Thursday, September 18, 2014

Scotland: Today is the Day

Today is Scotland's referendum vote for independence. What will she choose? I pray it will be a good choice.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Mondays are for Grace

"Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons."

- Jim Bishop

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Life Around Here

It seems forever since I've just written a random blog post. It's hard to believe that we've been involved with school for over 7 weeks now. Here is my newest student. She is so sweet and so eager to learn! It is such a joy to spend time with her and my only sadness is that she is growing so quickly.

Rachel started high school at the end of July at a local Christian high school (Covenant). We are so thankful this worked out and she LOVES school. Of course there are lots of adjustments that come with this change but I am so proud of her for working so hard and working through the difficulties.

For multiple reasons she ended up on the golf team! This is a brand new sport for all of us but it has been a great learning experience and every time I go to watch I am thankful that there is a sport that takes place in such beautiful, natural surroundings!

Andrew is no longer my full-time student. He has followed in Rachel's footsteps and has become a student of Connections Academy online. He loves it! He's learning all about grades and how they work and I think we are all happy that he is enjoying this new step.

We took a family hike on Labor Day and it was so relaxing to be out in nature away from everything. It was nice to have the entire family together for a day as these days everyone is running in different directions.

And I had to take a photo of this because James declared that it looked like roasted broccoli -- he's right! That is exactly what our roasted broccoli looks like sometimes!

I've been working for weeks on hand washing all the beautiful linens I found this summer on my thrifting adventures. I think I've reached the end of the pile! Yay! Now I need to iron them all. :)

Since I only have 2 full-time and 1 part-time student this year I feel we can take more time for the fun parts of homeschooling like going for hikes in the woods. My mom got the kids started on nature journals so I'm hoping we can keep them up.

Here is a blast from the past. My mom is down visiting my aunt and uncle and together they found some old photos! I'm thinking I was probably 15 in this picture. It struck me how similar Laura looks to little Emily.

In the cracks of time I work on my crafts -- trying to get the stores that carry my products stocked up for fall as well as get some online. I've just made a delivery so I need to start on the next batch, especially the plaid roses which I hope will be popular this fall.

I was sitting in a very long line at Goodwill this week, waiting to donate stuff when I saw the woman in front of me pulling this out of her car. I commented that they were so nice and she asked me if I wanted them. Yes! Wasn't that so nice of her?! I've been wanting a set like this for so long! I think I just need to get a can of black spray paint and I can make it match the rest of my set.

The back corner of my dining room is making me very happy right now because I have the couch all decorated with pretty blankets. I finished the quilt last week and I found the brown granny circle blanket while thrifting this summer.

Earlier this week I was able to get multiple pictures of this beautiful butterfly right up close. She was floating around my garden and finally landed. My garden is also bringing me great pleasure, even in its mostly wild condition.

Today we started back to homeschool group and I am teaching calligraphy. I was delighted to find a very respectful, enthusiastic and eager class. I think we are going to have a fun six weeks!

The weather has turned quite cool and I guess its time to pull out a few cozy clothes and redecorate the mantel. I hope you enjoy a nice weekend!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Mondays are for Grace

"Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not;
Remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for."

-- Epicurus

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Andrew Turns 12!

Andrew turned 12 on August 31! We had several celebrations over the course of the week, beginning with a joint celebration for John (5) and Andrew at Auntie C's. She had her hutch all decorated!

Of course Arthur is the main attraction. He is too cute, especially when he is smiling.

I had to take lots of photos of him.

Then we had a cake for each boy and other yummy treats.

John had a clock cake since he is obsessed with all things time right now. He and Laura are great little playmates.

GF cake with lemon curd and lemon icing, accompanied by tea, hit the spot!

And of course there were presents!

Then came Andrew's other celebrations which included sending a cake to the Middle School Youth Group's pool party.

And then we finally got to the real birthday itself!

After church an out of town friend joined us and we had ice-cream to celebrate and more presents, most especially the guitar Andrew had been saving all his birthday money for!

Then we walked down the path to our "secret beach" to enjoy some time in the great outdoors. Most of us had to get in the boat just for fun!

Definitely a relaxing activity, especially if there were a way to keep water out of the boat!

I can never get over how beautiful it is down by the stream.

And here is a picture of Andrew's soccer team. He is so happy to be playing soccer this fall and it is fun to watch his team work together at the games.

In just a few more weeks we will have another joint birthday -- James and Arthur! It's the birthday season!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Words and Wool

Most of my wool work has been with felted wool this week as I work on fall flowers.....

But, I have spent some time whittling away at my hand washing pile and it included three beautiful needlepoints I found at the GW outlet this summer. Two are destined to become cushions for my bedroom since they will be the perfect colors!

Last week I got to my local yarn store and finally spent my birthday gift card on this skein of Madelinetosh in "Rain Water". It's a beautiful gray with lovely blue bits throughout and I think it will make such a nice shawl for fall, winter, and even spring! My thought at this point is to use this pattern.

How about a reality check on my reading pile? This is one area where I choose not to have much self-control. Yes, all those books are partially started.

Maybe I should be completely honest, this is the real pile. :)

 But it is so much fun!!! So here are a few books to report about:

Autumn: From the Heart of the Home by Susan Branch has just been republished! It's on my list to acquire at some point. :) But I've just ordered the first edition from the library and am looking forward to perusing it. I'm sure it will provide lots of inspiration for fall which appears to be just around the corner.

The Nesting Place: It Doesn't Have to Be Perfect to Be Beautiful by Myquillyn Smith was SO very good. It's also on my list to acquire and I thought about buying the digital version (which is under $3 right now) but I think I'll hold out for a real copy at some point. These kinds of books you just need to hold in your hands. I think what I appreciated most about this book was Smith's whole philosophy about what a home should be -- a place of rest and refreshment for your family and a welcoming space for other people. She also talked a lot about contentment and perspective, pertinent topics to connect to decorating.

Mary Ann & Miss Mozart (The Historical House) by Ann Turnbull was read with the children this past month. I had hoped it would involve the Mozarts more as we were studying W.A. Mozart. However, the Mozarts were only mentioned in passing two or three times. Nevertheless, the children enjoyed this adventure of a young girl who loves music and goes away to boarding school in London.

The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love by Kristin Kimball is a book I ate up as fast as I could. Kimball is a gifted writer and she made the tale of how she met her husband, fell in love, and started up a CSA farm read like a novel. Since I love food, and was born in the heart of Vermont farming country, many aspects of this book appealed to me.

That's it for this week! For more ideas on knitting and reading, visit Ginny's Yarn a Long.

Please note: This post contains affiliate links -- thanks for clicking through to Amazon!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Mondays are for Grace

"Everyone gets to decide how happy they want to be,
because everyone gets to decide how grateful they are willing to be."

-- Ann Voskamp