i just want to wish everyone a happy holiday and new year. much love from my famly to yours. xoxoxo
obviously i haven't been using this space much lately. i've also managed to use up all my photo storage. i've been thinking a lot about what i want to do. do i want to continue this? i love looking back at my blog posts and i am happy i wrote them and have those memories. i haven't been doing much work in my shop. when i started on etsy it was such a different place. there were only a few other artists who did what i did. now i go, and i am overwhelmed by the number of artists who do similar (and amazingly beautiful) work. i wonder if there is a point to continue? i love making what i do, but perhaps it is time to take a step back. i was at a craft show the other day and someone recognized me from my blog. she had been following since before i was even little love blue. she had such nice things to say. it made me feel good that my work has been meaningful to others. the world of etsy and blogging has become something so different though. i often sit down to work or write something here and wonder if it is pointless? that is hard to think about. i have been doing this for about 5 years now. my middle daughter was a baby, my son a toddler. it was such a lifeline to have a creative outlet. my life is so full these days in a different way though. i feel like i need to prioritize and figure out what is most important. maybe that will mean continuing, maybe it means something else. i am so grateful to every one of you. if you have ever taken the time to read my words, i am humbled. for your support and love, you have my eternal gratitude. i wish you all a beautiful holiday, and hopefully we will meet again soon.
october has been such a busy month... as it always is. i haven't even put up my halloween decorations yet! things seem to go by in such a blur with a new baby, not to mention full time homeschooling. my son took on a big adventure himself this month, leaving home for the first time without us. he took a trip with his grandfather up to the catskills and has been gone for two weeks! we are literally counting down the hours now until he comes back. i miss him so, as do both his sisters.
here are a few pictures from my tumblr that show a little what we have been up to this month... zoo visits, a trip to the cemetery, family meals with one less at the table, squirrels who think pumpkins are a good fall snack and of course a rapidly growing baby...
i've also gotten a lot of great time with just my older girl, and i think she has enjoyed the extra attention and the ability to explore her own interests.
she made her own ink from blueberries and together we made a quill for her to write with. it was fun and works really well! we figured it out here.
we also printed out these cute paper dolls free from here. sid cut them out and glued them together and then spent the morning arranging them in various scenarios including in the tree outside.
we also took a fun little yurting trip which was the little ones first camping experience. she was really cute and loves being outside... it is probably when she is the happiest.
so other than a pretty big shortage of naps, which accounts for my not being around much things are going well. i have finally reopened the shop and maybe, just maybe, some new things will appear there!
|my assistant at the farmers market|
that title is perhaps a bit misleading. i'm not sure that i am feeling settled but i do think tess is starting to feel that way, and overall we are all starting to feel some little bit of a new kind of normalcy. we are starting to establish a new routine as a family, but also figuring out what our days look like with three kids at home. it feels like basically we started from scratch with everything this summer! i know you don't really leave behind everything you were as a family but it is interesting having such a sudden change. i guess it was like when we moved to georgia, it took a while to feel settled again and just as we were... bam! we decided to shake things up again... or life decided for us! we are all so in love with this new little life though. she is so sweet and loving. it is amazing to see the love that pours out from the older children as well. i am still constantly surprised by that. it is such a different experience having a new baby with much older children, rather than a toddler and a baby. they are truly smitten and can't get enough of her. i can't blame them though.
we are taking things slowly with "schooling" as well. after a very hard year last year, my oldest, jack henry, is very resistant to any kind of "forced" learning. even though i am focusing on fun things, i am trying to be respectful of what he is feeling. it makes me sad because he has always been so naturally open to learning new things. i know it will come back, he just needs to find his own way. my daughter, sidney, is very excited about having more planned activities though, so i am trying to find balance there. we are doing a lot of art projects, from this book. i am enjoying doing the projects along with them, when baby cooperates! we are doing a bit of history, from here, which the children like because it is told in story form and my daughter also enjoys coloring the pictures that come in the workbook while we read.
sidney pretty much likes anything if it also involves art of some kind. we have been learning a little bit about rocks and crystals for instance and my son likes to try to identify the ones we have using books and the computer, while my daughter likes to draw and paint them. we also grew our own crystals last week.
she is also taking a watercolor class from a fellow homeschooling mom, and we will slowly get involved in more classes and home school groups again as things get easier with the baby. in the meantime we are enjoying home time, visits to museums, soccer, scouts, long walks, camping, play dates and so on. i will try to be better about sharing it all.
|walking to soccer in the evening|
|picnic in the park|
|teaching tess about fall|
my house is a disaster. the laundry is in piles waiting patiently to be folded. my yard is full of weeds, covering the garden i once worked so hard to tend. all sewing is laid to the side for now.
there will be time for all of these things later, for this is her favorite place to sleep... and too soon gentle clasping hands will be replaced by little running feet.
well, our year of trying out traditional schooling was quite the adventure. we have made so many great friends and loved many aspects of it. in the end though, we realized it just wasn't right for our family. perhaps not the best timing with a new baby in the house, but we are committing ourselves to homeschooling again!
we won't "officially" start for a few weeks but as we are really unschoolers at heart, learning takes place every day of the year. in anticipation i am slowly trying to clean up the playroom and set it up as more of a multifunctional space where we can do some of our learning. this is a difficult task with baby in tow! i had hoped to paint but i just can't see how this will happen right now. i thought i'd share a few photos as a preview of what i'm working on, with more to come.
one of the challenges is setting up a space that works for both an almost 10 year old and an almost 7 year old... not to mention a growing baby. i ordered a few new books that i thought might be interesting to the kids. we have started reading the story of the world, which both kids seem to enjoy and i also ordered the work book to go with it for my daughter, as she enjoys more structured learning. really, the age difference isn't the biggest factor but how different their approaches to learning are. i will work to create an environment that appeals to them both and of course that will evolve over time.
we will also find classes, take trips and have help from relatives... like my father-in-law who is a great wood worker and loves doing projects with the kids... like the house my daughter made below.
i will share more with you as the room... and year progresses!
* alphabet cards in the first photo are available for free download here.
it's amazing to see how quickly they change! the first photo was taken july 12, the second today august 11th. i can't believe she is five weeks old. it feels so hard and you wish them to get a little bigger and easier and then suddenly you realize how fast it is going by. i look into her eyes and wish i could freeze this moment in time. you think you will never forget just exactly how they look and sound, but you do. each phase is replaced by a new one, and then another. i find myself staring more intently at my older children as well, trying to capture this moment of theirs. i love watching them grow but as every mother knows deep to her core, it is oh so bittersweet.
1) lots of little naps (longer during the day than at night at this point)...
2) milk drunk...
3) getting more curious about life...
4) fight with the bottom of the pool, ouch...
5) lots of this too...
6) olympic watching gear...
7) we subscribed to television for the first time in over three years just so we could watch the olympics. crazy, huh?...
8) she has her sister's big eyes.
*obviously i have given in to the instagram craze! how about you?
it's been a busy time around here... and not just because we have a new person in the house. the first week we were home with the new baby was also a week for terrible thunder storms. we had a very large storm one of the very first nights home. it was sort of scary. the lights went out, which made caring for a baby difficult. it was probably a blessing though, because i couldn't see the waterfall of water that was raining down from the upstairs hall and down into the kitchen. yes, waterfall. it was pouring down one whole side of the kitchen. my poor husband had to deal with trying to clean up that mess in the dark. then we had at least three more storms like it that same week... and more rain in our house. it was so bad that it flooded streets in the neighborhood, trapping motorists, downing trees, and literally washing away parts of the old sidewalk on our block. we were left with a lot of water damage and the decision it was finally time to get a new roof... despite the terrible timing family wise.
we had been looking into the idea of a metal roof for a while. we liked metal roofs for both environmental and aesthetic reasons. a metal roof is great for energy savings and it is placed over the existing roof so you are not contributing to the landfill. plus, it should last for fifty years. we also liked the way it looked. it is something different than what most people have in the neighborhood (although there are a few others) and it is common to find metal roofs on old farmhouses. our roof originally was wood shingles, a common roof in colonial times. they are good for circulating air and do not have an under layer. unfortunately, when our roof was replaced with modern asphalt shingles this was not altered and no venting was added. there was no where for heat to go, and the roof was literally baking in the sun. we were told unless this was fixed, we would need a new roof every ten years! a metal roof is great option for dealing with this (and wood shingles are not really a viable option any longer).
when we first looked into this a year ago the cost seemed prohibitive... even though it evens out over time because it does not have to be replaced as often as traditional roofs, we didn't think we could afford the upfront price. i guess it was lucky for us this time that we tend to drag our feet on these decisions because after it started raining in our house and we looked into again, the price had come down a lot. so, we decided to go for it. the roofers were available and ordered the roof quickly. it only took a few days (plus, a lot of noise and dog barking at the roofers!) and thankfully was done quickly. we decided to go with a painted metal in the color charcoal and are really happy with the results! the company we used has done many metal roofs in the serenbe community and one of there houses was featured on the front of cottage living (when it was still being published).
it is the home on the left, and our roof looks very similar but slightly lighter in color i think. you can probably tell in the top photo of our house that we have also started stripping the exterior paint, which is peeling badly in places. our next project is to strip and repaint the exterior. we will then begin replacing the windows with more historic looking multi-paned wood windows. we will add shutters also. we also plan to fix up and paint the front porch... replace the walk, redo the front yard (which is also in process!) and so, and so on. it's never ending, but i guess that is to be expected in an old house like this. it feels good whenever we are able to accomplish something... even it leads to ten more projects that need to be done next!
meet tessa kathleen. she was born july 6th. it was a very intense labor and delivery, probably my hardest. boy was i surprised after all that when out popped this little mouse! she weighed only 5lbs 7oz. boy she sure is a feisty one though, and a pure joy. we are deeply in love!
excuse the web photos. i am adjusting to life with a newborn again, and the round the clock care and nursing and seem to have little time for anything else! some better photos to follow soon. xoxo