With Thanksgiving approaching, I’ve been seeing all kinds of articles about what really happened around the time of what we call Thanksgiving Day. Debates on who was there, how it played out, and a whole host of other things. History is one of my favorite subjects to study. I read each article, dissect them, and question it all. I want to be a critical thinker and raise my kids to do the same. When we study history, we don’t depend on one book or one side of the story.

All that being said, sometimes it feels exhausting to read all the arguments and debates. Everyone has an opinion about everything. Sometimes I just want simple. Thank goodness for children.

Childhood is a funny thing. A beautifully funny thing. Yesterday 4 of my kids decided to draw homes for pilgrims, indians, Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus. There were also covered wagons and a home with a chimney involved. They wanted them to all be neighbors with a river they could float down to hang out during the day. Add to the mix, we are learning about the history of ancient China and Confucius, so stories about that were playing in the background. We had a whole lot of everything going on…and yet to my kids it all made perfect sense.

Sometimes I wish adults, myself included, would use our imaginations more. Life would be a lot more colorful and less exhausting…and who doesn’t want to float down a river to see friends?

50mm lens, ISO 250, 1/160, f/2.8

11.15homes-0150mm lens, ISO 250, 1/200, f/2.811.15homes-0250mm lens, ISO 250, 1/125, f/2.811.15homes-0350mm lens, ISO 250, 1/125, f/2.811.15homes-0450mm lens, ISO 250, 1/125, f/2.811.15homes-0550mm lens, ISO 250, 1/200, f/2.8 ~ 50mm lens, ISO 250, 1/200, f/2.811.15homes-0650mm lens, ISO 250, 1/200, f/2.811.15homes-0850mm lens, ISO 250, 1/160, f/2.811.15homes-0950mm lens, ISO 250, 1/125, f/2.811.15homes-1050mm lens, ISO 250, 1/160, f/2.811.15homes-11*The crayons were a gift from a friend (they are amazing!), I don’t have a link to share for those.

The peg people are from Once Upon A Peg.


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  • Phyllis - I love this, and you are right that children are sometimes more wise than adults.

  • Amanda - I read that you don’t have a link for the crayons, I’m guessing they are oil pastels, but could you share a picture of the closed case so I can try to figure out the brand? These having the twist up cases makes them so kid friendly, id love to have some for my little artist.

  • Heidi - Hi Ashley,
    I found the crayons on Amazon. Amos non toxic silky crayons :) I love my kids approach to things too. This weekend my two youngest were playing with the two pilgrims on the table. Listening to their conversation was so fun. Their turkey was the pet named Tom and they were going to eat beans and apples instead of turkey. Their neighbor indians were bringing the dessert. I love neighbors that bring dessert :)

  • Seamingly Sarah - Oh! You can play a fun game by drawing a river with connecting papers. Each kid owns land on a portion of a river and can build on it and design it however they like. Then you put them together to make one river and use paper clips to represent the run off/pollutants from their land based on how they used the land. As the paper clips travel down stream you see the impact. It teaches about land use and watersheds. Can you tell I use to be a Water Quality educator? :)

  • Susan - Ashley,
    I wish I lived down a lazy river from these kiddos. They are adorable and I would love to converse with them sometime, just to hear their voices and their big ideas.
    May all of our Thanksgivings revolve around Christ and the very beautiful people we share our days with and those we wish to!
    Thank you for sharing these children with us. Susan

    PS I love the photo showing the color transfer onto his legs!

  • Lynet Witty - the crayons kinda look like pastel crayons…so soft and vibrant. i love the way they created their scene with separate sheets of paper! your kids are genius!

  • Linda - For those people wanting a link, these look like the crayons to me: http://www.amazon.com/Premium-Non-toxic-Crayon-Pasnet-Colors/dp/B00HUGWLI6

    Love their sweet drawings!

  • Chelsea - I think those may be Colorix Silky, like the ones shown in the bottom right here: http://www.crayoncollecting.com/Other/Amos.htm

  • Rae - Love it! They are such geniuses! I’ve been reading your blog for a year now, it’s the first thing I check every morning. :) It’s funny, I’ve never met you guys, but I feel like I know you all so well. :)
    May God bless your beautiful family <3

  • Aubrey - We have those crayons – they are Colorix silky crayons. Our kids love them!

  • Ryan - We have them too!


    They aren’t just crayons; you can add water and they turn into kind of a crayon/watercolor hybrid. They are genius for creative kids!

  • Kerri - Hey Ashley,
    Have you ever played the game Carcassonne ? Its an interesting strategy game for adults. Well anyway – there is a kids version…. a little bit earlier that pioneer settlers, but a fun strategy game thinking about settling land. The pics your boys were taping together reminded me of that game.
    I have 3 boys (13, 11, 8) and they have loved playing this game for years.

  • Angie Webb - Ha. Thanks for the crayon disclaimer. I was going to ask. They are so vibrant!

  • Byron - Imagination is another word for wonder. St. Gregory of Nyssa said, β€œOnly wonder understands anything.”
    –Fr. Stephen Freeman

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Oh, this is so wonderful! One of my kids favorite games is Carcassonne! I think your littles may love it!

My father-in-law called me Tom Sawyer on facebook this week.

If you are not familiar with the story of Tom Sawyer…basically Tom is a character that uses all kinds of methods to get out of things – mainly work.

After letting Amanda work on tiling my backsplash, I ‘let’ the boys seal the grout. Amanda didn’t need much convincing. The boys, well, I offered extra video game time to anyone that sealed grout for me. My father-in-law might call it Tom Sawyer-ing, I call it genius delegation.

Seriously though, my kids can seal grout and I didn’t have to go back to ‘fix’ their helpful work. I can see all kinds of ways this is going to work out quite well for me….genuinely helpful work that can be hired for some extra video game time. And my dad works for coffee…and hanging out with me πŸ˜‰ Jackpot.

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

This started as a project to fixed cabinets that the kids broke climbing on them like ladders and refinish the butcher block counters that I didn’t take care of – at all. Then, there was the painted texture wall back splash that always had food splatters all over it that I couldn’t wait to cover in easy to clean tile.

This heavily used room is getting a facelift…a clean, white, durable for a family of 7 facelift. I’m adding things that make me think of friends…a green cabinet from Amanda and a mug rack from Restore House. There is a lot to be done. I suppose the only upside for cold weather (for me) is all the extra time inside means I’ll finish up this project a bit sooner!


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  • Rae - Can’t wait to see the before and after pics! :) And I agree, genius delegation πŸ˜‰

  • Kelleyn - Looks fantastic!

  • Jenn - so excited to see the final project. I am so ready to redo our kitchen.

  • Cris - I used to lovingly call my 4 kids my slaves. Only bad thing about training them well is they grow up and leave you and you have to do all the work yourself again. Believe me- it goes fast. It will seem like 20 minutes. Keep up the good training!

  • Southern Gal - Super smart woman.

  • Ashley - Counter tops? Would love to hear your thoughts on what works, looks good, and doesn’t cost my first born.

  • Maureen - Loving the green cabinet! As a ‘retired’ homeschooling mom… we called this ‘Practical Life Skills’ and it went in their files.(=

  • Jenny B. - Awesome! I can’t wait to see it all finished. :) I love that your dad “works for coffee and hanging out.” Mine too. πŸ˜‰

  • Laura - I am in need of a new kitchen table that can better withstand “kid wear”. Your table and chairs look amazing! Would you mind sharing where you found them?

I know a lot of people read blogs via their phones, so you don’t always see the links on my sidebar. In case that is you…let me introduce you to last month’s sponsors! I am grateful for the chance to partner with other small businesses…supporting each other and cheering for each other…it is pretty cool what can happen online.


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  • Lindsey p - I had a dream about you. I found out one of the names of your kiddos (someone left it on a comment & i picked up on it) and i mentioned it to you. And you were so upset you stopped blogging; i woke up crying. Yeesh. First world problems, when i wake up in fear of my favorite blogger quitting!

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