Fall colors, fair fun, moody skies. School days fly by with lots of books and drawing and music and math. Millie is learning about ancient British history, which is a pre-cursor to the (closer-to-home) American history Lyddie is now learning. I am reading through a lot of the girls' books ahead of time so that I am a little ahead of the curve. Homeschooling is really a part-time job, did you know that? It takes me several hours every day to prep, teach, clean up, and prep for the next day. It means I have to pick and choose what I'm able to accomplish or participate in very carefully to leave time for keeping up with running the home, spending time with Rosie, managing my friendships that I cherish, and maintaining one or two things that are mainly for me, like knitting or cross-stitching or reading or, yes, exercising (my least favorite but probably most essential renewed "hobby"). If something doesn't make the cut it doesn't mean it's not wonderful or important but just that I am so completely aware of my finite abilities that I know I won't do anything well if I add it in. What a balancing act.
We are participating/helping with Kingdom Kids two afternoons a week. All of us girls really enjoy going and being with the kids and having fun. I find it really life-giving. I try to keep an open hand with whatever the Lord has put in front of me, knowing that my main priorities of mothering this stage may call me elsewhere, but I feel thankful that my little three are doing well and enabling me to participate in something outside of our home that brings me such joy and delight in the long run.
I haven't done any canning or preserving of any kind this year, which is really unusual but unsurprising, so to make up for it, I bought two boxes of peaches that I'm quickly trying to can so we have several jars to grab this winter to go alongside soup dinners. Fourteen jars in and I still have another whole box to put up. I also have a cantaloupe I want to make into jam from Food in Jars- a recipe I've been wanting to try for a few years because we really love melon. I plan to do some applesauce too, if I can, and that's about it.
We had a surprise batch of chicks hatch from a broody free-ranging hen and they are just the absolute cutest thing. Although we weren't desirous of any more chickens, (we already have about 17), I never get tired of watching them trail after their mama, who is as protective as can be and fiercely fluffs her feathers up and will fly at anyone ostensibly posing a threat to her brood. Motherhood is fierce and wonderful.
As long as I'm just writing a rambly post, I'll note my booklist:
- The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss is a really well written novel in the fantasy genre but is what I'd call "gateway" fantasy. The story is very good and it doesn't really fit all the "tropes" that some of the fantasy series rely so heavily on. Jesse also picked it up to reread it after I started, in order to beat me to the second book, which, since I did give it to him last year as a gift, I guess I should defer to him.
- I'm also reading Harry Potter: The Order of the Phoenix,
- Slowly making my way through Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard,
- Reading Volume II: Parents and Children of Charlotte Mason's Home Education series (excellent and full of Aha! moments!)
- finally nearing the end of listening to The Count of Monte Cristo along with the CraftLit podcast
- and delighting in listening to The Green Jacket along with the Forgotten Classics podcast
- Pinocchio for the first time ever and
- Otto of the Silver Hand by Howard Pyle, which is a book I remember really loving when I read it as a child for school and I think Lyddie is going to love it when I hand it to her as a free read,
- Now I'm working on the Crimson Fairy Book of fairy stories compiled by Andrew Lang.