Mary Engelbreit inspires me! Don't you just love this illustration? The cute little door and window! I just love this red spottie mushroom house. And, this little bluebird joyfully tweeting with the little fairy just warms my heart.
Viv said she loved mushrooms. And, I had the perfect one.
When I was a little girl, I truly believed in fairies.
I saw the Tooth Fairy float in a cottonball to put a dollar under my pillow, where I had safely tucked my tiny tooth next to a handwritten note.
When the children at school teased me mercifully for believing, my mother and grandmother gently, and then forcefully, told me the truth. I didn't believe them. I told them that IF they had seen one, they would believe, too. I cried so hard when my mother begged me to listen to her.
She told me that day that pretending was a wonderful thing - and she gave me permission to pretend they were real. It was difficult for me. How could you pretend that something was real that you KNEW was real.
Oh, my sweet mother. She said that growing up was hard sometimes.
But, I believe that a happy childhood lasts forever.
And, that pretending is the beginning of imagination and creativity.
It's one of the reasons that I have always worked with young children.
I made a promise a long time ago that every child that belonged to my class would LOVE school, even if it was challenging for them - or me.
I had fun making this bird nest for my friend Viv (Viv Out On A Whim), who hosted this fun swap. I just love that she believes in children, too!
This fuzzy little bluebird feels right at home - see her cute banner, "Home Tweet Home"!
It is a perfectly darling felted bluebird!
She looks adorable with my bluebird collection on my old stove.
Don't you LUV her party hat!
Look at the tiny trims and detail on this little figure! And, the vintage spool! Oh, what a special treat for me!
Thank you sooooo much, Vivian! I just love my bluebird nestie!
It feels like you looked into my heart.
This weekend hubs and I saw lots of wildlife.
Our home is very rural - but, still, there is a main road at the bottom of our 3 acres. Look who came to visit! I snapped this picture outside of our dining room window. He was moving fast!
He was probably hungry for breakfast!
This is Mama Ground Squirrel.
And, these are the babies. There are actually 3 of them.
My Kinder-kids loved hearing about these critters today!
I often call my boys, "little squirrels", because they can be so hyper!
I had no idea REAL squirrels were soooooooo hyper!
These little guys would not sit still!
Our tree is blooming. Do you know what kind of tree this is?
Isn't she pretty!
I was outside this weekend just playing around - planting flowers - raking and weeding, when all of a sudden I began to cry big tears of Thankfulness and Joy. I am so thankful to live here in our mountain home. So many years of dreaming. It feels like a miracle. God is so good to me.
When published authors visit my classroom to share their books!
This lovely lady is Peggy Stovesand. She wrote the book, "Flip, the Inside Out Turtle". Her son, Eric, created the AMAZING illustrations. This book talks about bullying - and how sometimes, when we feel lonely, we might pick on someone. Flip has to 'learn' to be kind and make friends. Perfect for kindergarten!
We love when Mr. DeLair, our Headmaster, does a Read Aloud! He Loves to read to us!
I love my sweet McKenzie. She is 13 years old now and showing her age. She wears this harness so that we can help her get up. Her hips are growing weaker, but once she is up, she can walk. We hope this harness will help for as long as possible.
I love how my sweet husband is working in the yard - getting the beds ready for me to plant.
Annie has been my friend for nearly 25 years. She was one of my first friends when I moved to the hottest place on earth. She helped to bring me out of my shyness. She knew how to be my friend.
Annie has the voice of an angel.
The heart of God resides in her.
She loves children ~ She loves her family ~ She is a lover of people.
Annie is a counselor. She works by day at an elementary school as a secretary to the principal. But, what she really is, is a counselor. An encourager. She has a few letters behind her name, too - she has a counseling business on the side where she encourages those trapped in addiction. Her heart is huge.
Her husband is a teacher of music and song. He leads an award winning band and choir. He was our pastor for several years, until he went back to college to be a teacher. He is gentle, purposeful, wise, and truly - one of the best men I know.
They came to visit.
It was wonderful.
It was easy.
It was comfortable.
Being with them refreshed our souls.
We were loved.
From as far back as I can remember, I have loved stories. I grew up in a story telling family. My mother told wonderful stories at bedtime that were far better than the story books we had. She told of fairies and wild horses and rivers with stones of gold. She came from a storytelling family, I think. I remember fanciful tales that my grandpa told me of flying horses and middle eastern warriors.
My brother is a better story teller than I am - so, I think when I grew up I didn't really know that I could tell a story. His stories were wonderful! He told of visiting the canyons near our home that were filled with dinosaurs, giant tarantulas, man eating tigers, wild horses and a mountain lion the size of my dad's blue truck. I had never ventured down into the canyon because I was a "rule-follower", but he was not afraid of the paddle - and he ventured down to see the diamond caves.
But, I am a teacher. I have always been a teacher. Even as a child it was an easy thing for me to do - a natural thing - to tell stories to children - and so I began to teach Sunday School.
Annie and I taught Children's Church and Sunday School for years. She would lead the music because she sang like an angel - and I would tell the Bible stories. We were a team. It was fun. It nurtured us.
I am still teaching Bible stories. Every day in kindergarten it is my joy to tell my little charges about the Wonderful One who loves us more than we can imagine.
I told the children in September that a very wonderful thing would happen in kindergarten. We would learn to read ~ and then ~ we would be able to read our Bibles.
Today - as a class - we read story after story in our little children's Bibles. All of us. In unison. Their little bookmarks firmly place under each line. It was magical. Reading of the lost little lamb. The centurions daughter. The woman who had been ill for 12 years. It was wonderful. The children were proud - and they were thankful.
Grant said, "God has answered our prayers, Mrs. S. ~ You said He would teach us to read the Bible! He did it!"
I love to tell the story,
'twill be my theme in glory,
to tell the old, old story
of Jesus and His love.
When Annie came into our home she took me aside and said, "All those years of you dreaming of moving to "this country place" - all your stuff! IT FITS! I love seeing it here!"
I think God was whispering my name for 25 years, each time I found a treasure for this country home.
Grama Julie volunteers at our school. She works in the 1st grade, all day, every day, even though her granddaughter is in the 3rd grade. Every day you can see her walk across the basketball court with a big bag of something wonderful to bring to school. It might be popsicles to celebrate the hard work her class did on the Speech-Meet. Or, it might be a chocolate cheesecake for a teacher's birthdays. She always wears a huge smile and offers a cheery hello and hug to me and every one she meets. She is sweet, generous, and pure joy!
Last week Grama Julie walked across the basketball court while I was on yard duty carrying a sweet purse. I was drooling, but I didn't say a word. (She would give it to me if she knew I loved it!) She twisted her short little body around like a model and said, "Do you like my new purse?" and of course, I couldn't hold back my enthusiasm for it's red cuteness!
"Well" she said, "I'm glad you like it, because it's yours! Happy Birthday!"
Can you believe this? It's from Disneyland - Grama Julie's favorite place!!! It's perfectly spotted and dotted - and it was autographed by Minnie herself!
I don't carry a purse. I carry totes - all kinds of cutie-pie totes. Strawberry and cherry totes, cloth totes, sweet colorful childlike totes! This purse is perfect for me - a real grown up girl purse - with a cutie-pie flair! I love it!
It is such fun for me to visit all of your blogs and see the WONDERFUL things that you create. I made this little bluebird because I saw the darling things some of you have been making with paper clay and I just had to try to make something myself.
I covered 2 very small styrofoam balls with the paper clay and then attached them together with a toothpick. I made little wings and a tail. Then, I let them dry. You can see that the paper clay cracked a bit - but, that's ok.
See, I covered up the crack with a red bow!
And, I made this little bunny girl, too. Again, I used two tiny styrofoam balls covered with the paper clay. I cut one ball in half and covered them to make her shoes. I should have painted her shoes white - it seems I remember from my childhood that we wear white shoes at Easter time!
I cut the mini cupcake paper a bit so that her cute pom pom tail would peek out. She is standing on a paper covered tuna can.
Even though Easter is over, I had to make this little bunny! She is carrying a little basket to gather her carrots!
I really have Spring fever! Can you tell?
I cannot sing "You are my sunshine", without thinking of my sweet parents and brother and sister. When we were little our parents taught us to sing, usually in the car during long car trips. My father had a wonderful voice, sort of like Dean Martin or Frank Sinatra. My mother had a deep alto voice. My brother had perfect pitch - and my sister and I were definitely sopranos then. They taught us how to harmonize with this song. My sister would sing the melody with my dad, and I would sing the harmony with my mother. Such good memories!
Since I teach Kindergarten, I am happy when I find lessons my students would enjoy. I found this video - about Jesus being our Sunshine - The Light of the World. Maybe you have a little friend who would enjoy this Bible lesson about Spring!
Nope - I'm not trying to get attention. I am not an extrovert, trust me. While not an introvert, either - I just like to have fun. And so, today, because it is my birthday - and I am closer to 60 than 50 - I have decided to celebrate. I have much to be thankful for, so really - this post is about a deeply thankful heart. My dreams have come true.
For those of you who have been reading my blog for awhile know that hubs and I moved to the country last September. It has been wonderful - and COLD! Being from the desert, where cold is anything under 75 - I have stayed inside for months on end, relishing that I work in the desert and can go outside where it is warmer and not so windy when I drive down the hour long mountain road to my school where it has been in the 90's.
But, over this Easter Break the weather has warmed up - and I have been outside - this blissfully beautiful outside of our mountain home.
Across from our home is a crop farm. They are busy plowing their fields and watering tiny seeds of promise. There is a constant humming sound coming from the reservoir pump that waters their fields. I am not so fond of that sound, but hubs says I will get used to it. The view is wide with a backdrop of hills and the new green on the trees that only weeks ago stood gray and bare. Spring is here. It is lovely.
Hubs is building a fence to surround the new kitchen garden that he is putting in for me. He put me in charge of design - so hopefully the many hours spent on Pinterest will pay off. While, he is building the fence. I am supervising and playing with McKenzie, bringing the iced tea, and hula-hoeing when I feel like it.
Behind our garden area is the neighbors field where four pinto ponies and a donkey live. They come down to the fence line to visit when we are outside. McKenzie barks at them and wags her tail. One of the ponies visits her everyday.
Our 3 acres is not really landscaped. Our big blue house seems to stand in the middle of a large open field. There is a lonely tree in the driveway and some evergreen shrubs around the house - but, too tightly planted in too small flowerbeds.
There are also various Christmas type trees lined up like mismatched soldiers around the fenceline. In the corner is an empty pond with far too many shrubs and trees for it's small space. Overall the acres are covered with wild weeds and shrubs. I like it that way right now. The wildflower weeds are showing tiny purple and yellow flowers. Some of the neighbors' fields are so covered with tiny yellow flowers that it looks like yellow grass.
All of this is a beginning for Hubs and me. A place to dream and plan together. Our home will be beautiful. That is our dream. A place where friends and loved ones might relax and enjoy the beauty of the country. A place where we shall love each other and love God together. A place for sharing, playing, growing, loving. We are blessed.
Do you remember this song from your childhood days? "Do your ears hang low, do they wobble to and fro - can you tie them in a knot, can you tie them in a bow?"
Well, Becky, my pet Nubian goat, could wobble her ears - and wobble she did - as she pranced all over Mother's flower gardens and rose bushes nibbling them down to stubs. She was my baby, my pet, my friend and confident. I never saw her as a menace. To me - she was just about the best pet I could ever get. True love, seen through the eyes of a child.
Sure, I had a wonderful and faithful dog, and a soft and cuddly cat. We had horses, pigs, steers, rabbits, chickens, ducks...but Becky held a huge place in my heart. She had personality. She was curious. She was playful. She was naughty. She would nibble and kiss my face and then turn and butt me in the back, tail wagging all the while.
I cannot think of spring without thinking of Becky, especially up here in our mountain home. The grass is just peeking up from the ground, sweet and perfect for nibbling. I have lots of memories of Becky, but this one is the funniest, I think.
One day the milkman came to the ranch house to deliver groceries for my mother. He came into the house and was having a chat with my mother. Then, I could hear them laughing and calling my name. They told me to look out the window. Becky was inside the milkmans truck, standing on the driver's seat with her front hooves up on the steering wheel, looking as though she were going for a drive!
Becky thought she was a dog. She liked to lay on the back porch with our family dogs. She happily ate their dog food and nosed her way in for attention whenever she could. She liked to go with us on horse rides, too - the dogs would trail along, and there would be Becky, part of the pack.
Becky was an escape artist, which I have since learned is a trait of Nubian goats. We could not keep her in her pen unless she had other animals with her. She was more content with the horses, even the pigs, than to be alone. My brother and I could never figure out how she got out. He used to say she had wings. We thought maybe she climbed the chain-link fence, but we never saw her do it.
My dad loved Becky even though she was a nuisance. My mother tolerated her. I can understand now - I would not appreciate the family goat eating my tree roses, either!
Becky died when I was away at college. My dad buried her out in the back field, not too far from the backyard. Today there stands an enormous palm tree just over the place where he buried her. She must have had a tummy full of seeds when she died.
I'm working on the baskets for the grands. I love helping the E. Bunny!