Monday, December 8, 2014

Dec 8, 2014::fall back into it

This weekend, I had the privilege of spending some time with some beautiful women as we participated in a  demonstration of handwork at a local art gallery. In sharing our lives, we naturally shared Facebook pages, Instagram streams, and blog addresses. There's nothing quite like realizing you just asked a new friend to peek into your life...and you are two months behind. Oh well, life is busy here. Lots of travel, learning, making, living. I would love to be one of those mothers who do it all AND blog about it all. I try. Sometimes, though, I am just too busy living it to reflect upon it. So, here is a record of the last two months...for posterity and anyone interested.

October and November 2014
Before the first frost, I finally remembered to bring in our herbs for drying. Of course, when I bagged them up, I some how got mint in every bag with the basil and oregano. Oh well. Live and learn!

Todd spent half of October in SE Asia, recruiting students for IUK

So, I packed up the kids and headed south.
After a 13 hr trip in countless traffic stops...
We arrived at my parents' home, in Tennessee, to a late night, belated birthday celebration for Reeves.

While there, we visited the Western North Caroluna Farmers Market in Asheville. 

The Scuppernongs were so ripe, the air was thick with their sweet scent and bees swarmed everywhere, drunk from the sugar.
My grandmother, Mama Jean, loves playing with the kids.
I had the biggest Bloody Mary in history,
We attended a fiber festival.
This is Brice...sleeping...something he did very little of during our trip. 
As usual, Brice had instructions for us to build something. Mom and I put together this spiffy Godzilla costume.
We met my sister, Julie, and sweet Anna at an apple orchard in Flat Rock, NC

I just love fall in the Blue Ridge Mtns!!
I tried to get a Christmas card worthy picture of the kids, but this happened.
And this...note my usual face when trying to organize my gang.
At least Embree will pose.
Their picture with Nana wasn't too wild.
After two weeks, we rushed back to Indiana to make a home cooked meal for our traveling daddy...
...who crashed for a couple of days after all that time in Vietnam, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, and China. I don't blame him!
We celebrated El Dia De Los Muertos...

...and Halloween.
Reeves was some character from You Tube. I think he looks like the guy on the Pringles can, or Mr. Peanut. 
Brice enjoyed his light up Godzilla costume.
Reeves finally saved enough money to buy a new gaming computer. Now we will never see him!
Of course, now I have leverage to get chores done!
We made hardtack for a social studies lesson.
I worked like crazy to get some Christmas gifts made...

...and dreamed of some new projects for next year.
I slipped away for a day in Indy by myself...with Georgia.
We spent Thanksgiving Day around the table with friends from Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.
For the first time in several years, we put up a full size, live tree. We usually wait until we get to our cabin in North Carolina a few days before Christmas, but this year Embree requested a big tree. I love the stories we share when we talk about the ornaments. Everyone seems to find their way to the tree when the ornaments appear. I love that tradition and I am so happy it happened this year. 

December now, and holidays are in 
full swing. Lots to share as we make and wrap and travel. See you soon!


Thursday, October 2, 2014

October 2, 2014::new friends

"Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends."

-- Maya Angelou 

Part of our plan for our children's education is the commitment we have made to introducing them to as many different cultures and people as possible. As a one income family, international travel for our whole family is hard. Though we have plans to visit other countries with our children, or to facilitate their exploration of other countries as young adults, it is important to us that the celebration of cultural diversity be of importance daily.  We are always on the lookout for diverse experiences within our own community. So much to learn and so many new friends to meet.

Since we have been in Kokomo, we have become a part of the group of people at IUK who welcome, assist, and recruit international students. Last night, we shared our home and table with nursing students and faculty members from Beijing, China. Reeves helped me explain how to put together a plate of American nachos. Embree shared selfies and compared American and Chinese fashion with all the students, and Brice taught them all how to play Monopoly.

This evening came just one day before Todd leaves for a recruiting trip to Southeast Asia, including China, SKorea, Vietnam, Taiwan, and Singapore. It was a fun night and a great way to start our indepth study of the cultures of these countries.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September 30, 2014::september gone already?

Can it be? October tomorrow? Already?
It seems that the summer flew by this year. Maybe because we homeschooled through. Maybe because the kids are at the age when time is picking up speed for me. 

Now, October is here, and with it, the wild rush that is the holiday season. Next time I look up it will be January...and bitterly cold and sparkly white here in Kokomo, I am sure.

Here's a little of what we've been up to in September...

We have purchased and used 40 lbs of clay this month. Brice is quite the prolific sculptor.

I was asked to serve as the interim Vice President during the first few months of our new yarn guild. I have really enjoyed getting involved and meeting so many nice people and talented knitters.

Reeves turned twelve. Here comes puberty! 

Todd turned 48. 

We attended the Festival of Machines at Conner Prarie with Theresa.

Where we went on an authentic hayride, pulled by an antique tractor.

We've started making breakfast a big deal around here.

Todd took Reeves to a Magic tournament...that started at midnight. They got home at 4:30 am. Is it really time for our kids to be attending midnight openings? We are too old!

Embree and I substituted for a friend in her art class at the local community center. I really love teaching kids who are eager. I think I see some volunteer work here in my future.

We followed this little bug...

to the annual VW Cruise-in at Oktoberfest.

We attended a very special wedding in Kentucky. I was lucky to be able to do the flowers (with the help of a talented friend and her marguerite-making skills) and Todd helped in the ceremony. Beautiful night. Great to spend time with some of our Kentucky family

And now, we are preparing for Todd to travel to Southeast Asia for most of October. South Korea, China, Singapore, Taiwan, and Vietnam all on the agenda. Packing, vaccines, electric converters, travel guides...and practice at dinner with chopsticks. What an adventure he has in store.

Happy October to you.