We took the kids to ride horses yesterday after my daughter's lessons. One of the great parts about living in the South is that it is fairly easy to find someone who will let you ride their horses. You might even have a wonderfully experienced horse owner in your family who would love nothing more than to pass on her #1 interest to children.
Daughter rode for a good bit. To my absolute delight she can even stop the pony and get him started again. She had a little scare when Charlie began to trot a bit, but she stayed on, which amazed me.
It was my son's first time on the pony. And he looked so small and chubby up there. He is a bit of an animal lover and too young to be scared, so he had a great time.
Walking back across the pasture, I took this photo. This has never happened before. While my kids truly love each other so much, their temperaments are at odds and they usually don't get along well.
So this. This is what I love. Both of them together.
Click here for the founder and a truly beautiful site.
I am a Williams-Sonoma addict. Most of the year I can resist the siren song of cute baking pans but this time of year, my resolve weakens.
First there is the Pecan Pumpkin Butter with which you can make the most unbelievable cake. Seriously,make this cake (oh, wait - it is now called a dessert bar). It's a bit of a cheat with the boxed cake mix, but it is oh, so good.
And then there is the Pumpkin Patch Pan. I need this pan. We usually have a little pumpkin carving party on Halloween. How cute would the table be set as a pumpkin patch made out of cakes? OH! And then I could put Little Girl's Linus and Sally toys in the middle!!!!Must have this pan. And then for tea time! Little Pumpkin Cakes!
It was a hard day. The ups and downs of thinking we were beginning a supplemental program and then finding another possibility, checking it out and being again disappointed has been really stressful. I know that sentence was confusing. So was the day. The decisions had to be made quickly and on gut feeling almost exclusively. So we are back to simply homeschooling. I love it. I worry about it. I am so indecisive when it comes to the kids. And there is some money freed up for Ballet or whatever. Is it this hard for everyone? There are too many options.
In other news, it is nearly September, so I find myself in the mood to knit a hat. I get in that mood every September. And I knit a little hat. And then that's all the knitting I need for a long time. My sister is a wonderful knitter. She knit a gorgeous blanket for my son, her Godson, a sweet little hat, and little tiny booties. She's also done beautiful sweaters for her own children. I don't really know how she has the patience for it, because I just don't. So I stick to hats. OK, one hat. I can do one hat pattern. I have done two very big scarves. Because you don't really need a pattern to do a scarf. This year, I hope to complete two little pumpkin hats for the kids. When I'm done I will post photos of the backs of their heads. If you haven't noticed, I don't plan on posting photos of the kids. I wish I could. My family felt a little uncomfortable with this and I agree. But my kids are very, very cute.
Updated: I asked Little Girl tonight if she was upset about not being able to have a school day. Her response was, "Then can I open my markers right now?" And then later, I was trying to explain how I always try to make the right decisions for her, did she understand that? Her response was, "What color is Maisy's blanket in the Maisy Bedtime book?"
My husband has finally caved and agreed to let me begin planting again. He refuses to let me plant anything between the end of June and September. And rightly so, for everything I plant promptly dies in the heat but I can't help myself! So today, coincidentally, we are planting St. Augustine grass plugs. Could I tie this in with his feast day, even though the connection in name baffles me? It's rare that I am together enough to remember feast days, so I think I will take advantage of this. :)
I also purchased several Hyacinth Bean Vines: These are absolutely stunning with bright purple, shiny pods when mature.
I know a lot of you around the country are winding down your gardening season, but here in the South, we are just beginning the best part of ours. Our first frost doesn't come until mid November (usually). Everything that has managed to survive the summer perks back up again with new bright green growth and deeply colored blooms. But I'm in denial because, despite the rain today, the sun will shine again and we will be back in the 100s again before this is all over.
There are some really interesting posts and comments on government school over at Why Homeschool? . This got me thinking this morning about my own school experience.
My parents paid a lot of money to send me to one of the top schools in the area. I am so grateful for this. I most certainly did not take advantage of the opportunities at the time. I received good grades and took many advanced courses, I don't know how much of it I absorbed. In many cases, I did what I had to do to get by. I took a lot of short cuts. I know I read "The Scarlet Letter" several times, wrote papers on it, took tests on it, and never once really understood it.
There are lots of reasons we homeschool. Primarily, God needs to be at the center of our children's education. He is the creator, the reason for all things. It simply wouldn't make sense for it to be any other way. Quality education was a secondary concern for me. But I keep mulling over the fact that I didn't understand "The Scarlet Letter" or "Othello" or "Lord of the Flies" (probably because I was too busy with social distractions) and I still received good grades. Things improved in college, because I was passionate about what I was studying. But I think for elementary and high school, the structure was such that it was, it had to be, an assembly line. I hope for understanding for my kids. I hope that it clicks. I hope they are passionate. I hope their education is rich.
Judging from how many people out there who resolve to "Read the classics that they were supposed to read in high school." I am not alone. In that spirit (and because they were half off), I just finished "Heart of Darkness". I am reading "Jane Eyre" right now. And up next, "The Scarlet Letter".
Tonight we are having pot roast with vegetables, fresh baked bread, and salad.
Look how beautiful!
Me being me, I forgot the potatoes, the pot roast is of the Laura's brand of pre-cooked variety (I just can't cook meat - I will report back if this is any good), the bread is a mix and is in the bread machine right now. The salad is fine enough, organic even. But the dessert, because I am random and wanted something I wouldn't actually want to eat myself, is a Klondike ice cream bar. And last night, my husband had to prepare his meal himself and it was an old single serving size of Honey Smacks cereal. With no milk. Because I really am that bad at the grocery shopping.
Our house that is. I am fairly good about not keeping tons of extra stuff around because I hate clutter. But also, I am very sentimental. My Dad once brought me some chopsticks from some random Chinese restaurant from a business trip. I guarantee if Dad is reading this he is wrinkling his brow thinking, "What?" That's right - I still have them!! Also greeting cards.
Well, I have pared down some of that. And old cookbooks (none of yours yet, fabulous sister #2!), and any extra stuff in the garage. A great book I read recently suggested that a lot of time can be wasted managing one's extra stuff. And I have been hesitant to throw some things away because I might be able to use it. For example, a whole big bunch of left over pieces of card stock that I thought daughter could use for crafts. Well, it's been 4 years I held on to that. It's gone now. The whole might-use-it-someday / how-much-stress-does-it-cause-me-daily ratio needs to be examined. So I am doing this for the next week. Wow, it is so freeing. But I'm still hanging on to the chopsticks. I love you Daddy. And no worries big sister, I'm not going to throw away anything of yours, I promise.
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