Friday, June 5, 2015

There is something about summer...a feeling...that is reserved for now. Since our oldest was a toddler, we've intentionally planned slow summers. They have been restorative and meaningful for our family. As we've moved further away from our "summer place" in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, that physical time away from chaos has grown shorter and shorter. This year, it will be a brief week.

The kids are involved in more this summer than ever before, yet we still long for that "summer" we've cherished for so long. It is a place, for sure, but more than that, it is a feeling. Have we had enough practice living in that feeling in years past to create it at home?

I think it is more than happiness. It's a sense of peace, a sense of sacred, a sense of freedom, and one of nonstriving. It is intention and contentment. It's the way we wish to spend each moment of our time.

My intention and practice for #ourbackroadsummer.

Today, a little knitting and Pandora

And a shady spot in the garden.

Summer is here today.
Wishing you that feeling today too.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

June 2, 2015::pow!!

What's summer without a library reading program?

Summer Reading Club at our local library is serious business. We attended the first of two kickoff parties for Every Hero Has A Story. Hundreds of kids were there, along with knights, firefighters, various comic book heroes, games, obstacle courses, crafts, climbing walls, and lots of food. We are serious about making reading fun!! POW!!


Monday, June 1, 2015

June 1, 2015::our backroad summer

Ahhh, summer..

June 1 and summer is finally here for us (except that it is 55* today). The boys have finished their regular lessons, and Sis is working at a relaxed pace to finish up a few loose ends. There is a little more time for gardening, biking, hanging out on the back porch, and for getting dirty...maybe even more time for sharing here.

So, for the next few months, I will share with you what a backroad summer means to us.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015

March 18, 2015::sixteen

Our baby girl turned sixteen today. Sixteen. Wow! That number is BIG! So happy to be spending this day and this life with her. 

Happy Birthday, dear daughter.

Miss Patty was her thirteenth birthday gift. 

Breakfast brunch with napkins from her first birthday party. Sometimes it does pay to be a pack rat. 

We spent the afternoon visiting the humane society and every pet-related store in Kokomo. She really wanted one of the German Shepard puppies to come home with us. We resisted THIS year (see above).

Her one request: a chocolate covered cherry cake. 
Two layers of white cake with a middle layer of chocolate covered cherries, nestled in a couple of inches of buttercream.
All of that covered in more buttercream, chocolate syrup, and Oreo crumbs. She certainly knows how to choose something special. 

Dinner at Chipotle and now, she and her dad are doing algebra. Low key, kinda like her. Perfect.

Happy Sweet 16, Darlin' Girl. Love you.


Friday, January 23, 2015

Jan 22, 2015::sick day

Brice and I both woke up this morning with the cold that Daddy has been suffering for nearly two weeks. The big kids seem healthy, so far, but a sick day is in order for the little guy (and me, as much as possible). 

I fixed a snacky buffet for us, so everyone can wander in and out between school assignments and have some healthy options without Mom's watchful eye.

Today is winter CSA day, which just so happens to be soup and pie. Low pressure, nourishing, and nurturing.

The rest of the day will likely be filled with hot tea, PBS, elderberries, dog snuggling, and knitting. 

Tomorrow is Saturday. Maybe we can convince Dad to join us in the slowness then.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Jan 21, 2015::tiny studio

Since I can remember, if someone asked me what do I want most I have had one abiding thought...a studio. 

Of course, a studio ranks after health, contentment, and world peace, but it plays a huge part in my own health, contentment, and inner peace. Twice in my adult life, I have had a studio. A room of my own where I can leave projects in progress and come and go at leisure. A place where others in the family are welcome, but is usually quiet and comfortable, is my greatest material desire.

In recent years, that space has been shared by homeschool curriculum and books, books, books. Fine, and fun, but not peace and quiet and creativity. When we picked up and moved to Indiana, we decided to go for a smaller house. Still five of us living and learning together, just less space to do so. Studio on hold again.

In response to tighter quarters, I have picked up the habit of working on writing and projects in early morning quiet. All the kids are late sleepers, so I usually get a couple of solid hours of thinking time, but dragging supplies out of the garage every morning...not so motivating. 

Periodically, over the eighteen months we have lived here, I have wandered the house looking for inspiration for a studio space. Where can I put a table and my supplies? Where can I do that and still have some semblance of order? Well, surprise! No studio loft appeared! 

What did appear, though, was this magical wardrobe. One day, it caught my eye. No fur coats and lamppost. We have stored knock knacks and yoga mats in here for years. A nice prop room for changing up seasonal tables, but a lot of wasted space. 

Oh, is a magical place for me. My tiny studio storage space full of possibility. I still have to work on the dining room table, but it's like a candy store, calling my name every time I walk by...make something...come the know you want to...


Jan 20, 2015::Gambills take DC

Our holiday break, and subsequent holiday travels, started early this year. The kids, and dogs, and I left Kokomo on Dec 15 for my parents' house in Tennessee. Todd flew to Washington, DC on Dec 17 for business and we decided to accompany him. But first, we needed to drop off the dogs and Christmas gifts with my dad, and pick up my mother and mother-in-law, who both joined in on the adventure.

The 17th began well, with plans to meet Mom's college roommate for lunch in Staunton, VA. About thirty miles from the exit I started hearing strange sounds from the engine and smelled the unmistakable stench of antifreeze. By the time we pulled into the restaurant, it was clear that a visit to the dealer was necessary. So, the moms and kids stayed behind to eat pie and I sat in the dealership lobby, watching. Bonanza and Adam12 for three hours. Finally, after learning that Todd and. I would be buying each other a new radiator for Christmas, I rented another van and hauled the crew on to DC. What a way to start the trip!!

Once we arrived in DC, the fun began in earnest. We walked and walked, and saw as much as we could possibly see in the two and a half days we had there. That seems to be our MO...never do a field trip half-way. I think I learned that from my Dad. Wish he could have accompanied us. Next time, Poppy!!

A little Adam-12 at the repair shop.

DC Day 1

National Botanical Garden to see the trains

The Capitol, Supreme Court, and Library of Congress were on the list as well

Air and Space Museum

The sculpture garden

And the Mall

Where are George and Ringo?

Natural History Museum

Back to the Capitol

DC Day 2

White House Visitor Center

And the White House

The War Memorials

And the Lincoln Memorial ( "Hamriham Lincoln" Brice)

And the Washington Monument

A little break and on to...

The American History Musem

DC Day 3

National Gallery before heading back to TN