Monday, October 17, 2011

Grasshopper Days

(I'm quite pleased with myself for remembering to get outside and get a fall photo of the house, without the big tree.  Still getting used to that!)

Grasshopper Days

For today, October 17, 2011

Outside my window...  when we planned our trip for September/October I had a little twinge of regret, that I might be missing my favorite time of year, here.   

I love autumn.  

I love crisp mornings that give way to warm, sunny afternoons.  I love the changing colors.  I love the smell of woodsmoke in the air.  Red apples hanging on the trees.  Orange pumpkins piled everywhere.  Pink cheeks.  Spices.  I even love the shortening of the days, because the evenings feel so cozy at home.

However, our "Indian summer" too quickly gives way to rain, rain, and more rain.  And I was sad that I might miss the best part.  But, everything seeming to be late this year, I didn't :D

Where we live, fall mornings tend to be foggy and cold.  But out my window I can see deep green hemlocks, cedars, and Doug firs, dark against the bright yellow and orange leaves of our "mystery" tree, the dogwoods and maple.  Birds are busy in the grapevine (and leaving purple droppings on my driveway), and the squirrels - lacking confidence that the neighbor will continue to supply them with peanuts, as he always does - are busy, busy, busy storing food for the winter.

*Happy sigh*

I am thinking...  Monday is the busiest day of the week for us.  I try to "front-load" our school schedule, so things get easier as the week progresses.  And now, for the next several weeks, I have Messiah rehearsals every Monday night.  It takes extra effort on Mondays, to keep everyone on an even keel.  But it's oh-so-good to be home and back into our routine :D

Last week we took it easy on Monday with the intent of launching into our full schedule on Tuesday.  Gunnar practically collapsed on the table, and ended up taking a one and a half hour nap before lunch!  Still "catching up" from all the excitement and activity of the trip, I guess.

I am thankful for...  still giving thanks every day to God for our wonderful vacation.  For safety, for the van running well, for health (mostly), and for FUN FUN FUN!  For friends that drove many miles to meet us and friends who hosted us.  For being able to say "yes" to things, like riding a gondola, or horses.  And thankful, oh so very thankful, to be home.  We missed four weeks (four weeks!) of church, and I do mean we missed it.  So happy, yesterday, to be back with our church family and good Bible teaching.  And for pumpkin spice candles ;D

I am praying...  for work for Kerry, for friends winding up their ministry in Zambia, for peace in the family, for the boys (and all of us) to discern the truth vs. our feelings, and for self-discipline.

I am wearing...  jeans, black tee, black cardigan.

I am going...  yes, to rehearsal tonight.  Boys have CAP tomorrow evening.  Invited to my sister's on Saturday for "Italy Night" - she's cooking an Italian dinner and sharing pics of her recent trip to Italy.  Fun!

I am hoping...  I always have trouble thinking of what to put here.  Hoping?  Didn't I already cover that in what I'm praying?  So then I try to rationalize a distinction... maybe the things I'm hoping are more mundane or unrealistic.  Like hoping for a personal secretary to come organize my office and balance my checkbook.  Yah!  That would be great ;D

I am hearing...  silence, which always makes me wonder what the boys are up to...

I am remembering...  my mind is still all jumbly full of places and things we did on our trip.  Hope you're not getting tired of vacation posts, because it's my way of making a record so that someday I'll remember what we did and make an actual scrapbook.  Someday...

From the learning rooms...  Such a pile of books to start the morning with!  We pray together and today we're starting our series of 10 Reformation Day devotions.  Wyatt does his math, logic, and language work in his room, while I do spelling with Tate and Gunnar.  Then I'll work with one on his math while the other does language, and then swap.

For the first time, all three boys are doing something different for Science.  Wyatt is working through Apologia's Physical Science.  Tate is using a series of books called Wonders of Creation.  And Gunnar is also using Apologia, studying Swimming Creatures of the Fifth Day.  LOVE these Science books!  Tate is currently studying fossils, which wonderfully complements our experiences at the Grand Canyon.

Wyatt is - for the first time - using a Sonlight history core.  I'm trying to keep up with his reading, but falling behind.  Love the books he's reading (the historical fiction/non-fiction).  The text series (History of US) is okay.

Tate and Gunnar and I are taking a more relaxed approach this year, as they've had a LOT more history than any public school kid of their ages.  We're using History Pockets and I'm choosing historical fiction and non-fiction to read aloud to them while they work.  Fun and relaxing :D

That's the core of what we're doing.  Adding art, music, keyboarding, etc. as we can.

From the kitchen...  beans in the crock-pot :D

Around the house...  You know how it is when you come home from vacation and everything is chaotic and stuff is everywhere?  Or at least it seems like it.  We hardly did any school work Monday, but cleaned the house, attacked the laundry, and I did some fall decorating.  Soothes my soul to have a cozy home!  Now the only trouble spots are the family room (the boys' doing) and my office.  Ugh.  It looks like a bomb went off in there.

Baby steps...

On my mind...  one of my goals after vacation was to pick up my responsibilities without stress and anxiety.  Now I'm not sure if I'm doing well or just sticking my head in the sand ;D

Noticing that...  Lately, we've been dealing with the contradiction between what we feel and what is true.  Because they aren't always - or even usually - the same.  *sigh*  Probably a post for another day.

Pondering these words...   Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.

One of my favorite things...  having dinner already cooking in the crockpot :D

A few plans for the rest of the week...  making the routine... routine.  The boys are doing a good job of getting back in the groove, but we're still finding room to improve.  As a friend says,

Good, better, best,
Never let it rest,
'til the good gets better,
And the better gets best.

I don't want to be a slave-driver, but I want us all to do things well.

Here is a picture I am sharing...

Calendula is still blooming in my garden, and will self-sow for next year :D


melanie said...

Just to reassure you {as if you needed it} that the vacation posts are GREAT! {when I'm not drooling with jealousy} I think you need to check out picaboo or shutterfly etc for a photo book of your trip, seriously. Call it a Christmas gift for Kerry or something : )

I was just showing the Popper some of your Yellowstone pics since she had to write a 'post card' as if she were there. She agreed that your beloved turquoise water was beautiful!

Have a great week!

Felicity said...

I'm always interested by how much more noticable your seasons are over there - four distinct seasons. Here we only really have two - summer and winter with a slight change in between ;-) We also don't change any decorations in accordance with the seasons, but I think it must be very nice to do so!

The dB family said...

I always love reading your day book! I am loving your vacation posts. I feel like I hitchhiked along with you.

I still have calendula in the garden too. I am hoping it will reseed this spring.

I love having things in the crock pot too!