at home, outdoors

In him
we live
and move
and have our being.

Acts 17:28

Good morning friends, a beautiful day has dawned bright and fair.  I am putting my feet up after cleaning the kitchen.  This morning I made a pancake breakfast for David, Caleb, Seth, and Sarah Joy.  David said, as he ate his second big ‘cake, that I made The Best Pancakes and I said,  “I used your Grandma’s recipe, you know”.

(Thanks, mama.)  

There are candles flickering yellow, and the dishwasher is humming.

Little Seth is climbing up into the recliner to snuggle up close.

Today Grace has a follow up appointment for her fractured finger, and this afternoon the boys have dentist appointments, so I thought I would use some time this morning to post some pictures from the weekend (and yesterday)….these early summer days are utterly inspiring with their beauty.  It’s so good to be outdoors with the trees, flowers, and grasses turning brilliant green.



I draped the camera with a kitchen towel to take a picture of the children’s melting chalk drawings, in a pouring rain, the colors swirled and Sarah was sad.



joys of childhood (watching with a mama’s heart, content)











playing jacks (with fresh, new chalk drawings)









an old wooden crate planted to bachelor buttons~



David was silently  mouthing “help” to me.  He is at the age when any display of affection toward himself is embarrassing.


Jacob and Ethan



muffin lunch





under the pine trees





I was thrilled to discover this pink flowering bush hiding behind the other trees down at the pond.  It is about 10 feet tall and must have bloomed every summer since we moved here without me ever noticing…….(how?)…..a happy surprise.

I recognized the blossoms from Grandma’s garden but looked it up in a flower book just to be sure; it’s a PINXTER FLOWER; pink azalea

“This much-branched shrub is especially showy in flower.  It is relatively tolerant of dry sites and can be transplanted into wild shrub gardens.”








Jack-in-the-pulpit, or Indian Turnip

These aremgrowing in the forest.  I’ve always been amused by them, probably because they have such a personality as preacher-men.


See?  Here is “Jack” in his pulpit.  Is anyone listening?  All the other flowers in the forest, perhaps?

“Because of needle-like calcium oxalate crystals and perhaps other acrid substances in the swollen, underground stem, it is peppery to the taste and causes a strong burning reaction if eaten raw; this unpleasant property can be eliminated by cooking.  Native Americans gathered the fleshy corms for food.”


This was growing up straight and tall in the middle of a group of ferns.  When I touched it I was surprised by how dry and “scrubby” it felt.




Seth has been spending a lot of time silently walking around and around the ponds, trying to catch bull frogs.  When he caught this one he brought it to show us, holding it high over his head with a grin and yelling, “Praise the Lord!”

God smiles.


Millions of toad tadpoles in our pond.


My beautiful son all tired out from the very best of activities; running wild in the great outdoors.



Our window-shelf of nature books.


“I wonder if anything will be–can be–any more beautiful than this,” murmured Anne, looking around her with the loving, enraptured eyes of those to whom “home” must always be the loveliest spot in the world, no matter what fairer lands may lie under alien stars.”  Anne of the Island, LM Montgomery



Have a wonderful day, my friends.  Look around you at all the interesting things in this world, there is much to see.

You are loved.


16 thoughts on “at home, outdoors

  1. I like your new set up. 🙂
    How fun to grow up in the forest by your house! and ALL those tadpoles in your pond…Wow!
    My youngest was looking at pictures on your blog while I read…she got excited when she saw Sarah in her strawberry dress…we almost bought that same one the other day, but decided on one with daisies instead. It was a tough decision…I told her we’ll get the strawberry one in a couple weeks if it’s still there. They were only $4.95 at H&M!
    Enjoy your beautiful day Shanda.

    • That is so cute that your daughter got excited about Sarah’s dress. I love that. I bought Sarah’s at H&M, along with the little leggings for underneath it. About the tadpoles, we will keep an eye on them and before we know it they will be little tiny toads hopping out and away. I’ll try to get some pictures. Hugs, Liz!

  2. I love your candid shots. Many times, some of the scenes remind me of a Norman Rockwell painting. I also love what your camera eye sees to take photos of. All of them are beautiful, and leave me wishing I was a kid at the beginning of Summer. 🙂 Hope you have a great day today!

    • Kara, with your adventures happening you ARE a kid in the beginning of something GRAND! 🙂 I had a good day yesterday, in the midst of all my busyness, I found a box on the porch with two wonderful, fat cookbooks!

  3. I had to write the LM Montgomery quote in my quote journal . Love that. Nice post. Wish there were such nice cameras when we were raising our kids.

    • These digital cameras make it so easy to capture photos of our days, photography has sure come a long way in the last 10 years. I’m glad you liked the quote. I’m re-reading Anne of the Island and enjoying it very much. (Have you read it?) You would like it, too.

  4. I can’t imagine a better place to grow up! Ponds, bullfrogs, bubbles, princesses, muffins on the porch… so amazingly blessed 🙂 I have a row of Bachelor Buttons growing in the cutting garden but I’m wishing I had planted 2 packets instead of just one. Blessings on your busy day Shanda!

    • April, I’m surprised sometimes by the amount of seeds in a package! I hope *our* bachelor buttons both do well this summer, I remember planting them as a child in my own little flower bed, they are such pretty flowers.

  5. Oh Shanda – I’m so pleased to see you here! Not sure what happened to Xanga, but lost all my blogging pages & wondered where you were! I’m glad I found you again. Love your blog and that bull frog is HUGE & all those tadpoles – wow, lots of good frog legs 🙂

    • Dear Lori, what was your xanga name? I’m so glad you found me, how did you do it? Through another ex-xanga blog? google? Just curious. Blessings on your day~

  6. Happy happy days. You truly do have such a wonderland as your backyard. The Bullfrog looks like he is joining in Seth’s Praise. 🙂

    • Dear Jenny, It was a beautiful day again yesterday and this morning is a dark and rainy beginning (which I love, too). I have radishes up and the lilacs are JUST beginning to open. Thinking of you, dear friend.

  7. Thanks for sharing God’s beauty around your place. Your children have a wonderful environment to grow up in and enjoy together. I enjoy reading your blogs about your family life and the blessings God has granted your family. Keep sharing.

    • Dawn, your note meant the world to me. I’m so glad to have the connection with you through FB and blogging! Can’t wait to come visit in another month.

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