Babies don’t wait

August 23, 2014

The blog has been silent, but I’m feeling pulled to post this week. I am remembering where I was a year ago. A year ago, I was large, my belly rolling to one side as I crawled out of bed. Feeling heavy, hips aching, but loving my round, stretched belly.
At this very moment, I was surrounded by other mamas, being celebrated at my mother blessing. Hearing encouraging words, being given beads that were strung into a necklace to hold during labor, eating cucumbers and Mexican food, having my belly painted with henna. Thinking of the little one, moving in my womb.

A year ago tomorrow, I was harvesting the hops from our vine. Squeezing the blossoms in my fingers to make sure they were ready to be picked. Inhaling that delicious, prickly aroma.
This year, I have been checking on the hops these past few weeks, and they are ready to be plucked from the vines.

I am resistant to harvest them. Summer is ending. So is Hudson’s babyhood.

My last baby. A year ago, I didn’t realize I was mere days from his birth. I didn’t realize he was even a he.

I may have not been ready for his birth, but he certainly was. Two hours from contraction to final push and my last birth was over.

Hudson is our last baby. For the past eight years, we have been working on growing our family. Uncertain in the beginning if we could grow beyond the two of us, now, six years past the birth of our oldest, we know our family is complete with five. It’s hard to comprehend moving past the baby stage, but whether I acknowledge it or not, time moves on. Hudson is almost one. Quickly becoming a toddler. Laughing, playing with his sisters, cruising around on his chubby toes, vrooming cars across our hardwood floors. His gummy smile is being replaced with teeth.

It’s almost overwhelming. Where do I focus? Too soon, the cloth diapers will forever be replaced with underwear. One day in the too-near future, I will no longer nourish a child with milk my body has made.

Reveling in these last few days. Trying to take in the smell of his sweaty, baby head. Squeezing his chubby toes. He’s not one yet. Still a baby. Not quite ready to harvest those hops. Soon. Babies don’t wait.

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Summer Harvests

June 21, 2013

Our road trip was busy, hot, rainy, crazy but a fun time. More pics and details on that soon – as soon as I can sort through my pictures.
Right now though, we’re busy harvesting from our gardens and yard. Peas are being gobbled up and Adelaide loves heading right to the pea bed for a snack as soon as we go outside.

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I’m picking lots of herbs from the yard and my flower bed. Plantain, comfrey, yarrow and lemon balm to dry for a postpartum bath tea, rose petals, chamomile and lavender for belly salve and I also need to make another batch of boo boo salve with calendula, plantain and comfrey. I’m also picking red clover from the lawn to dry for tea and fresh lemon balm goes in my nourishing pregnancy tea every day.

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I also picked a big bowl of mint for mint syrup that I have simmering now.

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It will be delicious over ice cream or in lemonade.

And to celebrate the first day of summer, we made blueberry Popsicles this morning.

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On our way

June 7, 2013

The car is loaded full and we’re on our way. I’m actually blogging from the road, as we left at 5 am. Next stop: Virginia. We’re camping at Mount Rogers National Recreation Area until next week, then heading to Charlotte, NC for a few days (my first visit since we moved back to MI!), then the drag race in Bristol, TN.
See you when we return!

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Nature Studies

June 4, 2013

Our adventures in homeschooling this week have been nature studies (as well as F and the number 6).

We found a dead bee in our windowsill which Eleanore found fascinating. She loved seeing his tiny hairs under the magnifying glass.

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We also found a snail out by our pond which has been great fun to watch. We brought him in for a few days to get a closer look. We will take him back out before we leave on our next camping trip.

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We have also managed to get all of the garden in finally. No pictures yet, but this year we planted potatoes, sweet and hot peppers, tomatoes, Swiss chard, kale, eggplant, broccoli, cabbage, peas, zucchini, winter squash, pickling and slicing cucumbers, carrots, gourds, and pumpkins.

And just for fun, here is the outfit Eleanore picked out today.

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In case you can’t tell, those are black leggings with neon stripes…

Camping in the Smoky Mountains

June 3, 2013

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Our camping trip to the Great Smoky Mountains went great. Sure, it rained nearly every day and our campground was covered in poison ivy, which we all got a little of, but we all had a nice time simply enjoying the outdoors. Cosby campground was a nice place- quiet with very few RVs, clean bathrooms and easy access to a few nice hikes. Both girls really enjoyed the nearby creek and the nature trail in the campground which takes you over it numerous times, which was neat. Listening to it every night while falling asleep was nice, too, of course.

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We also drove over to Cades Cove and Eleanore and Adelaide were able to see their first bear in the wild! It’s hard to see in my picture, but we saw a mama with her cub.

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The views in Cade’s Cove were beautiful.

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And of course we all enjoyed our meals while camping! There’s nothing like cooking over a campfire.

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We have one more camping trip planned for the summer and it’s coming up quick! We leave Friday for Virginia. We’re camping in Mt. Rogers National Rec Area.

Painting with Flowers

May 18, 2013

After seeing this idea on the Little Acorn Learning blog, I knew we had to try it. You simply squish the flowers into the paper to draw with them. Dandelions are especially juicy and work well.

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It worked great and was a nice ending to our dandelion and violet crafting. We also did a little printing with the flowers and a hammer. Both girls *loved* that art project.

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I’m also doing a little crafting after the girls go to bed. Jason is out of town this week, so I’ve spinning and plying while watching the first two seasons of Doctor Who. I had a mishap with my wheel the other day- the nylon tube that attaches to the pedal broke, but I’m crossing my fingers that my temporary fix will at least hold until I can be the rest plied. I’m planning to start a pair of longies with it on our camping trip next week.

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Dandelion crowns

May 16, 2013

Finally a few “real camera” pictures… We made dandelion crowns today. The weather has been beautiful this week and we’ve all been enjoying our wildflowers (aka lawn weeds).

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We made dandelion syrup and violet syrup last week. We will miss all the flowers when Jason finally mows! We’re always the last on our street in the spring to mow- I’m sure our neighbors are not happy…

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I also blended up a batch of chive, spinach, sorrel pesto. I love having garden greens again.

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And a little messy chalkboard fun was had today, too.

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Kindergarten with Oak Meadow

May 15, 2013

With the new baby coming in late August/ early September, our plans to start Eleanore’s kindergarten year got bumped up a bit. Our plan is to start this spring and take things very slowly this year, giving us lots of time to settle into a family of five and not worry about being rushed.

We have one of the older, more gentle editions if Oak meadow kindergarten that we’re using and it’s going great so far. I was worried it would be too slow, but Eleanore is loving the focus on one story/letter/number of the week. Even though she already knows all of her number and letters, the extra focus is really improving her handwriting practice.

She especially loves her Main Lesson Book and asks to write in it every day. Some of our pages so far:

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She also loves to do extra practice with her numbers outside of her main lesson book.

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Of course we’re also doing lots of crafts, outdoor play and nature exploration. Our days certainly don’t look like school at home, but right now it’s working for us.
Adelaide is getting in on the fun, too. She absolutely loves the Wee Sing Fingerplays cd that goes along with Oak Meadow, especially Eency Weency Spider. Both girls run around the room singing and acting out the verses.


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