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fawnandforest fawnandforest

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fawn&forest • summer quin  a shop reflecting our love for living simply with children 🌲 wife, mama & homeschooler of 4, shopkeeper 🌲 living countryside in a tiny 🏡 — yamhill or

http://linktr.ee/fawnandforest

I have been asked numerous times and undoubtedly the secret to getting your children to love being outdoors is not a fancy backpack or some overpriced nature journal — it's about wearing the right clothes as any forest schooler will attest to. Once the basic necessities are met, chiefly staying warm & dry in these cooler months — children will loose themselves at the task at hand, feeling comfortable enough to get as dirty as needed. I prefer tried and true for the outer layers — Carhartt for overalls & jackets and Bogs for boots have served us well and are durable enough to be passed down to younger siblings. Today my children spent the afternoon filling empty wine bottles with mud puddle water and ash from the fire pit with unbridled enthusiasm — not pictured, my oldest son who was in the chicken-yard with his dear chickens, something that he does for hours everyday.

SNOW DOUGH — I'm starting to set out a few new winter-y project stations around our home both inside & out for my children to work on as they please. — today, snow dough. Gluten free play dough with peppermint essential oil added in. A simple recipe as with all play dough, except this one uses rice flour which makes the dough extra white and snow-like — 1 cup white rice flour, heaping 1/2 cup tapioca or arrowroot starch, shy 1/2 cup fine sea salt, small splash of oil and 15+ drops of essential oil. Mix together well with 1 cup near boiling water. If it's sticky, I add a bit more starch. — cookie cutters and rolling pins are always fun to have out in a basket but also any little toy animals (especially winter animals!) are fun to have play in the snow as well. Messy at times but worth the joy. — also, mamas! With any extra dough roll into an oval and smush your child's handprint into it. I don't seem to do this every year, and as imperfect as they are, I'm also thankful to have them all these years later!

I think all of us mamas have special ways we nurture our children, especially when they're feeling hurt — minor bumps or crashes that result in big emotions that require more mama love & comfort than medical attention. In our family my children know I will always come to the rescue with coconut oil & a soft cloth, my panacea for most everyday ailments. I came across an idea in a book about a special mama "hurt basket" (different from a first aid kit) and I had an a-hah! moment (see my stories) and wondered why I had not gathered my mama comforts into one spot? I promptly did, course and here's what's in my basket: a heating pad, soft flannel cloths, a couple different salves, special calming spray, lip balm, a sea sponge, & a couple different essential oil rollers, because sometimes all you need is your mama & to smell something comforting. #fawnandforest_essentials

We were tromping around figuring out where to move our piggies 🐷 — they naturally love to forage and by moving them through this strip of land at the far side of our property and then into the forest they will be the happiest critters in all the land. — It is my dearest motherly desire to work with my children — in interests, in business or otherwise, as children & adults. The simplicity of togetherness & connecting with my people fills me up even on those hard days — And so it was important work, out with Lucy the other morning. It was foggy and cold but we decided on a spot for the pigs and helped dad set up the fence & move the squealing piggies. Truly the best way to start the new year!

I am so well rested! — Since our oldest children were little we have taken the last week off of the year to enjoy, celebrate & rest — retreating from most everything to have those amazing reflective, inspiration filled conversations with my love and saturate our souls in the deeply restorative... REST! I've slept in until 10am numerous times this past week, jotted out all our dreams & goals and slowly said goodbye to a truly wonderful Christmas season, it's been the best & am so ready for the new year! — & one last photo of Lucy & the tree before taking it down yesterday, I couldn't resist. 🌲✨🍾 Happy New Years, friends!

A little something new we're doing this year, a secret Kriss Kringle — a beautiful little activity (that you can read about if you zoom in a bit) inspired by the Kriss Kringle idea in Tasha Tudor's wonderful Christmas book Take Joy — it's like a secret Santa but with thoughtful intentions towards eachother instead of gifts. During advent this week we all drew names of who would be the recipient of such kind gestures. For certain siblings who tend to bicker a lot (I have a couple such little ones) this is truly a valuable gift for both the giver and the receiver — it's been such a heart felt week, even little Lucy who is Kriss Kringle to her Daddy has been so thoughtful ... saving chocolates for him, making him imaginary tea in bed this morning ... 🌲

This Christmas season we have done things a bit differently — I have set about little project stations for my children to make & create at their own pace. Sometimes when we sit down to do a planned project there's pressure to have the best time ever & given the moment, that might just not work, you know? Wreath & swag making greens & supplies are on the outdoor table, a tray of oranges & cloves sit on a tray low on the shelf. Cranberries, a needle & thread in the wood bowl on the ottoman. Apple cinnamon dough & cookie cutters in a basket by the table. Even cookie making afternoons are an open invitation. — It has set such a peaceful mood to have projects ready to work on when inspired, taking away the rush-rush that I think even our littlest tend to feel. 🌲 My middle son had the idea to make mini evergreen & mistletoe swags to adorn gifts. He quietly spent 2 hours one morning, so content.

Home sweet home. We never had a dream to live TINY — our tiny house is a modest 160 sq. ft. But goodness, after living here for a year as we prepare to build the forever house on the most gorgeous 20 acres in the world, I'm convinced it's been the best thing for my little family. Living so tiny makes the essentials (both physically & in our souls) so obvious, the excess and unnecessary even more so. I've learned a lot and have truly experienced the beauty of honesty, how truly amazing God made his nature and how lovely the fresh air is at the top of our hill. Plus I always love a good challenge ! #tinyhousefamilyof6

Another favorite in our family that we've done for years, one that my children request early in the season is a simple cinnamon ornament project. The dough had 3 inexpensive ingredients — scant 1 cup apple sauce, heaping 1 cup ground cinnamon (bulk!) & 2 tablespoons white glue (optional). Mix well and adjust if needed — It makes a forgiving dough that rolls out well, works with cookie cutters and air dries in a couple days. We poke holes at the top and later string to create ornaments or to adorn gifts. And the fragrance! Pure Christmas.. 🌲 (also, my daughter has cotton candy hair of an angel.. 👼🏼)

I love these simple, quiet winter days —nothing on the agenda other than string the last of the cranberries for the tree, mix up another batch of gingerbread cookies — make a couple (more) wreaths because it brings me such joy and hang up the big bunch of mistletoe that we shot down from the top of our oak tree — i love being a mom, wife and homemaker all throughout the year of course, but there is something magical in the making during the Christmas season, so much love & intention that I'm blessed to be his wife & their mama. 🌲

A sentimental moment — making pomanders together🌲🍊 I'll leave out a bowl of oranges & a jar of cloves and we'll sit and work when we can steal a moment here & there, something we've done for years. It's nice to have a quiet conversation that happens when you're working with your hands. My oldest now has the patience to fill an entire orange with cloves, so satisfying. An orange covered in cloves will preserve itself & last indefinitely. If it happens to mold, to compost it goes! — The fragrance of clove & orange on our fingers, truly Christmas.

The first week of advent — Hope. The purest hope is found in God's promises. My children & I were sharing with each other yesterday about what we're hoping for, waiting for, in eager expectation. And as we shared, it is always becomes so clear to me that we are not preparing for a conceptual arrival of the Lord. Jesus isn't just a someday, he is today — alive in our hearts and loving us dearly. He is the literal hope working in us that prepares us for his arrival today & for what is to come. I see this living in my children, and as a Mother, though there are battles & victories, there is nothing sweeter. #slowandsacredadvent

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