Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Sarah Speaks

While I was silent here on the blog I was not so silent on FACEBOOK. Check out this glimpse of 2010 statuses.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pilgrim Proclamation

Inasmuch as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, beans, squashes, and garden vegetables, and has made the forests to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as he has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience.

Now I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and ye little ones, do gather at ye meeting house, on ye hill, between the hours of 9 and 12 in the day time, on Thursday, November 29th, of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty-three and the third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Pilgrim Rock, there to listen to ye pastor and render thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all His blessings.

--William Bradford
Ye Governor of Ye Colony

After studying Pilgrims for the last month I have a new appreciation for this proclamation.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Kit Kittridge

Who is Kit Kittridge?
Besides being an American girl doll and the star of a chapter book or even a movie star, she is my new best friend. Seriously, I love her!
A week ago my daughter picked up the American Girl books at the library. She quickly devoured book 1 of Molly. When she went back to the library she could not find book 2 so she got the Kit Kittridge series instead. Hooked I say. In three days she has read three books. But my joy is not that alone. Oh no! The true reason I love Kit Kittridge: She has turned by daughter onto writing .
In the books Kit is a nine year old growing up in the Depression. With the help of her typewriter she writes daily newspapers to her dad to fill him in on the happening of the day.
Little girl finished book one of the series and asked if she could do that too. Of course, she can write articles for a newspaper!
We hopped on the computer, sorry no typewriters at this house, figured out how to make a newsletter on Word and off she went. Within 24 hours she had written 5 articles for her News. She figured out how to add pictures and clip art, then discovered text wrap.
With a little help from spell check and her editor(me) she was ready for print.
I could not be more proud or excited!
She has already exclaimed to dad that he will be recieving a weekly newspaper. Woot woot.
See I told you I love Kit. And now you know the rest of the story.

Friday, November 12, 2010

I Will Write Love On My Arms

If you have ever struggled with depression. If you have ever thought that this life was not worth living. If you have ever tried to take your life. If you have ever cut yourself. If you have ever struggled with addiction. If you have ever injured yourself. If you have ever been abused. If you ever feel alone...

KNOW YOU ARE LOVED. I have written LOVE on my arms FOR YOU!


Last night, I had a great discussion about Gratitude.
No matter where you are in life. No matter what you are going through; you have SOMETHING to be grateful for. Whether it is something as simple and mundane as toothpaste. If you look for it I am sure you can find it. Are you breathing? Perhaps you are grateful to be alive. Are you sober? Then you are probably grateful for your clarity of mind. Do you have shelter over your head? Then maybe you are grateful to be warm.
I know I am grateful!
I was challenged last night to think of things I am grateful about in regards to God, people in my life, my growth and my church. Once I started the list flowed with true gratitude. I am blessed.
Somedays I don't always see the blessings. Somedays I am inclined to complain. Yet if I truly pause, I see that whatever it is that has me frustrated or discouraged is an obstacle that can be overcome. Even on my worst day I can give thanks, even if it is only for toothpaste.

Colossians 3:16
Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.

1 Chronicles 16:34
Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Yesterday for Math a stream of continuous and nonsense sound came from my son. Bobbitybobbitybobbitybobbity...for 10 minutes. I found it annoying at first and then I realized something. It was helping him.
Sometimes in our house Math can take a half hour other days in between standing on his head and sharpening pencils it can take an hour. Distractions abound and there are times the distractions are overwhelming. Focus.
So enter the bobbitybobbities and for once there were no other distractions. For 10 minutes he sat focused on his Math, as he sang he was doing his Math. and people say men can't do two things at once.
Here was the boys journal yesterday:
Mommy, can I please sing at my desk? It helps me and (my sister) focus very much. I know that it makes you kinda mad but I would really love to. I would like to sing while I do Math. When I sing it gets the pressure off of me so I can focus better. Thank you very ,very much. Love, (Your son)

Who am I am to argue with that? In fact we just completed day two of singing during math and guess what? He finished 40 problems in LESS than 10 minutes! A miracle. A singing miracle.
Bobbitybobbitybobbity- Now if only that would help me accomplish all I need to do.


I had a dream this morning.
In my dream, the kids and I were at a pond with fishing line, hooks and a small bucket.
The fish were more than biting they were jumping on our lines. As soon as we would take one of and throw it in the bucket another one was on the line. It was frenzied fishing. In no time at all I looked over to see the bucket was overflowing and fish we piling up , flapping around on the ground.
Now from previous experience I know that fish need oxygen to live and even in a bucket they can die from lack of oxygen. So I frantically try to put them back in a bucket looking around for something bigger. I look over and a large storage tote is there. I begin dumping out the contents to "save" the fish. I don't know why we were fishing. I don't know what we intended to do with the fish. They were all small and most likely not keepers yet here I was trying to keep everyone.
In the midst of me trying to get the space, God spoke, "Why the excess?"
I love it when God speaks. Even in dreams God speaks to me. I knew immediately what this one meant.
The fish is stuff. Small. Insignificant stuff. Piling up and multiplying before my eyes and rather than throw it back or getting rid of it I try to cram it into the corners of my home. Excess. Unnecessary excess.
Thank you Lord for blessing me. Help me to get rid of the excess and keep only what I need.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

How Granola Are You?

Many years ago when my children were still babies, I was told I was granola crunchy. Which according to the Urban Dictionary means; crunchy granola Noun. A person who is lives in a healthy, green, vegetarian way. This person often supports Greenpeace and other such environmental and anti-war groups.
Now at the time I was in no way a true granola crunchy, I considered myself more...oatmeal. I had home births, I breast-fed my babies and I was moving in a direction of healthy living for me and my children. But Greenpeace, anti-war...not so much.
This morning I was pondering where I was on the scale; was I moving towards frosted flakes or more toward granola. Since there are no guidelines and the definition of crunchy granola is ever changing, I decided to set up a little survey to gauge us all. Its a simple little test really. With point values...so keep track.
Choose one for each category or skip to the next if it does not apply. Men feel free to count your household choices on the ones that apply to women. If multiple choices are true for you, choose the highest point value for that topic. Here goes...
If you...

Had a natural childbirth in the hospital (+1) gave birth in a birth center (+2) at home (+3)

Breast-fed your baby (+1) 6 months or more (+2) a year or more (+3) a potty trained child (+4)

Used cloth diapers (+1) Until the child was potty trained (+2) Carried around a potty to train your infant (under a year old) (+3)

Carried your babies around with a sling or carrier (+1) toddler (+2)

Co-sleep during infancy (+1) as a toddler (+2) Can't remember the last time you had no children in your bed (+3)

Made your own baby food (+1) Never bought store baby food (+2)

Chose not to circumcise your son (+2)

Use a DO rather than a MD (+1) Chose not to vaccinate (+2)

Use herbals for most medical issues (+1)

Are a Vegetarian (+1) Vegan (+2) Eat only raw uncooked foods (+3)

Garden (+1) Organic gardener (+2) Eat only food that does not come from a super market (+3)

Have a specialized diet for at least one member of your household i.e gluten-free (+1)

Make your own bread (+1) Make your own granola (+2)

Can your own produce (+1) 3 or more varieties (+2)

Buy organic food (+1) Exclusively organic (+2)

Sew or knit clothes for your family (+1)

Recycle (+1) Conscientious cut down on household trash (+2)

Used alternative fuel ie. vegetable oil (+1)

Compost (+1) Vermiculture (+2)

Raise chickens (+1) Free range chickens (+2)

Raise livestock (+1) organically or hormone free (+2)

Have a beehive (+1)

Bring your own bags to the grocery store (+1) Make your own bags to take to the grocery store (+2)

Make your own laundry soap (+1) Make all household cleaning products (+2)

Have participated in an earth day clean-up (+1) Pick-up litter not on earth day (+2)

Are a member of wild life association (+1)

Are a member of La Leche League (+1)

Written your congressman (+1) Attended a Tea Party or other public demonstration (+2)

Home school (+1) Charlotte Mason Sytle (+2) Unschool (+3)

Prefer to be barefoot (+1)

Laughed your way through this survey because it was all to familiar (+1)

So...How granola are you?
Out of possible 61 points
0-5 Fruit Loops
6-10 Frosted Flakes
11-20 Cheerios
21-30 Oatmeal
31-40 Granola
41-50 Granola Crunchy
51+ You are the crunchiest granola ever

Post your results in the comments.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Check It Out

A month or so ago I decided to contribute to our church, Family, Faith and Fun blog.
You can find my latest post here: http://trinityfamilylife.blogspot.com/2010/04/minute-to-win-it-fun.html

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Another Exciting Day

Lately the weather has been ABSOLUTELY gorgeous! Needless to say we have been trying to make the most of it.
Yesterday we decided to pack a picnic lunch and head over to Hawk Island. We ate, played, walked the board walk and soaked in the sunshine as the ducks swam out on the lake.

Since it was Babler's birthday we decided to go to on of her favorite places...The Dairy Farm.
And lo and behold, we go to see yet another birth. This one was a boy. :( So it won't be staying on the farm but we named him anyway. Introducing Axe. Hopefully this is not a foreshadowing of his fate.

Regardless he is a cute little thing with a white heart on his forehead.

Looking for something to do? Check out the MSU farms. The horses, cows and sheep are all expecting little ones. Oh and it's FREE!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Jolly Grove Garden- Sod Removal

I must tell you! Things are happening at the Jolly Grove Community Garden. We knew going in that this garden had some remarkable connections as it is a collaboration of the Land Bank, South Lansing Community Development Association(SLCDA) and the Garden Project. Recently, we acquired yet another corporate association as Comcast has chosen the Jolly Grove Garden as a recipient for their Comcast Cares Day. This means that we will be holding a workday sponsored by Comcast where things are truly going to come together and make this plot of land into a garden.
In order for the site to be ready for the workday we had to lay out the plots and remove the sod. With the BEAUTIFUL weather the leadership of the garden decided to act fast while the ground was ready. Here is what got done on April 1st.
Here is the site first thing in the morning.

Some picked up trash.

Some picked up sticks.

While others measured out the plots.

Then with the land prepped, we used the sod cutter to remove the sod.

Here is the boy rolling the sod.

Mounds and mounds of sod. By 3:00 we were finished and all plots were defined and the sod was removed and rolled.

The crazy crew feeling victorious! 8D

It was a wonderful day, with much being accomplished.

Now, we are looking forward to April 24th; the Comcast Cares Day. Where we will install the fence posts, fence, build a shed and benches, put up the sign and perhaps even plant some flowers. Woohoo!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Highlights of Meijer Garden 2010

With the butterflies flying at Meijer Garden we joined our homeschool co-op on a visit.
I must say the diversity of the plants and flowers there is amazing. I must also state that the following pictures were taken by my mother, who did a fabulous job. Thanks mom!


Pitcher Plants

My beautiful butterflies.

Butterflies all around in the aviary.

How many butterflies can you find on this one plant?

Don't forget to look for the birds...here is a blue one, an orange one and a yellow one.

Jailed? Not really, they are enjoying the kids gate of the Children's Garden.

Butterfly dress-up.

Archeological dig.

When we did our sculpture study back in January we studied Marshall Fredrick. After reading, The Outdoor Museum: The Magic of Michigan's Marshall M. Fredericks, we fell in love with his work. We even visited his museum. So we were delighted to revisit so many of his sculptures at Meijer Garden.
Here is the Leaping Gazelle...

Which is actually a fountain.

More Marshall Fredrick.

Red-Tailed Hawk looking for lunch.

Davinci's Horse...we were highly anticipating this sculpture after reading Leonardo's Horse by Jean Fritz

I absolutely LOVE the expression of the grandfathers face.

What kind of bird do you think might hatch from these?

Strike a pose.

Hope you enjoyed our trip to Meijer Garden as much as we did.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Face to Face With a Butterfly

The butterflies are back at MSU gardens.
The thing I love about the butterflies at MSU besides the fact that it is free, is you can get up close and personal.
My boy face to face with a Zebra butterfly.

You can hold them just remember to never touch their wings.

It's best to dip your fingers in sugar water and hold your finger in front of them. They will climb on and you will get a close look at your favorite butterfly.

Chrysalis await to emerge and newly emerged butterflies dry their wings. In a few more weeks you will be able to see all 4 stages of a butterfly as eggs are laid and caterpillars can be found on some of the plants.

While there we always go on a hunt for tree frogs. Hint look on the cement wall and the large tree by the pond.

Next we head out to play in the Children's Garden. While there are not many plants in bloom, there is still plenty to do.

Yesterday we had perfect sunshine for testing out the sundial.

If you haven't been, I highly recommend the MSU Children's Garden and Butterfly House!
Don't forget there are parking fees during the week. Not sure about the weekends this year.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I Am Carrying On a Great Project and I Can Not Come Down!

One day last summer a couple of girls rode their bikes past our home. They stopped to chat with us.
The next day they came back. An hour later we had 10 kids in our back yard.
The next day we had 12. Upon finding out that we homeschool some asked if I would teach them during the Summer. I agreed.
Nearly everyday for the remainder of the Summer I had kids coming over. Most would do some sort of school. Some wanted to do Spelling, while others wanted challenges in Math. Others wanted to play basketball or skate. What they really wanted? Someone who cared about them. A safe place to play without worry. A snack and a friend.
So our family became the caring face and listening ear. Our home and yard became the safe place; we played basketball, let them ride our skates and our bikes. We would dish out snacks and we definitely made friends.
One girl in particular would stop by nearly every day. Before long I noticed a spark about her. I knew she had faith. One day the Holy Spirit nudged me to ask her what she prayed for. So I did. I will always remember her answer.
"I pray that my friends and I will be safe!"
I knew God had called me to open my home to these kids and I now I knew why. Our home, our family was a direct answer to her prayers.
Fall came. Kids went back to school. Temperatures dropped and the kids came around less and less.
All except Taylor!

She would come over every now and then. We had tea parties, played school and board games. Before long she was joining us on trips to the YMCA. So we helped her get a scholarship so that she could come with us every time. Eventually pretty much everywhere we went Taylor came too. And then Chi.
Chi started coming over with Taylor and we loved on her as well. Sharing meals, conversations, games, trips to the Y; life.

They have joined us on skiing trips, trips to the animal farms, parks, the circus and the Youth Gardening Conference.

Here is a picture of Taylor getting over her fear of snakes at Nature Discoveries Go Wild weekend.

These girls have become more than my neighbors, they are my adopted daughters.

I am carrying on a great project and I can not come down!
My desire for this year is to involve my new family in something productive and rewarding. So we will be starting a youth community garden a couple of blocks away from my house. Together we will dig up the earth, plant seeds, weed and water. We will see the fruits of our labor. I will pour into them in every way possible. I hope to teach them more than how a plant grows. I hope to show them how they too can grow into productive people. I hope to show them that they will be known by their actions as either good fruit or bad, the choice is theirs. I hope to see them succeed both in gardening and in life. The teacher in me hopes they will learn great things. The mother in me hopes they will know they are loved. The neighbor in me hopes we can be a positive light to our community.

Today in church I learned that Nehemiah was in the midst of rebuilding the wall, doing a great work that God called him to do, while others tried to call him away from the work. His response every time was, "I am carrying on a great project and cannot go(come) down." He kept to the work God called him to do and did not let the opposition steer him away.

I take from that this; I will not be called away from my calling to care for these kids. Be it two or twenty. Even when I get crazy looks and glances when I arrive somewhere with my "Gaggle of children." Even when I struggle to transport them to the various things we may do. Even when life happens and they go through hard times, especially then. Even when my garage door gets beat up from skates banging into it. Even when the pantry is thin. Even if our vegetables refuse to grow or the labor is hard.
Even then... I am carrying on a great project and I can not come down!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Casulties of Winter; Spoils of Winter

Monday, March 8th, 2010
The weather outside was sunny and 50 degrees. Whenever the temperatures begin to rise the bees once again become active. I decided to head out to the hive and see how things were going. When I got there I found dead bees on the ledge and no activity. So I took a screwdriver and brushed away the dead bees trying to create an opening for the bees to fly in and out. Except they was no activity. Nothing!
Opening up the hive, my suspicion were confirmed the bees DID NOT SURVIVE the Winter.

THOUSANDS DEAD! Casualties of Winter...

Here is the bottom of the hive were you can see layers of dead bees.

Since the bees were gone, we got to take the spoils. We told them in the Fall; Use it or lose it!
They did not use it all so we brought the hive boxes inside to extract the honey.

Here is a full frame of honey.

With a heated knife we scrapped of the wax cappings.

Then placed them in the extractor. Spin spin spin...

Once extracted we poured the honey off into a strainer.

The strainer bulging with honey.

Honey bears waiting to be filled.

The whole family took turns filling the bears and jars.

Honey anyone?

15 little honey bears all in a row. This here is about 10lbs of honey.

In all we got about 23lbs of...Sweet liquid GOLD!

Yummy, yummy honey!