Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Stuffed Animal Bean Bag

I decided that we need a way to contain all of Lydia's stuffed animals, so when I saw this free pattern online (, I decided to try it.  It's even bigger than I expected, and it actually holds all of her stuffed animals.

It has a handle, so she can drag it around the house.  

So now she has a bean bag chair that stores her animals.  I really like the fabric, too.  I had a good coupon for JoAnn's and was just going to get whatever would work, but this print matches her room so well.  Gyunay loves it, too, so maybe I'll make a smaller one for him.  We'll see...

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

New Couches

The first time we bought a piece of furniture, it was our living room couch.  It was very nice for many years, but 13 years for a couch is a long time, especially with our family bouncing on it every day.  So we finally decided to buy a new living room couch and ended up with a couch and a loveseat.  The kids are still very excited about this!  
It was ridiculously hard trying to get Gyunay to smile in a non-cheesy fashion for this photo.  I finally gave up and went with this more serious look.  

I took this photo before I moved the brown recliner to the corner, but the couches are still in this vicinity.  We now have 4 reclining seats in the couches, which has thrilled the big boys and Lydia, although not for herself.  She doesn't use the recliners, but she's so happy that Pa will love them when he comes.  They are wonderfully comfortable, so much so that Nathaniel has taken over one side of the loveseat and let me move his recliner out of tv viewing range.  

Monday, February 12, 2018

Book Review - I Will Not Fear by Melba Pattillo Beals

I Will Not Fear: My Story of a Lifetime of Building Faith under FireI wanted to like this book more than I actually did.  The author's participation in the integration of Little Rock was fascinating, and this was the strongest part of the book, but it is only the beginning.  I wonder if her memoir Warriors Don't Cry would be more engaging for me.  Her story of severe, life-threatening racism is valuable and eye-opening, especially for someone of my age who always went to school with children of other races and thought it nothing unusual to have them over to our house or to go to theirs.
That said, as a story, it was a little disjointed after the first couple of chapters.  It was more a collection of memories, and no other people in her stories became fully "alive" to the reader.  And I came to have a real problem with her attitudes toward education over marriage about halfway through the book, when she kept stressing her mom's mantra of "Education lasts forever, but husbands are temporary."
Overall, I think she has been an important eye witness to a truly troubling era of our history, and she has certainly had an unusual amount of trials but has learned to rely on her faith to help her through.

I received this book from the publisher, Revell, for the purpose of writing a review, but all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Icy Beauty

We woke up to an icy show.  I was surprised that we had school today, but the roads are ok.  Everything else, however, is still coated in ice.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

January Egg Totals and Etc

January egg total - 103

I also managed to harvest one Bulgarian pepper this month.  I had the plant in a pot and moved it inside in October, and it has been slowly, slowly, maturing.  It was only one pepper, but it was delicious.  The plant has since died; it had done all it could.

Two other pots have been getting a lot of attention lately.  I had two beautiful pots of basil, but they are looking really sad right now. The reason, though, is quite funny.  Lydia has decided that basil is delicious, and she is constantly munching leaves from the plants.  Gyunay occasionally eats one as well, but Lydia is really in love with it.  She recently asked if basil is for sale in the grocery, so she could buy a big bag and eat it all.  I've taken note, and I plan on planting a lot more basil in the spring.

Monday, January 29, 2018

This and That

It was nice to have some downtime this weekend.  Saturday, the kids had some friends over, and at one point, we had 7 kids, aged 5-14, actually playing together in one room and having a great time.  When the kids are so spread out in age, that is pretty rare, but always nice.

Nathaniel and I also had a volleyball game last night.  It was so much fun.  I really enjoy playing, and January-March at our church league has been my only opportunity for years. 

Nathaniel and the boys also got all of our outdoor Christmas stuff down, so that was good before it freezes again. 

The kids were all so very excited to see that we had 2 mallards on the pond yesterday.  They are gone now, but everyone is hoping that they or others will return. 

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Sloth Manor

Lydia is really creative.  She and Malachi enjoyed a Junior Ranger Underground Rail Road program Saturday at our History Center.  They had a great time, and Lydia came home with a paper on making doll houses out of shoeboxes Sunday afternoon.  So Lydia and I went back to the History Center on Sunday, and she had a fabulous time making a mansion for her sloth.  (I made her a little crochet sloth.)
She did all of the work and design herself.  All I did was cut up the egg carton to her specifications because it was too hard to cut.

This is the sloth in the hot tub, next to the picnic table and chairs.

The upstairs, complete with 2 beds with pompom pillows.

The downstairs, with bunny toys in the corner.  Lydia has informed me that sloths love bunnies because bunnies are so fast and sloths are so slow, so Snowflake (the sloth) has bunny toys.  Also, on the table is a bowl of leaves, for dinner.