Around Here | Time to take a hammock break

Guess what we did this month?  If you said more gardening, ding ding ding!!  Actually looking back I feel like, what didn’t we do this month?! It was a jam packed month, in fact I think I need a recovery period after this past month.  We had a lot going on, but I feel good about being able to take most of it in stride and knowing that we made good decisions about how to use our time to our best benefit.  Chad started his new quarter at The Evergreen State College this month, which means time has become more elusive once again.  This second quarter has seemed to be a smoother transition for all of us at least.  Despite having a little less freedom in our schedule we saw and did so much as a family.

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Early in the month we went on a family hike with my brother and his family.  It was a really good time; reminded me of a couple years ago when we used to do a hike club with some good friends….now that there are more kiddos involved these family hikes are perfect.  If you are looking for a great place to take your family hiking, I highly recommend this hike: Coal Creek Falls which is part of the Cougar Mountain Regional Park. It is the perfect length, not a lot of incline, and you can pack a lunch to eat near the falls.blog2

We dedicated a lot of time outdoors, in the garden, playing and soaking up the sunshine.  Most days it wasn’t raining hard I was out tinkering in the garden, starting seeds in the greenhouse, planting in my vegetable beds or the new Chicken and Children Food Forest Permaculture garden, and dreaming up more plans and projects for the future.  The kids spent most of that time swinging, digging in the dirt and relaxing in the hammock.  I was a little jealous, but don’t worry I did get some hammock time in.  I probably should have taken a few more pictures of the progress in our garden, but I haven’t been as much of a multi-tasker lately. In fact, I am finding myself yearning to get out my “big camera” instead of  just the iPhone and documenting more.  I am not sure why this has been harder for me, perhaps knowing I don’t have as much time at the computer to edit adn I would rather be spending time with the family, but on the other hand good quality pictures of our life are so important to me.  Either way, I think I will make this a goal for May to be reinspired to use my DSLR to capture our everyday more.
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Woah, is that Sawyer strolling down the beach on San Juan Island?  Why yes, yes it is.  Somehow in the midst of everything we found time to take a quick trip to the islands, and brought our niece along too.  Well it wasn’t exactly a “fun” trip to start with.  We saw an ad on Craigslist for the kind of truck I have been wanting (a vintage Toyota Landcruiser) so on kind of a whim we decided to go look at it…..and play at the beach of course 😉  the truck didn’t work out, and then we ended up coming home earlier than expected, but it was a nice chance to get a breath of fresh air in my happy place 🙂
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Homeschool update: After getting a bit off track over the winter, we started focusing on Avery’s studies more this month.  It is a still a challenge for us to find a rhythm.  However I am confident that Avery is doing well well and soaking up a ton of knowledge.  When I feel like I am being hard on myself, thinking I am not doing enough, or doing it right I try to remind myself it is not a race. This is our first year and I need to be patient.  Along with her reading, cursive practice, math and geography workbooks, we started two unit studies.  First we worked on seeds.  We checked out a bunch of books from the library, watched some video of seed germination, printed out worksheets and did a very scientific seed germination study…..well at least it was supposed to scientific but then we forgot about it and only recorded our observations 2 days, oops!  Now we are focused on our bee study unit.  Avery is so excited to put together a “bee pgram” so invite friends and family too next month so she can share everything she has been learning.  blog7

Building a bumblebee house, after our kids bumblebee workshop.  Dad helped the kids build a mason bee house too.  Now we are just trying to figure out where we can fit honey bees into our garden design….blog8

Beaches, beaches, and more beaches.  No one is more excited to head to the beach than these two.  These two pictures are both really great ones: Seahurst Park and Burfoot Park.blog9

Since Avery loves collecting “treasures” at the beach we incorporate this in to our homeschool.  We started a nature journal for her earlier this year, but hadn’t been as dedicated to working in it.  Now I have picked up my own nature journal to record in and we have added a lot to our field guide collection; this was a really nice time spent together and honestly a nice way for me to make time for a little creativity in my own life.  When things get busy my creative time gets put on the back burner, as evidenced by my lack of starting on Sawyer’s quilt project or how I haven’t scrapbooked since January.  This is another goal I have identified to work on for May.  No matter how busy life gets and all the responsibilities it is imperative that I make time for myself, especially to be creative.  I can not be the best mother, provider, business woman, wife and friend when I constantly put my own needs at the back of the line.  Its all about balance.  My balance has been a little thrown off, but good news is I noticed and am making changes in the right direction. Like today for example.  I had a bunch of laundry to fold, kids to pick up after, dinner to make. But somehow when Chad arrived home from school instead of taking care of any of that, I meandered my way over to our hammock and just laid, looking up a the sky and the garden around me, listening to the beautiful song of the birds, and dreaming about good things that grow when you plant them.  It was good.

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I leave you with this repurposed sink project.  It is going to become a planter for insect repelling plants near our chicken coop and a garden vegetable washing station.  It is also a good reminder to think outside the box be creative with projects around the homestead. Thanks for joining me again this month for an update on our life and adventures around the Brundage Homestead. Catch up on what has been happening the past few months here

Do you have any pointers, tips and advice for making time for yourself to be creative or other types self-care?  I would love to hear in the comments below!  All of us lead busy lives these days; don’t underestimate the power and importance of a little hammock time!

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Once Upon a Time…

You have worked hard to bring this new life into the world. Celebrate your story by capturing these first fleeting moments together - You have earned it!

Sometimes the smallest things

take up the most room in your heart

- Winnie the Pooh

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Butterfly Kiss Photography is a Tacoma Newborn Photographer with a studio located in Sumner Washington, near Seattle, Tacoma, Bonney Lake, Puyallup, Olympia and the surrounding areas. Tami Brundage specializes in beautiful organic newborn photography, baby photos up to age one, and outdoor family sessions.

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