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Showing posts from September, 2010

Let's Hear it for the Kids! Favorite Nooks

{I thought it would be fun to do a week of kid-related posts a) for the grandparents and b) because I need some perspective of "busy-ness for a good cause" and celebrating all things child-related seems to lift even the crabbiest of my moods. If you'd like to play along, leave your blog in the comment section so we can follow you, too! Each day will be devoted to a child, then some favorite books, and nooks.}
Today I just wanted to share a few local 'nooks' the kids love around Lincoln & Nebraska City, Nebraska, so if you're living here you won't miss them! The first picture is of the gem of a play area tucked away in Pioneer's Park near their older nature center. Our friend, Lisa, found this a year ago and showed it to us when we were on our picnic. I'm so glad she did. It's the most peaceful place to play early in the morning, and Lukka and Anikka were busy here for over an hour. Yes, I read (and snapped photos!) It's called the Natur…

Let's Hear it for the Kids! BOOK DAY!

{I thought it would be fun to do a week of kid-related posts a) for the grandparents and b) because I need some perspective of "busy-ness for a good cause" and celebrating all things child-related seems to lift even the crabbiest of my moods. If you'd like to play along, leave your blog in the comment section so we can follow you, too! Each day will be devoted to a child, then some favorite books, and nooks.}

Today I thought it'd be fun to show you what we've been loving to read around Our House. A few favorites from each child, that they ask for over and over. First up it's My Friends by Taro Gomi, a board book I bought Anikka for her 1st birthday...she still loves it!photocredit
This is one of the coolest board books we own. The pictures are simple and very beautiful. I find Japanese artwork very inspiring and this little book is no exception. This is the first book Ani really "took to" and started to like listening in our laps to a book. She also h…

Let's Hear it For the Kids! Anikka Update

{I thought it would be fun to do a week of kid-related posts a) for the grandparents and b) because I need some perspective of "busy-ness for a good cause" and celebrating all things child-related seems to lift even the crabbiest of my moods. If you'd like to play along, leave your blog in the comment section so we can follow you, too! Each day will be devoted to a child, then some favorite books, and nooks.} Anikka playing with the tree blocks at Tree Adventure in Nebraska City.Anikka is now 19 months and I simply can't get over what a big kid she's getting to be. I have to be honest the 15 month mark was one of my favorite and I simply can't bear that my baby (Oh Lord, help me) is getting out of that sweet stage. She's of course, fun at just about any age (though I'd skip the first six weeks again...) but her independence is certainly her strongest character trait right now. She sometimes likes help, okay maybe 5% of the time she'll accept help, …

Let's Hear it For the Kids! Lukka Update

{I thought it would be fun to do a week of kid-related posts a) for the grandparents and b) because I need some perspective of "busy-ness for a good cause" and celebrating all things child-related seems to lift even the crabbiest of my moods. If you'd like to play along, leave your blog in the comment section so we can follow you, too! Each day will be devoted to a child, then some favorite books, and nooks.}
Lukka hanging side-ways on a rope over a small bridge at Tree Adventure. Lukka is now 3 years old starting the first day of summer and let's just say this age looks good on him. He's old enough to (honestly!) help around the house and he does it with zeal. Vacuuming and dishes seem to be his prized chores. He says the funniest things and Stefan and I are often cracking up over dinner. He is constantly laughing, climbing (and falling) all over the couch and his imagination is at it's peak since toddlerhood. Although he gave up his nap this summer he's s…

{This Moment}

They are so best buds. Yes, adorable, I know...all three holding hands! Join Amanda Soule along with countless others today and reflect on a moment you loved. {Credit for making the adorable child in the middle? My friend, Maria.}

Book Review: Radical Homemakers: Reclaiming Domesticity from a Consumer Culture

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Read it! Read it! Read it!

Okay, so now you know how I really feel, here's the review: Shannon Hayes, a woman in academia with numerous degrees suddenly gave it all up to start her life over for the things that mattered: family, community, quality of life, social justice, etc. This is a three part story. One, the personal story of why she re-thought the values of the American culture, two, lots of statistics and research and studies spouting off quotes from Emerson all the way to top economists talking about America's quality of life (poor) and back again to the definition of wealth and poverty. Lastly, the story of twenty interviewed "Radical Homemakers" she inserts here and there throughout the nonfiction work.
I think I read this book in 5 days...only because I was distracted numerous times during those five days.
I kept agreeing and making Stefan listen to a quote, a statistic, what have you, and I was consumed by her well articulated and witty writing. …

Apple Pickin' at Kimmel Orchard

Last Friday in anticipation of the Applejack Festival, a friend and I went with all our kids out to Kimmel Orchardto pick some apples. She always drives by it heading to the Tree Adventure and I had only heard of their wine, so we were both excited to be experiencing it together with the kids. Lukka's favorite fruit is the juicy apple and with the promise that one of his best buds was going to be there he practically did all but drive the car himself in anticipation. Ani, of course, comes along for the ride. Here are the two sweethearts picking "no bug-bite ones" off a low hanging branch of Galas.
For all of you Fall lovers out there I don't need to tell you that Autumn is the time when apples are in season. Apple cider, apple crisp, and my all time favorite--Carmel apples-- are eaten in high quantities at the Mast household during the last few months of the year. I almost can't eat an apple in the summer; weird I know. Here's one view of Kimmel Orchard, rows …

One of my Favorite Days in the year

is the first day of Autumn. In celebration, a playlist. Enjoy. Repeat.

CSA: Annual Farm Walk

Chickens congregating near the hen-house. This week will be the first week we get farm-fresh eggs in our CSA box! Last Friday evening our family participated in the Community CROPS annual Farm Walkevent. It's a catered all you can eat soup supper from The Cup, fresh bread and home-made basil ice cream for dessert. There are tours, potato sack races, raffles & plenty of watermelon to go around. The reason is to get lots of people out to the farm to see how CROPS actually functions, to enjoy some wonderful local food, and to "meet & greet" other CSA members and the farmers themselves. Our whole family went and we had a great time. The vegan "African Peanut Soup" was fan.tas.tic. Although it was a bit misty during the evening, that didn't stop the 100+ people coming out to see what CROPS is all about. If you're new to Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) you can read a bit about it from a postI did awhile back. I highly recommend it to anyone inter…

{This Moment}

The dirt goatee! A picnic with twoknitty friends. {Picture taken by Julie of Kundhi Creative. }

I Fell in Love with Prairie Hill--A Montessori Farm

Please read my Alternative Education: Montessoripost if you haven't heard the term before and are interested. In short, everything from furniture, tools, and toys are child-size, enabling the children to 'work' at their own pace, and become independent and secure in the job they are doing. Lukka and Anikka at a child-size picnic table eating lunch prepared by the children! A few weeks ago my mother, kids, and I packed up for the day to go to Prairie Hill'sannual Children's Festival. Prairie Hill is a Montessori farm just outside of Lincoln that is about as sustainable as you can get. The main building (elementary aged kids) is made completely out of straw and solar panels, cutting down costs and bulking up insulation for winter and summer.
The smaller children were split into two other buildings determined by age: 18 months -3 years in one room, and 3 years-6 years in the old Farmhouse building. Just walking into the farmhouse and seeing all of the child-sized furnitu…

Book Review: Wild Horse Annie and the Last of the Mustangs

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The book Wild Horse Annie and the Last of the Mustangs: The Life of Velma Johnston was about a courageous little 110 lb lady who dedicated her life to saving her beloved "Wild Ones" in mid-century America. I think we know, by now, I'm a bit of an animal lover. Horses are my number two (after of course, the obvious: dogs) and just having a friend who owns them is somewhat magical to me. Not to mention riding them. That's really fun!

I picked this book up at the library based on it's cover, and the fact that I knew very little about the wild horse herds that are so few and far between now-a-days in the West. This book started out fairly well. Mrs. Johnston was a child polio surviver that dealt with a life long facial deformity that never got in her way as far as her politics for horses were concerned.

The middle, however, really dragged for me. I really wanted to like this book a lot, but end up giving it a mediocre 3 out of 5 stars. There was a lot of pol…

Small Craft Online Class

photo credit via Rachel Denbow

Well today, to distract me from the sad weekend we just endured, I thought I'd post something a bit happy. I'm starting another online craft class from Elisie Flaniganand Rachel Denbowcalled "Small Craft". Although I believe the registration is done, you can read all about it and see some sneak peeks of upcoming projects HERE.
I love their classes and they always seem to turn up right when I need to busy myself in preparation for the holidays or to get out of a funk. I believe the second reason is more fitting this time around.
This class is dedicated for projects "for little people" and I'm very excited to make lots of cute kid stuff out of items I already have at home. I've even got a rad vintage bagwaiting to be turned into a sweet take-out purse, kid style. (Okay, so maybe I'm just using this project as an excuse to doll up my mom's old teal travel bag, but still...)
You may see a few of my finished projects ov…

Sweet Pup Arjax

Here was a picture of our sweet puppy Arjax (maybe 8-10 weeks at this point) as he joined our family almost 5 years ago. Today, unfortunately, we relinquish our rights as owners, and surrendered him for optimal veterinary care, hoping that his future adopters, assuming he makes it out of his exploratory surgery, is none other than Hearts United for Animals; a wonderful no-kill dog sanctuary that pays for medical treatment when families can't. Back last Christmas when Atreyu died, our family grieved for the spunky dog she was, but we always thought, "at least it wasn't Arjax" whose temperament, loyalty, obedience, and personality made him a member of our family. Of course, we don't prioritize our dogs as humans, he was our friend, and we, his caretakers. With the exception of a few vacations, he has been by my side every day, all day, for over 3 years when I started working in the home full-time. His companionship and antics provided peace of mind, and sweetness t…

To Keep the Kids Busy...

I just wanted to pop in and share 3 sweet little 'music videos' for kids from folk artist, Elizabeth Mitchell. Her music is extremely relaxing, my kids love it, and completely not annoying (really the most important thing when choosing kids' music, ya?)! I fell in love with Little Birdand my kiddos just love these three videos of the children playing along. I'm not one for much screen-time for littles, but these three minute videos are fuss free and very 'slow'. Enjoy!






{This Moment}

Sweet.pea.
Play along on Amanda'ssite.

Movie Review: Coraline

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I'm just gonna' go ahead and say it. Do NOT let your children watch this movie but if you're an adult who loves Tim Burton-esque claymation...you might enjoy it. Coralineis a movie about a young girl who moves into an old house in the country with her neglectful parents. She proceeds to find a 'magical door' in her room that takes her to 'her second home' where everything is about her.
She finds out later that this second home comes with a price, and while she is trying to loosen the grip of her "Other Mother's" soul-stealing personality, she has a few friends from her real life help her out. The theme, perhaps stretching, is one that I liked, to be content with the family you've in; though other parts of the movie were just ridiculous.
What I did like about this movie was the genre: I'm always amazed at how creative claymation can be, and how they tailored the "second home" to Coraline's interests (a garden that…

Childsize Smocks from Sew Liberated Pattern

Does anyone think that Lukka should be holding a pitchfork in this picture?Excuse the fading cat whiskers on Lukka's face, we had gone to the Children's Museum, er, the day before. I mentioned I went to a friend's house last Saturday for a little 'girls only' crafting day, and I had wanted to make these adorable Independent Smocks from Meg McElwee's Sew Liberated book for.ev.er. I love tools or items that the kids can manipulate and figure out themselves, and with all our craft projects and water play, I knew these would be useful. I traced + cut out 2 smocks in one night (the slowest part for me!) and pressed and sewed these during our craft day. The first one, with reading and following directions to the "t", took me about 90 minutes because I wanted to get it just right. The second, after I'd done one, only took me about 40. Meg's patterns always come out crystal clear and they are the only patterns I've followed thus far on my sewing …

A Long Stretch

This long Labor Day weekend was full of fun, productivity, and plenty of rest, too...my favorite type of weekend. I'd say our weekend really started Friday morning since we had a treat--two art museums + the children's museum with Oma, followed by lunch at Chipotle!
These pictures don't really represent our weekend at all, they're just cute. We love to spend time at Pioneer's Parkhiking their trails, seeing the wild animals, and especially playing in one of their two nature centers. Here the kids are 'damming up the river water' (water coming out from under that brick) by one of their fun hands-on creations. *
Saturday morning I got to spend a whole day sewing with a friend, Mia (Piccolina Designs!) and later, one of my best friends, E. I made three things in 7 hours, so I knew making these things I'd need a long stretch of uninterupted sewing time. More on those later this week. :)
Sunday was a lazy where we didn't do much but have dinner at Oma + Opa…