Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Recently.
















 over the weekend we visited sprout creek farm, a local hands on farm here in the hudson valley. the kids got a chance to get upclose and personal with goats and cows, milkings, feedings, and then tastings! we went home with some raw goats milk cheese and a creamy cow milk cheese along with some beef. we had so much fun playing with the baby goats and petting the cows that if it wasn't so cold in the barn we could have stayed all day. to warm up we stopped on the way home for some drinks and food at the mill house brewery in poughkeepsie. we really liked it there and will be making trips back to both places this spring, for sure!

 the next day i went to a movie premier at lincoln center for a new movie called, Killing Jesus. my best friend is friends with an actress who plays in the film, hosted by national geographic. the movie comes out this weekend on the national geographic channel. it was so fun to get that dressed up and have a night in the city around so many actors. it was really surreal, considering the day before i was hanging out with baby goats! life- it's crazy!

 of course, for me there is no place like home, and no matter the feelings i got when i wore my heels, nothing quite compares to my rain boots and homeschooling my babes. but i woke up with a bad ear ache over the weekend and it keeps getting worse, not better. so i've been in the kitchen this week mixing up raw salads and garlic dressings in hopes of kicking this head cold thing i've got lingering. whenever life slows me down, whether it be the weather or feeling under the weather, i always feel this magnetic pull towards my kitchen. i guess it would be ever since battling cancer and viewing food completely different than i ever had before. the kitchen feels like my pharmacy and so this week i've baked lots of fresh crusty loaves of bread, made lots of soft boiled eggs (8 minutes in boiling water then ice bath is the key!), sauerkraut hanging out on the counter to ferment, and lots and lots of kale! i'm also loving that watercolor painting by graycen of one of our lady chickens!

  over the weekend i bought the kids a ukelele having no real idea how much they would love it. THEY LOVE IT. it has transformed our home these past few days, inspired dancing, painting, writing... i could go on. and for such an inexpensive price (i got ours on amazon), i would say -get yourselves a ukelele! i also purchased a little book to help learn a few songs and hopefully teach the kids.

  i've been thinking of homesteading a lot these days. this feeling of investing so much of myself in our home and land. this time of year just ignites these feelings and they come pouring out of me in the form of dough rising, bulbs pushed down into the earth, walks in nature with my kids... and this quote comes to mind. this quote is everything:

“To make bread or love, to dig in the earth, to feed an animal or cook for a stranger—these activities require no extensive commentary, no lucid theology. All they require is someone willing to bend, reach, chop, stir. Most of these tasks are so full of pleasure that there is no need to complicate things by calling them holy. And yet these are the same activities that change lives, sometimes all at once and sometimes more slowly, the way dripping water changes stone. In a world where faith is often construed as a way of thinking, bodily practices remind the willing that faith is a way of life.” - Barbara Brown Taylor





Monday, March 16, 2015

An Update on Homeschooling.


  i feel it this time of year. a new birth, a rebirth, a revisiting of promises forgotten. while i sit on our back porch writing this, i can hear the whistle from the kettle on the stovetop. i can see the kids roaming through the back yard making paint from chalk and snow, found bird feathers as paint brushes, and imaginations that will take them to endless worlds without boundaries or restrictions and i humbly come before the throne of grace and thank God for this pull and craving for home that He placed in my heart some odd years ago. the beat and sound of our own way that He assured me was all part of His plan and not me going off the deep end. but I wonder to myself, "what if i had just said no?" what if i had believed it wasn't going to work, or what if i fell into the trappings of the voice constantly telling me i was beyond under qualified for this job of not only mothering, nurturing, and loving my children, but educating them as well. surely that was down right pompous to think i could do that all. but wildly and boldly i went running towards homeschooling like a dog to a bone and i grabbed it.



  the honeymoon wore off sometime around october and things started getting real. cold days were coming and the pace seemed to speed up. it was an unnerving combination for me, and through the process i learned how to say no to the unimportant. the winter came and served as a tool for me to get to know my kids, really get to know them. how do they learn, how do they see the world, what is their role in our family, in this journey? and in it all i met a new part of myself, the homeschooling mom. winter left us all a bit terrified of snow and cold days and all the time we spent indoors. there were far too many times that i would like to admit where we were just straight up on each others nerves. but in it i learned some things about dune. he is by far the most magnetically drawn child to others. he loves hard and well and forgives before you even finish asking for his forgiveness. he is fiercely in love with each one of his family members and his humor is like tonic on the coldest and hardest of days. he is funny and outgoing, loves to make up stories, and retains a lot of odd facts about history. it's sort of his thing. i have learned that lars is deep, deep in head and heart and you just can't play the same with him as you can with the others. he is sensitive and creative and probably has the highest IQ in the family. he is just so insanely smart that often times i wonder what will happen the day he realizes he has outsmarted me (which is coming!). he has a photographic memory and a very easy understanding of how things work. graycen has taught me the most though. and in our first year homeschool story, she holds a very special and specific place in my heart. she is the voice of reason and logical thinking when i find enormous amounts of doubt sneaking in. she is loving and kind, has an old fashioned heart, spends most her free time reading classics or being outdoors. she has devoted much of her time to her violin lessons and horseback riding and through it all has found herself. i enjoy her so much that i am constantly telling her that if she were someone else's daughter that i would really have to consider borrowing her for life;) i'm just so blessed by her and her sweet and kind spirit. her love for the Lord grows daily and one of the most exciting parts of this year has been watching her faith go from the one she has grown up on to the one she has made into her own. her love language is verbal and there have been parts of this year where she has sent words out into the air that i grab hold of like a life line.


     as i sit and write this, i feel the change in the air. spring is coming and one of the most convincing cases for homeschool is by far and large nature itself. we've been outside most days for the past week and i am being filled again with all the feelings that once called me to homeschooling. but with decisions to be made for this coming year i have to answer the question again. will i homeschool? while jonathan and i dive deep into prayer and try very hard to silence the noise of the world and others opinions, we ask God, where do you want our children? and this quote comes to mind while we consider, "Thought breeds thought; children familiar with great thoughts take as naturally to thinking for themselves as the well- nourished body takes to growing; and we must bear in mind that growth, physical, intellectual, moral, spiritual, is the sole end of education."- Charlotte Mason


Sunday, December 28, 2014

A New Year and A Challenge To Live More Creatively.

 2015 is right around the corner! I wouldn't know where to begin on all the lessons 2014 has taught me, but what a year. We leaped into homeschooling which was by far the most radical life decision I have made lately. Last year I remember being really intent on the word "permission." It was as you might say, my word of the year. I haven't felt a particular word laid on my heart for this coming year but I would say that one goal I have is to live more creatively, to challenge myself more creatively, and make more space and time in my life for those things that are calling me, like taking pictures.

 This morning I asked Graycen is she wouldn't mind me taking some photographs of her so we can have one or two updated pictures for around the house. Maybe we'll call these our "school pictures"! We set off listening to our soundtrack to get us in the picture taking mood on our way to the field. The most appropriate song came on. Here are the lyrics.


 I was a little girl alone in my little world who dreamed of a little home for me. I played pretend between the trees, and fed my houseguests bark and leaves, and laughed in my pretty bed of green. I had a dream. That I could fly from the highest swing. I had a dream. Long walks in the dark through woods grown behind the park, I asked God who I'm supposed to be. The stars smiled down on me, God answered in silent reverie. I said a prayer and fell asleep. I had a dream. That I could fly from the highest tree. I had a dream.
Now I'm old and feeling grey. I don't know what's left to say about this life I'm willing to leave.
I lived it full and I lived it well, there's many tales I've lived to tell. I'm ready now, I'm ready now, I'm ready now to fly from the highest wing.

I had a dream.
 Lyrics to the song Dream, by Priscilla Ahn.












May we all live creatively and wildly and bravely this coming year. Let's say yes to the import and and recognize that saying no to one thing is in fact saying yes to so much more. Let's practice saying no boldly too. 

“It is true that all men are created in the image of God, but Christians are supposed to be conscious of that fact, and being conscious of it should recognize the importance of living artistically, aesthetically, and creatively, as creative creatures of the Creator. If we have been created in the image of an Artist, then we should look for expressions of artistry, and be sensitive to beauty, responsive to what has been created for us” 
-Edith Schaeffer


Happy New Year, friends and family! Go, and create!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Life Lately.

                                                             Artichoke request from the kids.


                                               Continuing our study on the human body.


 We made lanterns one day and after dinner we lit them and took a walk around our neighborhood in the dark. It made for a wonderful memory.


                                          Coffee and hot cocoa dates with our friends.


                        A bowl of homemade chickpea curry and a moment of quiet time.


                                         I just really liked the view I had from where I was sitting.


 Folks, it's getting dark at 4:30. 4:30! But I am taking some steps this winter to help with the winter blues. One of them being to get outside everyday no matter the weather, and another is celebrating the coziness. In the past years I have really embraced the grounding feeling that winter brings, the slow pace, the focus on home, more cooked meals, more fires in the fireplace, more candles burning. All of that helps!

                                                          I mean really. This face of his!


 We had some friends over for dinner recently and I can tell you that I have not laughed that hard in ages. I was literally laughing into the next day. Praise God for friends who you can be your entire and complete self around.


                                                         Her favorite spot in the house.


 I find the colder it gets, the more indoor plants I bring in the house. I'll be a crazy plant lady by February, no doubt.


       Jonathan and Lars hard at work building something. This time for my boys is EVERYTHING.


 Just a snap shot mid day of our homeschool life. I want to remember it how it happens, which is not always neat and tidy but more like an explosion of creativity.


 Graycen and I have been thrifting buddies recently. She's got a great eye for things that need to come home with us. This mug she spotted and after a good laugh decided it was worth the $1.


 Really, really love this guy of mine. Thankful for how he orientates me when life starts to disorientate me.


 Had to laugh at the way I've been dressing lately. All these layers are reminding me how I dressed in the 8th grade. Bring back the 90's, shall we?


 This spot in the house on the sunniest of mornings is a fine spot to sip coffee. Also, it's a great view of the now frozen lake outside the window.


 Bread and soup, almost everyday. These tortillas were made by Graycen and were delicious! They paired perfectly with the hot carrot soup we made.


 If you are hungry for some great conversation, then hang out with this boy. Lars has one of the best minds around and even a few minutes alone with him will have you thankful for days.


 Being a mom to boys is a thing to be cherished. Being a mom to boys who start reminding you of the reasons you fell in love with your husband, well that just takes it over the top.


Moss always feels magical this time of year. When it all become leafless and brown, spots of green can be very exhilarating. 


 An early morning start to the day when the rest of the house is quiet. Candle light and rain hitting the window and this loaf of cranberry walnut bread may be one the best loaves of bread I have made yet.


What does that forecast say? Snow? For Thanksgiving?! Oh my! Friends, stay safe if driving this week, and cozy if staying home. Make memories and cherish life. Happy Thanksgiving!

 
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