Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Starlings in Winter

...They are this notable thing, this wheel of many parts,
that can rise and spin over and over again,
full of gorgeous life. 
                        Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us, even in the leafless winter...

                        I feel my boots leave the ground, I feel my heart pumping hard.
                        I want to think again of dangerous and noble things.

                                           I want to be light and frolicsome.

                                  I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,

as though I had wings.
   ~from Starlings in Winter by Mary Oliver

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Winter Song

Early Winter

Photo from winter storm two years ago

Hoping and praying for all in the path of Sandy. We have weathered the storms before, but I was hoping to delay the worst of winter until later in the season. We are prepared nonetheless.

Warm blessings.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Way

                                                    The Power Place

The only way to get to know this country (any country), the only way, is with your body. On foot. Best of all - after scrambling to a high place - on your rump...
                                             - Edward Abbey, Beyond the Wall

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Boys of Fall

Fall fun

 Earlier this week we went with some of our homeschool friends to a performance of Peter and the Wolf put on by the Blue Ridge Orchestra, held at the University of North Carolina Asheville. The performance consisted of the orchestra and a narration of a shadow puppet play. The conductor introduced the children to the individual instruments and their families, then led the performance. The children really enjoyed it.
The narrator on the left, by the harp
 After the performance we showed our friends around the college campus, since we used to live nearby. Then we went to the Botanical Gardens for a picnic and hike.
labyrinth at the college

play sculpture

fountain at the Botanical Gardens

The big beautiful silver maple at the Botanical Gardens
Yesterday, we invited our friends over for a Nerf war/bonfire/sleepover party to celebrate J's birthday, since he was sick on his actual birthday. The weather was nice; we had thought we might get rained out. The boys (13 of them!) ran around the farm playing and enjoying hanging out. Good times!

Holding down the fort
Weiner roast
We're so blessed to have such wonderful friends to share our lives with. Love them all! xo

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Ode to the Blue Ridge Mountains

Autumn Anticipation

View of our house from the main road (the dead tree on the left was cut up for firewood)

Our road

                             The changing of the leaves is underway. We love our mountains, the awe-some beauty. Our fall registration for our homeschool co-op classes was yesterday. J will be taking a Zombie Apocalypse class and C will be taking a Day in the Life in Medieval Times class (We just finished our previous session where they both took a Lego Challenges class I facilitated). They had fun playing on the island with their friends and they found a baby snapping turtle. The kids were so excited! Too bad I don't know how to post pictures from my cell phone.

Our beautiful maple tree in our front yard

View from our front yard

Leaf couple holding hands

Another leaf couple
Can you see me?


We have been reading a lot about insects and birds. There have been lots of birds at our bird feeders, including chickadees, goldfinches and titmice. We love the chick-a-dee-dee-dee and peter-peter-peter (the titmouse) songs. I mentioned some of favorite bird books in a previous post here.

~Our favorite insect books are:
Science Nature Guides: Insects
Eyewitness Books: Insects
Song of the Water Boatman
Fun with Nature Take-Along Guide
Simon & Schuster Children's Guide to Insects and Spiders
Peterson Field Guide: Insects
National Audubon Society Pocket Guide: Insects and Spiders
The woolybear caterpillar who is overwintering with us (he will turn into a Isabella tiger moth)
 joining the cecropia moth caterpillar already residing here. The boys do love insects!
A type of ground beetle

Pregnant praying mantis
Fungi under one of our play stumps
It is beginning to stay cool at night, so we have been loading up the woodstove. Soup is a popular meal. Woolies are pulled down from the attic and walking around barefoot is no longer a frequent occurrence. The wood floors can get cold! Hope you all are enjoying the beginning of autumn.

Warm wishes,

Edited to add: I forgot to mention the Tuesday movie night the boys had with Daddy and brothers from church. The men's group sponsored a showing of the movie Courageous, along with dinner. It was great for Mike and the boys to have a "boy's night". And I enjoyed my own "girl" time!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Aikakauslehti Lahja (Magazine Gift)

Thanks to Sinianna for the beautiful magazine from Finland. I love it! We're enjoying learning some Finnish words. And thanks to V for hosting the magazine swap.

Rauha ja rakkaus (Peace and love),