A New Blog!

Hi there,
I've decided to set up a new blog to go with my new move. You can find me at the Village Homestead doing all of my usual stuff and more. Head on over! Welcome!


Learning to Sew


Spending a little time sewing today. As I sit by waiting to fix tangled stitches and rethread needles, I try to quiet the inner voice that is begging me to start up a project of my own. Be patient, I tell myself. Before I start anything new I need to make sure 'A' has a firm footing in the world of fabric, thread and needles. She loves to create and until now has been most comfortable creating with paper. It's time for her to learn a new skill and I think sewing is it. Once she sees her creations come together she'll be excited to whip up presents for her dolls and her sister. I'm hoping she'll also have fun raiding my scrap fabric basket and stop raiding my printer paper drawer so often. One can hope, right?

The sewing kit was a gift from her grandparents and is an Alex Toy product. It has several handiwork projects that call for sewing and crochet skills. There's a book included that illustrates different types of stitches. 'A' picked out the stuffed doggie project and slowly but surely she's working her way toward finishing it.

'H' is practicing her stitches using a plastic canvas, craft thread and a tapestry needle. She draws the picture on the canvas, then fills it in with stitches.

Have I mentioned how good it feels to unpack, settle in, and fall back into comfortable routines? It does.





One of the things that excites me about this new home of ours is that we have a dedicated space for homeschooling and crafting. When we started looking for a home I said I wanted a room that was close to the kitchen where we could paint, learn and sew. And I wanted it to double as my office. I made the request out loud (for the universe to hear) and after looking at many houses I came to realize that I was asking for a lot - maybe too much. How many houses really have a spare room near the kitchen? Not many.

This house has a bright and cheery room that we're using for our learning and crafting. I love it. Although it is certainly not the most elegant and beautiful room in the house, it is one of my favorite, because it holds so much hope and possibilities for the future.

Now that the room is set up, it feels good to use it! 'A's homeschooling quarterly report for the school district was due yesterday. When I sat down to fill in the things she's been learning these past few months I wanted to write, "She spent a lot of time building intricate lego sculptures while I packed our entire house into boxes." I didn't write it, but it's true.

Back to real life! I'm loving it.

Let the unpacking begin!

The unpacking has begun! I'm happy, tired, overwhelmed, grateful, and so much more, all of which is good. Here are some quick shots of our new homestead. I'll be back here before you know it... but after I unpack just one more box...

Moving Day!

Today is moving day. We're selling our home today and packing it all up into a moving van. We'll stay one more night, sleeping on the floor with our cat, and tomorrow we purchase our new home and move in.

I've been running around like a madwoman these past few weeks and haven't been very good about posting. My new life awaits me in the new house. I'll be there waiting to share it with you. In the meantime, I'm over at From Scratch Club today with a post about saying both hello and goodbye to my gardens.

Almost at the finish line

:: I'll miss this view ::

The rhythm of my daily life can be summed up like this: packing, packing, packing. I stop to read stories, make meals, run an errand or two... and then it's back to the boxes and packing tape. The girls have a box of legos, a box of Tinker Toys and their dolls to play with and nothing else. It's enough for them though, and with the living room furniture gone (we sold it because it won't fit up the narrow attic stairs to the family room in our new home) they are finding new corners in the house to explore.

I wish I could say I'm feeling peaceful and letting things unfold as they may. Instead I'm feeling restless. These in-between stages that we must go through in life are always very uncomfortable for me. I think back to when I was nearing the end of both of my pregnancies, and I see I felt very much the same way I do now. Wanting the future to present itself to me sooner than it's supposed to. Wanting the world to address my impatience. Feeling preoccupied with what is to come.

A little meditation and yoga would do me good, wouldn't it?

For the rest of today, I'll find simple pleasure in making two loaves of sandwich bread, challenge myself to make rice in a pan on the stove (I packed the rice cooker, and I've not had good success with stovetop rice), and take comfort in the company of my fellow UUs at a meeting tonight. I'll work on being mindful and feeling grateful instead of impatient.

:: 'H' ::

Goals for the New Year

You'll find me over at From Scratch Club today talking about my goals for the New Year. See you back here soon!

How to pack and move with children

:: Deanna's biscuits ~ delicious! ::

3.5 weeks to go until we move. WOW! I'm excited and energized, and I've been spending time packing and preparing. I have to say, no matter how much I pack, I keep having a feeling that I'm not getting anywhere. I've been wondering if I'm so full of negative thoughts that I can't even see how much I've accomplished. What is wrong with me? Today I woke up and realized that I feel as though I'm not getting anywhere because it's true, I'm not.

The moving company told me to leave all of our clothes in our dressers and they will move the dressers as is. Sounds wonderful, doesn't it? No packing or unpacking of clothing. So for the past week I've been doing my children's laundry and I've tried to put it away in the drawers (nicely organized, weeding out too-small items, putting like items together, and doing all of the motherly things I should normally be doing when I put laundry away). "Ahh, done!" I've thought. And then the next day they would dress and re-dress themselves many times, leaving a trail of clothing on their bedroom floors, flung inside out into the corners of their rooms.

For every minute I spend washing clothes and "packing" them away, I spend an equal amount of time picking them up and pondering whether to wash them or simply fold them and put them away again.

Today I recognized and broke the cycle. Sure the moving guys say I can leave the clothing in the dresser drawers. But really I can't. I brought in a few boxes, put aside 5 complete outfits for each child, and packed the rest. Relief is the word that best describes how I felt after that task was accomplished.

Here are some more tips I have about packing and moving with children:

Send the kids away on moving day (and for a few days before and after)
Arrange for them to be gone during the busy times and on moving day. I don't want to exclude my children from the process of saying goodbye to our home and welcoming the new home into our life, but very little of that actually happens on moving day. The emotional process of separating from our home is happening now, as we pack. On moving day I will be busy talking with movers, signing papers, and managing the whole process. I'll be losing sleep, skipping meals and wanting more energy. My children however will be reading stories, singing songs and enjoying snack after snack with their grandma the next state over. Thank goodness for grandmas!

Pack up the toys way before you think you need to. Trust me, they'll find something to keep themselves busy.
It doesn't seem like my children have a lot of toys, but during the packing process those few have multiplied. I pack one and another pops up in its place. How does that happen? I didn't want to pack their toys until the very end because I know how much joy they get from playing with them. But here we are, 3.5 weeks out, and I want to start seeing some packing progress. As far as I'm concerned, we are at the bitter end. Today I packed up almost all of the toys. And you know what? They don't miss them. Each asked for a specific toy that I had packed and I explained that I packed it because I want to make sure all of the toys get packed and nothing gets left behind by accident. Immediately they understood and agreed that it was a good idea.
Ask me tomorrow if they still agree it was a good idea to pack up almost all of their toys 3 weeks before moving day...

Moving can be stressful for some children. Acknowledge it and let them share their feelings. 
The emotional separation is a big deal for 'A'. She wants to experience our new life in our new home, but at the same time she does not want to move. Change. The unknown. What ifs. What has helped her is talking about her feelings, talking about what she loves about our current house and our life here, talking about what she'll miss when she's gone, talking about what she isn't sure about as we go forward.

 Moving. Busy, emotional, stressful, exciting, energizing. And more.

:: Stove-popped popcorn and homemade granola. Dinner on New Year's Day. ::



I found Pinterest!

:: I received so many wonderful gifts this year, including this jar of home-roasted, fairly traded coffee beans from Chris ::

I posted yesterday about wanting a better way to organize my recipes and my plans to develop an online site for them. I've needed a similar system to organize my online homeschooling resources. I find so many great links on the internet, but as soon as I bookmark them and move on to the next page, I may as well have forgotten about it completely. Browser "favorites" folders are not very user friendly or intuitive. I wanted to be able to see all of my links in one place and go back to them with one simple click.

Recently I was invited to join Pinterest and I when I saw it in action, I thought, "this could be the answer!" Using Pinterest to organize the pages I like makes so much sense. I sat down tonight and went through my bookmarks, "pinning" some to my Pinterest board. Not everything can be pinned - only pages that have a large image on them can be pinned. This leaves out fantastic links like this one for the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute curriculum on Colonial family life, to name just one. Overall though, I think it will work for me. I'll have to test it out over the next few months and make a final decision.

Follow Me on Pinterest

Busy little elves

The girls and I have been as busy as elves this week. We've been knitting, sewing, baking, cooking and crafting. Even though most all of our craft supplies are packed away, awaiting the big move to our new home, we've been resourceful and found ways to be creative and have some fun. For Hanukkah Jeff and I gave them each supplies to learn a new craft: 'A' received knitting needles and some yarn, and 'H' received a plastic grid, craft thread and embroidery needles so that she can learn how to sew. Both are taking to it very well and love to sit and do their "work." I am thrilled.

So this is what it feels like to be emotionally alive again! I've been unhappy for eight long months. Now that our moving date is five short weeks away, I'm starting to come out of my funk. I'm excited to set up our craft room in our new home, and know that all the tools, paint, crayons, fabric, yarn and glue will be a reach away. A new life. A fresh start for all of us. It's just what we need.

The girls can sense my emerging happiness, I can tell. They are so cute, so playful, so loving, so thoughtful, so responsible lately. A pure delight to spend time with! We are looking forward to seeing friends on Christmas Eve and relatives on Christmas Day. I wish you a very happy holiday season and I'll see you back here soon!


I posted Jeff's recipe for Perfect Vegan Latkes over at From Scratch Club... go check it out and let me know if you make them too!

About Me

My name is Jillian. I started this blog as a way to experiment with my camera and it's a become a nice little spot where I enjoy spending time. I'm a mother to 6 and 4 year old daughters, wife to a cool computer guy, and mama to a cuddly cat. We enjoy eating local, organic food; managing several food allergies; homeschooling with love; spending time in nature; and we love to take time each day to be creative. You can also find me over at From Scratch Club from time to time. Welcome!