Sharing Nature

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I was at Lowe’s picking up paint last week and decided to save Jonny some time and buy myself a few Mother’s Day gifts. We have an area behind the sink here perfect for houseplants, so I bought a couple small ones along with a violet. Amidst my childhood memories of places and events, there are fond memories of specific plants. The banana shrub at my grandmother’s house in Gadsden, and a potted violet at my dad’s house on Missionary Ridge. A few years ago I planted a couple of banana shrubs, but I think we are just too far north for them to thrive here, and neither made it. I’m not sure why I’ve never bought myself a violet, probably lack of a good spot for it, till now. When I arrived home from Lowe’s, I whispered to Jonny that there were some surprises for me in the trunk of the car, and he should move them to a hiding spot. I looked forward to potting up those plants and setting up my little space behind the sink for the next few days. On Sunday morning, I was surprised with my gifts and then Jonny took the kids out for a couple of hours. I potted my plants and tidied the kitchen and then worked on birthday gifts for Silas and Mabel. It was a lovely morning. My younger kids are still a bit confused by the whole thing and keep accusing me of buying my own Mother’s Day gifts. I guess at some point they’ll read this post and my secret will be out.

We just wrapped up our homeschooling co-op year and for my last class I chose to focus on nature study with my kids, despite the fact that my class is based on stories, mainly historical fiction. It was a free day though, so I thought it would be fun to share something different, something that comes more naturally for me. It’s always most fun to share what you love, isn’t it? This is the reason my children know how to identify trees better than they can name state capitals. To prep for the class I took my own children on a walk to gather anything of interest that I might share with my class. We filled a couple of baskets and had so much fun spreading everything out on the table and discussing our finds. The next day at class, I read one of our favorites, (affiliate link) A Year Around the Great Oak, and then shared all of the bits and pieces that we had gathered the day before. Then I took my class on a nature walk and we did a lot of observing. I think that it is good to teach children to slow down and actually observe their surroundings. It’s easy to race around and play outside and never take notice of the diversity of life that is all around you, and that is okay. But it’s a wonderful thing to pause and really notice and study all the tiny pieces that make up the big picture of our beautiful Earth. I taught the kids how to tell the difference between a maple and a sweet gum, explained to them that those beautiful lichens are actually a combination of two organisms, but maybe most importantly, I demonstrated an enthusiasm for nature. Not everyone gets excited to identify plants, but children tend to be easily affected by an adult’s example. We really had a lovely class, a wonderful way to end the year. And now my children at home are asking to take nature walks every day and it makes me happy to hear their shouts of excitement over the simplest and most common of things found on the forest floor.

In other news, I’ve been working on a project with a close friend that is making me really happy. It involves Scripture, and journaling, and my photography: specifically flower photography! I haven’t felt quite this excited about something in a long time. I’ll be able to share more in a couple of weeks! I think that many of you will love it. I hope so!!!

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!