January Homeschool Life

A New Year’s Day hike at Gousty.
This home I so love.
Covered in a blanket of white.

Sitting deep in thought.
Writing at dusk.
Thick snow falling.

Sweet girl.
I pushed her too hard on cross-county skis.
She is nursing a strained tendon.
I must remember to take it slow.
They grow and they become so capable, but still, we must take it slow.

We’re traveling to Italy in our studies this week. Our table is covered with books about Leonardo da Vinci; Jeffrey’s beautiful sketch book from Rome; maps large and small from Florence and Rome to Sienna and Pienza; a beautiful picture book about the island of Sardinia; and amazing images of Italian buildings and works of art. And, well, then I just had to bring out some of those old love letters from Jeffrey’s year abroad 17 years ago!

If you can’t go there in real time . . . play you can!

The sweetest sleep of baby dreams.

Sister’s new old skateboard!

Busy man, up at the sink. Making a flood.

Oh, I love this.
She painting a portrait of herself from a photo I took of her, almost a year ago.

“I’ve never painted myself before,” she said.

And then she took artist liberties to change the way she looks.

Let’s go inside the greenhouse and take off our coats and reach our faces up towards the precious January sunshine!

We have a family of opossums living in a brush pile near our chicken coop. First we saw one. Then two. And then the girls discovered . . . a mama and three babies! They have been making the rounds, gathering compost scraps, chicken food, and birdseed.

Is it time to get a dog???

Cracking the Garlic

214 cloves in the ground. And just in time; it’s supposed to snow 6 inches the day-after-tomorrow!

I couldn’t have done it without the help of my beautiful girls. I believe they are coming to love the rhythm of growing garlic nearly as much as I do. These magical cloves will meditate underground all winter and greet us early in the spring. In nine months time, we will pull them out of the earth and give thanks for their gift of abundance once again.

I have a lot to learn from garlic this year: stillness, quiet, solitude, patience.

Morning Greenhouse

In the greenhouse. Repotting plants and then lingering, soaking up the morning light.

I haven’t spent much time in here since spring.

The tiny black onion seeds we placed into trays filled with soil in March . . . have grown and flourished and now the glowing bulbs are drying in the warmth of the October sun, back here where their little green shoots of life began.

The sun nourished the onion plants all summer; their bulbs will nourish us all winter.

And then into the basement for some serious work with Papa’s tools!

Garlic Harvest

Sunday was our much-anticipated family garlic harvest. (Believe it or not we were wearing sweatshirts and hats on Sunday night . . . Hard to believe in the heat we’re having now!) These little people help the harvest go so smoothly! We were able to pull, clean, and spread out over 200 heads in less than an hour. (And I didn’t do much more than take photos!) I write about garlic every year. The magic of growing this glorious plant just grows and grows, especially as I watch our children come to love this tradition as much as Jeffrey and I do. These beauties are the great-great grandchilren of the Meadowlark garlic Jeffrey and I planted the fall after we were married, 13 years ago.