This weekend was for resting.
I honestly was exhausted this weekend and so thankful for the rain for almost two straight days. It caused me to be still, be calm and take respite after a week of making a cozy space for our homeschooling days.
I've been planning and dreaming for a year about this room!
Our dear friend and new neighbor, Trena who so graciously sold us her home last August has been storing her memories and keepsakes here on our side porch as she built her home next door to ours. She building her home next to ours in quite the story, and ultimately how I ended up in my childhood dream house and a story for another day...hopefully soon!
This was the state of the room after we moved our neighbor's belongings off the porch. In my little dream world I was going to immediately start painting.
I cleaned, wiped, vacuumed, I washed, I scrubbed, I filled holes, and scrapped old paint off the ceiling for nearly a day and a half. It is essentially a porch that has been enclosed MANY years ago and hasn't had much love in a long while. Old windows with need of caulk = lots of dirt and dust.
I basically pawned off my kids to friends and family for a week to get this project accompished.
There is NO WAY on earth I would have ever accomplished anything in this room without my village of friends and family! They were literally gone from the house, or I recruited friends who are great about playing with all four of the kids to come and play for the entire day, as to get this finished in one week.
If you have ever painted paneling, you understand my pain in this image. IT was a painfully LONG process!
I thought it might take two coats.
It took FOUR!
My hand cramped.
My shoulders seized.
I had paint in my hair.
I had paint in places one should not have paint.
I fell off the ladder and got some serious war wounds.
All of was worth it for the comforts and playing and learning that has already happened in the room in just 3 short days since it was finished.
We are gatherers of Nature.
We love to roam in nature. It is where we continue to connect to our creator and feel peaceful. It is also one of our biggest learning opportunities It never fails that we bring part of our outdoor findings back home with us.
My sweet friend Darla does an amazing booth at Vintage Market Days Tulsa and had this little drawer she was planning to sell at the Fall Sale. I saved it out of her garage and found a great use for it in our nature trinkets.
Colin and Eden made this cute little lampshade about two years ago. I had never found a lamp that it would fit on in our home. As I was looking for a shade last week to hang on the ceiling fixture, it occurred to me that this one would be AMAZING.
It is PERFECT!
This is one of my favorite areas on the shelf. I am not sure why other than all the colors and neat things we get to use daily while learning. Some of my inspiration of the feel of my homeschool learning environment and home comes from Amanda Blake Soule, who is the author of the blog Soule Momma and Author of three sweet and creative books.
I am Giddy.
The things that I used to try and find hidden places for, I am giddy about being out in the open in this room. Games are part of our joy and time together as a family. I also use many games to teach math skills. I have always had them tucked away at this home and our house before this and we would forget the many awesome games that we owned. Just in the few days they have been out in the open I can count already five different games we have played.
This is the scene I find on a regular basis now they have a space.
The kids seem to wander in there and color in the quiet or drag out the play dough because they know it is a space to create and be free!
Things that make my heart sing and inspire me.
Several years back, my first inspiration of a homeschool mom purchased the Katie Daisy Print, "Teach Love" for me. It is my ultimate goal in homeschooling...Love really is the best and most highest quality a person can withhold in their heart and give to the world.
Secondly, my "Wholehearted Parenting Manifesto" hangs several places in our home actually. I have two small prints and one large one. It is from one of my favorite authors and story tellers, Brene Brown and inspiring people who encourage me to be real, vulnerable and myself.
Lastly my doTERRA Essential Oils diffuser is a must here in our school room. One, because the paint fumes are still lingering, but also because there are several essential oils that are great for engaging the brain and heart for learning!
My boyfriend is a painter.
I often refer to Clay, my husband, as my boyfriend and especially when I am speaking in terms of the things that make me fall in love with him over and over again.
He is a painter. He picked up a paintbrush not long after going through a life-changing program, Pathways. He spent many hours painting his way through slow hours on the evenings and weekends until we moved to this home. When we moved we put his paint stuff in the basement and he really hasn't painted much since we moved.
So I knew I had to move his easel back upstairs so that he will paint again.
This table is part of our history.
This precious man in the photo below came into our lives over eight years ago as a man selling us windows. He happened to think I would get along with his daughter well, so he left me her number. Well, I decided to take a chance and call her about 6 mths later. Many moons later she is one of my dearest friends and I consider her family part of my family! Hank, her dad is a jack of ALL trades. I have learned a little something about gardening, chickens, real estate, bees, wood working and more. Today he brought home our precious family butcher block table. You see it had fallen into pieces after we moved and I was SO sad. It was the table we built our family around, it was one I wanted to keep for generations. I called Hank about a month ago and he came to get it. Well it's back and more beautiful than ever! I am SO thankful. Thankful for my table but more than that, thankful for asking a Home Depot Window salesman into our home over eight years ago, we didn't get windows from him, however we got WAY more!
I knew the table would be perfect for this room. My kids love it dearly and were SO happy to have it back in our daily space!
Sweet Hank gave us this special paper we are going to attach to the underside of the table. He said he prayed over our family and this table as he restored it He prayed that we and all who sit at the table will feel love and peace!
So I had to do a little photo shoot this weekend of me homeschooling the kids for another project I am working on and hope to let you all in on very soon. I am excited to be invited into projects with others and change the world with my stories and gifts as a photographer.
I am not use to being on the opposite side of the camera. It is not a place I feel comfortable, and it was a stretch to say the least. That boyfriend of mine took the pictures, and having never been to a photography class of mine I say he did a pretty great job. He says he has learned by osmosis for the past 17 years.
So as I leave you, I am sitting at our precious table, with four of my favorite people as they are sticking their big toe into the waters of our fall homeschool routine.
My heart is full.
Every day is an opportunity to tell part of your story, look for your story today!
Grace and Peace,