Thursday, February 25, 2010

If Walls Could Speak~ A Poem

So, after my post on A Road Trip Full Of Talking Houses, my 13 year old (daughter #2) was inspired to write a poem. She loves old houses and also loves to write, so we decided that should be her language arts assignment for the day. 
I loved her work and wanted to share it with you!
(Can you tell I'm a bit proud?)

So here it is:


I sit here in the open, yet tangled with vines… encumbered with shrubs. It's dark inside me…filthy-I'm crawling with rodents and insects in places I did not know I had.

I used to be admired, adored, lived in. In a moment a tantrum arose within me- my loved ones ran out, scared of my flames. They cried and the fire went away with their tears.

Dusty and Broken, charred and dark, moldy and rusted, I'm falling apart.

I still see my surroundings, paired with the memories of yesterday… the muddy sand box and the boy who played in it. The tree swing and the girl who fell off of it. Children playing games in the barn, or jumping off the hay stacks. When part of my door broke off and dad re-attached and painted me yellow again. He hummed to me.

Dusty and broken, charred and dark, moldy and rusted I'm falling apart.

I still get visitors, coming from my dirt road, I see them come and I try to stand proud. They take pictures of me, and make me stay still. They go around me and gaze at my ugliness- somehow they still find beauty in my brokenness.

When it turns dark I stay here listening to the sounds of rustling leaves, creaking wood, creatures large and small… Dusty and broken, charred and dark, moldy and rusted, I'm falling apart.

(This is the picture she sketched to go along with her poem.)

Hoping life is cherry and that you have a blessed night! ~Jen

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

One Word Wednesday- an intro

In a nutshell: One word to each photo...on Wednesdays.
I know. Not exactly mind-blowing or all that original. But I like the idea so today I begin!


Hoping you have a cherry day ~Jen

A Road Trip Full of Talking Houses

I LOVE road trips.  
 I do! I actually love being stuffed into one vehicle with my family.(really!)
Singing, laughing, sometimes breaking up fights-yes...but mostly just enjoying our time together. I also love going "down-home" to see my parents in Southern Illinois, as well as many of my aunts, uncles and cousins. Although I've never lived there myself, it's where my parent's grew up and where much of the family still lives, therefore it's always been referred to as "down-home". So it was an especially nice blessing this past week to be able to make the 8 hour trip down there. 
I wish it had been under different circumstances (with my parents recently separating) but it seemed to be productive and it also confirmed to us that God is working through this mess and in the end, whatever the the outcome is, it will bring Him glory. I have peace about it now.  
I always love I love watching the changing scenery as we travel here and there. I wonder how different life may be for someone in this house or that along the highway. So many of the old houses we passed must have amazing stories to tell.
  Driving through some of the Amish communities made me wonder at the simplicity of it. Are they more content than most, living such a simplistic lifestyle? I can see how they might be.
What about that old, delapitated house with the grass grown up around it and the junk strewn about the yard? Is the house a reflection of the condition of it's owners heart or life, or are they actually happier with their things scattered around them? Maybe it's empty...
...Or the beautiful, grand farm houses that look large enough to house an entire community? Who built it? Did it see more years of joy and love than tragedy or discord? What is it's history? How many generations have it's walls seen grow up and eventually depart?   
Is this just me being nosey? Maybe, but I think it's that part of me that loves exploring and also loves history. I'm not only intrigued by old houses, but old things in general.
And It feels good to step out of my suburbia bubble once in a while to take a look around- take a look back. That's sort of what we do here in the blogging community, isn't it? Step out of our own world and into others? I love that I can share and then explore around the US, then Canada, Australia, Europe, Asia...even when I can't leave my home.
By the way- Does your house have a story? I'd love to hear it! You can leave a comment or send me an email (which you'll find a link to in my profile.) I'd love to compile your stories (and pictures) as well as share my own, in a future post.
Hoping your day is Cherry  ~Jen

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


ap·pre·ci·a·tion: Pronunciation: \ə-ˌprē-shē-ˈā-shən, -ˌpri- also -ˌprē-sē-\
a : judgment, evaluation; especially : a favorable critical estimate b : sensitive awareness; especially : recognition of aesthetic values c : an expression of admiration, approval, or gratitude.

This (appreciation) is what I have again for the ability to hold down food and walk more than a few steps without passing out! (Oh! And to be able to put a string of words together to form actual sentences.) I'm really not being sarcastic about this. It's when you get knocked flat on your behind, that you gain a new perspective and realize how grateful you are for the times that you're able to function properly.
You see, this past weekend began nicely and continued on in a favorable manner...until Sunday night. Then without much warning at all I was bitten with crushing force by the flu-bug. You may think I'm exaggerating- I am not. 
We had just settled down for the evening after a fun-filled weekend (being Valentines Day and our son's birthday weekend) and as I was working quite contentedly on my hexagon blanket when suddenly I knew something wasn't quite right...
For the next 12 hours I was best friends with a little red bucket my sweet husband had fetched for me. But I wasn't alone... Daughter 1 came home from hanging out with friends about an hour after I first fell ill, with a flu-bug-bite story of her own. Only her bite took place whilst riding home from the mall  in her boyfriend's vehicle, which resulted in much embarassment and a heavily soiled, dryclean-only, wool jacket.
We spent the night in the living room together. I on the floor, (seriously- I was too sick to get up on the couch- I'm not even making this up) and she draped over  the chair & ottoman. I know we sound completely pathetic, but it's the truth. It didn't last very long, but it was harsh. 
Anyway, here we are; Tuesday night, finally feeling back to myself again, and I can truly say I do appreciate these not-so-little things that I normally take for granted.
I don't have much else for you right now other than stories of Lysol, laundry, and prayers of thankfulness that we're all better.
I will be taking a short trip to my parent's house with the rest of my clan later this week. (pending no further bug attacks.) It will be a more difficult trip this time since, if you remember from a previous post, my parent's are now separated. I am, however, looking forward to seeing them, even if not under the same roof. Maybe, just maybe, some things can get sorted out...hoping and praying so anyway.
Hoping you have a wonderful night  ~Jen

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Numb Lips, Bagels And Charades

It's been one of those weeks filled with to-do's... soap orders to fill, appointments to keep and lessons to teach, but it's been a good kind of busy. The kind that at least leaves you feeling you've accomplished a thing or two...not just running in circles. (Which is what I seem to do best.)
We started out the week with some fillings at the dentist for a couple of the kids.Well, that's what we thought anyway. Our son came home to me with a mouth full of gauze and a lop-sided frown. A baby tooth had to be extracted that just wouldn't come out. He looked so cute trying to look so angry, but he didn't find this amusing in the least bit. Here he's trying to pucker up- not happening.
He's all better now, but was pretty traumatized that night.

Earlier this week I made fresh homemade bagles for the first time! They turned out to be very simple and sooo yummy with a little jam and a cup of hot coffee. The recipe's really easy and it doesn't take as long as I thought to make them. Here's a link to the 'simple' recipe if you're interested in trying your hand at it yourself. This is just your basic bagel, but that's what I wanted for my first go at it.
(Guess he thought my bagels looked good too...or maybe my coffee.)

Homeschooling is going very well for us! I'm having a ton of fun teaching the kids through art, music, nature and experience.... Hands on with most things and trying to get away from so much table/workbook time.

I did find out today that it's not a good idea to play charades to learn the organs in the digestive tract. I jokingly mentioned it would be a funny game while we were reciting them- mainly wondering how you could possibly act out the appendix. Of course as I'm still pondering this, my kids drop to the floor,  curl up into circles and become....well, I'll just say it's the last organ in the digestive tract. Class was pretty much over until after lunch.
So that's what the news is from our home this week. I'm still working on my hexagon blanket and I'm happy to report that my pre-hexagon circles have more than doubled so I'm getting anxious to complete them and piece it all together!
Well until next time- have a blessed week! ~Jen

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Family Photo Frustration

The other day my kids made mention of the fact that I have more pictures of the cat than I do any of the rest of them in my lap top's photo album. They're probably right...
 but this is probably why...
And then there's Kye...
He's so cooperative! They are so not!
Hope you're having a wonderful weekend...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Following Suit And Keepin' It Real

I've just not been 'feeling' it today...blogging that is. I've been content sitting here enjoying everyone elses posts.
But as I was reading Kerri's post from yesterday over at Lovely Little Handmades and it inspired me to follow her lead (as she has followed the lead of her friend Heather at Alamode fabric) and share some random bits and pieces of myself and my family.
Much like Heather, I realized a couple of months ago that I wanted my blog to be more than just a connection to my Etsy shop or about creating things but also about this cherry life of mine!
So here goes-
  • I'm a mother of 3 kids (2 girls-17 & 13. 1 boy-10), two cats & 1 dog.
  • I've known my husband since I was 11. In highschool he was my best friend's boyfriend, and my boyfriend's best friend (Did I lose you?) and we couldn't stand eachother. Shortly after those break-ups we realized we actually liked one another much better than we liked them. I know-Scandalous. But here we are all these years later, still in love and havin' fun rasing our babies.
(My sweetie and me chillin' on the couch)
  • Our family will sometimes randomly break out in rhyme or song. Usually this begins w/ girl 2.
  • My kids like to make and  film their own comedies. Usually inspired by "what if" questions such as "what if I had to eat with my elbows?"
(Daughter 1 w/ Kye)
  • We don't have local channels or cable on our TV. We cut it one year as school started to avoid the homework distraction and the kids fighting over channels. It was so nice that we never turned back! I do love watching Top Gear on-line which is ironic since I don't care too much about cars. I think it's the cinematography and the British humor.
  • Our dog had to wear socks indoors, and special sock-shoes outdoors, for the first 8 months we had him. His poor little feet would crack and bleed, so I would wash, medicate and wrap them before 'socking' him 2-3 times a day. After several diets and lots of research I found he had a wheat allergy. Figures we get the dog with allergies. He's all better on his wheat-free diet.

  • My toes are abnormally long. 
  • I was led to the Lord through the girl's babysitter 12 years ago. My (then athiest) husband had just found a daycare for them when he felt an internal 'nudge' to drive down a road just outside our new town. He passed a drive with a daycare sign and checked it out even though he had already hired someone. When he went inside he somehow knew this was the right place for the girls. Long story short- their sitter eventually asked me to church and later became my closest friend. About a year later my husband followed suit and life has never been the same.
  • We're habitual movie quoters in our home. Comedies. My favorite: "I get dizzy spells, hot sweats, cold sweats, fingernail sensitivity, pelvic discomfort, numb lips, dead hands."  -What About Bob
(Daughter 2 and her broccoli monster)
  • I love to look at birds but I'm afraid to touch them.
  • I have only one sibling. She lives all the way over in California.
  • I absolutely love browsing recipes and trying exotic foods, but still don't really enjoy cooking them.
  • I pass out at the sight of blood or even hearing details of injuries etc.
(He thought I wouldn't notice the tape.)
  • We all love a good prank in this family. Last week the joke was on daughter 2 and and involved a little rubber worm and a tube of toothpaste.
  • When I was in kindergarten I stole a plastic coin from a kid's cubby hole. I never enjoyed it because I felt so guilty and I have never forgotten it.
So if you have some stories to share I'd love to hear them! Let me know so I can check them out on your blog. Be sure to check out Heather and Kerri's blog links above too.
Have a good one! ~Jen

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

It's Love

 For months I've been admiring the amazing colors and and beautiful work over on Lucy's blog at Attic24.
But since I'm fairly new to crochet and I've made only three very simple blankets, I decided I better find the perfect something before I jump into a project and buy a ton of yarn. Well...I saw it the other day...
And it was love.
(This is Lucy's blanket. Here is her tutorial)

So I pored over colors, bought my yarn and began my project.

I've got just a few done at this point, but I'm getting there. I love that you can just throw a few of these together in the evening or here and there through the day when you can snag bits and pieces of extra time. (Although I'm not really sure what  that is anymore!)
Can't wait to get this finished and on my bed!

I've also been busy with more of my soaps. Looks like I have another big order to fill in the next week!
(Autumn oat & honey)
(More Almond Honey)
(Lemongrass Verbena)
Life is starting to fall back in place and I am settling into the new routine. I'm thankful for that.
Have a blessed night. ~Jen

Monday, February 1, 2010

Back To Life

Were you beginning to wonder if I had fallen off the face of the blogosphere, never to return? There have been days in the past month that I actually wondered that very thing. Simply put: The happy new year did not begin so very "happily" for me. I am, however, so delighted to be back, curled up here in my virtual living room, slippered feet kicked up, laptop open and much to catch up on.
In short- We began the first two weeks of the year sick- Flu and cold viruses running amuck through our home. In the middle of our little sick-fest I got a call from my dad informing me that he was leaving my mom. Although I knew the "D" word had come up over the years, I still didn't really expect them to do it after 42 years of marriage. It was quite a blow, but I'm back up, dusting myself off.
Oh yes, and did I mention all of this came about just as I began homeschooling my two youngest kids? I was going to share this in a post at the beginning of January but, as you now know, my January did not turn out as planned. Needless to say; it's been a rough start to a new way of doing school. But we're finally falling into a rythm and it's actually served as a wonderful distraction from my parent troubles. I'm having a lot of fun teaching them, not only through books but also through real life, the arts, God's creation, you name it. I definitely like the structure and security of a curriculum but I also love having the freedom to teach them according to their own learning styles.
Anyway, here are a few snapshots of the past month. There have been many good days in January, as well. I'm thankful to God for all of them.
Girl 1 asleep at the table. That does not look comfortable!

Simon. I think he loves me.


This was not a good day for girl 2. Very sick.

He LOVES baskets.

I found these guys on the bathroom counter one night.
 They're my son's Legos, but this was my husband's creation.
Why they were in the bathroom- I do not know.

Some of the soaps I've made recently.
I've got a couple listed on my Etsy and many more to go.

 Again- It's good to be back!