Follow my family through the seasons of the year! I'm Dawn ~ wife to Bill, and mom to 4 boys. I chat about lots of things here - family, food, faith, nature, crafts, organization and home education. I hope you enjoy your visit! ❤
First let me say I'm sorry my posting has been slow lately - to be perfectly honest, I've been pretty slow myself! Little Bear has been waking every two hours at night for the past couple of weeks and frankly, I'm exhausted! Lol.
Anyhoo, I have a few minutes to pop in to say hello and share a few things with you all.
First of all, how is the weather where you are? It's been quite nice here in New England - very autumnal with brisk air and bright skies. I'd say the foliage is just past peak now ... the wind has been littering the streets and yards with droves of crisp, crinkled leaves. All the subdued color, bared bark and dark chilly afternoons make me think of Thanksgiving ...
*3 quick links*
A lovely article at Susan Branch's blog about a "behind the scenes" article in the upcoming Yankee magazine. Lots of pictures to drool over - her home on Martha's Vineyard is so cozy, all decked out for the holidays.
Another web article, this one about grocery savings. I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but I find it helpful to remind myself on these points from time to time. How are you all doing with your meal planning and marketing these days?
And finally, remember my beloved red furniture from the old house?
Well, we finally sold that dear old house this past week so that meant we could move up the final bits of furniture we'd left behind ("for ambiance"). Feels so good to have my Mama's chair back! We've arranged the set in the living room, a room that's slowly becoming "my room" as it's filled with my desk and reading materials ...
(Yes, I went a little nuts with the subscribing when we moved!)
Well my friends, that's all I have time for right now ... please know I'll be here just as much as I can. I'm always thinking about posts and things I want to say (new ideas or answers to comments) but those free moments are not as plentiful as they once were!
Enjoy your evening, everyone ... I'll see you here again very soon!
My friend Charlotte alerted me to this absolutely adorable giveaway just now and I wanted to share it with you all here. And not just because it will enter my name in the giveaway (wink!), but because these things are so darn cute you really all must take a peek ...
These cute little confections are created by ediapercakes, a home-based business, and how brillant! I've never seen these before, but of course, I've been out of the baby loop for some time. ;)
Which cake is your favorite?
I'm quite partial to the "You are My Sunshine Cake" myself. :)
The winner of the giveaway will be announced at Jessica's site next Friday, December 14th. Which happens to be my Earlybird's birthday, so I consider that a very lucky day.
* Whoever wins the $25 gift certificate will be lucky indeed! *
And you know, this makes me wonder ... I've been chatting up my pregnancy here for a few months now, but I'd love to know how many of my readers are pregnant as well, and if so, when are you due? It seems from the buzz I hear, here and there around the internet, there are plenty of us pregnant this year!
Well, my friends, I must be off. Apparently there are hungry mouths to feed and that means I'd best get off this couch! But I hope you all have a nice weekend, and thanks so much for stopping by ...
My friend Jenney has a lovely blog called Journey Towards Simplicity - she's a wonderful writer and has many great natural living ideas over there! I thought this postwas particularly timely since so many people I know - and live with - are dealing with terrible colds at the moment. I'm going to make up some of Jenney's "Mama's Chest Rub" this weekend ... a quick trip to Whole Foods should provide me with the few simple ingredients I need.
Now, so far I have eluded the currently circulating cold, but I'm sure it's only a matter of time ... because if it's not this cold, it may be the next one. And I'm kind of living in fear of it, to be honest, because this time around I can't take any medicine! (Dayquil is usually my one true salvation when a cold hits. Hardly a "natural" remedy, but it works wonders!)
So I stand here at the brink of cold & flu season - surrounded by sick people, lol - and thinking about both sides of infection (preventing + soothing). I'm looking to arm myself with information and advice ...
My friends, what are your favorite natural (homemade) cold remedies? What should I add to my Whole Foods list?
Here's what I have so far ...
lots of fluids
fragrant oils for steam
(I'm not a fan of eucalyptus, so maybe something else?)
vitamin c and zinc?
lemon & honey
*I'm a little nervous about herbal/vitamin supplements - only because I don't know what's safe for pregnancy and what's not. I'm sure if I "google" the issue I'll find plenty of (possibly conflicting) information, but I'll turn to my friends and readers first ... as well as my midwife, of course.
Well my friends, I hope this week's been treating you well. I have my first OB appt. today so please wish me luck! I'll ask about "nursing a cold when you're pregnant" and let you know what she tells me.
Have a great Thursday, everyone ... see you here again very soon!
Just ahead of the weekend, I like to make up little "to-do" lists for myself. Some of these tasks are rather bland - paying bills, pulling weeds or attacking bathroom mold, for instance - but some things will be quite nice ~ like framing artwork, watching our Netflix pick, and catching up on my reading - online and otherwise.
And so I just added this blog post to my "to read" pile. In it, Susan Branch describes - in delightful prose and fantastic pics - her visit to Chawton House, otherwise known as the home of Jane Austen! I've only just skimmed the post, because I want to be sitting quietly and comfortably (and preferably outside with a tall glass of iced tea) when I properly dig in. But at first glance, there seem to be many lovely things here: quill pens and teacups and rose-covered pubs and cottage gardens and all kinds of wonderful interior shots of the very rooms inside which Miss Austen composed all those Great Works ...
(And speaking of, which was your favorite? I think the popular pick tends to be Pride and Prejudice, but I myself am awfully fond of Emma.)
Anyhoo, I wanted to share that link here this evening, because I know many of my readers share in my enthusiasm for all things Jane Austen. :) I thought you might like to add this to your weekend reading list, too.
Either way, I wish you all a good one!
Take care of yourselves and your loved ones ... I'll see you here again sometime soon!
"Today we'll mail our Christmas cards and make a star hat for St. Lucia's Day!"
Pictured above are the orange sweet rolls I make every year on this day ~ not from scratch mind you, but from Pillsbury. ;) EB doesn't care for these rolls (and he can't have them anyway), so he opted for a wheat bagel & cream cheese instead. The holly sprigs were snipped from our front bushes (and are now safely deposited in a vase on our nature shelf). After breakfast I'll help Earlybird make a star hat from large construction paper and bright shiny star stickers. He'll have fun making it, though I doubt he'll wear it for long lol. Hopefully he'll let me snap at least one picture before he whisks it off.
Later this afternoon we'll visit the post office, and mail our big stack of Christmas cards. And if we're efficient today (in schoolwork and housework, etc.) we'll have a batch of cookies to drop off with the kind ladies at the post office window.
Thanks for stopping by ~ hope you all have a great Monday!
Sherri passed this award on to me and I am very honored. (Thanks, Sherri!) One of my favorite things about blogging is getting to flex a little creative muscle - whether it's working with words or playing with pictures. :)
And now it's my turn to to list 6 things that make me happy and then send this award on to 6 bloggers.
1. My Earlybird slept from 8 p.m. last night until 5:30 a.m. today; that's9 1/2 hours, people! That was the most normal night's sleep he's ever had in his life. (And, more significantly, that I've had in 6 1/2 years!) What a clever boy; he's been showered with attention this morning and is he ever chipper and chatty. Some of you reading know just how early a riser my EB can be (i.e. 4 is the norm). I think - hope, pray - this new schedule (no naps/time change), has finally worked a little bedtime magic. I could get used to this well-rested feeling ...
2. My blog turned 2 last week! I was thinking that today was the day, but actually it was March 22nd. I posted 3 times the first day, and 7 times the next, lol! I am stunned to think I've had something to say almost every day in those two years. (I think I've missed maybe 5.) I am really very grateful for this blog - especially for the folks I've come to know through it - it's been the most rewarding hobby, I must say. Here's how we celebrated ONE last year ...
3. SouleMama's book (The Creative Family) is coming out in 6 days! You are probably familiar with her beautiful, crafty, cozy blog (the kind of blog I hope mine grows up to be, lol), but if not, please hop over and check it out. There's a link to her book in the lefthand sidebar; check that out too. I've had it in my Amazon cart ever since she first mentioned it sometime last year, and now shipping's just a few days away! I am downright giddy. :)
4. What we're watching/listening to right now ~ Here Come the 1,2,3's! from They Might Be Giants. Earlybird found this in his Easter basket, and it's a big hit, as I knew it would be. (He's loved the ABC version for a couple of years now.) Very catchy, perky songs - very parent- and older sibling- friendly. And the bonus is, the set includes a DVD to watch, and a CD for the car. EB, as some of you know, has a sensitivity to singing (in that, he yells, "NO SING, MAMA!" if I do so much as hum) so figuring out ways to get a little music into his life is a constant goal.
5. And finally: the Red Sox won the season opener 6-5 in 10innings! Hooray for spring!
Well, I must be off - the waffles have popped, and the coffeemaker just sounded "last call." I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday!
This exciting event is in celebration of the release of The Tale of Hawthorn House, the latest in the Cottage Tales, which are a series of mysteries featuring the beloved author and illustrator, Beatrix Potter.
I must say I have dragged my feet on reading this series, but I have book one sitting right by my bedside ... I'll just have to dig in one evening very soon - perhaps after all this baseball hubbub settles down. ;)
Do stop by Clarice's to find out all the details ...
I was recently honored by two lovely bloggers, Cindy and Michele, with this happy award:
Thank you dear ladies, you have certainly put a smile on my face this morning! :) And so now it is my turn to pass the award on to other bloggers who make me smile. I wish I had more time this morning - my list could go on and on - but I will begin with these five lovely women:
~ Amanda at Soule Mama. I know many of you are familiar with her blog ~ and perhaps like me, are waiting with breathless anticipation for her forthcoming book! Every post at Soule Mama is a smiling moment filled with crafts, children and nature ...
Well, thanks again to Cindy and Michele for tagging me with this award! I am so glad to think my little corner brought a smile to someone's face. :)
I have been awarded with the Nice Matters Award by two wonderful bloggers (and very nice women themselves), Mrs. Darling from Dishpan Dribble and Elizabeth of Real Learning. Thank you, my friends ~ I am honored!
Here is a description of the award:
"This award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world. Once you’ve been awarded please pass it on to 7 others who you feel are deserving of this award."
Just seven, you say? Hmmm. Well, I am blessed in this blogging community with many wise and wonderful women to choose from ...
First I nominate Jennifer at As Cozy as Spring. I have had the pleasure of knowing Jenn for some time now, and it's been a joy to realize how much we have in common. My one wish is that we lived a bit closer than oh, a couple of thousand miles or so!
Theresa at Treasure in Earthen Vessels is another friend I've made in the past year, someone who always has a helpful suggestion, or a kind word to say. She also has wonderful patience as it usually takes me eons to get back to her about something! (That history post is in the works, Theresa!)
I was so excited to meet Meredith of Sweetness and Light a few weeks ago (gosh, was it only a few weeks?) and I can assure you, she is just as nice (and beautiful!) as she is at her lovely blog. Here again, I wish we lived closer - but I know we will always be close in our hearts.
Angela at Three Plus Two (make that three!) is another "blogging neighbor" I had the privelage to meet in real life; last winter our families met up in Boston one day! Just a week ago, Angela's family was blessed with a new son ... but that child was blessed too, with a loving and gentle mother I'm honored to call my friend.
I also nominate Mary Ellen of O Night Divine, a Christmas blog near and dear to my heart. Before I even met Mary Ellen I knew I'd love her - she is kind, funny, inspiring and a mentor for me - even though we do disagree in one "crucial" area. ;) I am thrilled to have met her at last.
And I mustn't forget Ruth at Just Another Day in Paradise, who is such a dear, always with a prayer for those who need it, or a kind, encouraging thought. I got to meet Ruth at the conference too, and how I wish we had all afternoon to just sit and chat over a cup of tea. :)
Oh, goodness, I must add one more - my dear friend Cay at the lovely Cajun Cottage under the Oaks. I have never met Cay in real life, but I feel like I have. She is so genuine and generous with her time and talent. I've been thinking of her quite a bit this week, as I plan out our "Catholic Mosaic" year. Cay has blessed us with her book, and the wonderful news is, there is another one coming this fall!
Well, I could go on and on, but my children are no longer taking "just a minute" as an acceptable answer to "what's for breakfast, mum?" :) So I'm off ...
If you home educate a child with special needs, or if you know someone who does - and if you know me, then you do - please do not miss Mary Ellen's wonderful post today, Autism and Home Education Part I. It is filled with thoughtful advice, most welcome encouragement and lots of love.
Wise words from my friend:
"The first thing you should do, and this is vital, is pray. I say this knowing a lot of people will immediately skip down looking for the “real” information. The nuts and bolts type of stuff. Please let me tell you that if you are going to school a child who has learning challenges then your first activity of the day needs to be getting on your knees and asking for help."
Oh, this is so very true. I know that the days I begin in prayer - asking for guidance, patience and strength - are absolutely without a doubt our smoothest days. I am so looking forward to reading more from Mary Ellen on this subject, one so near and dear to our hearts.
AMAZING Craft Kits post? Not to mention her preceding craft planning post? Well, let me put it this way - a LOT! I love them as much for all Jenn's incredible ideas as for how much she inspires ME to get rolling on our own fall plans!
You know, it's going to be something like 95 degrees today (as it was yesterday and will be tomorrow); according to my internal clock these are perfect days to start thinking about and planning ahead for the fall and holiday season.
Thank you, Jennifer, for sharing your creativity with us all - I, for one (of many), am right behind you on this!
You might have noticed that we really enjoy going to the movies (case in point here, here, here and here). There's just something special about catching an afternoon matinee, especially in the summer - the popcorn, the previews, the big screen - the AC! Good clean (cool) fun.
The tricky thing is, though, finding movies that are good (funny, exciting, worth the $$) but still appropriate for family viewing. G movies are almost a thing of the past, and many PG movies sneak in a lot of stuff that is, I feel anyway, rather bothersome - adult innuendo, poor or even foul language, and even over-the-top violence. It can make for slim pickings sometimes.
So it was with great interest that I read a review of the new movie Evan Almighty, posted recently by the lovely Margaret in Minnesota. I've seen the preview once or twice and we even watched the HBO First Look recently (you can view it on YouTube, just do a google search). It looks cute, and I really like Steve Carrell, so I was glad to read that Margaret's gang enjoyed it, because I am sure we will too. Leah Rozen of People Magazine did not particularly care for it, but I hardly ever agree with her anyway. With Margaret, however - well, I like to flatter myself that we are on the same wavelength - so her opinion counts. :)
According to Margaret:
"Evan Almighty is both biblical and family-centered, which is why it annoys the secular media. There is nothing offensive at all in the film - no swearing, no sex, no disrespect - although there is a splatter or two of bird poo."
Family-centered? Nothing offensive? Bird poo? Yup, right up our alley! :)
And speaking of good clean fun, here are some cute jokes from my parish bulletin this week:
Q. Who was the greatest financier in the Bible? A. Noah. He was floating his stock while everyone else was in liquidation.
Q. Why didn't they play cards on the Ark? A. Because Noah was standing on the deck.
Q. Who was te 2nd greatest financier in the Bible? A. Moses' mother. She went down to the bank of the Nile and drew out a little prophet.
Q. What excuse did Adam give to his children as to why he no longer lived in Eden? A. Your mother ate us out of house and home.
Q. Which servant of God was the most flagrant lawbreaker? A. Moses. He broke all 10 commandments at once.
And now I'm afraid I really must tear myself away from the computer and attend to the laundry situation which is currently reaching alarming levels. Have a great day, and if you live in the northeast (or anywhere else experiencing a heat wave this week) keep cool!
One of the nicest things about summer nature study is that it is so easy - enticing even - to enjoy nighttime events, of both the social and natural variety. Warm weather, late sunsets, relaxed bedtimes ... all mean much ado after dark. Really though, you need go no further than your own backyard for memorable and meaningful entertainment. Just look up and you won't be disappointed.
"The summer is an inviting season for making the acquaintance of eight of the fifteen brightest stars visible in the northern latitudes. Few midsummer entertainments rival that of lying on one's back on the grass of some open space which commands a wide view of the heavens. There with a planisphere and an intermittently lighted flashlight with which to consult it, learn by sight, by name and by heart those brilliant stars which will ever after meet our uplifted eyes with friendly greeting. To teach the children in a true informing way about the stars, the teacher should know them, and nowhere in Nature's realm is there a more thought-awakening lesson."
Keeping all that in mind, here are some random nature thoughts I'd like to share this week.
~ Space Shuttle Sighting ~
Now, I'm a little fuzzy on all the details, but there will be something neat to see in the sky tonight and tomorrow night, just after the sun goes down. According to Spaceweather.com:
"On Tuesday morning, June 19th, space shuttle Atlantis is scheduled to undock from the International Space Station. On Tuesday night, the pair will fly in tandem over many US towns and cities including Detroit, Washington DC, San Francisco and Denver. Typical flybys take place shortly after sunset, with the pair first appearing in the northwest (look for the Big Dipper) and soaring overhead from there. The space shuttle appears first, followed by the ISS. Both spacecraft are bright and easy to see with the naked eye. Double flybys continue on Wednesday night, June 20th, before Atlantis returns to Earth on Thursday, June 21st."
I'm having a hard time pinning down the exact time to watch; Spaceweather is a bit coy on this point, linking twosites for further information. The latter link recommended a 9 p.m. viewing for the area in which I live - and that seemed strangely late to me - until it occured to me (duh), that 9 p.m. is just after sunset at this time of year.
So the boys will get to stay up a bit past bedtime tonight it looks like, for the space shuttle flying over (not to mention the space station) is a sight to see. Do you know, I have a very strong memory of being awoken by my parents one summer night when I was quite young, and brought outside to watch a satellite (or something or other) go over? I must have been very little because my brother was in my mother's arms. I think sometimes night memories can be the most dramatic in young and active imaginations.
~ Stars, Planets & Harry Potter ~
More things to look for in the summer night sky; this from the Boston Globe:
Lined up to the lower right of the moon at dusk are Saturn, and farther on, brilliant Venus. Very close to the moon is the star Regulus. Try binoculars.
I couldn't help noticing that Regulus is the name of Sirius Black's brother (Harry Potter's godfather) who may or may not have a part to play in the last HP book due out next month. If your kids are fans of the series, it would be fun to look for these characters' namesake stars this month (Sirius, the dog star, being the brightest of all). There's also a constellation called Draco the Dragon, but I'll leave that for another post.
Now, speaking of Venus (which, in case you've lost track, I had been several sentences back) ...
“Next to Mercury the beauteous one,
Venus, her father’s delight,
Unrivaled reigns, without sceptre or crown,
The glorious queen of the night.”
(From the Monthly Evening Sky Map by Nancy L. Moorefield, 1937)
What a nice copywork page for the nature journal! Perhaps with a sketch of the summer evening sky? The whole poem can be found in the Handbook of Nature Study; I may just post it in its entirety for Poetry Friday this week. (I was going to do so right here, but then this post would be ridiculously long. Even for me.)
~ The Solstice ~
The summer solstice occurs this Thursday at 2:06 p.m. This would be the longest day of the year, and consequently the night would be the shortest. A fun thing to do this week is to acquaint your children with the weather pages in your local paper, particularly the sunrise and sunset times. Record the times over the next few days (and do the math, fuguring out the total hours of daylight). Help them discover what happens over the course of the week.
~ A Full Moon & Strawberries ~
While you're there (at the weather pages, I mean) take a look at the moonrise time for each day as well. June's full moon will occur on the 30th, and last, day of the month; it is known as the Full Strawberry Moon. How about a day trip one day next week to the nearest pick-your-own strawberry farm? Why not read about The First Strawberries, too? Certainly on that night, strawberry shortcake is a must for dessert! Ooh, and not to skip around too much here, but do make a point to stop by Suzanne's Virtual Kitchen next Wednesday for The Strawberry Festival! I wonder if Suzanne knew her timing was so perfect? :)
Now, for a few final random nature notes ...
The daylilies are getting ready to burst ... I always look for these bright orange beauties the week or so before the Fourth of July.
You can see fireflies at night, and hear crickets as well. Summer would not be the same without either.
We also like to look for bats at dusk. They dash out of our woods and dive-bomb our yard. We cheer them on, hoping they'll take thousands of mosquitos a night (and they will).
Once we had an owl swoop through the yard; Bookworm swears its wings almost brushed his head. Bill backs up this incredible story - they had been out watching bats when a hooting deep in the woods caught their attention. Moments later a large creature swooshed through the dark yard, heading towards that mysterious sound. Now, I'll bet that will be a memory that will stay with Bookworm forever!
We found our first little toad the other day - I just love them, and they love our grass, pesticide-free as it is (the only lawn in the neighborhood to claim that I think). We've also got plenty of slugs, bugs and other toad-yummies. Bill is very careful of these guys when mowing (with the reel mower) out back.
Keep your eyes peeled and your ears tuned for baby birds; nestlings are emerging just now. We have the cutest family of sparrows nesting in of all places, a street lamp! They visit our feeders en famille every day and they are the funniest little creatures to watch. It's quite easy to tell the baby birds from the parents - they're the fluffy ones with open beaks and fanned out feathers, begging for a meal, and not wanting to budge from their branch. :)
Well, allrighty, I've kept you all here long enough! Have a fabulous night, everyone - open those windows, listen to the breeze and don't forget to look up after dark!
********************************************************************Update, Update, 9:05 p.m. ~ Wow, did you see them?! We just came in from the front yard where we watched the shuttle and the ISS pass over as a pair! They were easy to see - two good size lights, a bit apart from each other, but moving steadily together across the sky from northwest to northeast. So cool! But I can only imagine what someone might think if they did not know in advance what those two lights were! Remember, they go by again tomorrow night - definitely worth it! And hey, how about that milky, golden crescent moon off in the western sky? Very warm, light breeze; we had a few bats fly by, too. Still just light enough to see, but now the dark's closing in fast ... OK, time to get these kiddoes off to bed. Good night! :)
"In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous."
This quote by Aristotle is perfect for today, for the fleeting and frenzied season of Late Spring is indeed a marvelous time of the year. No matter where you live, wherever you look there's something amazing to see and to do! There are gardens to plant, flowers to pick, birds to watch, bugs to catch, woods to hike, creeks to cross and ... well, I could go on and on. But instead, I will let my Field Day friends do that for me. :)
First though, please let me thank you all for your patience and understanding throughout the Field Day postponement. I am grateful to everyone who participated and I appreciate your enthusiasm and support! (And if by some chance I missed you - if you don't see your post here - please send me an email, or leave me a comment, and I will remedy the situation ASAP!)
Without further ado, let's set out for our Late Spring Field Day! There are many wonderful posts to share, and, thanks again to my friend Marcie, many gorgeous photos as well. Field Day would not be the same without them!
To begin, let's check in with Silvia at Po Moyemu as she shares Images from Her Rural Life including an undercover turtle, a nest-that-almost-was, a busy bee and some very funny chickens. Next she describes the joys of Gardenschooling with her son - what a terrific home-learning day! And finally Silvia shares her surprise when she recently discovered a Skink in Her Yard!
Speaking of skinks (a creature I'd barely heard of before, and here I now have two to admire) ...
Marcie's husband found this fellow hanging out in their carport!
Becky at Farm School delved Into the Woods with her family and came home with a bountiful spring harvest ~ seven liters of morel mushrooms! We found some morels last year too, but we just stared at them, lol. Becky had the forethought to make the most of them, and in a most delicious way!
Rose at Pretty in Pink shares a montage of breathtaking pictures from her Victorian yard ~ and one can see why she has the perfect setting for a fabulous Late Spring Field Day. Stop by to admire her lush gardens - so colorful and interesting!
Jennifer at As Cozy as Spring also has a most lovely and lively garden - lovely for its blooms, lively for its visitors! Stop by and take a peek in her Backyard Guide Book. There are butterflies today ~ perhaps spiders tomorrow?
A butterfly resting in Marcie's Bradford Pear.
Jenny at Wildwood Cottage has seen a rainy spring, but it has hardly dampened the spirit of her lovely gardens. She was inspired by Tasha Tudor (one of my favorite authors) to take us on a late spring garden tour of her beautiful Flowers!
Back in the April Early Spring Field Day, Theresa at Lapaz Farm, showed us how to construct inexpensive nets for a stream nature study. In today's post, she announces "We're Back with a Splash" and shares with us all the cool and interesting things they found in their stream. Don't miss their photobucket slide show for even more exciting images!
Alice at Cottage Blessings always has wonderful activities planned for her children, and recently, after a whirlwind spring "at the theater," she found it time to announce, a Return to our Regularly Scheduled May. First up ~ a lovely, sentimental walk through the grounds of a local and beloved garden.
A honeybee clinging to a thistle.
Spring has brought many delights for Dani and family at Artful Thoughts. In their Spring Nature Journals they have captured the sights and sense of spring itself (love the twig binding!). Her son Quinn's Spring Lapbook, filled with memories and information, will be an amazing keepsake for years to come. And I am sure Quinn will also long remember the adorable Fairy House crafted by his older brothers especially for him.
Meadowlarks, tanagers and buntings - oh, my! And how about those hummers?! Meredith at Nature's Sweetness has been enjoying myriad Backyard Bird Tales with her dear children. What a happy spring for them all, with so much bright color to behold and so many sweet songs to learn!
Mary Chris has found the joys of nature in her own Little Pocket as well as while out and about. She takes us along on a few Late Spring Field Days to see turtles, bluebells and some very smart fish. All that is quite exciting, but I have to say, I would just love to join Mary Chris for that morning coffee in the midst of her lovely backyard.
Nissa from Simple Gifts shares with us two lovely spring photos, capturing the busy-ness of spring. The first shows a nesting catbird in her family's French lilac:
And the next shows a "most perfect" beaver lodge and dam in the sparkling spring sunshine:
Susan at Chicken Spaghetti talks about three of my most favorite things in her Field Day post. In Bird Books for Children, you will find an extensive list of literature for children of all ages. I can't wait to check them out, for you all know how I feel about birds. In fact at this very moment I am straining my eyes to see just what bird that is perching outside my computer desk window ...
And Speaking of Perching, Michelle at Living Waters has been watching a lovely pair of songbirds along with her children who have dubbed the pair Derek and Odette. Could a nest be any more romantic than one situated in a basket of fragrant spring flowers?
Minding his own business, just being a frog. :)
Meanwhile, Leticia at Cause of our Joy has started a lovely new tradition - Sundays at the Nature Preserve. How fortunate are her children to have a father so knowledgeable and eager to share his love of nature with his family. I can't wait to see more!
Marjorie always has fascinating and inspiring nature posts at her blog, Lettres de mon Moulin. Today is no exception - as her family explores those Shelled Wonders - Turtles and Crayfish. Marjorie recounts their newly made armored acquaintances and offers excellent tips for our own study should the opportunity ever present itself. (Fingers crossed!)
Spring has arrived at long last up north, and Angela's dear family has shifted into summer mode. At Three Plus Two there are plenty of Birds, Bugs and Botany to observe and explore. I predict a very busy and happy summer for them all!
And here comes dear Waltzing Matilda who offers us some lovely photographs for Field Day, all hallmarks of the late spring season (well, maybe except for that "wolf," lol). Stop by to see a passing spring rain, vibrant garden blooms and a spectacular rainbow!
And speaking of rainbows ...
An evening rain brought this beauty to Marcie's neighborhood!
So much of the thrill in birding lies in discovering a new bird at your feeders. Ruth and family at Just Another Day in Paradise have had a wonderful time drawing in new birds to observe. Check out her Birdwatching archive to join in their excitement!
Donna at Moments Like These is also raising several Birders in Training. A recent trip to a nature preserve yielded many sightings of several new species. Take a peek at Donna's Baltimore oriole pictures - just lovely! She offers some great birding tips as well. (Ooh, and this just in - Birders in Training Part II! What a shot!)
As you all know, I love a good nature mystery, and Kimberlee at Pondered in My Heart had an intriguing Empty Nest Syndrome on her hands recently! Some thoughtful field work ensued, and the mystery was at long last solved ... what could have happened to those eggs? Stop in and find out!
Beth at Woman of the Tiger Moon spends much time in her yarden (love that) with her dear little son, Larkin, a boy after his Mama's green heart! Grab a cup of coffee and join them for Reflections on One Good Spring Morning - and don't miss those bunny pictures!
Plus Beth shares two grand photos of her kids enjoying the very best kind of Field Day - a real one!
I just had to wrap up my post with that above shot. It is truly the essence of nature study with children - getting them out there and letting them take such JOY in our marvelous world!!
As always, I thank you all for joining me on this Late Spring Field Day. I hope you'll consider a return visit later on in the summer - right about first harvest, perhaps? Mid-August or so?
For, already spring fever is winding down, and very soon the hazy-lazy days of summer will set in ...
The afternoons will hum with the drone of bees and cicadas. The sun will bare down on us, and we will retreat to the shade and the cool of indoors. Storm clouds will gather in the west and the wind will scarcely move - nor will we. So for now, relish the fresh air, the brilliant blooms and the busy energy of spring - tuck these sweet little things away in your heart, and carry them with you all year.
Little drops of water, little grains of sand,
Make the mighty ocean and the pleasant land.
Thus the little moments, humble though they be,
Make the mighty ages of eternity …
Little deeds of kindness, little words of love,
Help to make the earth happy, like the heaven above.
My friend Jennifer is hosting The Loveliness of Taking Meals Outdoors this week, and I really hoped to take part. I had thought that this weekend I would photograph our deck as we set it up for the summer, for this is the place where we dine out of doors when we do - though we don't do it nearly enough.
I'm at a bit of a standstill, however - rain, thunder and chilly temperatures have put a cramp in our plans! It seems we will have to wait for next weekend, but I still wanted to share this picture with you; it is the view from my kitchen window. Hopefully I'll have a much different picture to show you next weekend!
In the meantime, I thought I would share a few memories of some of my favorite meals enjoyed out-of-doors:
~ Cooking over the fire as a Girl Scout on those little tuna can bunsen burners - anyone else remember these? I remember we made tiny chocolate cakes that tasted of woodsmoke. Perhaps not delicious, but memorable.
~ Bill and I were very fond of picnics when we were dating. We especially loved hot cider, oatmeal cookies and cheddar cheese in the fall. One year I even painted him a picnic basket as a birthday gift, and outfitted it with all the necessities (cutlery, napkins, plates, cups etc.). Goodness, I wonder where that's gotten to?
~ Sitting on the porch steps at my grandparents' house, dipping rhubarb stalks into a teacup of sugar, or eating from a Dixie cup filled with tiny tart blueberries.
~ Picking raspberries with my cousins in Maine and eating most of them before we got back to the cottage.
~ Popsicles and ice cream sandwiches, always eaten on the back steps on hot summer nights.
~ I think my most favorite thing to grill has to be a marshmallow. Do those sweet confections ever taste better than when they're oozing and burnt to a crisp? Only when they're sandwiched between graham crackers and chocolate. Old-fashioned s'mores are Bookworm's June birthday request this year.
~ We always had a big family party every Fourth of July - I remember the charcoal grill, the tall glasses of iced tea, the flag cake with berries and whipped cream. I mostly remember running all over the place with my cousins - jumping out of the pool only long enough to grab a quick bite and get warm.
~ Perhaps the best memory of all - plucking cherry tomatoes in my grandpa's garden and enjoying them right there in the shade of the cornstalks.
Well, thanks for sharing in my alfresco memories this evening! Do stop by Jennifer's for all the details on her upcoming fair. Her inviting picture today has me planning to take my coffee outside the first sunny morning this week!
"God gave us our memories so that we might have roses in December." ~ J. M. Barrie
Hail, and blessed be the hour and moment at which the Son of God was born of a most pure Virgin at a stable at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold. At that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, to hear my prayers and grant my desires. Through Jesus Christ and His most Blessed Mother. Amen.