Monday, April 16, 2018

4/16/2018 - We're still here!

I can't believe it's been 3 months since I last popped by!
Actually, no, I can totally believe it's been 3 months.  So much has been going on and changing for our family, but through it all I'd be lying if I said this blog has been far from my mind.  In fact, I've thought about what I want for this space almost daily.
I feel like blogging in this style has been in flux for a couple of years; I routinely see blogs I love and am inspired by asking whether or not they should continue blogging? Do people even read blogs anymore? And so they move mediums but as we see facebook and instagram evolve for the worse, I am hoping that there will be a resurgence in basic blogging.  Which leaves me wondering what to do here.

I'll be blunt: it's going to be a while before I hit my stride again (whatever stride I may have had in the past, anyway).  Being 37 weeks pregnant and in the middle of a move, with a full on commute to get your kid to pre-K 2-3 days a week has this effect on things.
Crafting has been almost non-existent for me, the morning basket/home school supplement I was trying to maintain for the kids has fallen by the wayside, a very cold/snowy winter kept us indoors more often than not.  Excuses pile on top of excuses and here I am, checking in on my blog 3 months after promising I'd be around more often.

This space has never had much direction; it was always very journalistic, and will continue to be in the future, but as my kids are starting to get older (my eldest is 5 so feel free to laugh at that statement) I feel like the pieces are starting to fall into place that will give this blog a stronger, more coherent voice.

Some of the highlights of where we'll be going include:

non-traditional living (or is it ultra-traditional living?)
home schooling
liturgical living and the domestic monastery
crafting and handwork
mother culture
radical homemaking
small time farming

So if you've stuck around, thank you! I greatly appreciate it! and if you're new, awesome, hopefully we'll have something worth reading posting more frequently than every 3 months :-)

-Allison
laurelmountainmama

Thursday, January 4, 2018

1/4/2018

It's hard to believe that I last posted way back in September.  Hard for me to believe, anyway, since I always have such good intentions but the road to Hell and all that.  Right now I am sitting at my 'desk', also known as our over-cluttered dining room table, staring outside at the grey sky meeting the white earth while snow flurries blow by in a whirlwind.  Yesterday was a wonderful relief from the frigid temps we have been experiencing - a whole 21 degree high to make up for the single digit suffering.  It's been alternating between too cold for salt to work and just warm enough to vaguely melt walked-on snow into a sheet of ice.  Needless to say getting out of the house has been interesting.  Mostly, we're just bundled up inside with honey-do lists a mile long and accomplishments thin on the ground. 

So much has changed since September.  Only a week or so before I hit "post" on my last entry, I discovered that I'm pregnant again. Then we decided it was in our best interest to consider building a larger home for ourselves.  Having 6 people share 1 bathroom isn't much fun and sweet V is stuck in the smallest bedroom which she'll be sharing with A shortly and if new baby is a 3rd girl...well...I'm not looking forward to kicking W out of his room.  Change is not his strong suit, and he's hardly fond of V in the best circumstances.  I doubt he'd be falling all over himself to help her. 
After long conversations and some hard questions we ended up deciding against building new and settled on moving in with Chris's mom and adding on to her place.  If all goes to plan I'm going to have a library of my very own.  If it wasn't smack dab in the middle of the house I'd put locking doors on it and never leave!
In November we baptized all 3 kids and W turned 5.  Then came advent, Christmas, New Year and now here we are, all rosy cheeks and cold toes and tight fitting jeans!

I'm mostly on Instagram now, but I have a handful of projects in the works that will be shared here and I'd love to be more intentional about posting in this space, but I won't make promises.  I hope if anyone is still out there reading that you and yours had a lovely, blessed holiday!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

09/12/2017













Bare feet padding across hundred-plus year old hardwood floors, desperate to hide a newly-acquired stash of chocolate chip cookies.  It's about 9:30 in the morning, but I guess it's cookie time somewhere.  I can hear giggling and whispering as V shares her stash with A, who is currently sick with some kind of a respiratory/sinus issue.  I want nothing more than to sink into the worn-out couch and read, or knit, or take a nap but instead I find pick myself up, grab a cup of hot coffee and head down to the field.  I've been putting off cutting goldenrod for days and it needs to be done today before more rain comes.

I used to dye yarn, about 5 years ago I picked it up right as W was born which turned out to be a terrible time to start such a hobby.  Now that he's older, indeed old enough to help me with the plants themselves, I've been itching to pick it back up again.  This batch is being harvested to dye some fabric for a baby gift.  Is there anything sweeter than a baby wrapped in natural colors?
I may also dye up some cotton squares for a quilt, but one step at a time.  This moment is one of those points in time of near perfection.  Swaths of gold, sways in the crisp, nearly-autumn breeze under a blue sky.  Trees rustling in the distance.  I love it here, in this moment, trying not to be stung by all the bees buzzing about me.  Cutting stalks carefully, so as not to disturb the spiders as they sit on their webs.  Keeping my eyes and ears open, knowing there are coyote out here.  They're my biggest fear - bigger still than the bears that use this field as their personal thruway down to the river.

I turn to go back to the house and stop to assess the wide strip of yard that we'll be turning into our mini-orchard in the spring.  Mentally planting fruit trees and berry bushes, I try to imagine what this place will look like a a year, 3 years, 5 years time.  The wind is changing so much and bringing with it more than a new season of the year, but a new season in life, perhaps? We'll see, but now it's time to get inside and enjoy a couple cookies before they're all eaten.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

8/30/2017






The best part of birthday and Christmas gifts? The boxes they come in, naturally! 
Baby A's present for her 1st birthday arrived yesterday and the box was immediately commandeered by her elder siblings.  Much as expected.  This massive box has been a house, a rocket ship, and (my personal favorite) a shipping container.  I've felt a bit like Garfield with my very own Nermals! Anyone know what it costs to ship about 70 pounds to Abu Dhabi? 

Monday, August 21, 2017

8/21/16
















W has changed so much in a few short months.  Watching him zoom around on the trike, pour over guidebooks of reptiles and birds, happily color and draw - none of these things he had any interest in until this summer.  No, he was quite content to sit indoors and play trains, avoiding outside play and refusing to do anything even remotely artistic.
Three weeks into PreK  has been enough time for him to expect the rhythm of coloring and painting days, and to look forward to the outside play breaks we get between out oh-so-long "lessons".  Today we read our Bible story and a handful of nursery rhymes, took a break, then reconvened for 3 readings of "Angus Lost" and a reading of "Brother Bartholomew and the Apple Grove" while W and V played with their blocks.  I'm such a taskmaster.

Summer continues to roll on; we're starting to harvest zucchini and the tomatoes are ripening.  Our garden went in very late this year, so it'll be interesting to see what we manage to get before Autumn sets.  Our watermelons (all 4 of them!) are about the size of marbles, so I'm hoping for a hot September, much to Chris' dismay.  I've grown watermelons off and on through the years and I've yet to get an edible one.  Praying that this will be the year!



Thursday, August 10, 2017

9/4/2017




My sweet baby A is one! My little miracle baby, my rainbow baby.  A pregnancy that couldn't have come at a more inopportune time and taught us to trust in Him, with post delivery complications that brought us to our knees and me back to the Church.  Sweet A, who isn't so little anymore but is full of vim and vigor! With a personality to match her huge toothy grins and sparkling eyes! She's adventurous, she loves her kitties and her siblings, and her first word was "mumumumum".  
Watching her grow slowly, but surely, from a tiny newborn into a force to be reckoned with has been such a blessing.  She's certainly changed my view of what mothering is and what it can be.  She has shown me both delight and tedium in my days with her and taught me that "this too shall pass" is a very appropriate sentiment for parenting! 
She's my first baby to nurse a year, and the first to sprout teeth before 11 months.  She also became mobile months ahead of when her siblings did.  
And if I had to do over all the sleepless nights, stress over weight checks, rough recovery and post partum - I would because I know it would bring her to me just as she is.  A little slice of heaven on earth.  
I look forward to what this next year brings us! 

Monday, July 31, 2017

7/31/2017

those of you with a discerning eye will no doubt notice that I have indeed done lost my mind and planted watermelons with my zucchini.  I like to live on the wild side.
Little baby tomatoes!

Wizard-Chris garden gnome! I painted this before W was born.  I could get rid of so much junk in our home, but this must always stay.
Sisters


As July turns into August I find myself amazed by how hot and humid our days end, only to begin again with such a chill.  I went out to check the garden early this morning led by the kids in case I were to get lost, but by the time I made it to the first garden bed they were both back inside.  I've started working out which fruit trees and bushes I want to put in this fall and next spring.  A few apple and cherry trees, some blueberry and elderberry bushes, a couple raspberry canes.
We have very big plans for our garden space, so I'm eager to see how different everything is this time next year.

A has become so mobile in such a few short days.  She went from her "movement by necessity only" tri-pod crawl to actual crawling this weekend.  Then she decided to start pulling up on everything about 10 minutes after figuring out how to crawl.  So in the span of a day I went from a baby who didn't get around much, to finding her standing up next to anything that lends itself to pulling up every time I rounded a corner.

Next week W and I start school here at home, but I'll detail that further in another post this week.  Right now I need to remove Miss Crawls-A-Lot from the cat food dish.