I am hearing... Kids playing on the computer, dishwasher humming
Outside my window... gray and drizzly - real November weather!
Around the house... we are hunkered down in cozy indoor mode - crafting, reading, creating. The house is warm and glowing with fall decor. I am sorting clothes and trying to get everything put away for this season.
In the yard... Everything has been cleaned up and put to bed for the winter. A few flowers are still hanging on in a pot by the back door - I just can't pull them out when they are still blooming optimistically!
From the kitchen... Fall foods - apples, pumpkin, squash... and big plans for the big Thanksgiving feast next week. It's always fairly traditional here. Jeff and I adopted a stuffing recipe as our own a few years back - sausage stuffing dressed up with apples and craisins - so good and pretty too!
Living the liturgy... We have focused on learning new saint stories this month, as well as praying for the Holy Souls. Earlier in the month we created some saint paper dolls using the templates here. Now I am trying to make a plan for Advent because it always sneaks up on me and I want to be prepared this year. We usually keep it simple - straws in a basket represent good deeds done for Baby Jesus, an Advent calendar hangs on the fridge, and our Advent wreath is lit at least on Sundays.
Learning notes... We have a simple routine now that involves a little table time every day and we have made decent progress in acquiring some helpful skills like telling time, counting money, writing numbers, etc. Lots of our time is used creating art and pictures, which I like to use as reading time since little hands are occupied and busy little bodies are (more or less) stationary. We have read stacks of fall-themed picture books, along with the kids' picks from the library - books on topics like space travel, electronics, and weather, which may or may not be way above their levels, but fun to look at none-the-less. I have been much more consistent with keeping notes each week on what we have explored, both formally and informally, and find it a good and encouraging habit for myself personally.
The kids this week... seem to have imaginations in overdrive. The complexity of their play is mind-boggling - I'm just getting used to having older kids, I think. Benjamin turns 6 on Friday and he's sooo excited. Birthdays are big fun here!
Last weekend... We did all of our activities, including Mass and confession, on Saturday. Sunday and most of Monday (before Jeff left for work) were total down-time - no commitments or appointments, just go ole' hang-out-at-home-time! It was much needed after a busy fall and with the holiday season rapidly approaching. Nice recharge - I recommend it!
Some plans for the week... It's a busy birthday week here. Mine is Thursday and Benjamin's is Friday! I will be hanging with my sis on Thursday and hopefully doing some last minute errands for Benj's birthday, and Friday we will have a small family celebration for him. We will probably take him to do something fun on Saturday when Jeff isn't working. I am also busily planning our Thanksgiving festivities next week, as well as the homeschool St. Nicholas party to be held here only 5 days later. I am looking forward to a low-key December focused on Advent!
Pondering in my heart... How to balance the excessive busy-ness of the upcoming season with the goal of turning inward and fostering thankfulness, peace and joy. And how to bring joy to those not feeling as celebratory this time of year...
I am thankful for... Online shopping. Did we ever really have to go out to compare prices and look for everything? Thanks, Mom, for ever getting me what I actually wanted for Christmas!!
I am praying... for someone dear struggling with depression.
A picture to share... Benjamin's tomato project. These were started outside before the cold weather arrived - we are going to see if they survive indoors. Note 5-year-old's inability to make a normal face :)