Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Spring is on the way

Fairy house
Originally uploaded by pwinn.

It rained here all weekend so I went out to the garden this morning to see what was sprouting. My herbs are starting to come up. You can see the chives in the picture. Also, many of my perennials are coming back. Maybe they can have a chat with my vegetable plants who haven't grown at all in the last month.
We haven't spotted any fairies yet but we know they are around.

February 28, 06, Tuesday

Grace and Emily
Originally uploaded by pwinn.
We went to the dentist this morning and are now back at home. The girls are doing a great job with their handwriting. Emily even asked for more!!
Benjamin is learning how to write his name..and the full version too. No writing "Ben" around here!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Grace and Emily's Room

Originally uploaded by pwinn.
We rearranged Grace and Emily's room this weekend. We put their bunk beds back up so they have so much more room now. We got some new baskets and storage chest at IKEA.

The spot in the corner is a cozy place to read. Fern likes to try and climb the netting.

Reading corner
Originally uploaded by pwinn.

The dolls and stuffed animals have had a delicious breakfast.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Phillip ordered the new part for the dishwasher and it should be here Friday. :0)

Friday, February 24, 2006

New Haircuts

Originally uploaded by pwinn.
This afternoon we went to the post office, grocery store and hair salon. Emily is very sensitive to elastics or barrettes in her hair so we keep it short. I think she looks cute! Benjamin's hair grows so fast we can't keep up with it...he loves his new cut too. Grace is working on growing hers out again. She got it cut for "Locks of Love" a few months ago.
It started raining while we were out. Everyone just had hot chocolate and are now playing "dress-up."

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Tip of the Week

Do NOT, I repeat, do NOT cram your garbage disposal full of cooked pasta.
The good news is, the area under my sink is really clean now. :0) Oh, and so is my husband, who had to have a shower after the whole ordeal.

One my my favorite things

Originally uploaded by pwinn.
My sister and I were yardsaling one morning about 2 years ago. I noticed some quilts laying on the the lawn so I stopped. The lady in charge told me that her husband's Aunt had made the quilts. Her name was Audrey (everyone called her Aud), she lived up in the Appalachian Mountains, in a cabin with no running water or electricity and liked to pass the time quilting. I got this queen sized one that I keep on my bed, and a yellow and white baby quilt - both for $30.00! They are both hand sewn and quilted.

One day, I took it into the quilt store and was told it contained some depression-era fabrics. The kids try and see how many different prints they can see...they each have a favorite one.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Hand Towel

Originally uploaded by pwinn.
I embroidered my first hand towel tonight. It only took about 1 1/2 hours...I did it while watching the olympics. On to Easter now...I might do a bigger project.

A new piano student!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.
Here is my piano area. This is the piano I took lessons on when I was young. The beanie babies on top each represent a letter of the musical alphabet. Alligator is for A, Bear is for B, Cat is for C, etc.

I was very nervous to find out my new student was an 11 year old boy! But he was so polite and sweet. I opened the front door and his hand was already out, ready to shake mine. He told me his name and said "nice to meet you!"
When he sneezed he insisted on washing his hands before touching the piano again.
When the lesson was over I said to him, "You just played your first song on the piano, how does it feel?" He said, "Awesome!"
I am looking foward to the next lesson.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Happy President's Day!!

The kids
Originally uploaded by pwinn.
I printed off some fun worksheets and games about President Washington and President Lincoln, for the kids. We also found some neat coloring pages.
Everyone made a replica of the log cabin Lincoln was born in and we are having a cherry pie to honor Washington. Anything to have a pie, right?!
Here is a interesting bit of trivia I'll bet you didn't know. Washington wore false teeth made of hippopotamus ivory.

Cherry Pie
Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

New Pens

New pens
Originally uploaded by pwinn.
Kurt asked about my fountain pens. They are actually called dipping pens and two of them are glass dipping pens which are very neat. They are easy for the girls to use and because the tips are twisted, they hold quite a bit of ink, so you don't have to dip quite so often. The Spencerian Handwriting book comes with 5 workbooks. I hope to start on them this week.
I ordered everything from www.hopechestlegacy.com for my birthday.


Originally uploaded by pwinn.
I fixed up our new doll highchair this weekend. I oiled up the wood, put a fresh coat of paint on the tray and gave it a new seat cushion. My friend, Elizabeth sent me the fabric last year. Emily's doll tried it out for breakfast and gave it a two thumbs up!

Saturday, February 18, 2006

A Winter's Fire and Tea

Originally uploaded by pwinn.
We didn't get the ice that was expected but it is still very cold outside. We have spent the day watching movies, using our new fountain pens and reading. We just had hot chocolate, string cheese, oranges and peanut butter cookies so everyone is full. I'm ready for a nice nap!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Treasure finds

Treasure finds
Originally uploaded by pwinn.
Here are a few things from our treasure hunt today. We went to our favorite re-sale store. Isn't the old fashioned doll desk cute?? The tin is a Mary Engelbriet lunch box and 2 teapot tea light holders.

The girls and I fell in love with this little highchair. I have no idea how old it is, but I'm going to at least pretend it is an antique! We have plans to recover the seat. We were talking about all the little dolls that have had their supper in this chair.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.


Sunsets red and quiet air;
Ponds are ice and trees are bare;
Fields are frozen far and near;
February days are here.
Bitter cold the night draws down
On the country and the town,
But in cheerful warmth we sit,
And the nursery lamp is lit.

Then, when mother stops our play,
Father puts his book away
And he makes upon the wall
Shadow pictures for us all.
There a rabbit wags its ears
Or a grinning face appears
Or a swan with feathered wings
Ships and many other things:
Last of all a night-capped head
Then we know its time for bed.
-K. Pyle

We are all ready for the winter storm expected to arrive this evening. I have covered up my vegetables with sheets and filled up the bird feeders. Our female cardinal waited up in the tree for me to finish. By the time I got back in, the male had joined her at the sunflower seeds.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

A late birthday gift arrives

Originally uploaded by pwinn.
Grace has an American Girl doll, Molly. I ordered her a horse toy named Patriot for her birthday but it was on backorder until the middle of February. We finally got it today. We looked on UPS tracking to find out where exactly it was. It supposedly was on the truck by 12:18pm but by 3:00pm still no package so we went to run some errands to pass the time. When we got back, there the box sat by the front door.

Grace introduced Patriot to Molly and all are happy around here this evening.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Mend on Wednesday

Sewing stuff
Originally uploaded by pwinn.
Laura Ingalls Wilder's Ma used to say:

"Wash on Monday,
Iron on "Tuesday,
Mend on Wednesday
Churn on Thursday
Clean on Friday
Bake on Saturday
Rest on Sunday."

We were cleaning out our linens draw and found my old set of Sunbonnet Sue "days of the week" towels. Grace dug out Wednesday's towel and announced we should do a little sewing today.

I bought some new fabric a few days ago. I'm going to make a table cloth and some napkins out of the red fan material. The sewing tin I got for my birthday and Grace and I found the Mary Engelbriet sewing purse on sale. Inside the purse is a pincushion.

Grace has been wanting to make a pillowcase out of some horse fabric she bought a few months ago. I have a old sewing machine that has a hand crank but Grace learned out to sew using the pedal today!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

She did a great job.

She tested out the pillowcase afterwards and is all ready for bed tonight...sweet horsey dreams, Grace.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Valentine's Day
Originally uploaded by pwinn.
The kids woke up to a Valentine from me, along with some candy. We had a nice day together. Emily made some sugar cookies with raspberry and strawberry jam. She picked the recipe out herself and I helped her follow the directions. I made pasta with a creamy mushroom, red pepper and parmesan sauce, along with a spinach salad. Emily said after dinner that it was the best Valentine's Day ever!!

Valentine's Dinner
Originally uploaded by pwinn.
If you look closely, you can see Fern curled up in her tree sound asleep.

Benjamin's 5th Birthday!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.
Benjamin started the morning snuggling with me for awhile and then he wanted to see his presents! Since we hadn't finished his room yet, we covered the door with wrapping paper and said he could open it later in the day. He had a delicious, nutritious (maybe not!) breakfast of chocolate rice krispies. For birthdays, I let the kids pick out whatever cereal they want.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.
Fern snuck up on the table after everyone was done and helped finish off the milk.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Here is Batman ready to fly off to his next adventure!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Not to be undone....here is Emily's version of Batgirl!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.
Benjamin got some new playdough toys from his Aunt and Uncle and shared nicely with his sisters. Grace made a playdough fish.

Dirt Cake
Originally uploaded by pwinn.
Benjamin requested a dirt and worm cake and that is what he got! The dirt is made from crushed oreos...the worms I found in my garden. ;0)

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.
Happy Birthday Benjamin!!!

Five Years Ago

Originally uploaded by pwinn.
Here is Benjamin just a few hours old. He weighed in at 9lbs. 15 1/2 oz. I sure didn't miss that extra 1/2 ounce!! He was such a sweet, calm baby. Hardly ever cried. He loved to snuggle and slept through the night at 6 weeks old!!! It's hard to believe 5 years has gone by.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Monday, February 13, 2006

A new room...finally!

****Thank you to all who posted comments. I accidentally deleted the comments while rearranging the photos. Sorry! :0(****

Originally uploaded by pwinn.
The decorating got started on Saturday evening but I thought one could remove wallpaper border, paint *3* coats of paint, fix the paint I got on the ceiling, have paint dry, put up curtains and decorations, put all the toys back in 6 hours. You can laugh now!!! We decided to turn it into a weekend project. Phillip was sick all weekend but was still sweet enough to drive to IKEA, help me pick out new furniture AND put it together!! I sewed the curtains and put up glow-in-the-dark stars tonight. I put them up to look like the real constellations. We have The Big Dipper, The Lizard, The dog, The crown, The Queen's Arms, The Dolphin, The Arrow, and The Swan. It looks sooooo cool in the dark! I'm sorry about the glare, I'll take more pictures tomorrow in the daylight.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

New bed
Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Saturday, February 11, 2006


Benjamin turns 5 tomorrow and as part of his gift I am redecorating his room. My mom and I put this teddybear border up 7 years ago when I was expecting Emily. All the crib bedding matched and it was a pretty cute room, but not for a 5 year old boy.

As I write this, half the border is down and the other half is soaking. I am so pleased with how easy it was. I scored it first, then painted on two layers of wallpaper remover. Scraping time for far....15 mintues!! Grace is my big helper for the afternoon.

Stay tuned for AFTER photos.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

The Amish

Several of my friends enjoy learning about the Amish as much as I do so I want to share some books that I have read.

-Plain and Simple - A Woman's Journey to the Amish by Sue Bender

-Amish Women by Louise Stoltzfus

-Amish Home by Raymond Bial

-Better off - Flipping the Switch on Technology by Eric Brende

-The novels by Beverly Lewis are very good

Our library also has several videos so check out your local library and see what you can find.

Friday, February 10, 2006

A special birthday gift

Originally uploaded by pwinn.
This is what I've decided: 30th birthdays aren't so bad when you get jewelry!! I'll admit it, I love jewelry..especially rings. I recieved this 3 stone opal ring (along with matching earring and necklace!) in the mail yesterday from my parents and siblings. You can't tell in the picture but the stones have lots of rainbow flecks. My parents have always given me a piece of jewelry for special occasions. My 12th birthday, high school graduation, my last Christmas at home, wedding, the birth of Grace, and now my 30th birthday. I just love it and it reminds me that I have the best parents in the whole world.

My kitchen window

Originally uploaded by pwinn.
I want to brag about all the wonderful friends that have sent me birthday and valentine's cards. As you can see my kitchen shelves are overflowing with beautiful cards and letters. Thank you to all of my friends.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

My week so far

I pick Phillip up at the airport in a few hours. He has been in Portland, Oregon since Monday. He hardly ever travels for work but the last time he did all the kids got low-grade fevers and stomach aches. The same thing happened this time!!! Now I'm wondering if they get sick from stress that Daddy is out of town. They seem to be all better today.

After they went to bed, I cleaned out the garage. I've been meaning too for a few months now, we could barely park the van in there! Phillip's pick-up truck is now full and ready to go to the dump. I have a good-sized garage sale pile. I'm going to sort everything tonight. My goal is to make 50.00 to put towards livingroom curtains. I'm not having much luck with those. I found some Waverly fabric on ebay for a great price but my sewing machine can't handle fabric that heavy. I'm going to check out a few stores this weekend for some already sewn ones.

The kids are watching "Cinderella" and as soon as its over, we are on our way to Home Depot for some paint, brushes, and drop cloths. First on the list is Benjamin's room. I'm re-doing it for his birthday on Sunday. I'll take some before and after pictures.

I'm leaving you with this picture of Fern. I'm exhausted from the last 3 days. This is what I will be doing ASAP!!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Making cards the cheap way

Making cards
Originally uploaded by pwinn.
We found an old copy of Martha Stewart magazine at the bookstore and inside she uses pencil erasers to make stamps. All the flowers you see on this card were made with either an entire round eraser on the tip of a pencil, 1/2 an eraser tip, or a 1/3 of a tip. Very easy to slice off with a steak knife. Dab on a ink pad and you get some pretty flowers. The girls and I had fun making some thank you cards today.

Our Monday, February 6, 06

We are having a good Monday. I decided to investigate some things up in the closets and re-discovered some books on tape and puppets. The kids have been busy playing with their "new" toys. I didn't realize how many baby toys we still have so I think I'm going to clean out the garage and closets and have a garage sale this Friday. All the proceeds will go to home decor. I'm going to be putting up curtains and painting this week.

Listening to tapes
Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Puppet show
Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Potato Cheese Soup

4 potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1/2 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 small onion, minced
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups milk
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese

1. Saute carrots, celery and onions in a litte oil until the onions are carmelized.
2. Transfer vegetables to a pot and add potatoes, vegetable broth and salt to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until potatoes are just tender. Stir in milk.
3. In a small mixing bowl, blend butter, flour, parsley, and pepper; stir into potato mixture. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly.
4. Remove from heat. Serve with grated swiss cheese.

You can leave the potatoes unpeeled if you like. Grace and Emily like it better this way. When we read Charlotte's Web, Wilbur's favorite part of his morning slop were the potato skins. Gosh, I love my soup being compared to slop...LOL

I love Half Price Books

Book finds
Originally uploaded by pwinn.
I had a great time at the bookstore. I woke up on my birthday and read some new Victoria magazines so that cheered me up. I'm not going to tell you how many out of print Victoria's I found ( I don't want to make anyone sad!) but I did find some duplicates to share. I found three E. Nesbit books. The kids and I are going to start "Five Children and It" tonight. I got "A stitch in time" which is a quilt trilogy. It takes place in the late 1800's. Last, but not least, I found a Louisa May Alcott book that I had not heard of. "Under the Lilacs." I know you aren't supposed to judge a book by its cover, but this book has a very nice one. :0)
The cashier gave most of the Victoria's to me for $1.00 plus 15 % off my total bill. And she didn't even know it was my birthday!