Wintry Daybook

For today… Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Outside my window… It’s quite cold again.  Ah, winter in the south.  One week we experience arctic-like deep freeze…the next it’s spring-like…and now we’re back to wintry temps.

Right now, our birds are basking in plentiful bird feeders.  Our crows visited yesterday as we crumbled stale bread for our grain-loving friends.  And, the cardinals are always so cheery to see against all the wintry browns and grays.

I’m sad to report that a strong gust of wind on Christmas Eve morning swept my beautiful statue of Our Lady over breaking her in three places.  I’m heartbroken.  We might be able to repair her, but I don’t think she’ll ever be able to sit on her rock in the pond again.  I hope to repair her in the spring.

I am thankful for… wintry days at home.  I’ve been guarding our outside the home commitments very closely, and it has yielded some wonderful days at home with concentrated learning time.  I’ve been able to accomplish a number of projects and look ahead a bit to high school planning for next year.  I know that many loathe the days of winter, but truthfully, I relish the closeness they inspire in our family, the home-centered days that unfold, and the ability to be present here in the ordinary moments rather than feeling caught up in a constant take-off pattern.  It’s been a delight I’m sort of clinging to…knowing that it is not a constant.  Spring baseball season is right around the corner!

From the kitchen… leftovers of chicken alfredo that Rob and Sweet Pea made last night. YUM!  I hope to tidy my bake center, which has been a bit neglected of late.  Maybe I can snap some pictures and put up that post of the bake center I’ve been hoping to get to!  🙂

I am wearing… a red flannel jumper with a cream turtleneck and cream sweater.  It’s quite cozy!  I’m thinking my bright red gingham apron will be perfectly cheery with my red flannel jumper.

I am reading… Lasagna Gardening: A New Layering System for Bountiful Gardens: No Digging, No Tilling, No Weeding, No Kidding!  I got it for Christmas!  Though I’m all snugged up inside, my thoughts are of how I can make this work outside!

I am hearing… someone boisterously descending the stairs……….they needed a slight re-direct to finish their chores inside before heading outside to tend to those chores.

Looking to the rhythm of the liturgical year… I’ve been considering a post on our teatime reading with the saints. A friend was asking me about this not too long ago. This is something I do with the older children. It’s not complicated, there is no crafting, it’s just reading, sipping something yummy, and a conversation. It’s quieter here for tea time since the littler two are usually napping. That makes it the perfect time to dig into something a little meatier with the older kids. We really relish our quiet time spent together with teatime reading. I generally coordinate the reading around the liturgical year, choosing a new book to read to prepare for a saint’s upcoming Feast. The Vision Book series is great for this, as are the Mary Fabyan Windeatt books. For older high school age kids, I love Louis de Wohl novels – they’re riveting! Right now we’re reading St. John Bosco by Catherine Beebe.

In our learning spaces…I’ve been ordering our library of books. I went to look for a book…and couldn’t find it.  When looking around I realized that I hadn’t been really attentive lately in keeping books in right places.  We have an extensive living history library thanks to my mom (we inherited all her wonderful books from her homeschooling days) and my living science library is about to rival history.  As I was planning for high school and looking to assess our library and the things we had living on our shelves, I realized I hadn’t kept books ordered in a way that made them accessible and assisted me in being a good steward of the many resources we have.  I’m almost finished re-ordering.  I tackled living history, living science, and liturgical year books.  I’m finished with all but a revamping of the liturgical year books…and of course the labelmaker is involved in ALL.  I’ll post pics and an explanation when I’m done in case it’s helpful to anyone but me. 

Around the house… I’m steam mopping floors (a gift I received for Christmas – don’t you just appreciate so much the practical gift?!) and tackling laundry habits.

A few plans for the rest of the week…Finish up the re-ordering (and labeling :)!!!! ) of our home education library, catch up on my laundry, and create a menu AFTER having shopped already. I don’t recommend the menu after shopping method, as it seems contrary to common sense…but alas, I had the opportunity for Rob to shop for me, and though I hadn’t made a menu yet, I jumped on it providing a list of basics. Now, to create a menu out of what’s here. I can do this, right?

Here is a picture thought I am sharing…

The Peanut turns 5!

The Sweet Pea turns 13!!!

Doodlebug enjoys more temperate wintry days outside!

Both boys climbing to the top of our oak tree – that’s Peanut, the Fearless, at the top of the tree, with Mark, the cautious, just below him.

This image just captured me – and I thought it would be lovely to show you how winter settles over the back of our land!  I’ve shown you the lovely view off our front porch before, but this is the view out the back through the tree line and onto the farmland behind us.

I hope your wintry days are full of warm, cozy moments with your families pulled in close!

Visit Peggy at The Simple Woman for more Daybook entries. 🙂

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  1. I recently read an article in our local newspaper on various time- and budget-saving tips. One menu-planning tip was a Web site that you can type in what you already have in your pantry and it will give you recipes using those ingredients. Of course, I can't remember the name of the Web site, but I tried to do a quick search, and I think it is Of course, I am not sure, but I may still have the paper, as we are moving this Saturday, and I've been saving all the papers for packing. If I come across it, I will get back to you with the real Web site, if it is different from the one I found.

  2. I'm really looking forward to your library post. I'll be after organising tips. I can't wait till I can pull out my mum's books, and our books and all the extra books we seem to have accumulated since we moved here.
    BTW Do you have a catalogue? We purchased Readerware and a scanner a few years back. When I have my library totally catalogued I'll share my catalogue with you.

    Off to checkout Sarah's link:)

  3. Regarding the menu planning and the shopping – I've completely separated the two at this point. I have a list of pantry staples and if a recipe requires something that isn't on my list, it doesn't get made. It would seem like this would be overly limiting, but with a fairly generous list of staples and regular grocery runs to replenish the staples and seasonal veggies, it is actually working extremely well. Menus always get planned on Mondays, and grocery shopping happens whenever I can tack it onto something else. We live in the country too, and I guard my going out time very closely as well.

    I loved the pictures, and happy birthday to two of your lovely children!

  4. Dear Jen,
    I always love your daybooks. Glad to have something to read here. I have missed 'visiting.'
    I love the farm view image.
    I always enjoy birthday posts too.
    I would be interested in your teatime ideas and liturgical year.
    OK you mentioned your mothers homeschool resources, does that mean you were homeschooled? I must ahve missed that if you mentioned this before!

    I am a HUGE fan of winter. I also love the family times that are more cosy and warm and just so well…homey.
    God Bless

  5. What a lovely peek into your day! I,too, would love to hear more about your homeschool journey~were you homeschooled, or your siblings?. I am pondering what I would do different the second time around in our home education life~what would I keep the same and what would I change? Thanks for sharing, ~lisa

  6. Hi Jennifer. Just wanted to thank you for mention the Louis de Wohl books. These are perfect for my house cat. I ordered David of Jerusalem first(since we've been reading about him in the daily readings). She's really enjoying it!

    I too am looking forward to your library post and am thinking of getting some type of label maker.

    Hope ya'll are having a wonderful week! Love, Lori

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