Monday, August 31, 2015

August Review

It's hard to believe the end of the month is here, though at the same time August has felt long and slow, just the way I wanted it to feel.  I wanted it to feel a bit like a normal summer for us, albeit cooler and not as long.

August 1 - It was Yorkshire Day so I tried to step up my tea game.  I didn't make it through the entire pot, so I still have some work to do.

August 2 - I'm glad school is starting again next week for this boy's sake.  He needs a detox from the Wii, and I need a detox from answering the question, "What do I do now?" when I've stopped letting him play.

August 3 - He's still my favorite boy.

August 4 - I think this was around 9 p.m., but these days it's more like 8:30.  Just a few more months before it's 3:45 p.m.

August 6 - Summer light in what will be our new neighborhood.  I use lots of British terminology now, but I can't shake neighborhood.

August 8 - Butterfly Hunting at Newby Hall

August 9 - My runs have lots of stopping for pictures.

August 10 - James and I went to a LEGO party at the public library.  This was our creation.

August 11 - I told myself to hang on to summer, but I can't hide from all the signs that fall is near.

August 12 - Ella and I took our guest, Elizabeth, on a quick trip to Ripon before our Wednesday church meeting.  It just hit me that I live in a place where I can just "pop in" at a cathedral.

August 13 - Sausages at a Block Party our church put on - Sausages are an English staple.

August 14 - Having guests makes me go to places in town I've never been.  Elizabeth and I both had the carrot cake cupcake, and I had my first cappuccino

August 15 - A Sunny Saturday morning in Boroughbridge

August 16 - He's just the cutest.

August 18 - We went to the city.  The kids were in awe of this.

August 19 - Do you see that 4G??  This was the first time I've ever picked it up anywhere around Boroughbridge.  I don't really need it, but it was a momentous occasion.

August 20 - It's just that they call them Fish Fingers here instead of Fish Sticks, so I had to take a picture.

August 21 - I took some pictures around Capstick as we're preparing to move soon.  I want to remember our first home in Boroughbridge (and sometime get around to posting more pictures of it on the blog!).

August 22 - We went to a Medieval Day in a neighboring town.  I love this little knight.

August 23 - My accent color looked a little more Tardis than navy on the roller.

August 24 - It was a southern food kind of Monday.

August 25 - We drove an hour up the road and had the most amazing few hours at the seaside.  It was so refreshing to have such a day of rest, and THE SUN WAS SHINING.  It was beautiful.  I'm so glad to have been with this man through all the changes of the past year.

August 26 - James chipping away...

August 27 - We've taken to watching the Great British Bake-Off with the rest of the country.  It's our first reality show to watch as a family, and hearing James talk about the "star baker" is so funny to me.

August 30 - Yep.  It's coming.

August 31 - Sibling Selfies

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Summer in the Garden

We've really enjoyed our time in Capstick's garden this summer.  It has a very Secret Garden-ish feel to it with its brick walls and ivy.  

This has been my view as I've washed dishes all spring and summer long.  My clump of lavender has given me new insight into the phrase "busy bee."  No matter what the time of day, the bees are constantly at work in the lavender.

When you step out the back door of the kitchen you see where our neighbor told us a conservatory used to be attached to the back of the house.  She and her husband used to own Capstick and did most of the renovations, uncovering a lot of the original structure that had been covered.

What remains is a useful little shed for hiding away scooters, but what we used it for most was the myriad of boxes we had when we first moved in and had to buy so many things to furnish our house.

The Kitchen Door

You can see how the kitchen has been extended beyond the original house.  Capstick was once the servant's quarters attached to our neighbor's house, and the neighbor behind us who renovated it now lives in the renovated outbuildings.  

We borrowed a fire pit for the 4th of July, and it was a fun addition to the garden for a few weeks.

I really like the garden because it has so many different little spaces.  I like having the paved area, the rocky area, and a grassy area.  Buying the swing was such a good decision.  We lived in our house in Alabama for 6 years, and I never pulled the plug on buying any outdoor furniture.  I didn't want to make that mistake again, and we've enjoyed having a place to sit and read and have people over.  I even took a short little nap on the swing this past Sunday!

There's this nice little hideaway in the corner of the garden where that little tree grows.

There have been nice little wildflowers popping up through the summer.

This little low-growing plant has kept its flowers for months!

And the roses keep on coming.

The aforementioned lavender lasted months as well, but it's finally starting to fade.  It is the end of August after all.

Here's to you, Capstick.  And summer.  These long days of summer have been delightful.  I hate to see them end!  Living so far north has made me think more about the official dates of summer more than before.  I tried not to count it as summer until June 21st this year, and I'm going to try to hang on to it until September 22nd.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

This Week's Favorites (or Favourites, depending on where you live)

Katie and the Starry Night - I picked up this book at the library to read to James, and it was so lovely!  James colored a picture of The Starry Night at school this year, so I thought he would enjoy this tale of a little girl stepping into several of Van Gogh's paintings.  He did, and I did, too.  Plus, the Amazon link tells me there are books about the Impressionists and Monet as well!  I like the idea of giving the kids fun connections with these paintings because when they see them again there's a point of recognition and a fond memory.  And let's be honest, I really enjoy connecting art with stories.  It means so much more to me then, too.

Sonlight Curriculum Arriving! - It came right in the middle of our summer break, but it's really hard not to get excited about a huge box of books arriving at your front door.  

Because of the timing of our move last year we didn't use a curriculum plan, but I pieced together different things.  When I started looking into things for this school year I wasn't sure if I would continue with Sonlight since we're only at home half the time, but Ella got so excited looking at curriculum, and I got really excited seeing that she was due to start American History this year.  And what wins me over every time with Sonlight is the PLAN and all the wonderful books.  I think those things win Ella over, too.  

Whipped Cream in My Coffee - I actually only did this once, but it was really nice.  Someone left a can of "squirty cream" with me, and I happened to see it yesterday and think, "That would top off my coffee quite well."  And it did.

Capstick's Roses - This may not be completely true, but I feel like I've never really smelled roses before this summer.  As we've been out in a few gardens this summer, you can round a corner and all of a sudden this lovely scent fills the air, and whenever I catch a moment to sit in the swing at Capstick it fills the air, too.  Are they more fragrant here, or am I just literally stopping to smell them more often?

The Reasons James Feels Anguished about Growing Older

"I don't wanna grow up because then I won't like games as much."
"I don't really wanna grow up because I may not get as many presents."

I told him that Daddy is grown up and still likes games, so maybe that reassured him on that point a little, and as for the presents, I think he'll discover like all of us that we care less about presents somehow.  Or the best presents come in different forms.  What are some things you've enjoyed this week?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Baby Brother for Charis

I just love taking pictures, and taking pictures of sweet babies is the best.

I just love his smushy little face in that one.

Charis may not be an only child anymore, but she still had her time in front of the camera.  She's such a delight.

You've gotta love open-mouthed baby kisses.

It will forever be a mystery why on this day, being asked to say my name was the most hysterical thing ever.

But whatever the reason, it resulted in those adorable pictures.

He is a sweet little fella.

Hands full.  Heart full-er.