Thursday, September 30, 2010

Monday on a Thursday Night

A Snapshot for Now:

Outside my window... autumn has arrived. The massive leaves of our twin Sycamores tumble to the ground and my porch. They are welcomed. They are a delight.

I am thinking...about humility, and the illusion of control and how the two don't mix. About how my panic of "overwhelm" is simply that illusion slipping away & how I might just get to the bottom of my overwhelm at last. (This is obviously another post)

I am thankful for...being home, being a teacher to my own boys. Thankful that I can learn so much in this role.

From the learning rooms...we're getting a new groove. New year, new house, new life, new groove. Taking school to the couch more lately, clipboards are a new favorite.

From the kitchen...meals are simple and healthy and snacks are a favorite. I cannot keep a banana in the place.

I am wearing...a new kind of humility.

I am creating...organization. Floors clear of boxes and spaces that appeal to the book reader or lego-playing boy.

I am get up early to spend time journaling. Just so you know.

I am the boys...Luke, Farmer Boy, Story of the World and I came home with a handful of Medieval books today. For me, a novel and my Bible too.

I am become old & wise.

I am hearing...the hum of my fridge and an occasional creaking of this old house, talking to me.

Around the sleeps, dog sleeps outside with the stink of skunk on him, the place is starting to feel like our family.

One of my favorite things...talking with my sisters.

A few plans for the rest of the week: school, groceries, planting some of the 100+ bulbs I bought, resting and learning.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Summers-Day-Hike

Last summer a friend organized a hike along the river into the Fish Farm. We had a lovely time.

Nothing like a good 7 miles, fresh air, friends and fish for a cute group of kiddos!

Happy Hikers.
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Moving Days

I thought I'd sit down for a minutes and drop a line. We are thrilled to say we got the keys to the house; the movers came Sunday and now the unpacking begins

We're loving the new house. Every.little.thing. Even the creeking of old floors and mysteries that are yet tobe solved, mysteries of a new home. (Does the hot tub work? Where does this door lead to? Was this a laundry chute once upon a time?) The boys are relishing the space, running from their top floor bedrooms to basement and outside. This morning I was getting ready to shower, I peeked into the backyard to see Nate out on his bike jumping a ramp Ralph made on the bb court. At 7:00 a.m. The space is just simply divine.

Of course, my nose has been to the grindstone, emptying boxes as fast as I can and finding places for each thing....everything else goes in the basement for now. A little school here and there but I started early to give grace to these next weeks.

My mom came up to help empty boxes, the boys and I are delighted to have the company (and help!)

I'll be back, posting again sometime soon. Until then...enjoy your almost Autumn! Until then, I found this photo of Eli helping out with our move from VA to OR. He's a little bigger now but man, babies are cute!!...and I wouldn't dare post that one without this sweet photo taken of the boys that same month. Just 4 short years ago. Cutie boys, don't you think?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Echo of Summer

Sometimes school is just huge, tangled pile.

When you think of school, say elementary school, do you think of neat rows of desks, kids filing down the hall in order, pencils with the names of their owners printed neatly on, and a tidy little box of crayons smelling like the first day of school? I might say the teachers' glimpse would say hers is a day that is a pile, as well.

But let me say it again. Somedays school, it's just a fantastic tangled pile of kids, apple slices, books, paper, frustration, pencils without erasers, explantations, noise & numbers. It's not neat. Hardly ever, ever does our lesson go according to plan when the phone rings three times in the middle of a book and paper cuts and strewn out bandaids sit in a puddle on the floor next to the table and little boys stand on their heads because that's what little boys like to do during math.

Meanwhile the sun is screaming in the windows and the middle one hears it beckoning the most loudly and pleads to go out and discover something that waits and calls to him over even the school. So after 20 more "please put all four on the floor, son" and 12 times of practicing my lamaze that never came in too handy until today I say;

"Okay" and I scoop up the books in a big pile and grab my Handbook of Nature Study, a towel, a camera. Some water and sunscreen and a long, long leash for my doggie and I. I slip on my salt water sandals because they work in the river water too.

We drive to the river bank and kick off shoes and run full force down, down to the water where the river has been waiting. The boys run and kick and push their whole bodies down into the water.
The water washes away all the silliness & antsy-ness that comes from too much recirculated air. We spy a snake and capture him for an attempt at identification. The boys choose their favorite rock and then leave it right where they found it, or toss it as far as they can to be swept downstream. I open that big fat book and read about garter snakes and water snakes. The boys dig holes and pile rocks while we determine that this snake is a water loving garter snake. The river, oh it's cool on my feet and ankles and I wish I could stay all day.

But there is still work to be done at home. Lunch break, for little boys who must complete their job of school work because this is their job while they are young. So now it's back to the table and books and end-of-summer-sighs. Back to the pile.

But we will keep our ears open wide for the call of the river again....

Friday, September 10, 2010


This is the house we'll be moving into in 7 days or so. I can't tell you how excited I am! It's such a sweet little home, this photo is one that I took while we were looking at it so it's not at the best angle, but I wanted to share anyhow.

This is a picture of my favorite room in the house (so far.) I can't wait to get inside and put our chairs and rugs, houseplants...

This home is one of many in this style. It was built in 1944, during WWII to house workers & military that came to work locally. The houses are called alphabet houses because there are about 26 designs that all were built within two or three years, houses all over town. Our house was originally a duplex, has been converted into a single family home. This adds to the charm for me, the symmetry of the home is wonderful. There are even still two basements, one finished, one unfinished.
This is our "A" house. That's all for now, I'm sure you'll get more photos later in the month. :) Thanks for sharing in my joy.

On the meaning of words...

I have recently made it clear that to be "starving" is to be without food for days or weeks. It implies a dire need, not simple desire to snack.

l had to giggle when Eli told me this afternoon:

"Mo-om! I'm staaaaarving!! The only thing that will stop my dying is a popscicle!!"

I think I can relate, Eli

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sifting through

We are still sick. One, two, three, and a half of us are grumbling around trying to keep kindness the rule. We all feel crumby and it's so easy to let the crumbyness slip off our tongues at each other.

Kindness. And Joe delighted me this morning.

He was cold, "I wish I had a Snuggie," he says. As he climbs into my lap, "at least I have a mommy."

I am grateful for these things in the midst of crumbs.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

river day

our homeschool on sick days

When you've got a sicko household, the days can run into each other. One kiddo feels better & the next one is down, on the couch, sniffing and moaning. Mom and dad stumble around bleary-eyed hoping they don't catch the junk.

And we've been lying around for 2, maybe 3 days watching cartoons, napping, snoozing in the park and drinking, drinking, hydrating. Laundry rolling again to be sure we have sanitized towels and sheets 'cause it makes this mama feel like she can do something to help comfort her family...

So today is a back-to-school day and I'll take a shower because I feel better lying around nursing this sore throat if I'm clean. Then I'll pull up some books and do what I can with the healthy, busy-minded kiddos, I'll turn off that offensive noise that comes at me from the blaring-box-in-the-corner. I'll pick up Farmer Boy, Almanzo has been waiting for us for such a day as this to breathe the corn fields and county fair into our apartment of little boys stranded inside.

I'll just do my best. Perhaps if I can muster it I'll haul all these boys and a pouting puppy to the river or dog park to let that puppy run off his crazies. I'm quietly thanking him for his mellow temperament this morning, grateful he's content to run outside to sniff and go in two minutes' time.

Doing my best, taking pause because life demands it, and grateful we can do what we can, no one has to be pushed onto a school bus feeling even 65%.

Off to the shower....

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

dwelling places

things to treasure in my heart...

Joey was playing King Solomon last night. "I am King Solomon. Tell me your problems and I will give you great wisdom."

I thought about it.

"I am really excited to move into our house. I'm really impatient. I want to move in tomorrow? What should I do?"

His answer, "Find something fun to do while you're waiting."

Lest we find ourselves waiting with our eyes glazed over, hearts set on the hard things...oh, let's play!

Let's do toss in a coin and make a wish, dream a little.

Look up, again, at the trees and their leaves, their seed pods. They'll soon be on the ground. Crunching wonderfully under our shoes.

Let 'em climb the walls a little.

Let them walk a little, think about whatever they like.
...marvel small together

A little sage wisdom from our own little Solomon. How much, how much I learn and am reminded from my boys.

(and don't forget your camera)

the whole truth and why grace

Pulling myself up by my bootstraps....

That would be me this morning. Because I can't seem to get in any groove while I'm living in this apartment, waiting for our next home. There is no groove. I haven't been here long enough, and I won't be, I hope.

But last night we found out the house appraisal was low....this means that we need the sellers to come down about ten-thou in price. Now we wait on that. Will they lower their price or stubbornly walk away from the sale? I don't know why they would but it's a "what if" and I don't want any "what if''s" anymore. Not for awhile.

The last 6 days have been so hard. We went back to Redmond to watch the movers pack our worldly belongings up in a big old truck. We stayed with my folks, which was so much better than staying in our house. It was nice to sleep on a bed, not in a house that's being emptied. It was lovely that the boys got to hang out with their grandparents. But my sweet boys, they were a mess. This whole thing is so confusing. Moving out of one house, buying a new house that we never move into, staying in a teeny place w/o our things...and my boys they fought and whined and cried all week. Yesterday was no different. Whining grates on me and I got snappy until I finally gave up and flopped on my belly for a board game with two boys, the other had fallen asleep during bookrest. Frozen pizza for dinner, I really should go shopping. But there is no where to put food....

And today I woke up thinking the day was ruined just because I woke up. I didn't want to get up & walk on these yucky carpets and go back to school again, another day uphill.

I'm trying to excite myself about school. We'll do something new and fun today...but truth be told this day will probably hold as many challenges as the last. Three active boys in a tiny apartment, a giant dog that wants to run with no doggy-sized-hamster wheel to go on, school on a tiny table and me wondering all the while if we really will get in a new groove, if we really will ever move out of here?

So that's the real truth, the whole truth. That is why I need grace. Because I'm truly a mess everyday, maybe even more of a mess than I know. All this comes by way of a friend who has been brutally honest. Her husband has gone up North to do some nasty fishing work for months, leaving her to her own with 5 little girlies. She has been wonderfully honest. Thanks for being bravely honest, Becki.

Feel like telling the whole truth today?