Happy New Year!!

I have had so many blog posts in my head, but haven't had the right impetus to write them.

I'm here now, to just get the ball rolling so to speak. :)  

This is us on Christmas Eve!  We were able to safely go to Mass in person for which I am sooooo grateful!!  My oldest daughter and her family are still quarantining due to her compromised immune system.  But, thankfully, her and her husband have both received the first dose of the vaccine! 

What is new here? I am planning for the garden.  Watching videos, reading plant care information, and trying to be ready to grow with grow lights and a greenhouse!  We cleared a lot of trees this fall and made ready a site for a small greenhouse and shed.  I am excited and a bit apprehensive.  I have learned enough about greenhouse growing to know that I don't know nearly enough!  Truly.  Temperature, humidity, pests, cost control....but as I've been planning, I was reminded that I am and always have been a bit of a "fly by the seat of my pants" kind of person and so I will keep trying to plan a bit, but will also be okay with winging it.  

This greenhouse is truly a gift from God.  It's a long story, but I had given up the desire for one because it did not seem doable for so many reasons.  About two years ago was when I finally gave up the "dream". (I put that in quotes because I'm not one to use the word "dream" in the sense of hopes for the future.)  This fall, while looking for an old shed to move on to our property to add some much needed storage space, I came across a site that sold shed and greenhouse combinations. I was prompted to call the company and had a long conversation with the designer of the sheds.  Before I knew it, my husband and I were planning on a Sunday drive about 3 hours away into Kansas to look at the greenhouse/sheds they had on display.  With activities so strictly limited yet, the idea of a Sunday drive to look at greenhouses was just so exciting.  I didn't care a bit if we decided against it, I just wanted an outing for our youngest girls and us to go on!  After about a week of prayerful consideration, we placed an order.  Just like that.  So far, it's on schedule to be delivered sometime in February.  Weather will be of course a consideration, but hopefully, it will be here before more snow comes.  If not, that's where my ability to adapt comes in, ha!  Even if I fail at growing things in it, it should be a wonderful place to take photos!  

My plan is to start the seeds indoors yet as it would cost too much to heat a place here in our climate for that long.  That is the main reason I had given up on getting one, but now I know a combination of seed starting indoors and a greenhouse can work together.  So I've invested in a seed heat mat and grow lights. The "where" of this little project is still to be determined.  Maybe downstairs in a storage room.

I'm also working in these winter days to organize all my photos in hard copies and digitally.  Oi.  It's a job!  I'm behind for sure, but it is certainly doable.  It's the decision making that trips me up on these projects. I do have a "system" for organizing the files, but it needs some tweaking.  Mostly it just needs to be used!  Sadly, being behind, has made me take less photos and videos because I don't want to get buried in files.  No room for remorse though, just a nudge to get at it.

Now, just for fun!  A few years ago, the tradition of taking a serious photo of the kids on Christmas Eve began, but my youngest always has trouble not smiling. :)

I continue to pray for our Country.  

For truth and peace to reign in the hearts of all of us.

Begin Again


This morning, I just needed to dig my brain in to something new and a little challenging.  I'm not sure why I thought I needed that as I've been learning to use a new app on my phone and it's been making my brain hurt already.  I suppose though that the time spent learning in Photoshop this morning will also help me learn that new app.  The negative space font was a free one on Creative Market and I just wanted to learn how to use it.  I did!  Now...if I'll remember how when I come back to it again, ha!  But, seriously.  I learn and forget.  Forget that I even learned in the first place sometimes.  Can anyone relate???

So I made this little digital art piece.  Just like the learning of the software and apps, if we don't keep working at our faith we will lose it or it will become stagnate.  Daily practice for art and creative work is touted everywhere and is so truly beneficial.  But first, please, daily practice of our faith.  Scripture reading, prayer, meditation, adoration, praise, good works...whatever and however your desires and God's promptings lead you.  That daily practice means more that any organized drawer, tv show, special dinner, new skills, etc. 

 My husband and I finished this book a few weeks ago.  So good! It was the first time we've read a book out loud together. We didn't really plan to read it that way, it just happened.  I think we will do it again.  Takes a while to get through, but a spiritual book is usually best in small bites with time to talk and think about what was read.  That's how this transpired too. I'd read, then we'd talk about it.  

The main message from the book to take away was to "begin again".  To nurture your faith and if you feel like you failed, let it go and begin again!  And again.  And again.  (You get the picture.)  Words to live by for sure. Continuing on with the garden metaphor;  When a plant doesn't do well in one location,  I change the watering/fertilizer practice:  Begin again if you will.  Still not doing well?  I move it.  Begin again. The book was full of encouragement, and very easy to read.

I'll leave you with a quote from the other book I'm just finishing, Anne of Green Gables:

"Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it...Yet." 

Begin Again

Foraged Wreath

I am enrolled in Kim Klassen's Inner Circle. One of the projects was to make a foraged wreath and then take a photo of it. Kim and her friend Aileen posted a video a couple of years ago about making wreaths from vines and I have been making them ever since. So, this wasn't new, but always fun to be inspired to do more so to speak. I had seen a beautiful wreath on the Terrain's website and decided to use it for specific inspiration to make one for this challenge. You can see it here

I am always foraging and this past Sunday we went out to the Native Prairie near here to do a little more. My husband sat in the front while our 15 year old worked on her driving skills. I enjoyed watching the ditches and taking pictures from the back while our 14 year old listened to music on her headphones. My husband very quickly honed his visual skills to help me spy different grasses and weeds with interesting seed pods or leaves. I posted a few pictures on Instagram.

So here is my "inspired by Terrain and Kim Klassen" wreath!

I could make wreaths for hours!  (and have...) The dried bits are certainly fragile, but they are also pretty forgiving when a piece does break off.  It's usually pretty easy to not fret about it whether I fix it or not.

So today is election day here in the US.  It's so sad to think that no matter the outcome, close to half of the people will be unhappy.  I really don't like that.  My eyes have been opened to the polarization of the world.  And I avoid it.  I won't listen to it and I try to not participate in it.  I'm trying to eliminate the us vs them mentality in my mind. It's hard.  I was in it deep in my young adulthood.  Loved the news.  Loved the politics.  Very much us vs them.  I've left that space years ago and am trying hard to "sing a new song" as God asks us to do so many times in the Psalms.

So wreaths may seem silly to some in the world right now, but it's more in tune to the song God has put on my heart.

Back to School Pictures


Here we go!  They've been home since March and we truly have had very little contact with others.  They are ready to roll.  My second to last child is entering high school and my youngest is entering the eighth grade.  This was probably the most ideal age to be stuck at home for all of us.  They can entertain themselves and aren't too used to running off on their own yet.  

I decided with the requirement of masks in school, that now would be the time to get them contacts.  Oh dear, fighting the steaming up of glasses all day would be so hard.  I'm sure some of you are fighting just that, and I feel bad for you.

Along with no steamed up glasses, contacts mean you get to wear sunglasses!  So they bought some this past weekend.  
Earlier this week I suggested a photo shoot with the new shades.  I thought it would be fun and a boost to their confidence.

I love to shoot non traditional portraits.

The girls were very willing participants.

It was good to be shooting photos again, it's been awhile.

The summer without one visit to a swimming pool, no vacation, no fair, no 4h projects, no schedule of any kind.  It wasn't awful, that's for sure.  I'm not sure what to say about it.  No way to easily sum it up as I'm sure many of you can relate.  Moving on to the next thing certainly feels like the right thing.

Continuing to pray every day for a vaccine, better treatments, protection, and graces.  For the beautiful graces that God can bring from all of it.

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