Since my surgery in March, things have been on a decided up – swing in our family’s life.  Rudy had his gastric bypass surgery and is getting healthy, the kids had a great summer, filled with different day camps,  and a week spent in the Catskills.  I have a clearer focus for the kids school work in the fall, and Sophia is finally making headway with her reading (huge relief!).  But one thing that has happened, that is both good and painful at the same time, is We are moving right at summer’s end, to Palmer.  This is wonderful as far as commuting is concerned for both the kids and I, and for Rudy.  But it is also really sad and emotional for me, as this is the first house I’ve fallen in love with since I was a kid and we were leaving The Brown House in Northborough.  Not Oakham, not even the property so much, which is swampy and very mosquito-y.  But the house itself.  I always think of it as Mr. Rutherford’s house, and I feel like I came to know him in a way through knowing this house.  The house and the property were like an eternal gift of love to his wife, and everything was designed with such care and thought.  He even carved hearts into the big rocks around the property.  But the house itself is the most special and beautiful part.  I am very, very sad to be leaving it. 

But Palmer will be good for all of our sanity, I am sure.  Rudy will be commuting 20 minutes to work.  I will be driving 30 minutes to Mullins Ice Arena and to most of the other homeschool activities. We’ll be even closer to Old Sturbridge Village, and we’ll be closer to family.  We have to do it. 

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Weekend

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Back

I am back from my two month hiatus.  In November, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and it threw me into a bit of a funk, I’ve really struggled with the motivation to pursue any of the things that made me happy before.  Obviously I could say a lot more then just that, and maybe I will soon, but for now, I wanted to publicly declare that I’m grasping at my internal light again, and I’m going to be working on a couple back-post’s that I owe it to my children to get out, and that that is all good.

And happy February 1st!  We can’t wait for Candlemas.

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Grace’s 5th Birthday / January

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Grace’s birthday was simple and quiet.  We had a family brunch and lots of talk and then cake.  Grace wanted to play most of the afternoon, so this year,  we decorated the tree for the birds after everyone but Aunt Abi had left, late in the day.  I can’t believe Grace is 5; actually, I can’t believe Grace is only 5.  She seems so much older.  She’s such a smarty pants, so mischievous,  so full of spirit.  We love you, Gracie.

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January was so cold, almost all of it.  It was full of “polar votexes” and arctic blasts…  There was lots of snow,  too, but most memorably the cold. 

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We did our best to stay warm.  Sophia and Grace started a homeschooling math class this month; it is a lot of fun and games.  They continue ice skating, and now we attend a weekly Geography coop too. 

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We’ve kept busy, visiting the Eric Carle Museum and Old Sturbridge Village.  And I finally saw the doctor up in Boston.  He is a good doctor, he is the best in the region.  But I had a full-on panic attack in the waiting room, and I am not ready to do the surgery yet.  We will wait until March, the first day of Spring.  Sometimes I think I am brave enough if only we could do it right this second. The rest of the time I wish March was months and months more away.  I don’t know why this surgery scares me so badly…well no, scratch that, I do know why.  Apparently I am a control freak, because it feels like I will be giving up the ultimate control. 

What control, though?  Now I finally know that I never had any at all.

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Sophia’s 8th Birthday / November

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In the days leading up to Sophia’s birthday, we did our traditional thing of making lots of lanterns.  Paper mache, mason jar lanterns, and I briefly considered trying to repurpose old coffee containers, but that seemed like too much work so I didn’t.  Lily was so INTO painting the tissue paper onto the balloons; she outlasted the other two by a mile and did such a neat job.

We invited the family up to help as celebrate, of course, and also a few close friends.  Sophia had so much fun playing and partying.  It was a lot of fun.  We had a brief lantern walk with our friends, but later that night we decided to go out again, in the dark, and sing and sing, and walk the dark with our lanterns swinging.  Sophia and Grace enjoyed themselves, but Lily LOVED it!  She kept coming up with new songs to sing.  Grace was very purposeful and serious with her lantern and also the bright headlamp Dad let her use.  It was a great way to conclude Sophia’s day.

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Everything…the grass, the animals, us…are beginning to buckle down for the winter ahead.  I love this moment, where everything feels slightly sparkly.  The air always has a crisp to it, but there are still bits of green grass.  The trees are in that moment between summer and winter where they’ve shed their leaves, and their arms look so poignant and meaningful, pointing ever skyward.  People who complain about the cold season in New England have obviously not spent much time looking up…the ground may be a bit monotone, but the winter sky is ablaze with color and riveting self expression.

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This month we visited a couple museums and ice skated too.  Sophia had riding lessons a few times, but the cold kept us away mostly.  Thanksgiving was so much fun; we celebrated in Rhode Island with my husband’s parents and one of my little sister’s came along as well.  This month I turned 31, which was sobering – much more sobering then turning 30 had been!  And the day before Thanksgiving, I got the call about my biopsy results.  I was positive for thyroid cancer.  It was a little bit dizzying, especially as one of my sister’s had been diagnosed the year before with the exact same cancer.  I began work on locating a doctor in Boston that I would feel comfortable having perform my surgery.

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Posted in Celebrations/rituals/holidays, Crafts / art projects, Family life, Farm life, Sheep, thyroid cancer | Leave a comment

October

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imageEating the fall peas straight off the vine.

Lately we’ve been preparing for the change of seasons.  Putting the gardens to bed, mulching them with mowed-up leaves, putting the garlic in the ground before it freezes…  Cleaning the hoop house and planting…planting so much: several different types of lettuces, radishes, spinach, kale, specialty salad greens.  And my husband taking down the few trees nearby the hoop house, trees who were casting unwelcome shadows down on the little seedlings within.  And we have been cutting wood – so much of it; piling it up, getting ready to hunker down inside while snow storms blow, and we will be warm inside with the fire.

The mixture of these activities…putting to bed, covering up, gathering warmth, planting and coaxing growth within the protective walls of the hoop house…it all has had me thinking of the song we sang last year at the Advent Spiral Garden.  It all just reminds me of the lyrics.

We are walking towards the light
All the stars are shining bright
All the earth is sleeping now
And all the trees are bare.

Now we have our own true light
And our face is shining bright
It will keep us safe and warm
Until we’re home again

There is such comfort to be derived in this season, such coziness and personal warmth.

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Isn’t that beautiful?  We were driving to homeschool ice skating the other day when we came upon that sight.  Just breath taking.  I am so thankful for the four seasons!  Without which, I would miss out on so much beauty.

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Ice skating…we are so fortunate!  Our homeschool group gets together weekly for this activity.  The kids have been having such a blast, even Lily…she wears the little double-bladed kind of skate that fits over street shoes.  Super convenient!

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Last week was full of Halloween activities…we went to a seasonal hayride/night hike at our local Audubon center, the kids went to Zoo Boo days at the zoo, there was a homeschool Halloween party, and trick or treating at Old Sturbridge Village.  I can’t believe we’re almost into November.  I feel like the first half of the year always drags by, and then August through January just flies!

I have been knitting and knitting, chipping away at the Christmas gifts, and also indulging in “cheat” knitting periodically (when the holiday knit-list seems too demanding!).  I’ve knit all but one pair of Christmas socks, a cowl for my husband’s mother, hats for several people, and also fun things…sweater/vest for Lily, mitts for Sophia’s birthday, etc.

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I always look forward to the end of the “knit-list” season, but this year hasn’t been too stressful, I think because I started so early.

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Lily turns 2

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My little sister and Grace posing by their pumpkin!

 

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Little Lily-pie has somehow, already turned 2 years old!  We celebrated her with family and pumpkin carving and of course lots of pies.

Lily, you were born on such a beautiful day two years ago, and we got to celebrate you’re being here on another gorgeous fall day.  You bring such sparkle and joy into our home every single day!  We love you so much!! xox

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