Well now, that was quite an extended break, wasn’t it?
Clearly I was speaking a little loftily when I implied that I could manage several creative pursuits at once! I have been having a grand old time behind the scenes making things and playing music, but I miss this space and I want to get back to it.
And while I was away I was really actually away- like on the other side of the planet, away. We took our family trip to Europe this summer- to meet up with my sister’s family who are living there- and then my brother-in-law and family came and met us too, so it was a time of cousins and family and sunshine! It was beautiful, exciting, magical and sometimes downright tough (taking a 3-year-old to the Colosseum in the heat of August is not for the faint of heart!) but such a gift for our family in so many ways.
(And in case any of you homeschool families are wondering if we just happen to be independently wealthy- um, no. We live simply, in a little cabin on one income, and we scrimped and saved for a long time, and still- it was rather a stretch! But we decided this was a chance we just had to take. Any envy you might be feeling would likely evaporate with a single glance at our VISA bill.)
So we went and we came back home. We have a thousand stories to tell and likely many will weave their way in here.
We are still reminiscing around the dinner table about our little apartment in Rome with the windows that opened on the neighbourhood square, that gelato place in Perugia with the most incredible flavours, the awesome game the cousins made up on the rock formations on a beach on Paros, that night where our little one fell asleep at dinner and woke up in the bustling old town with her siblings and cousins ordering fancy desserts and she groggily but happily chose one herself…
Oh and that little family run gyros place with best food and the cool motorbike delivery set up, and playing in the park at 10:00 at night with the Greek kids (who all nap in the afternoon!) and that amazing sandcastle they built that was flattened by a big wave when a ferry passed, or that tiny baby kitten we visited in a white-washed Greek alley…
So many memories we made, and we will keep sifting through them and reliving our adventures together.
But now we are home. And we are all glad to be (if you are planning a trip with kids be sure to leave the big, crowded cities to the end so that you will be truly exhausted and ready to go and glad for the peace and quiet of your own home!)
We have settled back in, back into the routines and schedules and activities that fill our days, back into our homeschooling learning adventures, back home together. That’s the best part of traveling, isn’t it? Coming back home?
And I hope to come back home to this space more often again. I am excited about what we are up to this year in our homeschool realm and hoping to share it here as I am able.
Happy October, Friends!
I was lucky enough to be asked some time ago to join a mama’s craft collaborative. A bunch of wonderful, creative mamas making beautiful things to sell in a shop together was a dream come true- except that I hadn’t made anything at all in more than a year. I’d packed up my yarn and my fabric. I would pull out a pair of socks, or a hat, or a pair of pants I had made years ago for the boys and tell Flora “Mama made it!” and she would look at me funny- clearly wondering how on earth that was possible.
I’ve been compiling a list in my journal of books that I want to read this year. It is mostly fiction, as fiction is one of the great loves of my post-kid lifetime that I have mostly let slip away, and I miss it a lot.
But making this list involved a great deal of careful curation. I read reviews and browsed book lists and took notes. I had my eye out for words like “poignant” and “life- affirming” and avoided words like “dark” or “tragic.” There are entire worlds inside those covers- and there are many that are not good places for me to visit.
As I’ve grown older and gotten to know myself better, I’ve come to accept that I will carry the stories and characters of the books I read, and the movies I watch, and the news stories I listen to, around with me long after the books have been hauled off to the thrift-store and the TV and radio turned off. I need to choose carefully.
I need books that reminds me of the beauty of the world, the strength of the human spirit. They can break my heart, they can force me to think of things in a new way, but they can’t invade my mind with terror or darkness. There has to be hope. There has to be beauty.
I know lots of people find February tough, but I it’s a month I don’t mind so much. Now March and April are a different story up here in the North, but February is alright. Winter hasn’t over-stayed its welcome quite yet. It still feels cozy to sit by the fire with a book, and there is often sun and good snow to play in. We sometimes get a little warm spell and the roads melt out and we get all hopeful for spring even if we know in our hearts it is still months away.
But then, perhaps I should not talk too soon. Most of these pictures were taken in January. But right now, I am at peace with the weather and the winter. Homeschooling is going really well. We are reading good books and spending time with friends. February, so far, is treating us very well.
I loved the idea of homeschool Morning Time when I first came across it a couple years ago. The idea is basically to build a habit of coming together in the morning to share books, poetry, drawing- anything that the whole family can enjoy while everyone is still gathered round the breakfast table.
I loved the sounds of it, and even tried a few versions last year, but my littlest one was not not a willing participant, and it was too difficult to keep it going. But recently I though I’d give it another go, and now that Flora is a little older (she’s 2.5 now,) and can be included, it is really working for us.
It has been pretty dreamy, actually. The kids are loving this time to gather together and I get a little giddy seeing how much we can get accomplished before we even get out of our PJs (if you follow me on Instagram, you know my kids hardly ever get out of their pjs- but I do. Most days anyway.)