Monthly Archives: December 2016

Pumpkins, Road Trips, Weddings, & The North Wind

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I had fully intended to do a “Week that Was” post. But soon one week turned into two and then suddenly 2 weeks became a month and so on… and so on…

So here we are again, faced with a backlog of photos and another rambling post where I attempt to hold onto and freeze the days that are sliding by so swiftly.    InAnOrchard

I know Christmas is upon us but I’m still sorting through pictures of pumpkins and autumn rain clouds.  This Halloween we spent a quiet night in carving pumpkins, eating heaping bowls of pesto pasta, and watching old Disney movies.
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At first the girls were a little crestfallen when they discovered we wouldn’t be dressing up and going door to door, but a little face painting lifted their spirits, and they were absolutely delighted with the happy, glowing pumpkin faces looking so cheerful on the front porch.
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In the days following we did “pumpkin seed math” and roasted a big batch of pumpkin seeds.
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The sky has been magical these days.  This westward view never gets old.

This picture next makes me smile and needs some explanation.  On a day to day basis the kids are responsible for keeping their rooms picked up.  Most days they do a perfectly adequate job keeping the floor picked up, clothes in the hamper, and shoes in the closet.  But once or twice a month I go in and to a “mom cleaning”.  That means clean bedding, shelves get organized and dusted, books tidied and put in order, all the corners cleaned and vacuumed, and the beds perfectly made and smoothed out.  The kids love when I do a “mom cleaning”.  Their room is suddenly a haven again, everything “just so” and ready for play.  They usually spend the remainder of the day in blissful, quiet play or tucked into their clean beds with a long lost book.

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School days continue to dominate our daily routine. I’ve decided that homeschooling the kiddos may be physically, and at times emotionally draining, but man is it keeping my brain sharp!  The things I learn right along side them never ceases to amaze me and long after they leave the table I find myself googling things like, “The Black Hole of Calcutta” or, “American Whaling Industry” and “Whaleship Essex”. InAnOrchard

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I also enjoyed a wonderful evening out with my sister-in-law Jessica.  We took a flower arranging class out at Kelley Flower Farms.  We made fall pumpkin arrangements from a sea of stunning flowers picked fresh from their own field, we enjoyed snacks and beverages, and grownup conversations.InAnOrchard

For the week of Thanksgiving we loaded the whole gang into a rented mini van and headed up north to spend Thanksgiving with my parents and Aunt and Uncle. After Thanksgiving we continued to drive all the way to Washington to attend a family wedding.InAnOrchard

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I was born in the Pacific North West and going back always feels extra special.  There is something so stunning about the land up North, I could have stopped a hundred times to take pictures but contented myself with an occasional phone shot from the passenger side window.

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It was so good to see my parents!  It had been a full year since we had been up to see them.  They live in the most charming little town, in a small 100-year-old house surrounded by huge old trees. They were so happy to see the kids!  This was the only photo I managed to get of us all together.  It’s far from perfect, but it’s the reality of letting other people take photos with your phone camera and dealing with multiple squirmy children.

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Miss P spent most of the time, ” nuggling wif Papa” and was reluctant to leave him (to say the least)InAnOrchard

But the day after Thanksgiving we continued our journey to Washington.  We played the part of the tourist in a small town by stopping for pictures next to the local landmark.

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My husband’s cousin got married that following Saturday.  It was a sweet wedding and a treat to watch a young couple so clearly in love.  We felt right at home as we met new faces that quickly felt like old friends.  We also had the pleasure of having lunch with old high school friends!

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The wedding reception was held in a beautiful “barn”.  They called it a barn but it look too lovely and pristine to be a working barn.

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I didn’t get a lot of photos of the wedding but I managed to snap this picture of the happy couple leaving the reception in the rumble seat of a vintage car!  Such a beautiful evening and I’m so glad we were able to go!

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The whole time we drove we listened to George MacDonald’s book, At the Back of the North Wind.  His stories are some of the most whimsical and fanciful books I have ever read or listened to in my life, and they stir my imagination in ways I didn’t know was possible.  But what most captures my heart is the simple, yet powerful wisdom MacDonald weaves through every page in his books.  I feel like I want to read them to my children over and over, and pray that a portion of that wisdom seeps into their very core.

At the Back of the North Wind is the story of a little boy named Diamond who befriends the North Wind. To Diamond the North Wind is simply his friend who he loves and trusts, but the adult listener perceives that she is in fact death and suffering, sent to do the bidding of God throughout the earth.  I know that might sound terribly morbid and not at all a children’s tale, but trust me when I say it is anything but morbid; it is a beautiful story filled with hope and love.

I think I could fill a book with all the quotes I loved from this story but here is just a small sample:

“Never be discouraged because good things get on so slowly here; and never fail daily to do that good which lies next to your hand.”

And now we come to the end of the post, and if you made it this far you get a gold star!  One of these days I’ll get around to writing short and sweet posts in real time… but it’s not real likely ;)