April 2016

Sunshine.  A mudroom.

Recently I’ve seen discussion about homes – what one person loves, what one doesn’t.  My husband would adore a reason to build a house.  What he loves best?  Trees.  And while we are planting madly, they unfortunately do not grow overnight. :/ Imagine that.

I adore my mudroom.  It’s filthy.  I have no pictures of it.  It needs painting.  The dogs stay there.  Really it’s awful from an outside perspective.  But you know what it does?  It contains DIRT!  It keeps boots!  It keeps chore coats!  Best. Space. Ever.

This is my favorite space in our house.  See that sunlight?  After four years of living in the PNW, I discovered something important about myself.  I am a sunshine girl.  I wither without sun.  We had to knock down a wall to make this work and a big shout out to the contractor  at the little taco joint who donated all the tables to me during a remodel – right time, right place.  But this space really works for us.  We spend about 90% of our daylight hours in the house in this room.



I was blessed last evening to listen to Delectable Education’s Way of Will and Reason podcast.  What a blessing.  I wish every parent and educator could listen to that one podcast.  I think what I appreciate most about the podcasts at Delectable Education must be the multi-generational points of view.  I have just discovered them and they have quickly become my favorite podcast.

So for a long while, the blog was essentially sharing and a podium.  I began a blog way back when Homeschool Blogger was new and growing. I think the year was 2004?  We had five kiddos then and had been homeschooling for a few years. Then, when I began True Vine Herbs, a blog was a great way to build a customer base.  More than that, I wanted it to chronicle what we were doing… Mostly because I was challenged to keep a journal.

Now, frankly, I see the blog being for me.  As we transition from a more traditionally classical approach a la The Well Trained Mind to loving and embracing our eclectic nature and throwing in Ambleside’s reading schedule for structure and encouragement, I feel the need for sharing and accountability in the hopes that we, as homeschool moms, can learn from one another.  I’ve enjoyed what experienced moms, like Cindy Rollins, have to share just as much as I appreciate the eager enthusiasm of younger homeschooling mamas like Sarah Mackenzie.  I’ve had a foot in each community, dabbling, for a very long while.  It seems as though our home education has morphed through the years to meet the needs of the teacher – namely me 😉 and each successive oldest child.  Our oldest is at university now, studying Educational Psychology.  She’ll be a senior in the fall which simply amazes me.  Our second is dual enrolled, being both schooled at home and attending our community college.  He is a junior currently and enrolled in Project Lead the Way as well as Comp II.  And now my “oldest” is another daughter who loves literature, music, and lovely things.  I’m blessed that the two current oldest being educated at home are both girls who love spending time together, and while each is uniquely gifted, one extraordinarily artistic with a deep appreciation for nature, the other gifted in home arts with a contagious joy for family and home, both share a love for books and beauty.

It’s been an exciting Spring here.  We’ve planted a pear tree, blueberry bushes, and dug out a fire pit.  This is the apple tree we planted last year for Mother’s Day.


Okay, so that’s really a gratuitous shot to show off my kids.  I can’t help that.  That’s a mama’s right.  The little apple tree was about 6′ tall and she’s been joined by six more as well as two pears. We have visions of making cider with the imaginary grandkids dancing through our heads… Planning ahead. 😉

Now if only the weather would cooperate and let us play out of doors all day!  We’re still awaiting the return of our swallows.  This will be our third spring in this house and they’ve shown up each year at about this time.


We’ve also been spending a lot of time transforming the basement from this:

to this:


Then, with the help of a talented friend:

basement3   windowcutie

We’re getting there, slowly but surely.  This has been our biggest DIY project to date except the kids. 😀

We’re getting there. Remodeling is being put on pause this summer while we focus on the garden, the yard, and some pretty flowers to attract more birds and butterflies.  I only wish we were far enough from the fields to have bees.  Sigh.  I have fond memories of my Grandpa having hives at his house.

Spring is being evasive today… She’s hiding behind rain clouds.  I’m taking the day as a read aloud and photography day.  Have a blessed day.