Saturday, August 20, 2016

This Season

This Summer has been a season of change.  A summer of lots of sunshine, a new swimming pool, a garden with so many good things in it, and boys growing like weeds.   This is the summer that my Owl (boy #3) learned to swim!  Hurray!  And the summer of getting a new kitten.  And so many other good things, some big, some small....but just now words seem new to me.  I haven't written in so long.  Perhaps this is the summer that I start to write again.....

We've had more time with Joel this summer as he lost his job a few weeks ago.  I have a feeling that this loss, although scary in some ways, is a blessing in disguise.  He is obviously spending much time looking for work, but also spending time with us.  Which has been really a blessing in itself.

It has been a summer of growth.  Just look at how big our girl has gotten!  Flower is still the sweetest, best company around.

She and her brother have really developed a friendship over the past few months.  So super sweet to witness.  Today while we went for a walk they walked holding hands. (oh my heart!)

We have also been super fortunate to get to spend some quality time with these amazing people, which just happens to be our family!  Lucky us!  Here we are laughing at ourselves taking a selfie...oh what has happened to us that we have succumbed to this!  I love the different expressions on everyone and how much Joel and his brother resemble each other!

We spent some time hiking at Governor Dodge with Joel's brothers family.  This picture is of my niece and wonderful sister in law!  Love them so much.  We don't get to see them very often, but each visit gets better and better.  It is such a beautiful time of year to do that hike around Stephens Falls.  I was too busy enjoying the good company to take lots of pictures...just as it should be.  I will ever be practicing the art of being present. 

I'll leave you with this last picture, dear reader, of our new band.  We are going to call it "Crookneck" (just one word like Madonna) because we're cool like that.  

 Until next year, dear family......the visits always seem so short!  

And dear reader....hopefully NOT until next year...hopefully I'll write again soon.  We shall see.

Monday, January 27, 2014

A Day In The Life....

It's been so super cold here.  In the early morning I lie in bed listening to J breathe, unwilling to part from his side, from the warmth of being next to him, from the stillness that just is.  I often miss that window of Alone that comes with early rising.  It seems that this exists only in a very slim moment of time between sleep and kids waking with exuberance for another day.  I missed it entirely today and woke up to boys crashing legos in bins, toilets flushing, and one bright eyed little girl calling "Good morning!" to anyone who would listen. 
We make coffee.  I scramble eggs.  He finishes fixing the DVD player that we need for math, even though he is running a little behind.  I add feta, pour cream, set the table.  Ponder the day.  Plan the loose ends of school in my mind.  (we will do that science experiment today.  we will make playdough.  we will remember to gather the eggs before they freeze)  Boys tumble in for breakfast.  Fry their own eggs while J and I eat together for the last moment of our day together.  We read scripture and pray as a family and off he goes.  I pray in my mind for his trip to work in this forty below zero weather while I get everyone dressed.  Well...they are older some of them do actually do this on their own.  I'm mostly just needed to find socks.  We have some kind of abyss at our house that sucks up socks and leaves lonely stragglers in random places.  It is a thorn in my side....but I digress.
School starts one by one.  We are working on helping the boys become independent.  That's one of the reasons we homeschool.  We want them to love learning and to know how to do it by themselves.  This morning I helped with spelling and equivalent fractions and three digit subtraction.  I read to Flower over and over again. Badger is working on writing a book so I edit his typing while I wash the dishes and clean the kitchen and bathroom.  I help Hen with his crazy drippy eye.  (Did I mention we have been passing around a cold for a few weeks now?)  Hen's poor eye is just tearing all the time.  It's so crazy cold in this dear old house that his skin is so dry and irritated from the tears.  I run the shower for the steam and refill the teakettle.

We make homemade pizzas for lunch.  I let Cricket grate the cheese and while the pizza bakes I reclean the kitchen.  We eat pizza and watch the beginning of Mary Poppins with our lunch today.  (We usually listen to a book on disc but just finished the Silver Chair and are waiting to find something new.)  We make it to "Just a Spoonful of Sugar..." then decide to clean up and get ready for a piano student.  Just one today...and they are good friends of ours...a welcome diversion.  I put Flower down for a nap.  Read more stories.  Snuggle.  Talk to her about all the flowers on her walls in her room.  Listen to her sing herself to sleep. 

Start laundry.  Brush teeth.  Drink another cup of coffee.  Think about how I should've done those last two things in the reverse order.  Teach piano.  Play chess with my boy, even though I really do not like chess.  Realize once again how worth it it is to do something I am not fond of in order to connect with these wonderful kids.  Fix Hen's eye again.  Make playdough in four different colors.  Realize how late it is and put a roast in the oven.  Clean kitchen again.  Play with baby.  Play chess.  Set table.  Decide to listen to music and just as I put the disc in J walks in the door.  Wow.  Some days it goes fast. 

We sit down to eat supper together.  Pray.  I think about how in Little Women Meg and John don't love each other any less though they look at each other over the familiar little teapot.  It's so that way for us.  He always smiles at me at the dinner table. 
We call Grandma for her birthday.  Everyone takes turns singing and talking.  We do dishes, play one last game of chess.  J takes them up for bed and reads more stories.  He brings me a crossword after he goes out in the cold to take care of the chickens.  We snuggle in with each other and work on it until it's finished. (it is a Monday afterall)  We play music together.  Tumble into bed later than we should.  I lie down next to him and listen to him breathe.  He is here.  Here is now.  And it's so good.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Wrapping It Up, Part 2

 More pictures of our 2013.....

the knit dress I made for Flower...

We dressed up as characters from Peter Pan for this year's Trunk or Treat (not as Tiger Lilly)

Flower loves to draw and often gets out all the materials needed all on her very own!
Christmas morning....

Cousins with us for Christmas this fun!

Out for breakfast at our favorite little local cafe.  Life is so good.  We are blessed.  Not from our own merit....but because of God's goodness and grace.  So thankful for that.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Wrapping It Up

These are photos I wish I had blogged about in 2013.....just a few moments of our grand adventure this past year.....part one of a two part series....
 it was the summer of learning how to start a fire with flint and steel...
 and the summer of good gardens....

 practicing our archery skills at Fort Wilderness.....

 We tent camped this year....Flower is quite the snuggle bug!
 Exploring Olbrich Gardens with friends.....

 first ponytail....and wagon rides with her big brother....

 Our new batch of birds...
 Sweet Corn, pumpkins, and beans grew aplenty this year....

 She loves to pick flowers....


 (she's a lefty)
I never thought there would be a pink potty in our bathroom!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Badger's 11th Birthday

 In the blink of an eye......the boy has turned Eleven.  11!!!

We celebrated by having a party with his friends.  I am so glad we have this awesome group of boys for our boys to grow up with!  They are truly some of the best boys ever!

Love these boys!  Love my boy!  He is becoming a young man before my very eyes and it's wonderful and scary and beautiful all at the same time.  I am amazed at how tender and fun he can be with his baby sister.  How much he naturally leads our other boys.  How thoughtful he can be towards me during our days. (hey you need some help?)  I love it that he plows through books of all sorts.  How he is learning self discipline by taking care of his school stuff in his own independent way.  I love it that he loves math! (pre -algebra this year) That he loves to draw!  And can play piano pretty well already.  Can't wait to see what else God has planned for you this next year dear boy.  We love you so very much.