Waxing Leaves

My mom did this with us when we were young and it's a long standing autumn tradition.

First go out and find leaves with the kids-long stems are the best!
Pick some of this up at your grocery store in the canning section. It’s a couple dollars and one box should be enough.

Don’t forget to buy a disposal pan like this one…if you don’t you will have to use a good pan, and you will ruin it.

Melt the wax over low heat. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE be careful…hot wax is HOT. Place it on a back burner and guard it with your life if your children are little.

I know done this with kids as young as 2, but you have to be vigilant!
Have them hold the stem, dip the leave in melted wax and then set the leave on wax paper. Cover your counter with newspaper, then the wax paper, to make clean up easy, because it’s NO fun scraping wax drippings off counters.
Let each leaf cool completely…once they are totally cool they will lift off easily. If the wax starts to harden in the pan, just warm it up on the burner again.
You can put them in a big glass bowl, or tie them up with string to form a garland. They are beautiful and a perfectly simple (and almost free) autumn decoration.



Here's a list of our favorite, most-played with, delivered-to-your-doorstep, Mom-approved toys.

And here are our favorite games.
Here are some great teen gift ideas.
By age and interest here.


Baby Naming...My Favorite Pastime

One of my favorite things to do is to pick out names for babies. I had to do it many times for my own family, and have never tired of it. I have heard names recently that have actually made me WANT to get pregnant...just to use THAT name. Really as immature as looking at the latest Pottery Barn Kids magazine and thinking you want a baby just to put it in that SO cute room with the birds and embroidery.

As a special gift, I am leaving all you with a small list of leftover girl's names (sorry...I'm out of boy's names) that I never (boo hoo) had the chance to use...they are up for grabs.



A Home’s Energy

Nor need we power or splendour, wide hall or lordly dome; the good, the true, the tender, these form the wealth of home.” Sarah J. Hale
Did you watch Stephanie Nielson on Oprah on Wednesday? Of course you did.

One of the things casually mentioned in the interview between Stephanie, Oprah, and the girl that visited Stephanie, was the “energy” of her home…warm, peaceful, and calm. Oprah made a comment about how you walk into some houses and you feel the energy and think “get me out of here”. That could have possibly been my house last week…oops. Really, I was sick, but I was also worn thin, impatient, sometimes plain mean. I yelled, I scolded, I “hurried up” way too many times. And you know what happened? That energy spread…like energy tends to do…no one was getting along, no one was kind and patient and nice to each other, no one listened, no one made an effort to help (without being asked repeatedly), and the noise level went up and up and up.

Sometimes I reject the ‘master of energy’ role that has been given to me, as a mother. I feel sorry for myself. Who wants that responsibility every single day? But whether I WANT it or not is not an option. No choice there. In a backwards sort of way, with that responsibility comes a power….a gift….whatever you want to call it. I’ve posted a little reminder above my kitchen sink of how I want the energy in my home to feel…just a reminder that if I feel these things in my spirit they will radiate and bounce of the walls and into children’s hearts. The more beings in a home, the stronger the energy needed…the more hearts to full. The more teenagers and toddlers…you better have the cardiac strength to bounce hard.

The real work? Getting the energy I want to exude into my heart every day. Making the effort to know what fills me up, and then committing to do those things every single day. That’s the hard part….every single day. Knowing what drains my battery life quickly, knowing how long my charge lasts, and knowing what fills it back up again…and reminding myself of all that often. That right there is the SECRET to making a home a loving, happy, welcoming one.


An Autumn Walk

It’s been chillier here than usual. I am not ready for winter…I never am anymore. I’ll take snow on Christmas, maybe New Year’s Eve too. After that, I’d like to just start right up on April 1. Perfect.
I’ve also been under the weather…remember my Monday post? For gosh sake, I got a terrible fever and chills and aches that lasted 3 nights and 3 days...yes it very possibly could have been THAT (piggy) flu. It's not that bad, really! OK, it was bad at night, but not the worst flu I've ever had. And I would have never gotten the vaccination anyways. But if I watch the news and read the paper...I'm supposed to be dead! Alleluia!
Anyways, it’s also served as a wake up call to me that I need to take better care of myself…I’ve been eating just terrible and that’s an awful way to treat your body. I usually never get sick so obviously I've battered my immune system. My family needs me…just 3 days, and everyone is out of sorts. The fever has burned some sense into me.
In spite of all this…Patrick and I really needed to get some fresh air so off we went yesterday around the block and back again. I snapped a few pictures because the light was beautiful.
This is the best situation for all parties involved:003
It's been really windy here lately...someone lost their house:
Must we consistently veer off the path? Sidewalks are SO constraining, are they not?
My rose are still blooming!
And the grand finale...home at last.013


Mousekin’s Golden House With Added Bonus Feature

This is my favorite childhood book. I loved it then and I love it now. It's just beautifully illustrated and captures the mood of autumn perfectly. I thought I had lost my copy and I panicked. Did you know it’s out of print? A copy on Amazon sells for $112! I searched high and low and found my little book up in the attic. 002 003 006My favorite part: 007
008 At last, warm and cozy against the winter air.
BUT WAIT…what’s this? There’s a boy with a machine gun…fighting off aliens single-handedly…spraying bullets every which way! Possibly Mousekin's body guard? That fancy contraption on his head is throwing me off.
It's a never-seen-before illustration…a bonus section!
009Do you think this last chapter of Mousekin’s little autumn adventure makes MY copy worth even more than $112?
I can’t believe otherwise…it’s one of kind!
(And now I think I remember why it was up in the attic, safe and sound?)