Selfish Blogging

Confession:  I am here for self-indulgent reasons.

I have been feeling the itch to write for a long time!  I’m journaling more.  Noticing more.  Thinking more.  It’s a good feeling.  The urge to write brought me to a moment of scrolling through this old blog of mine, treasuring the moments I captured here and remembering how it felt to sit down and record my life and my thoughts.  The act of writing was rewarding; the resulting collection of memories is a treasure.

I am back to blogging for selfish reasons.  I don’t want to lose these memories! But maybe the side effect will be positive for you.  Maybe you will like what you see here and want to stick around.  Maybe you’ve been with me for a long time, and you like the way I see the world.  If so, great!  I’m glad to have you.  Let’s do life together…

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November – The Big Purge!

I am delighted to join Kristin from “Kristin’s Chaotic Life” and Heidi from “Heidi Sonboul” for a pre-holiday decluttering session.

FREE printable here >>>  CLICK!

I will be following along with Kristin and Heidi as we purge our clutter and get our homes clean and tidy for the holiday season.  My hubby and I have been getting rid of bags and bags of stuff throughout October, so this is a continuation of our efforts.  To be fair, all of our time has gone to cleaning out the basement, so we don’t have a lot to show for our work.  The Big Purge is just what I need to transform our living spaces, too.

If you would like to join in, visit the YouTube channels, grab your free printable, and comment on this post.

Happy November!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.