Saturday, February 22, 2014

Riley's Room

Over a year ago Shannon tore out walls and a corner mantle/pellet stove to open up our "new" home. Then he enclosed a small portion of that large open area for our boys room, in other words: Riley's domain.

The beginning rebuild

The furnace flue was concealed with enough room for a small closet.

sanding, sanding the dusty drywall in the closet
While in Montana, Riley spent the night with Shannon's cousin's boys in their repurposed barn wood home. It's actually a house, gym, carpenter shop all enclosed in a barn built from old beam lumber. So he wanted something similar in his new room. Unfortunately we do not have access to any old Kansas barns, though we kept our eyes peeled for dilapidated outbuildings nearby!

Riley's room remained half-finished until Shannon procured some boards from an old local granary in December. Now the bottom part of the walls are covered, hurray!

And plenty of boy paraphernalia accumulating until the shelf is hung and bed moved in. Shannon is holding out for his old Virginia bed...Riley hasn't minded a bedroll in the meantime!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Snow Days

January ended with snow and February began with more snow! Which means firewood chopping to keep Shannon's shop and our bedroom warm.
Propane prices quadrupled, so we eventually shut off our bedroom vent, closed the door, and now sleep toastily on the living room hide-a-bed.

I hosted a Seed Swap one afternoon. Several ladies did venture out into the single digits to chatter about spring gardening visions. It was nice to get a range of opinions from local experienced gardeners. And acquire some new variety of seeds to try! I chose samplings of Freckles red-spotted lettuce, a Baker Creek heirloom melon, zinnias, cilantro from Mexico, red hollyhocks and more. Sweet potatoes, okra, potatoes, peppers, and tomatoes were mentioned as growing the best in our semi-arid climate. We even briefly covered the topic of sprouted fodder!

More snow fell forming lovely icicles to sparkle in the sunshine. Such cheery brilliance!

After a couple weeks of very cold wintry weather, the temperature rose and we ventured outside once again. Caroline wanted to enjoy the 1st nice day by walking to the mailbox. Little Meg slipped in the slush.

Oops, muddy bottom! 

Goodbye pretty white blankets of snow!

Friday, February 7, 2014

January Tea Parties

Imagine sitting quietly, perhaps with a cup of fragrant tea at your elbow and a book in your lap. Perhaps you have managed to carve out a tiny minute of respite. Or perhaps your days are lonely and too long. Whatever your circumstances, you can hold up your cup and it will be filled.

A Cup of Sweet Girly Goodness
A little lady afternoon snack tea

The cuteness of teeny tiny.

Even the littlest can become a dainty big girl.

A Cup of Birthday Friendship

If your cup is polished and dry, hold it out for the Lord's plentiful pouring.
If your cup is full of the old and unsatisfying, hold it up for the Lord's cleansing.
If your cup is cracked and broken, hold it up anyway, for the Lord's resources are plentiful and can keep even leaky cups replenished.

Come to Him as you are, cup in hand, and hold it up to receive His blessings.
And then you will say over and over again in wonder and amazement,
"Surely, my cup runneth over!"

Excerpt from Fill My Cup , Lord with the peace of your presence by Emily Barnes

A Kansas Prairie Christmas

In the weeks prior to December 25, we received several packages in the mail from grandparents far away. On Christmas Eve we opened one gift-- new pajamas for the family! The presents were revealed after enjoying a Chinese supper, and experiencing vespers and candle service at the nearby Lutheran church.

Cozy pajamas

The girls took a notion to treat us to breakfast in bed.

I didn't think about taking a picture of the breakfast 'trays' until I'd already cleaned up the juicy oranges!

eggnog, hot tea, cinnamon rolls, & fresh fruit

Then it was time to open the rest of our packages! Fun dolls for the girls, gift cards, warm hats, little trinkets, and, of course, candy.

Riley's activity of choice for the day was playing in the snow. So out we went for a few circular spins on tubes.

Then we sat down to dinner of chicken fried steak, tossed salad, and mashed potatoes.

And Chocolate Eclair Dessert.

We also had a Winter Scavenger Hunt, played Mexican Train & Musical Chairs, and called our distant-in-miles family, generally having a great day! 

We are blessed indeed!
Blessed Belated Christmas Everyone!