Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Simply Lovely, No. 15

A single bloom, lovely in a shade of lavender.
A not-so-simple wall (it's on the Biltmore Estate, after all) that shows a well-worn life.
Cracked, mossy, aged.  Beautiful nonetheless.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Control Week

This week, we officially began our homeschool year with the first day of our new co-op classes. The kiddos are each taking a literature class, the older two a Spanish class, and Madeleine has a dance & movement class. They had a great first day...even though it was a new place with new people and a new routine.

So naturally, Madeleine and Nathanael were curious why we didn't do more school at home since we started co-op. Madeleine's new (and first) math book arrived just before we left for vacation, and she actually asked me if we could take it with us and start school at the beach.  Ah, to have that pre-kindergarten zeal. :)

I told them that this was "Control Week."  As in, Mom needs to get a few projects under control before we start back to school. Laundry.  Stitches out for Madeleine. Art supply purchases.

And Project Reclaim Nathanael's Room.

Oh, my sweet son.  When we moved to VA, I selected books and a few toys to store in each child's room.  The rest of the toys went to the basement playroom.  Slowly, certain things have crept back upstairs into all their rooms.  I knew when we left for the beach that we would come home and get these bedrooms organized.

Wednesday morning

But Nathanael, who has a love for paper airplanes, cardboard creations, and cut-out sketches & printouts of superhero/jedimasters/ninjago characters, well, his room was the worst. Paper creations everywhere you looked. (I wish you could see the collection of cardboard that was underneath his train table.)

Yesterday, we tackled his room first.

The kids pulled everything off of his Ikea shelves (he has a 4x4 on one wall and a 2x2 as a bedside table) and onto the floor.  They echoed what I always say: "You have to make a bigger mess before it looks clean."  And then we got to work.  

Wednesday afternoon

Two trashbags, five basement runs, and a few hours later, we were a bit closer to being done.  We still have some airplanes to hang from the ceiling, pictures to rearrange on the walls, and the prop to hang above the closet.  

Today we organized the legos into storage containers that fill that empty row of top cubbies in the picture above.  We are *almost* done with that chore. (Though I believe we're missing a container or two of legos somewhere.)

Today I figured out a solution for some jewelry storage.  

This afternoon I will continue to print out our history & Bible worksheets for the year, and I will do a little bit more planning. 

Tomorrow, I will schedule dentist appointments, work on some menu planning, and work with the girls in their rooms. (And find a babysitter.  Always such a tough part about moving.)

All this so that next week, I can feel a bit more organized as we begin a "soft start" to homeschool with our reading, math, and Bible curriculum.  After Labor Day, we'll add the rest of our subjects to our weekly routine.


How do you get ready for the new school year? Are you ready?!?!?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Saying yes.

At the Marine Corps Exchange here, there's a Starbucks. (A really good thing, in my opinion.) And right outside the Starbucks entrance is a vintage three-horse carousel.  

This past Friday, I knew what was coming...because I recognized that relic that makes all children plead desperately with their parent for a ride or at least a chance to just sit on it.  I know because I was once that child.

So I wasn't surprised by their question. The hope I saw in their eyes.

And to be truthful, I wasn't surprised by my reaction or reply.

"We'll see." (It's so much easier to say than no right away, isn't it?) 
"We really need to get home." (True. But still.)
"It's probably got lots of germs." (Seriously?!?!)

They didn't argue. They sweetly followed me inside. Picked up medicine for Madeleine. Went to Starbucks where I ordered two vanilla milks and an apple juice in addition to my iced nonfat hazelnut latte.

We walked outside. 

I thought about how we'd just come home late last night after a wonderful twelve day vacation.  It was a seven hour drive which turned into 12 hours since we stopped for dinner and ended up in a Charlottesville ER to restitch Madeleine's chin injury from the diving board at the beach. (Stitching for the second time in five days when the first memory is still fresh? It's not fun for anyone involved.) 

I thought about how we woke up that morning and drove my Mom (who had sweetly helped me drive home from Asheville) to the airport an hour away. And then drove from there to the base for a picnic to meet the men and women Brent will be working with this year.  I thought about the traffic we would soon face on the way home. I thought about how nothing but toothbrushes were unpacked. All the laundry.  I thought about how I just wanted a nap.

And I'm not exactly sure what happened, but I told them they could sit on the horses.  

And then I put in two quarters. 
And oh, the joy on their faces.  Three children all of whom are almost too big to ride on this toddler carousel, their joy at such a little thing reminds me of how very easy and wonderful it is to say yes.

I sat nearby, watching. Taking pictures. Thinking.

Saying yes.

It cost me a dollar fifty in quarters and a couple minutes. It gave me three heartfelt thank-yous, a few moments to ponder, a memory that won't quickly fade, and a new perspective.

This year, I want to say yes more often.  Yes to messy paint projects and linen closets emptied for hallway forts.  Yes to building legos together and ice cream before lunch. Yes to bubbles and reading outside and listening to Star Wars discussion again and again and again.

I will probably have to reread this post many times to remember.

And that's okay.

Because I'm so glad I didn't miss this opportunity to overhear my littlest say to her brother:

"This is how princesses sometimes ride horses."

Sunday, August 12, 2012

12 on the Twelfth

Kiawah Island Style

  1. I love these steps.
  2. Never smile at a crocodile
  3. The final day of the PGA Championship.
  4. The MetLife Blimp in person :)
  5. A peek at the ocean from the course.
  6. Driftwood and clouds.
  7. Shadowy self-portrait.
  8. I love this place.
  9. My favorite shot from the whole week.
10. Seagull flight.
11. She loves Uncle Michael.
12. Late afternoon and the river at high tide.

Monday, August 06, 2012

At the beach...

Be back soon. 


Thursday, August 02, 2012

Hello August

Somewhat early this morning, as I walked outside, I could feel August.

For me, early August mornings are ever so slightly crisp with the lingering night air and yet full of the promise of the day's humidity.


There is a smell about August mornings that makes me believe I am still sixteen and leaving for the first day of my last year of school. Pictures in the garden before we go.  Ever so slightly misty.

On that day, I was technically still taller than Michael (though this picture doesn't seem like it), who now towers above me.  Senior and freshman.  I was excited to share the year with my brother...our first time at the same school since 5th grade. I probably hadn't slept much the night before...after twelve years, the first day still held excitement.

sixteen years ago

Oh, the earrings. A pair of twisted gold hoops were my Mom's, borrowed from the same jewelry box drawer as her high school class ring. I still have them. That shirt was from the Gap. I still have that too.

Parking in the senior lot that first day.  First period AP English. An assembly with the new principal & a class-wide reprimand for chewing gum. Cheerleading practice after school. I don't remember much else about that first day.

But the smell of early August mornings takes me right back.

How about you?

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Simple Summer Fare

A few weeks ago, I had a delicious Heirloom Tomato Salad at Foode in Fredericksburg.  After finding some gorgeous heirlooms at the store, I attempted my own version at home. 

Heirloom Caprese Salad

1 medium heirloom tomato
5 heirloom cherry tomatoes
fresh mozarella
basil leaves
olive oil
Balsamic glaze
sea salt

1. Slice heirloom tomato in quarter to half inch slices. Cut each cherry tomato in half.
2. Slice mozarella in similar slices to tomato. Arrange cheese and tomatoes on plate. Sprinkle with basil leaves and a pinch of sea salt. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic glaze.

Yum.  Serves 1.

Fresh tomatoes are one of my favorite things about summer...and there's still plenty of time to enjoy them!

P. S. I'm kind-of in love with that picture.

Speaking of pictures, I discovered a fun crafting daily deal site a few weeks ago: The Plaid Barn.

They have a fun mix of little items for sale with good prices & great shipping.  I am excited about the stamps I ordered there recently...they should arrive this week!  Anyway...pictures.  Right now The Plaid Barn is hosting a giveaway for a Fuji Instax 7 Camera & film. I've wanted one of these cameras for awhile...and thought I'd share with you, in case you'd love to win one too!

© 2011. All Rights Reserved. | Prefab Blog Design By Penny Lane Designs