Leftovers

170 :: Leftovers

I’m cleaning out a
cupboard of watercolors
and art supplies
and nature journals
and clay, and I am cleaning
but this is what I end up doing
instead:
laying out the bits and pieces
of a homeschool year
as a sort of still life
on the kitchen table,
and admiring all the little
reminders of a creative life
lived here
in the this home
filled with birdsong
and love.

Welcome Back to the Jungle

159 :: The "Lawn"

This is what the “lawn” looks like after six weeks away.

165 :: Garden Jungle

And the garden is a jungle. But at least there is kale growing in the jungle. And lots of garlic. Oh, and volunteer plants I would have weeded out weeks ago. How I love the volunteers. And so they get to stay. Nasturtiums in the garlic beds. Cosmos in the onions. Calendula everywhere. Hundreds of borage plants for the bees.

160 :: Chef

166 :: Minty

The garden is wild. The children have not brushed their hair in days. The puppy is happy.

162 :: Theo Boy

The chickens are settling back in.

161 :: Bird

And sometimes Amabel and I spend the morning collecting beautiful bits of plants and arranging them just so, creating this lovely, yet rather pointless assortment . . . instead of weeding, but . . . it’s lovely here, in the jungle, isn’t it?

165 :: Making Order

May Reading

137 :: May Book Stack

We are reading so many good books this month! Being at Gousty is bringing out the reading in all of us. The stack of books that Amabel has read to herself this month is even higher than the stack in this photo! Many of the chapter books that I read as a child and adolescent are in this house (the actual copies!), and I love coming into the living room to find her curled up on the couch with one of my old books in her lap.

140 :: Morning Work

Catching Up in April :: Reflections on My Daily Photo Project

108 :: Bur Oak

I’m behind in posting my daily photos this month. There is so much life happening here every day — homeschooling, games, play, getting ready for spring, house projects, spring snow, more spring snow . . . and I’m catching just little bits of it on the camera.

Recently, the girls were looking through some photo books from the past couple of years with Wallace, and as I listened to them reflecting on the pictures, and remembering moments together, I realized how these daily photos have — collectively — come to mean something to them.

I started a 365 project in 2016 primarly for myself. These were my goals then: To nurture my creative voice. To encourage myself to see beauty in our everyday life. To be an active part of a photography community. And to see my family more deeply, with more dimension, and with more reverence.

When I continued taking daily photos in 2017, my goal was “to keep practicing the arts of photography and writing and use these tools as a way to pay attention and express gratitude.” I’ve continued in 2018, with a similar goal. Taking photos does help me to pay attention. Seeing though the lens of a camera has become one of the very important ways that I practice gratitude. Because of this, these photos matter deeply to me.

But years from now, I hope these photos will also matter, in different ways — in ways I maybe cannot imagine — to my children.

106 :: Table Top

103 :: Massive Marble Run

106 :: Garden Plans

105 :: Super Snow

107 :: Uncle James

108 :: Game Over

109 :: Branches

110 :: Games

110 :: April Eve

111 :: Stove Top Repairs

112 :: Right in the Middle

110 :: April 21st

Tiny Worlds

68 :: Apothecary

Apothecary.
In miniature.
Could you mix me up
a custom brew,
please?
I could use
a little boost
of hope
as we approach
the equinox.

66 :: Pack Rat

The reality
of creative children
is this
desk top
which accumulates
bits and pieces
faster than
I can help clean
them
up.

71 :: Desk Top

Line Them Up!

Wallace is in this hilarious organizational phase, where he likes to line things up. Everything! Crayons, toy cars, kitchen utensils, animals, books . . . it is funny and cute and sometimes slightly irritating when he doesn’t want us to put ANYTHING away!

Ellen is working on a “curriculum” for Wallace. She is his dream teacher; she will gladly let him stay in his pajamas all day long!

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???