Back to Homeschool

I love the back-to-school season!  I get so excited about all the big possibilities.  I love the return to a settled routine.  I love reconnecting with friends and trying new things in our homeschool.  When we made the decision to educate our children at home, I wondered if we would miss out on the excitement and festivities associated with returning to the school year.  What about school shopping and new school shoes and photos before jumping on the school bus?  Would I regret giving up those things?

I quickly realized that the traditions of back-to-school are easily mirrored in homeschool life.  We go back-to-school shopping, but we aren’t following a prescribed list.  We get new shoes (Thanks, Grandma!), but we aren’t worried about having “the right” shoes based on peer pressure (at least not yet).  And I love snapping first-day-of-school pictures and comparing them to previous years.  Boy, these kids grow like weeds.  Here’s a quick look at our start to school for 2018-2019:

 

Happy Independence Day!

Summer is undeniably here!  We have been in the midst of a heatwave that has left us feeling a bit wilted.  Despite the high temperatures (for our climate), yesterday was a picture-perfect fourth of July.  The sky was as blue as could be.  The water on the river glistened in the sun.  The corn on the cob was sweet and crisp.  Can I brag about my peach pies?

Just a good, good day.

flag

I must confess that the news and all the junk coming across my Facebook feed (more about that later) have put a damper on my patriotism.  It’s hard to feel the warm ‘n fuzzies when things are kind of a mess in our nation.  However, those feelings do not erase the gratitude I have as I live in a place where I am free to speak, free to worship, free to pursue any dream I can imagine.  Now, I just pray that we can make those freedoms available to every American.  Let’s make that happen, okay?

In the mean time, I’m going to rest in my gratitude and the joy I feel in living here with a family I love, a job I enjoy, and a faith that sustains me.  Even while I experience fear and concern and sometimes disbelief, I can cling to God’s sovereignty and know my hope is secure.  I can look to the men and women who have worked and died to build and protect our nation, and their sacrifice is not lost on me.

tree

stream

river

red

mushroom

Days like yesterday affirm that the world is beautiful, that my family is a gift.  I haven’t been posting here at all.  I want you to know that nothing bad has happened.  My days are often filled with too much GOOD, allowing little time for editing photos and typing blog posts.  But as I flipped through my photos this morning, I felt the familiar urge to share here.  I got excited!  I remembered how much joy Warm as Pie has given me over the years.  I thought about the factors that pull me away from this space and evaluated how I can make my way back.  So many times, I’ve returned with a good dose of enthusiasm and dropped a basket of promises in your laps–promises I failed to keep.

play1

So today, I’m just going to say “Thank You” and “Happy Independence Day!”  I hope to see you very soon.

~*Erica*~

 

October Fun!

I love October!  I love pumpkins and hay rides and festivals.  I just can’t get enough.  Oh, and babies with pumpkins–the cuteness leaves me speechless!  Here is a little peek into our October.

DSC_0079

 

pumpkinpatch

DSC_0069

DSC_0146

DSC_0135

Between the fun annual events–a pumpkin patch trip, a local parade,and a zoo trip–we have been working on letting go of many of our belongings.  It’s hard but freeing,and I am left feeling amazed by the amount of stuff that simply accumulates when you really aren’t looking.  Here’s to keeping our eyes open and our hearts ready for whatever comes next!

Art: A Busy Mom’s Manifesto

I pledge to make room for art in my life.

I will create art with words.

I will make art with my camera.

I will make art with clay and paper and ink and paint and fiber and pencil–even if I only have fifteen minutes!

I will explore new modes of art, and I will relish the experience.

I will make art with my cello and with my voice, even if it’s out of tune.

Even though it is hard and makes me shy and embarrassed, I promise to make art through movement.  I will dance with my children.  I will dance with my husband.  I will dance alone.  I will stretch my comfort zone and my muscles.  I will feel wind in my hair as I turn, and I will imagine a time when I could do that without worrying what others thought.  (Was there ever a time?)

I vow to make art for its own sake.

I will be a “process over product” maker, and I will ignore those internal voices that say my work isn’t good. I will hear the “why bother,” and I will remember that the value of *my* art is in the making, not in anyone’s assessment of the results.

I will claim creativity as a core value in my life, and as such, creating will sometimes come first on my to-do list with no guilt attached.

I will celebrate art in my community and honor the people around me who create in many forms.  I will seek opportunities to see others’ making or displaying art, and I will cherish those experiences with my family.

DSC_0938

I will say yes when my kids want to paint, sculpt, or draw.  I will join them.

I will bring art into my home, but more importantly, I will treat the art that is made in my home with the respect it deserves.

Picasso said, “Every child is an artist,” and I am a child at heart.

 

(Photo from World Ballet Day 2017)

Instead.

The post I planned for today seemed inadequate after I woke to the news of the shooting in Las Vegas.  I was going to talk about something rather personal, and suddenly, it felt too self-centered.  When tragedy strikes, we often find comfort in unity.  For a time, we are bound by our common shock and our collective mourning.  My post would have been inappropriately individual.  It can wait for another day.

Plans change.  Our morning was supposed to begin with breakfast and school work.  Typical.  Pleasantly ordinary.  Instead, our dogs escaped the fence, and we spent over two hours searching for them, crying, and even making missing posters.  One child lost a tooth in the midst of everything.  We did find our dogs. We read about the shooting and talked about it.  We talked about violence and hurting people.  Hurting people and people who hurt.  We talked about peace and about anger that sits deep inside a person.  These were hard conversations.

We abandoned our plans.

1002171321b

Instead, we had a picnic in the park.  We walked to a local historical site and let our imaginations take over.  We enjoyed the perfect weather on an October afternoon, commenting on the remarkable blue of the sky.  We made note of the leaves just beginning to change and remembered how fleeting autumn color is.  What will the trees look like in a week or a month?

1002171359

My oldest son asked why shootings happen.  I don’t have all the answers, of course, and I certainly cannot control what other people do with their hurt and their anger.  Heck, I can’t even control my Monday morning that was supposed to be ordinary and predictable with math workbooks and phonics practice.  But I can make a little home where peace is a priority–where love comes before all else.  I can create gentleness in my kids, hoping that they will pass it along. I can try.

Welcome to the new Warm as Pie

Welcome, friends!  Welcome to http://www.warmaspie.com.  I am grateful that you are here to follow my family’s journey, to take the time to spend a few quiet moments with me when you have infinite options in this big, busy world.  Quiet.  That is what I wish to bring you. I’ve been learning in recent years how much I need silence each day.  I need a little time to rest, to think, and to listen for God’s still voice.  Writing here gives me those moments that I crave deeply.  I hope that reading my blog will be just as refreshing for you.

Yes, the biggest change on this 8th anniversary of my blog is that I have finally purchased my own domain!  Warm as Pie has been an important part of my life for quite a long time.  I dreamed it’s name more than eight years ago, and it immediately felt perfect.  I never doubted my choice, and unlike so many other ventures in my life, I have never grown tired of it or wondered if it accurately captures the content and mood I wish to create here.  The move to claim this piece of virtual real estate felt like the next right step, so this afternoon, I did it!

You will also notice that Warm as Pie has a very different look.  What do you think?  The grid of photographs highlights my favorite part of keeping this blog–the images.  Landing on this “Cubic” homepage feels fresh and alive.

Are you ready to take the next steps with me?  I hope you’ll return frequently to see my pictures and stories, and I’m excited to introduce a new element to this website — Movie Mondays! I won’t promise a video every Monday, but from time to time, you will have a chance to see and hear me reach out from this screen in the form of a short video.  I’m excited to connect with you in a brand new way.

Cheers!

minteveningsungardener

Summer 2017: Recap #1

{Don’t forget Warm as Pie‘s official re-launch on September 22nd.  I’m welcoming autumn and celebrating 8 years of blogging all in one fun swoop.}

The summer flew at top speed.  It came in wet and cool, and it seems to be going out with a brief return to summer’s heat.  Or at least the kind of heat we are used to in the northeast.

We had a nice summer.  We didn’t go on a grand vacation to an exotic place.  We didn’t take a road trip or climb a mountain.  Instead, we worked.  I had a few doula jobs, and we made some changes to the house.  We enjoyed sunshine and family time.  We grew a garden with moderate (but joyful!) success.

In July, we spent a fun day at a Lego extravaganza!  It was a colorful and energetic event with so many things to touch and explore.

dsc_0018.jpg

DSC_0041

DSC_0028 (2) DSC_0003