Saturday, July 20, 2013

Lately



















I almost wish we were butterflies and liv'd but three summer days - three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.”- John Keats

Our summer days have been delightful. Most days are hot but the clouds begin to roll in around lunchtime. By late afternoon, there may be a thunderstorm which goes on into evening. There is usually at least a nice breeze. It doesn't feel so oppressively hot anymore like it did in June. We get our dog days out of the way early where I live; June is stiflingly, monotonously hot and dry but July and August bring variety. The weather seems a little different every day.

Yesterday, we had over one inch of rainfall. We had a huge storm roll through between five and six in the morning. Then another even larger one developed in the afternoon, along with quarter-sized hailstones, which fell for more than thirty minutes. The rain came down in sheets, there was bright lightning, strong winds and very loud thunder. It was actually very scary. We were all at home and both small Bears seemed fairly unfazed, but I was feeling really anxious. The hail fell so hard and in such volume, I was afraid the skylights would shatter. As it was, many plants were damaged; our sunflowers took a particularly serious beating. We're glad for the water but it doesn't always come without cost.

Summer break is winding down for us. I read so many blogs from all different corners of the world and it always surprises me to learn more about the school calendar in other places. For us, summer vacation has been in effect since the third week in May. School starts in mid-August for us. We have nine weeks down and three to go, then my small Bears will be back at school. I will have a second-grader and a preschooler. The GB will be in her second year of preschool, actually, but we have added a day this year. Now she'll go three mornings a week. The LB will go four mornings; his public alternative school combines homeschool with traditional classroom time, equal parts of each. We've continued our homeschooling throughout the summer to keep him in the routine. Next year, they'll both be in the same school. I'm excited about that; less driving and no more tuition costs.

Swimming lessons are over and the library's summer reading program has just one week left. Our final weeks of summer vacation will be a little slower. I like the pace we've set for ourselves. We don't feel rushed - we have lots of time for crafting and art and reading and pretend-play. There are backyard mornings and baking afternoons. Time at the sewing machine while listening to the radio. Crocheting while listening to audiobooks. Dressing-up and molding clay and painting with watercolors. We're all keeping busy, but gently so. I do enjoy the (mostly) stress-free days we have in summertime. But I'm craving the routine again. I'm not one who does well with lots of unstructured time. My nature is to keep busy and always have something on the go. Summer with my children is actually a healthy break for me: I am reminded to slow down, to pay attention to the small things, to appreciate each minute in the precious, fleeting day.

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Thank you for your comments on my Stormy Monday post. I love writing posts that give my readers a "slice of life" view of my home and my family. I think that's why I decided to start a blog; I just enjoy life at home so much. I want to cherish it and celebrate it. Some readers asked about the crochet I was working on that day; it's going to be a ripple baby blanket for a friend who is expecting a baby girl in the fall. I am glad that the colors seem to be working well together; I didn't want it to look too "baby," and I went with what I considered to be a more sophisticated color palette.

On the crochet front, I've committed a cardinal sin (well, for me it is). I think I'm going to abandon a project. I had been working on Alicia Paulson's adorable Mina dress, for my GB to wear this winter, but I don't think I'm doing it right. It was going perfectly for me throughout the process of making the bodice but the skirt has me stymied. I don't want to give up and I'm very willing to start over if I can get it right, but Mina and I aren't getting along very well at the moment. Maybe I'll try again after a little break...

25 comments:

  1. Looks like your small bears have been having lots of fun. Our school holidays are just beginning this weekend and are for only 6 weeks, they have another 2 off over Christmas and 2 over Easter with a week off between each of those holidays :) xx

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  2. Looking forward to following a little bit of life in New Mexico. x

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  3. Don't give up on the dress! I do know how you feel though as I restarted my dress so many times, I was sooooo ready to quit! (and it still isn't finished...) I am keeping at it though. Is there anybody who you can get a bit of advice from regarding the pattern? We haven't even broken up for summer yet, one more week to go - I cannot wait and hope to book a few days off work. Then we don't go back until the second week in September. But I will be like you, two children at the same school, life is going to get that little bit easier. :) Loving your photos. Have a great week. x

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  4. Hi Jennifer! Fun photos.. you're getting very good at food fotos! :-) Your fruit salad and chocolate cake made my mouth water! You're such a good mom. Sorry your Mina isn't going well.. why not show us a photo and tell us what the problems are and maybe we can help? ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  5. I love your pictures! Your food shots are making me hungry and it looks like the little bears have been having fun.

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  6. A lovely post of everyday summeriness, with great photo's that cake looks super yummy.
    Clare x

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  7. I'm looking at the fruits and salad and thinking yum yum. You got some amazing pictures. The kids all look like they're really having fun. Enjoy the summer and have a great weekend!

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  8. Looks like lots of summer fun t your place.

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  9. It is interesting to note the different school schedules from place to place, as well as the different weather and customs and creatures and plants, but I love the creative energy that is expressed in blogs that I follow, and the common bond of appreciation for the beautiful as well as concern for the hard or scary things in life, like storms! I have lived through some scary storms too...hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, and a sand storm, Oh My! I am glad you and yours weathered your latest storm safely and creatively, Jennifer :) I would like to try making a dress like Mina, too. I hope you don't give up. Maybe you could take a photo of what is concerning you as Teresa suggested, and one of your bloggie friends can help you sort out what is going awry.
    Gracie xx

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  10. Lovely photos. I especially like the look of that chocolate cake!
    Marianne x

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  11. What a lovely post! Love the photos Jennifer. I've been taking photos since Friday, I'll have to share our weekend soon. I love the photo of your flowers on the windowsill, beautiful! Thanks for sharing your life lately with us all. :)

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  12. Hi Jennifer,What a lovely time you're all having!!!Love your salads,fruits and yummy chocolate cake!!!Easy summer living!!!Nice!!!Often to get clarity on something you struggle with,is to put it away and come back to it later!!!!Looks like the bears are really enjoying their holiday!!
    Hope you have a fab week!!!
    Love
    AMarie

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  13. It sounds like it has been a wonderful summer. You are a wise mom to slow down and enjoy the break from routine, even though sometimes it would be easier to have every minute scheduled with activity.

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  14. Gorgeous photography and your little angels are precious!
    That glass vase... did you paint that yourself or buy it that gorgeous color? I have to take my kids bowling this afternoon but I look forward to exploring your blog...
    Tammy x

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  15. Really lovely photos Jennifer. And I LOVE your table and chairs in the kitchen, I would love something like that. Your summer days sound so nice and chilled out but I know what you mean about the lack of structure - I can get quite uneasy if I'm without routine for too long. x

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  16. Gorgeous images!

    School summer holidays here in the UK tie in with the farming year ... August was the month when a century or more ago many kids would have been kept off school anyway to help in the fields.

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  17. Hi Jennifer,

    So nice to meet you! What a wonderful place you live in, your landscape, your home and your blog! The painting activities with your two little cutie patooties reminds me of rainy days spent colouring and creating with my own daughter. I CAN'T believe where the time has gone! I also LOVE strawberries; they are adorable, edible and pure perfection in a strawberry shortcake!

    Have a happy week!

    Your newest follower,

    Poppy

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  18. It feels sort of sad that the carefree summer days are ending. You and your Bears seem to have so much fun together with the crazy weather bringing some excitement. Glad you're all safe. Your photos are beautiful and when I look at them I wonder how you can keep your home so organized and clean with such a beautiful yard. Can you come and live with me? Jayne

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  19. Hello Jennifer.
    What a beautiful home you have. The children look like their having so much fun always lovely to spend quality time crafting with children.
    My daughter and I enjoy painting together x

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  20. My son starts the first full week of August so we start early this year :) We only have about two weeks left and both of my kids are at day camp this week, so not much summer left at all!

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  21. Your summer days look just lovely and relaxing! Your home is so pretty and clean and bright. Love your kitchen! My daughter will start her first year of preschool at the end of August for three mornings a week. I am a bit nervous and excited at the same time. It's a big change for us, as she has always been home with me.

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  22. Another lovely post with snippets of your wonderful family and home life, thank you Jennifer!
    I felt a bit anxious too, reading about your storm - that's how I feel when we have them!
    Happy week to you!
    Joy x

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  23. Lovely family snaps...
    Glad you weathered the storm...
    Summer in full swing here, as well...

    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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  24. You are documenting life...every day, ordinary, beautiful life...so wonderfully! What a happy home. :-)

    Lisa

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