Aren’t you just itching for Spring right about now?  At our house, we’re a mix of irritable and extremely contented.  We’re tired of homeschooling and gray skies and shin splints and  complicated epic poems and dirty floors and cluttered counter tops and pilling yoga pants. But then that’s all a lie because we hope the long, winter days snuggled in at home making art projects and reading books will never end.  We’re majoring in the beautiful paradox again.    We’re conflicted.  Just like Tennessee February weather.

Thank heavens for the lemons, that are always in season and beautiful. They never seem to be tortured and twisted up.  They’re Spring, in a bowl.
We try to ramp up the arts and crafts, to keep the winter doldrums from settling in too long and hard. Today, we’re making a skirted tablecloth, paper flowers and silhouette art in anticipation of an upcoming gathering at my house. I don’t know about your kids but my girls are SO hard on themselves when it comes to art.  They complain that they can’t draw or paint well, that they’re not creative.  LIES.  It’s all lies, I tell you.  So, I just keep making them do it, through the tears and the heartache. And then this occurs.

And this…..

And this…..

And with all the weeping and thrashing around about how UN-artistic we are, someone emailed me to ask me the name of the folk artist who did oil pastel chicken drawing on my wall in the living room.  Well, I’m so glad you asked.  Her name is Cutie Pie Wadsworth and she’ll be happy to do some chalk drawings for you.  Her work may be stained with tears because she’s convinced she’s not very good. So, thanks for asking and I’ll keep reminding her that someone loves her work!

Sometimes I wonder if what I’m doing here in these long days with these girls is really making a difference.  I despise my work too. But then the early morning quiet time, reflecting on their words, their tender hearts, their carefree dancing and laughing—I know it’s important.  I know it’s good.

I can sense that these days are numbered and I wish I could bottle them up and keep them here forever.
We read our books and talk about Greek heroes and the new color of Essie polish and how to make freezer paper art and I’m overcome with joy that they beg me to sit on their beds and just talk.

Then, I’m pushing too hard— to do Latin grammar and to stop doing so much dancing, to quit goosing around and laughing all the time.  At least they’ll never have to wonder if their mother was crazy.  That one’s in the bag.

It is February so right after a week of 60 degree sunshine, we got snow.  The girls were thrilled.  When you live in TN and it snows, you know you’re on borrowed time so you keep your gear on the ready.  There can be no looking for gloves for ten minutes because it’ll all be melted by then.

So, I knew I had exactly 47 minutes to snap this photo.  We even made snow cream.  Twice.

Also, I’ve got some news to share with you all but I’ll be sending it out through the newsletter to protect the names of the innocent.  If you’re not subscribed yet, do so before Sunday.  I am not sending every blog post out through the newsletter but some of you have asked for that. How about if I send an email update once a week or so with the links to all the posts from that week and then a newsletter once per month? I can have it set up to send an email with every post, but then I would want to unsubscribe because of all the emails. Tell me what your preferences are. Do you want an email with every single post? Tell me all about it. I’ll be checking the comments, amidst all the crafting today!
I’m using the email service to protect myself in case Google ever ‘loses’ me, which has happened to some of my friends. I don’t want to be at the mercy of Google to connect with my peeps so an email service gives us more control and connection.

Okay, happy weekend, dears!
Hope it’s full of beautiful contrasts!
Tell us how you’re fighting the winter blues!!


67 comments on “Around the House, {winter edition}”

  1. Oh enjoy those girls and every second. I home schooled my children from beginning to end and I miss them more than I can say. I wish I had pushed the books less and laughed more….spend as much time with them as you can….with no regrets. Dianntha

  2. Beautifully written. I too am ready for Spring. Here in the upstate of SC we have similar weather although we haven’t had our 15 mins of snow this year 🙂 I fight the winter blues by enjoying the sunshine every chance I get!
    PS…I don’t mind all the emails…
    Have a great Saturday! Sonya

  3. Their art is beautiful! May I ask where/what you use to find ideas for their art projects? I loved the art for history you posted in your recent curriculum post too. I’m trying to get better at doing art projects with the boys. Thanks Edie! Have a great weekend!

    • Jeana,
      We love Deep Space Sparkle and Art Projects for Children. Most of our projects come from those two sites. We have a few good books too but we mostly find stuff we love online and try to emulate it!
      And that art history book is awesome, such a serendipitous find!!

  4. I’m doing exactly what you’re doing (minus the homeschool) — diy projects, some simple crafts, a little baking, and a few good books. I actually ENJOY these winter days of recharging, reorganizing, reassessing. High school soccer kicks in next week so this is my last weekend to relish the cold minus the schedule.
    xo Heidi
    PS — I love getting the email digest of your posts once a week; that way my inbox doesn’t grow fangs. 🙂

  5. Hi Ms Edie-

    Just an FYI that the first time I entered my info to join the newsletter list I got an error message saying my format was unacceptable(using chrome as my browser). Because I am stubborn (!) I tried it again and the second time it worked. Just passing this along in case others are deterred by an error message on their first attempt.

    We are starting to pack this weekend for our move in March. Very excited about the move but not so much about the packing.

    Have a happy weekend-
    Ami D

  6. Same here in KnoxVegas! I sooooo wish we could get just one more real snow and then move on to spring. Our business depends on a good spring, so hubby is always bouncing off the walls by now and I am guilty of enjoying the cool day snuggles.

  7. Your view of life has blessed my own so I’m happily looking forward to receiving your newsletter. I’m undecided about the emails but leaning toward a weekly overview.
    Keep up the great work! “No success can compensate for failure in the home.”

  8. I’m thinking an email once a week is plenty. I get RSS feed of your blog posts, so I always know about them. I just need the email for the stuff you don’t put in the blog posts.

  9. I think I have a bad case of Cabin Fever. In Michigan the snow just keeps on coming and although I enjoy reading ad baking and knitting, I am growing restless.

    I don’t mind receiving an email of your new blog posts. I thought the newsletter was a separate writing fom your blog? Whatever you decide, I am happy to receive!

    Please be sure and let me know if you ever stumble into the knitted hat pattern your MIL made your girls! 🙂

    • Yes, Meg the newsletter is like a special blog post only for subscribers!! It’s a way to share things I can’t or don’t want to share on the blog and also gives me a way to keep up with my peeps should Google decide I don’t exist!!
      Hope spring comes soon :))

  10. I check your blog every day anyway, so I don’t need an email with every post. I think an email newsletter is good!
    I’m making your broccoli soup today! Cannot wait to try it. My aunt had shoulder surgery on Monday and I’ve been trying to get to making this soup all week, but work has been crazy, so…this snowy Saturday is the day! Although, I told my husband I’m afraid we’ll want to keep the soup for ourselves once we try it 🙂 Hopefully there will be enough for us to keep a little.

  11. Wow, Ms. Wadsworth! I love your way with words. Wanting spring to come and never wanting this winter to end – beautiful paradox, indeed. Enjoy your snow and your girls, and your classical poetry, and your crazy dancing.

  12. I feel so much better just reading this post. I don’t want to miss an important moment with the kids, but I also have so many things I want to accomplish with our son before time runs out. Finding the right balance is the greatest struggle!! I am beyond ready for spring. We had 20 inches of snow last weekend, about another five expected today, with predictions for another storm next week. I am not looking forward to this at all.
    Love the girls art work. I never think what I create is good.
    Love the emails for each post. Don’t want to miss any.

  13. I follow you through Google Reader but I don’t want to miss something that is just in an email so I signed up. I am a “the fewer emails the better” kind of girl so once a week is plenty for me. Thanks for asking!

  14. Well, I live in southern California, I have no excuse for winter blues. However, we had hail one day last week and that caused some excitement around here. My 13 year old daughter put her boots on, grabbed an umbrella and stood out in it until it stopped. 😀

  15. I read your blog and thought, as I often do, ‘she’s just beautiful.’ Then I clicked it closed. Then I made myself open it back up, because why in the world wouldn’t I tell you how beautiful I think you are? I do.

  16. We’ve begun our journey in homeschool this year. I’ll be doing this at least 18 more years. 🙂 I love reading your blog, it feels simple, clean, and educational. And I didn’t realize you’re in TN. I’m a TN native transplanted to Canada. I miss those simple TN winters and ranch style homes. The grey skies are pretty dreary though, don’t miss them as much.

    • Well, Tennessee misses you too, Jessica!!
      I shouldn’t complain about the grey skies. I know we get a lot of sun, which makes me miss it when it’s not shining 🙂

  17. Love that about the folk art chicken! Isn’t that just the encouragement she needed? Lovely.

    We definitely have those feelings during the winter months. It snowed big, beautiful flakes for a few hours today. The whole time Ethan was asking could we make snow cream. Well, it’s raining now and there was only a scant amount on the ground. Maybe next time. We’re getting ready to have a game day with Phase 10, Scrabble and anything else we can all agree on.

    I haven’t forgotten you. I have something that I need to finish so I can get it to you and the girls.

    Hope your day is full of wonder!

  18. I am also too hard on myself, and I know when I am an old woman I will look back on these days and realize it was hard to parent and homeschool four kids, and that I should be giving myself more grace and freedom. One of the most meaningful things a stranger ever said to me was when my first two kids were just 2 and brand new was when an old, old woman came right up to me at the grocery store and said, “this is the hardest thing you’re doing.” Oh my goodness, I think she must have seen me on the verge of tears that day and came over to reassure me.

    This year, with a spirited two year old, is hard. And my biggest is in 6th grade, so I wonder how many more years we will be homeschooling together. Will he go to high school instead? I just don’t know.

    We, too, have some spring-like weather in the middle of winter right now. We know winter will return next week, so are enjoying the sun this week.

  19. “majoring in the beautiful paradox again…” Wow. And yes, your days are numbered, but they are so full and loving that they will sustain you and those precious girls. Keep it up, thank you for taking the time to share. I cried, but not in such a bad way. xoxo

  20. It sounds like you have too many shin splints, girl! You should try minimalist running shoes. Ever since my husband started wearing them – no more injuries or achey knees!

    I think I’m signed up for the newsletter. When I sign up for the blog does that sign me up for the newsletter, too? Enjoying your blog so much and LOVE your hospitality book. Thanks for speaking the truth in love, my sister!

    • I know, they’re killing me. I’ve tried everything; new shoes, old shoes, ice, orthotics, motrin, rest (sort of) and I just can’t beat ’em.
      Arrrrghhhhh. I’m beginning to think they’re permanent. In which case, shoot me now.

  21. Grey skies… cluttered countertops… pilling yoga pants… dirty floors… you just summed up my week! I’m tired of it too and waiting for spring… but also feeling guilty for not soaking up these days more.

    Sigh… thanks for the reminder that I’m not alone in these feelings. 🙂

  22. Edie, I homeschooled 3 beautiful girls who are now 26, 23, and 20. They frequently tell me that homeschooling is the best thing that ever happened to them! One of them has even thanked me for not letting them eat sugared cereal for breakfast when growing up (I was a bit strict). Homeschooling is like a marathon – there are times when you want to give up and struggle to find meaning it it all. Then there are those of us who have crossed the finish line and look back and can’t believe we made such an accomplishment! Keep the faith, all of you who are choosing to spend your days with your precious children. You will bear the fruit one day!

  23. I had a dinner party for sweet friends and their parents tonight, so Spring cleaning was happening today! Here in SC, we rarely see snow and around 6 when our guest started arriving it started snowing😃 Taco soup for an easy dinner was perfect with the weather we had!! I love reading everything you send, so send it however it’s easiest for you😃

  24. I live in New England so I embrace winter by enjoying winter outdoor activities. When spring comes I will miss winter so I do not have to do much. I also do not have window treatments so the natural sunlight always brightens my day and a bird feeder outside my kitchen window means I get to see a bluejay or cardinal just about every day. Pure bliss.

  25. Email update once a week with the links and a newsletter- Thanks!
    Has the February newsletter already gone out? Did I overlook it or miss it? Appreciate it- Julia

  26. I like the idea of a once-a-week email w/ links. I don’t want to miss any of your wonderful posts, and I get overwhelmed when things come into my Inbox daily. Thanks Edie!

  27. I’m treasuring the last days of cold in Georgia. As much as I’m ready to get out an enjoy spring and dig in the dirt, etc…I love the coziness of winter and snuggling up with my kids and reading together, etc. I need to plan some art activities this week…thanks for the reminder!!
    Thought you might appreciate this article that I came across last week….at least for me it’s a convicting reminder of why I desire to spend my days with my children!

  28. The only reason I haven’t signed up before now is that some blogs I subscribe to arrive the next day – and that’s not appealing at all – the reason I just check in to see what’s new on a regular basis. Your next post will always be my favorite.
    Are you going to see the Avett Brothers in Knoxville?

  29. I have 3 boys and a girl with another boy on the way. We are all about getting outside;) not so many cozy moments here! Loud, energy using outside running around in the MI snow!

  30. I vote for the email once a week with all the links, and the newsletter once a month. That way you don’t have a ton to keep up with and we can peruse the posts as we can. Kind of like our weekly catch up session with you over coffee. And sorry if this posted 27 times, because my mobile device has a super small keyboard that my fingers apparently can’t hit correctly. 🙂 one wrong touch on the screen and you find yourself in another page, going “oh maaan! how the heck did I get here?!” 🙂 combating winter time doldrums…crafts, reading lots of Little House (which, funny enough, we are currently going through THE LONG WINTER. Not much snow where we are currently, but for SURE makes me glad I don’t have to live in SD 150 yrs ago!) And baking, lots of yummies that I end up eating. Oh, and this year, we have a trip to FL planned in March, so that will help winter seem shorter!

  31. The best way to beat the winter blues is to celebrate your daughters second birthday at the end of Feb!

    Also we have snowdrops blooming here which has cheered me up a lot. And I can see daffodils coming up in my little garden 🙂

    I love your blog, it’s encouraging and inspiring, and its fun to hear about a life so different to mine.

    Hope your weekend was tons of fun.

    Felicity xx

  32. if those artists of yours ever want to sell their work (maybe as some kind of microeconomics project?) i know there would be buyers! i struggled with the feelings of inadequacy too. all through high school and college, comparing myself to other artists. we are all talented, beautiful and blessed in our own way. i remind myself of that everyday!

  33. Edie, I want to send an enormous thank you your way! I too am a homeschool mom, and appreciate every little ounce of energy your words and ideas provide. On those days when I wonder why our path is one that takes so much extra work and effort (to prepare lessons, to try my hardest to instill a life long love of learning, to teach my children those things that will help them to grow into the individuals that God wants them to be), I read your blog and it reminds me that the seeds we’re planting now will become beautiful and fruitful. What a blessing you are to so many! Thank you!

  34. Oh how I love this post. I relate in so many ways -as an East TN gal & a home school mama! We live on a little Mtn overlooking Chattanooga & I keep a basket of scarves and mittens near the front door for those 10 minute snow storms. I also keep a bowl of lemons at ALL times. In fact one of the mamas (at the home school co-op where I am blessed to teach Outdoor Education) heard me say I’d rather have a basket of lemons that a bouquet of flowers, and she brought me just that as a Christmas gift. To fight the winter blues I listen to a lot of Avett Brothers and recently gave a thrift store chair a spray coat of bright lemon yellow and a flower cushion cover. 1. Spray paint doesn’t dry well in the cold and 2. It’s a little Brady Bunch, BUT I always did want to be Marsha & I can touch up that paint job come spring. 🙂

  35. I just signed up! Bummer, I missed this week’s newsletter with the big news ( I spent the weekend in Belgium!) but I’m looking forward to all future editions!!

  36. Hi Edie,

    Just wanted to let you know that I would love to receive all your posts via email. 🙂 Promise not to unsubscribe!


    PS Just finished your book on hospitality-truly inspiring. Thanks for sharing your heart!

  37. I am newly subscribed and I do not want to miss a single thing!! Take that as my blessing to do as you please, no unsubscribing for me 🙂 I’m so grateful to have found your blog. There is so much inspiring and solid content. The comments are really insightful as well. Additionally, I just bought and started reading The Well-Educated Mind. I cannot begin to tell you how you have brought encouragement to my journey! Not just for me, but for the strength and confidence it will help me impart to my children. Let’s not forget the banjos, cornbread, great books, ADD, children, deep-rooted faith and more…you have my attention!! ~His grace to all~

  38. I am so jealous of your snow. Living in Alabama we rarely get that treat, but we have had many “close calls” this winter. Some of our biggest snow storms have come in March so fingers crossed… Personally I love getting an email when you have a new post. Thanks for all you do!

  39. I love your newsletter, but I wouldn’t want to get every post in my email, because I read them all on your site. What about setting up a separate email subscription option for posts? (Because I know you’re looking for things to do. ;))

  40. Enjoy those little girls. My baby turned 18 today and we are finishing up her senior year of home school. She is the last of my three. It seems like just yesterday we were all doing projects around the dining room table and I was watching her to make sure she wasn’t eating the crayons! ~sigh~

    The newsletter is great and an email digest every so often would be nice. But whatever works for you.

    By the way, I grew up down the road from you, in Johnson City.

  41. Hi Edie,this post really moved me. In particular how you wrote about your time with your daughters. I don’t read your blog enough, as often as I should. And I wonder if it’s because i’m afraid of how much I’ll relate to what you write, right down to my core, and it will hurt some? I know that sounds weird (and hopefully not offensive!). Take this post for example–reading your words about your life as a mom with your daughters, I find myself aching. Aching because I needed you (or a mom like you) as a mom to myself. Don’t get me wrong–I love my mom, and I’d die if she ever read this comment, but the way you sit with your daughters and just talk, the way you work so hard to foster a love of creativity and art in them. Oh, I wish I’d had that. I’m only now seeing that I really never learned to tap into a creative part of who I am. Anyway, I know the aching isn’t a bad thing–and I know the right answer for Who it is that’s supposed to fill the ache, but it still hurts. All that to say, you have a real gift in writing this blog and mothering your girls, something else for which I long. xoxo

    • bless you, sweet Anne. we’re all in the same boat. i feel the same ache on the days when i’m too distracted or busy and don’t connect like i should. we live in repentance, in the shadows of the cross and He redeems it all, in His goodness toward us. and yes, so many have nurtured me in that love and whether it’s your mom or not, accept the love and nurture and wisdom of others as God’s good gift to you. wishing you love and blessings, dearie.
      praying for you today.

  42. I love getting your emails in any time frame. The weekly ones are like newsy letters from a friend back home. Just keep writing and sending them…I’m a happy camper. 🙂

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