Joy Dare :: 3 Gifts Sweet

Mom and I were talking about Three Gifts Sweet, and we realized that could go a couple different directions. There’s sweet like, “Oooh, that tastes sweet!” Sweet like “Awww… so sweet!” and then sweet like “Schaweeet!” (didn’t think of that last one till just a bit ago, Mom!)

So, really, I only thought about the “Oooh, yummy!” kind of sweet.


We snagged these at our discount grocery store during an emergency run for flour and nutmeg. Yes, no nutmeg DOES qualify as an emergency. They were cute, festive, and dipped in white chocolate, which made the children very happy.




But look! Papa is helping the girls identify a bird that they spotted. Awww, so sweet!


I am very thankful that Dan can make it home on lunch breaks now. It’s nice to see an adult (and one I like so much!) halfway through my day. Plus, we give him a rundown of the school day while he’s here, and he often has something to add. It’s one of my happiest blessings right now!


I also managed to score this yummy Christmas-ish coffee at the discount store. Which is schawheet! (But shhhh… don’t tell anyone about this last one, because some just might make it under the tree for certain family members at Christmas time!)


When April Comes






When April comes with softly shining eyes,
And daffodils bound in her wind-blown hair,
Oh, she will coax all clouds from out the skies,
And every day will bring some sweet surprise,–
The swallows will come swinging through the air
When April comes!

When April comes with tender smile and tear,
Dear dandelions will gild the common ways,
And at the break of morning we will hear
The piping of the robins crystal clear–
While bobolinks will whistle through the days,
When April comes!

When April comes, the world so wise and old,
Will half forget that it is worn and grey;
Winter will seem but as a tale long told–
Its bitter winds with all its frost and cold
Will be the by-gone things of yesterday,
When April comes!
Virna Shear

Oh the drama!


We have this dog. He’s HUGE, hairy, nearly blind, stinky, gentle as can be, and quite wild and un-tamed. He sleeps on the top of a picnic table and covers the entire thing. He loves the kids dearly. He used to be a sheep dog, but now that all of our sheep have been butchered, he is just a big old backyard dog.

Since all of his sheeply comrades have one by one been stored in the freezer over the past fall, we think that the poor dog is a little worried about his fate – I mean, if you were a dog, wouldn’t you worry?

So yesterday we were working around the yard and Colonel saw his opportunity to shake loose the bonds of fencing that have kept him so, well, fenced in, and strike out on his own.

He has escaped once or twice before, and he generally comes back around when he realizes that he is hungry and that it is best for a near-sighted dog to have one’s food brought to him in a bowl, instead of having to hunt for dinner. In other words, we weren’t terribly worried. The girls, however went in to full on sack-cloth and ashes mode. Mourning, weeping, tearing out of hair… the whole nine yards.


I don’t think it was the fact that the dog went missing that was causing so much angst. No, it was more that there was an opportunity for drama.


Before we managed to recapture the humongous canine, Kinsley had worked herself into a full blown panic attack, complete with a terrible headache and chest pain and shortness of breath. So after Dan dragged 200 pounds of dog nearly a mile through the woods, up a ravine, and across the highway, loaded him into the back of the van, and unloaded him back into the backyard, we spent the rest of the evening plying Kinsley with Rescue Remedy
and aromatherapy to ease her back out of panic mode.

Sisters can sure manage to work themselves into the oddest frenzies.

Catching up – already!

I think it’s probably not a good sign if I’m already having to play “catch up” on the fourth post of a new blog.  However, life must take precedence over the documentation of life – which I actually have a hard time accepting, sometimes!
So, since our last post, we’ve done Thanksgiving, Christmas, and a cross country family vacation, New Years, and Sophie’s birthday…. 

A super abbreviated recap:
Christmas was lovely, everywhere we celebrated it.  At home, abroad, and next door.
New Mexico was as lovely as ever!  We celebrated New Years on the train traveling cross-country back to the place we call home.
Sophie’s birthday was a smashing success.  Anything involving cake, family and gifts is generally quite the success, around here. 
More detailed photo highlights may or may not follow in the next several posts… 😉

The most relaxing vacation of our year…

…possibly even our the most relaxing vacation we’ve taken post children.  Yep, it was that nice.
My sister and brother in law funded an overnight stay for us in St. Louis, in return for a little favor we did for them.  It was a beautiful fall weekend and we had nowhere we had to be, no one we had to see, and no deadlines.  It was ridiculously relaxing.
We stayed at Drury Inn near the zoo, and while I’ve never considered myself the kind of girl to develop hotel chain loyalty, I am considering it now.  The price was not necessarily a steal, but when you have intense morning sickness, and are traveling with three children five and under, you really appreciate things like their 5:30 kickbacks (which on this particular night included chili, baked potatoes and hot dogs, among other things), and their very thorough breakfast which satisfied the pickiest of eaters.
With breakfast and dinner covered by the hotel, we only had to take care of lunch, which we brought along with us on the first day.   We spent most of the first day swimming, playing dominoes, and watching out the window (the kids would have been happy to spend all day doing this!).  With dinner provided, we never had to leave the hotel, and after dinner we retired to our room with bags of complimentary popcorn to watch a movie.


The next day we went to the zoo.  It was the most relaxed zoo trip we’d ever made, and since we were in no hurry, the kids got to spend a lot of time checking out the things that interested them most.
For Truxton, it was driving, of course!

We’ve had a mini obsession (compared to our hippo obsession) with naked mole rats, ever since Marme and Grandad gave us Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed, for Truxton’s birthday.

Did you know that naked mole rats live in colonies, like bees or ants?  And they have a queen?  Pretty interesting little things, actually.

So of course, seeing the naked mole rats in person made quite an impression.  Even on Dan.

Hedgehogs have been another mini obsession for us, though this is mainly Kinsley’s interest.  After seeing the video below, she has asked everyone she knows who is going or has been anywhere in Europe, to try to get her a hedgehog from the forest there.  Anyway, we got to see a hedgehog there, and the girls met a little boy who’s grandfather lives in England and has a pet hedgehog – which they thought was pretty cool.
Other items of interest… fish.  Though it seemed like Sophie was the only one really interested in them.
And sand.  Trux would have been perfectly content to watch the children playing in the sand table for the entire day.  He’s so easily entertained.
to be continued…

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Must See!

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife”.

You really must go see this play.  It was amazing!  The actors were all superb, the costumes were so elegant and the props were convincingly realistic.

One of my favorite characters was the disturbingly creepy, but oh so entertaining Mr Collins, who was played by the neither disturbing or creepy, though still entertaining Adam Nisbett.

Check out the Fine Linen Drama website, and the reviews on the fan page, but most importantly, go see the play!  From what I hear, the shows are selling out fast, so get your ticket ASAP!