{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}


Well, the first week of the new school year is now behind us. As first weeks go it was definitely one of our better ones, although there was a bit of wailing and gnashing of teeth from time to time at the thought of all the work that needed to be done. And then the kids joined in. 😉 No, it wasn’t that bad. Princess did comment that her first grade coursework was definitely longer than her kindergarten one. The one most pleased with course advancement is Trooper, surprising as it may seem. He’s hovering between two grade levels and likes the higher one more. With patience and luck and a good dose of grace I’m hoping to test him fully into the higher grade maybe even by Christmas. He’s in a good spot right now and I want to take advantage of it. 🙂

But meanwhile, it was back to the books, even if it means you’re reading to your little sister. 🙂 

photo 3


It’s still summer, though, and last Friday Haus Meister brought me home a treat:

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I’ve made 7.5 pints of Ginger Peach Tea Jam already, then gave a bag to one of my good friends around here, and plan to try and make jam out of the ones in my refrigerator this weekend. Yes, we have also eaten some. These peaches are one of the best things about summer in the Deep South. 

(Pretty Happy)

Going back to the school topic, I’m once again juggling the household/homeschool routine and sometimes during this week, frankly, folding the laundry has had to wait until later in the day or early in the morning. I’ve been folding in the basement family room lately, and sometimes I have company.

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The Mischief Squad at Rest.

Miss M is definitely into tea parties right now. I think she’s hosted more than either of her older sisters. She might host more as her articulation improves, because right now she indicates another tea party session is at hand by demanding: “Come down sit a pahty.” Given that her “party” sounds a lot like “potty,” I myself have often mistaken her meaning. Dear thing.

(Pretty funny)

photo 1

Speaking of Miss M, she has a birthday fast approaching. Warning: pictures to-be-posted promise pink profusion.


Now for some news that I cannot believe I haven’t mentioned yet. As most of you know our Old Haus has been on the market for eleven months after our previous renters moved onto a larger house. We had two potential buyers back down because of financing as they were trying to get the offer made to begin with, and one offer we refused because he was rather unreasonable. He wanted us to modernize the place and pay his closing costs, while offering us under our asking price. Among his requests were that we completely update the plumbing pipes (not that it needed it) and move the water heater to an entirely new and awkward location. Sayonara! And after this the summer doldrums set in and no one looked at the house for a couple of weeks.

So I tried the novena to Our Lady Undoer of Knots.


A week later Haus Meister gets a text from a family friend who knew that we would be open to renting the house and knew of two potential tenants who might be interested. An option that we had almost given up hope about suddenly became reality. I prayed the novena in late July. August 3rd a one-year rental agreement was signed and they moved in August 4th. 

I’m keeping that novena card.

(Pretty REAL)

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

Strawberry time!

My sister and I had the same idea this week. It was time to can strawberries!IMG_1504

Very pretty. There’s nothing that says early summer like freshly picked strawberries. Unless, of course, it’s corn on the cob.


Miss M and Posey Pie, Early June, 2013 at the farmstand

When I snapped this picture, I thought to myself…

“What a difference a twelvemonth makes!”


Miss M, late May 2012 also at the farmstand

And yes, I really did use the word “twelvemonth.” I’m weird that way.

Some Happy around here this week includes

IMG_1450Smiles during tummy time!


And a teepee made of bamboo that is constantly endangered by the toddler set.


Trooper has a habit of checking out food magazines. He flips through my The English Home magazine to look at kitchens; he scours my Victoria magazine for the recipe section. Once while we stopped in the grocery store for peanut butter, I tried to speed down the aisle because for some reason the store organizer thought that peanut butter and jelly should be across from the Harlequin romance books. The magazines were also down the aisle and Trooper startled me by stopping suddenly and running back to the glossy mags. He pointed at one and I looked. It was a food mag with baked mac & cheese on the front–only his favorite meal ever!

In a nutshell, if there’s anything food to read about in the house, he’ll find it. So it shouldn’t have surprised me that he dug up the latest subscription to Draft that my sister and brother-in-law gave Haus Meister (the brewmaster) for Christmas last year.


Don’t kid yourself that he knows anything about beer. He’s interested in the hamburger bun. That’s his second favorite food.


When my sister and my niece start to cook strawberry pies or jam, it looks a lot like this:

When my little ones help, it looks something like this:

"This basket doesn't go upstairs without a fight."

“This basket doesn’t go upstairs without a fight.”


"Oops--think Mom will notice a missing quart of berries?"

“Oops–think Mom will notice a missing quart of berries?”

The mooshed into carpet uber-ripe strawberry stains did come up, thanks be to Hoover and Oxyclean carpet cleaner.

{pretty, happy, funny, real}

I missed last week’s link-up owing to what I thought was a lack of pictures in addition to a perceived lack of time. I’m going to hurry and join this week before school starts at 8:30.

Pretty Happy

Fresh peaches, freshly canned

Eggs from the Farmer’s Market. I like that no two are identical. I also like that random light colored one in the midst of the brown.  Last week we had a blue egg from them.

Happy Pretty

We were playing at a friend’s house when Princess found the dollhouse of her dreams. I thanked my friend for making Christmas very easy on Ol’ Santa this year.

It was hard to get a picture here–the subject kept moving. Sunshine needed a new pair of Sunday shoes and since I took Princess along for the shoe shopping (what was I thinking?) I left with two pairs of “sparkly shoes” for the big girls. Oh well, every girl deserves a sparkly pair of princess shoes, right? I remember my obsession with clear jellies that had silver glitter in them when I was 4-5. They were my own personal pair of glass slippers. Probably far more comfortable, too. Anyway, my rough and tumble Sunshine proved her innate girliness by LOVING these shoes, and wearing them every chance she gets.

Funny Cute

Making Baby laugh

Real Funny

After finding this fellow on Charlotte’s blog, I knew I had to get it for Haus Meister. Of course I could have just bought it loose on Amazon.com, but I was in search of minifigs for the top of Rascal’s birthday cake (coming up in 14 days), so I ordered a bunch from the LEGO store. When the box arrived I locked myself in my room and opened the little red bags like a kid at Christmas. To my great joy, I’d gotten him.

Haus Meister was highly pleased and amused (we agree that the tape on the glasses is a nice touch, although Haus Meister wears his tapeless). He declared that the little guy needed to be in his office.

He went there the next day, where I presume he is helping with design difficulties.

Picture by Haus Meister, all rights reserved

And yes, we still have plenty of minifigs left over for my planned cake design. 🙂

{pretty, happy, funny, real}



Princess holding Mommy’s anniversary flowers.


Going on a family walk in the park.



When your kids get your phone, expect 26 photos of an exercise ball.


I  was so ambitious about canning strawberries that I had to use Haus Meister’s 32qt homebrewing pot to boil them in. Hey–they didn’t boil over! 🙂

{pretty, happy, happy, real}


Found in the front yard after a thunderstorm.


We finally got our first batch of strawberries from the farm market stand!  I did not have any lack of helpers–or should I say snackers?

Happy x 2

When my parents came down they brought this little wooden kitchen set that Mom found at a garage sale for $3 (!!!).  It has been the Toy of the Week and it’s so nice to have a proper spot for all our Melissa & Doug foodstuffs.


My new dryer arrives today.  I am so happy.  I appreciate the nostalgia of hanging clothes on the line as much as anyone, but nevertheless a working dryer will be most welcome!  At the risk of airing a First World complaint, my old dryer broke over a month ago.

Hello and welcome to those who are stopping by from Elizabeth’s review on In the Heart of my Home.  It has been such fun “meeting” so many new people and catching up on those I already knew. 🙂  And thanks to all who helped put Joy in the Ordinary on the top 25 Religious Fiction purchases in both Fiction and Romance categories on Kindle yesterday.  I’m humbly grateful.