July was a crazy, crazy, crazy month. Every weekend was jam-packed with hosting parties and a wedding and the days in between, filled with those wonderful summer field trips that don't seem to happen when there is bookwork looming in our homeschool days or sewing projects, or baby animals or food- apparently, lots of food, since that seems to be all I have been taking pictures of lately.
I have to admit, when I am dishing out plates or making burritos and the whole surface area of the island it being used up, I feel a deep sense of satisfaction. I am always acutely aware of how incredible it is to feed these mouths. That feeling doesn't always come when we serve things up at the table individually, but it does come when I am filling row after row of burrito or laying out circle after circle of plates. It seems impressive somehow. This isn't just a lot of food to eat, but it is individual mouths that I am feeding and each one a gift. People ask me if I want more children some day and the answer is always a resounding YES. I have to restrain my enthusiasm a bit because I know my answer is already shocking to them, maybe I shouldn't appear like a TOTAL freakshow. But yes. Yes. More plates lined up in a row, please.
We are just starting to harvest garden things and everything tastes so sublime! A colander of cucumbers, I got a picture of that. The black cherry tomatoes- I wanted to take a picture of those first dozen because they were so beautiful but I made the mistake of popping one in my mouth...and then promptly eating the whole lot. A few squash (though after about five zucchini total all my plants died. WHAT?!?!?!) A motley and meager garlic harvest. But worse where there is none, right?
And should you ever find yourself at my house at breakfast, and I happened to ask Andrew to slice cheese to go along with your scrambled eggs, you may possibly, most-likely will find your cheese in cabin form. A cheese architect.
That little feather and bird crossback shirt I sewed up for Ineke a few weeks ago and it has become my favorite little summer number on her. I want to make 50 more. Well, that might be a *tad* much but... it sure is precious. I had a canary yellow gingham one when I was a girl and both Corynn and Adele wore it once upon a time, but when Ineke wore it the first time she found some nailpolish and painted the front pink. I traced it and made a new one. It isn't canary yellow and it wasn't mine, but hey. I can see her little bloomered bum so all is well.
I also managed to whip up a graduation present by painting a quote on a piece of wood. I saw the quote on a sign at Hobby Lobby but the sign wasn't really my style (or hers) so I made a different one. I loved the result so much I think I may have to do some of these as Christmas gifts. Different quotes of course. ;-)
Is there anything so dreamy as porch sleeping? When I first brought up the idea of a bed on the porch, Matt laughed and called it the most redneck thing he had heard. I don't know, it doesn't seem redneck to me. And you have it on good authority that Matt has been seen sleeping there a time or two. Just sayin'.
Here is a Mama tip for you: if you want your toddler to be occupied for hours in the summer, just give them a spray bottle. As a bonus, they stay hydrated! Ineke would spray plants, spray stones, spray flowers, spray herself... really is such a clever toy.
When my brain is not working on the thing right in front of me (and even when it is), it keeps trailing down winding roads leading to vast oceans of unknown. I wake up at 3 am almost every morning and my brain swirls thoughts for an hour...two, before I finally am lulled back to sleep. My heart breaks a little bit and hopes a little bit in the darkness and nobody knows but me. I go about my days doing the next thing, willing arms and feet to move in meaningful and productive ways, knowing my thoughts can be a million miles away in secret places. Will I ever be able to share them? Will they ever find a voice? Will they ever shine in the light of day? I don't know the answer to these questions but for now, they are mine alone. Secret bits that I hold close when I can do nothing else. And those exhausting hours staring up at the pitch black ceiling are precious even though they break my heart a little bit. Little pieces of me, I am changed. God has each one of us in His hand, praise God. The Lord knows I need to be there...and it is a comfort to know that others are there too.
The picture of Matt on the couch is so dear. He was feeling crummy, having recently been diagnosed with Lyme, and Ineke crawled up, her spunky self and tucked herself right in under his wing. In a blink of an eye she won't be able to do that anymore. I am glad I caught that. Before Matt started feeling crummy, he did an amazing Papa project I can't wait to show you. A clue is in the picture of Ineke in the sand. Any guesses?