we’re halfway through winter! (a photo update)

Apparently I can’t manage much more for this blog than uploading photos every month or so and pasting them here without much commentary or polishing.  That’s the season I’m in right now, folks!  So here you go:
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green! but only inside


We’ve been experiencing a typical spring — days of sunshine and mud and hope alternating with days of cold and snow boredom.  We’ve spotted a few slips of green outdoors — most notably our chives and some dandelions sprouting.  But we also decided to bring some green indoors.  We are conducting a twig study, with lilac, plum, and basswood branches clipped from our yard.  And we made a terrarium.  Just enough green and growing to get us through to the warmer side of spring.
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feathering the nest


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In a little over two months we will be celebrating our 1st anniversary in this house.  And I feel like we are still unpacking and moving in.  In the past couple months we finally hung some stuff on the walls, put up shelves, did some little projects we’ve been intending to do since we moved in last May.  We now have enough space for our books.  The girls have a gallery for their art.  We even made a heart mobile for Valentine’s day (that may just stay up all year round).  It’s good to feel a little more settled — and organized!

there are never any pencils


I think we are finally — after months of chaos and upheaval — settling into a comfortable homeschool rhythm.  It helps (me) that the house is a bit more in order now; we’re hanging things on the walls and organizing closets that have been in disarray since moving day.  I’m working with the girls to keep their school and art supplies organized.  For some reason we have every art and craft supply under the sun, yet the humble, essential pencil always goes missing.  Bea and I sharpened half a box of them the other day and I’ve been reminding the girls to place them back in the proper jar, so we’ve had about a week now without scrambling around the house every time someone needs a pencil.  Sometimes it’s the little things.DSC_0163 DSC_0164

We’ve been working on familiarizing Bea with numbers and letters, and also writing her name.  I’ve been using the alphabet printables from this site and she loves to do rainbow writing (writing the letter or number over and over again with different colored markers).
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We’ve been doing art more regularly, and it has been welcomed back into our lives with joy from all corners.  Adeline has been having fun using Ed Emberley’s fingerprint drawing booksDSC_0177 DSC_0179 DSC_0182

We printed out some play money to use in our alphabet store.  Both girls like this game, and it helps Bea with letter recognition and Adeline with addition.DSC_0187 DSC_0189

Our devotions lately have revolved around the Lord’s Prayer, using the activities found here.DSC_0203

These winter days have been cold, often with crazy wind, so we find ourselves indoors much of the time.  Bea will keep herself occupied for a long time with the Play-Doh supplies; Adeline has been reading chapter books and practicing songs on her accordion.  We are all wishing for warmer days — or at least some snow to go out and play in.

amidst the clutter

I like to have the house all clean and tidy before we decorate for the holidays.  Of course it doesn’t stay that way for long.  The regular toy-book-paper-musical instrument clutter accumulates again.  Decorations get arranged and rearranged and played with and misplaced.  I try fairly hard for a few days to keep things organized and looking the way I would like it to look.

And then quickly I am reminded that the living we do in this house — the learning, playing, creating, and mess making that goes on here on a daily basis — isn’t going to cease just because I’ve put up some lights and garlands.  The house isn’t going to stay any tidier during the Christmas season than it is during the rest of the year.  And that’s fine.  The nativity sets, the Jesse tree, the lights, they’re still there amidst the clutter of our everyday life.  They still stand out as reminders of what’s most important.  They’re no less meaningful for the mess all around them; in fact, I think perhaps there’s a metaphor in there somewhere, in the way my kids incorporate the symbols and reminders of this sacred story into our own messy, common, everyday lives.  Perhaps it’s a lesson that’s worth remembering long after the decorations are packed away for the year.

And anyway, once darkness falls and the lights are sparkling, it’s much harder to see the rest of the mess.