Thursday, April 18, 2019

I Started A Thing

At the beginning of the year I realized that one of my New Year's Resolutions (of sorts...held very loosely) was to join a book club. Funny how I love to read and am surrounded by readers, but we never really gather to purposefully talk about books, nor have I ever heard them talk about being in a book club. I didn't know how to go about joining one and didn't want to join one where I didn't know anyone. 

All this was remedied when I mentioned to my dear friend Holly, who moved to the area for a few months, that I was reading "The Enchanted April" by Elizabeth von Arnim. She said she was currently reading the same book and she'd love to meet to talk about it. Fortunately she has been part of an official book club and said I should just start my own.

So, I took the plunge, and started a club. 
For the first time since I was 10.  

It doesn't have a name yet, but we had our first meeting and it was so. much. fun. We gathered one sunny evening to talk about the book, snack on olives and sip some wine, while children ran in and out around us. Some of us had physical books checked out from the library, a few of us listened to it, and one of us scrolled furiously on her phone reading in between making bread, yogurt and tending 4 children in a matter of 12 hours before our first meeting. She got extra points for that, believe me!

This small endeavor has reminded me that there will always be something new to try, and it's okay to step out of your comfort zone to start something new if you don't see what you're looking for already established around you. This wasn't that hard to do anyway since it involves my close friends, food and books. All which I love dearly.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

National Sibling Day

I found out today is National Sibling Day.
I have a wonderful sister, two years younger (but now taller) than me, and I couldn't be happier to call her not only my sister but best friend.
We did everything growing up; shared all our secrets, played in the mud, built forts in the woods, jumped in the grain bins full of shelled corn, constructed hay houses and shared the farm work together day after day.
She has supported me and encouraged me through so many areas of my life.
This is getting awfully sappy now, so I will just wrap things up saying I'm so glad I have a sister. 💛

Friday, March 8, 2019

A Room of His Own

For the longest time, Lincoln was sleeping in our closet. Yes, it's large, yes, his crib fit and yes it was fine. But we realized that if we moved Natasha to the basement, we could move him into her room. She has hardly ever slept in her room anyway, despite having a nice double size bed. Don't ask me why. Her preference has been to make a nest of blankets somewhere in a cozy corner typically under the stairs in the basement, so the room wasn't being used much in that sense. (It seems our children have a thing with sleeping in closets.) So I tearfully took down his crib, regained our closet space and moved his little crib mattress to Natasha's room which has gradually become "Lincoln's room".

The past month or so I've been on a huge shelving kick. More on my BIG shelving project, later. In my organizing and rearranging, I discovered the shelves Daniel made for the laundry room in our previous house, not being used. What? Shelves not on the wall? I hadn't thought of a suitable place for them till now.

Oh my was it fun to style them and make this room perfect for a little boy. 

Currently this little boy is napping. He literally put himself to bed after I changed his diaper by turning on his sound machine, closing the door saying, "Wincoln napping now!" I tell you, the personality differences between him and his older sister are night and day. She was WAY done with napping at age 2 1/2 and here, he puts himself to bed. 

Monday, February 25, 2019

A Theme for February

It was the morning of January 31st and I sat at the breakfast table sipping my tea. Or possibly coffee, not sure which. Natasha was still in bed either sleeping late or reading and Lincoln had eaten his breakfast and was down playing. I was explaining to Daniel how I was discouraged with schooling at the moment. We weren't doing any of the fun stuff I wanted to do. Fun, in my mind being categorized as studying art, drawing, music and memorizing poetry.
I told him, "Sure we do the necessary history, science, math and writing, but nothing extra like I had envisioned back in September."
Thus I began to relate to him my research into the Simply Charlotte Mason Picture Study Portfolios.  All I would have to do was download an artist, print all the pictures and voila-we could do an artist study. But without a color printer, that sort of defeats the best cost option.
"I could do it all on my own, but I don't want to create my own curriculum," I whined, ever so slightly.
There are free artist study helps which are lovely, but again, I ran into printing issues. I still haven't figured out how to get an entire file to Office Depot to be printed, but I might revisit that another day.

Sitting around moping wasn't going to fix anything though and the next part of the day was before us. However, I popped onto Instagram and in my browsing, I discovered a Morning Time Bundle by Fresh Wanderings.
Oh my.
I do believe I breathed in and let out and got up with a spring in my step.
I was revived.
It had everything I was looking for and didn't want to put together myself:
A poem. 
An artist. 
A Bible verse. 
A musician. 
A theme. 

I started right away. I printed the little cards, so thoughtfully put together and stuck the appropriate ones on the wall where we could start memorizing. I loved how it wasn't overwhelming and yet had enough freedom for taking it as slow or in depth as we wanted. This. Was. Perfect. It helped that this month's theme included sheep, which I am quite partial to. 

It was one of those moments where I was incredibly grateful for the community of homeschooling mommas all around the country, who I don't even know, but who graciously share their abilities and curated schooling ideas, all on this app called Instagram. I will be the first to admit Instagram can lead me down a slippery slope of comparison, feelings of inadequacy and even envy. I have to take breaks and time away to keep things in the right perspective. But there are those moments when used properly, that Instagram can inspire and spur me on with new ideas and encouragement. This was definitely one of those times. Suddenly I was excited about school and doing all the fun subjects that we hadn't yet made happen.

So on one of these past snowy afternoons, we read about sheep from "The Handbook of Nature Study" (thanks Mom for handing that down to me) and drew sheep. We even dyed fabric with avocado pits and watched a great little video about fiber being made into fabric and learned why the song, "POP Goes the Weasel" has a "weasel" in it. It's not the animal weasel I've always imagined. 

It was indeed a good day. 

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Icy Icy

When else can one get free icicles from trees? During an ice storm, of course. 

Friday, February 22, 2019

Oh February, You've Been Good

It has been a doozy of a month for weather. Frigid temperatures, a polar vortex, ice and snow, more ice and snow, homeschool co-op cancellations...the whole shebang. We certainly enjoyed the coziness and the wildness all this created. It will be a February for the memory books. I turned 32 a couple weeks ago and Daniel and I celebrate our 11th anniversary tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Currently on January 29th

This wintery weather. Truly. I am not lying or pretending. I think this is fun weather and couldn't be happier. Now, before you all go crazy, I am fully aware it causes a lot of trouble for motorists, mail carriers, rubbish collectors, people who need to be outdoors, driving, etc... I understand it cancels plans and creates chaos for schools and isn't safe to be out in.
However. I like the adventurous nature it brings to life and the ever-so-slight bit of survival-mode. I grew up reading stories of pioneers out on the prairies with blizzards and needing a rope to get to the barn, and it really left an impression on me. I'm sure I romanticize it, but there will always be a part of me that wants to live life similar to that time period. And, this makes me feel like I am in a very small way.

Reading... "Educated," by Tara Westover. I am about a third of the way in and it has had some really hard parts to read. 

Excited about... Using my new camera. I still get a little bit giddy when I go to take a picture and remember I have a new one. Daniel got me an Olympus, E-M10 MarkII for Christmas. My Canon Rebel was working fine and I would still be using it and be fine. But it was getting a little on the bulky side for traveling and I was admiring the ease of wi-fi connection to the iphone and other more modern elements of a mirrorless camera. So. This has been fun.

Listening to...  Not to copy Emily from Jones Design Company, was her recent post that urged me to play along with her "currently blog post" theme and I have started listening to the same podcast as her after her recommendation. I started way at the very beginning with a series of teachings on the book of Jonah. I was familiar with Tim Mackie before she mentioned it though, as Daniel discovered "The Bible Project" on youtube months ago. We have really enjoyed the "Read Scripture" series as a family.

Making... Daily multiple treks out to the chicken coop. I've shoveled a path and have been giving them extra feed and extra bedding for the arctic temperatures coming tonight and the next couple days. Bless one of the hen's hearts...she started laying, in January, no less! So all my tending is rather rewarding.

Dreaming of... Travel plans for 2019. Including an anniversary trip down south in February and hopefully Europe this spring. *claps hands*

Working on... Growing baby aloe plants. I've been babysitting my mother-in-law's aloe plant while they were in Australia, and even though they have returned from Down Under, I still have the aloe. I don't mind at all, in fact, it's been nice. It multiplied and I separated a lot of little aloe pups a couple weeks ago and I'm working on keeping them alive now. I am not one of those "plant ladies" though, so I'm selling extras.

Enjoying... Thinking back on my sister's wedding which was a week and a half ago. Oh my. It was a lovely day and I still can't stop thinking about it. She was...radiant. Stunning. And so, so, happy. More pictures later. :)

Wearing... Socks I knitted about 10 years ago. They are the first pair of socks I ever made and perfect for shoveling snow or just being cozy inside. 

Needing... This is not a need, but more of a "I could use". I realized it would be nice to store my rice flour, potato starch and other flours in cute jars rather than old plastic protein powder containers.  Something like this is what I have in mind... Maybe?

Thinking about... BOOKSHELVES for our basement. My Dad made me metal brackets, the boards are in the garage waiting to be sanded and stained and soon I will be styling shelves and arranging books. But. Those boards aren't sanding themselves. Need to get on that...