Sunday, September 29, 2013

Goodbye Summer

This summer we discovered some new (to us) and wonderful places to visit. 
Paisley adores Aaron. He is pretty sweet with her too! 
 One of the best is The River. We have been coming to The River since June and have really enjoyed watching how The River changes from visit to visit. It is similar to our beach but different in many ways. The best difference is that it is fresh water, which means that showers are not essential when you return home. It is a rocky beach which means that most of our swim stuff is no longer covered in sand. Win Win in my book!
Ruby and Honor discover more sticks.
 Although the water is cold the children enjoyed floating and really excelled at becoming more confident in the water this summer. Life Jackets were mandatory for the 7 and under crowd. Aaron and Erik loved crawdad fishing and finding many of the river dwelling species.
On our last visit of the season there were hundreds of dead salmon. After talking to some local fisherman we learned that they were spawning. The children lined them up on the riverbank but soon grew tired of that. We identified differences between the different species and even found some salmon eggs. They squished some open and felt them and inspected them.
Some game where Ian "The Protector of the Littles" was defending against Aaron.
It might have been an even match. 
 The only downfall is the constant hunger. Between Jess and I we have 11 kids at home and they all need to eat about 47 times a day. We have finally learned to fill the cooler and place it a fair distance away so everyone can help themselves without asking every 2.4 seconds, "What else can I eat?"
I truly love the life my children are experiencing. 
 I also love the creativity and space at The River. It allows the children a little more freedom without me constantly hovering over them. They are safe to explore and build forts, rock houses, sand (on the far beach) or simply float. All the while they are within sight of me.
Because every 7 year old girl plays with dead fish. 
Still being in the early stages of pregnancy and still feeling quite sick the potty situation was less than ideal. Especially after helping Libby go, I proceeded to puke all over her went. I also had to keep a fair distance from my children that were eating tuna salad.
Otherwise it was ideal to bring my chair down to The River's Edge and soak my feet in the cool water and get up every 45 minutes to dunk under the refreshing water and cool off. Oh how I long to have to cool off again.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Fashion Show and 4,000 miles

This summer I was cleaning out a certain closet upstairs. A closet that everyone seems to open the door, throw something in and quickly close it. A catchall full of useless detritus. 
 I found a whole stack of Sean's old rowing paraphernalia. I was complaining about all the stuff and made the flippant remark that Sean couldn't even get into any of the clothes anymore, why oh why must we store it?
 What ensued was laughter and a spontaneous modeling show starring Sean!
Alas, he fit into every single thing in there, with room to spare! Mind you, not that any of the Olympic uniforms will ever be seen in public, but they could.
 We also found his WWU Letterman's sweater. It was a fun walk down memory lane, with lots of stories the kids and I had never heard before.

As of this week, Sean has ridden over 4,000 miles on his bike since last September. He began riding his bike as a means to save some gas money. However, he really enjoyed the challenge and the fitness. I confess, I was a bit disappointed that he was seeing such great weight loss and fitness when it seemed like I was really trying and he wasn't doing anything but riding his bike to and from work. 
As a runner, I always looked at bike riders as sort of 'weak' I mean really, how hard is it to get on a bike and pedal. That is until I began riding with Sean. Ignorance is bliss. No wonder he is in such amazing shape. He rides a single speed fixed gear bike. That means that he must always pedal (no coasting, even downhill) and he can't ever shift. Sometimes, he rides uphill with just one foot. I tried that once just to see how hard it was. I have regular pedals and wear my running shoes, Sean has clips on his bike shoes and is attached to his pedal. I felt like an idiot. 
I am not sure how he logged 4,000 miles in 12 months including the few months that he took off due to freezing rain, snow, ice and pitch black. I have a whole new respect for bikers, especially single speed bikers that I happen to be married to. Thank you so much Honey, for your sacrifices, commitment, and example of steadfast determination. I admire you. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

And So It Begins...

This week marks the beginning of a new homeschooling year. Yesterday we began a new program called, Classical Conversations. The children go once a week for tutoring and the rest of the learning and teaching happens at home. 
I new we needed something different after all the struggles last year and this seems like an answer to prayer. I always say, "Be careful what you pray for." 
I know this is going to be difficult. I have more accountability, the children have more accountability and there is much more writing that we have ever done before. Not to mention, the Latin! I plan on learning a lot and covet prayers for my patience and grace as we go through these growing pains. 
I also began my twice daily Lovenox shots this week. This is a medication that I must take when I am pregnant to help prevent blood clots. For some reason it was emotional for me to start. Not because it hurts, it does not feel good but I have felt much worse, but I think because it means that birth is that much closer. I struggle with anxiety surrounding the actual birth much more these past couple of pregnancies. After I finally worked out the dosage with the doctor ( I had to hang up on him once because I had a child with a minor head wound that was bleeding profusely) I felt like I could breathe easier.

We started cutting our logging truck loads of wood this week. We got 5 cords or dry moved and ready for use and over half the load bucked, split and some stacked. I had some very hungry, sore and tired people on my hands. I feel a sense of security about knowing that I will be warm this winter. I almost am looking forward to cozy fires and reading books ~ Almost. I am not quite ready to say good bye to the warm sunshine. 
Sean and I have ridden the past couple mornings in the fog. I have to say it is not a beginning that eagerly anticipate. It sure was nice this morning when the sun (behind all the clouds) came over the horizon and lit up the sky.

My garden is in full bounty and begging me to can. I managed 21 pints of blackberry jam, 7 pints of balsamic fig jam, a dozen pints of rhubarb jam. Up next: green beans, corn, and peas.
Last week we managed  hike a Baker, a trip up to Canada, dentist appointments for all the children, a potluck and orientation for Classical Conversations, a fabulous party with some wonderful homeschooling friends and a Doula Client meeting.
Maybe I am ready for fall and life to slow down a little.