Monday, September 26, 2011

Fall Beauty Randomness

We have not been hiding out mourning the end of summer here.  Oh, no.  Its go, go everyday. Pretty easy to get out and enjoy the fall colors in weather like this, so crazy warm it is.   We are trying to take full advantage of it anyhow.

We've enjoyed playing at the park with cousins.
 We've found ways to entertain the middle child while big brother is at school and little sister is sleeping.  Her ballet video is always an exciting choice and its very important to get dressed up for it.  If she disappears, I usually find her in the backyard on the swing.  She is SO proud she can pump herself!
We got busy and brought in the garden before the one big frost we had.  The kids giggled over the funny shape of some of the squash.  I was thrilled at how many we did find hiding back there.

 We've been testing out several butternut squash soup recipes.  Good, but still looking for the perfect one.  Next in the lineup, a butternut ginger soup.  Also enjoying lots of tomato goodness.  They are ripening faster than I expected and I need to quickly get ready to make some salsa and pasta sauce!
 I've tried to take back some control of the house that seemed to disappear over the summer.  When the craft cupboard doors wouldn't close anymore, I finally found the motivation to help fix this space in a hopefully more permanent way.  They each have their own box in here, which I'm going to get them to decorate for easy identification.  Instead of a free for all with all the supplies, they are now only allowed to get their own box with a smaller assortment of their favorites.  Almost a week later, and the system is working beautifully.  Except when Lanelle got into the glue drawer without permission and used a whole bottle of tacky glue on her body.  She was a mess, but the cupboard was still perfect :)  If I'd thought to take a before picture of the paper explosion in this space, you'd really appreciate the after!
 We are all happy the library program is happening again every Friday.  And, is it ever happening!  Angela is awesome, so its no surprise the attendance is steadily climbing!
 Neve is the only one I can seem to get lots of fall pictures of at the park.  Mostly I have the backs of the older two running away.
 Angela and I loved taking the 3 little girls to the park this morning after school drop off for the older kids.  So fun how we both wandered around taking pictures of the gorgeous morning.  So glad she asked us to go with her!
 Ian said these are Sandhill Cranes that we saw on the way to the farm.  He was in a super hurry to get there to scout out where he planned to hunt early in the morning.  So, we didn't stay long, but the kids loved to check out the birds with the binoculars.
 We almost had to stop until the sun went down.  It was as impossible to see as it appears in the picture. He perservered (like I said, he was motivated!)
 And, we had as much fun as you can imagine on our day at the farm with the cousins!  The older they get the more fun it is to see them get excited about being together.  Many more adventure pictures to come of our day there, it was so fabulous!

 I'm just loving these beautiful outdoor fall moments.  I was thinking about what a freeing feeling it is just to be outside and appreciating it so much, cause i remember how long winter can feel sometimes.
 While I don't find it so lovely, Lanelle was loving the feeling of sand on her body, even pouring it down her shirt.  Too funny!
Sorry for the randomness, but if i tried to get organized, I might have never accomplished anything here.  Hope you are busy having a fabulous fall!

Monday, September 12, 2011


Perhaps, I haven't been sitting down here enough with my thankful thoughts.  I've had a joystealer around here much too often lately.  I can put the blame for this in many different places, but I suppose I should accept responsibility that I let the monster in.  No matter what I do, it feels like its never enough.  I don't have enough time, I tell myself.  But this is the time I have.  I know that.  I make my choices and I should just be happy.  So, why is it so easy to get swept back into the place where I want/demand more time to do all those things I think I must do. 

Really, if I could have all those delicious home cooked meals and snacks made, have played joyfully with my kids, have taken  the time to teach them all the things I would love to, have a clean and organized house, a beautiful yard, be on top of all the goodness in the garden, done some of the too long ignored errands, made some concrete plans for the renos that are brewing, have enjoyed some exercise, have taken my quiet time, done something kind for a friend, have all my pictures organized and scrapbooked, gotten to create something on my needles, it would have been a perfect day.  And, I would just be waking up from a crazy dream. 

I think I strive for something impossible.  But there are so many people who I think are doing it.  Pshaw (is that how I would spell that word I heard my Grandpa say?)  Nobody is finding perfect balance with all  things in their life (and still finding sanity and joy).  Right?  Help me out here.  I'm not the only one who feels this way, right?

What's that saying I've seen lately?  You can do everything, just not all at once.  That's the phrase that struck a chord with me.  And reminded me of seasons.  There is a season for everything, but not all seasons at once.  Sometimes I need to be more realistic with the season I'm in with small children.  Especially the teething, demanding babe these days. 

I don't even need to think as big as seasons.  Sometimes I need to just think of days.  Today was a laundry and cooking day.  So much laundry.  Five monster loads all folded and put away.  Diapers washed ready for tomorrow.  Homemade pasta and pesto, with roasted zucchinni.  Squash baked with sausage and tomatoes, topped with bread crumbs.  Mmmm.  No time for a clean house, but the busy kitchen has been repeatedly cleaned.  I even spent 30 minutes on the long since ignored digital scrapbook.  The basement tidied.  Puzzles with my girl.  Cuddles and giggles with the littlest one, plus all her feeding and diapering.  We walked the big boy to school and again to pick him up.  We brought friends home for a play.  It really was a good day.  BUT, the monster tried ruining it by pointing out the dirty floors, the disaster craft room and stillness that has existed there for too long, the dust, the upcoming frost and the unready garden.  I want to get rid of the monster that steals my joy and makes me feel like I failed the day, but he keeps coming back.

What am I even trying to say?  Ha, I think I don't even know!  Just sharing this struggle.  Talking through it and hoping I can make some sense.  I think I'm making headway.  It actually seems so silly, really, when I write it out.  I think I don't know what the monster is.  But, I suppose I do.  Yet naming it, means claiming it and I really don't want to do that.  Because, I'm not selfish and I'm not desiring something as ridiculous as perfection, am I?  Eeee, if I could admit it and understand it, maybe I could make this joystealer stay away.  Maybe I would have more experiences when I am just in the moment, with gratitude for all that I do have and am blessed with.

So that's where I'll go (again), to find what I need (again).  To counting and naming beautiful moments. 

 memories of summer picnics
 friends and silliness, and laughter
 garden goodness
 watching and clapping for little fingers learning to pick up cheerios
 kindergarten excitement

 apple picking enthusiasm and bravery
 apples, apples, and apples to share!
 joy on the faces of young and older playing games to get rice Krispie square
and the hospitality so gracious
 the joy for puppies from the littlest one that brings clapping and bouncing
 so much apple goodness
sneaking in a row here and there for a little girl's hat that makes me happy for the rhythm of the needles and reminds me to be thankful for her as I ask God to help her get better and stronger quickly.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011


I like the idea of seasons.  I think I started a post about my thoughts around seasons awhile back and never got around to finishing it.  But, I'm thinking about it again as we head into a new season.  One involving kindergarten and hunting, as we say prepare to say goodbye to beach days and our garden.  Ian was hunting this past weekend, so we all invaded the Muirhead farm for fun.  I'm glad the library fits into all seasons of life, because I loved checking out a new to me library and walked away with a ridiculous number of books.  Somehow, we got out of the regular rhythm of reading during the summer. I felt like they forgot how much they used to enjoy sitting through several books.  But, they stayed with Grandpa for this book about fishing, that I picked up with this moment in mind...
...and it actually happened!

I didn't take any pictures of the mighty hunter.  There was no animal to "show off" (I'd obviously never make a hunter.  I think I shivered typing that.)  But, he assures me his first archery hunting weekend was a huge success because he learned so much and had so much fun.  I also got to do my first geocache with the family.  A pretty easy location to find, but they cache was super hidden on that tractor and I finally had to decifer the little clue.

Anyhow, back from a lovely weekend and feeling a little behind with life here.  We were almost late to get Kellen to his first day of Kindergarten.  His muffin for snack was super warm when I packed it for him on the way out the door!  I was feeling so last minute this morning, as I was still trying to unpack from the weekend and get organized.  I'll give myself a break though, his bag loaded with his supply list has been ready for a couple of weeks now.

Plus, today I was dealing with Neve's sleep issues.  I have found with all my babies, there is a wonderful season of easy-peasy sleep before teething.  Then I get to THE point where I decide it's time to reclaim some of my time and show them they can fall asleep on their own.  So, I listened to her cry for 45 minutes this morning for her nap, as I popped in once in a while to give her a pat.  She didn't get too worked up.  This afternoon, it was less crying and only 10 minutes to fall asleep.  Tonight?  I kind of caved.  She sounded so horrible as she screamed, so I picked her up and cuddled her until she calmed down.  Laid her back down and she screamed her shrill scream, so I held her hand and she quickly calmed down and fell asleep.  Yikes, maybe I'm going to just get sucked in to sitting there and holding her hand instead of nursing or walking her.  I figure its a step in the right direction anyhow(?). Not that it's that interesting to write about baby's sleep issues, but it so easily consumes my time, my day, my plans, and it seems my life when its bad.  I'm hoping I'll have a better sleeper soon.

So, I KNOW we are heading into fall, school, and hunting season, which changes the rhythm around here.  I'm HOPING we are heading into a season of sleep!! 

Tomorrow I am going apple picking with a friend in the morning and meeting a friend at her beach for the afternoon.  I'm feeling like we are in the inbetween of seasons right now.  Makes me feel reflective, as I think about what is behind us and what changes and rhythms of coming.  I like it.