Hanging In the Laundry


Our dryer is out of order for a few days and all kids are thrilled by the clean, wet laundry decorating our living room like a string of prayer flags.  It does add some nice color to our winter days.  Also makes me excited for hot summer days... when I take the clothes off the line at the end of the day and they smell just like the sun.



Weekend Highlights

{A birthday gift to Daddy from Grace and Jackson}

{The second wave of illness hit the rest of us. Might have been my favorite nap though.  Photo by Grace}

~ Happy Birthday to Daddy!  Thankfully Ryan was finally feeling better on his birthday, but unfortunately three of us weren't.  I think it was still a pretty good day though.  Grace and Jackson played Monopoly with him in the morning and then he went out fishing for the day.

~ Giving Ryan his present of new metal sap buckets and taps (not enough for all of our trees but we are hoping to completely phase out the rest of plastic jugs over the next few years).

~ I started feeling a little better Saturday night (somehow I didn't get the full on flu that everyone else did) and so Ryan and I were able to watch a movie together and the beginning of Jim Gaffigan's newest stand up.

~ Sunday we all stayed in our pajamas all day and played Monopoly.  For real.

~ I planned my meals for the week and went to the co-op this afternoon so I'm all set for food for the week.  I'm really trying to get more efficient about this!

~ Reading and loving these books- Roxaboxen, Winter Bees, Sugar White Snow and Evergreens and Sun Bread


My New Favorite Tea Drink


Green mint tea (or a packet of green tea and a packet of peppermint tea), a scoop of coconut oil, and some half and half.  Mmmmmmmm.  I've always been jealous of the coffee drinkers.  Now I finally have something I get excited about drinking.


Peaceful January




Two birthdays down, one to go.  My camera card is broken so all of my pictures from Grace's (first) sleepover birthday party have disappeared.  Supposedly I can recover them but we'll see.  I'll have to add that post in as soon (hopefully with pictures).  Anyway, I'm stuck with using my phone again for awhile for picture taking.

Despite all of the celebrating this month, I have also been lingering in the quiet and introspective nature that January brings.  I have been finding more time for myself, or maybe making more time for myself would be more accurate.  It still feels a little forced and clunky when I add things like "drink tea" or "write" to my daily to-do list.  But slowly my mind and body are starting to accept these tiny gifts I am folding into my day.

Grace and Ryan are both sick with high fevers and have been sleeping for two days straight.  I have been doing my best to keep the healthy ones happy (and stay healthy) while simultaneously caring for the sickies.  Yesterday Grace said she wanted to try eating some soup and I practically ran to the kitchen because well, soup for sick people is my specialty, but also (and more conveniently) I had three jars of turkey, veggie soup that I had made after Thanksgiving in the freezer (in turkey bone broth no less).  Upon opening the freezer, however, I found that all of the jars had been cracked.  I must have put them in there without cooling them long enough.  Or maybe I filled them up too high.  At any rate I did my best to create some soup out of the random findings from the nearly empty veggie bin.  We didn't have any garlic (my go to) but I did find a bag of frozen nettles at the back of the freezer from two years ago and threw a handful of the crumbling leaves into the pot (note to self- freeze more this spring, maybe now I will actually use them!).  The final result was potato, carrot, nettle soup seasoned with turmeric.  Not too bad considering my limited options.

I have been having this comforting thought lately that is completely changing the way I go about my day.  It is this: maybe this is all there is.  AND maybe all that is is just what I ordered.  What I mean is, what if all of these little bits of mundane and ordinary moments that make up my life are exactly what I came here to do.  What if when I peered down from the sea of stardust I wasn't longing to do something spectacular but instead was only yearning to immerse myself in all of the simple and wonderful things that make up the experience of being human.  Do a puzzle with a six year old.  Play hide and seek with a three year old.  Make soup for a sick child or husband.  Bring a bowl of apple cores to some hungry chickens.

This is what I am contemplating anyway, as I go about my days in this quiet month of January.







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A few days before Nora's birthday Grace reminded her that it was coming up and she begin jumping up and down yelling "my friends are coming, my friends are coming!"  I panicked for a minute because, well, I wasn't sure who her friends were and I wondered who she was expecting... maybe she thought she was having a "friend" birthday party like her big brother and sister.  But then Grace asked which friends were coming and she proceeded to name all of us followed by her Grandparents and Aunts and Uncles.

We started her birthday just like we did last year, with her big brother and sister finishing up making their gifts and so genuinely excited to share them with her.  Also, just like last year, she helped to make her own birthday cake.  This year she requested strawberry cake (and it really deserves a post of it's own).  After lunch ALL of her friends showed up and she was so thrilled (as usually I didn't get a good picture with everyone but just so we know for later, Grandma Lee, Papa, Katie, Kris, Grandma Sam, Grandpa Scott, Great Grandma Aleta, and Great Grandpa Glenn all came).  Oh I do love this age, but I have to admit, saying goodbye to two stung a bit (two is my favorite).  Thankfully so far three is adorable as well.  She spent a lot of time patiently sitting by her cake waiting until it was time to eat it.  Katie and I spent a good part of the afternoon, chopping vegetables, and simmering sauce (turning our tomato sauce into spaghetti sauce to be exact).  It was a dang good dinner we whipped out if we did say so ourselves (and we did)- spaghetti, cinnamon sweet potatoes, rye bread with summer pesto, fruit and salad. I was once again reminded that I love cooking for a house full of people, especially with my sis.

She decided to finish the second half of her piece of cake for her "birthday party tomorrow".  I hope she's not too disappointed when her friends don't show up.  Well I guess a few of us will be here.


Art = Happy






Swimming and Time

Hopefully soon I will catch up on all my holiday posts.  Tonight I'm not in the mood.  Today we went swimming with our homeschool group.  Have I talked enough about how much I love them?  I'm not sure I have.  I mean there is nothing I despise more then trying to bundle up all my children, to get in the car no less, and brave the 80 below zero temperature just to try and be somewhere on time.  Actually that little fact right there was one of the first things that started to sway me into the homeschool camp.  Take out the garbage in 80 below, don't mind it.  Feed the chickens in 80 below, kind of like it.  But getting in the car to have to be somewhere specific at a specific time in 80 below, nooooo thanks.  But, but, when the other end of "specific place and time" is our homeschool group, totally worth it.  That's how much I love them.


Today while our kids swam in the pool (for 5 hours!) the grown ups talked.  We talked about many things (the usuals- food, non-food, how hard it is to reverse the effects of eating non-food, field trips, how stressed or not stressed the holidays were, how annoying some of our children can be, how locking them in a closet might be a good solution, etc, etc) but what I am still thinking about tonight is our conversations about time.  Or more specifically time for myself.  How does one (especially a homeschooling mom) organize their time so that all of those things that need to get done can get done- time to go grocery shopping (and even time to make a grocery list), and clean and do laundry, plan lessons, etc but also have time to sit and do nothing, meditate, exercise, write, draw, etc.  The practical to-dos must be balanced with the cup filling to-dos or this is whole thing isn't going to be sustainable.  I spent a small part of the first day of the New Year at a yoga studio doing yoga.  Aside from the hike I took last month this is the first time I have consciously exercised my body since last spring.  Why is that?  Why is it that I can't find the time to sit down and compose a decent grocery list and therefor spend 3 out of 7 days a week at the grocery store?  Why can't I find at least a few minutes out of everyday to meditate?  While I am pretty consistent about keeping my nights free of cleaning and other obligatory tasks, do I really use my time that wisely?  Some nights I seem to waist away on the computer.  Or maybe that's not even a bad thing, I don't know.  If it really made me happy then I would argue it's not, I'm just not sure that's the case.  Anyway, point of all this is that I want to be more intentional with my time.  So there it is, a January 6th New Years Intention- learning to be more conscious of my time and making time for what is really important.