Friday, October 4, 2013

October begins

October came in warm and sunny with small patches of flaring color to remind us that it is, indeed, autumn.

We hiked up Mill Bluff after an afternoon of pond play.

There was time to sit in dappled sunlight halfway up the trail to rest tired legs.  Ayla's three-year-old legs carried her all the way up the steep path to reach the top.  First time in over 10 years that we haven't had to carry a young'un on a steep hike up a bluff!

gazing westward

The next four photos were taken by Camille.  I have a budding photographer on my hands :)

looking northward to Wildcat, Bee, and Camel Bluffs

fading light

We haven't had a hard frost yet and October's overgrown garden is full of goodness still.

ripening sorghum

  Sylvia often asks how to spell things and plays games with rhyming and letter sounds, but it's very recent that she wants to sit down and string sounds and words together to read from a book.  I can see her confidence growing, and I love being able to see her come to reading naturally and in her own timeframe.

Having seen Camille learn to read fluently by 3 1/2 without any lessons or being directly taught, I saw how children can ask for and pull in the information to learn reading without struggle, without worksheets, and without teachers.  Sylvia can take her time and own her learning experience, and in the meantime, I am happy to read to her and provide her plenty of learning opportunities that don't need large quantities of the printed word.
 4-finger finger knitting

 homemade bingo cards with black beans for markers


  Instead of canning or freezing the latest abundance of tomatoes, we made a giant batch of lentil chili stew.  It was fine autumn comfort food for a rainy day.

 When the sunshine left us, there were walks in the rain, with and without umbrellas.

 Papa got a drum set from one of his co-workers, and he's not the only one excited about them!

 We tend to cook up a steady supply of homemade play dough.  This time we made a blue lake with fishies.

  No matter how many snapshots I share here (and this post has a lot!), these are incomplete glimpses into our days.  I had one wakeful night with a fevered child and she was fine the next day.  I had one tough afternoon with an emotional child who is growing into enough strength to manage her Very Big Feelings. I felt at a loss in helping everyone meet their very different needs for attention and friendship, and I have a tendency to Question Everything, which can be both a strength and a struggle.

This afternoon, I was feeling overwhelmed, under-slept, and perhaps more than a bit hormonal.  I had a quiet sob session on my bed, trying to remind myself that I needed to take care of myself as well as those around me.  As I dried my tears, one of our neighbors down the hill stopped over and asked if my girls could come play.  Considering the fact that this had never happened before and that he is a very kindly man with grown children of his own, it was quite puzzling.  As it happened, his grown son was visiting with his home-schooled daughters who happened to be Camille and Sylvia's ages.  They hit it off spectacularly and spent the next 5 hours playing, tromping in the woods and making apple cider, while Ayla and I had a simple, quiet afternoon.  I couldn't have been more grateful for the timing of that.  It felt like a blessing.

Through the storms and sunshine, tears and giggles, struggles and discoveries,  I remain ever grateful for this life.
This post has been brought to you by the letter R, for Radical Unschooling and Reality.  Thanks for Reading.


  1. Even though I try to post every day (most of the time), there is still the All of It unsaid.
    Sometimes because I'm tired. Sometimes because I want to let the photos speak for themselves. Sometimes because it's not mine to say what was learned, or questioned, or tell the story of how it was processed.
    But yes... just glimpses.
    I think even if we recorded the All of it, it couldn't be conveyed properly... there is so much more depth and richness and color and bliss than we can say here, in our stories.
    But the photos, and a few words, will comfort us well in several years, and we'll smile, and love them so, so much.

    1. Yes, this. Beautifully said! I love sharing and storing little lovely bits of our days here, but sometimes I feel inspired to share the bumpy bits, too. Little glimpses of the 'keepin' it real' kind :).

    2. I love the "will comfort us well."

  2. And beautiful post, and beautiful life, of course. :) As always.

  3. Gorgeous! Where in the world are these photos taken?

    1. Thanks, Mama Anna!. The first group of photos were taken at Mill Bluff State Park in Wisconsin. (The rest were taken at Home :)

  4. Your photos are beautiful and I know that overwhelming feeling all too well. Taking time for yourself is so very important. What a special treat for your neighbor to come a the perfect time.

  5. The tree flame is sooo beautiful. I'm yearning for some here. I hope it doesn't pass us by this year. I saw so many leaves falling today. It is getting to be that drawing in time.


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