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Fieldnotes: from our home and school

For many years, about this time in the year, I've made notes about what's bringing me joy or what's saving my life. It's a habit inspired by Anne of Modern Mrs. Darcy and I love it. Taking note of each season and choosing to lean into it helps, especially with winter.

This is what is filling my cup this January.


Literally filling my cup: chai tea mix from the international aisle. I love chai tea. I love making it and letting all the spices simmer together on the stove but I don't have time to make it as often as I would like. I am careful about my caffeine intake so it's a weekly treat or so but it's nice to switch up my decaf Yorkshire Gold with something creamy, spicy and a little sweet.


From the kitchen: no-brainer meal plans. This is not a season of life where I spend a ton of time in the kitchen, life is full and busy and I'm so grateful for it. We have set taco Tuesday, date night (which means easy, fun food for the kidlets), family night with a movie and Jared's homemade gluten free pizza and Sunday roast. I fill in the blanks with a few favourites and maybe a new recipe once in a while and menu planning is done. Some favourites from this past month were these Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls, Thai noodle bowls with this peanut sauce and chicken tagine. One pot, full of vegetables and flavour and easy to substitute ingredients are some things I look for right now.


Creativity: January has typically been a great month of hibernating and being creative. Last year I was in deep survival grief mode and didn't do anything. This year I've started a winter project of crocheting a blanket while helping the kids with their independent school work. This saves me from getting distracted by my phone (turning it off also helps!) and I love working with something cozy in the winter. I've also started a few photo projects which is a daunting task but so satisfying to start work on making photo books and prints for the wall.



From the school room: It's been a good month of routines and re-starting habits after a full and hard December. We alternate with big focuses each month, sometimes we go all out on history, sometimes geography gets a turn in the limelight. January's geography focus was Arctic regions and we had a lot of fun reading aloud Mr. Popper's Penguins and Shackleton's Journey. We did a few penguin projects and had a great book club with friends all around Mr. Popper's Penguins. Sometimes the best way to enjoy winter is to embrace the cold, dark season. The kids and I are enjoying a season of audiobooks, currently we're listening to The Hobbit (is there any either way to enjoy this book then the audiobook read by Andy Serkis?) We're also working our way through The Long Winter, pausing on occasion to have discussions on certain topics that come up in these books.



Habits and goals: I love the collective energy of getting goals accomplished that is January. Jared and I set some hefty goals for this year like we often do and are meeting weekly to see what action we need to take on those goals. Some are easy to cross off, others are beginning a new habit. This year, we're working on a bedtime liturgy for the kids inspired by Habits of the Household. It felt clunky at first but now our youngest won't let us forget it. Early bedtimes have been great for all of us, and a great way to get my reading off to a great start. A few titles that made four stars or more in my reading journal this month: The Invisible Miss Cust by Penny Haw, a story set in the British Isles of the first lady veterinary surgeon. Rule Against Murder by Louise Penny, I'm working my way through her series of detective novels set in rural Quebec and loving them. The Night Gate by Peter May, a detective novel set in France with a dual timeline of modern and World War II involving a cold case and art. All my favourites in one novel.


What's saving your life these days? Those small pleasures that make each day a little more magical?



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