Autumn – Yea!

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Well, I guess it’s here (not officially, of course)! The nights have been chilly, and while I’ve been putting it off, it’s time to get out the down comforter for our bed! I have been a little sad. I can’t help it with all that rain. Our backyard still looks like a pond! And all my flowers are suddenly taking a quick turn to a nice shade of brownish gray. I cut some of my hydrangea & zinnias to bring inside and enjoy the last little bit of summer.

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And don’t get me wrong. I love autumn! It’s just that I had a nice long list of things I wanted to do in the yard that will be better put off until spring. Instead, I will be focusing on the to-do list below.

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On our autumn to-do list:

  • Finish building the pallet fence for the chickens.
  • Set them up with a new and much more weather friendly chicken coop.
  • Make apple sauce.
  • Make salsa & tomato sauce.
  • Clean up & put away yard furniture.
  • Start working on painting inside the house.
  • Give the car a good clean.
  • Get some good water/dirt trapping mats for the front entryway.
  • Maybe add some brick walkway next to the driveway to avoid the squishy, muddy mess this fall, winter & spring.

Some of this is fun, like the painting! But I was still feeling glum until I remembered that I can use my oven again. I took a break for the summer from making bread (I had been making all of our bread over this last year, instead of buying bread). And from making pizza. We were trying not to use the air conditioner as much as possible to keep the bills lower, and not using the oven was crucial to making that bearable.

So the other day, I was trying to figure out what to do with some beef I had in the freezer, and found a recipe for beef Gyros in the crock pot! But I needed pitas and the recipe I use (From Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day – I highly recommend this book!) is so flexible that you can also use it to make pitas (and crusty bread, pizza, naan, bagles & more!). It was cool enough outside, so I decided it’s time to get back into the bread routine.

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And soup! I love soup, so getting back to cooler weather and all the yummy soups…it’s a good thing!

Back to School!

And to top it all off, we are just about finished with our fourth week of home school first grade & pre-school over here! I feel so accomplished! I had my doubts about if this year, doing it “for real” was going to be next to impossible for me and my inability to stick to a routine.

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My trick: get up and stay up when Michael is getting ready to go to work. Yeah. I used to just sleep as much as I could after he left until the kids woke up. I got into this bad habit when I was pregnant with JB and had anemia. I haven’t been checked for that again, although I still feel pretty exhausted most of the time. But that’s just part of being a mom, right? Nothing a pot of coffee can’t fix!

So I just get up when Michael does, fix his lunch for work, and then make my coffee, snuggle the boys while the girls are still sleeping. I usually use this time to get the kitchen back in order (empty the dishwasher & reload – it’s a really small one so there’s pretty much never a time it is only half-full). After the girls are up and everyone has had some breakfast, we get to work.

Usually Alasdair (2 1/2) and Penny (4) color and do crafts while I work with Nikki. Penny does some early lessons from Teach Your Child To Read in 100 Easy Lessons, little workbooks with tracing and cutting. She and Alasdair also listen when we do a Bible story and Saint story.

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Nikki is following the Mother of Divine Grace curriculum for first grade, and so far I’ve been really pleased with it. I like tat each day is already laid out for us so she can just do the amount of work specified. And that works for me.

So we’re looking forward to some fun autumn field trips: apple picking, the botanical gardens, the pumpkin patch, maybe Greenfield Village before it gets too cold?

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