The Wind of Change (to my Door Decor, that is)

We didn’t get the rain, but instead lasted through the windy side of Lee.   When I say windy, I mean wwwwiiiiiiiinnnnnddddddy.    The last of the fake flowers that had become little more than a hiding place for the occasional lizard fell off the wreath that hung on our door.    On a day when I was already feeling rather melancholy, it looked like yet another thing that went wrong for me.    So when I saw Amy Bayliss’s post introducing the “You Made a Wreath out of What?” challenge (including a wreath she made of shower curtains–no foolin’!!), I saw it as a sign.    How very timely!     So I discarded the eyesore old flowers and  thought about how I might use this foundation to create something new.

 

It occurs to me how attractive this wreath is on its own as I looked at it, but with an off-white door and off-white paint around the front of the house, I’ll take any opportunity to add a spruce of color.     I searched through a number of links that were included in the wreath challenge.   Here are just a few from some ladies out there who put the “C” in creativity.

Easter Dollar-Store Wreaths

 More Wreaths (baby shower, last name, naked)

Paper bags

Coffee Filter Wreath, Coffee filter projects

 

When I saw this last link, I knew just what to do with the 159 extra coffee filters I had to buy for a 1-coffee-filter science experiment.  So I got started.

This little beauty was the result of folding the filters twice, perhaps with a little balling up to beforehand to give them a more natural, less uniformed appearance.   The brown flower in the middle is a lunch bag, traced from the coffee filters and then put through the same test.

 

The berry/ pinecone accessory above made me think about our recent Apologia Zoology 1 (Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day) studies and what we learned about nest-building materials–string, cloth, leaves, twigs, grass, etc.   So, in looking around the house and some unused knicknacks I’d bought over the years, I put this assemblage together.  (So proud of myself that I was creative enough to pull out a dinner napkin!).

 

The girls thought the coffee filters didn’t match this grouping, so my bouquet became a temporary table centerpiece.     With their feedback, some dust blown from the creative part of my brain, a few twist ties, and a pair of scissors later, I came up with this beauty:

Doesn’t she just scream, “Welcome!”

The Do-Nothing Summer

This post could have just as easily have been entitled “Second Week of Summer,” but my heart is not to document how we spend each week of what I anticipate to be a 10-week break from our school routine.   But this was a week of “ah-has,” as we called them in my corporate days–the point at which I had to heed to the teachable moment.

It happened quickly, as teachable moments often do, and I was left to marinate what the moment meant to me for days afterward.    After picking up the oldest from her volunteer work, I had to run inside a grocery store.   I had all three children with me when we ran into a friend from church.   She immediately recognized the oldest’s volunteer jacket, and they had a brief dialogue about how much the oldest was enjoying her opportunity.    Then our friend asked our son, “And what are you doing this summer?”    With all the honesty and candor of a child, he replied, “Nothing.”    She played it off well, saying that “nothing can be good sometimes, too,” and I smiled in agreement, but inside I was crushed.   (Gasp!!)   My child saying that he was doing nothing this summer?!!

 Of course, he is not actually doing nothing.    We’re completing a minimal amount of school.   He and his dad are set for a record to see every superhero movie out this summer, and he’ll attend a dance workshop later in the summer.   However, given that I normally have camps planned and at least one trip in the works, hearing him tell someone that he’s doing nothing was awkward.   It’s like when someone asked your homeschooled kid, who might have a 7th grade science book, a 6th grade math text, a 5th grade English workbook, and read on a 10th grade level, what grade he/ she is in.    When the kid replies, “I don’t know,” it’s just not a good look.

While this short scene marinated in my mind, it occurred to me that I’d been so psychologically preoccupied with getting the oldest’s plans and activities in order until I let everything else go.   Moreover, her daily activities are taking over our summer such that I have a hard time sitting to think  and accomplish other tasks.   To begin with, during our more formalized school time, I normally wake up when my husband awakens, but I don’t get up until around 7:30.   This gives me–in theory–at least an hour by myself before I awaken the kids to meditate on the Lord, have my own worship time, get a headstart on breakfast, or catch up on some last-minute project from the night before.   Summer was supposed to be more-laid back and relaxed.  Instead, I now have to get up every morning by 7 a.m. at the latest so that the oldest can get to school on time.    Even on Fridays when she has no class, she’s taken on extra volunteer opportunities, and so I’m still up early to have her in place.   And almost all the flexibility that homeschooling allows into our schedule is gone as we adjust ourselves to having to meet others’ time and deadlines.   

 

So our younger two are left to their own devices this summer–at least, so far, and I’m having to learn re-learn a few things, too.   1st lesson: it’s okay at times to have nothing to do, aka Miss Mason’s “masterly inactivity.”    I love seeing the kids turn off the television on their own.   Our son, a huge fan of author Rick Riordan (of “Percy Jackson and the Olympians” fame), has taken on the task of an avid reader–to read what his favorite authors read, and thereby to gain more insight into their perspective.   So, there are long periods of the day when we don’t see him, but I pass by to be sure that he’s still breathing.    I often find him on his futon with his head in a book.

 

The youngest could come up with a brand new project, complete with its brand new mess, about once per hour, if I let her.   But, with her time, she created a family restaurant out of all the chairs and tv trays in the house (and she accidentally deleted my picture of it), where we decided to eat and have dinner once per month.   She’s learned basic sewing stitches well enough to make purses for her and her dolls.     Today, she made a tent of quilts and chairs where she and the dogs could nap, in case she actually takes a nap, which would be enough reason to take a picture.

 

 

 

I can be taught, too.   I can learn that I don’t have full control of my schedule as I accustomed to having, and that’s okay.   I can sew.  I can read.   I can plan.    I can work.    I can even take a mid-day nap.   Wow, this do-nothing summer might just work out after all.