“Whenever you are sincerely pleased, you are nourished.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

(Considerations by the Way, from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Collected Essays & Lectures,” The Library of America: 1983)

Spring Picnic

The mice went out for an evening drive and came home with a carload of flowers. Then they had a picnic on the dinning room table. Sometimes I wish I could shrink myself down to their size and join them for a day . . .

Welcome, June

Here is our “wattle” house in progress — made from poplar tree trimmings, grape vines, and bittersweet vines. Jeffrey dug holes for the poplar trunks and sunk them in the ground about a foot deep. Then we all worked together to weave branches and vines in and out between the poplars, adding more as we are inspired. Our “haus” (as Wallace calls it) has become the perfect place for reading, playing, and popcorn eating!

We’re still debating about how to finish it off. Should we bend the tips of the poplars so that they meet at the top or leave the house open to the sky?

Painting with Petals

It was so exciting to receive our May print issue of Wild + Free and see our piece on “painting” with petals — just in time for all the spring blooms. We were inspired by Bridget Beth Collins (Flora Forager) last year to make pictures with plant parts, and I loved writing about the process. The girls notice so many intricate details now when we gather flowers, work in the garden, and explore outside. The diversity in color, texture, and shape in plant life is truly amazing.

(This print issue contains a sample of a longer piece in the May Wild + Free bundle on Kinship, which you can find on their website. Wild + Free was started by homeschooling mothers, but — as friends have pointed out — it’s not just for homeschooling families, but for anyone who loves to learn with children and explore the outdoors.)


Our little garden helper would be content to stay outside all day long. Whenever we come back in, he moans “Side! Side!” and points at the door.

When Jeffrey was about Wallace’s age, he said the same thing so often that his nickname became “Side”!