normally love so much. For example cooking... I love to cook, I mean I really really enjoy it. But for the past while it has felt like such a chore. "What, you want to eat again??? I just fed you all 5 hours ago!!!" The same went for pretty much everything else in my home, I had developed the attitude lately that everything was just one more thing to hurry up and finish on my to-do list so I could mark it off and get to the next thing on the list. I stayed up way to late, got up long before I felt rested and generally pushed myself even harder the next day.

Well, you can only push your body so hard before something gives... in my case I just started feeling poorly and I ignored it. Within 24 hours I had no choice but to rest. I was sick. So I took my baby to bed and we rested and cuddled and she nursed and nursed. Rodrigo made me tea and even took care of meals for a while, and I rested. During my forced rest I realized that I had not really enjoyed a single thing that I had accomplished in the past couple of weeks. So I decided that I would try to slow down and really put some mindfulness into the things I choose to do and seek to enjoy them. For example: When I cook dinner for my family I will think about what I am doing, I will take the time to plan a nice meal (even if it is something as simple as scrambled eggs!) I will not try to do 47 other things at the same time, so that none of them end up well done.  I will realize that this is a gift for our family, a chance to sit down together and connect once again with good food and conversation. I am trying to carry that mindfulness with me into each of my activities throughout the day. After all if a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing to the best of my ability!

Another thing I am really going to be making more of an effort to do is have the children help me more around the house.  That is often hard for me... I can usually get things done so much neater, faster and easier done(!) without taking the time to have the children help me. I have a tendency to think that I'll let them help next time (or week, month or even year!) But it is so important to let them help me for many reasons. They need to understand that each of them is an important part of our family and are needed to help make our family and household run smoothly. They need to learn how to care for a family and a home because someday they will have families and homes of their own!  And they need to feel like what they do really matters. Everyone needs to feel needed! After all, our goal as parents is to raise adults! Godly, responsible, loving, capable strong, healthy, wise ADULTS. And having them at my side and showing them how we care for our home and letting them take pride in their work is one of the things I feel like we need to do in helping our children reach mature adulthood.

I feel much freer since choosing to do things like this. For example, now I have the freedom to enjoy the process of making our bread, to kneed and kneed with my little boys at the kitchen table while we talk about what matters to them (and without worrying about everything else that must be done). I allow myself the time to make a cup of tea, and sit and nurse my baby while rubbing her head and back or browsing a magazine, instead of trying to nurse her while sorting laundry or a myriad of other things. Like the little poem on my right hand sidebar says:

Cooking and cleaning can wait till tomorrow,
For babies grow up, we've learned to our sorrow.
So settle down cobwebs, dust go to sleep,
I'm nursing my baby and babies don't keep.

I've always known that, but sometimes I find that it is necessary to be reminded, even if it did take getting sick to remind me! As a mama it is hard not to give into the pressure to do everything, but that is not good for us! Having a happy family with a healthy happy (present) mama is so much more important! Our time with our babies is so very short! Just 10 months ago we had this:

And now in the blink of an eye we've come to this!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Autumn Leaves Garland

Yesterday Logan and Matthew made a pair of felt leaf garlands to decorate our home for Autumn. To make them I printed out several leaf templates from the internet (*hint* try googling "Autumn leaf coloring pages" for lots of simple outlines to use as templates) We used the templates to trace the leaf shapes onto several colors of felt and cut them out. After the boys had finished cutting out the leaves we simply measured where we wanted the garlands to hang and cut a pieces of ribbon to that length. They sewed on the leaves with a few stiches each. In less than 30 minutes from start to finish we had colorful Autumn Garlands to adorn our home!

Matthew's garland graces our dining room window. Logan's we placed above the bookshelves in our living room.

 Our little house looks much more "fall-y" with a few seasonal touches now!
I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!
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