The leaves are beginning to change colors and pumpkins & mums are appearing on neighbors' doorsteps. Aaaaah... Fall is here!
I am thinking...
About all of the upcoming holidays! I LOVE everything about the next few months--Halloween, All Saints, Thanksgiving...and dare I mention the "C" word yet?? Ok, I'll just say Advent and spare you guys the anxiety of the "C" word for now! :p Last year we really missed out on the fun of October through December amidst the towers of moving boxes! So, this year I am planning on savoring Every. Single. Moment. of Autumn! It's been so much fun pulling out boxes of decorations we didn't got to see last year, and finding new homes for everything in the new house. I've been LOVING having a mantel to decorate, too, since our old house had no fire place. So much fun!
|Our Halloween Mantel|
I am thankful...
As I mentioned, this time last year was CHAOTIC, so I am just thankful for the calm of this year, so far. Being settled in the new house and having a much more sane homeschool routine has made for a very peaceful mama!. Aaaaaaah...it's so nice to have a slower more predictable "rhythm" of every day life again.
In the kitchen...
As part of my "oh-how-I-love-having-a-normal-life-back" theme, I've been pulling out my favorite Fall recipes! I been making Butternut Squash Soup (with bacon in it! YUM!!), mulled cider, chili...basically anything that screams fall! I've also been scouring pinterest for some other yummy things to try.
I am creating...
...lots and lots of Halloween decorations for the party we're having in a couple weeks! Adam and Megan both have autumn birthdays and LOVE all things Halloween, so we thought we'd do a combined birthday party for them. It's been so much fun putting up spider webs and cutting out paper silhouettes!
|Silhouettes are such a fun and easy way to decorate!|
I am going...
We actually just got back from a trip to the Outer Banks last week, so this is more "where I've already been"! Each summer we visit OBX and thought it would be nice to try an off-season trip for a change. It was beautiful! Since the weather was cooler than the unbearably hot and humid temperatures of July, we got to do some things we'd never done before, including a walk on the sand dunes and a climb to the top of a light house. And we got to play mini golf MINUS THE SWEAT!! I am a huge fan of NOT-sweating!! It was such a relaxing trip. :)
|Feeding the (somewhat frighteningly close!!) seagulls on the beach|
|At the Aquarium|
|The littles having fun in the sand!|
|The kids getting a "lesson" from Dad on how to hold a gold club (read: how to avoid holding it like a weapon!)|
|...hmmmmm, not too sure about all of this...|
|...but the soup is sure yummy!|
|My little girl turned 4 on our trip! What better way to celebrate a birthday than with donuts for breakfast?!|
|...and a trip to the arcade!|
|...and why not some chocolate cake, too?!|
|Oh, why not just go ahead and wrap up this big ol' sugar-fest with some cupcakes while we're at it?!|
|walking on the dunes (need to work off all that sugar lol!!)|
|Light house tour|
|Gorgeous view from the top of the lighthouse|
|Luke & me inside the lighthouse|
|lots and lots of stairs to climb!|
|Chili Cheese dogs from Sonic! (And yes, Luke ate the entire footlong!)|
|We had such a wonderful trip!|
How to invest myself in future ministries and service projects. I LOVE using my time and talents to do meaningful things, and had to step back from a lot last year with all of the changes that were going on. Now that things have settled down I feel eager to try some new things, but haven't figured out what just yet. Stay tuned! :)
I am reading...
I have been LOVING The Shelter of Each Other . It was a book a friend had passed along to me in a box full of old books which I started to casually peruse and immediately got hooked! It's one of the best books I've read on the subject of family. I highly recommend it if you're interested in the topic of family dynamics and building intimacy. In our homeschool studies we're doing a Colonial/Revolutionary unit right now, so we've been reading all about Benjamin Franklin, Patrick Henry, and diving into some classics like Johnny Tremain and Carry On Mr. Bowditch. I think I'm enjoying it as much as the kids! (I've always loved this time period in history!)
I am hoping...
...we are done with Indian Summer here in Connecticut! This past week has been downright HOT and we'd already removed the a/c units from our windows, which has resulted in lots and lots of sweating (remember how I mentioned how much I enjoy NOT-SWEATING?!) It has not been good. Cooler weather, please?
I am looking forward to...
Country fairs, apple picking, kids in costumes, crunchy-leafed hikes in the woods, pumpkin lattes (already had one last week, actually!), pumpkin carving-- and best of all-- pumpkin seeds!!
I am learning...
...how great it is to have a husband who works from home! Kevin was recently offered the opportunity to work at home (being a computer programmer and all!) which he gladly accepted. It's been AWESOME to be able to run to the store for milk or drop off a library book without needing to bring the 4 kids or work around baby nap-times! I can definitely get used to this!
Around the house...
Lately I've been trying to figure out how best to organize our school books. We homeschool in our dining room, and I've been toying with the idea of switching to the living room. This would entail a huge re-arrange of our shelves and cabinets, though, which I'm not completely sold on yet. I like the idea of not needing to clear everything off the table for meals (especially when we're in the middle of a messy art project!), but am not sure about committing to the living room idea yet. Need to think more about this!
I am pondering...
How to better incorporate saint and Feast Days into our homeschool studies. I always want to do more fun things like make blue cupcakes in May or tissue paper flowers for St. Therese...you know...more Catholic Icing types of things, but unless I plan ahead they don't usually happen. I may manage to read a saint story or say an extra prayer, but I want to do more of the special activities. So, I'm working on putting together a calendar for myself of feast days with coordinating stories and crafts/recipes that we can do each month. I'm trying to create a balance where it's not too much to actually accomplish--I tend to go big when I start projects LOL! Balance has always been a challenge for this all-or-nothing girl!
A favorite quote for today...
I read this little snippet in an issue of Real Simple while I was in bed last night that resonated with me:
"[The deeper meaning of the movie] It's a Wonderful Life is...about how hard
it is for all of us to see the magic of life as we're living it. What George comes
to realize is that even the things he took for granted or the things he didn't like
(like that pesky banister knob that keeps coming off his stairway) are part of the
transcendent texture of the everyday. And that's a lesson we all have to keep
relearning, because life seems almost designed to make us forget it."
First of all, I LOVE the movie It's a Wonderful Life, so I was immediately interested in anything someone had to say about it. Second of all, I loved the idea of the "transcendent texture of the everyday". What a beautiful phrase to describe the bits and pieces of our days--the beautiful moments, the ordinary and mundane, the predictable, the tedious...and all of the ones we take for granted. I love the idea that all of the moments of our lives can be transcendent, so long as remember to...well, remember. This idea is very eucharisteo.
One of my favorite things...
I picked up a bottle of Bailey's Raspberry White Chocolate coffee creamer from the store the other day and OH MY YUM! It is soooooo good! I also recently rediscovered my love for my french press coffee maker! Since I got a Keurig for Christmas a few years ago, I haven't used the french press much, but it makes a dang good cup o' joe! So, between the Bailey's creamer and the french press, I've been one happy (and caffeinated!) mama this week!
A peek into my day...
|My little chunk is 7 months old already! Time is flying with this little (or not so little!) guy!|