Thursday, August 31, 2006

Fairy Days

Here are all the pictures from my "Fairy Days" Calendar. :0)

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

This valentine fairy has a rose petal dress and silver wings. She is gently falling through the sky, surrounded by tiny hearts. It looks like a love arrow is headed straight for her. :0)

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Here is a perfect spring fairy. She is sailing through pink apple blossoms. She has lovely long braids, tied with white ribbons and a pink parasol helps to keep her afloat.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Can you spot the fairy among all the pretty jeweled flowers?

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

The mermaid fairy has several fish to keep her company down at the bottom of the sea. Can you see the pearl buried in the sand?

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

The autumn fairy is playing in the leaves. Her dress is sprinkled with gold dust and she has matching gold bracelets on her wrists.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

The December fairy is ready to go to a Christmas party, she even has a gift in hand. :0) Her dress is made of silver ribbon and burgundy feathers, and a feather in her hair completes her outfit. The tree is a lovely fern leaf, decorated with silver trim and red balls.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Thank you for looking at one of my favorite things!

My Favorite Things ~ Fairies

Have you ever heard about the two young girls, who somehow managed to photograph fairies playing in their woods? Back in 1917, this caused quite a stir throughout England. I'm not going to give the ending away though. It's called Fairy Tale - A True Story if you want to take a look.

So, I thought I would share some of my favorite fairy things. The first picture is of my silver fairy windchime. It is out in the fairy garden of course. ;0)

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Grace made this fairy house from a kit a few years ago. I like toys that can actually be played with so these fairies have been taken out to play in the water and mud so often their little faces have worn off! Time to get out the sharpie marker!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Let me introduce you to our tooth fairy. I bought her at a home candle show before Grace was born! Her hand is perfect for holding a little tooth until it can be exchanged for 4 quarters. :0)

Tooth Fairy
Originally uploaded by pwinn.

For my last birthday, my sister-in-law made me the most wonderful calendar. Here on the July/August page you can see a "mermaid fairy" swimming!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

For the next two months I will get to look at this cute leaf fairy. My sister-in-law has put the most amazing details into every page. I wish you all could see it in person!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Last, but not least, we can't forget about fairy food. Chocolate covered candied tangerines. The candy isn't all that great but we all know I just wanted the box. ;0)

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

The Flowers

All the names I know from nurse:
Gardener's garters, Shepherd's purse,
Bachelor's buttons, Lady's smock,
And the Lady Hollyhock.

Fairy places, fairy things,
Fairy woods where the wild bee wings,
Tiny trees for tiny dames--
These must all be fairy names!

Tiny woods below whose boughs
Shady fairies weave a house;
Tiny tree-tops, rose or thyme,
Where the braver fairies climb!

Fair are grown-up people's trees,
But the fairest woods are these;
Where, if I were not so tall,
I should live for good and all

~Robert Louis Stevenson

Thank you for looking at all my favorite fairy things!! Are there are other fairy fans out there?!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Playing in the Rain!

The last nice rainfall we had was back in May. It was wonderful to wake up to everything wet this morning! I was all ready to start our tighter schedule, when it started to rain again. I love to sit on our back porch and just watch and listen so I said, "Just five minutes!"

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

The 5 minutes turned into half an hour of playing in the rain! Benjamin started by jumping in the puddles (always fun!) but Emily had a much more clever way of getting wet - collect rain water that is coming down the eaves into bowls and pour it over your head! LOL

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Poor Fern was so sad that she had to stay inside. :0(

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Thirty minutes passed by quickly and then everyone got dried off and changed. I made hot chocolate and we nibbled on gingerbread crisp cookies while I read some "rainy day" poems. See, it was an educational morning afterall. ;0)

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

I heard "This is the best day ever!" about 100 times so that is always nice!! I LOVE rainy days!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

S'more Pie

Surprise your family with this indoor version of a s'more!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

~S'more Pie~


1 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 1/4 cups sugar
6 tablespoons butter
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup cornstarch
6 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups miniature marshmallows


1. Heat the oven to 375F. In a mixing bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a separate dish and add it to the crumb mixture. Mix well and press mixture into a 9-inch pie pan and bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Allow crust to cool.

2. Beat the egg yolks in a medium bowl and set aside. Combine the remaining cup of sugar, cornstarch, cocoa powder, and salt in a saucepan. Set the pan over medium heat and gradually whisk in the milk, stirring until smooth. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly, then remove pan from heat.

3. Whisk 1/2 cup of the hot chocolate mixutre into the egg yolks. Repeat with 1 cup of the chocolate mixture, then return the chocolate and egg mixture to the saucepan. Boil over medium heat for 1 minute, stirring contantly.

4. Remove pan from heat and stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and the vanilla extract. Pour the filling into the pie crust and allow it to cool at least 15 minutes or chill it in the refrigerator overnight.

5. Just before serving, heat the oven to broil. Cover the pie with the mini marshmallows and place in oven for about 30 seconds or until the marshmallows are lightly browned. Watch carefully, or the marshmallow will burn! Serve warm or chilled.

I will now leave you with some wise words from Miss Piggy:

"Never eat more than you can lift!" :0)

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

August 26, 06 Saturday

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

We had company over for dinner tonight. I used my summertime tablecloth and seashell napkin rings, since in another week, I'll be getting my fall things out. :0)

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

The soup ingredients are very simple but when left in the crockpot all day, something magical happens! My father-in-law had three bowls of it tonight!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Here is the recipe.

~Vegetable Cassoulet~

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 pound dry navy beans, soaked overnight. (You can also use 2 cans of navy beans)
4 cups mushroom broth
1 cube vegetable bouillion
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs fresh parsley
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 large potato, diced


1. Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir onion and carrots in oil until tender.

2. In a crockpot, combine beans, carrots and onion, mushroom broth, bouillon and bay leaf. Pour in water if necessary to cover the ingredients. Tie together parsley, rosemary and thyme and add to the pot. Cook on low for 8 hours.
3. Add the potato after 7 hours of cooking. Remove herbs before serving.

~"Come Lord Jesus, be our guest, And may our meal by thee be blest." - Martin Luther (1483-1546)~

Thursday, August 24, 2006

A Child's Prayer

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

I picked up these pretty sunflowers today while running errands. They brought to mind this sweet poem.

God, make my life a little light,
Within the world to glow;
A little flame that burneth bright
Wherever I may go.

God, make my life a little flower,
That giveth joy to all,
Content to bloom in native bower,
Although the place be small.

God, make my life a little song,
That comforteth the sad,
That helpeth others to be strong,
And makes the singer glad.

~M. Betham-Edwards

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Dreaming of Bullfrogs

You may not know this about me, but I love frogs and toads. When I put in my small watergarden 2 years ago I just assumed I would have a bullfrog move in right away. Another thing you may not know about me is sometimes I'm not patient! (I'm working on it!) So, I actually went to a watergarden store and bought a bullfrog tadpole. It was so fun to watch him change into a frog! To our disappointment, as soon as he had all of his legs he hopped away forever. So, I bought another tadpole! The same thing happened again!! In the meantime, I met the neighbor behind us who has a huge watergarden and at night I can hear my bullfrogs croaking at her place!

This past Monday, I was sitting at my desk, writing some letters and I heard a very loud croak. I ran to get Phillip and I was so excited he had to remind me to breathe!! :0) The frog croaked every 10 mintues for 3 hours!

Tuesday night, we had a small storm here and our internet connection was lost. Phillip spent 2 hours on the phone trying to get it fixed, which involved going out to our electric boxes that are right across from my watergarden. Surely this would have scared the bullfrog away.

This bring us to the pictures. I decided my watergarden needed a few more plants around it to make it even more welcoming to a bullfrog. ;0)

Here is the before picture:

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

After picture. Much more "pond-like" I think!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Last night, the only croaking I heard was from the pond across the street and I am so hoping my little friend decides to come back.

Here is a photo of a bullfrog. Isn't he cute?!!?!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Photo of bullfrog from

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Our Victorian Dollhouse

I haven't always loved dollhouses but when I saw this one out on my neighbor's patio getting rained on, something had to be done! :0) She wasn't sure about actually giving it to me so I said I would take care of it for her for awhile. It's been a year and half so I should call her and see if we can keep it for good. The girls and I would like to take off the old wallpaper, and put up some Victorian prints. Also do something more permanent with the carpet. We made all of the curtains and bedspreads. The pictures are cut out from magazines and framed with lace or ribbon.

So, let me introduce you to the Kent family.
As you can see, they live in a lovely three story home. Every inch of space is put to good use!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Here we see Edward and Lillian spending some time in the livingroom. The children all take lessons on the grand piano. It seems that Elsie, one of the twins is having trouble settling down for the night.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Mrs. Kent loves to sit at her desk and write letters. She has lots of family that live in the next state over. She likes to keep them updated on how the children are doing.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Let's head over to the diningroom. The dinner dishes have been washed and put back on the table. Mrs. Kent enjoys a nice cup of tea, as do all Victorian ladies! :0) She has a lovely teaset with pink roses and gold trim.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Oh, what do we have here? Little Thomas is not in his bed! He has lots of fun things to do in his room. He enjoys a good game of checkers and flying his kite. When he isn't looking, his twin sisters like to get into his train set. He is a good brother though and always shares with them!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Clara is not a night owl like her brother, she is sound asleep. So is little Emma. In the morning, they will have lots of fun playing together on their rocking horse!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Let's head down to the first floor now and take a peek into the bathroom. Mrs. Kent has decorated it with her two favorite colors, pink and yellow.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Here is the master bedroom. It was a good idea that Mr. Kent put a cradle downstairs. It looks like Elsie will be using it tonight. I think she has a tooth coming in, poor little thing!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

The last room on our tour is the kitchen. Such a fun room to be in. There is always something bubbling away on the stove and look at those delicious pastries for tomorrow's breakfast!!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Uh-oh, it looks like the family kitty needs to wake up from her nap! I certainly hope the plum pudding is covered!!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Thank you for visiting and come again soon!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Monday, August 21, 06

Good Morning! Is it Monday already?! We are going to start our schoolwork soon and then write letters this afternoon. I have potato soup on the menu for dinner and Benjamin has a game of baseball planned for this evening. :0) Oh, and Grace's doll Molly is scheduled for mouth surgery this afternoon. Just a quick and easy re-attachment of a mouth string. Nothing to worry about! ;0)

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Today's photos are of my finds at the dollar store last night. I like this store because everything is either a $1.00 or under. I'm not amused when I go into some dollar stores and see price tags that say $7.99! LOL
I thought these little candle holders were perfect for the cooler weather. Grace has a similar one but it holds a long taper candle but it makes me nervous!! A small tealight would also be nice because it would hold all the melted wax in.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

The girls and I went to some stationery stores Saturday, but we had the best luck at the dollar store. We even found pens to match the paper! :0)

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

I also found some fall decorations. For those of you who like to decorate for fall, do you wait until the first day of fall, which is the 23rd of September or do you start right after Labor Day (the 5th of September)?

Hope you all have a great Monday!!

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Originally uploaded by pwinn.


Make decisions after gathering information and considering consequences. Think things through before taking action.

~Make wiser decisions.
~Attain goals through forethought.
~Learn problem solving.
~Use caution.
~Consider the greater good.
~Learn from past mistakes.

Prudence in Action:

~This month, buy only what is needed.
~List pros and cons prior to making a decision.
~Analyze: What could have prevented this?
~Eat to satisfy hunger as opposed to eating until full.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Tips for Keeping in Touch

Phillip and Benjamin went out for some "guy time" tonight so Grace and Emily got out their ink pens and practiced their writing. It reminded me of a little something we picked up while running errands this week.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

We stopped into Marshalls and while standing in the checkout lane saw an American Girl Pen Pal Pack. Of course we had to take a closer look! :0)

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Inside is filled with notecards, postcards, stickers, ribbon, envelopes and notepads. There is also a little booklet called Tips for Keeping in Touch and I thought I would share some of the ideas with you. They are great for young and old alike!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Exchanging letters used to be the only way to keep in touch with family and friends who lived far away. Today, there are lots of options. Emailing is easy and phoning is fast. But letter writing is still popular because you can express ideas and share thoughts on paper in a way that's different from talking. It's always fun to get a handwritten, heartfelt letter in the mail!

~Grab a Great Greeting~
The beginning of a letter is called the salutation, which means "greeting." The common greeting in letters is "Dear" followed by the name of the recipient. You can also customize your greeting to fit the person to whom you're writing or the place you are writing from. Be sweet, be silly, or be sincere.
My dear, sweet friend
Greetings from...
Ahoy, mate

~Start with Heart~
The first sentence after the greeting is often the hardest to write. If you have great news to share, don't wait! Start by telling what happened and how you feel about it. If you can't think of an exciting event to write about, don't let that keep you from keeping in touch. Begin by telling the person you're writing to how much she or he means to you. If you get stuck, start with one of these openers:
I'm so glad you're my friend
You're the best Aunt around
I love it when we...
It's so wonderful the way you...
Nobody's grandma is as great as you

~Delight with Detail~
Think of letters you love to read or stories you love to hear. They're probably interesting because they include details that help you imagine what happened. Details can describe an event, a place, or a person. They can also explain what you think or how you feel about something.

~Send Sentences of Senses~
Many writers describe how things look. Don't forget to include how things sounds, smell, taste and felt.

~Add Art~
Pictures are another way to make your writing come to life. Include photographs, drawings and doodles in your letters. Cut out pictures from magazines or newspapers and paste them onto the page.

~Keep the Questions Coming~
Questions show your reader that you're interested in what she's doing. They also show her that your letter isn't for just anyone-it's especially for her! Ask about the activities she's involved in or what she thinks and feels about an issue. Questions will also encourage your reader to write back to you with the answers.

~Tuck in a Token~
Add a bookmark, sticker or bag of tea in the envelope. Slip a pressed flower between the paper of a letter. These little surprises will make your letters memorable. (If your gifts make the envelope bulky, you may need extra postage.)

~Do Something Different~
Letters don't all have to look the same. Write one in the form of a poem or a short story-starring you. Try a diary letter. Write a little bit about what you do every day for a week. Be sure to date each day's entry.

~Close with Class~
The words you write before you sign your name at the end of a letter is called a closing. The closing is one last way to express your affection for the person you're writing to. Some words or phrases are also known as endearments. Many letters end with "love" but there are all kinds of ways to tell someone you care.
With affection,
Your friend,
Cordially yours,
Best wishes,

Always remember that no one else talks or thinks exactly like you do. The unique way you express your ideas, thoughts and feelings is called your voice. Stay true to your voice when you write, and express what's in your head and your heart. Your letters will make your readers feel as if you're right there with them.

I hope this inspires you to send a letter to someone this coming week. :0)

Old-Fashioned Pincurls

Recently, Mrs. Wilt from The Sparrow's Nest shared photos of her hair up in old-fashioned pincurls. This week I experimented on Grace and Emily's hair and we were all happy with the results!

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

The first 2 photos are of the first try and their hair was completely dry. I put it in a simple ponytail and then separated it into 4-5 individual strands, twisted them, and coiled them into mini cinnamon rolls. I secured each one with two bobbypins.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

For the second try, after putting the hair in a ponytail I wet down each individual strand with water and it really helped to keep the hair in place. It also stayed up much longer. Lots of hairspray helped too! :0)

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

Originally uploaded by pwinn.

For more hairstyles and step-by-step instructions go to In Timely Fashion. My favorite is the first "regency" one with the ribbon. :0)