Thursday, December 29, 2011

Monday, December 26, 2011

...speaking of girls with power tools...

We have an un-landscaped area outside our front courtyard.
I came out one day & called Him on the phone to ask
"Ummm...are the girls SUPPOSED to be using power tools (alone)?"
He said 1 kept calling him during the day asking
"where are the the 3 inch nails, the screws, the wood glue...etc...?"
Girl-made shelters for dirt clod wars!
 They built them entirely by themselves & they have been using them mostly everyday since!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

{wintercrafting}wood projects with Daddy

He bought the girlies these neat little wood crafting kits. Each of the girls got a different kit :
a bug barn for 3,
 a treasure chest for 2
 a catapult for 3.
He & each of the girlies did them together one on one. These girlies LOVE to build stuff & work with tools so it was a perfect way to spend special Daddy/Daughter bonding time.
Happy Daddy...Happy Daddy's girls.
*i'm fully aware that i'm lagging on my winter crafting posts...well all my posts...BUT i'm thoroughly enjoying my time with family & friends right now :)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Fun with my newest love

He completely surprised me with the new iPhone 4S yesterday. Im so super excited! I'm having way too much fun playing with my newest love.
I took this pic of 1 on Instagram.
(YES! i actually finally have Instagram now YAAAY!!!) She's so cute so i thought it would be a good pic to test mobile blogging out with ;)
I'm already liking this.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

{wintercrafting}super simple globes

we filled clear fishbowl globes with:
 acorns the girls & i collected here,
cinnamon sticks
vanilla scented potpourri
vanilla candles
golden bells
(there are other bits of golden color that cannot be seen in the photo.)
super simple!

later the scent can be refreshed with scented oils, citrus peel, or adding fresh spices. 

we shared these with the master teachers, the horseback instructors & friends. everyone loved them.
each remarking on the natural beauty & how they completely capture fall/winter!
they totally got it!

we center our crafting around the seasons instead of holidays.
our projects seem to automatically be drawn too & involve natural elements. especially those found in our local environment.
 attempting to intentionally connect our life & life's rhythms with our natural environment & the changes each season brings, helps keep us in appreciation of this amazingly beautiful world that was so lovingly created for us to live in
(& RESPECT!!!).
no matter what season.

Friday, December 9, 2011

wintercrafting{acorn gathering}

the horse ranch where 2 rides is such an amazingly magical place.
it's takes a windy country road thru the mountains to get to & is completely surrounded by natural beauty.
time stands completely still out there
(sometimes we are out there for 3 or 4 hours, without even realizing it).
no cell service you have no choice, but to mellow out & absorb it all.
we always bring something to read along.
during 2's lesson, 1, 3 & i gathered fallen acorns from the properties many mighty oaks.

*the pix in this post took 3 days to i will post the wintercrafting project pix seperately over the next few days.
coming soon!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

{wintercrafting}so cool & so not cool

*so cool :: i'm currently loving these super cute single leaved heartshaped plants i found at a local store. wonder what they will look like as time goes on.

*so NOT cool :: i've been purging my crafting supply closet & we've been doing some fun wintercrafting with some of the goodies.
but *sigh* my no-speed country internet is taking forever (more closer to never) to load the pix, so hopefully i will get around to sharing our fun someday soon.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

{sisterly sundays}

still trying to get back into our post-vacation groove.
though it was nice to have our weekly Bible study Wed. & uplifting fellowship with our spiritual fam today. 

{spiritually speaking this week}
1.goals - aside from working towards more regular congregation meeting attendance, daily bible reading, & putting spiritual things first...i'm also working prayerfully on getting out of my stagnant comfort zone & doing more in my service to God. which thru a phone call actually happened today after we got home from our meeting :)

2.daily Bible reading - i'm actually in the book of Nehemiah. FINALLY finished Ezra WOOOHOOO!!! i was so ready to move on.

3.Bible scripture - even though our speaker was using it today in the context of recreation (what, when & whom)...this is one of my fave scriptures.

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are of serious concern, whatever things are righteous, whatever things are chaste, whatever things are lovable, whatever things are well spoken of, whatever virtue there is and whatever praiseworthy thing there is, continue considering these things. 

*to me this is such a refreshing list of guidelines to align our moral compasses with (especially considering alternative moral compass guides such as pride, greed, selfishness, immorality, etc...).
i cannot see where considering &  striving to seek any of these attributes in everything we (& our families) say, think, do, who we spend our time with, etc...can bring anything but peacefulness & contentment to ourselves & our lives.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

{5 around our house}

my neighbors have one of the most amazing sunny views
overlooking groves of trees & mountains.
the entire back of their house maximizes this view.
 our plentiful SoCal sunshine pours generous amounts of light into their home.
i edited this pic to make the contrast between light & dark more dramatic.
the girls & i  are working on descriptive writing combined with technology.
 the prompt assigned was light.
here is 1's (rough unedited)  & 2's (final) light prompt blog posts.
(BTW-they are fun to follow too...hint...hint)

{5 around our house}

1.currently loving::on PANDORA Zee Avi, Ernie Halter, Norah
                     Jones, BoyzIIMen, Esperanza Spaulding, Joss
                     Stone, Adele, Veggie Tales...sooo many!
                     *hot peppermint mochas {new fave}&
                     honeycrisp apple season
                     {MY ABS FAVE OBSESSION}
                     *warm fires(that i built by moi's self
                      mind you)snuggles under a blanket
                      & a shaggy little stinky brown dog
                      curled up at my feet. it's actually been
                      cold here (ok really cool). 
                      i miss the cold living in 
                      SoCal so i am thoroughly enjoying this!
2.currently reading ::[of the many]
                      *me-FINALLY finished The Dry Grass of
                      August & now reading Water for
                      Elephants. so far so good.
                      *1-is obsessively devouring The Hunger
                      Games. can't wait until i get a chance to 
                      read it & see what everyone is raving 

3.currently happy :: He & I got to go on a date! we don't
                      have childcare here, so on our vacation
                      last week we took full advantage & FINALLY
                      celebrated our anniversary (which
                      was actually in August). we had
                      a fun night of tailgating, football & tons 
                      of fun with friends & each other.  
                      i have super cute pic of us but i
                      promised Him i wouldn't share because
                      He was having an allergic reaction to
                      something unknown & one eye
                      was completely swollen shut. Poor Baby :(

4.currently relieved: that a certain shaggy little stinky 
                       brown dog AKA Prince Oliver Coco, after 5
                       long years is finally showing signs of
                       possible willingness to at least partially
                       loosely comply with the concept of     
                       potty training. maybe.
                       we're hoping ::
                       1.he's finally realizing that he would be  
                         THE abs perfect pooch if he would only
                         refrain from relieving himself in my
                         room...usually on my freshly cleaned
                         laundry! Grrr!
                       2.he realizes he will no longer have to
                         wear his grody indoor diapers among  
                         other grody things that come with!
                         win win for all involved...BELIEVE ME!
                       3.he realizes i would gladly stop
                         threatening DAILY to put his cute
                         BOOTY OUT OF MY HOUSE!!!

5.current soup from my new a soup a week pinboard 
click on link for recipe 


Thursday, December 1, 2011

we are back & better be bloggie safe than family sorry

real quick.
we're back from our roadtrip.
trying to recover & get back into the groove.
we had such a GREAT time visiting with our family & friends. one of the best!
lots of late nights.laughing. mama's house.
pretty much lots of everything we've been missing!

while we were gone i had this bloggie on private. eventhough our little bloggie was intended as our fam scrapbook (since i dont scrapbook much), i LOVE sharing little snippets of our lives that i'm comfie with, with other people. i think it's fun.
this bloggie may currently only have a small number of public followers, but it has had a big increase in regular (private/anon)traffic recently.
which again makes me a super happy girl & i welcome it, BUT some things got a little creepy, so...i went on a little freak out & decided to make some changes & clean our bloggie up all around.

here's a few of the changes:
  • i changed all of our names (yes on each post & comments). i changed my profile name. the girls are now known as 1 (oldest), 2 (middle) & 3 (youngest). which BTW i actually think is cool. Hubs is now Him, He, or some variation. from the beginning i regretted using our real names. i hope i caught it in time (creepy people).
  • i tried to remove any indication of our actual location.
  • i removed this bloggie from major search engines.
  • i'm also simplifying the nit-picky stuff (ex: labels, extra (DUMB) posts, etc...) & getting ready to print my post into our fam scrapbook.
call me paranoid, but when it comes to my fam fam...i'd rather be bloggie safe than family sorry. 
our five around our house coming soon :)

Friday, November 18, 2011

{five around our house}

a few zinnias are left hanging out in the garden. to start off her busy morning visiting the chickens & bunny, 3 brought this one in & put it in a vase for me while i was making breakfast. she said it looked like fall...she knows fall is her mama's all time favorite. {sweetgirl}

1.currently loving ::spending most of this week at the horse  
                      ranch with 2 because she won't
                      have lessons during the holiday.
                     (on top of soccer practices & make-up
                      games, workshops, conferences
                      bible study, errands, etc...)
                     *spending ALL of yesterday on the couch
                      after such a super busy week.
                      catching up on our DVR, magazines &
                      catalogs, napping & doing 
                      absolutely nothing. 

                     *popcorn sprinkled with nutritional
                      yeast obsessively about 3 pm everyday. 
                     (beats french fries!)

2.currently reading :: [of the many]
                      *us-the Incredible Journey on CD.  a
                      fantastic story to learn about the concept
                      of anthropomorphism. listening along to
                      the reader tell the story of the journey of
                      the three animal companions helps emphasize
                      the concept & the effect the writer
                      achieves in using it.
                      *this post - such an amazing writer.
                      we used this post to discuss & identify
                      descriptive words & foreshadowing in

                     *me-the book of Nehemiah (finally left Ezra)
                      still The Dry Grass of August. sad.
                     (because i never actually sit down & read
                      it...much rather sleep these days)
3.currently added :: my pinterest button up top below my 
                       @brwnsugarhoney twitter button
4.currently happy :: vacation starts today. nothing
                       intentionally school-ish what-so-ever for
                                     2 WEEKS!!!
                       (didn't say nothing educational. we
                       are always learning. can't help it.)
                       cannot wait to see our fam in a few days.
                       its been FOREVER!
5.current soup ::
 {cannellini bean & cabbage soup}

click link or pic for recipe

Monday, November 14, 2011

{five around our house}

currently loving {my oxfords in fall}

{five around our house} 
these are from last week.
behind again :)
my attempt at being 
little more personal
since im just not
that kinda blogger

*another autumn drink :: elderberry concentrate & apple juice for the change in season sickies. a big hit!

*current reads ::
among our many
Skellig...which we all love.
Dry Grass of August for me...(it's ok, just dont know why i cant get thru it).

*horribly sad ::
we had a horrible teacher tradgedy at our charter. he decided not living was easier than living for him...(so sad!).

*tweet tweet tweet ::
i added my @brwnsugarhoney twitter button up top.

*mama's kitchen ::
cooking in my La Creuset dutch oven everyday. soups, sauces,  dishes, everything.
the girls have been sooooo hungry, i decided to make one simple soup a week that they could heat up easily on their own.

{Simple & Delish Tomato-Basil Soup}

2 teaspoons olive oil (i personally like a good drizzle)

3 diced garlic cloves (or to taste)

1 can chicken broth (can add 2 if you like it richer)

4 cans(14.5 ounce)italian stewed canned tomatoes (didn't get many from my garden this year)

2 cups fresh basil, thinly sliced

salt & pepper to taste

fresh feta cheese for sprinkling on top

easy peasy.
you can get as fancy as you want, but i threw it all in my dutch oven & baked in the oven at 350 degrees for about an hour.
after 30 minutes i blended it all with my immersion blender then returned to the oven until the soup thickened & deepened red in color.
afterwards we topped with fresh feta cheese & avocado slices & served with grilled cheese sandwiches.
super simple & good!
*i love reading these types of posts on other sites. im not so much of a linky girl. i've tried it a couple of times & it makes me nervous for some reason. 
maybe one day i will brave it again :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011


How can the bird
that is born for joy,
Sit in a cage and sing...

*we are currently obsessively fascinated by the book Skellig on CD (we're purchasing the book this week).
the magical story itself
combined with being read in the author's accent are both haunting & completely captivating.
one the characters, Mina, is an homeschooled (& i assume unschooled girl).
one of the most brilliantly captivating character i've ever experienced i'll even dare.
i very much love the way her character portrays her families free, creative lifestyle & choice in their way of learning so beautifully & confidently.
William Blake's images, words & philosophy are prevelant thru out the entire book (prompting more research).
this all coming at the time when i've decided to wean us off of the textbooks more (meaning almost completely), opening the way for the amazing things that happen when we do.
Skellig (David Almond) has reaffirmed my courage & trust in us to do so.

*i love the girls young spirit in these pix.
free birds. 
their sense of total freedom, happiness & security.
(eventhough they found a snake skin where they were running around barefooted...they still felt safe!)
after co-op, the girls decided to hunt for owl pellets & it turned into this ::
they climbed. they dug.
they got completely dirty.
they imagined & pretended.
they explored.
they discovered.
they smiled & laughed & laughed & laughed.
& no matter the ages THEY PLAYED!!!
no one could get them to leave.
no one wanted them too really.
*p.s. all caught up on my co-op posts now :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

co-op{fall leaf crafting}

We began with a few activities like a short plant/leaf review lesson, plant/leaf vocab bingo game, stories about leaves,etc...
Then the kiddies were sent on a mission to gather leaves for fun fall crafting projects.

{leaf rubbing}
can't believe i deleted the pic of the finished product.
It was so pretty!
{leaf wax dipping}
one of the co-op kiddies beautiful display

We left the project open & everyone got creative.
Naturally, with the magical combination of imagination & curiosity we all began experimenting.
We dipped different objects,tried different techniques like dipping the leaves immediately in cold water which makes them glossy, putting different amounts of wax coating layers, adding glitter, dipping flowers, lots of ideas.
The girls & I brought our waxed creations home to make a garlands & other displays ideas.
We are going to do more dipping gift projects at home with beeswax.
(trying to find someone local willing to sell beeswax has been been quite a hunt)
* the fun didn't end here...until next post!