Our Hobbit Tutorial at the Family Book Festival



Please join me and my family at today’s post on Jump Into A Book. We were delighted to be asked to contribute to this year’s Family Book Festival, which features book reviews and activities by other bloggers, artists, and writers. These wonderful posts are designed to get you and your family reading together and enjoying literature and family time.

We created a project based on The Hobbit: There and Back Again, by J.R.R. Tolkien because we all love the book so much. Just arriving at the decision of what to make was a long journey in itself! We’ve shared our process and a tutorial for making a diorama of a scene from the book. There’s modeling material, paint, gold foil, and dragons! What could be better?

Be sure to browse at Jump Into A Book and read all about the project other families did, and don’t forget to enter the giveaway—you or your school could win 31 Dr. Seuss books! Giveaway closes at the end of March 1st 2012 at 11:59 pm. The winner will be announced on Dr. Seuss’s birthday, March 2nd.

Many thanks to Valarie for inviting us to play in the Family Book Festival!


Recovery and Thanks


Hello, I’ve been absent from this space due to a nasty virus, which is lingering and has entirely overstayed its welcome. I came down with it on Valentine’s Day, which is a special kind of meanness, in my opinion. It has caused me to need extra rest this past week, and since I’m still working because of deadlines despite being sick, it’s my fun blogging time that gets cut, unfortunately. But, I’m on the mend.

I just want to officially thank everyone for voting for Love in the Suburbs during the Circle of Moms Top 25 Creative Moms blog contest. Thanks to your support and diligence, I was voted into the Top 25! In fact, I landed at position 10, which is just staggering to me. Thank you again for taking time to vote for me—and for reading here in the first place!

Signs: Chinese Fringe Flower

I have a few posts brewing, so I hope to share them with you soon. In the meantime, I want to share simply that Eileen, of Little Acorn Learning, and I are hard at work on our next e-book about Spring Festivals. We’re hoping to release it in about a week.

Blessings and good health to you!



Nomination and Other News

I was recently nominated for an award of sorts at Circle of Moms. Some kind soul (I don’t know who) nominated my blog for the Top 25 Creative Moms list there and folks can vote for their favorite blogs. The voting continues until the end of January and you can vote for more than one blog, once each 24 hours. I’d be honored if you’d vote for me, and keep voting for me. It would be very nifty to get into that Top 25 list.

This button takes you to the voting site. Vote for me!

I’ve never been involved in one of these things before, but there’s always a (typically awkward) first time, right? It’s neat because I’m planning to ramp up and improve my attention, involvement, and content here. So please check back often for new, more useful material. A girl with a writer’s soul just has to write. And a girl with an artist’s eye just has to share her visions.


In other news, my little guy turns six years old in two weeks. I’ve finally figured out the outline of his birthday party and sent invitations. Usually I’m more on top of things like this, but I’ve been working quite a lot lately. Well, we’re getting RSVPs back now, so that’s great. Crisis averted!

I’ve got a few homemade gifts in mind for him, and must carve away some time to work on them. I am making Asher an Earthbending costume, inspired by Avatar the Last Airbender, which is a show that my whole family adores. Great story-telling, good characters, plenty of heart, and featuring themes of friendship, commitment, duty, forgiveness, family, courage, peace, and finding one’s own way, Avatar is good TV. Asher has always liked the Earth Kingdom in the show the best. He has started dressing up for play in recent months, finally using the King’s costume I made for him two years ago. I think this Earthbending outfit idea is a winner.

Yesterday we scouted the location of his “Fantasy Wizards in a Forest” party.







This place will fit the bill nicely, I think! This is a is 17 acre undeveloped park right here in Fair Oaks, just five minutes from our home. It features tall, beautiful eucalyptus trees, a tiny creek with mossy banks, green meadows, fallen logs, wild mushrooms, and plenty of crisscrossing paths that you might call “trails.” Our plan for the party is to allow the children as much space to roam and explore as is safe. The park is big enough that it feels wild, but not really big enough to get lost in, and I expect a small gaggle of 6- and 7-year-olds to make plenty of noise.

Wishing you a bright and happy day!

Some Photo Love from Maureen

My Photinia Rainbow photo is featured today on Maureen Cracknell Handmade. Please pop on over to Maureen’s site and see her exquisite handwork, sewing, and quilting. I’m excited to make her acquaintance and honored that she finds my photo inspiring! I’ll be watching her creative endeavors going forward.

Photinia Rainbow


Maureen’s blog is Maureen Cracknell Handmade and can be found at http://maureencracknellhandmade.blogspot.com/.

That gorgeous fabric bundle is for sale by PinkCastleFabrics here: The fabric bundle is for sale here: http://www.etsy.com/listing/79584457/sale-high-traffic-red-yellow-and-green-9


Featured on Imagine Childhood

One of our recent nature walks is featured on Imagine Childhood. We are grateful that our little local adventure attracted Sarah’s notice via our Flickr photos, and that she asked us to participate with other families from all over the world!

There are so many marvelous things to see and feel and discover when you hit the trails. Just pick a general destination, pack along some water and snacks, and let your children lead the way.

Nature Walk featured in Imagine Childhood blog

Heather B. Armstrong Explains Why We Do It


Quoting from Dooce, Newsletter: Month Fifty and Fifty-one (The author is speaking to her daughter in a newsletter she writes every month since 2004—except for month fifty—about criticism she receives from readers who think it’s wrong for her to write about her child on her website):

“Will you resent me for this website? Absolutely. And I have spent hours and days and months of my life considering this, weighing your resentment against the good that can come from being open and honest about what it’s like to be your mother, the good for you, the good for me, and the good for other women who read what I write here and walk away feeling less alone. And I have every reason to believe that one day you will look at the thousands of pages I have written about my love for you, the thousands of pages other women have written about their own children, and you’re going to be so proud that we were brave enough to do this. We are an army of educated mothers who have finally stood up and said pay attention, this is important work, this is hard, frustrating work and we’re not going to sit around on our hands waiting for permission to do so. We have declared that our voices matter.

“These are the stories of our lives as women and they often include you, yes. …

“I will not be discouraged from continuing to document the beauty of life with my family or supporting them with an income from doing so. Leta, some people will one day try to convince you that what I’ve done here is some sort of sickening betrayal of your childhood, and what those people fail to recognize is that I am doing the exact opposite. This is the glorification of your childhood, and even more than that this is a community of women coming together to make each other feel less alone. You are a part of this movement, you and all of the other kids whose mothers are sitting at home right now writing tirelessly about their experiences as mothers, the love and frustration and madness of it all. And I think one day you will look at all of this and pump your fist in the air.”

EDIT: I wrote this post late last night and I’ve been thinking I must add to it. I must add a little about why I do it. I write about my kids and my feelings about my kids in the hopes that someday they will know who I am. That I am human and full of flaws, and still beautiful. That I start every day with hopes and good intentions. That I strive for goodness and warmth, honesty and love in our family. 

If that bus with my name on it claims me before my sons grow up enough to remember me and our experiences, I hope that eventually, they will read what I have written here and know I loved them imperfectly and completely—in the very best way I could.

  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

    © 2003–2018 Please do not use my photographs or text without my permission.

    “Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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