Homeschool Day #52ish (4.9.21)

Wow! I need to update more, but it’s just a sign that we are super busy and I am very much lacking in free time right 😜! Haha also I must say I wrote this post on April 9, 2021 and I’m just now getting around to posting it (4.27.21)!!! So since we started homeschooling back in January, mine and the kids lives have changed SO MUCH! We restarted the school year in January so my oldest restarted 4th grade and my middle restarted kindergarten, my youngest…well he still runs around like crazy and is a big distraction, but hey at least he is now potty trained and has big sisters to play with ALL DAY LONG (even when they should be doing school). I think we are going to do year round school, and it kind of makes since to start a new school year at the beginning of the calendar year 🤷🏼‍♀️, but it depends on how well the kids do in summer on the assessment tests that are required by the state due in August. *since I wrote this we got the test scores back, and wow I have one smart kid on my hands!*

Most days (unlike today) have been going really well, we are not held to a set schedule and if the weather calls for a school day outside than we move table and chairs to the outdoors and have cows and chickens as our classmates. If the school day calls for more play than work, well at this age it seems just as important to use your imagination as it is to put pen to paper, and if we are just not feeling it, because even little ones need mental health days, than we spend our day cuddling, playing, or whatever my children might need. Because even if they are being “shielded” from the outside world with the drama of COVID-19 going on it still affects them.

Yesterday (4.8.21) we restarted our Thursday adventures back up and went to Fredericksburg to visit the National Cemetery and a Battlefield. The kids had a blast and history was brought to life! I loved seeing my oldest E read the signs to her siblings, I loved seeing history through their eyes as if for the first time, I loved that they saw the layout of a house that is MUCH smaller than ours and wonder at how people lived back than, not to mention the amount of people who lived in the house! Our house in only 1,000 square feet with 5 people, so in todays time it is a very small house indeed!

We had a picnic in the van with cheese, crackers, and fruit, oh was it a feast! The kids loved it from the 10 year old to the 3 year old they had a blast. I also let them each pick something out from the gift shop. Let me tell you that might have been the highlight of the trip 😜 I was/am super proud of little H because he wanted a book! WHAT 3 YEAR OLD BOY WANTS A BOOK!? MINE!!! The oldest E, wanted a quill and ink set, she couldn’t wait to get home to try it. She is pretty good at writing with it, but her favorite thing to do it draw. My 6 year old C asked for a Park Ranger doll that has now become her most favorite toy. I found a new book series that the oldest is in love with and have discovered so many more books in the series that I can get online.

Later that day after a short time at home for naps and a little bit of R&R for me. We headed over to Fort Germanna. If you are local and reading this, that is a nice easy walk by the river with lots of good sand spots for the kids to play. I have to say I slept well that night! Both of these where a good way to start our Thursday adventures back up!

More to come, the next week we headed to Jamestown it was a little over 200 miles round trip 😳

~mary E. J. mason

Taylor March 2021 Newborn Session

This session seems like forever ago, but it was only at the beginning of the month! So here is a few of my favorite photographs from this sweet baby girls session! I had the joy of photographing her parents wedding, her big sister’s newborn photos and the wedding of her Aunt and Uncle, I love this family and I’m so glad that they have asked me to be apart of it with my photography!

Homeschooling end of week #2 with a little bit of photography 01.22.2021

I have been wanting to get behind the camera again, I miss seeing things through the lens, I have missed sharing the world as I see it, I have missed seeing my life in black & white. So I am working on an ongoing photography project documenting our homeschool days. Some photographs will be posted with my blog posts but more will be posted in my projects

There are two people from my past that I have to thank for telling me it’s ok to start back into looking behind the camera with the things that are going on in my everyday.

I am now an official homeschool mom, and it’s tough, if you cut me i think it would just be coffee and wine instead of blood to flow out of my veins, did I tell you my 3 year old is potty training… it has been a very long 2 weeks.

It has been worth every minute. My 5 year old is no longer chewing on her hair, something that stated with this school year, my 9 year old isn’t talking back to me as much as she was before, my 3 year old has someone to play with all day. I’m finding i don’t need an escape from my littles like I have in the past…

School is very hands on a perfect way for little ones to learn they get to see, touch, and hear what they are learning, they are no longer sitting in front of a screen all day.

I am starting a photo project, about homeschooling, lets see where it takes me, lets see what my children will teach me, lets see where more inspiration will come from.

~mary E. J. mason

Gloomy days…

I’m not going to lie… I love gloomy fall days, to me there seems to be a bit of magic in the air, and living in a small house in the middle of a farm with nothing but homemade blankets and second hand, sometimes third hand furniture so everything matches by not matching, this house that I am renting has such a warm and welcoming feel to it. One where you are not worried about sitting on the sofa or taking off your boots before coming in, the wood floors are well worn and in need of some tlc, the walls are covered with both mine and the kids art work, so when you first walk in it’s a lot to take in especially if it is your first time seeing everything, but all of this adds to the welcoming feel.

I’m still feeling “peace” while washing dishes… dinner is in the oven… i have put on my pajamas, and the light from the gloomy day brings in this quite hue that is asking you to light a candle, to turn on one lamp, because sometimes that light you see in the fog can be the most restful, beautiful and welcoming light of all, there is no harshness to it.

Normally I would have made myself a nice pot of tea cuddled up under one of my many handmade blankets to read a book, finish a project, watch a movie, or just watch the rain and listen to the crackle of the wood burning in the stove. Today I find myself opening a beer and washing dishes while the kids scream, the dogs fight and I try to find a bit of peace watching the chickens in the yard looking for their dinner, heck it’s not even a good beer, but it’s a cold one and my nerves are very much on edge.

In the short time that I put dinner in the oven (and it was a frozen dinner) washed a few dishes from this morning the house has been torn apart. My two youngest have taken all my blankets and pillows off my bed and moved them to the living room, they have also emptied the clean clothes that I was going to fold after dinner, the sofa is taken apart… I could go on and on. I am cold because there is no fire in the wood stove, my husband has yet to pull it out from the wall to clean, I would do it, but it is too big of a job for me to do alone with the kids running around crazy, the dogs fighting and heck the size and weight of the stove, it is just a job that I can not do on my own.

I am trying to find the joy in all of this, we have a roof over our heads, and dinner is cooling, there will be clean clothes to wear tomorrow and my van has a full tank of gas, but oh is it hard. The kids have decided that they don’t like dinner without trying it, and the fighting and crying just keeps going on and on.

I may have some wine after the kids go to bed and finally sit down to enjoy the gloomy day with my book, but for now I need to be the solo mom living on the homestead that is full of living things that very much depend on me for life.

But lets be real, I’m most likely just going to cuddle up under my big blanket and fall asleep to do it all over again tomorrow…

~mary e.J mason

Welcome to… “The Your Name here” est. ????

https://etsy.me/3jcpBCC

Custom made embroidery, welcome home gift with couples new last name and the year they became a family.

This is the perfect wedding gift or anniversary gift for that special couple in your life who seems to have everything!!!

Please specify up to 2 thread colors and 2 letters.

I use DMC so if you have numbers please let me know.
If you do not have DMC colors please list the colors you would like, a sketch and color palette will be sent to you before stitching

Letters will be in brown or black unless another color is asked for, flowers and leaves you can chose colors please let me know in the comments. See above info⬆️

Since this is made to order please allow 1-2 weeks for the finished project once you approve your colors

Product is backed with felt and signed and dated, and ready to hang on the wall.

Finished product will be mailed in bubble wrap and a padded mailer, please remember that this is hand embroidery so there may be some minor imperfections, and the finished art work will not be identical to the one that is pictured.

Since this is a custom order, I am unable to accept returns
Spot clean ONLY

I live on a little homestead with lots of rabbits and chickens as well as an animal friendly home, with dogs, cats, hamsters, chickens, goats, ducks & guinea pigs & a rabbit

every purchase helps me feed them as well as my three growing children
💜💜💙

Kid life
4H life
Mom life

~mary e. J.mason

New Christmas Ornament Embroidery $$$

3” wooden hoop Christmas Ornament

“1st Christmas”. (free hand embroidery)

The perfect ornament for those of you who love hand made things! I get a new ornament for my kids every year, and one for myself, start your Christmas ornament tradition today with this one!

It’s never to early (or late) to start getting ready for Christmas 🎄 and with handmade items the earlier the better!

Custom orders on this are more than welcome! Instead of 1st Christmas I can put the year in, these will take a few days longer to mail.

Product is backed with felt and signed and dated, and ready to hang on the tree or wall with string.

This ornament is done free hand so yours may look a little different than the one pictured.

Finished product will be mailed in bubble wrap and a padded mailer, please remember that this is hand embroidery so there may be some minor imperfections, and the finished art work may not be identical to the one that is pictured due to computers and the fact that items are handmade.

Will mail 1-3 days from order date
All sales are finial!!
Spot clean ONLY

I live on a little homestead with lots of rabbits and chickens as well as an animal friendly home, with dogs, cats, hamsters, chickens, goats, ducks & guinea pigs & a rabbit

every purchase helps me feed them as well as my three growing children
💜💜💙

Kid life
4H life
Mom life

Picture perfect weather 6’ apart

This is a family session from last November that I guess I forgot to post, I remember the day after I got really sick so maybe that is why, I was late in getting them their edited photographs but THANKFULLY they were super understanding.
This session was all laughs and love, and I can’t wait to photograph them again! Also what an amazing day and location, the weather was calling for rain but we had nothing but cloudy skies (a photographers dream).

Right now is a perfect time to update your family photos because it’s not HOT outside, so if you are local in the NOVA area than drop me a line, and with photography you are able to practice social distancing, now is a funny time to rebuild my photography business, but for some reason I feel that the time is right 🤦🏼‍♀️🤷🏼‍♀️😜😷

Now is also a good time to start thinking about all those greeting cards you will be sending out for Christmas! I’m sure and hope that there will be a lot more than normal.

~mary e.J mason

L.G.T. Newborn session… May 2020

This little big guy was born when everything first started shutting down from COVID-19 so I wasn’t able to photograph him as a newborn, most of my props didn’t work, and he was awake for the whole session. Such a sweet little guy, can’t wait to watch him grow for many years to come. I love it when I get phone calls from past brides letting me know that their family is growing and they want me to be a part of the memories.

~mary e.J mason

P.S. I can’t believe that I forgot to post a few of my favorites from the session that was all the way back in MAY 🤦🏼‍♀️😜

6.10.06 – 7.27.20 you are so loved, you will so be missed

We set ourselves up for it don’t we. We give our hearts over to heartbreak. We know it’s going to happen, we know that in the next 10 years or so if we are lucky your heart will be broken with a love that you can never understand a love that you can never explain. A love that truly had no drama involved, no trust issues, no hurt, no anger, just straight out LOVE. The worst part? Most likely you are the one who has to make the choice… that is the most heartbreaking part of it all, you are the one who has to see the pain and decide that they can no longer live with it, you are the one that has to pull the trigger. And yet I would do it all over again knowing how much it will hurt, knowing that in a month I will most likely be expected to no longer morn her, so I will have to hide the sorrow, hide the pain.

14 years ago I made my first big adult decision I brought home the sweetest little puppy, a jack russell beagle mix. It’s a pretty big deal to bring a puppy home, after having babies I can say that raising a puppy is almost like having a newborn at home, you are up every few hours to put them outside, you have your choice of listening to them cry because you are kennel training them at night, or you let them come and sleep with you, I picked sleeping with me, her little whimpers got me every time.

Oh sweet girl how you will be missed! Not only by me but by your best friend, how do I explain to him that you aren’t coming back, how do I tell him to stop looking for her…

I will take a drink for you tonight, I will post random photos of you as I come across them because I have way to many to share, I don’t want to share any of you as an older dog, your pain is not how I want to remember you, I want to remember you as the hyper puppy who always wanted to chase the squirrel and catch the ball. I will remember when you growled at my pregnant tummy the first time the baby moved. How you would always get so excited when my parents came to visit, how you smiled when you where super excited, and yes she really did smile. So many memories are flooding in my mind right now, so much love,

So run sweet girl, run through the fields, sit on my daddy’s lap and kiss him nonstop like you did whenever he came to visit. I will always remember you, you are my “first born” my first “baby” you thought me to love more so than the dogs of my childhood because you where 100% mine, you picked me when you where 6 weeks old, i saw you the day you where born.

So run sweet girl run, you are free, you are loved, you are missed…

One last thing sweet girl… “SQUIRREL”