-we are going to have another baby girl at the end of  july.

-we have three weeks of school left, and then begins the art of summering, 2012 edition!

-emma turned seven, has lost two teeth and has one quite wiggly, ready to fall out at any given moment. she is, in her words, “a genius at math, drawing and reading”.

-violette has lost her first tooth and is still mostly interested in collecting/organizing items. she reads like a champ, and her favorite books to read are the berenstein bears stories, or anything by dr. seuss.

-theodore is nearly three! he is very adventurous, charming and entertaining. he has a remarkable habit of getting in and out of trouble in a blink of an eye. he thinks he is very subversive when watching power rangers or spiderman.

-our lawn care business – crandall lawn & tree – has already achieved the goals set for this year! time to set some new ones!

-i am in the process of re-vamping this space, and have a few exciting ideas & plans in store.

“Oh I must pass nothing by 
Without loving it much, 
The raindrop try with my lips, 
The grass with my touch; “

-an excerpt from ‘may day’ by sara teasdale


profile: violette anne.

violette the pilot, today she is 4 years and 2 months old. she likes to play with her pet shop animals, dollhouse and toy kitchen. she is intrigued with the idea of baking, and will jump at the chance to cook with mama. she is a cuddle bug, but only when she wants to. asking for a hug when she’s involved in a game will only result in a) being ignored, or b) “NO!, i’m playing by myself!”, followed by a sneer that words cannot accurately describe.

vi adores order and organization, wanting everything in it’s place and lined up just so. she loves reading and learning, always asking questions and then replying with “weeeeell, huh.” she is very creative, you can find her with the art box nestled in her closet or at the dining room table drawing pictures of “persons” and animals. she is a perfectionist to the extreme, and if her picture is not 100% accurate in her mind, she will grunt, ball up the paper and emphatically throw it on the floor. she is also a fantastic story-teller, and will make up tales of grand proportions, with little to no conflict.

vi is terrifically sensitive, and once wound up for a fit, it’s nearly impossible to placate her. it’s always the most ordinary responses that can untangle her from her crying, though. for instance, a few days ago she wanted a particular cup for her water, and i couldn’t find it. i had given her several cups to choose from, and she was inconsolable that we could not find her cup. so we rocked and rocked and i sang, while silently begging the divine to impart some kind of wisdom to help this poor girl. i pointed out that water will taste the same in whichever cup it’s in, so perhaps she could try to drink out the green cup instead of the pink. she perked right up and said “oh, yea!” and was fine the rest of the day.

violette is a comedienne, in the grandest sense of the word. her jokes are truly funny, and she just gets it. she understands people, their motives and intentions, and has a hard time with any kind of injustice. she sees right through any kind of slick business, and will reject anyone who she feels is false or insincere. she is however, the most loyal of friends, and once she has decided to let you in, you are in for good.

vi likes rules and has the sweetest heart to listen and obey, even when she’s the only one acting right. she will admonish her siblings for not listening to daddy or mama, and then point out that she is acting so very sweet.

violette is such a joy and delight and i am enjoying this particular phase immensely.

a few things…

violette has finally built up the confidence and courage to write her name. it’s been a long time coming, and i’m so stoked!(the picture is of “a person, just holding so many balls.”

today has been interesting, it’s going to get better. i have a lot on my plate at the moment and i know i should have more grace with myself. and remembering the fact that i don’t have to complete each and every menial task i encounter with extreme precision and perfection.

off to cook supper, tidy up and hope the babies will go down easy and early for bed tonite.

school days.

monday morning started a brand new adventure for the crandall clan: school!

emma is doing kindergarten work, and violette, pre-k.

here is a basic summary of the subjects we’re covering this year:

bible and memorization: starting with genesis and working through. i give them a printed off coloring sheet to work on while i read the passage and then we discuss it. also introducing a new good habit a week: last week we started on the habit of attention and had a verse from proverbs that corresponded and then this week is obedience and they’re working on ephesians 6:1.

reading, phonics and poetry: their book list is pretty extensive, and most are checked out through the library. violette has a hans christian anderson collection and we borrowed a beatrix potter collection and little bear collection from the library. emma is reading aesop’s fables; a collection of old myths and fables written for younger kids; rudyard kipling’s ‘just so stories’, and fairy books (we’re on blue right now). the main part of the charlotte mason method we are focusing on is what she called “narration”… the parent reads the passage and then the child basically summarizes it in their own language, every few paragraphs. it’s so amazing to hear what they come up with and pick up on. we are also reading a chapter book together for quiet time/bed time and then when we’re finished, watching a movie based off the book- we’re on charlotte’s web right now, and then we’ll move on to peter pan and then little house in the big woods. emma is doing the ‘handbook for reading’ curriculum, and is already putting together sounds and understanding much more than i anticipated, especially so quickly.

their math work is pretty simple right now, basic counting and addition. they love working with the abacus. emma is perturbed that i won’t let her “finish her workbook in one day”!

we’re doing music on mondays, nature on tuesdays, handicrafts on wednesdays, art on thursdays and a bit of each on friday. friday will be our review/exam day, so i want to balance that with some more fun things too. i found the most amazing book on nature – “the handbook of nature study”, it’s gigantic and full of lovely pictures. yesterday we did a lesson on observing cats and they sketched a picture of margot and talked about what habits cat have and how we know if they are happy or upset. for music we are doing a mixture of folksongs, hymns and classical pieces, talking about the composers and whatnot. eventually i will teach them to read music and play the piano/guitar.

for art we’re studying shel silverstein, and i found several neat printables on his website, so i printed off “cutting kate” and the kids are working on illustrating that. we had to switch handicrafts and art today because i didn’t have embroidery hoops. we’re using yarn on burlap and doing free-form embroidery.

emma is doing copywork, starting with letters and numbers and as we progress doing the poems/hymns we’ve covered that day.

altogether, i can’t imagine doing anything different. i love this time we’re getting to spend together, and so grateful for the blessing of being able to be a mama and a teacher.

happy birthday violette anne!

dear violette, 4 years ago today you arrived, grumpy & adorable, not quite sure what this whole scene was. and you still aren’t sure what the big deal is with most things, and won’t hesitate to question anything deemed as silly. i like that about you, it reminds me of your daddy. you can be  the sweetest and cuddliest little bug, but definitely the most mischievous, ornery toot this side of the mississippi.  your jokes and quips make me laugh daily, no- hourly. violette, you are so fun and funny, and i am just thrilled to be your mama. thank you for choosing us, sweet bear. love, mama.


the children are occupied for the moment, so i’ve stolen a bit to update the world on the goings on in the crandall clan.

emma asked last friday if we could do school, so i dug out the preschool and kindegarten books i’ve collected and started in. she loved every minute of it & begged me for homework, she is most definitely my child. violette, while not ready for school, wanted to be a part as well. she colored & drew a beautiful picture of me, which will be featured in a photo scavenger hunt i’m taking part of.

last nite at bedtime, i was coaxing emma to bed and she told me that she didn’t want me to offer that to her again. sassafrass galore, nonetheless, very clever.

our sweet dog passed away, and it has opened up the backyard for all sorts of adventures. the girls have thoroughly enjoyed discovering the best hiding spots and having races.

theodore’s top two teeth popped through, i fear i have a bunny rabbit for a baby. they are HUGE and adorable. he also says “dada” now. his crawling has reached new heights and you can bet that if he is on the floor, he is headed for either one of his sister’s hair to tug on, that or the cat’s food.

i am doing very well, the year of adventure has been paused for the moment as we currently don’t have a working vehicle… w2s, where are you? i am very excited to get our taxes filed and hoping we get back what we plan on 😉 we are hoping to get a new (to us) minivan, a computer and a camera for me. i cannot wait to get a new computer and post all of the pictures i’ve taken. flickr, i miss you! i’ve tried over and over to post them on this machine, but linux and flickr are mortal enemies, i fear. it freezes if i am on the site for more than 3 minutes, that could be said of most sites though.

it’s now to make lunch and hopefully have a successful quiet time!

(i’m getting very, very excited about valentines day!!)

the song for today:


today is going to be a gorgeous day, i just know it.

we’ve just finished up mama/baby yoga and we’re munching on breakfast. my coffee is the perfect temperature and fully delicious. i’m breathing in this lovely air, full of love and giggles and i’m ready for a day of adventure, laundry, crocheting and diapers.

i am thankful for my sweet boy’s admiration and his acrobatics while nursing. for the girls and their respective hilarious (and particular!) mannerisms. for my lovey, and even when we’re picking at each other and having a rough morning of communication, there is still an undercurrent of devotion & good intentions. i’m grateful for the promises of good things to come & the anticipation of new goodies for our little clan.

i am ready for this sickness to be gone from our household & the fresh air of sunshine to permeate our home with healing.

i am wishing peace, kindness & thoughtfulness to everyone i love & that today would be an grand adventure for all of us.

i am wondering what good things are on your horizon?

change and worry and letting go.

i have a problem. my problem is that i make elaborate, detailed plans, and fully expect things to go as i plan them. and this rarely works out. and i’m learning that i cannot control things like the weather, and phones getting ruined, and lovey working like a madman.

this week is not going as we planned, not at all, and it’s not fun. but i can either be angry and let it ruin things even more, or i can breathe and let it happen. because i’m certainly not changing anything.

so, i’m going with it. i’m letting things happen. and i’m not going to have canker sores and knotted muscles because of snow. or because i’m concerned that someone might be mad at me. or because we’re all out of whack with our schedule and the kids are staying up to late and sleeping in too late. there is nothing i can do. i know the snow is out of my hands, i know i’ve done nothing remotely malicious to upset anyone and if they are upset, it’s their own problem. i know that the girls are missing their daddy and trying to stay up to see him. so i’m letting it all go, and it’s nice.

i miss my lovey. he is working from 3pm-3am everyday, which means he gets home around 3:45 and sleeps til he has to go to work. and the kids are missing him, violette climbed up on my lap the nite before last and said “i’m just lonely for my daddy”. me too, baby.

but this chaos can’t last forever. & i’m going to be overjoyed when things are settled back down.

i have hundreds of pictures to upload, but our computer freezes when i attempt to put them up, so it looks like i’ll have to make a day of it in february, when we get our new one. i’m still doing project: 365, there’s just no evidence 🙂

i’m off to go play with my new mixer & cookie sheets, i think we could all use a sweet treat!

gratitude and family.

this weekend we had a wonderful time with brady’s family, they came up from amarillo and we had a little christmas party at our house. the girls had been counting down the hours, and they were ecstatic to spend the day with “all their families”.

yesterday we received quite a surprising blessing. we got a check from brady’s old job, which we weren’t expecting until a few years from now. i’m always amazed at how the universe works itself out and relieved that we have a few less worries this holiday season.

the girls have been worried about santa being able to get into the house on christmas, since we don’t have a chimney. they’ve planned to put our cookies and milk on a bench right next to the door and leave the door unlocked so he will know it’s okay to come in. i love how their little brains work!

theodore is so very big! sunday morning he pushed himself up to sitting from his hands and knees. he’s learned the sign for milk, so his little hands are busy asking to nurse most of the time now.

we are doing so well, and i’m feeling very rich and full of love right now. what a beautiful gift my life is!