Saturday, August 31, 2013

Community Supported Agriculture

For the last five years we have been part of a CSA. The first three years we were part of a traditional CSA at one of our local farms. We'd go each week to pick up our bag, do the u-pick portion of our share and spend some time wandering the grounds of the farm. We loved our weekly trips to the farm and we love supporting a local farmer. After a few years as part of that CSA we had heard that our favorite place to pick berries was offering a different kind of CSA opportunity. There the money we paid into the CSA would be put on a debit card and we could use it to choose anything in their farm or farm stand. This option is by far our favorite! We are able to go and choose what we need when we need it in the quantities we need and are never stuck with something we don't enjoy eating. Score! We were super excited when they made the decision to partner with other local farmers to include "new" items in their stand (items like eggs, cheese and bread). It has been a joy to be able to purchase so much so close to home!

A couple of weeks ago a surprise arrived in the mail. I had no idea what this could possibly be and we excitedly opened the box to see what was inside. Once open, a note from a college friend of ours was discovered and read. In addition to the note, she had enclosed two beautiful mesh produce bags that she had made for us, as well as the pattern so I could make some too. Jenny had posted a picture of them on Facebook a little while ago where I commented on how beautiful they were and she decided to surprise us with some of our very own! It's been a good few years since I've spent time with my crochet hook but I think this might just be the project that gets us reunited! These bags are just gorgeous and hold way more than I initially thought they could.

Today, when the girls and I stopped into the farm stand to pick up some much needed provisions, the farmer was there. As he was ringing up our purchases I took out our lovely mesh produce bags and began putting the items inside. It was then that he stopped what he was doing to compliment us on how gorgeous these mesh bags of ours were. I have a feeling that had I said I made them he would have asked me to whip some up to sell in the stand (they are that lovely)! Thank you, Jenny, for surprising us with such a lovely gift. They are the perfect addition to our weekly trip to the farm and we will surely enjoy them for years to come! xo

Friday, August 30, 2013

{This Moment} Peach Cobbler

{This Moment} - A Soule Mama Friday ritual. A single photo- no words- capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you are inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments section for all to find and see. We wish you a lovely Labor Day weekend!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Who Rules The World?

Incase there was any confusion this picture should clear that right up!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

On Not-Back-To-School Day

Happy Not-Back-To-School Day, friends! May this next year of living, loving and learning together be your best yet! And we hope that this Crappy Pictures post is the cherry on top of your Not-Back-To-School Day sundae today. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Seven Years And Counting

Two years ago on "back to school eve" I wrote about how we came to be a homeschooling family. Had we been a traditionally schooling family that night two years ago would have been Grace's last night before heading off to Kindergarten in the morning. With that in mind, and with the notion that if we were a traditionally schooling family this very night would be Emma's last night before heading off to Kindergarten in the morning, I decided that it was the perfect time to share a little bit about where we are on this journey.
Over these last seven years we've learned so very much. We've learned what works for us and what doesn't. We've learned who we can count on and who we can't. We've learned that this road is not without its challenges, but that those challenges help to make us an even stronger more connected family. Most importantly we've learned that there is no other path we'd rather be walking down. 
 We started living this lifestyle the moment Grace was born. Before we had any idea what it was we were doing, and before we knew that there were others that lived this way too. In all these years not too much has changed (though we clearly know what we are doing, and we now know other like minded families living this way too). We are still big believers in the use of daily (and monthly and seasonal) rhythms. We are still big believers in being deeply rooted in nature and the arts and in giving kids plenty of time to be kids and play and get messy. We are still big believers that they will do things when they are ready and not a moment sooner. And, most importantly, we are still big believers in the connectedness (and contentedness) that this lifestyle has blessed us with. 
About the only thing that has changed is that each day the girls and I sit down and do a little something. Oftentimes it comes out of one of our Oak Meadow books, other times it's something that we came up with on our own (a game, a project, an experiment). This became part of our daily rhythm because Grace was looking for a little something more. She came to us one evening last autumn and asked for help learning to read and learning "the big numbers" (meaning anything greater than ten). It was then that we added that little change into our day. It felt right because it was what she advocated for for herself rather than her having to do it because it was "time". 
There are many people that have asked us about the future over the years. "How long will you do this for?" "What about college?" things like that. And all that we can say is that we will do this for as long as it feels right to all of us. When it comes to college we don't look that far down the road. Right now, as high as college tuition is, we couldn't afford a minute there let alone four years. Who knows what college will be like by the time the girls are ready to go. Will it even exists as we know it today? Will it even be necessary? And more importantly will it even be what they want? We won't know 'till we get there, friends, and until then I'm going to sit back and enjoy the ride. For those who take comfort  in (and feel better with) statistics to back things up check out this handy little graphic that I have pinned to one of my boards on Pintrest.  
And so in the morning when the kids in town are heading off for their first day of the new school year we'll be getting up and having our usual mellow morning. Chances are one of us will remark that the school buses are back on the road, but other than that nothing will be any different for us. We'll simply go about our day as we always do, full of wonder and joy at another day spent living, learning, laughing and loving together. 

Monday, August 26, 2013

Best. Slip 'N Slide. Ever.

Leave it to an awesome family of second generation unschoolers to have the biggest (and best) slip n' slide we've ever seen! The only way yesterday could have been any more fabulous would have been if David didn't have to work and could have been there with us to join in the fun. He truly would have been in his glory! Thanks for including us in such a fun filled birthday celebration yesterday, friends! It was indeed one for the history books!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Smiles::Breakfast In Bed

Some days just call for breakfast in bed. Today is one of those days! Happy Sunday, friends!

Friday, August 23, 2013

{This Moment} On Our Eleventh Anniversary

This Moment} - A Soule Mama Friday ritual. A single photo- no words- capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you are inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments section for all to find and see. We wish you a lovely weekend!

Thursday, August 22, 2013


Last week peaches, today raspberries! 
We met up with some fabulous like minded friends for a lovely day spent at the orchard today. 
There was endless chatting, lots of playing and some fruit picking. It was divine!
These berries are as delicious as they are gorgeous. 
Oh, and we grabbed another tray full of peaches while we were there too. The berries are practically gone already but the peaches will become some very yummy cobbler this weekend! 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Our New Hampshire Advenutre

Last week we spent a few days in New Hampshire. We decided to leave a day earlier than planned so we could just wake up there and get right to the fun. Originally, both of Dave's parents were supposed to join us but his father ended up going on a last minute work trip to Japan so we only had his mom along for the fun. We packed up, got on the road and were happily greeted by a snowman when we arrived at the hotel.
The next day we headed to Story Land. It was the first time any of us had been there and we had such a blast. First stop: a visit with the "Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe".  Notice how even Library Duck got in on the action. 
There was so much to do there but I think it's safe to say that the highlight of the day was riding the swan boats. I have always wanted to ride in a swan boat like that and was so happy that we got to ride them more than once! The only way it could have been any better would have been if this swan boat took us through a tunnel of love (another thing I've always wanted to do)! The horses you see the girls riding are part of the Antique German Carousel. It's one of two in the world (the other's in Munich). They move back and forth instead of up and down. Such a beautiful carousel. 
We had plans to meet up with friends of ours for Cinderella's Tea Party.
We were ready for a tea party but had no idea we'd be getting an etiquette lesson out of the deal too!
Some more rides, a visit to the wayside chapel (like the ones found in Austria), and a visit to Butterfly Island aboard the Story Land Queen rounded out our day. We headed back to the hotel tired and blissfully happy. 
The next day brought grey skies and lots of rain. Not the ideal time to go to Santa's Village as we had planned but evidently a good time to journey up the Mount Washington Auto Road. Having never been up Mount Washington before I had no idea how tense some of the moments during our drive up (and consequently down) would be. Dave has always wanted to do this and since he supported my dream of riding swan boats I felt it was only fair to this dream of his. As a born and raised New Englander I always thought it was silly when I would see a car with a "This Car Climbed Mount Washington" bumper sticker on it. I used to think: "How hard could it be for a car to go up a mountain?" I now know how truly challenging (and bumper sticker worthy) it is!
The next day was our last one in New Hampshire. It was a chilly but lovely day and we decided that it would be fun to go to Santa's Village before we headed home. We are all so glad we did as this was indeed a magical place. 
We were sad to see our New Hampshire adventure come to an end but it was lovely to arrive home full of happiness and lots of wonderful memories!

Monday, August 19, 2013

A Marvelous Monday

Today we spent the day catching up with friends we hadn't seen in about a year. 
It was divine to spend the day at the lake with our friends. 
Sitting there chatting with Emily while the kids played was truly the perfect way to start the week. 
On our way home from the lake we happened upon a group of wild turkeys hanging out in the street. It flashed me back to growing up in Bethany where wild turkeys were often crossing streets (in addition to pigs and sometimes cows). A taste of small town life in my not so small town was lovely.
This sweet bouquet was brought to us by our sweet friends. 
I can't help but smile every time I pass by it. 
It's the perfect addition to our nature table and a lovely reminder that no matter how long you go between visits good friends can always pick up right where they left off. Thanks for spending the day with us, friends and making the start to our week simply fabulous! xo

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Peachy Sunday

Even though I have so many photos to share from last week I couldn't help but feel like this one just had to be shared today. We've spent most of the weekend canning (yesterday tomato sauce, today peaches) and as soon as I saw how sweet and cheery this picture was I knew the other blog posts needed to wait a little longer so this one could be shared on the day it was actually taken. These peaches are amazingly delicious and will be a lovely reminder of our peach picking adventure this winter when we enjoy them! 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

As Long As We Got Love

Remember how it used to be, 
It was only you and me, 
We didn't worry much about anything,
And not a dollar to my name,
But you loved me just the same,
Yeah it felt like I had everything. 
Holdin' my hand, walk down the beach,
I would pretend that you were my queen,
Even though our castle is only in the sand.
Girl, we've got something that keeps reminding us,
We don't need nothing, as long as we got love, 
Believe it, I mean it, I know we'll always have enough as long as we got love.
Blink your eyes and here we are, 
Got a dog and bought a car, 
Little footsteps down the hall, 
Life's responsibilities sometimes makes it hard to see,
The million things about you I adore.
But the castles are now more than just sand, 
So let the rain fall 'cause we're gonna stand.
Girl, we've got something that keeps reminding us, 
We don't need nothing, as long as we got love, 
Believe it, I mean it, I know we'll always have enough
as long as we got love.
At the end of the day, the city's asleep, I'm wide awake with the girls of my dreams,
And all that we've got is the only thing I'll ever need,
Boy, we've got something that keeps reminding us, 
We don't need nothing... 
Girl, we've got something that keeps reminding us, 
We don't need nothing as long as we got love,
Believe it, I mean it, I know we'll always have enough,
As long as we got love. 

-Lyrics from "As Long As We've Got Love" by Javier Colon 
(who happened to have been our RA when we were at the University of Hartford!)

Eleven years ago today, on a day significantly hotter than this, we stood before our family and friends and said "I do". It's amazing to look back and see all that's happened over these years. We've created quite a life (and a sweet family) for ourselves all because of two simple words and a whole lot of love! I can't wait to see what the next year holds, what adventures we'll have and what we'll add to this amazing love story of ours! xoxox