Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What's On...

As always, I begin by apologizing.  I've been enjoying being on holiday after spending a frantic few weeks writing report cards, packing up a classroom, getting ready to make the transition to the full-time kindergarten programme I will be teaching in the fall and then, dealing with children (and a husband) who are sick with a bad summer cold.  Add in a trip up north to visit my parents-in-law and life has been very busy.  I'm hoping that we can now settle into our new summer normal for the next 8 weeks or so of being a stay-at-home mom and finding the time to savour life.

Like so many bloggers, I often wonder why I blog.  There was a time when I was really busy visiting other people, commenting lots and networking.  It was a big thing for me.  Then, I went back to work and this poor blog has been totally ignored.  Thanks to infrequent posts, lack of my visiting others and frankly, my mundane life that I don't imagine is that interesting to anyone, I don't get many visitors which leads me to think about why I do it.  I've decided, at least for this summer, my blog will be for me.  I want to savour the moments and try to recapture who I am.

I'm fairly sure that I'm not the only mom who has children and somehow gets lost in the frenzy.  Between shuffling kids to lessons, cooking, dealing the dogs and the endless mess that is my house, there really isn't much time left.  I forget who I am beyond the next five minutes.  One thing I do love about blogging is that my browsing the blogs of the women I love to read often helps me to reconnect with who I am.  Today, I was over at Lucy's Attic24 which led me to run out to my garden to photograph my roses, something that really does make me happy!

Here's a what's on post - things that are on my mind, on my to do list, on my pins and on my bedside table and what's making me happy.

What's On - In my Garden:
 I love David Austin English roses and one of my mother's day presents was this one.  It isn't entirely open yet but I love the colour.

This is my "heritage" D.A. rose.  The smell is heavenly and I love the full-petal look.

This is a tea rose I planted a couple of years ago.  It didn't do much last summer but it's doing me proud already this year.

No, this isn't a rose but it still makes me happy.  This was my other mother's day gift, a pink hydrangea that is already in full bloom as well.  Can you see that I have a bit of a "thing" for pink flowers?

On my needles -
I haven't been doing nearly enough knitting of late.  I have recently picked up a couple of unfinished projects and am enjoying dreaming of wearing this on a fall day - it's the Guernsey Wrap and I love it!  I've made two for other people and now, it's time for one for me.  I'm using Cascade Eco in a lovely shade of heathery brown.  It will be perfect for fall (which, in case you haven't noticed, is my very favourite season!)  I've also been working on some dishcloths since they are perfect "in the car" projects and we seem to be doing a lot of driving of late.  The flying blocks is my current favourite.

On our table -
There's nothing I love better than trying new recipes and circumstances have definitely forces me in that direction.  Our CSA has been filled with yummy sugar snap peas over the last few weeks, which has led to some delicious experiments - stir-fried pork with sugar snap peas, crunchy parmesan sugar snap peas, and sugar snap peas with mint and lemon.  We also got some garlic scapes, which were new to me and led to this delicious pasta recipe.  I also cleaned out the freezer, which led me to discover just how many bananas I had been stockpiling.  I bake each week for Dh's Tuesday night meeting, so we tried and loved these chocolate banana squares.

On my booklist -
First of all, I have to say that I have really discovered Goodreads and I think I am in love.  I've been a member forever but I haven't done anything about creating booklists until the last couple of months.  I love it!  It's got me thinking much more about what I think about what I am reading and I especially love being able to browse other peoples' reviews.

Recently finished:
A Conspiracy of Friends - Alexander McCall Smith - you will either love him or hate him.  He's subtle, observational and devilishly funny, if you "get" his understated Scottish sense of humour.  I love the fact that he points out the perversity of human nature without being nasty about people.  I can never get enough of his writing but I have friends who find him incredibly boring.

Happier at Home - Gretchen Rubin - this was a fun read.  I liked "The Happiness Project" much better, this seemed a bit formulaic after the first one but it still gave me some interesting things to think about.  I'd like to try to set up some her the little shrines.

Eats, Shoots and Leaves - Lynne Truss - again, I loved this book but I know that not everyone feels that way.  I stumbled across a wonderful summer reading list at Modern Mrs. Darcy and my sending it to a few friends has turned into a summer book club.  This was one of our selections and I loved it!  I think, after years of teaching, it's nice to see that I have been teaching the students correctly.  Also, given how much I love language and writing, it's nice to see that it is possible to convey these nuances in language.

On my currently reading list:
The Moon by Night - Madeline L'Engle (I love, love, love Madeleine L'Engle and am slowing rereading all of the stuff I read as a teenager), Loving God when You Don't Love the Church by Chris Jackson (not loving this one so far, the message is essentially "suck it up" and my definition of church isn't the same - that's another post), The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester (another Mrs. Darcy selection that I am enjoying so far), Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist (I am ADORING this book) and finally, Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny (who might just be my favourite mystery writer of all these days).

On my "to be read" pile -
I Thought it was just Me (But it Isn't) by Brene Brown, You Live by Learning by Eleanor Roosevelt, What Happens when Women Say Yes to God by Lysa Terkeurst (the next study over at Proverbs 31) and The Winnowing Season by Cindy Woodsmall (one of my Amish books - my dirty reading secret)

On my pinterest boards -
Most of my pinterest time is spent right now planning for teaching with Pk.  I wasn't happy with what was (and wasn't) going on her in class last year (a hazard of being a teacher) and this summer, we are doing Grade 1 summer school, to get her ready for the fall.  We started in our math with a mix of number sense and data management.  Here are a few links I liked:
Guess My Rule for sorting - we sorted her My Little Ponies and her stuffies and she decided herself to sort the shells we found on the beach
Grab and Graph Pattern Blocks - she LOVED this activity but teaching tally marks has to come first (and I'd like to modify this activity and do grab and graph Canadian coins for money review)
Tally Marks - I loved this and Pk loved this as a game - I called out a number and she made it with popsicle sticks

On My podcasts list -
My Bad Church Experience - North Point - I love their podcasts and this is something that speaks to many Christians, I think.  I have especially liked number 3 - in and out - amazing stuff!

What's on for you these days?

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