Saturday, July 31, 2010

Tea Party

There was a bustle of preparations all morning for this here tea party. Much changing of clothes - and well ditching of clothes in some cases lol!

Hats required - clothing....not so much ;)

This one made the tea and the sandwiches and did much of the bustling and lots of directing.  Apparently he knows *all* about tea parties ;) Especially when it comes to being ever so sweet to his little sisters :)

The food was excellent....

The tea was almost as sweet as the children drinking it. but not quite ;)

Friday, July 30, 2010

This Moment

Inspired by Soulemama  "This Moment - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see."

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My One year Blog-a-versery

Wow!  It's been a year now since I started this blog.  I don't think I ever thought I'd stick with it to be honest ;)  It's proven to be a whole lot more than I imagined it could be.  I was surprised actually at the affect it's had on me.  Having this space, and finding the discipline to post regularly for the most part - it's more than that.  Something has changed for me -  a different kind of inspiration that just seems to grow and grow.  Blogging makes me look at my life in a different way - looking for the positive, or the learning.  Finding the words to express, or the photo to illustrate, or just my latest creative project  - somehow it has changed how I look at things.  I love that I can combine all the things I love into this blog - so many ways to express myself - and that is just so good for me.  It's one thing to ponder parenting and well anything really, but expressing those thoughts in writing takes that to a different level - one that I'm enjoying :)

I think my biggest love at the moment tho is that because of this blog I have been working on developing my interest in photography - and it feels like it's taking off into something that feels big : )  I'm quite in love with my camera lately - even tho I long for something a little more capable.  I get absolutely giddy over catching a shot just right, or lately learning a new technique.  It's very inspiring.  Who knows where I'll go with it - the possibilities seem endless.

This morning I was drawn outside, camera in hand when I saw the light - that wonderful morning glow....I was utterly captivated - seeing everything in a whole new way.  I love the intense focus when lost in a creative moment.  The drive to create that must be fulfilled.  So. Very. Alive.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

More pondering...

It's been mostly photos around here for ages - it's obvious where my focus has been.... behind the lens...

I was sitting here thinking about what to post tonite, and so I opened up my photos in hopes of inspiration.  I had forgotten how inspiration often flows just from looking back on our days.  It's amazing how much is captured in a photo.

 This is the photo that grabbed me immediately.  We have a similar photo from our wedding day.   I've been thinking a lot lately about relationships, marriage and the dynamics when you add homeschooling and attachment parenting.  I don't think I'm the only one who finds this combination a challenge.  It's a lot (obviously there are challenges in any situation - I'm just pondering these specific challenges)   And while my heart is 100% there with my choices, it does put a strain on a marriage.  I think it's so easy (and quite natural really) for the needs of the relationship to get put on a back burner.  I recently night weaned my youngest after 10 solid years of interrupted sleep and I immediately felt another crossroads approaching in my career as a parent.  Realizing that it won't be long until there are no children in our bed.  An interesting concept to wrap ones brain around after 15 + years of bed sharing.

A beginning of the end, of the years of no sleep.  My mind has been spinning with possibilities knowing that our life is going to be slowly getting a bit easier in so many ways.  Gone will be diapers, and night waking, and that early attachment that begs not to be broken of mama and babe (and bigger babe)   Part of that spinning has me realizing that couple time - especially away from home *alone* is seriously lacking.  It's almost funny really - with all the care I put into making sure that I have solo time with each of my kids - that I haven't made solo time with my love a priority.  And yet it's as we chose it - knowing that that time in each child's life was really such a short period (tho of course when you add that up times 5 lol .....)  And so we approach a time with a little more freedom.

Someone was telling me recently that they saw a billboard that said "A babysitter is cheaper than a divorce lawyer"  So true!  An investment of sorts - well worth it me thinks.  It's exciting to ponder actually going out on a date with my husband!  When we got together I already had a child, so we really skipped the whole dating stage and dove head first into family life.   All this time when it just wasn't practical for many reasons to get out together, I've looked forward to this time we are entering when that will be easier to manage.  There's something to be said for delayed gratification - something that in our current society is a bit of a rarity.   It keeps things exciting knowing we have this whole new side of our relationship to explore.

Now of course it will take some time to remember what dates are all about after all this time ;)  At the end of our first date we vaccuumed out the van.  Ahem ;)  Not the most romantic, but heck - we were all alone right ?

And it seems that creating space for that time together has a similar effect on our family dynamic to that of the solo time I carve out with each of my kiddos.  A specialness - a different sort of connectedness that really needs to be maintained - like a garden.  All relationships need to be watered, and fed - and yes weeded ;)  to thrive and bloom as they should.

I find that that more I nurture the relationships with my family, the more I find myself opening up and finding parts of myself that I never knew were there - it's interesting since on the other hand it can be so easy as a mama to begin to lose oneself in the chaos of the day to day grind (it's not all a grind, but there are definitely parts of it that are - like laundry and washing dishes lol!)  I find tho that I am most inspired when everyone's cup is full.  There is a contentment - and ease that I feel when I feel connected to my family.  When we are out of sorts, that feeling permeates the home.  That said it's not at all easy to keep all 5 kids and a husbands' cup full - but I try !  Oh I sure try.  And it seems to me that that is the point.  That we hold those we love close to our hearts so that we know when there cup is a little low and we know what will fill it.  And that knowing - well it seems to fill my own heart as well.

Monday, July 26, 2010

I Heart Faces - Purple

This is my entry for this week's i heart faces challenge - Purple.  Pop over to the website and check out all the great photos :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

This Moment - Birthday cake

Inspired by Soulemama - This Moment - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Sentimental Ramble...

Tonite is one of those nights when I'm overwhelmed with how quickly my children are growing up.  As new mothers (or fathers)  we were all told something to the effect of "Before you know it they'll be grown - it'll pass so much quicker than you can imagine"  and at the time I remember thinking - well duh - of course it does, but not *really* fully *getting* it.
This is my oldest - who is almost all growed up and shocking me with her maturity these days - and yes it was only a blink or 2 that childhood - who knew ?  ;)  And my youngest - who is slowly but surely passing all sorts of milestones that are just a little bittersweet knowing she is my last.  As she loses her toddler look and looks more and more like a little girl - and ever so much like her big sister - I'm reminded of just how fast it will go.  And of course with every child time speeds up just a little more - it's all a bit of a blurr at times now, and while I try so hard to make the most of each day and pay attention to those special moments - well life is busy, and often overwhelming.   I'd like to slow the
clock a little, but apparently that isn't allowed ;)  Much as I try - lots of quiet time at home - no overscheduled kids here - and still each hour, each day disappears in a blink.
It feels like such a massive responsibility - this holding all these lives in my hands.  One that I welcome and chose with a wide open heart, but still daunting at times.  Am I missing something important?  Am I seeing them as they truly are, or is my own baggage muddying the waters?  (Who doesn't have a little baggage right?)  And those moments when everyone is arguing, and the 4 yo just swore at her brother, and the 2 year old is climbing my leg, and the 9 year old is really pissed because I didn't buy him the sunglasses he wanted, and the almost 8 year old scientist is doing yet another science experiment - and making an enormous mess, and I still haven't heard yet from the adventurous oldest who is usually really good at checking in, but occasionally forgets..... in those moments when everyone is needing me for one reason or another - even if it's just to take up a little space in my mind...I want so very much to maintain my internal calm.  To just take a deep breath and love them.  Sometimes that's how it goes - often not so much ;)  A wise friend told me recently that it's all about laughing.  You have to remember to just let it go and laugh.  And she was so right.  When the scientist uses up all the dishsoap and scatters baking soda from one end of the house to the other I have a choice.  I can laugh and just enjoy his passion, or I can waste both time and energy getting cranky about it.  What a huge lesson!  It seems both obvious and profound at the same time.  And I think most importantly is how that scientist feels about himself in each scenario.  Not much of a choice if my priority is for him to feel loved unconditionally and accepted unequivocally.  In the scheme of things the mess - it doesn't matter.  It's the love that will endure. 

One day I hope that my children will look back on their childhood and remember love.  Feeling loved, and understood.  My oldest told me recently how much she appreciates me - and that she realizes how lucky she is to be so close to her mama.  Most of her friends aren't at all close to their parents.  They don't share anything with them.  Her friends are often shocked at how much she shares with me - and yet while she does go out and try out the same things in many cases, I'm struck by how much thought she puts into her choices.  How she comes to me and asks me what I think - knowing that for the most part she can count on me to be calm and give her straight answers.  Then she makes the choice that feels right to her and is constantly checking in with herself.   She has quite a bit more freedom than most of her peers, and yet free or no - those kids all do the things their parents are so frightened of - but they don't tell them.  They hide it.  And so instead of making well thought out decisions they dive in head first without much thought.  Fascinating stuff really - without much to rebel against there is plenty of time to stop and think about how she really feels, and what *she* wants and needs.

They say that the toddler years are similar to the teen years - and I think in some ways that is true.  They are trying to learn how to walk in this world.  If we constantly hover over them not letting them venture out then they won't learn balance.  Kids, babies, teenagers - they all need to stumble and teeter - that is how we find balance.  We can't protect them from everything, but we can maintain open communication.  We can be there always with a hand when needed,  an ear, a boost.   A trusted advisor.

In the end it doesn't matter how much we love them.  It matters how much they feel loved.  I don't know if my kids always feel loved.  That's the honest answer, but it's my priority.  I'm human.  I do my best.  I make mistakes.  At the end of the day tho I gauge where I'm at with my children by the look in their eyes.  If we've disconnected.  I reconnect.  I read so many books trying to find the right way to parent, and yet it really is that simple. 

Do they feel loved?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I Heart Faces - "Over My Head"

Here it is again, because I love it so much  - for the I heart faces photo challenge.  This week's challenge is  "Over my Head"

"Think of anything that can be over a person’s head and incorporate it into your photo of a person!  This could include a hat, balloons, umbrella, scarf…the sky is (literally!) the limit. "

Friday, July 16, 2010

This Moment

Inspired by Soulemama - This Moment - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Cherry red has always been my favorite color :)

The cherries have arrived - lovely organic cherries sold through a fundraiser for our kids' Aikido Dojo.  Last year was our first year for freezing cherries - I had no idea how well they freeze!  Most fruits just get sour in the freezer - not cherries tho - oh my are they are lovely in the middle of winter - so decadent!

Lots of helpers and a handy dandy cherry pitter are making the job go smoothly - unlike last year when the entire town was sold out of all but the hand held pitters - I sat for several days pitting cherries, and while I was really glad to have them come winter, it was a royal PITA at the time ;)

I always find it so satisfying putting food away - even if I at times find it overwhelming - it's always satisfying overall.  I love it when the kids get involved too - I have such vivid memories of helping my mom and Grandma in the kitchen as a child, whether it was baking pies with my Grandma, or canning with my mom - it was a special time.  I really believe that it's important to bring children into the kitchen - so many kids these days can't even heat up a can of soup - that's crazy!  Kids are absolutely capable of helping out and eventually holding their own in the kitchen.  So much emphasis is placed on education and yet so many children - and teens and even adults - are incapable of carrying out the most basic of tasks in the kitchen.  No wonder there is such a disconnect with food - so few people have experienced or even witnessed the joy that can be created in the kitchen.

And so begins the season of putting food away - with peaches and tomatoes, and apples - so many lovely foods yet to come :)  I love the way it marks the seasons with all these traditions - something to look forward to, a comfort knowing that at least *some* things stay the same :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

This Moment

Inspired by Soulemama  - This moment - A Friday ritual.  A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Work in Progress Wednesday

First off - *no* this is not for me lol!  This is a wee soaker for a friend :)  It's so tiny - it takes me back to those days of tiny wee baby bums.  I remember with my first wee babe one of my first thoughts was how tiny her bum was! 

This is knit in Pakucho Organic cotton in Brown Vicuna.  It's the Little Turtle Knits soaker.  

Ravelry details here

This is the first soaker I've knit - I didn't discover knitting until just before my last babe was born, and all I could think of at the time was sweaters, hats and booties :)  I was a bit sad when the baby days were over that I'd missed out on knitting for all of my babies, but now I see that I can knit we baby things any time ;) 

Friday, July 2, 2010

This Moment

Inspired by Soulemama......"This moment - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment.  A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. "