Spring Days

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Thank you so much for all the great book recommendations! I ordered a few and have a stack out from the library. I read A Man Called Ove over the weekend and really loved it. Now I’m reading Peace Like a River, and I’m nearly finished. It’s such a good book, one I’ll remember. I think the book that was mentioned the most was The Awakening of Miss Prim. I have that one requested! There are links in the sidebar to everything we’re reading right now, and some that are in my queue. I am going to try to remember to keep that updated.

I made a run to the craft store yesterday for embroidery hoops and ended up buying a bunch of art supplies for my kids. Silas and Job are making us crazy with their antics lately. (When you see photos of them and speculate that they keep us on our toes, you are absolutely right!) Browsing the aisles at Hobby Lobby, I decided that what they need is more time at the table doing art projects. I’m not sure that my rationale there is sound. Art with little boys is a bit nuts. As quickly as I get them set up they are ready for something new, and the second I turn my back they are painting each other’s faces. Three and Five is killer.

Larkspur and I have been making things for her dolls and the dolls of one of her friends. They have an elaborate make believe game going on in which they are sisters, both with many “children.” This week she and I knit a stack of tiny washcloths, and I dyed an old handkerchief, cut it into smaller squares and sewed the edges. Then there are tiny soaps and sachets. I’m having almost as much fun as Larkspur is. I think I’d like to knit some doll bonnets. Any favorite patterns?

Jonny and I have both been working towards a shop update. I will update the shop on Tuesday, May 2nd at 1 p.m. EST. There will be lots of yarn, a few playsilks, and some shawl pins as well! I am planning to ship as quickly as I can so you have things in time for Mother’s Day. Seth is also listing some of his hand-turned, wooden candle holders, so you might want to keep your eye on his shop as well! There are a few available now, and he’ll have more listed by next week. The problem he’s running into is that I want everything he makes! I’ve settled on one for my Mother’s Day gift. 🙂

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! I’m taking my girls to a big plant sale so we’re super excited about that!

 

On Sabbatical

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Happy Easter! I hope you are having a happy one. We were late to Easter Mass (as usual) despite my best efforts. I didn’t get any great photos of the kids before they were out of their nice clothes and dressed to play outside. We had our traditional Easter scavenger hunt on Sunday afternoon, something we have been doing for years. I’ve never made Easter baskets, but the girls decided early on in Lent that they wanted them this year. They took matters into their own hands and I wasn’t involved other than on the frequent occasions when either Lark or Beatrix wanted to show me what they had pulled together so far. Each girl was responsible for her sister and one little brother. They (mostly) spent their own money buying little gifts at the dollar store. I did provide the baskets, new mini bolgas, a gift I had planned for the scavenger hunt anyway. They loved doing this so much that I suspect it will be a new tradition.

My sister, Abby, visited last week with four of her boys, so we had a rowdy Holy Week. So you don’t have to do the math, we had 12 kids in the house, 9 of them boys! It was a really wonderful few days despite the endlessly hungry tummies and piles and piles of muddy clothes.

Abby loves history and is a planner who likes to visit lots of places. Being a homebody myself, and totally daunted by the thought of taking 12 kids anywhere, I convinced her to stick close to home with the field trips. One day we ran around the grounds of nearby Chatham Manor, on another she took a handful of kids to a local museum while I stayed home with the younger kids. Mostly the kids played outdoors and got really dirty. Abby and I took walks together every day and talked about our childhood. We focused on the good parts, weary of all the bad. After all these years, the happy memories are the strongest. We had nighttime talks about how strange it is that we are both so close to forty now. Time to get our acts together, right?

On a self-care note, I have put myself on a mental sabbatical of sorts. I’m working hard on stress management (thank goodness my taxes are done.) I am hopeful because I feel like I am making progress. I am trying to re-program my brain. I want to learn how to relax, and let myself off the hook a little. I can’t clear my plate and schedule, but I can work on the way my brain reacts to the endless to-dos. All of the reading I have done in recent months on auto-immune disease has led me to believe that my tendency towards perfectionism and over-achievement, and all the go, go go, may be part of what caused me to get sick.

Part of my “sabbatical” is to read light(ish) fiction this year. Easy reading, and recently published (I have a tendency to only read older books, and am challenging myself to read new ones.) I picked up Lilac Girls at the library, though being set during WWII I’m not sure it’s going to be all that light. (edited to add: returning it today. Not a bad book, just not what I am looking for right now!) Any suggestions?

p.s. I forgot that this post is full of bunny photos! As much as we love him (yes, Larkspur made him an Easter basket) we think that Benjamin Bunny is lonely, so we will be bringing home a friend or two for him in a couple of weeks. I had him neutered about a month ago, and have been getting bunny socialization tips in preparation. Baby bunnies!!! So exciting!

(The photos of me were taken by my sister. Thanks, Abby!)