Monday, February 22, 2016

Winter days and Caddie...

As the boys get older, winter days get more pleasant. I notice a change every year. Sure, there are still times when our house feels very small, and I'm putting people in time out for sword fighting in the living room. But we're also having days when all of them can handle a calm activity all together for an hour! 

This afternoon we sat at the kitchen table and colored (Seth drew) for an hour after rest time. (Ben kept begging me to let him have coloring sheets from the nice books I got as birthday presents, and I kept insisting he finish out the page he had instead of leaving three measly marks on there and declaring himself done, but that was the most drama that happened. Very minor.) We get a lot of books on CD from the local library, and we're going through one of my childhood favorites, "Caddie Woodlawn." 

I painstakingly brushed with markers while Caddie's father told of his childhood in England to his family gathered around his hearth. We heard how Caddie's teacher put Obadiah in his place, how she fixed the circuit rider's clock and became her father's partner in clock repair, and how the family ended up eating turkey all winter because her mother wouldn't part with her birds for the Civil War prices...  

The boys occasionally made comments. "Why would she do that?" "Uh oh." I wondered about the things they didn't say. Were they internalizing the ideas about English inheritance law and how American pioneers differed in their thinking? Good books teach. I believe that.

Now I'm making chicken soup and corn muffins. (David loves Jiffy, so I've stopped trying to make cornbread from scratch most of the time. ;) They'll head off in the rain for Cub Scouts after dinner, and maybe I'll read with the little guys under each arm, letting them head to the book case to pick whatever they want. Maybe I'll get Evan and Ben to play UNO with me, Evan with his cards laid out on the table so I can help him with them, Ben on my lap "playing" my hand for me.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Things that are working for me....

Hello, blog. It's been a long time. But I may have to reconcile with you now that I have discovered that I can upload photos from my Android phone with ease. ;)

So, a few things that are making this winter season enjoyable for me....

1. Agatha. That is the name that I've given my cheery little space heater. She is a cozy mystery to me, what with her realistic looking flames and the fact that she doesn't have to give heat unless you flip an extra switch. I can see her sitting there on my hearth from the kitchen, calming me with her soothing, light bulb induced flames that are realistic enough to slake my fire lust.

2. Duraflame logs. They are good for our marriage when Agatha just won't do. There's no trudging out to get wood and painstakingly building a fire with enough kindling and paper to ensure success. I have a basket of them beside the fireplace. They're about $2 a log, but David thinks it's worth the price not to have to do the aforementioned as often as I'd like a fire.

3. Spiral bound pads and good pens. I've begun keeping a daily gratitude journal, usually writing in it when I sit down after the kids are in their rooms for rest time. Assessing the morning with gratitude in my heart for what has gone well (especially if it's a day when many things have not) has really been a good exercise for me. I like that spiral notepads mean that I can keep the little notebook open a lot more easily, and a V5 Precise fine point is a little luxury that means I write more than I would with a Bic.

4. Fair Trade Fridays. I got a subscription to Fair Trade Fridays because I wanted to help provide these courageous ladies a regular source of income through making something that they can take pride in. Well, I got way more than I bargained for. I've gotten some lovely things in my monthly packet, including 3 lovely necklaces that I wear all the time and a really cute black and white tote bag that I'm saving for spring.

What are some little things that are helping you enjoy winter just a wee bit more?