It begins...

A friend recently forwarded an email to me titled "The Invisible Mother," a short essay comparing the tireless and often thankless job of a mother to the builders of Europe's great cathedrals. Both give their whole lives for a work they will never see finished, both make sacrifices and expect no credit, and both are fueled in their passion by the faith that the eyes of God see every detail. The writer of the essay was inspired by the thought that our endless efforts in motherhood, invisible as they may seem, are worth it and can make an enriching life.

For many of us, the way we choose to hold our invisibility at bay is by creating something tangible. For me, my days often end with knitting - my love of fiber and the need to do something relaxing end up producing something I can hold and look at. Nobody will know how many times I swept under the high chair that day, or how many toys I picked up, or how many times I tried to coax a "please" or "more" or "sorry" out of my 5 year old. But a darling, handmade infant hat? That you can see.

I start new projects every day, and my 10 year old does the same. In this process of creating (and yes, often not finishing our projects!) we connect with each other and a bigger picture of ourselves in the process. My plan for this blog is to share the projects that excite me and bring some accessible proof of my existence in this invisible world of mothering!

So, this blog is dedicated to the mothers out there whose days are filled with the minutia of tasks that build our children and our families. I often tell people that I haven't decided what I want to be when I grow up. But for now, I am the builder of a great cathedral. With every shoelace tied, lunch packed, and forehead kissed, I build.

And I can hardly wait to create something new...

Friday, June 6, 2014

Summertime...and the Livin' is Crazy!

Fast and furious, that's how we like to start our summer!  School finished on a Thursday morning, and by afternoon we were tie-dying t-shirts on the back deck. Rowan's turned out fabulously!

On Friday we grilled steaks and veggies for a special dinner, and Rowan and her friend made us a fruit and angel food cake parfait for dessert - SO yummy!

And then the rain hit, and it was too cool for the pool so we went strawberry picking, played games, watched movies, and monitored quite a few time-outs for Brynn, who has some summertime adjusting to make. :P

We spent almost an entire day baking, baking, baking giant m&m cookies and fudge brownies for Rowan's annual bake sale. We gave our oven a workout.

Rowan carefully crafted a new sign for her table, and did almost all the set-up herself this year!  She ran all the sales by herself, with only a little assistance from me, and made a fabulous hunk of cash for her summer spending money!

I've been cooking up some new knitted afghan blocks, using some of my newer yarn as well as more tidbits and leftovers in some linen stitch blocks. I'm just about out of "small amounts," which feels awesome! Here are the most recent...

2 days ago I hosted our first summer badge workshop, and 7 of our Junior Scouts came over and earned their "Gardener" badge. We had SO MUCH FUN. The weather was perfect, the deck was shady, the girls were fabulous, and we didn't have to rush anything. I loved it!  We created mini Zen gardens, planted petunias in pots the girls decorated using Zentangle, shared our 2-week seed experiments, created theme gardens, researched different types of flowers, learned how to read and understand seed packages and flower tags, used math to plot and design a 4x5 foot garden, drew flower and plant sketches, toured all the growing things in my yard, etc.  I think it's my favorite badge experience so far. :)

And my gardens were in prime blooming mode for the girls to see!  Here are my two clematis in the corner of the deck, bursting with blooms...

Our Lillies are stunning right now too!

And the knock out roses are in full bloom.

 In the front, the carpet rose is dripping with flowers...

 ...and all the little flowers along the front walk are adding their bits of color to the mix as they grow and fill in a bit.

The honeysuckle are doing well, I am glad to report, but unfortunately both the transplanted rose bushes have perished.  Sigh.  But with all the other blooming things making our gardens so cheerful, I am consoled. :)