11 February 2012

This morning I am, as I told my husband, getting my life together. He asked what, exactly, that entails, and I explained that it starts with making lots of lists. A list immediately makes me feel like things are getting together. (The hard part, we all know, is actually doing what's on the list.)  And he nicely asked what things in my life aren't together, which I thought very generous, since he had to ask for clean underwear this week.

So I'm upstairs, in the newly-tidied Happy Room, writing plans for meals, our overall schedule, what I want to accomplish in school lessons, and what extras need to be fit in, somehow.  I have water with a straw (my favorite), Andrew Peterson singing, and lots of looseleaf paper.  It really doesn't take much to make me happy!  Actually, it just being a sunny Saturday makes me happy, so everything else is a bonus.

I started reading "Around the World in Eighty Days" last night.  It's on Caiden's 5th grade reading plan, and while I love Jules Verne, I've never read this one. My goal is to read all the books on his list, even the ones I'd read years ago (Island of the Blue Dolphins, yay!) and take notes on what I want to remember to discuss with him when he reads them in the fall.   The list is immense, and I have no idea how I'm going to read them all and still do the laundry and feed my family!  But it's a goal I'm excited about reaching.

In non-school related reading, I finished "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet" yesterday, about a friendship between a Chinese boy and Japanese girl in Seattle during WWII.  I love historical fiction--it helps fill in gaps I have from having had history teachers who were football coaches first and teachers second (We actually watched deer hunting videos in class when my freshman history teacher, the varsity head coach, was out.  That's what he planned for his sub!!  Good grief, it's no wonder I don't know anything about history!)  Anyway, the book is a really sweet read.

I keep waking up in the middle of the night and am currently occupying myself by redecorating our little guest house in my mind.  It works wonders for falling back asleep, and I think I've come up with a great plan. I have to convince my husband to move my treadmill to the back porch, and give away both the old big screen TV and our little loveseat so I can move in different furniture, but I think if I can cast enough vision, he'll agree.  We've never decorated the space at all, and in my mind it's going to look really pretty and welcoming when it's done!  Decorating the guest house is all part of a bigger plan, but I'm not ready to reveal all that just yet.  More thinking and planning first . . .

Texas is proving to be her typical warm, sunny self this winter, and my beds are filled with blooming daffodils.  Whoever planted them years ago loved them, and they are planted abundantly along our entire driveway bed, which goes for about 100 feet.  They're so cheery and beautiful in the winter, and they make me want to get out there and weed!  (You know you live in Texas when the weeds grow in the winter!)  Somehow, I'm going to fit in weeding this weekend.  I know that sounds ironic--weekends are supposed to be relaxed and slow.  But I'm married to a pastor, and our church has services both Saturday evening and Sunday, so my weekends are full!  Caiden is in winter basketball, with a few more weeks to go, and his games are on Saturday, too.  So it's hard to add extra things to an already-full weekend.)

Here are a few random pictures of what we've been doing this winter:

Climbing trees,

reading, reading, reading, (Where are Grayson's covers?  Probably in a fort somewhere.)

learning and building and creating and playing together,

teaching our kindergartener to read!

and, insanely, starting a quilt.
I saw this quilt and loved the vintage, scrappy look of it.  That's my favorite kind of quilt--one that looks like Grandma made it out of her old dresses and housecoats, with no planned color scheme.  It's hand-appliqued and paper pieced, so each of those squares is hand-sewn before being machine pieced together.  It's going to take 252 of those little squares, which felt impossible when I started.  But I just work on sewing them at night when Chris and I watch TV together, and I already have two of the nine rows finished.  I already love it.  If you look, you'll see the four-piece blocks form a circle, but when the blocks are set next to each other, they also form Xs, see?  So Grayson and I decided to call it the Love Quilt, since it's made up of Xs and Os!  It's insane to think of making a hand-sewn quilt right now, when I'm having a hard time keeping up with the laundry, but making beautiful things keeps my soul happy.

So that's what's going on around here lately.  Reading, playing, learning, going, doing, making.  My favorite things!  Now back to making lists . . .


  1. Your love of lists is genetic I'm sure - I'm the Queen of Lists - makes everything feel in control, and when life is a bit out of control I just jot notes - toss them on the counter and eventually gather them into one giant list that calms my heart. Love that you used the word 'housecoats' - old soul that you are! xoxoxo

  2. I have to agree with you making list make me feel so much better. The hard part is getting it all done. I teach pre-k and the list goes on and on with work stuff and then doing life outside work. I am single so it should not be that full but I do have the awesome privilege of working with youth at our church. This post made me laugh and now I am going to drink some coffee and write a list with my new pens. Have a week.

  3. "making beautiful things keeps my soul happy." -Yes and AMEN! : ) Quilting is one of those things for me too. Love the Love quilt!

  4. Just the encouragement I needed to go get started on my own lists! I lost my family notebook (heartbreaking- I love to look back at what we have doine and what my to do lists were at a certain point in time) and have just started a new one. Menu planning and closet cleaning are the first for me to work on!

  5. Are we long-lost twins? I am a huge list-maker. Lists make me feel like I'm on track. I'm making progress. I'm getting there! I love nothing more than to be huddled up somewhere with something wonderful to drink, a pile of books/journals, and fresh sheets of paper for 'planning.' My husband teases me about it!

  6. Hi Sarah
    I am wondering where you get you book list by grade from. I homeschool my four kids and piece book lists together myself as I try and combine a classical and CM approach. It would be so helpful to have a great book list to pull from. Thanks for the inspiration. It is always encouraging to know that you are not alone in having to revamp household systems!


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