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Seasonal Changes

Hello there.  I thought maybe today we could have a chat about things…  (You might want to get comfortable.)  OK.  Can I tell you something?… I am exhausted.  Yes.  Very tired.  We have a had a fun and full and exciting summer, and, although I never thought I would say this, I am ready for it to be over.  We really made the most of every moment, hitting every beach we could find on our part of the English Coast, and in August alone, we went to Belgium twice and went camping!  I did not get nearly enough sleep over the last few weeks, and now that Amelia is in school and things are quiet around here, my throat is sore and I have swollen tonsils.  That is my own personal run-down-o-meter.  I have this pattern of going strong for as long as I need to, but then getting swollen tonsils and sometimes actually sick as soon as I stop and rest. So, I have some recovering to do.

We took one last trip to Cromer this weekend, and hit a family milestone– all three of us went swimming in the sea together, finally!

Now, let’s talk about fall.  As abruptly as the school year started and the temperatures started dipping into the 40’s at night, there have been big changes over at our house.   First of all, Amelia started at a new school at the end of last week, a Montessori.  We are extremely excited about this, because Amelia’s first school experience was with Montessori, and she did so well with that method.  Also, I really could not stand the local public school she was going to.  She has switched to this school on the outside of town, and people, you would think we were dropping her off at Disneyland every day!  She is beside herself.  She has a really small class, and they do all sorts of fun and interesting things: swimming, French lessons, cooking, dance, art… And they spend lots of time outside, which is really high on my list of Things Kids Should Do.

On her first day of school.

Her change in school has changed the whole daily rhythm for our family.  Since the campus is on Jeff’s way to work, he takes her there and picks her up– a first for us!  Also, they cook fresh meals for the kids, and (hallelujah!) make meals that work around Amelia’s food allergies.  Seriously, packing school lunches used to be the bane of my existence!  She loves it, and I am really glad for her that she feels more or less like she is eating the same as everyone else (but probably twice as much as them, since that’s just one of her special talents.)  So, this means that I get up in the morning and do her hair and help with her uniform, while Jeff gets both of them breakfast.  And then… that’s it!  Off they go, until almost dinner time.  Since I spend less time with her in the day, I now do her bedtime routine, and I love it (Jeff had been doing that for years.)  Things are all switched up around here, and so far we all love it and it’s working really well for everyone.

All of my dreams are coming true.  OK, not all of them, but the ones that I so frequently had this summer about spending quiet days at home doing house work and computer work, tending the garden, etc.– those ones are really happening.  I have never had this much time to myself in a day, and it is so wonderful.  And that brings us to the next change– I am starting classes online again at the end of the month, and will be wrapping up my degree in Sociology early in the new year.  This is pretty exciting for me!  The last time I was doing school, we ended up making our big move(s) and it was really nuts.  Hopefully no curve balls will be thrown this year, and I can just focus and get it all done.  Also, I am looking into some graduate programs right now, for my next step!  On a lighter educational note, I am going back for more pottery classes, and Jeff and I will both be taking French lessons at the local college.  Fun!

In case you’re wondering, I do plan on keeping up here, and sharing just as much as always.  In fact, I am looking forward to getting back to the Sundays are for Sharing posts, as well as the What I Love ones on Wednesdays.
I have some big blog news!  I was recently asked to join the The Village Green Network!  I am really excited about this partnership.  I regularly read many blogs in their network, and am thrilled to take part and develop connections with other bloggers who love food and care about health and sustainability.  This will also be a nice motivator for me to do more food posts!

Last year, we had really gorgeous weather through the end of September, and most of October.  So far, it’s looking like we might have a repeat of that.  We have to turn in our passports for a couple months to get our visas renewed, and I think the timing is just right. We are looking forward to more country drives like we took almost exactly a year ago, and to exploring more of England this season.  I have my sites set on Dover and Canterbury.
We’ve seen them coming and going on the ferry, but we really need to get a closer look!
 And, lastly– I don’t know if it’s the autumn weather, or the fact that I’m home alone, or that I feel the impending doom of winter darkness, or what it is, but I am having the most intense nesting urges! I want to do so many home projects right now.  I want to deep-clean every square inch of our home, overhaul the garden, find rugs and curtains, paint things, fix stuff, arrange, purge… I kind of let the house go all summer, opting to be outside as much as possible, and not feeling like real tidiness was a reasonable goal, with us being so busy and yet at home so much.  So now I am planning projects, keeping up on pinterest boards, and looking forward to sharing some more corners with you, as I make improvements.  Yes, it’s time to cozy-down a little!
Whew!  So, that’s all my news and ruminations for the change of season.  How are you feeling about summer ending?  Anything exciting coming up as we head into the last few months of 2012?

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8 Responses to Seasonal Changes

  1. Anonymous September 12, 2012 at 12:02 am #

    Amelia’s new school sounds lovely! Our youngest just started preschool for a few hours two days a week. My husband is also looking for time to focus on winter gardening, building planter boxes and enjoying his few hours alone while I am at work (we work opposite schedules).

    Your pictures are lovely. Please keep Sharing.

    Gabrielle

    • Ariana Mullins September 19, 2012 at 8:11 pm #

      Hi Gabrielle, thanks for stopping by and sharing your own seasonal changes. Yeah, it’s really nice as parents to get to that stage where we can putter around on our own at times. I remember that it felt like such a luxury to be on my own when Amelia started preschool. I hope your husband enjoys, and that your little one enjoys school.
      Take care!

  2. Happy Homemaker UK September 12, 2012 at 11:43 am #

    I was just telling a friend that my kids thrived the most at their Montessori school when they were younger. Learning should be fun. And your daughter looks happy & adorable!

    As for me, I am starting up tennis again and a watercolor painting class. I do think the new school year give us time to reflect on how we would like to grow and learn too. Good luck on your visa renewal, as we will be going through that process shortly too.

    I’m tickled that you’ll be able to join us for ‘Blogger’s Tea’! Please email me so I can send you more details: [email protected]

    Have a fantastic day!

    • Ariana Mullins September 19, 2012 at 8:12 pm #

      Tennis and water color painting sounds really wonderful! Isn’t it nice to have some routine back after the busy-ness of summer?

  3. Amanda September 12, 2012 at 1:34 pm #

    Hurray for Montessori! I was in Montessori from preschool to 3rd grade and loved it. It really encourages independent thought, creativity, and delving deep into subjects that you’re curious about. I will 100% send my kids (when I have them someday) to a Montessori school too, if I can help it!

    Your new routine sounds great. I am really enjoying keeping up with your blog- the start of fall triggers my nesting impulses like crazy as well. Can’t wait to follow you and your sweet family aroung on your autumn adventures~

    Thanks! 🙂

    Amanda

    • Ariana Mullins September 19, 2012 at 8:14 pm #

      Hi Amanda! Yeah, Montessori is pretty awesome. Amelia’s first school experiences were with Montessori, and she really thrived. I think the exact opposite approach would be her state school last year– they hardly even let the kids think, they just direct them every minute of the day.
      I always love hearing that you are enjoying following along with our lives. Happy Fall!

  4. Anonymous September 13, 2012 at 6:39 pm #

    I’m so happy that the Montessori seems to be a good fit!

    Both our kids have always gone to Montessori, and so we are very big fans in our house. Tallulah has been in Montessori since she was 11 months old — we were fortunate to find a wonderful Montessori infant program when I was working full time. Now, she is in grade 4 and Viggo in grade 1. I have to say — they sure kept me hopping over the summer, and I put it down to them being Montessori kids. They are very independent, and are always dreaming up with projects — there is still a camel “piñata” hanging in a tree in the backyard, and umm, salt dough (“Mother, I know what I am doing!”) curing on the back porch (personally, I think it might really be a raccoon deterrent, but…).

    Best,
    Monika

    • Ariana Mullins September 19, 2012 at 8:17 pm #

      Monika, it’s so fun to hear what your kids are up to. I am so glad that you were able to continue their Montessori education through your moves, and especially as you are settling back in at home. I love the way that approach feels kind of familial, it makes for a much more peaceful life for children, and I do love the way that they take control of their own education, in many ways. There is nothing better than loving to learn, and keeping a curious mind!

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