Thursday, August 9, 2012

These Days...

These days, my evenings are filled with laundry, hot tea, audiobooks, a stolen moment for knitting or sewing, and oh, such comforting and hysterical conversations with husband. I think maybe my favorite times with him are when we are up late together, evenings stretching long into the night, working and talking about this or that or nothing at all. That reminds me of a quote I read in a book once. I cannot quote it exactly, and I can't seem to find it again anywhere, but it goes something like this:

To love, to be understood, that is the thing.

Oh, yes. That is certainly the thing.

These days, my mornings are filled with precious moments with Pumpkin. He and I are the early risers, and I am relishing every moment with him, just the two of us. It has become our habit to rock together and read every issue of Your Big Backyard and Ranger Rick laid out on the coffee table (of which there are many) at least three times each before we move outside to water the flowers together. First, we water the flowerbeds in the front, and then the potted plants in the back. He always drenches himself completely when he tries to drink from the water hose.

These days, my crockpot is working overtime as I make tons of homemade stock from scraps.  As I pour up the rich broth into quart containers for the freezer, I say a prayer of thanks at the opportunity to feed my children so well. My hope is that this foundation of good nutrition (as difficult and inconvenient as it is sometimes) will bless them with a whole lifetime of good health.

These days, our weeks are filled with get-togethers with groups large and small, with friends old and new. Almost every week we have a play date or group get-together or church potluck to attend. I see my children beginning to forge friendships that I hope they will learn to nurture and care for. They are growing up so fast.

These days life is good, and I am happy.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Life Got In the Way

So, it probably doesn't matter if I say that I always intended to start blogging again. I have lots of post titles stored away in the back of my mind. I thought about it all the time. I missed it terribly.

No. None of that matters because it didn't actually get done. And the truth is, I just couldn't fit it in. And then I didn't feel like it. And then I did, but I couldn't fit it in again. In the past few months, so much has happened that it feels like I've been caught up in a big whirlwind. Why is life like that? My life goes through wonderful periods of peace. I'll be going along, have everything in a nice, comfy routine, and BAM! I get smacked upside the head with complete and total life change.

The big news is that I got re-married. I know, right? How did that happen? That came with moving into his house, getting the kids settled and adjusted, schedules changing, etc. Then we went through summer traveling and camps, and well, there just hasn't been a minute to breathe.

Oh, and I'm pregnant again. So if there was a minute, I slept through it.

But now I'm feeling good again. For a while, anyway. I've hit the second-trimester stride and feel back to my old self. Nausea and fatigue are gone, and there's nothing but blue skies. I know that the tiredness will return, and the bustle and go of having a new baby this winter will mean many times that the blog will go unfilled again. But right now, I'm just enjoying each moment.

Honestly, that's another reason I haven't blogged: I've just been living life instead of writing about it. As crazy and hectic and difficult as everything has been, it's been better than ever. I'm so excited about what this season of my life has in store.

So, I guess what happened is that life got in the way.

Hey, that was a song I used to listen to a lot in high school! Remember these guys?

Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Well-Loved Rocking Chair

In the process of cleaning out Someone Special's basement, I found an old, very dusty rocking chair. It was love at first sight.

"What's the story on that rocking chair?"

"It was my grandmother's."


"Yeah, my parents were going to get rid of it, and I said that I wanted it, but I have nowhere to put it. Why, do you want to rid of it?"

"No, I love it. I want to find a place for it in our house."

Flash forward about a week, and I finally got around to hauling it upstairs and giving it a little love. All it needed was a good rub down to give it new life. I want to sew a cushion for it, but it's comfortable even without one. It's very wide and low--perfect for little children to crawl up into with a book, and luckily I have three of those! (Three children. We have way more than three books.)

We have since found out from Someone Special's mom that this was not actually his grandmother's rocking chair, it was his great-grandmother's rocking chair. How cool is that?

The 100-year-old rocker looks very comfortable in Someone Special's 100-year-old home. It looks wonderful in the kids' bedroom. I love all of the simple details, but my absolute favorite part is the worn finish on the arm rests--A sign that it was been well-worn and well-loved.

I wonder how many babies have been rocked to sleep in this sweet chair? God willing, it will rock a few more.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Impulse Buy

Greenhouse tomatoes: local, organic, and grown in the ground. In February. How was I supposed to resist?

Friday, February 10, 2012

Just Enough

Today I wanted to share one of our favorite books with you: Just Enough, by Terri Daniels, illustrated by Harley Jessup. You may not have heard of it. I had never heard of it, either. My ex-husband's family knows the illustrator, and that is how I first came to know about this precious picture book. Just Enough follows a young boy through his day as he discovers all the things that he is old enough to do by himself. This book reminds me so much of my life with my children at home: simple, quiet, unseen, and oh, so rich with everyday experiences.

First of all, I love the illustrations. I love the bright colors, and the wonderful, warm feel of the setting: The handmade quilt, the braided rug, the boy's artwork on the walls....The details in this book are extraordinary. Every time we read it, we find something new. I love the flow of the pictures, and how the scale of the artwork emphasizes the words. I love the sense of movement, and wonder, and whimsy. One of my favorite pictures is of the little boy pounding away at the pizza dough. Just like a little boy-- full of exuberance!

And then, there is the simplest, sweetest story, told through a series of poetic vignettes. I love the sound of the words together as I read them aloud. I love the activities of the day: feeding the fish, eating breakfast, swinging high to the sky, chasing fireflies, splashing in the tub...All the usual adventures of a young boy home for the day with Mommy and Daddy.

It's a shame that this delightful book is out of print. It's work seeking out, though, and you can still find copies easily on Amazon. I can't recommend it enough. It's one of our favorites.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Things I Love This Week: The Merry Goes 'Round

Ok, I have a confession: I love Jewel. The girls and I are thoroughly enjoying her latest children's album, The Merry Goes 'Round. We're obsessed. I mean, obsessed. And you know what? I would be obsessed with it even if I didn't have kids. My favorite song on the album is Give Me the Rainbow. 

Darling and I cannot stop singing this song as we go about our day! It's infections without being annoying. Our other favorites are Bucky the Bull, And the Green Grass Grew All Around, and Sammy the Spider. There is something about the combination of words with the melody that makes these songs so charming. I'm obsessed, I tell you! Obsessed!

Well, maybe not obsessed. Not like this, anyway:

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Nature Fix

The kids and I recently needed a day of running wild. After finishing up a week of early mornings, late nights, missed naps, and long trips in the car, we just needed to move.

We took a picnic to our local botanical gardens. We played chase and explored and threw rocks in the pond. Homeschooling gives us the freedom to go when most other people can't: weekday winter mornings. Except for the occasional retired couple, we had the place entirely to ourselves.

What I love about the Gardens is that it is different every time we go. We see new and exciting things with each visit, and learn more and more about animals and plants that are local to us. We discover all kinds of things that we want to Google when we get home. Every time we leave, we have an exciting story that we want to share. And after an hour or two or non-stop running, my kids are calm and ready for a nap.

Oh, the wonders of God's creation!

Here are some of the pictures I took that day. I always take too many.
Whenever we visit the Gardens, the kids run,

and run,

and run!

The kids love to throw rocks in the fish pond.

There were signs of spring everywhere!

While we were busy playing by the pond,

our picnic was attacked by wild dogs!

We had an impromptu lesson on camouflage.

Can you spot the frog?


I see you!

Hey, what's that in the bushes?


One of the peacocks decided to pose for the camera!

Darling decided to pose for the camera, too.

We feel so refreshed after our picnic. It's like we got our nature fix, and it's carrying us through the week.  I'm hoping to squeeze in another visit to the Gardens soon, if the weather is good. We go so often that many of the volunteers know us by name. We're blessed to live close enough that it feels like it's our own special place.