Thursday, November 14, 2013

My Life Has Been Crazy -- But Wonderful

Things have been pretty different for me this year, but you can read this Yahoo! Voices column I wrote to catch up on a bit of it. I am doing really well, and the kids are well. I hope to post in the future, but right now, daily life is the first priority.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

I'm still alive! Too busy to write much here lately, but thought I'd share some of our photos from Mother's Day. My oldest made me a lovely breakfast and had lovely gifts waiting for me; the twins made me some homemade cards with the help of their big sister. We all headed to the Connecticut shore for a day by the sea. My parents have a special pass for seniors that allows free admission into state parks, so it was a frugal adventure with sun, sand, surf and a picnic lunch.

Hope you had a lovely day too!

Monday, April 8, 2013

I'm a "Rock Star"

I am merely a girl with a dream. A dream of a rustic rock wall in my backyard. But building a rock wall is not easy. So after waiting and waiting and waiting for a rock wall to just magically appear in my backyard, I decided to make matters into my own hands and create a rock "edge." It is not a wall, but an edge to my yard, marking where the grass (or where grass should be) and the woods meet. It's not beautiful, and it's not finished, but it's something. And I did it -- all by myself!

To me it's a metaphor, actually. It's kind of a "Stop dreaming, start doing" sort of thing. I'm tired of waiting around for my dreams, because I live in reality and reality can be kind of disappointing sometimes.

Eventually my backyard will be -- not perfect -- but better. And if moving a few rocks makes me feel like it's a step in the right direction, then I will move rocks! (My body is not *happy* but I'll count it as a workout :)

Of course, I still have dreams, but instead of dreams -- which might not happen -- I'll call it inspiration. Or "Pinspiration," since I tend to pin my dreamy inspiration on Pinterest.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Easter Scenes

Just a few beautiful Easter memories:

The sun is finally out here.... It is a welcome sight!
Now if it will only warm up a bit, I would be very happy.

In other blog news, I am trying to work on "paying" writing assignments,
so my hope is to update this blog once a week for now. 
Keep checking back -- it always means so much to that I see people reading.
Enjoy your week!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Counting Easter Blessings

Happy Easter Week! It's a busy time. I'm trying to juggle a lot lately, so blogging continues to take a back seat. I wish I could spend more time here, but alas, life gets in the way. 

My tween has been busy-busy; she is currently getting ready for her school's Invention Convention and is involved in her school play, so I'm trying to manage the additional activities in addition to our regular happenings. 

And now the Easter Bunny is getting ready to arrive! He's ready! He's finished his shopping! And we even have new baskets, as you can see in the photo above. I have been really wanting to splurge on the Pottery Barn baskets personalized with the kids names, but it would cost a small fortune for a once-a-year use for three kids, so I have resisted. I recently came across these baskets at Michael's,  and they were priced at 40 percent off. They cost me $25-ish for all three, and I think they are a cute look-a-like. I bought the little tags in the dollar area, and tied them on for an additional accent. I would love to figure out how to add their names to the little glitter wooden shapes, but I'm still working on that.

The baskets are not huge, but that's OK -- neither is the Easter Bunny's budget! My Easter rule is that the Bunny only brings what fits in the basket. Easter is not extravagant nor crazy-candy filled -- I'm sure the bunny will drop off things like Annie's bunny-shaped crackers, a small necklace, a toy car or two, a book or DVD, etc. A half-dozen inexpensive items with a chocolate bunny or two in the mix. Oh, and he hides a few plastic eggs around the house, with coins or small candy treats or little items. A half-dozen eggs per child is the basic rule of our Bunny visitor.

If you are still searching for last-minute Easter ideas, feel free to click on these links to my articles on Yahoo Voices: 

I've tried to create helpful content for you! And everything I write is from my own experience and interests. In fact, I'm hoping to put my Babka recipe to good use tomorrow; we've read Easter books on a daily basis; enjoyed hot cross buns; cookie baking and egg dying (in my "frugal" article) will happen in the next two days too. I hope to make this recipe:

It's Bunny Cookie Bark, and you can find the recipe here. It's another Pinterest discovery, of course. My love affair with Pinterest continues!

I hope you have a Happy Easter. I know that I have been counting my blessings more than usual lately. And I am officially sick of winter. There is still bits and bobs of snow on the ground here in New England, and I am really ready for sun, gardens, flowers, green grass and warmth. It's time, Mother Nature!

See you next week! Enjoy your holiday, and cherish every moment with your loved ones.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Candied Apples

Big Girl had a cooking class with Girl Scouts recently, and one of the recipes was for "Candied Apples." They were so good, we had to recreate them at home.

The recipe is very simple, and gives the taste of candy apples without the mess. You only need apples, water and Red Hot cinnamon candies. It took me forever to find those candies! I think I looked at four grocery stores before finding bags of them in Dollar Tree.

To make the apples, you dissolve one cup of Red Hots in 1/2 cup of water in a non-stick frying pan over low heat. It takes a while to dissolve them, so just turn on the stove top, and stir the bright red candies in the water every now and then.

While you are waiting, peel and cut up six small-to-medium size red apples into slices. Once the candies are dissolved, add the slices and cook over low heat for 45 minutes, turning every now and then.

Let the slices cook a bit and eat plain, or serve with vanilla ice cream and/or whipped cream. They are delicious!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

"The Lifeboat"

The Lifeboat

I had an opportunity last night to hear author Charlotte Rogan speak about her book, "The Lifeboat." Although I am ashamed to say I have not read the book -- I had to cover her talk for my job -- I am intrigued and would like to read it.

Rogan is a late-in-life published author -- this is her debut novel, and she is in her late 50s. She has found smashing success with this book, which was on the New York Times bestseller list, and I find her story quite interesting. For starters, she is a mom of multiples -- she has grown triplets, and started writing decades ago when her kids were small when her lawyer-husband was transferred to Texas. She didn't know many people initially, but used her lack of friends to turn to her passion for writing.

"The Lifeboat" is narrated by a young lady who is on trial for a crime committed on a lifeboat after a luxury liner sinks. The castaways spend 21 days on the sea, during which many questions and events unfold.

The inspiration for the story of “The Lifeboat” was found in one of her lawyer husband's law text. Rogan spotted a story about a 19th-century case where starving castaways, stranded on a lifeboat for weeks with little food, decide to kill and eat another passenger. They were rescued four days later and convicted of murder. Her book does not include the cannibalism aspect, but will appeal to fans of survival stories and anyone with a penchant for all-things-Titanic.

Rogan's speech definitely started a few wheels spinning in my head. If she can write with triplets, I'm sure I can write with twins!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

My goofy kids on St. Patrick's Day, 2012
Happy St. Patty's Day everyone!

I know I've been slightly absent from posting lately, but I've been busy, and I have many work assignments so this type of writing has taken a backseat to the "paying" jobs. Please continue to check in. I may not post every weekday for a while, but I will update regularly.

If you are still looking for some St. Patrick's Day ideas, here's my post from last year.

In the meantime, savor your corned beef and cabbage, wear some green, and take time to enjoy some blessings with your family!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A New Pope, and A New Hope

So we have a new Pope!

I watched the whole spectacle yesterday afternoon, hoping to be home to witness it. And I was. I have to say, I do love the pomp and circumstance and tradition and ritual of the church. It is beautiful.

Pope Francis gives me a good vibe and I like that. I like his simpleness. And I like his new chosen name. (Who doesn't have a statue of St. Francis in her garden?) I hope that the name is a sign that he will reform and fix my church. I know it is wishful thinking that he will modernize the church, but I can hope. I do think priests should be allowed to marry; women should be allowed higher roles in the church; that divorced people are not "punished" because sometimes it is not a choice to be divorced; that the sex scandals of the church not be covered up. There are so many things that can be improved in my faith and would increase the numbers of people who would continue to be connected to the Catholic Faith.

So we begin a new era. Love live and God bless Pope Francis. The world looks to you now.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Waiting for a New Pope

Vatican workers made final preparations on the Sistine Chapel on March 9.
Photo courtesy of
Vatican workers set up chimney on Sistene Chapel.
The chimney will emit black or white smoke,
which will tell the public if a pope is elected.
Yesterday, the papal conclave began to determine who the next Pope will be. It was an exciting day for Catholics. I personally hope they will pick someone who will modernize the church. Times have changed, and the church could use some change.

I wrote a very basic article for Yahoo Voices on this whole shindig. My intent was to break it down to basics so parents could answer questions for kids. Find it on the link, and perhaps it will help you.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Living in OZ

I took Big Girl to see "Oz: The Great & Powerful" yesterday. She really wanted to see it. I was indifferent walking in the theater, and in love waking out. It was fabulous.

I didn't think I would like it. But the movie was such tribute to "Wizard of Oz," with witty, smart parts, and I just adored it. It was very well done.

The deeper themes of the flick really hit home for me. How good does overcome evil. How believing in oneself can lead to great things -- as can others boosting one's self-esteem by believing in one as well. How one, with work, can change.

I loved "Oz," and so did Big Girl. If you have a chance to escape to the Emerald City soon, dodge some flying monkeys and head on over there.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

I'm in the Hot 500

I got a message yesterday from Yahoo Voices stating that I was in the top 500 rankings of contributors for the month of February, which means I had quite a bit of page views during last month.

If you've been reading the links that I've posted, thank you so very much! Every "click" helps contribute to my success as a contributor. I plan to continue to write for this venue. It's fun, you can write about anything, and it's interesting to see what people read.

You can find all the links to what I've done so far on my account profile page, where soon a special badge will be added for my new status in the Hot 500.

Now my goal is to crack the Hot 100 rankings. Stay tuned!!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

TWINS TUESDAY: Working at Home with Twins

I work from home, which is not always easy with twins. I've had more work lately, which is a blessing, but also means less time blog!

So today, I invite you to check out something I wrote about working at home with kids, because we all need tips, advice and reminders about how to manage this sort of working situation.

Happy Twins Tuesday!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Look for the Light

There are times when the world seems dark and lonely. There are moments when times are tough, hearts are broken, days are long, and one feels like they are drowning in their own problems.

But when these times happen, it helps to try and still see something promising. Something hopeful.

First, you realize that although you feel kind of down, others have it worse. You realize some family and friends are facing health problems. Or that a mother has lost her child. Or that another has no support when times are tough. Or that another has financial issues deeper than your own. Or there are others who are truly alone on a daily basis.

And then you start to count your blessings; simple things like a roof over your head, a freezer full of food, clothes in the closet, the ability to function and comfort others, to receive the gift of a smile or a laugh.

But my biggest blessings are my three children. I cannot express how lucky I am to have them in my life, as trying as that life can sometimes be with twin toddlers.

Their hugs and kisses and kind words are better than anything on earth. I am truly, truly and completely, blessed beyond belief, and not a day goes by that I don't thank God for what He has given me.

So when life gets you down, find something to celebrate. Find ways to see how your life is blessed compared to others. Don't dwell on the darkness; look for the light.

And more light will shine down on you.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Celeb Wife Swap: What did you think?

I didn't get to watch it live on Tuesday, but on Wednesday night, Big Girl and I sat down with some popcorn to check out Kate Gosselin on "Celebrity Wife Swap." It was just "OK," I thought. Nothing earth-shattering or crazy. Kendra Wilkinson was kind of boring, in my opinion.

But the show did make me hunger for some more Gosselin tales. Not Gosselin trips around the world, but things like day-in-the-life stuff. How they make it happen with all those kids. I think it's the same way I feel about the Duggars. I don't really care if they go to Asia; I'm more interested in how they manage laundry and grocery shopping and homework.

Luckily, I remembered that they post the "Household Manuals" from "Wife Swap" online. So I looked up the Gosselin manual. And I got what I really wanted -- a glimpse into her schedule with the kids.

I want to know more about her bread-making now. And although she says there is not full-time housekeeper or nanny or whomever, how does she clean that house?

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Making Science Fun!

My Big Girl was lucky enough to be part of really awesome program recently. She spent a week in a Starbase classroom at a local college.

The Starbase program is a S.T.E.M. program -- science, technology, engineering and math -- that is run by the Department of Defense. She spent four full days learning in the most creative of ways and doing hands-on experiments under the guise of great, enthusiastic teachers who each had a sense of humor and kept the class engaged. I spent one day at Starbase and came away with such respect for this program.

It is how kids should be learning all the time! They kids designed crafts to carry hard boiled eggs as they traveled down a zip line and smashed into a bowling ball. They made "rockets" in an Alka Seltzer experiment. They designed space shuttles. They learned about atoms and molecules; liquids, solids and gas; what the periodic table is; and numerous other science concepts and theories. They received call names -- Big Girl was Harbor Seal, after a favorite animal -- and they wore their uniform (T-shirt) every day. They designed a necklace that looks like a piece of space craft and it was created out of plastic on a 3D printer. They worked in groups every day and didn't have daily recess beyond their lunch break, but it did not matter to these kids. It was fascinating and fun. At the end of the program, the kids received a certificate as well as took a test to see what they learned. They also took a test to see what career choices might suit their talents and interests.

These kids enjoyed the program so much that when they returned to "regular" school on Monday, it was a bit of a letdown! I know that as a mom, I would love to see more opportunities like this for our children.

If you have a fifth grader, please be sure to investigate this program and see if it is in your area. You will not be disappointed!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Easter on the Brain

I've been writing a ton about Easter for Yahoo Voices:

Click on the links to read each story. I've tried to create helpful, interesting content.

Easter is not far off. I'm ashamed to say I haven't been shopping for basket trinkets yet, but I will step it up soon. The kids and I put out the Easter decor last weekend, replacing snowmen and hearts with bunnies and chicks. Our Valentine tree turned into an Easter tree.

I'm starting to get sick of dreary winter. Looking forward to spring, outdoors and gardens...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

TWINS TUESDAY: Gosselins are back tonight

Kate Gosselin and Kendra Wilkinson
 -- Getty ImagesAccess Hollywood

We get treated to a glimpse of the Gosselin multiples tonight when the Kate-Plus-8 crew returns to television at 8 p.m. tonight. Kate Gosselin will star on tonight's episode of "Celebrity Wife Swap" on the ABC network, swapping with former "Girls Next Door" star Kendra Wilkinson.

Should be interesting, right? Kate has 8 kids and no husband; Kendra has one tot and a husband.

"Wife Swap" can be rather unflattering, so I will be interested to see how this all plays out.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


It is easy to write about how hard it is to be a mom of multiples. Double the trouble. Double the work. Double the mess.

But there is, truly, double the blessings. Double the fun. Having twins is, indeed, a joy.

I always wanted a "bigger" family. Maybe not Duggar-big, but big. But I also knew my personality, and if I was to have a bigger family, it would come with breaks in between. Maybe one kid every five years? (Ha!) That didn't happen. And that said, God has a different plan for us, doesn't he?

It is so much fun to share in the "fun" of little twins. They love each other. They miss each other. They tease each other, which is sometimes exhausting, but it can be funny. And they pine for each other. And they talk in their tiny little voices to each other, encouraging-bossing-supporting each other.

There is so much joy in that. Having two little ones the same exact age means they enjoy the magic of Christmas together, the joy of running in the grass barefoot together, the joy of holding hands together on the first day of kindergarten. They have each other, forever, to share in experiences, whether boy and boy, girl and girl, or boy and girl. They share something that few of us will ever know. They are always the exact same age. They shared a womb together! They have known each other longer than anyone on this earth has known them (except, maybe, me!).  And I am grateful they have each other.

And I am now truly grateful that Big Girl has the joy of having two -- TWO!! -- siblings. I thought she would never have one, and she has TWO. A brother AND a sister. There is so, so, so much joy in that. They will be her siblings forever, and I know -- I know! -- she will love them forever, despite a seven-year age difference.

Our family may not be Duggar-big, or Gosselin-big, but it is not small. It is big, a just-right big. It is full and it is full of love. Twins bring double the blessings, double the joy, double the fun. Moms are forever changed by twins, and I am one of those moms. I am proud of my pair, and I am proud of me for being able to handle it all. It is exciting to think of all that is to come.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

We Survived NEMO


It has been a crazy weekend, but we survived the blizzard. School has been out, but will return tomorrow. I am extremely busy during the next two weeks, so posting will be sporadic as I take care of life's issues.

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Mom's Guide To... Valentine's Day

I love this little jar!
I would love to make something similar.

Valentine's Day is coming! Are you excited? Focus on being with those you love, big and small.

And as far as Valentine decor goes... well, I am a sucker for pink and red. I love it.

As soon as the New Year arrives and the Christmas decor is packed away, I take out a few Valentine items to mix in with the leftover snowmen and snowflakes. Of course, we have our Valentine tree:

White tree, red and white ornaments that are not Christmas-y. I have white lights on every night when we are watching TV. So cozy! And the nutcracker on the left is carrying a sled in one hand and has hearts on him. He is a cute "winter" decoration, not just Christmas.

We also have this cute Little People set:

It was Big Girl's, and it's fun to pull it out every year. I wish we had more "holiday" Little People sets, especially now with the twins. At least they are festive and kid-friendly if you choose to put them on a shelf. (You can also see a kid-friendly Valentine pillow behind it. It has Cupid on it.)

Earlier this year I found a cute Valentine banner kit in Target:


It was only $1, and I had Big Girl work with the twins to complete it one night while I as making dinner. It came out cute, and I hung it across the top of our kitchen chalkboard. She was so good with them and it kept them busy at "the witching hour," which is what I call the 4:30-6 p.m.-ish time where I am making dinner and everything falls apart. I must write a post on this in the future!

But back to Valentine's Day! There are so many great little ways to celebrate. I don't believe in making other holidays like the grand gift-giving that goes on at Christmas. Hubby and I have stopped the V-Day gift giving, but I do give the kids tiny treats. This year, I found little felt bags at Target's Dollar Spot, and each has three treats: a small heart-shaped candy box, stickers (or a small notepad for Big Girl) and one tiny, tiny toy. Except for the toy, each thing was $1 each. The toy ranges from a 97-cent Matchbox car for Buddy Twin to a $3 Disney Princess cell phone for Bunny Twin and a $4 Lego Friends for Big Girl. That's it. Not a lot of cash needed (we don't have a lot, anyway), but still tiny treats to celebrate our love for our kids. If you are still searching, check dollar stores and Target's Dollar Spot for great treasures. Our little heart candy boxes also came from Target, $1 on sale. This is just enough.

If you can't find the banner kit shown above, it's pretty easy to recreate it with scrapbook paper, stickers and string or ribbon. I also saw this great idea on Pinterest:

Source: via Kellie on Pinterest

Isn't it cute? It's just playing cards and ribbon. This would be a great Valentine decoration that doesn't cost much, if anything, at all.

Of course, I also plan on making treats for the holiday. When Big Girl was little, I used heart cookie cutters to cute out frozen waffles, sandwiches, and just about anything. You could serve "red" food, like strawberries and apples, or make strawberry milk.

Or even simple Funfetti cupcakes are festive enough:

Big Girl, circa 2010, with Funfetti cupcakes for Valentine's Day.

It doesn't have to be fancy. Sometimes simple is better, right? I love this idea:

Valentine Chex Mix! Doesn't it look like a cute little treat? And it's not difficult. I also like this variation on a festive snack mix, called Cupid Crunch:

Both would be great to enjoy while watching Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown.

You can also whip up a batch of this two-ingredient treat:


So those are just a few simple treats from my Pinterest findings.

As for the actual valentines? Big Girl wants to make her own, so we will be tackling that before the holiday. Our school doesn't allow food/candy anymore, so this limits our options tremendously. But I have a few ideas up my sleeve to suggest to her. Stay tuned!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Laura Week: Weather!

It's the last day of "Laura Week," and considering what's about to hit us later today here in the Northeast, I'd say it's a good day to crack open this Laura Ingalls Wilder book:
The Long Winter (Little House)

It's perfect reading for a blizzard! I think I'm going to re-read my ancient copy today. It's one of my favorites.

It's also a good day to check out the blog Wilder Weather. It's a blog devoted to the weather of the "Little House" books (and a few other things). There's a Facebook page for the blog as well. They are worth checking out.

I should also mention that "Little House" made the news this week! There was an article in national newspapers on how doctors researched Mary's blindness -- and Mary is Laura's sister, for you non-Laura fans -- and believe that it was not scarlet fever which caused her blindess. You can see the article here.

Today, when you have cabin fever, you can also spend some time sprucing up your little house. Whether you live in a log cabin or not, you can still feel like Laura Ingalls Wilder with some simple touches around your home.

Photo from an article on how to decorate like
"Little House in the Big Woods."

Break out the red-checked table cloth, rag rug, quilt and tin lanterns. Bake some bread and make some butter! Or try Laura's Gingerbread recipe. It was delicious.

And if you have not already, read my Yahoo! Voices story on my love for Laura here. Or browse my Laura and Little House Pinterest board here.

If you missed "Laura Week," you can find all posts related to Mrs. Wilder on this link.

Enjoy the blizzard, dear readers. Stay safe, and warm. 
See you on Monday!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Laura Week: "Birthday" Cake!

Happy Birthday, Laura Ingalls Wilder!!

And since today is her birthday, how about we celebrate with some cake?

On Sunday, I gathered up the little ones to make a very special recipe: Laura's Gingerbread.

The recipe is a popular recipe from the writer and historian; It is a gingerbread cake, not a gingerbread cookie. It has been baked many times by her fans, and chronicled on many blogs, but I had never tried it myself. Since Laura's birthday is Thursday, I thought that this week was the best time to try it out. And on Sunday, Big Girl was home, and it was fun to explore a historical recipe.

The ingredients are rather simple. Here, look at the first part of the recipe in Laura's handwriting:

Source: via Kellie on Pinterest

At one point, I thought I screwed up the recipe, and crossed my fingers while it baked. But sure enough, it came out great! Here is the recipe I followed:

Laura's Gingerbread Cake

Mix together:
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup molasses
1 cup shortening

2 tsp. baking soda dissolved in 1 cup boiling water 

Mix ingredients.

In a separate bowl, mix:
3 cups flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. all spice
1/2 tsp salt

Add the flour mix and mix.

Then add in 2 eggs, well beaten.

Pour into a well-greased pan 9x13 pan. (I used a glass pan; some other versions use a 9x9 pan but mine came out just fine.) Bake at 350 degrees, for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

It came out much better than I thought it would. Some reviews stated that there was not enough spice to it, but I thought it was delicious. And so did all three kids. They all wanted seconds! (And Big Girl requested some in her lunch box tomorrow.) I will definitely be making this again.

You can also add raisins, candied fruit or nuts, and some recipes suggest a chocolate frosting. I think a dollop of whipped cream would be lovely, or a sprinkling of powdered sugar. It's a perfect "coffee cake," so if you need to bring something to a winter brunch, try it out!

When we were mixing everything up, I let the kids smell each spice, which was fun to watch the expressions on their faces. They also loved watching the molasses go into the bowl. And when it was baking, they could not wait to see it come out of the oven, because it smelled devine. I make gingerbread cookies every Christmas, and this was as fragrant as that time of the year.

So make a birthday cake for Laura tomorrow. Bake some gingerbread!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Laura Week: Celebrate!

Laura's birthday is tomorrow! Party!

I want a pioneer party for my birthday. Big Girl has not requested one yet, nor have I been able to convince her. Her Laura reading is usually in the winter, which means by the time her summer birthday rolls around she wants something different.

But nonetheless, I keep pinning pioneer parties. So I will share my links, which are plentiful on my Laura and Little House Pinterest board. (This is just a "linky" post, so I apologize... But everyone else has such great ideas!)

I think this one is my favorite:

This one is also a big favorite:

(The Homespun Heart is a favorite blog of mine -- I read it every morning. Monica is so inspiring!! And she is a Little House fan.)

This is an adorable party that used a lot of Holly Hobbie elements -- remember her?

Here's a cute party with a really adorable covered wagon cake:

Source: via Kellie on Pinterest

This one had a ton of "faux" things that made it real:

And if you need a gift for a Laura fan, how about this:

Source: via Kellie on Pinterest

Or this:

I know, so cute.

Pioneer parties are adorable. I still have hope that Bunny Twin will want one in the future! If not, I may just have one for all the little girls in my life with no special occasion to celebrate, other than loving Laura.

Tomorrow is Laura's birthday! Look for a post on some special cake to celebrate.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Happy Blog-iversary to Me!

One year. Today. Yay me!

Laura Week: The Music of Little House

There are 127 songs in Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House" books. For anyone who has read them, it's not hard to imagine. Laura's Pa played his fiddle all the time, and we are given snippets of lyrics to songs that were spiritual and folksy and ethnic and a slice of Americana.

There have been a handful of albums dedicated to the music of the books, primarily because it plays such a major role in the stories. It's amazing, but listening to the tunes actually does enhance reading the series even more. When you are just reading lyrics and do not know the melody, it is purely poetry. But put a tune behind it, and the emotion is intensified. Some of the albums focusing on "Little House" music are:

  • 2005's "Happy Land: Musical Tributes to Laura Ingalls Wilder"
  • 2006's "The Arkansas Traveler: Music From Little House on the Praire"
  • 2010's "Pa's Fiddler: Charles Ingalls, American Fiddler"

Last year, Dean Butler, who played Almanzo Wilder on the "Little House" television series, produced a PBS special with numerous country stars performing the music. "Pa's Fiddle Project" brings all the classic songs to life:

I just love this clip. The soundtrack was also released as "Pa's Fiddle: The Music of America," and is available on Amazon via download.

Pa's actual fiddle is on display at the museum at Laura's Missouri home. Some day I hope to travel to see it in person!