Of course I would have a bad day today.  Of course, after all my wanting everything to stay this way forever talk yesterday, I would have a day where I wanted to crawl back into bed and not emerge until tomorrow.  Of course I would.

They were crabby, I was crabby.  There was resistance to everything from putting on coats, to lessons, to eating what's for dinner.  Even I was resistant- to teaching lessons, to making that soup that needed to be made from the last of the garden, to meditating (which ironically would have probably fixed everything).

Anyway, we did it.  Somehow we got through the day.  Then, ironically, as I was tucking Grace and Jackson into bed Grace said "thanks for a fun day mom".
"Wait, what.." I asked, "did someone have fun at some point today?  I don't remember having any fun."  Then they both proceeded to tell me about a few happy moments here and there.
And then Jackson said, "Oh and remember, we had fun raking."
I thought for a moment, "Oh yes, we did have fun raking."  I had forgotten about that.
"Until I wrecked it by complaining and asking for the thousandth time when we could go in" Grace reminded us.
And then we all laughed.  We all agreed to do better tomorrow and I kissed them both goodnight.

Then I sat for an hour and a half by the fire, with my books and notebook and pen.  And somehow that fixed what was left that needed fixing.

Tomorrow is Halloween.  I'm feeling hopeful it will be a better day.




I have been having a lot of moments lately where I really just want to freeze time.  Or more accurately I want to freeze this time with my children.  Life with an 8, 6 and 2 year old is so full, but most of the time it is full in the best of ways.  Or maybe it's just that the happy moments are so good they seem to cancel out all the rest.  In any case selfishly there is a part of me that wishes that this phase in our lives could just go on and on forever.

But of course it can't.  So all that's left to do is enjoy these moments that I do have.  These last several days have held some really wonderful moments.  Or maybe it is just that I am noticing them more.  Ryan stacking row after row of wood.  Grace and her roller skates.  Jackson chopping kindling.  Nora and her wheel barrel and her buckets of dirt. Me sitting down with one (or three) of them to read another one of our favorite Autumn books.

It's the little things.  I wish I could always remember this so clearly.


Weekend Highlights








Oh this was such a good weekend.  Some of my favorite moments...

~ After spending many of the last several weekends with all or some of us away it felt so good to just be home together all weekend.

~ I have been trying to find more time for myself throughout the day and so on Thursday night I made a very detailed plan of how I/we would work through our day on Friday.  It worked so well and I found myself with some very nice chunks of time to meditate and drink tea.  Great start to the weekend.

~ I started cleaning the basement this weekend and then spent some time poking around on pintrest and now I've got some really fun basement ideas brewing...

~ Time to read by the fire.

~ Grace "baby-sitting" Nora while I ran some errands and Ryan mowed the lawn.  I even came home to folded laundry.  Later she told me, "I was having some really frustrated/angry moments today so I decided to do some nice things for others because that always makes me feel good".  Her insight never fails to amaze me.

~ Working in the garden.  Wait, and how could I forget the beautiful weather.

~ Having pizza dinner in the barn

~ Knitting, drinking Chai tea and playing chess with Grace at our coffee shop (might have been my favorite part of the whole weekend).

~ Finding a new little coffee shop (while leaving our old one) and deciding to have a cup of soup and knit some more.

~ I think Jackson and Ryan would want to add that going to hit golf balls together this afternoon was a highlight for them.

~ A visit from Grandma Sam and Grandpa Scott

~ Starting our new book tonight (2nd book in the Laura Ingalls series)

Let's Talk About Pumpkins


Pumpkins have kind of been our thing since we first started gardening here (oh just look at them and their little cheeks!)

{Bigger children and bigger pumpkins}

This year, for the first time, in addition to a nice crop of pie pumpkins, we also made our first attempt at Halloween pumpkins.  Unfortunately we weren't very successful.  For awhile we had four big beautiful pumpkins but then we didn't pick them in time (or I think turning them or elevating them would have worked as well) and they rotted.  But we did manage to save one lovely giant that everyone is quite proud of.

{everybody wanted their picture with the big pumpkin}


Aside from photographing our pumpkins, we have also been baking them...


Our new favorite pumpkin additions

This pumpkin bread

These pumpkin cookies 

This pumpkin butter

This pumpkin pudding


Back Together






After a wonderful, rejuvenating weekend up north with my friends (and the girls away at my parents house and the boys up north at Grandpa Glenn's cabin) enjoying a slow afternoon together followed by dinner in the barn was just what we all needed to reconnect before starting our busy week.



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A weekend of laughing, great conversations, delicious food, beautiful fall colors, and most importantly-  surrounded by my dearest friends.  {Photos from Katie}

Cookies for Charity

{Painting their signs}


{Table set up}


{Hmmm... some of the cookies seem to be disappearing...}

Almost immediately after meeting our new homeschooling friends in the neighborhood, the two girls decided to start a club called "Girls Donation" in which they would raise money for various charities.  After many meetings and planning and hard work, last Thursday they begin their efforts by selling cookies and apple juice at a neighborhood stand.  Of course once the cookies were set up on the table the boys decided they wanted to "help" as well.  Three hours later they had raised over $80 and were beaming with pride (and I am still beaming myself).  I am told this is only the beginning because they have many more plans in the works.


Weekend Highlights


~ Grace and Jackson befriending some neighborhood homeschooling kids just their age. They played together all weekend.

~ Canning more applesauce (while neighborhood kids entertained mine).

~ The beautiful blue sky and warmer days.

~ Fall leaves floating everywhere.

~ Watching Jackson's last soccer game.

~ Taking my mom out to lunch (as a thank you for all of the nights she stayed here last week while Ryan was out of town).

~ Getting the chicken coop clean.

~ Working in the garden and pulling out all the ends of our harvest.


Apples (and Silence)


Last week, with a few of our homeschooling friends, we trucked up to Turtle Lake to pick some organic apples from another homeschooling family with an orchard.  Nearly three bushels later, we came home. They had our favorites- sweet 16- which taste awesome but also are great for making sauce because you don't have to add sugar, as well as Firesides- which we are great for fresh eating and most importantly, keep well. So in between all of the pumpkin baking (which deserves it's own post- I discovered some new yummy recipes), I have been preserving apples.  On Friday the kids and I made an assembly line style batch of apple sauce (Me-washer and peeler, Jackson- corer and slicer, Grace and Nora- final choppers) which I didn't bother canning because we gave a few jars away and ate the rest up.  Today (by myself because everyone else is done appling) I made a giant batch of sauce and canned 12 jars.  Now only half of a laundry basket to go (and a fridge full of apples for eating that I'm hoping will last us awhile).

In the midst of all of this fall harvesting and baking (as well as homeschooling, parenting, cleaning, and everything else that seems to demand so much of my time), I am trying so hard to make space in my life for regular meditation as I promised myself after my retreat.  It can be so challenging at times because so often I feel like there is something "better" I should be doing.  And yet today, when I sat down in the messy aftermath of applesauce canning and lit my candle, I was reminded once again of how spending a few moments in silence is actually always the best thing I could be doing.

When I blew out the candle several minutes later, even my sink full of applesauce dishes looked beautiful to me.


"The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between" ~ Zen proverb

Cozy Celebrating










We celebrated our first weekend up at Kris and Katie's cozy new little cabin last weekend (and Katie's birthday too).  We warmed ourselves snug by the fire, played games and enjoyed the fall air.  I can't help but imagining all of the happy memories yet to come at this special new place.