Monday, November 17, 2014

light and color

I'm really noticing color and light this late fall. Both light and color make me feel more alive and happy so perhaps I've been seeking it out on these very short days when the sky is  black by 5:15pm. And I find myself attempting to tuck both of these things into the corners and spaces of our homes. Colorful drawings and prints. An antique crazy quilt that my dad's grandmother had stitched by hand many years ago. Lamps glowing low and cozy. Handmade looms with arrays of color. A basket full of yarn, both to use and admire. Books of many colors, lined up side-by-side on shelves and filling baskets, calling to be opened and read. Candles on the windowsill, on the coffee table, on the dinner table. How does such a small flame provide such warmth? Warmth that reaches down into the tired soul.

Yes, I love color and light.

And I have found myself offering prayers of thanksgiving for the little glimpses of both. Thankful for the ability to open my eyes and my heart to these gifts of light Christ has created and given to me, to us. He is THE light, after all. It's His specialty.

So, yes, on these short, mostly gray, and most certainly cold days, I'm reaching out, opening my eyes wide to find these little but mighty gifts He's tucked into the spaces of my life. And for one who can tend to experience a bit of melancholy this time of year, I'm finding this search and awareness of His light, His colors, His creativity, is inspiring me to embrace every single day, whether sunny and warm or gray and cold.

After all, this is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Falling into November

Wow. October was a wonderful month. The changing of the leaves this year seemed so much more vibrant to me than in years past. Perhaps it was because we seemed to have more sunny blue skies set as the backdrop this fall. Regardless, we spent a lot of time outdoors soaking in the unusual amount of sun and enjoying the temperate weather.

Our hours have been filled with the usual ~ school lessons, meal-making, some baking, and housework. I've also been busy preparing for the open house I am hosting this December. If you are local, I want to extend an invitation to you. I'm really excited about this year's event. We have some wonderful artisans bringing their wares. You can check out the event page on Facebook to see some of the samples of what our open house will have to offer.

And, of course, I'm filling in all of my extra minutes with yarn. It's such a cozy hobby for this chilly time of the year. I settle in on the couch with my yarn and hook and a mug of hot tea after the kids are snuggled into bed. I often find myself daydreaming about blocking periods of time each day to crochet, but my time is very limited, so I just sneak a bit of it in here and there. But I do suppose that my yarn habits are a bit more than just a hobby these days. They have also been providing a little bit of extra money for our family which is nice. It's wonderful to love what you do.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Getting Ready

Oh, how I've missed posting here on a regular basis. The activities of this month have kept me so busy that I've hardly had the mental capacity to string together words here in this space.

We belong to three homeschooling groups this year (4-H, a co-op, and writing club) which has kept us hopping every week. Although we don't have all three of these groups each week, they are scheduled in such a way that we always have at least one day a week out of our home at one of the groups. This is a new thing for us this year, and I had to weigh the various benefits versus the negatives when making the decision to participate in all three groups. This year we (meaning Brad and I) found it necessary to participate in all three for various reasons. It has, admittedly, been a nice change, but it has kept us out of the home more than what we've been used to in the past years.

Ian just played his last soccer game last weekend, which will free up two evenings and a Saturday morning each week. He enjoys playing soccer, and I enjoy watching him play, but it's always nice to see that busy season come to an end for several months.

A Lovely Yarn has also kept me quite busy between custom orders and preparing for a couple of upcoming shows. I'm hosting another Handmade Christmas Open House here at our home on December 6th. I'm looking forward to having various local artisans bring their wares in for the community. Our last open house was quite a success, and I have added a few new potential artisans to the schedule. I also have another one-day show coming up next month. This show benefits a local elementary school.

Oh, and winterizing the outdoors and the animals... Brad was finally able to find the time to complete the installation of the electric out to the alpaca barn. That was a big thing to cross off of his to-do list. I'm always so thankful for his handyness. It's quite helpful when you live the lifestyle we are trying to live.

I'm working with one of our alpacas who has proven himself to be quite stubborn. He is the most pleasant, curious alpaca of the bunch until he needs touched for vaccinations or anything else. And when I put him on his halter and try to walk him he either braces his front legs and refuses to walk or lays down in rebellion. Oh, he's driving me nutty, but I refuse to give up on him. Just as Majestico was a challenge to gain his trust, I was determined to do so and now he eats out of our hands and hangs around us. So I am mustering up the same determination as I work with Gandor.

And we are acquiring another new animal. This Saturday, we will be receiving a donkey named Tyke from friends of ours who need to re-home him. Tyke was trained to guard the goats at our friends' home so I'm hoping he transitions into the same role in our alpaca pasture. I'm really excited about this new addition, and it took us all summer and part of fall to commit to it simply because of this being our first winter with the alpacas and not knowing how it will go. But I, being the huge softie that I am, as well as my kiddos (who are equally just as soft when it comes to animals) somehow got Brad to cave and commit. Haha. This is how it always seems to go. I see an animal and immediately want to take it on, where Brad is the more logical and practical one and considers the finances and such. Yep, good thing we have one another to balance things up a bit. All teasing aside, Brad is excited for the newest addition too!