Sunday, September 30, 2012

Happy Autumn!

I don't know what it looks like in your neck of the woods, but it is gorgeous here!  In a couple of day it will be prime foliage I think, and I will take a picture of one or two of the surrounding hills.  Simply beautiful!

We are still in the process of settling in, but it is now more everyday routines and less of "oh I need to unpack that".  I still have some boxes left to unpack.  Some will remain packed for an undetermined amount of time.  Come on now, you all have been there, haven't you?  You pack a box of things that you find in the new house and you don't really have any place for right away, but don't want to get rid of them for sentimental reasons?  For the most part we are unpacked.  There are still things left to be hung but some I haven't decided about.  Frankly, I like our walls sparsely decorated right now.  It gives a false sense of "clean room".

Homeschooling is going better than I expected and I haven't regretted for a moment our decision to go to the Charlotte Mason method of teaching.  I haven't gotten it all figured out yet, but so far so good.  We are wrapping up our study of Pennsylvania with research papers, due before we break for Thanksgiving.  We go to a library in the next town over for research days, when needed.  We are there every two weeks anyway, returning library books.   They are starting up a preschool reading time on Tuesdays next month, but I haven't decided if we will go or not yet.  The other children can be working on their research papers for now while Isaac and I enjoy story time.  We'll see.

You can see here Josiah is making an ugly face at me.  It was because I caught him doing school in an empty box and took opportunity to snap his picture.

Here is a recent picture Josiah drew for an oral report on chipmunks.  I think he is rather talented!

Every Wednesday afternoon the twins and I go to a Sign Language class.  It is at a church around the corner from us, so we can walk.  It is from 3 to 5pm, and by the time we get home it is time to get supper on, and get ready for prayer meeting.  Now, in the next couple of weeks, a Ladies Bible Study is being started up by one of the ladies in our church from 10am. to noon on Wednesdays.  I think I can make it work, especially while Dale is able to be home, but it is going to make Wednesdays a very busy day!

Speaking of the ladies, the past weekend some of us got together and went to the big quilt show in Chautauqua NY.  It was wonderful!  The twins wanted to go, so I counted it as a field trip, and thus they got  in a day of school.

Friday nights our teens go to a Teen Bible study at the church around the corner (same one we go to for Sign Language class).  They have a Bible study, refreshments, and games like volleyball, basketball, and floor hockey, but not all at once. :)  A lot of the teen in the neighborhood that don't go to church anywhere will show up for that, so it is used mostly as an outreach.

The couple that does the teen group, also organized an archery field trip for 3rd grade and up.  Our eligible kids got to go, and had a wonderful time!  They are now organizing a horse riding field trip, and my kids are hoping to go.  They've never actually ridden a horse before, but I was assured that was okay.  The couple who are doing all of us only live a few miles from us and mentioned in passing that it would be good to get our kids up there to give them a preliminary experience with horses before the field trip.

These field trips are fantastic, but I am going to have to offer to help chaperon just to get pictures!  I realized after the kids went to the archer trip that I had no record of it.  Boohooohooo!  I still counted it as a day of school.  I supposed I could have sent the camera with Elizabeth, who likes to snap pictures, but somehow letting one of my kids take my one and only camera while tromping through the woods didn't sound like a good idea to me.

Church is going well for us.  We have started a choir and this is the second week for it.  I'm hoping to glean more people for special music from it, too.  If they are in the choir I can hear better who is able to sing, or at least who is willing to give it a try.  I can hear sundry people who seem to be able to sing from behind me while at the piano, but I haven't been able to pinpoint them yet.  I'll get them sooner or later! *evil laugh*

We have several things on our calendar over the next month or so, and I'm finding that life here is a bit busier than it was in NY.  So far it is a "good" busy, not an "overwhelming" type of busyness.  If we get to "overwhelming" then it is time to start cutting back.

In the midst of all of this, I've been trying to get some sewing projects done.  While the older kids were at the archer field trip, I was able to spend some extra one on one time with Jerusha, and we started some hand sewing for her.  She made a cute little felt bookmark, and is looking forward to her next project.  She enjoys beading, and is able to do that mostly without my help.

Isaac enjoyed making roads on the table with Daddy while Jerusha and I were busy sewing together.

I've finished a window block for the downstairs bathroom, and am currently in them midst of quilting a little runner for the standing cupboards in the same bathroom.  I have a cute wall hanging to quilt too.  It is all put together and basted, awaiting its turn at the machine.  I have gotten several months behind on the Craftsy BOM, but I'm hoping to catch up soon.  Last week I was able to get some material for skirts for Esther who seems to be always lacking an everyday skirt to wear.  So all of that is in my immediate "to do" pile.  Oh, I forgot, I'm also working on a throw for the back of the couch.

I hate to even mention it, but I have been brainstorming for Christmas too.  Due to the apparent lack of time I'm trying to keep it simple as possible.

I still enjoy knitting in the evenings, I just recently finished the Azzu's shawl I started back in February?  I can't remember.  It got put on hold for a long time, and I decided I wanted it for this fall so I put a hurry on it over the last few weeks.  I've started an Oaklet Shawl now, and that seems to go pretty quickly.

Things are busy, but we are settling in, and I'm finding our new life here keeps me hopping.  There isn't a whole lot of time for blogging, which you probably already noticed.  

There is lots more to write about and pics to share, but for now I am out of time.  I hope you all have a blessed evening!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Getting Settled In

Well, I'm hoping to post some pictures here if I can get the camera to upload to the laptop, and figure out how to do all that from here.  I am NOT tech savvy, so we'll see how it goes!

As I previously stated, we have been getting more involved in church, and taking over some of the duties, as we ought to be.  I've also gotten all the paperwork in, and we "officially" started school last Thursday.  We are diving in, both feet, not looking back into the Charlotte Mason method of learning.  I've been reviewing a book I read several years ago, "A Charlotte Mason Companion" by Karen Andreola, and studying up on narratives, ideas for different techniques for hands on learning, and creative free time playing.  No, I don't have it "all together" yet, but we are getting there.   So far I've learned that I have to keep up on the record keeping everyday just for my own peace of mind in regards to the end of the year portfolios.  Also, I'm pleased that there are no required quarterly reports in Pennsylvania.  Just one great big reckoning at the end of the year.

The library is just around the corner from us, but it is TINY, and not very good as far as good kids' books are concerned.  There are some of the classics (most of which I have) and some stuff on Pennsylvania.  Our first History/Geography lesson is all about this new state in which we live, and I was hoping for some good kids' biographies or stories about the Liberty Bell, or living books about the Allegany River or Appalachian Mountains... but I haven't found anything that would be a good living book at the library, so we'll have to look stuff up on the Internet, and maybe I can find some decent priced things on Amazon.  For now I have a few books in my own private library they can use.  We aren't suffering for books around here! LOL

Our next door neighbor had a baby last week, and I decided to make a baby quilt.  There are two things about this baby quilt that made me reach beyond the rut I've gotten into.  First of all, it is of my own design.  Second, it isn't symmetrical.  Also, I used some machine applique which I have never been brave enough to try.  It is of an abstract, modern design too, a real departure from my tendency to use more traditional arrangement.  I just need to put the label on it, and we'll take it over, and bring a meal, too.

We seem to have inherited a black bunny from somewhere.  It definitely isn't wild.  It eats the grass and weeds sedately and though it doesn't startle and run away from us, it won't let us exactly touch it.  The cat has had mild interest in it.  I think he tried to chase it once, then decided to just resort to grooming himself and ignoring the strange intruder.

The weather here has been pretty good, but we have had a few hot and humid days.  Thankfully it has been cool enough at night so that we can just run the fans.  We haven't attempted to put in the AC's yet, as it seems too late in the season to mess with it.  Plus, the style of windows we have for the most part, do no lend themselves to air conditioning units.  That is something we'll have to deal with next year.  
This next picture is one Elizabeth took of me, and decided that the heat was getting to me.  The water here is very different than it was in NY.  I think it is very "soft" water, for suds are quite easily made, and can easily take over if one isn't careful.  Looking at the suds at the end of a hot, humid day, I was longing for snow, and well.....

So, there is a small update.  I'll leave out the boring details of our first monthly shopping, and doing some reconnaissance and finding two very small, but tempting quilt shops.... let's just say Dale is very happy they are each 45 minutes away!  

Dale has put up some pictures on the walls, and the stencils I bought through Amazon.  Very cute looking, I have to say!  I'll post pics of those soon.

Blessings to you all!