Wednesday, December 14, 2016

making things

There are several times during each year when my creative senses seem to jolt to life. During those times, I find it hard concentrating on much other than creating and making or thinking about creating and making. 

I have noticed that the time from Thanksgiving until Christmas day is one of those times. Something clicks in my brain, and I just find myself wanting to make everything. And I love it. Although it does prove challenging to balance it and keep it in check with all of my responsibilities. 

Even our homeschooling days reflect this. Sure we continue on with our math and grammar and history, but this is the time of year when I find that it's pertinent to fit in the creative enrichments that I find so important. Classical music fills the air. The yarn and paint and fabric is usually littering many surfaces of our home. The piano and guitar are humming away. The oven is churning out many more yummy delicacies than it does any other time of the year. 

Right now, with the encouragement of Bob Ross (or should I say his old re-runs on Netflix) my kids are enthralled with painting. We're using acrylics as Brad had a bin of them left over from his painting days many years ago (note: acrylic paints stay good even after twenty years of not using them as long as they're sealed tight.) We picked up some canvases, and the kids have been spending many hours at the kitchen table painting. 

While they are busy creating their masterpieces, I'm finding moments of time to knit and cross-stitch. I did some Christmas gift knitting, and now I am trying to focus on getting some socks done that have been on the needles for a couple of months. I get a bit twitchy when I have projects languishing for more than a month or so. 

And we got our first substantial snow last night. It looks so pretty! As much as I prefer a warmer climate, I figure that if it's going to be cold it is much better for there to be snow. Without it, all is gloomy and grey.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

And so begins December...

Oh my goodness! It has been such an incredibly long time since I virtually scribbled in this space. September. And now it is December and we're in the midst of Advent, and I just don't know how those months went by so quickly.

I have been doing some relatively frequent posting on Instagram (see link in the sidebar.) I have been finding the ease of snapping a photo and captioning just more fitting for my life lately, but I have recently found myself missing keeping this space filled with musings and photos. Writing here requires a slowing necessary in order to put down coherent thoughts. Quite honestly, my mental energies have been all tied up in various other places which is probably why I haven't felt the drive to sit down and write here. But slowing is good, isn't it?

So perhaps I will try to be more diligent in my keeping of this blog? We shall see.  But for now, I wanted to just post something of an update and attach a few photos of the happenings around our home. I am soaking in the miracle of Christmas right now. I am in love with this season, with this celebration.

Monday, September 12, 2016

September, in part...

 September! Oh glorious September!! You have been so, so good and full of beauty! 

What a kick-off to the month to be in one of our favorite places, Acadia National Park in Maine. Now that is a glorious place in itself. Raw beauty and wonder that makes my heart sing. A week spent hiking and climbing rocks and traversing the beautiful terrain. Having no obligations other than to eat, sleep, and do whatever we pleased. I do miss waking in the morning before everyone else, pouring a cup of coffee and enjoying my Bible reading in complete solitude with only the birds in the trees to accompany me. 

And then it was so good to return to our cozy little home here in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania. It's always so good to go away, but it's also just as nice to come home. Home to the familiar and the routine, invigorated and ready to conquer the world one laundry basket and school lesson at a time.

We came home and had two days to gear up for the new school year. I had done all of the major prepping before we had left, so I just had a few ends to tidy up for our start. And then I had major first-day-of-school jitters, more than I've ever had before. Gosh, I felt like I was back in school myself. I think it was just all the emotions bundled up and tied tight. I'm telling you, homeschooling is not easy. It's no small thing to feel the weight of your children's educations on your shoulders. Normally I'm pretty good with shrugging that off and going with the flow, but, boy, this year has been a bit different. Perhaps it's because Ian is in seventh grade, and I feel like we need to step up the game a bit more. (And perhaps I, like every other homeschool mom, am just hard on myself and want to try my darndest not to screw my children up.) 

Whatever the reason, the first day came and went, and fairly smoothly at that. So now we're in our second week and trying to find a rhythm that will fit our family this year. That will come. It always does.

In the midst of all of this, Ian turned thirteen! Another teenager. We celebrated in a low-key way, per his request, with a campfire and cookout for the five of us followed by a game of Settlers of Catan. I made key lime pie, also per the birthday boy's request, which was quite yummy and vegan and gluten free to boot. It was a great, simple celebration. We have Sergei's coming up the end of this month. He's going to be twenty! What?! Really? Twenty?

And this morning was the perfect autumn morning. There was a slight crispness in the air that was just enough to warrant some of my handmade woolens being put to use when I went out to tend to the animals. Just a hat and scarf. And then it warmed up to around eighty which was marvelous. And the sun was out! Yes, these days of yours, September, have been stunning!