Friday, August 22, 2014

Simple, happy things

It's Friday! We've had a great week. We're settling into our new routines, with two weeks under our belts. It's going better than I'd expected. Both small Bears love their teachers and are adjusting well. Homeschool time in the afternoons went better this week; we're getting lots done and we've had plenty of time to play too. My mornings are very productive; I've been able to shop, clean, organize (I bought more yarn bins, it was getting desperate) and spend some quiet time alone in the house - something I've craved for a while. Yes, I think I like this new chapter in my life.

I've been paying more attention to the little things lately. I don't know if it's the buoyant mood I'm in due to the return to routines, or the time I'm able to spend with my own thoughts, or the slight change in the weather as we cruise toward fall. Maybe it's some of each. All I know is that I feel good these days. Life is full and busy but not unpleasantly so. It's that nice level of busy, the purposeful kind. Not running ragged, just getting things done and being up.

Just now, I am...


Picking the apples from our backyard tree. I keep this bowl on the kitchen counter and everyone helps him or herself.


Peeling apples all the time. There's a lot you can do with apples, such as...


Baking an apple crisp. It's my own improvised recipe, slightly lower in sugar and butter, but with all the juice you don't even miss them. Apples are awesome.



Watching my children work with their hands. He's learning to use a lucet, she's becoming more dexterous all the time.


Hatching a crafty plot of my own (more to come soon...)


Discovering double-yolk eggs (we're almost certain that they're coming from Penny, who mostly lays a big egg every other day, whereas Betty lays a smaller one daily).


Admiring a birthday gift to myself (to put away until November), a vintage 1940's crocheted doily wall-hanging I found on Etsy. It will work well in my strawberry-themed kitchen.


Making soups for dinner again, now that it's not so hot anymore. This one was chicken and rice.


Rejoicing because my favorite hand soap is back in the store, after being out of stock for months.



Relishing the return of Private Fridays (today was our first one since May). We lingered over coffee, browsed a thrift store and a rock-and-mineral shop and had a leisurely lunch, all on a cool, rainy morning that felt like fall. I love having time with my old Bear again.


Enjoying the early mornings, especially as the season changes. The sunrises and sunsets have been gorgeous lately. The Bear took this photo on our street as he left for work the other day.


Posing for a new family photo on the Bear's birthday. Me and my three lovely Bears.

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Thank you for the wonderful comments on my Ice Cream Flowers blanket. I'm really proud of it. I feel like I could crochet anything now. It's amazing what a complex project can do for your confidence. And you're all so kind, I was blushing reading what you wrote about it. Thanks. And welcome, new readers and followers. I'm so glad you're here.

53 comments:

  1. That sunrise is incredible! And great pic of you guys. Have a good weekend.

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  2. What an absolutely beautiful photo of you all. Have a good weekend. CJ xx

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  3. That is a gem of a family photo. We are collecting a few of the early variety apples too. I missed your blanket post but I think it is sensational. Jo x

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  4. Beautiful family photo. I wouldn't mind your recipe for apple crisp! We've got a tree with cooking apples that are nearly ready and I never do enough with them. Have a lovely weekend. J x

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  5. What a beautiful family photo. Your children are gorgeous. Happy weekend to you.
    Anne xx

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  6. Your family photo is lovely, you all look so happy!! Glad that you are enjoying your return to your routines and that you are finding lots of things to do in your extra time to yourself! xx

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  7. What a lovely post. I've had you on my blog list for quite some time but only read your 'About Me' today. Its funny how blogging connects people. **Anne**, 2 comments above me, follows my blog in Australia and I follow her and here we are in New Mexico, following you! I love it!
    You certainly do some beautiful work and your pictures are fantastic. You have a beautiful family.

    Cheers - Joolz xx

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  8. I've never heard of a lucet before, so I checked out your link. What a neat tool and a fun thing to use!
    I love your family photo and I love that you love spending time with your bear!

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  9. Glad everyone is settling into their new routine, especially you :)
    And what a beautiful photo if you all :)
    Jillxo
    Ps can't wait to see what the yarn and fabric become :)

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  10. Sweet sweet photo of your beautiful family, Jennifer. Do I see a resemblance between mother and son and father and daughter? My own daughter is a carbon copy of her Cretan dad!

    Poppy

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  11. Well I have absorbed some of your happiness as I have read this post, Jennifer. I enjoyed your news and viewing your lovely family photo along with the photos before it. I plan to meet with some friends tomorrow and want to make more progress on the scrapbook I am making for my youngest Grand, Rosie. Wishing you joy this weekend as well! xx

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  12. What a lovely family photo ! So nice to see all of you !
    Any possibility we'll see the recipe of the apple crisp with less sugar ;-) ? I'm interested...
    And the soup season started here as well - my Hubby is a huge soup lover, and every year it's the same... The first day temperatures start to drop, he starts begging that I make soup.... Well, still an easy way to keep a husband content ;-) !
    Love your vintage doily !!

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  13. Such a lovely family photo, one to treasure. It is certainly soup eating time here at the moment, very chilly evenings. Your crochet blanket was so inspiring I have taken up crochet again Thank you xx

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  14. It's truly wonderful to hear you are feeling good. I'm looking forward to returning to a normal routine too - school starts for all of us next week. And what a beautiful family photo! xxx

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  15. Every photo was better than the previous one and you definitely saved the best for last. A gorgeous, happy family. :o)

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  16. Back into the routine, with differences. Enjoy your me time and bear time, I'm so glad the little bears are settling well. The family photo is just beautiful!

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  17. Gorgeous family pic. You all look so happy! Sounds like lovely mornings at home for you. Enjoy ❤️

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  18. I'm looking forward to getting back to the routine, and starting a new term too. I know it's not me starting anything, but it always feels as if the change in school year is for all of us. I wonder if I will still feel like that once Matt leaves full time education?
    Your family photo is wonderful. I hope you have it on display somewhere. Have a great weekend. x

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  19. Lovely post, Jennifer. Those simple happy things, and heartwarming family times are the best!
    Happy weekend.
    Helen xox

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  20. What a lovely post Jennifer, I feel quite relaxed having read it! :)
    What a beautiful family photo, thank you for sharing.
    V x

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  21. Just reading your post makes me feel good too Jennifer, I'm so glad things are good in your life just now. I love that family picture it's one to be kept and treasured, you have a lovely family. :)

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  22. Beautiful family photo. Nice to back in a good routine, you can't beat it...

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  23. What a lovely family portrait, you all look so happy and relaxed. The apple crisp looks interesting.

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  24. It sounds like you've settled in to your new routine well and are enjoying everything about it. The apple crisp looks delicious and the photo of you all is really lovely.

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  25. You have the most gorgeous family, inside and out. I love that you have shown us a picture of all of you, so lovely. Glad you are getting time for yourself, that is so, so important for your sanity as a Mother. Have a wonderful weekend and glad the little bears are loving school and their teachers.
    Meredith

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  26. Yay to the return of private Fridays! I bet you have lots of lovely things planned for future Fridays too! Your family photo is so nice, the small bears are really growing! The soup looks delicious, it's still warm here but I cannot wait until it's soup making time. Have a great weekend!

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  27. What a beautiful family you have Jennifer! I feel happy just reading your happy post. Thank you. Cx

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  28. When we have a good, happy mood, everything seems to fall into place. I don't mind slow and constant busy, it's the rat race that stresses me out. My first week back at school went well. I like working only 8-2. One more week of that and then my 11th grader starts school and it will be back to the regular routine, getting out early and home later. Not looking forward to that so much. I make soup all year long, despite the heat. It's comfort food to me and I need comfort often ... especially on stressful days. :) Have a great weekend. Tammy

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  29. Hello! It is lovely to see such a happy photo of your family, you must be proud of them. Looks like your children are following you in your crafty footsteps! Such beautiful photos, thanks for sharing a glimpse at your life! And yes, soup: I just made some myself, the weather is much cooler now... Curious about your crochet! I hope you will let us know soon! Cute fabric!
    Have a lovely weekend!
    Ingrid xx
    http://myfunkycrochet.blogspot.be

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  30. Oh I absolutely love apples! That apple crumble looks delicious. -And what a nice family photo. You all look so happy. :)

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  31. Lovely pictures, and what a gorgeous sunrise that is.

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  32. Apple crisp.. yum yum.. I love all the fallish things in this post. I'm ready for Autumn, too. We've had the hottest summer ever. I look forward to seeing what you're creating with that pretty off white crochet.
    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  33. I so love the way you express your thoughts. I also enjoy that I can identify with so many of them even though are lives are rather different ( no small bears at home here) ~ your core thoughts are so similar to mine at times !
    Isn't it great that your hens are giving you such lovely eggs .
    That family photo is beautiful.
    Wishing you a wonderful weekend,
    Fondly,
    Willow

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  34. Now this is awesome! Having all of those apples on hand is such a wonderful gift! And the return to routines does do something for the soul....been loving it over here as well! Such a beautiful family Jennifer! Enjoy your time...I have no doubt you will be making some amazing things!! Nicole xoxo

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  35. What a lovely family picture! And that beautiful sunrise. So pretty! Hope you have a happy weekend ... Bee xx

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  36. Great family photo - and those apples look lovely. The ones I've spotted growing wild around here all look a bit cankered, whereas yours look like perfect examples!
    Time alone in the house... one of life's biggest luxuries. Enjoy!
    Sarah x

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  37. Oh Jennifer all your photos are so evocative and very powerful. They convey so much emotion.I swear your should take up photography as a profession, you are amazing. What a gorgeous family photo. You are a beautiful family .I wish I was brave enough to have a family photo. ~I was recently asked by an agency to join their books as a model, as flattered as I was I still couldn't go and have my photo taken. I have always been a shy person .I hope that one day I will be brave enough to post a photo of me, as long as you take it, lol

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  38. I just love the family photo! You have a great looking family, Jennifer! My daughter starts TK tomorrow morning - four half days a week. I am still planning to do part-time homeschool with her as well. I would love to hear more about how you homeschool part-time in the afternoons with your children. It will be an adjustment for me not having her here four mornings a week, but I also think it will be a good break for me. More time to exercise, cook, clean, think, or really whatever I want to do. I think she is excited, too! Your soup looks really good. I would love to have your recipe, if you wouldn't mind sharing it. And congrats to you for buying yourself an early birthday present... it's lovely!

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  39. We've still got a week and a half before we start the new routines again, my eldest starting college so a big difference this year. I am up to my eyes in apples also. So much fruit this year and with the slight nip in the air it certainly feels like a good harvesting time. Your family photo is so lovely and natural, one to put on a canvas for the wall :-) xx

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  40. It's so lovely to hear your feeling so good. There's ten days for us before the start of school but routines won't fully be in place until BigR starts full days (she has 2 weeks of 2 hour sessions). I'm trying not to wish the summer away but I'm excited about the Autumn. Especially for dessert opportunities...that crumble looks delicious. I love your family pic - we really need to get one done of us with everyone awake!!

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  41. I love that photo of the four of you, it's just lovely. This post just radiates contentment, you sound like you're in a really good, happy place. :-) x

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  42. Hi Jennifer...that blanket is fantabulous!
    Pat on the back to you♥️
    Glad your'e settling in to your new routine...you sound very happy...
    Enjoy your week...
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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  43. What a lovely family photo - something to treasure. I've been using our plums every way I can think of. My shoulder is sore now from cutting up so many for crumbles and stewing. Our apples are ready now too so I'll have to start using them as well. It's great to have so much home produced food but sometimes the amount of it is a bit overwhelming!

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  44. I love all your happy things, especially the photo of the gorgeous sunrise and one of the four of you together--it's a really lovely family portrait. I also like your crocheted doily wall hanging and your strawberry themed kitchen. I made a strawberry shaped photo/memo board last year...Have a lovely week! x

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  45. I think it's so wonderful that you've learned to appreciate the simple things in life at your young age. Some people don't until they are closer to my age, and some just never get it. Passing this on to your children is such a wonderful gift for them. Love the family photo. Your son looks so much like his dad, and your little girl looks so much like you -- such sweetness!

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  46. What a beautiful family portrait. Cherish it Jennifer, we have lots of photographs of the children together when younger but seem to have lost the box that had the whole family shots in it.

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  47. What a great family photo! I use the same hand soap (the TJ's lemon soap) in my kitchen. :-)

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  48. Hey Jennifer,
    I'm sat with a cup of tea, basking in the contentment radiating from this post! Hoorah for time alone, simple pleasures, favourite things and lovely families like yours. I am inspired to have a family portrait of us taken too.
    Leanne xx

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  49. such a lovely happy family photo xxx

    and that sky. oh my ........

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  50. What lovely happy moments you have had, I'm glad that you're feeling so good again and that life has settled down in to a pleasing routine. x

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  51. I really love that happy family photo! Being busy and feeling good - what more could you ask?

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