Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hushed October

O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow's wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.

- from October by Robert Frost

Scenes from a leaf gathering walk around the neighborhood. Our collected color now under lies under heavy books waiting to be displayed.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Thankful Tuesday

So much to add to the list, yet the Mondays come and go quickly, and weeks pass by without joining the gratitude community. Has it really been a month? I miss it. So, this week Thankful Tuesday it will have to be.

With days full of October goodness, my list continues...

My parents. Just left this morning after a week of loving on all of us.

An afternoon at Cox Farm.

Hayrides, farm slides, old tractors, kettle corn...

When the rain stops at just the right time.

A string of beautiful October days.

Friends here for a first ever visit to DC.

Colorful trees for my Florida parents and friends to enjoy.

And take with them... pressed leaved packed in the car this morning.

Reds, oranges, and yellows.

A beautiful morning for the Army 10 miler.

An Army family here to run.

3 new rakes from Grandpa. Just their size.

The first pile to jump in.

Meeting a sweet family at church, after meeting here in the comments first.

Home projects crossed off the list. My dad who loves to do them.

Coming home from our co-op to find laundry folded and bathrooms clean. (Thanks, Mom!)

My husband! And a week of celebrating his birthday.

Friends over for dinner and football.

Speaking of football, Auburn at #1! : )

A quick birthday dinner out in Georgetown.

Parents that offer to babysit.

Homemade apple pie, vanilla ice cream, and a candle on top.

A painting from Hannah for her dad.

And a giant pack of Reese's peanut butter cups.

Birthday cards through the mail slot.

The Trumpet of the Swan... our current read-aloud, loved by all.

The last weeks of training.

Ice and ibuprofen.

Counting down the days... and my knee feeling better.

Celebrating a dear friend's 4oth... slideshows and roasts.

Celebrating their son's adoption after years of waiting. A family expanded.

The sounds of neighborhood play.

Basketball in the driveway.

Leaves swirling.

These days... so full.

holy experience

Friday, October 22, 2010

Homemade Vanilla Extract

Thinking ahead to homemade Christmas gifts, I have two big bottles of homemade vanilla extract steeping in the pantry. I also have a box of cute, little bottles ready to be filled and labeled come December. Simple and homemade.... Perfect!

Two Favorite Fall Projects

Coffee Filter Leaves

It's such an easy activity... and has lovely results...
Coffee filters colored with markers. Painted with water and a little glue (to add some stiffness). Dried on the grass. Cut in to leaf shapes with tabs to wrap around the branch. Glued to a tree-like stick (held on with clothespins until the glue dries). Our crock is filled with small stones to hold our branches. The extra leaves scattered on our windows with double-stick tape.

Fall Trees from That Artist Woman

Thursday, October 14, 2010


I keep finding myself in conversations about two documentaries that I have yet to see. Both have created quite a buzz around here.

I missed a local screening of Race to Nowhere this week.

And the preview for Waiting for 'Superman' just makes me cry.

Have you seen them yet?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Mentioned times here before, during the mild months we love to spend evenings on the grounds of the National Cathedral after dinner at our go-to family restaurant a block away.

Every so often, we find a door open.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Simplicity Parenting

A few months ago I picked up a book at our local library, Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids. I found it thoughtful and refreshing. Kim John Payne, a Waldorf educator, writes of the "too much, too fast, too soon" attitude towards childhood. And as parenting becomes more of a competitive sport, we begin to view childhood as an ongoing enrichment opportunity, not an unfolding experience. He speaks throughout the book about the concept of less. Less toys, less stress, even less books (gasp!) and a general decluttering of our children's lives and spaces.

"Balance is what we’re after for in simplifying our family’s schedules. And once we cross our kid’s names off the “Race of Childhood” sign-up form, time opens right up. Time for rest and activity; time for contemplation and stimulation, moments of calm in busy days, energies conserved and expended; time for free, unscheduled play, for ordinary days, for interests that deepen over time; time for boredom; and time for the joy and infinite passion of anticipation."

This book has made me take second look at my children's surroundings and schedules. Are they overwhelmed with stuff? Do the toys they have invite creative play or are they fixed in what they can do? Is fun an idol in our home? Are my children experiencing the surprising benefits of occasional boredom? Do they know the thrill of anticipation? Am I guarding them enough against the too much, too fast, too soon in this overachieving society that tells me the more activities a child has early on the more opportunities for success? And how do I show them the value of open time in our lives in a place that translates busyness as importance even among children?

Following along those same thought lines, lately on my bedside table sits The Hurried Child by David Elkind. Much to think about...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


It's so hard to stay indoors this time of year.


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