This week has been filled with creative energy. From meeting with a former student (and now a client) yesterday to review his manuscripts, to working on art projects with my children, to starting music class for the year, to exchanging invigorating e-mails with a colleague and friend about a project she has started,  to spending time with cousin Hannah for tea and scones this afternoon, this has been a week filled with moments that feel so alive.

Katie and I worked on food groups and designing nutritious meals this week:

I set up a tray with different magazine clippings of food, and I drew breakfast, lunch, and dinner plates on a large piece of butcher paper. We talked about food groups (apple is a fruit!) and gave several examples, and then she could choose from among the clippings and glue good, healthy, balanced meals onto each of the plates.

Making her meals!

Cousin Kd also came over to begin sewing her quilt:

Is there anything more lovely than working on projects side by side and talking about life?

She sewed half of the rows for the quilt top, while we chatted, shared apple slices, and played with the kiddos. I have loved every moment of this project and of having her here with us. In my fantasy home, I would turn it into an open academy of sorts—where family and friends could drop by any time  to learn with us, to teach us, to share a nourishing snack and conversation, to test out ideas, to work on projects of their own alongside of us, to put feet up and do homework or study for a test, to create in the kitchen, to play music, to be exactly themselves and to indulge in their artistry, to produce. I would love to resurrect the 18th century salon of sorts, a place of sharing ideas, of talking and thinking, of working toward self-betterment and creation. I love nothing better than the energetic hum of minds working, planning, designing, making, and finding beauty. In my fantasy home, I would have (for example) cousins and former students stopping by to brainstorm college essays at the dining room table, with my mom working on her weekly bread in the kitchen, my husband programming in his office, my friends and colleagues stopping by for tea and chatting, my Katie gluing and painting in the kitchen nook, and my Eric building blocks with his baby friends in the family room.

I am brainstorming in part, yes, but I also have serious ideas about this. What if there really were such spaces we could float into and out of? What if I would create such a space? What if really cool people I know could meet other really cool people I know? I guess the best way I could describe what I envision would be this: I wish my home could almost be like the common room/lounge in a university dorm. The best part of a university dorm, in other words, without having to share a small, non-private room at night…

Anyway… Later on in the week we made rosemary bread:


I love walking outside to pick my herbs out of the garden. It is such a money saver, for starters. I use fresh herbs almost daily, and those add up in the market. I am thinking about expanding my herb garden next year to take over the whole garden box and perhaps attempting my tomatoes and other veggies in a different plot of earth.

Katie also is entirely autonomous on her trike now! She has grown adept at peddling backwards and turning. Yay!

I think I have been reading too much Harry Potter (well, not really—we can never read too much, right?), because the other day her trike got stuck on the bridge over the pond feature in our yard, and in the midst of trying to get it to travel forward, she exclaimed in her sweet little voice, “Bloody hell!” I have to say, I burst out laughing—she sounded so British, and I mean, she was in her dress on her tricycle. I have censored all the other cuss words in the novel (“damn” for sure and even “shut up”), but I know I have read “bloody hell” a couple of times, because I guess I don’t view that one as being so bad (yes, “bad” words are subjective to an extent). We’re definitely a non-cussing family, but this was pretty funny! We both had a good laugh over it, she and I.

And finally, we had our first day of music class for the year:

We always make sure to take a first day and last day of school picture. We were so excited to see our friends and Kara (our teacher) again! Some of our friends finished the program last year, so it was a little bittersweet, a reminder of how FAST our children grow up. Technically, Katie has only two more semesters of the class before she has finished the whole program. If even that makes me feel like getting lumpy and teary-eyed, and it does, I can only imagine how it will feel to drop her and Eric off at college someday. How did my parents survive such a thing? Eric still has so much of our music program to complete—I am tempted, since we homeschool anyway, just to have Katie redo some of the semesters with him. Not sure what the age limit is…

The kiddos and me before music class this morning.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!!