Tuesday, December 31, 2013

phone photos of Christmas

Hopefully at some point I will find the cord that allows me to transfer photos from my "real" camera to my computer, but until then these will have to do.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Mollie Makes

Two days ago while I was standing in the extremely long line at Joann Fabric I came across the magazine Mollie Makes (http://issuu.com/futurepublishing/docs/molliemakes35). Since I had a gift card I paid the $12 for a copy of it because it looked that good.  Of course it is made in the UK and of course to subscribe for a year cost around $100 for us in the US.  However, if I hire myself out as a babysitter a few evenings a week (I joke, I joke-sorta...) I actually might make enough extra money to get it. I knew it was my ideal type of magazine when the bottom of the first page summarized the magazine with these words "making, thrifting, collecting, crafting". If you asked me to make a list of some of my main loves these would be in a portion of it.  So, if you have never heard of this magazine and have interest in similar areas as me you might want to run to Joann's. What other magazines/blogs am I missing out on people? I don't keep them from you? Please share!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

homemade tags

I have been happily tucked away in my house working on little tags to make Christmas gifts extra special. The process does of course get interesting when three little ones constantly want to join you-but if you sign up for this mommy thing you have to expect these sorts of hurdles right?  I am hoping these personal touches help mask my unwise choice of buying inexpensive wrapping paper. Have you ever tried to wrap with inexpensive paper? It never, never, never looks good. Hopefully handmade tags will help.

How are you adding a personal touch to your presents?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

my favorite carol

When lyrics and melody compliment one another a song is able to stir one's heart in a unique and powerful way. I have always found this Christmas carol to move my soul in a way few songs are able to.  I have highlighted my favorite portions of the song below.

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night , O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
O'er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friends.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

What is your favorite Christmas carol and why?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

a huge heart/someone who gets it

It was a rough day on Monday. I was sick with a bad cough. Isabelle was sick with a cough and the other two were flirting with it. I felt spent before I even got out of bed if that tells you anything. In my brilliant state of mind I decided to work on some Zumba routines. I had a class that evening and the current songs were feeling old and lame. I worked all morning while the kids made a mess. When I finally finished choreographing I was exhausted. Dancing when you have a bad cough is a great combo (nope). One look at the mess the littles had made and I was over the edge. I am not sure if I yelled (statistics would say yes) but I know I cried. A lot.  "I don't want to clean this all up./I am so tired./ I just don't feel well and mommies never get a day off!/ I cannot even stop to be sad about this because I have so much to do!/ and the final one I can remember came out as I was pulling wet laundry out of the washer "I basically am a slave" (whoops-drama is in my blood what can I say?)

The sweet kids helped clean up the mess which took a whole of 3 minutes. Isabelle fled to the basement and I got myself together enough to stop crying. Looking in the mirror after incidents like this is never a good idea especially if you get swollen and red at the thought of tears. As I started making lunch and remembering just how good I have it and how gracious God is to me I noticed Isabelle coming up and down the stairs a lot. The basement is freezing this time of year and I thought I must have really unnerved her to make her willing to play down there for a while. I didn't blame her. I felt badly. Then up the stairs she came and handed me this with a hug

and I wanted to cry all over again. More than that big beautiful heart with the words "I love you Mom" got to me was that fact she is able to love someone when they act ugly and sinful. She understands how to forgive so quickly that her first reaction to being treated badly is to offer a huge heart that says I love you. God has been teaching her a thing or two about love that is for sure. Thank goodness we have a Savior because I need him! On good days, on bad days...every single day.

Monday, November 25, 2013

It doesn't flow but it is my thoughts right now......

I enjoy reading blogs. Let me try that again, I enjoy looking at blogs. The blogs that tend to contain lots of little black and white words bundled so predictably together into their perfect paragraphs only hold my attention if they are completely captivating. This one was. It was written by my friend Colleen who tragically lost her father two weeks ago.  She wrote with guts, guts enough to share the realness of death's first days. I read every single word she wrote as I pictured in my mind the images she created and felt my sheltered tears fall down my face imagining her loss.

I enjoy reading blogs about the life of beautiful people. My concept of beauty I would guess is not the standard going definition these days.  I find beauty in people who are truly themselves. It sounds simple enough but I find it a daunting task in life to discover people who are truly themselves, not a less vibrant version of another man's brightness. Who of us hasn't stumble across someone that has so many inspirational aspect to their person that we leave somehow wanting to adopt something of their essence. But don't forfeit your natural state of person simply to satisfy your admiration of another. Celebrate their beauty and push harder to land and proclaim your own.

You might get the feeling that I only find those who are wildly on display as my muses of beauty in life.....but that would be incorrect. I can at this very moment picture in my head a stunningly beautiful woman. Not because of her appearance per say, though the beauty of a person always bleeds out from the inside so I do think she is radiant.  She wears herself well. She bows to no other king of rule other than who her Creator crafted her to be. She is silent often. She has a pioneer woman strength to her as she quietly holds her children's hands and guides them where they should go. I think she is beautiful because she is herself. I like reading blogs of people who are being themselves well.

I have not been sharing much on here simply because I wasn't. However, I rarely go a day without my mind being held captive to ideas I would love to share on here. But oh time. Time is not in abundance for such things right now. But perhaps someday soon it will be.

I know this post did not flow as I first intended when I sat down to type. But time has passed quickly and I do not feel like making it all fit. So there you have it. I hope the snow is as beautiful out your window as mine, that your home smells as lovely as mine because of this candle and your sweet loved ones are touching (climbing:)) on you right now just as mine are...goodbye.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

my first taste of transformation

     Last weekend I stumbled upon a lovely little garage sale that had me driving home with three new pieces of furniture. I got this lovely gem for $12 and instantly had a vision for how I wanted her to look. Since I have not really done anything like this before I knew it was a risk but for $12 I figured at least it would be a delightful experience of working with my hands regardless of the outcome. I scraped her down and painted her up and enjoyed every aspect of it.  I am sure if anyone with real experience in redoing furniture looked at my job they would throw their head back and laugh a cool "you have no idea what you are doing little child" laugh, but hey-one has to start somewhere right?!


Any lovely items you have been transforming lately?

Monday, September 23, 2013

Homemade Chai Lattes

        There is so much to enjoy in a chai latte. It has a spicy warmth, a festive scent and when you hold a cup full of anything hot it feels homey. Some of the ingredients weren't  available at my regular grocery store so I planned a trip to Whole Foods with the sole purpose of getting the needed items. They were burning a hole in my pantry with the random few days of heat that followed but I held out hope knowing that September usually does give us a few chilly days. Soon enough the weather had the perfect crisp chill in it and  I was ready to make my first batch of the season.

   Chai will always have a soft spot in my heart for a bigger reason than just the taste. Every Christmas me and a small group of my friends would gather together on Christmas Adam ( named by my friends little brother because it is in fact the day before Christmas Eve...get it?) and eat, drink, sing and most importantly catch up on each other's lives. When it started it consisted of just a handful of us down in the basement of "The G's". We were tiny little high school students and looking for any extra excuse to hang out with one another over the long Christmas break. As the years have passed and passed since those first gatherings they now include babies, children, and spouses. For many of the people coming it no longer a short drive from their house, so the time spent catching up on lives has become even more central. As much as I love to talk with these dear friends the thing I might look forward to the most about the evenings is Daniel's homemade chai.

   Daniel would stand for what seemed like hours over the stove tossing in spice after spice into his pot, stirring it gently and offering small tastes to anyone. He hesitated to serve it until it tasted just right and for Daniel the chai needed time, slow time to develop into that delicious brew. The chai seemed to take shape just as the group did. Needing more of this and that at the start of the night until well into the evening when the flavors were rich and developed and a simple sip would make you feel like family was present. Daniel loved to master the art of crafting his delicious chai and we all loved him for it.  Whenever I decide to make chai in my little kitchen I am brought back to that slice in time, even with my small ones running around, even with no other adults present, I still am reminded of precious friendship.  I find it such a treasure when food or drink so directly connects you with a memory. For me that treasure is found in chai lattes. And though I have never gotten Daniel to give me his "recipe"( which if you know Daniel at all the likelihood of him even having a recipe is highly unlikely) I have attempted to make it many times without success...until now. Enjoy!

Chai Lattes

4 whole black peppercorns
5 green cardamom pods, smashed/cracked open slightly
6 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
a small chunk of fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
1 vanilla bean ( I use a bourbon soaked one and it was amazing one of the best smells I have enjoyed in a long while) Slice and open it, then use the backside of your knife blade to scrape out the seeds. Add both the seeds and the bean to the pan.
1 Tablespoon black tea, I used Assam
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 milk
Honey to taste (I used about 2-2 1/2Tablespoons)

Combine the peppercorns, smashed cardamom pods, cloves, ginger, vanilla bean/seeds, and cinnamon stick to a small pot filled with the water. Bring it to a boil, cover and simmer for a few minutes. After about 5 minutes take off of the stove and let it continue to steep (covered) for 10 minutes. Add the tea and continue to steep for another 5 minutes.

Pour the contents of the pot through a very fine strainer into another bowl. Pour liquid from the bowl back into the pot, add milk and honey, warm up a touch and serve hot.

I hope this drink creates special memories for you so that when you find yourself smelling the aromas of cloves, ginger and cinnamon your heart is happy and full.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


I bought this shirt and this shirt from a online store named Everlane. To be honest I am not even sure how I first stumbled upon the store, but I am so thankful I did. When I opened my first order from Everlane it was love at first sight and first wear for both of them! A huge feat! I did end up giving the second shirt away to one of my friends. It was calling her name in my closet every single day-what else could I do?  I do however plan on buying another few shirts in the next few weeks because they fit me very well. I have a short torso so the box cut style hits me just where a normal shirt on most people would, which is fabulous. Their shirts impress me because they are well priced, nice quality, hold up to a good wash and dry cycle and are made by a great company I can get behind. I suggest checking them out and maybe even buying something. Go here to do it.

         What secret companies do you all know about and want to share with me?


Monday, September 16, 2013

My heart is racing...

While reading through my usual blogs I found my heartbeat quickening. Sometimes when I read a well-written blog, or view images/decorating that captivates me, or artistic endeavors that inspire my whole person I can feel my heart start to race. Even as I type this my palms are getting a little sweaty and the only reason is this blog post. Tell me I am not the only one with this "racing heart" syndrome.....right?! Also, who can guess what I want for my birthday? (hint hint...some jewelry)

Saturday, September 14, 2013


This Saturday the weather was absolute perfection so we enjoyed some time at Sonny Acres and Klein Creek Farm.
And now we are off to the next thing...
(aka slowly losing my mind while the children run around the house like wild animals (literally- they are playing wild animals) nothing like a good ole Saturday:))

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

back to normal

finally life is getting back to normal

and I am so glad

Monday, September 9, 2013

Our new house.

If you were wondering where I have been these last few weeks you now know. We moved. I love our new house and find that it feels more like home than any other house I have lived in my whole life. I feels as though this home was made just for me and my likings. Every aspect of it connects with some part of me and each day I marvel at that reality. Now the only problem is that my blog is called "Little House on Prairie" and since we no longer live on Prairie the name kinda needs to go. Any thoughts for  a new blog name? The street we live on now is called Union. I thought about "To form a more perfect Union"....but that might come across wrong...so I am soliciting YOU to give me some ideas!
Ready, GO!



Tuesday, August 20, 2013

on days like today...

We sit in the backyard and doodle

I am in a big names with borders stage...

Isabelle likes to do a version of whatever I am doing....

 Judah's are always different and usually get torn out in strange way...(this might be one of my favorites to date!)
 Vera colors her whole body and every now and then decides to put a bit of color on the actual page.

 On days like today what are you up to?

Friday, August 16, 2013


I have spent a good time thinking about insecurities. It seems more often than not our insecurities drive our actions and choices. Insecurities almost always are trying to be masked so that people never really know what weaknesses we have. I assume we all have them on some level don't we? In a perfect world I would invite each of you over for a yummy drink and treat and we would talk about those pesky insecurities.

 In my world if there is something putting up a barrier for me I want to talk about it until that barrier can come down. Of course it rarely is as easy as that-but conversing about such things often removes the power they seem to hold.  I would value hearing about the things that make a person feel small or unimportant. It would give me great insight to hear why people get sick to their stomachs in some situations. I wonder about these sides we all have because to me they tell much about the individual. When I stop and really think about what I am insecure about it is more like digging a big hole. The actual insecurity is rarely the top soil itself but something far underneath it. I doubt many of you reading this are thinking,  "Please please invite me over and ask me what my insecurities are!!" So, rather than asking what yours are I will simply ask in general-what are the top three insecurities you find among most people? 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Le Pen

Since we are in the midst of a move so much of "me" is packed away. I have majorly been craving creating something.....anything really. I probably have 20 lists of all the handmade things I want to create laying around my house. Somehow writing them down feels like a promise to myself that I will do them. I had to purchase a new sketchbook recently because I thought I would lose the little bit of sanity I had left without one to doodle in.
Anyway, a positive from this in-between period is that I have stumbled upon the writing tool known as Le Pen. My friend Kristen randomly mentioned how great they were for journaling. I already get all sweaty-palmed excited about pens and other writing utensils so I stored away the name Le Pen in my mind. Two days ago I went school shopping (INSANITY!! How do I have a child in school?!) and saw a pack of Le Pens. Purchased. Used. Obsessed.
What other art supplies have I been missing out on?

Monday, August 12, 2013


 just take a moment and delight in something today

Friday, August 9, 2013

Misha LuLu I want you!!

I adore close to every item the clothing designer, Misha Lulu, makes. I also admire the relationship and inspiration she and her sweet daughter have. The quirky clothing line is bit over my spending budget and for that reason alone I have never purchased any of their clothing for my daughters.  Yesterday, while cruising the internet  in attempt to take a mental vacation from the chaos of raising three little ones, I came across their surplus store (read discount) and boy oh boy do they have adorable items on there! If I had endless amounts of money you better believe my daughter would be entering kindergarten wearing every single piece they have to sell. Since I do not have endless money I will have to pick my favorite one or two items from the surplus store to get her school ready. Below are my current favorites.

All images were taken from here, which is also where to go if you want to purchase any of these adorable items.

What are your favorites?