There is been quite a silence here on the blog lately, proof of the busy, full and filled days that are happening around here. It's been the exact opposite of silent within the four walls of this home.
September came and went and with it- two of my once-upon-a-time 'babies' had birthdays, one having turned into a bonafide t-word (can I even say it?) and my actual-right-now baby went from a sitting in one place contented little thing to a standing and a very much on the move child who does everything in her power to make you laugh, who has grown too little ivory teeth all on her own, who has begun to let everyone know how she feels about things and who has just about the sweetest little baby voice imaginable. She now waves and says hi which sounds more like an airy "haaaaaaaaaaaaa" as she flails that little arm of hers. She hasn't taken her first steps yet but she is so close I think she may be my first baby to be walking by her birthday. I used an amazon gift card sweetly shared by a friend to buy her a little walker wagon that would ordinarily be out of our financial league (so thank you, thank you!!! From Ineke and I both!) as her storebought Christmas/birthday gift and gave it to her early because right now is when she will most appreciate it. You should see her zoom again and again across the porch! I should see if I can figure out how to get a video uploaded to show you. She has started mimicking sounds and words and tongue clicks and has all sorts of tricks up her sleeve- she just refuses to do them on command. ;-) She is the best little hugger of all my children at that age- wrapping her little arm around your neck and laying her head on your shoulder for a blissfully long time every single time you pick her up. And all of these new and lovely changes in just a few short weeks. Her personality shines and I love, love this time.
We began to ease into schooling this week though not full force as I am still canning quite a bit. I still don't feel at all ready, having had ZERO time to sit down and plan the year (or month, or even WEEK) ahead so it has been more a fly by the seat of my pants sort of thing (which I hate). Morning Time with Mama (as the children refer to it) is the priority and with it we easily accomplish geography, civics, Bible, memory work, poetry and singing/memorizing a psalm or hymn. Math and grammar and reading are priorities but thanks to the Story of the World audiobooks, we've been fitting in history pretty easily as well though more just as a story- without note-taking or anything. And there has been plenty of art and craft projects for all- nothing formal, mind you...just the workings of children who feel drawn to make and do and create and are given space and time enough to pursue those inklings. So, come to think of it, it has been more productive than just an 'easing in' without the feel of a stressful, harried day of home education. I hope I can keep this spirit throughout the school year regardless of the addition of some critical pieces of education. And I hope to, very soon, have the opportunity to do a bit of planning ahead so my mind isn't working so hard to remember and think about everything.
I came across this incredibly beautiful Instagram account a few weeks ago (I don't remember how since I am not actually on Instagram) and it has inspired some fun petal play, as you can see from above. The girls and I have had fun. I sat down to do the maroon hibiscus lady and Corynn kinda took over and ran with it for the afternoon. Adele' did the wonderful rooster. I told the girls that we should do this more often and maybe make a little book out of them. Unfortunately, the opportunities are fast vanishing with the last bits of summer.
Frost is due on Sunday so the garden season is coming to an end (phew!) but not before one last big push to clear the garden of every last bit of abundance. This week I've been canning and pickling beets (only halfway done so far) and freezing the greens. I love the smell of boiled beets, oh I LOVE IT, and I can't help but snitch slices before they get shoved into jars but beets are a messy, messy job to put up. I have exactly 22 empty quart jars left which won't get me too far with both the beets and tomatoes still left to do so I may can the rest of the ripe tomatoes by turning them into pizza sauce canned in pints. I still have quite a few pints to work with. There will be green tomatoes lining my windowsills and flowers spilling from every single nook by this Sunday. The only thing I will really miss (for a while anyway) are the gorgeous flowers. ;-)
And with the chill in the air, we are really pushing to get the last of our wood split. I am pretty sure we are the last ones on the planet who are working on this years' wood supply but since the logs were cut down several years ago, hopefully it will be pretty dry and it won't technically be 'green'.
The children are always such helpers when it comes to chores- animal chores, garden chores, wood splitting chores. I am so proud of how hard they work, and how cheerfully. I love portapacks, by the way. Ours is old and gross and ugly- but I move it from living room to porch to pasture depending on where the work needs to be done and for the most part, Ineke sits and plays and watches which, as I told the children, is her own way of 'helping out' on the farm. Looking back at this post it is hilarious to see how many pictures that hideous blue is popping into.
We've been eating inside instead of on the porch and I feel so claustrophobic about it! All summer we've been eating with the view of fields and trees and sky and distance. It is quite the change to be inside- even if it is a bit warmer. But the warm, spicy candles have begun to be lit in the house, making the very realistic smells of warm pumpkin pie or applesauce waft through the rooms, blankets are being brought out to snuggle in, socks are warming tootsies and things are starting to feel downright cozy.
There is plenty of bread baking going on as a warm oven is much more welcome these days and soups have been on the menu quite often. I have been using a few free moments to scratch the crafting itch that usually comes with the October chill. My niece celebrated her second birthday and since the crocheted mermaid I had started for her was not any further than the head the night before her birthday, I had to improvise. I decided to make a red riding hood cape but couldn't find any 'red' so it became, instead, a white winter cape with enough fur left over to make a muff. Oh my stars. Corynn promptly said she wanted one in her size for her Christmas gift. Which makes me laugh particularly loud because she poo-pooed my fabric choice until she saw the finished product. And Corynn made her (and Ineke, for Christmas) a mermaid anyway! Crafting and sewing is pure pleasure for me and I look forward to being DONE canning and garden work to come in a do things that are a bit more fun. Christmas is coming! Gifts must be made!
Cozy, crafty October... I'm glad you're here.