Monday, March 27, 2017

Signs of Spring

Annie and I were observing signs of spring to each other on the way to pick Finn up from scouting this evening....

*ornamental cherry trees are blooming in all their magnificent splendor

*the grocery store asparagus looked crisp...time for an asparagus tart!

*my uncontrollable urge to clean everything, paint everything, and pull all the weeds

*purple peony shoots emerging from the soil

*flip-flops

*the house was hot this evening, so we're leaving windows open for cool night air

*the heady scent of hyacinth everywhere

*my favorite pink linen trousers

*we're getting spring chickens (ha) in a few weeks

*today during our picnic I felt a warm breeze...as opposed to all the cold ones we've felt for months

*the final four is this weekend...and I will be cheering for the Gamecocks!

*and finally, I pulled a tick off poor Annie's head this afternoon.  At the dollar store. I'm so glad I was running my fingers through her hair while she was looking at the toys!  And I'm also so glad that I was able to pull it off with my bare hands and  not leave any gross tick parts on her little head.  Nasty!

Spring has certainly sprung!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

On Recognizing the Moments

"There are moments in life so beautiful that everything in us wants to praise the Creator. Maybe it's stars--or an ocean view, a magnificent sunset, the birth of a child. It's important to put ourselves in places and situations that bring us those moments--and to recognize them for what they are."

                                      --Nathan Clarkson, Different

Friday, March 24, 2017

Finn's Latest

Just in time for a burst of spring, Finn finished his wintry painting and brought it home yesterday.

My favorite part is the falling snow...an effect achieved by flicking paint with a toothbrush, apparently. 


I'm going to enjoy looking at this when the heat of summer swelters us!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

The Substitute Nightstand

Today I moved the behemoth nightstand out of Finn's room so that I could begin the process of beautification, and in its stead (he must have a nightstand for his lamp!) I put a little three-legged table that usually sits in the kitchen. 



I love how airy and light this is!  I tried to convince Finn that perhaps this could be his new nighstand, but he rightly pointed out that it doesn't have nearly the storage space he needs.  For the lamp, plus the Harry Potter book and the flashlight and the toy snake and the.....well, you get the picture.

Today I lugged the behemoth into the living room, washed it down, and removed its doors and hinges and pulls.  Tomorrow my husband will move it outside and I will sand it before putting on the first coat of primer.

Also in today's news: I set out the Easter decorations, sewed a dozen more square pairs for Annie's quilt, made vegetable masala (yum!), finally--after over a year--fixed my Nikon camera (MYSELF!) and figured out how to package it to send it to Nikon for a spa day (cleaning), and managed lots of laundry. The reward: a hot bath and a flannel nightgown.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Annie Begins Her Quilt

Annie and I decided that her beloved Rebecca* needs a quilt.  Yesterday we sketched out plans, today I cut out 108 squares.  (This process went quickly because I'd already cut lots of different fabrics into 18" strips; we just had to choose the colors and patterns we wanted and use the rotary cutter to cut the strips into squares.)

Rebecca's favorite color is purple, so we're focusing on purple, white, and gray. 

I put right sides together, used a pencil to draw the seam line, threaded and knotted the needle, and showed Annie how to stitch.  Then I handed it over and started cooking supper.

Although she has never sewn a stitch before, she took off like a rocket.  She got ten squares sewn into pairs before dinner, and I'm so impressed by the skill in those tiny hands. 


 Such calm, focused attention, and such patience!


*Rebecca Rubin, an American Girl doll.  She's a member of the family, you know.....

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Tuesday's Treats

Today was a pretty typical Tuesday, but was studded with little pleasures:

*Finding watercolor paper and canvases on big-time sale at the craft store 

*Treating my children to frozen yogurt

*Basking in warm, sunny weather

*Loving my new prescription sunglasses, the first pair I've ever owned and a total game-changer!

*Planning a doll's quilt with Annie during Finn's art lesson

*Ooohing and ahhing over darling little chicks at the hardware store

*Gazing upon Finn's new haircut (we buzzed it with clippers yesterday!)

*Enjoying Annie's tutu during her penultimate ballet class

*Coming home to a house that is fresh, tidy, and clean

*Finishing a pretty olive-green infinity scarf I knitted for Annie (it looks perfect with her complexion)

*Drinking San Pellegrino after bedtime, and not having to share it!

Monday, March 20, 2017

"Our Feet are Set in a Large Room"

Having passed an unsettled day fretting over the enormity of schoolwork + housework + life management + Everything Else, and having no clear resolution in spite of all my fretting, I turned tonight to Charlotte Mason, who wrote in Chapter 25 ("The Great Recognition Required of Parents") of Volume Two....

"This great recognition resolves that discord in our lives of which most of us are, more of less, aware....[i]s it not a fact that the spiritual life is exigeant, demands our sole interest and concentrated energies?  Yet the claims of intellect--mind, of the aesthetic sense--taste, press upon us urgently.  We must think, we must know, we must rejoice in and create the beautiful.....once the intimate relation, the relation of Teacher and taught in all things of the mind and spirit, be fully recognised, our feet are set in a large room; there is space for free development in all directions, and this free and joyous development, whether of intellect or heart, is recognised as a Godward movement."

I love the reminder that my feet are indeed set in a large room, that there's space for my growth and my children's growth, that these interests are not in competition with each other, and most of all, that the Holy Spirit is my ally in living a beautiful, unique life which engages both my mind and my hands.

I feel better!