Letters From Home, Volume 2

We’ve had a lovely fall. So many sunnier, warmer-than-it-should be days to treasure before Winter really sets in.

This was one of those days. A free afternoon. With Daddy! What shall we do?

How about explore a 6 story tree house that’s just down the road a ways?
Yeah, that sounds like fun.

Seeing as we have a crowd (three’s a crowd, dontchaknow) of kids who love climbing. It took this little man less than 4 min. to get to the top.

Little Brother was not far behind. His middle name, after all, is Goat. As in, Mountain Goat.

He did let mommy hold him here and there – ’cause he’s sweet like that and still loves to cuddle at 15 months (thank the Lord! I love his chubby hugs!)

Oh, and you knew she was here somewhere, the Claire Girl. The one I still, by habit, call “Baby Girl” and she corrects me, “Not Baby Girl, Mamma – Little Girl!” (For she doesn’t yet admit to the “Big” title – that is Big Brother’s alone)

We climbed up, and up, and up, and then, gradually, haltingly, reluctantly down, down, down again…

through sunny woods filled with sunshine leaves and cold twigs waiting for winter…

..And finished up our outing with a tour of the little nature center, which sported a real, live {dead} skeleton. After listening patiently to my learned explanation of the collection of bones, Jesse set me straight -

“Anyway, Mom – it’s just a pirate.”

Letters From Home, Volume 1

Letters from Home is my new format to stay personally connected with my readers even as I endeavor to fulfill my vision of maturing my blog into a resource for a growing audience. So, whenever I have home news to share, I’ll do it under that heading, kind of like the letters I wrote my brother while he was in boot camp.

The kiddos with Uncle Jordan

Speaking of Jordan…
My Marine brother graduated right up near the top of his class and went on to get into just the specialized military he had his sights on  (something to do with bombs and tanks and such). He is now continuing his training and half the time I don’t know what state he’s in. But he did get a chance to visit over Labor Day. He adores the kids and the feeling is mutual.

Claire helped drop (clean, decorative) rocks into the water

We started school this month – even before I’d done the laundry from our trip!! I was determined to get a good start with our first official year of school, and new that if I stuck to my routine I’d make steady progress on all the other things we had to do. Sure enough, we now have 3 weeks of school under our belt, and the house is beginning to feel organized again. (The photos are from hands-on learning about Aesop’s Fable, the Crow and the Pitcher)

Jesse uses a straw ‘beak’ to reach the water

I wanted to use 31 Days To Clean for the month of September, but found I was going to be stressed try to match the exact pattern of the book, so I’m gleaning from the wonderful perspective and advice throughout the book, but doing my own list of daily tasks. Jesse, Claire and I do an hour of chores each morning after breakfast and before school, and that is helping me make steady progress – even to organizing long-jumbled shelves and cupboards. No, the kids don’t work a whole hour – they have specific chores to do along side me, then they get some play time in before school. I took a bunch of photos during chore time the other day so I could make them picture chore cards like Lindsay – I know they’ll enjoy the clear, visual reminder of their responsibilities, and the satisfaction of transfering the cards to the ‘done’ envelope.

Seth climbs to see what’s going on!

In blog news, we’ve had constant computer issues since the spring. We had carbonite keep our data safe, but I was having to do all my writing and internet stuff on this tiny little netbook we have, and had no access to my archives of photos and my beloved bookmarks. At last, this week, we have a new desktop up and running, which means I will be able to resume work on formatting my book for kindle and nook, and finally including photos in my posts with more regularity. (remember the days of show-and-tell blogging? They’re coming back, friends!) Also, I’m really looking forward to getting into vlogging more!

While the computer was out of commission, I got in the habit of taking photos on my phone and emailing them to All That Is Good’s Facebook page just so I felt like I was staying current. My new thing is to take a quick photo of dinner each night and send it to the Real Fast Food page – this helps keep me motivated to create real, nutritious meals for my family, and also hopefully inspire you to do the same! (I just have to mention, that was my first ever screen shot – and I did it by myself using this easy tutorial and just one phonecall to my husband! LOL)

Jesse’s drawing is really starting to develop! He loves art time.

The apple harvest from our orchard was dissapointingly small – we usually have to press 3 or 4 times to use all the apples and make 80-100 gallons of cider. This year we only pressed once and got 17 gallons, which didn’t go very far, considering we love to bless all our friends and neighbors with a gallon or two when it’s fresh. But we have a busy fall and don’t really have time for more pressing and our large freezer in which we would have stored the bounty is broken – the Lord knew! I did make more of an effort toward applesauce this year, and ended up canning about 30 jars (mostly quarts!) so we have sweet, pink applesauce for the whole winter!

Claire had help with her Crow :)

The Lord has been faithfully working in my life and heart, despite my own unfaithfulness in letting so many other things take priority over time with Him. He is showing me how it IS possible to cultivate and grow my relationship with Him in this season of motherhood IF I will make the effort. I have taken to staying off the computer completely on Tuesdays – it’s amazing how much those little moments add up and usually by bedtime I have been able to spend some good time in the Word and have been able to hear from Him because the other voices are quieted. I’d encourage you to try this yourself!

Seth joins in the fun (and poses for the camera)

I’m very inspired and encouraged by these books – if you’re in the same season as me – a busy mother of little ones, sobered by the tremendous responsibility of training and teaching them, these titles will bring hope to your heart…

Shepherding A Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp

Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes in You and Your Kids.

These are affiliate links – if you click through and make a purchase from the links in this post, you support All That Is Good – thank you!