“I’d rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck.”~Emma Goldman
Don’t you just love Trader Joe’s flowers? Kathryn surprised me with these earlier this week as a spontaneous because-I-love-my-mom gift, and because she knows yellow roses are my favorite. This is the same girl who gave me books (from my wish list) and quality chocolate for Christmas, so she clearly knows the way to my heart.
Oh, let’s see. Let me whittle it down. Ken has made a couple of trips back to Georgia (two of them for funerals, sadly) and made time to visit with Brandon and family. On his most recent trip, right before Christmas, Carter (now 4!) was disappointed I didn’t come because he wanted to “play tea party with J-Ma.”
I melted when Ken told me that; you can bet that sweet boy and I will be having a tea party next time I see him.
Lindsey and the kids (now age 3 and 2!) now live practically around the corner from us, so I hope when the weather warms up we’ll have lots of park days and beach fun! At Christmas, Kathryn baked some of THE BEST chocolate chip cookies (seriously, make these!) and Khloe was beyond adorable helping her. Meanwhile, Greyson got a little guitar lesson from Grandad.
Since Kathryn’s graduation in June, she’s been working and saving money while she lives at home. She never wanted to jump straight into adulthood, but has eased into it and has been very responsible as she’s done so. She’s been spending time with her boyfriend and deciding her plans for next year, which will likely include a local college.
Scout is enjoying her first year in public middle school (after a few years at at smaller private elementary school) but did have a bit of a learning curve the first months of the school year.
Jem is still glad to be homeschooling, even though he knows we’re playing it by ear, deciding one year at a time. He joined a local scouting troop and is getting a kick out of going on camping trips, doing all sorts of outdoorsy things, and making friends in the process.
As for me, I had a rough spell with bronchitis that took forever to get over but I’m feeling good about my training and looking forward to flying out to Vegas in a few weeks to (speaking positively) earn a kettlebell certification I’ve been working toward for a couple of years now! My local fitness classes are going so well I’m adding a couple of new ones over the next couple of months. And I’m sooooo missing warm weather; I’ve already promised my paddleboard more quality time this summer!
I’ve mostly been sticking to the basics so far this year with Jem. Math, handwriting (he’s working on cursive), and reading /literature are the non-negotiables. I’m working on adding (back) in more science and nature study, and getting a little more structured with our history readings.
what we’ve been reading: our faves
It’s been so long since I shared favorites here so there are a bunch I could mention, but these are a few that really stood out recently:
- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo ~ Taylor Jenkins Reid
- Long Bright River ~ Liz Moore
- The Giver of Stars ~ Jojo Moyes (strong, book-loving women!)
- Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane ~ Lisa See
Jem (age 10) has really picked up in his reading this year, with things finally clicking so that his reading level has caught up to his interests. He still listens to audiobooks pretty much every day, and I choose those a bit higher than his reading level. I credit this for his biggest reading improvements because listening to good books spurred on his desire to read even when he was stuck at an early-reader level.
A few he’s loved lately:
- Ralph S. Mouse ~ Beverly Cleary
- The Greenglass House (audio) ~ Kate Milford
- Where the Red Fern Grows (audio) ~ Wilson Rawls
- Bud, Not Buddy (audio) ~ Christopher Paul Curtis
- Follow My Leader ~ James Garfield
on the blog (in case you missed ’em)
- Quick and easy self-care ideas
- 3 years ago: Real Mom
- 5 years ago: An Introvert’s Guide to Making Friends
- 6 year ago: When Mom Struggles with Bonding in Adoption
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Wife, mom, grandma. Introvert who finds joy in good books, sunshine, and authentic conversation. Fitness enthusiast and personal trainer. Often seen with a steaming mug of tea in hand.