In Gratitude

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Awhile back, I use to post trinkets of thanks each week.  I felt that in expressing my gratitude I was able to put positive vibes out into the atmosphere, and illustrate that it is often those seemingly minuscule or insignificant items or events that end up constructing a full life.

So, after a four year hiatus, on this 13th day of April, I am so very grateful for…

~a new computer and refreshed space in which I can write.

~Apple Support and their aid when this non-techy gal tried to set up the above mentioned computer. Whew.

~my seven year old, who led me through on the of the best yoga sessions of my life.

~this new book by Ashley English, and the fabulous recipes it contains.  Many of these recipes are sure to find themselves on my kitchen table in the very new future.

~a freshly mulched garden. (And yes, that is a glass of wine on the fencepost.  One needs some mode of relief from the back pain of hauling said mulch, right?)

~several days with family this upcoming weekend—sure to be filled with farmer’s markets and swimming, farm-fresh food and tasty cocktails, laughter and tears.

A Subtle Shift

It seems that at each turn of the season I feel the need to start anew.  I think this has become even more of a necessity now that I stay home and homeschool my girls.  Because our home is where we work, play and educate, there is a more constant need to refresh, even if it is just a subtle shift.

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As a means of bridging our transition between summer and fall, the girls and I have been trying to bring in fresh flowers each day from our garden.  It is a true blessing to have this beautiful, natural color in our sights as the mercury begins to dip.

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A quick family room face lift has also helped usher in this new season.  It’s amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do to change the entire mood of a room.

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As I mentioned a few weeks back, we have an abundance of home-grown pumpkins, so those gorgeous orbs are finding their way into many indoor and outdoor arrangements, as well as into many new recipes.

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Our reading material has also been refreshed.  With a little help from Ms. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has whisked our whole family away to a magical land each evening.

And after the girls are asleep, Glennon Doyle Melton’s Love Warrior fills my heart in a way no other book has.  As I wrote about here, when my mom was ill, her book Carry On, Warrior shone a light on my experience that helped me through those most difficult, excruciating months of my life.  But I believe her new novel, although raw and often emotionally difficult to get through, is giving me the tools I need to make it through the next fifty years of my life by imparting me with a whole new outlook on life, love, truth-telling and grace.

I hope each of you feels refreshed as you enter this new season, ready to embark upon many new fall adventures.

 

 

A Year In Review

It is hard to believe that this blustery day in February marks the one year anniversary of Making of a Home.  Thank you so much to all of you who have been following my musings over the course of the last year!  I am deeply grateful for each of you.

Today I would like to share with you some of my favorite (and your favorite) posts from this past year.  Thank you again, and be on the look out for some new and exciting changes and additions to Making of a Home over the course of the next year.

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Chocolate Anyone?

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Inspiration

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Laundry Day

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Upstream

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Let Them Read

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Rhubarb Goodness

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Spring Soup

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It’s In My Blood

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Pastaless Lasagna 

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Fuasa—Italian Easter Bread

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Generational Wealth

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Farm Fresh

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Ode to the Strawberry

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Retreat

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Grandma Dit’s Carrot Cake

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Canning Day

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New Chapter

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Suburban Homestead

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Walk with Us

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Thanksgiving 2012

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Musings

Let Them Read

Three and a half years ago my family and I moved into a new home. While selecting paint colors and sleeping assignments, we also made the decision to not place a television in any of the main rooms of our home. This was a deliberate choice on our part because my husband and I both thought of this move as a turning point in our life and a paradigm shift in our lifestyle.

Who would have thought that such a decision would cause such an outcry from our friends and family. Yes, you are reading that correctly. People who do not even live in our house were upset that we were not placing a television as the centerpiece of our home. The responses varied from the comical, “What will all of your furniture face towards?” to the shocking, “I would rather lose my house than loose my T.V. and cable!” I was utterly flabbergasted by what I was hearing.

When did we get to this point in our culture when people cannot imagine living their life without the constant hum of a television in the background? Now I am not that old, only thirty-one for that matter, but I remember going to my grandparents’ house and walking around outside and looking at all of my grandfather’s flower beds and his enormous vegetable garden. I can call to mind sitting at the dining room table with my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins playing cards after a big family meal. I recollect playing for hours in the playroom with my sister, not once thinking of the television, but instead being fully engrossed in the imaginary world we created with our dolls. So why then do people look at me cross-eyed when I say that I don’t have a television in my family room?

Now this is not to say that my children have never spent a moment of their lives in from of a television. We have Friday night movie nights in our basement each weekend. We make homemade pizza, pop popcorn and veg out for a couple of hours, watching our favorite princess movie. This week my girls had their first cold of the winter (Not bad, seeing as it is March!) and they spent some time snuggled up watching PBS shows that we have on DVD. But my point is this: Our lives do not revolve around an electrical box that sits on a shelf or is mounted to the wall.

During the day we find ourselves busy with projects and learning, and our evenings are filled with games and reading. And the reading is what we love oh so much! There is truly nothing I love more than to burrow under a hand-made quilt with my girls and venture to a far off land filled with energy and adventure! These are the times that memories are created. These are the times when much is learned. These are the times when I am so glad that my furniture all faces toward a bookshelf, instead of a television.

I leave you with an excerpt we just read a few nights ago from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (My girls are on a Roald Dahl kick these days.):

The most important thing we’ve learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is NEVER, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set–
Or better still, just don’t install
The idiotic thing at all….
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they’re hypnotized by it,
Until they’re absolutely drunk
With all that shocking ghastly junk.
Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,
They never fight or kick or punch,
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the dishes in the sink–
But did you ever stop to think,
To wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?
IT ROTS THE SENSES IN THE HEAD!
IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD!
IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND!
IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND
HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND
A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND!
HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE!
HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE!
HE CANNOT THINK—HE ONLY SEES!
‘All right!’ you’ll cry. ‘All right!’ you’ll say,
‘But if we take that set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!’
We’ll answer this by asking you,
‘What used the darling ones to do?
‘How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?’
Have you forgotten? Don’t you know?
We’ll say it very loud and slow:
THEY…USED…TO…READ! They’d READ and
READ and READ, and then proceed
To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!
One half their lives was reading books!
The nursery shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed,
More books were waiting to be read!
Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales…
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the dirty looks…
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They’ll now begin to feel the need
Of having something good to read.
And once they start—oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills their hearts. They’ll grow so keen
They’ll wonder what they’d ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul, unclean,
Repulsive television screen!
And later, each and every kid
Will love you more for what you did.