It's that time of the year again when mornings are cold, and we bundle up in long sleeves and hoodies, but by afternoon it's in the 70s, and we're in short sleeves and sunglasses. As usual, we've been spending a lot of time outside. The kids can't wait for enough leaves for a large jump pile to collect in our yard. I think they may get their wish this weekend. Vivian is turning out to be a nature kid just like her brother. She spends a good portion of the day collecting acorns and filling her pockets with red Dogwood berries. She's also taken to turning over logs and rocks and watching the slugs and bugs beneath.
When we're not wandering around the woods, the creek, and the driveway with the kids, Thomas and I are working on all sorts of fun projects, mostly to do with Christmas. In between grading papers and homework, I'm knitting lots of small gifts such as washcloths, hats, and toys and felting more roving to make V a necklace for her 2nd birthday. I'm also designing and knitting a herpetology sweater for S that will be full of so many frogs, salamanders, and turtles, he won't believe his eyes. And I'm working on a recipe for a good winter soap--something great for dry skin with cocoa butter and oatmeal in the list of ingredients.
Thomas spends his evenings in the garage/wood shop working on bowls (again for Christmas gifts) and a drop spindle for me. (My birthday is today!) He's also taken on some sewing projects for work. There have been many late nights behind the sewing machine for him. We both work in the living room together, and I've gotten used to grading papers to the sound of the Janome's motor.
Life hasn't been easy lately as far as finances go. I knew that we'd be hit hard when I quit my job in the City and decided to work from home (for much less money), and we are really feeling the consequences of that decision now. I wake up so many times at night worrying about electric bills and insurance premiums, but the one thing that makes me happy is this family of mine. T and I really know how to pull together during tough times, and he is an amazing support for me (and the kids). We've had many great late night talks and date nights with giant bowls of popcorn and a bunch of movies. Even though we never have money to go to restaurants or buy most of the things we want, our kids seem happy. If we didn't talk about finances in front of them, tell them not to eat all the food in the house at once, and get really upset when one of them takes a pair of scissors to a new school shirt, I don't think they'd have any idea how poor we are. The other day Seamus said to me, "Money and stuff doesn't matter. The only thing you need is love." As cheesy and cliche as that may sound, it's true, and I'm so happy he's learned this lesson.