oh, february

Ironman Arm made of Legos

February, what a month.

Usually filled with bitingly cold days, this February gave us more than our share of warm days. What a gift to a consistently gray time of year.

We have been steadily schooling, our days holding a regular routine and the children really seem to get into a groove this time of year. No holidays, vacations or warm weather (for the most part) to distract them, we tackle Math, Grammar, Reading, Poetry, Dictation, Missouri History and Writing. The unseasonably warm days have been a gift of course, for to breathe in fresh air and think of Spring refreshes the senses even more so knowing that it isn't Spring yet and snow days, at least cold days, are more than likely to come before that time.

Valentine's Day flowers have brightened the home. Ella's bouquet is still vibrant two weeks later, however my roses wilted after one week. They were so beautiful in their prime.

It's time to begin forcing the Forsythia blooms open, and just like these warm days it has me thinking of Springtime even though it's not.

Jesse and I decided to tackle some indoor home projects this month. Their completion dates will ease over into March, but it's been good to cross some things off our lists. I decided to paint the heavily used basement family room (which serves as the lego area, art area, tv area and school/computer area). It had been eight years since it's first painting and was in desperate need of refreshment. This was something of a feat for me as I'm haven't historically been the one to paint the house (in or out). However, over the holidays I painted the kitchen and that gave me some confidence. Jesse is a great painter, but my motivation whenever I decide to tackle a home project out of my comfort zone is that if I do one project that frees up Jesse's time for another.

We've long wanted to finish half of the unfinished portion of the basement and that will soon be a reality. The finish is simple with bead board for walls, laminate tile floor and boards for the ceiling (all walls and ceiling painted white). The trick has been to install two new windows, studs and insulation for walls. By our calculations four more work days should have this complete. Then, half of that area will serve as a pantry (with our chest freezers) and the other half for the weight bench. I'm very excited to have this area complete.

The home projects always sound like they take more time than anything else, but we actually give them the least amount of attention. We work on them when it works for our schedule and don't them them invade on our regular life. We used to work around the clock when we had a home project. I'd like to think we've grown in some wisdom, as we absolutely refuse to do that anymore. Inching up to forty has us both really enjoying our sleep (especially since our kids are older and let us sleep!).

Roone and I are reading the third book in The Ranger's Apprentice series called The Icebound Land. There are over ten books in this series so I think we'll be here for some time. Ella and I recently read Half-Magic by Edward Eager the first in his Tales of Magic series. We thoroughly enjoyed it and are now onto book two, The Knight's Castle. Both children enjoy each other's series and read them on their own, so that's a double win. I just came across The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyzcyn  so I'm waiting for that 900+ page book to arrive at the library. I am ever interested in frugal ideas and this newsletter was quite popular in the 90's and was compiled into a book.

March is the, oh-Spring-is-almost-here-month! I envision it a sweet one.