Tag Archives: kids

And this is how one young man’s dinner appeared…

20 Jun


Just a quick follow up from tonight’s dinner… My son had his own unique vision for what to do with his tortilla! :)


when the kids come home…

18 Jun

Busy with preparations, the music plays.

My heart soars in anticipation.

Randomly, I hear the cars approaching the drive.

Piled into the kitchen, like sardines in a can, we crowd …

Chopping veggies, bumping elbows, weaving through the maze of family to find the salt.

The music changes with each person’s taste.

My heart again full, as one more – unexpected, arrives. His plans have changed.

Behind the voices the music continues.

Sounds of laughter in the yard sing through the window.

The smell of the smoker lingers in the air enticing the men, tall and small, to monitor the meat.

Finally, we gather.

Hand in hand, thanking God for His provision.

The music replaced by the steady hum of voices and the clinking of dishes.

Pockets of conversations filter through the air.

Caring words of concern,

Thoughts of passion and zeal,

Surface chatter of insignificant things.

The sun begins to set.

Reluctantly the day comes to a close.

Silently, we rest.

But the music is still heard as a memory…

kids can do incredible things

21 May


Having turned seven years old around six months ago, I decided it was time our youngest son became one of the proficient bread-makers in our household. We have a number of random traditions that happen at various ages and learning to make bread after you turn seven is one of them. There isn’t any deep meaningful reason behind this practice. It’s just how it turned out and the kids are always pretty excited to learn! Maybe one of the keys is to catch them while they are still young enough to find it exciting and old enough to be able to follow directions well.

At any rate, from grinding the wheat to baking, it was all done on his own. The picture shows our basic recipe, although we seem to do it a little different every time. Eventually our seven year old will know the ingredients like the back of his hand and be able to experiment as he pleases. Fortunately the flops usually work well for French Toast in the mornings! Mmmm…

Given the opportunity, kids can do incredible things!

Hats off to my growing young man! The bread tasted great!

Talia’s Crafts

18 Nov

Hi my name is Talia Olmstead, I am the tenth in our family of fourteen children.

I like to bake, do fun crafts, hike, and a lot more outside activities.  Recently

I did both of these crafts with my younger siblings.


Pilgrim Hat or a Turkey for a Thanksgiving Craft

Necessities for pilgrim hat:  Hard stock paper both yellow and black, skewer sticks, tape, and glue.

Necessities for turkey: Hard stock paper many colors, skewer, tape, and glue.

Pilgrim Hat

Step 1.  Cut out a hat with black paper.

Step 2.  With yellow paper cut out gold buckle.

Step 3.  Take gold buckle and glue it snug onto the hat.

Step 4.  Last of all, grab the skewer and tape it onto the back right side of the hat.

The turkeys is quite simple as well.  First, with your many colors, cut out approximately a dozen feathers and tape them to a round piece of paper.  Add the finishing touches like the neck and the head then follow up with step 4.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

How much sleep is good?

6 Jun

With the longer days, sunshine, and a fun yard to play in – my young children are getting to bed later and later.  It would be okay, except for the fact that breakfast still comes pretty early for the rest of the family’s schedule. On one hand it would be easy to just let them play and not worry about it, but I remember what I learned when I first had children.

Children need sleep just like the rest of us, only they need more.

As we developed bedtimes when our oldest children were young, we followed guidelines that were recommended for their age.  It looked something like this:

First year of life:  15 -18 hours of sleep

One to three years: 12 – 14 hours of sleep

Three to five years: 11 -13 hours of sleep

Five to twelve: 10 – 11 hours of sleep

Adults: 7 – 8 hours of sleep

Over the years, I have found this guide to be pretty accurate.  Of course some children need more than others, but all children need a good night sleep.

I remember going to kindergarten and bringing a mat to nap on.  We didn’t necessarily sleep, but we did have to be quiet and rest.  I am sure it was just as helpful for the teacher as it was for us, as children.   Likewise, it is important in our homes for the kiddos, as well as the parents.

If you are experiencing a grumpy, whiny, sickly family, I encourage you to re-evaluate the sleep patterns in your home.

Take time to rest!


28 Apr

Hi there! This is Yetta.

You might remember Mom writing about “saying goodbye”to one of my brothers who was headed off to Basic Training… well, 8 weeks later, today, he is done! Dad and Mom both went to watch him graduate.

Like most days, the kids all started out with school. They did their math. They practiced their reading. And all the other classes they were suppose to… hopefully they didn’t take advantage of me not exactly knowing what all is expected of them. ;) I have always found that the days go pretty well as long as the kids are busy. However, by the time they have been up from quiet reading time for about 45 minutes playing outside, they come in and ask the question: “what should we do?” Does this happen in every home? Do your kids [think] they run out of things to do?

Oh, well… today, I was ready for the question!! I was sitting at my computer returning a few emails when the first one came in ready for ideas.

First, was the painting party. I gave each of the kids a piece of paper. I already had paints and brushes set up on a big tray, so sent them all outside to the front yard to paint pictures! It actually lasted a good full hour and they painted some great pictures!

Shortly after they had everything cleaned up, before they even asked!…. I set up the tennis tournament. It was great, because everyone got to play. And again, it lasted for a long time. Yay for a beautiful day to be outside!

The yonger kids enjoyed riding bikes while watching.

After tennis it was definitely about time that I think about dinner, so I sent 4 of the kids outside with the bag of potatoes and peelers. That did NOT take very long. They were done within minutes!

And finally, at the end of a fun busy day the house always needs a little straightening up. I love “the-five-minute-clean-up”. So do the kids!

It works like this:

1. I give short assignments: vaccum the floor/ dust the living room/ clean the entry way/ empty the dishwasher/ fold a basket of clothes – always some thing that take about 5 minutes for them to do together.

2. They get to watch a short cartoon on youtube (bugs bunny/ donald duck/ mickey mouse/ chip&dale/ etc.)

3. Repeat 1 & 2 until house is tidy!

Seeing the Fruit

19 Apr

Yesterday, I was remembering my earlier post on March 10,” I had given up hope…”  I had almost thrown out those trays of pepper seeds we planted.  It had been a few weeks and there was no sign of seedlings coming.  Then, when I least expected it, up they came!

Likewise, over the last few months you have heard bits and pieces from our character class.  Feeling like we had lost some ground, we had focused on honesty,  humility, peacemaking, obedience, selflessness, teamwork, trusting… and a other qualities.

Can I take a moment and brag about my kids a bit? We have been so pleased to see the fruit of our labor? Having focused on the youngest four, they have taken these lessons to heart.  It has been a delight to see them act in selfless ways, working together as a team, enjoying each other’s company, and being quick to obey.

Is our work over? Far from it! It is a boost though to see such positive results. I want to encourage you, especially those with little ones, don’t give up! The work you are doing will bring fruit. It is worth the effort!

The pepper seedlings are now in the ground. They are so small! I can’t help but wonder if they will make it. I am considering now how best to nurture and cultivate around these maturing seedings. I will do all I can towards enjoying the fruit of my peppers, other plants,  …and our precious little children!