Friday Favorite Things {11}

"Gratitude turns what we have into enough."

Quiet library concentration.
One of our most favorite days of the week.

Little one always goes searching for the Karen Katz baby books.

Sickness strikes and Daddy becomes the smoothie making hero.
Ren relishes being syringe fed blueberry smoothie.
She might be spoiled...a little...

We're slowly becoming bird watching enthusiasts.
Little feet come pitter-pattering from all over the house whenever I shout "There's a robin in the tree!" or "I see a junco!"

Sick days include a lot of extra love!

She's on a mission.
She practices every day.

Spontaneous little notes.
We had a giggle at 'bad mom'.
When I first pointed it out to her, she felt so awful and apologized profusely.
I assured her I knew she meant to write 'dad' and she then shared in the humor.

Early morning flossy head.

New favorite imaginary adventure: monsters....RRRROOOAAAARRR!

Asking to go out to her swing.
All. The. Time.

Catching raindrops for science.
I love their eagerness and curiosity.

Favorite moment of the week:
Our 'Japanese' lunch.
Complete with kimonos I made them for Christmas and PB&J sushi eaten with chopsticks!
I almost took another picture from a different angle so you wouldn't see my piles of laundry waiting to be folded in the background.
Then I decided not to.
In years to come they will look back at these pictures and see these perfect moments were perfect even despite such imperfections!

friday favorite things | finding joy

Painting With Ice Cubes

As a 'go along' activity to our science lesson on freezing liquids, we painted with ice cubes!
This was FUN and their paintings were so pretty!
The girls simply added food coloring to the water in the ice cube trays before I popped them in the freezer.
(They were equally as delighted with this aspect. Watching the food coloring swirl around in the water is rather mesmerizing.)
The next day we had our chilly painting utensils.
In fact, they were so chilly that the girls ended up grabbing spoons to push their ice cubes around with!
Initially, it looked almost like crayon marks but as the ice cubes began to melt they resembled watercolors.
In the light of the afternoon sun flowing through our kitchen window, this was a perfect and peaceful moment. 

Give it a try!
Simple. Easy. Fun!

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She's A Walking Girl!

Renly is finally walking!
I have been sharing the various stages of her learning to walk on Facebook but now that she is a true walker I thought I'd share it here!
(To see Taitum's first steps, go here.)

This morning it was like she woke up and decided today was the day!
I'd noticed that she was getting much braver over the past few days, walking back and forth between pieces of furniture.
Today she is walking in circles all over the house, giggling as she goes!
Her sisters are also delighting in their sister's new found skill by playing the little game you see in the video.
I'm so proud of my little girl!
(The baby stage is officially over...)

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The Rag Coat {FIAR}

In February, we rowed The Rag Coat by Lauren Mills.
This is the story of a little girl named Minna who lives in the Appalachian region with her family. When her father, a coal miner, dies the family is left struggling to make ends meet. Through the kindness of the women in their community, a coat is made for Minna from pieced together odds and ends. She in thrilled as this means she can now attend school. However, her new garment is not kindly received by her schoolmates.

Social Studies:

This story provided us with various things to talk about.
First, we talked about the culture of the Appalachian Mountains and pointed out specific things in the illustrations. The girls were quite interested in the dulcimer they saw hanging on the wall of the family's cabin. We ended up finding some videos of people playing the dulcimer and the girls danced their hearts out!
Our favorite? Whiskey Before Breakfast! ;)

Next, we talked about death - how people feel when they lose someone they love, traditions that often occur when someone dies and ways in which we can remember them. That weekend, their grandmother was kind enough to show them things she has that help remind her of her Mom who passed away a few years ago.

Finally, we talked about teasing, how it makes you feel and ways to respond to it.


Piper and I colored our own rag coat.

Piper and Taitum both designed their own quilts by filling in printed quilt grids.

In the story, Minna makes her own doll.
The girls were inspired by this and pulled out the craft supplies to make their own dolls!
They made these cute little toilet paper tube dolls for days!
We had a whole tribe of them by the end of the week!


We learned about coal and coal mining.
To start, we read this book which was interesting and informative.

We also watched this video which gives a good explanation of the formation of coal from a Biblical worldview.

We made sedimentary rock out of crayon.
(For instructions, watch this video.)

We also made Chunks of Coal Cookies!

This was a wonderful book!
It inspired my girls' creativity, started some fantastic conversations and led us down paths of learning that were new for all of us!

Delightful Learning

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Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening {FIAR}

In February we rowed Stopping By Woods On a Snowy Evening, a poem by Robert Frost.

Whose woods these are I think I know. 
His house is in the village though; 
He will not see me stopping here 
To watch his woods fill up with snow. 
My little horse must think it queer 
To stop without a farmhouse near 
Between the woods and frozen lake 
The darkest evening of the year. 
He gives his harness bells a shake 
To ask if there is some mistake. 
The only other sound's the sweep 
Of easy wind and downy flake. 
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep. 
But I have promises to keep, 
And miles to go before I sleep, 
And miles to go before I sleep. 

The illustrations (by Susan Jeffers) depict a man stopping in the woods and leaving food for the forest animals that live there.
We made bird feeders and hung them out to nourish animals (primarily birds and squirrels!) in our area too!

We enjoyed a snowflake tortilla snack.

And created our own snowy scene!

Next, we discussed how easy it is to see animal tracks in the snow.
Piper tried to guess which track belonged to which animal using these matching cards I printed out for her.

She also grouped rhyming words that I had written on popsicle sticks.
She then painted them and glued them together to make snowflakes.
(An idea I found here.)

We talked about different aspects of the poem such as the rhyming words and the rhyme scheme.
I asked family members to send us their favorite poems and we spent time reading those.
Finally, the girls made their own winter poem by telling me things they think of when they think of winter. 
Here it is:

Snow angels
Pull a sled
Catch snowflakes on your tongue
Ice skating
Slide down the hill
Snowflakes fall
Hot chocolate to make
Us, nice and warm
Snow on the roof
Throw snowballs at the window

It was a little different rowing a poem as opposed to a story but we all thoroughly enjoyed it.
The girls especially loved the illustrations that accompanied it and spotting the hidden animals to be found on various pages!

Delightful Learning

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Friday Favorite Things {10}

When your life is filled with the desire to see the holiness in everyday life, something magical happens: ordinary life becomes extraordinary, and the very process of life begins to nourish your soul!
[Rabbi Harold Kushner]

A chickadee sighting.

Condolence cookies.
(People have so warmed my heart this past week. We need each other, don't we?)

Reaching new heights.

A pile of pots.
(New pots! So excited!)

A girly game.

Homeschool organization at it's finest.

 An afternoon siesta.

 A tea party for two.

A sunny spot.

The best of times.

friday favorite things | finding joy

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I love motherhood.

We're a smiling family.

I'm a covenant keeper.

I love my husband.

I am above self pity.

I am a nation builder.


Worth more than rubies.

“I am more convinced than ever that even in the midst of the mundane, burdensome, and oftentimes frustrating tasks of life allotted to me as a mother, God wants me to find his joy. He wants every single day of my life to be a celebration of his blessings, whether large or small. He wants me to celebrate life ~ the life He has given me.”

~ Sally Clarkson

My Hubby

My Hubby
He's my bestest.


She is my compassionate, dramatic, fun to be around 6 year old. She loves to shop, get dressed up fancy and anything else that screams girly!


She is my goofy, snuggly 4 year old who loves to sing and dance and smile all day long!


She is our one year old smarty pants! She does all she can to keep up with her older sisters and to keep them in line!

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