Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Fun Finds

We've had need of furniture since we have new rooms in the addition, so my husband and I have been taking turns shopping at the local Friday night auction frequently this year. I love the auction!

In addition to furniture, I've picked up a few lots with other things that I wanted-- some books, souvenir spoons, and cool stuff I thought I might be able to sell on Etsy. I've really enjoyed picking up items I want to sell because I can enjoy having and looking at the "stuff" without having it clutter up the house forever (as long as I'm able to sell it, that is).

Some of the finds I really liked most were the cards I picked up.

This joker cracks me up.

If anybody out there is a Hagerstown native, do you know anything about Ringer Electric Service or where the building featured on these cards is located?

Old "Remembrance" cards from Hagerstown

I think my favorite find was tucked in a box of souvenir spoons-- original cards for the game of Clue. I love the characters, and my son noticed something interesting about the revolver card. Can you see it, too?
It was Miss Scarlett with the revolver in the ballroom!

That's right. The "revolver" pictured isn't a revolver at all. Also, the versions of Clue I've always played showed the knife as a lethal looking dagger, but this version shows a regular (dull) table knife.  (If you're interested in seeing it, the picture is on my Etsy shop OR you could just google it.)

That's the kind of thing that gets me excited about my auction finds; I just have to be careful not to buy everything I'm curious about!


Monday, April 2, 2018


To be completely honest, while the following overheard snippets were actually heard by me (out of the mouths of my loved ones), I can't remember when. Yesterday I noticed them in a draft I had never finished.

I do hope you enjoy.

My husband noticed our son "taking care" of his baby sister and remarked incredulously:  "He wiped her hands with an English muffin!"

When asked if he wanted a balloon at the dentist's office, our dear boy said, "Hmm. I'm not sure. A balloon is a lot of personal responsibility that I'm not sure I want."

I only wish I could remember ALL of the crazy things that are done and said around here!

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Dear Spring

Dear Spring,

     I am sorry you have been delayed. I was so looking forward to greeting you today when you arrived. I hope you have not met with any misfortune.

     At the same time, if your tardiness is on purpose, I must point out to you that this is a serious breach of contract. The calendar clearly states that today is the first day of spring. You have an obligation. I do not mind that you visited already for a few days in January and in February; I have had my hopes set on your arrival for your three-month sojourn for so long. I have anticipated and prepared. Do not let me down!

     Of course, perhaps you have been put off in recent years by my blossoming friendship with autumn. Let me reassure you that nobody will ever replace you in my heart.

     Please come soon!

                                                                                   With warmest wishes,


Monday, March 5, 2018

Little Boy

My little 4-year-old is so cute sometimes that he makes my heart melt. Sure, he still thinks he's the boss; he and his sister had an argument about it just the other day. But. . .

Our memory poem for February was Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken," and little boy memorized it, too. I wish you could hear him recite those words I'm not sure he even understands: "Two roads diverged in a lellow* wood, and sorry I could not travel both. . . "

Those sorts of things make my heart do flip-flops.

Now. Last week my baby boy moved out of our room and into his own new big boy bed. The mattress came in a box, and it was a big family occasion to watch it be unpacked and expand. Kids were bouncing around so thickly in that room that a good picture with no kids in it was hard to come by.

The mattress-- all rolled up

Unrolled and mostly inflated

We let the bed air out for a night before tucking him in it for the first time. He half broke my heart and half cracked me up when he said, "Mom! I don't need you to tuck me in! I can do it myself!" We tucked him in anyways. 

Very Fun Box

He loves his new bed, but I think he's had a lot more fun with the box it came in. That box entertained the little ones for at least an entire afternoon. In addition to crawling in and out of it, they also used it as a slide. I heard lots of imagination floating around that day.

In many ways, my son is growing up, but the little boy in him still crawls in bed with us in the morning to cuddle. Thank goodness.

*I'm sure many in my family remember a time when my cousin Becky was similarly too cute for words when talking about her favorite colors-- "red and lellow."

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Thursday Things

The weather has been so warm here the last few days that the kids were outside in short-sleeves playing. Some were even begging for the air conditioner to be turned on! That didn't happen. At least it feels cooler this morning.

I've been too busy to blog much lately, so I've saved up a few random thoughts.

1.  Wonderful Wednesday. Yesterday was a lovely day. I was able to spend some time outside with the kids. Reading a good book (E. B. White's Trumpet of the Swan) aloud to your children in the woods with sunshine on your arms does wonders for a body.

I also saw pretty things outside which cheered me up. All of these added a touch of color to our brown "winter" world.

Bluebird house

Tulips popping up

My yellow crocuses! (Or is that croci?)
And if all that pretty was not enough, later in the day after a quick shower, God gifted us with this rainbow.

2.  Child Development.  The baby is at that funny/cute stage where she likes to "hide" by sitting in plain view and covering her eyes. We crack up every time it happens, and that is several times a day. If she can't see us, we can't see her! (Note: I fully recognize that my "baby" is actually a toddler, but she is still the baby.)

3.  Bookish Podcast. My high school BFF recently joined together with some of her co-workers to created a podcast about books they read. It is called Unabridged, and you can find it here. In their words:

Unabridged - Four Teachers Take on Books is a podcast that comes from the desire to share a love of reading, cultivate a reading community, and invite students to become lifelong readers. 

I have listened to a couple of the episodes, and I wish I had more time to read. I also love hearing more of Jen's voice since we don't get to talk often. I am making a prediction that she will never not love a book they review. If you listen, you will learn that she is a real book lover.

4.  Another Place to Shop.  Recently a new family has been coming from afar to our little church-- and they have children! That's always exciting for a small church, you know. Anyway, their three older girls are crafty and have started a business. It is called KovalKreations and can be found here or on Etsy.  Right now they have some beautiful girls' clothing and baskets. I am in awe of their skills.

5. Vintage. And speaking of Etsy, after a long Christmas break so we could arrange things in our updated home, we jumped right back into Sideling View Crafts. I finally sold one pattern in January! And because we have developed an auction habit, I started listing some vintage items.

I'm still listing things because I have quite an accumulation of stuff and not an accumulation of time. Below is a cute vintage children's book I listed this week.

And that's all for Thursday because my family needs to eat breakfast!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Winter, Inside and Out

Last week we had ice. I tried to capture how the sun shining on the ice on Sideling Hill made everything look like a fairy world, but I couldn't. I'll show you the results anyway.

Meanwhile, inside we dealt in cold things, too. For my kindergartner, we are studying one picture book each week. We read the book aloud each day, and do some activity that connects to it. Last week was Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost, illustrated by Susan Jeffers.

One day we focused on the "and downy flake" page. We talked about snow and how each snowflake is different and has six sides.

On this day we did our "fun" activity for the week; we made tortilla snowflakes.

First we folded flour tortillas in half and then in thirds (to make a pie slice shape). We cut shapes in the sides, unfolded them, and baked them in the oven at 350℉  until they were crispy (not burned). Next they were brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with powdered sugar. This was a fun and tasty activity I plan on repeating with the younger two children!

I'm not sure we'll enjoy more winter around here, and most of us are still holding out for a big snow. But at least we found a way to enjoy the little bit of white stuff that we had.

**This book was a lovely book. The children learn a classic poem, and the delightful illustrations add another layer to the poem. I highly recommend it. It is also an easy one for memorizing.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Punch Line

Our children love watching Alton Brown's Good Eats. Me, too. More than a year ago, one of my sons memorized Brown's recipe for punch. Never mind that it was alcoholic,  and he can't drink it. He memorized the poem-recipe, and his heart was set on making it.

I finally gave in on Twelfth Night earlier this month, but we made a non-alcoholic version, too, for the kids. This was another occasion to break out the snack trays and other "fancy" dishes like our punch bowl.

Grown-up punch

Broken hand ice in kids' punch

Unbroken hand ice in kids' punch

And, yes, that is hand-shaped iced in the punch bowl. That was another of my concessions to my punch-desiring son. 

For the record, Alton Brown's punch recipe was good. This is the rhyme-recipe: "One part sour, two parts sweet, three parts strong, and four parts weak." Instead of the recipes found on Food Network, we substituted what we had on hand. No pun intended.

The kids' recipe used lemons, mango juice, sugar, and sparkling water. And don't forget the nutmeg!