Wednesday, September 30, 2009

a few years ago...

Some old favorites...

I have been taking pictures the last couple weeks, and when Jason gets back I will be able to get them onto the computer. I'm sure he has about 100 new pictures too. Just a few more days and he is home! Hooray!!!

I do apologize for the somewhat uninteresting blog posts lately. I suppose I could have just posted nothing instead.... Feeling so off with Jason gone, just trying to get through each day... the girls have been so wonderful, it's like Chloe is trying to be all brave and strong about her daddy being away. Whereas I just spent Michaelmas feeling totally lacking in courage. Blah, I know, sorry... Today was better though, woke up to a thunderstorm and lots of wind, made me feel excited for the day. I shall try to return soon with more happiness!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The autumn winds wail through the woods

O Michael, lend us your starry sword,
the darkness of earth fill with light.

from Movement Journeys and Circle Adventures

Monday, September 28, 2009

autumn watercolor painting

From last year, some autumn trees we painted using the wet on wet method of watercolor painting. (Sometimes I feel like it is obvious this is how we did it, but then I realize some people may not be familiar with the process.)

This first one is mine. Kind of pale, though nowhere near as light as my first attempt which looked much more like a blossoming springtime tree.

But I really love Chloe's! So much more movement and color in hers!

We had lesson time this morning followed by a long day in town. Too long really, didn't get home until almost 7 o'clock, which is the time the girls are usually going to bed. But it was a good day... a short but nice visit with a friend, and then yarn, antiques, and library. And how beautiful it is looking in our mountains these days! No longer just golden, now there is red, orange, nearly fiery color! I wish I had pictures to share with you. Also wish I could show you this wonderful Malabrigo yarn we came home with, in colors that perfectly match those amazing autumn mountains!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

First week of school

As I have mentioned, last week was our first week of school. Chloe is in 3rd grade this year! This is Chessa's first official year of kindergarten, but it will be very unofficial. She did join us for circle time every day though.

It was really a very gentle beginning, with the main focus being celebrating autumn. We did a wonderful orchard circle time which we have done every autumn since Chloe was 6. The girls love it, they will never tire of it. We will only do it for the one week though since we done it for so many other years. It is from Let Us Form a Ring, an Acorn Hill Anthology. This is one of my favorite resources for circle time activities, and really helped me to understand how a circle could move, flow, breathe... I have another favorite too, which I will tell you about later in the week.

We are trying to make sure we get started on lessons early enough in the morning, about 9 or 9:30. Our morning Tuesday was a bit delayed though as we had to spend about an hour in the garden and kitchen rescuing the half frozen swiss chard. Several giant bowls full, have a which is now in the freezer, the other half has been made into soup and eaten.

We didn't really have a main lesson for the week. I just took the time to get us back into our rhythm, and introduce some of the new ideas we would be working with this year. One of which was a spelling list and special English notebook. Our spelling words for the week focused on autumn, apples, orchard, etc... We did 10. I told Chloe we would play a spelling game at the end of the week. (Spelling quiz!) She loved it. There was also some math review time. And lots of flute playing, which I wasn't sure we would get to the first week, but Chloe wanted to, and we learned a new song.

So it all went really well. (Especially since we were also dealing with the whole daddy being gone and crazy hospital incident!) Tomorrow we start our first main lesson block, Old Testament stories. I have been doing some watercolor painting practice in the evenings, want to do some more with that tomorrow night. For tonight I am going to again read through our Creation story from Roy Wilkinson's book, and then see if I can come up with an idea for Form Drawing tomorrow, something I forgot about last week!

Of course I have no recent photos for you, but here are some I never posted of more 2nd grade school work. They are from what we were calling a word family book, but I kept struggling with how exactly we wanted to approach the work. So here are a few pages that we came up with. You may have to click on them to make them bigger to see well enough.

(No, there are not 7 pictures. Let's just be impressed if I actually post every day like I said I would.)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

big sister

Did I just say that I was going to post every day for the next 7 days? Was it just yesterday that I said that? Already I am wondering what I was thinking..... Well, let's open iPhoto and see what we've got...

We didn't have a digital camera before Chessa was born, so that's were all of our pictures start. So here we have seven photos of the sweetest, most loving, most helpful big sister that ever was! (She is assisting our midwife in this first photo.)

The photo quality is not so great but the moments certainly were.

Chessa needed sunlight!

Complete adoration!

Friday, September 25, 2009

a pretty good really bad week

Unfortunately it was not a happy birthday for Jason. (But thanks for all the happy wishes anyhow.) He ended up in the hospital! It was really awful. Really really really horrible. Bad enough that it happened at all, but to happen when he is all the way across the country... and I could not be there with him... he was all alone... I won't even try to explain how terrible it was, for him especially of course... it completely broke my heart to not be there with him!

So how can I say that it was a pretty good week? Well he is out now, he is all better, he is healthy, he is safe. He is going to go ahead and stay and finish his last class this next week. And then he will be home! And then he will never leave us again! (Well, maybe at some point, for only a very short amount of time, but only maybe. The girls and I are mostly doing okay here, but he is not handling being away well at all. Much too sad, way too hard.)

Speaking of hospitals, look at this poor injured child.

And remember, this was our first week of school. And it went very well, despite the crazy disruptions. And most of our garden froze, but at least I rescued all the tomatoes the day before. And Tuesday was super cold, just in the 50's, but today was probably 70 and so perfect and autumny.

So, Jason took our camera with him, my sister was nice enough to send me hers to use in the meantime, but I have no way of putting any of the pictures on the computer. Of course I do have iPhoto with 6000+ older pictures to choose from, so I think for this next week I will try to do a post each day with some sets of random pictures. Seven seems like a good number. I will start right now with 7 family photos.

Sadly, it was hard to find very many pictures of all four of us. So first there is a couple of just Jason and the girls.

(I could probably do a whole set of 7 of Chessa and her funny faces. And another 7 on Chloe and her dimples!)

I love this one!

Now I guess we can go from oldest to most recent...

This one here is really our very first family photo, all four of us in our bed, probably just an hour or two after Chessa was born. Maybe even less time than that, she is still just wrapped in blankets and a towel.

And even though you can't see me in this one, I am obviously right there on the other side of the bed. And I like that Kalis is in it. (Our sweet white doggie, she is not with us anymore.) And you can see how Chloe was with Chessa from the moment Chessa was born, right there to help with every single thing, so full of love for her!

Well, as you can see, most of our family photos were taken ourselves, with an arm reaching out holding the camera. Really there are more that my mom and sister have taken, but this is all I could find for now. And look, here again we have a funny face and lots of dimples!

Oh, and I almost forgot, I have some first day of school pictures. Not pictures of this weeks first day of school, but Chloe's first day of kindergarten 3 years ago.

Chessa thinks she is smiling in this one!

Okay, so that was so many more than seven, I will try harder to stick to the limit next time.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Happy Autumn

Wishing you all a wonderful happy autumn season!

(p.s. This is Jason's beautiful chalkboard drawing that greeted Chloe and Chessa on the first day of autumn last year. Which was also our first day of second grade last year. And also Jason's birthday. And tomorrow is our first day of third grade! And also Jason's birthday, again, too, of course..)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Apples and Trains (and Bears too!)

Look how many apples there were already at this time last year! How pleased the girls look... Chessa is thrilled!

For the past year Jason has worked part time for the historic railroad in our town. (It has been running since 1882! Still coal-fired/steam operated.) Most of these apples were picked from trees along the railroad tracks where no one else can really get to them.

Jason's job is to ride along in a little patrol car and make sure the tracks are safe. Sometimes there is some maintenance to do, sometimes there is a fire to put out, but there is also plenty of time to enjoy the scenery!

Lots of wildlife too!

Jason saw this bear (below) one day early in March. It had obviously just woken up from it's winter sleep! It was drowsy, yawning, stretching, and basking in the warm sun! Sometimes he would see a mama bear with her cubs.

This is the depot in the little town the train goes to. The tourists get off and wander around, Jason goes and has lunch by the river, maybe takes a little hike. Then he starts the 3 hour ride back down.

These pictures were taken last year in early September. Snow already!

And here are some other nice autumn pictures from last September.

Goodness, was that enough pictures for you?

Sunday, September 13, 2009


I hardly know where to begin, and I don't mean to sound all dramatic, cause it's not like anything bad has happened. Quite the opposite actually. But yesterday Jason went out of town, he will be gone 3 weeks!!! and that is just totally crazy for us! So everything is feeling kind of off... the past week was super busy getting him ready to go... we were in town 3 or 4 days which is more than we sometimes go in one month... and we have never been apart for anywhere near this long! About once a year he will go on a backpacking trip for a few nights, occasionally a skateboarding trip for a couple days, he has even worked at home for most of the girls lives, so we are really used to having daddy around! I guess you may be wondering where is he went... He is at "Tracker School", a nature and wilderness survival school, all the way across the country in New Jersey. He flew there Saturday. (It did not go so well, he threw up 5 times, I wonder if he would care that I am telling you this...) But he made it, he is excited to learn, and even more excited to come home with the experience and knowledge.

The girls have of course been pretty sad about him going for so long, but they actually did really well today for his first day gone. They played with paper dolls all day. Really, the whole entire day. They started making them at about 8 this morning and cleaned up at 5 for dinner. I had to make them stop in the middle of the day to eat. Once I heard Chloe say, in a pretend daddy voice, (cause they have lots of play voices), "Guys, I have to tell you something. I'm sorry, but we're paper."

Now, the results of my hectic, scattered, distracted week... Jason is a pretty emotional person, he said with all the butterflies in his stomach he probably didn't even need an airplane to fly across the country, so he didn't have much of an appetite. So I made him cinnamon rolls. Surely he could manage that. (And a spinach lasagna for dinner Friday night.) I wanted to double the cinnamon roll recipe so there would be extra for him to take with him. I accidentally quadrupled it! 30 cinnamon rolls! Anyone want some? Wish I could share...

Good thing we have an abundance of fruit to make the breakfast a little more healthy. Apples from the forest! There is a valley here that long ago had many orchards. Now there are wild apple trees scattered about, Jason brought home so many bags of apples last autumn, this is just the beginning for this year. Nectarines too, which we picked at my brother-in-laws house. And the girls even love the crabapples!

I tried to take some pictures from the car while we were driving home from one of those many town trips last week. Jason took the camera on his trip, but my sister sent me hers so soon I will be able to take more pics.

It's still pretty green here, but every day it's looking a little more golden...