Gathering my Thoughts in Early September

::outside my window

The sun is rising. I'm on the recumbent bike in my closet, biking while I type. I think I'd rather be outdoors, but it's pretty cool to watch the sun rise from here.

::listening to 

Just the hum of the bike...

::clothing myself in 

T-shirt, shorts--doesn't really matter. I will go from this bike to the shower and then begin the day. I think it's going to be cool enough for capris and a long-sleeved T-shirt. And then tomorrow, hotter than most days last summer were. 

::talking with my children about these books

So many books! We've begun "school" in earnest now. The boys are taking on ancient history this term. I just noticed there's no ancient history reading list on Serendipity. I'll have to remedy that soon. The little girls are going to follow the Storybook Year plan. Beatrix Potter will anchor the next couple of weeks. Mary Beth will be focused on American History and Government and American Literature. And with Katie, I'm going to modify Beyond Five in Row and take it from there.  Lots and lots of books for a ll of us!

::in my own reading

Carmen suggested last week that I listen to The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. I'm so glad she did! This book really comes to life on audio! i'm very much enjoying it. Also, I'm listening on loan from my library. Yay for free!

::thinking and thinking

about running. And fitness in general. I'd always said that when there were no more nursing babies, I'd get really serious about fitness. I was 46 when my last baby stopped nursing. I would not trade one second of that experience. But I should have gotten serious sooner. I think that trying to get really fit while also transitioning through perimenopause and menopause is formidable challenge. I'm not giving up, but yeah, this is n't coming easily.


I've got two. One from C. S. Lewis because he's most often quoted in this space and another, just because. Actually, maybe three. 

If one could run without getting tired I don’t think one would often want to do anything else.  C.S. Lewis

If you want to become the best runner you can be, start now. Don’t spend the rest of your life wondering if you can do it.  Priscilla Welch

Believe that you can run farther or faster. Believe that you’re young enough, old enough, strong enough, and so on to accomplish everything you want to do. Don’t let worn-out beliefs stop you from moving beyond yourself. John Bingham

::carefully cultivating rhythm

The first week of school was a bit of a rhythm mess. Usually, I overplan and I'm mightily disappointed that my children are actually real, fallen human beings who can't jump through all my hoops. This year, I didn't really plan more than in my head and I learned that over planning might be preferable to under planning. I also resolved this: next year, we won't try to begin the week of Labor Day. We'll just field trip that whole week. It's silly to start try to use plans that are always written for five day weeks and be behind right from the get-go. For us, it's also ridiculous to expect a smooth transition to school days right on the heels of a hot, three day soccer tournament weekend. Since I have already received my Emily Ley planner for 2015, I've made a note of it.


I did buckle down and do quite a bit of planning early last week and I've got everything in its place on my colorful sheets and all will be well in the world of Foss. Soon. 

I've also committed to lots and lots of nature study and we're getting after it!

 ::creating by hand

I have a shirt for Sarah all cut and Katie plans to sew it. I have a sling for Sloane, very nearly finished. And Karoline just informed me that she thinks I'm making 30 or so headbands for various dance companies... In my spare time.

::learning lessons in

Running. I've been reading and reading. It's inspiring, but when I read about running before bed, I dream it. Then, I wake up tired and go for a run and it's nothing like the dream was. Running is being assigned to breakfast reading henceforth. (Breakfast is this pumpkin spice smoothie these days.) I've enjoyed the Another Mother Runner site. I think that after I finish the  The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society I'm going to listen to their books. The podcasts have been very informative. When I clicked over to those books at Amazon, I hopped down a rabbit trail of books about running for women and about women who run, training plans and memoirs, who knew!? Do you have some suggestions?

::encouraging learning in.

Organized study habits. We're beginning this semester with really working on putting things where they belong, taking good notes and filing them well, and all matter of things smart students know. 

::begging prayers

for safe travels this week. 

::keeping house

Chore charts. Several years ago, a voice on the internet accused me of spending more time planning things than doing them. She was someone I respected and she probably meant well. I overreacted and stopped planning pretty much everything. Her words had sliced deep and discouraging. Because things were so well planned (how's that for irony), we ran along fairly well for a long time without new plans. But the dynamics of my household have changed drastically. I need some substantial household plans again--meal plans, chore plans, grocery plans. There will be plans. And fast. 

::crafting in the kitchen 

I'm doing a lot of freezer cooking this week. Loosely following recipes in this book. I'm going to be gone a lot in September and those left at home will only need to thaw and cook. But it's going to take some planning first;-)

::to be fit and happy

I hit 243 miles in August. For September, I didn't set another mileage goal (this was becoming a bit ridiculous). Instead, I joined along with And Babies Don't Keep and committed to run at least a mile a day. I'm reporting and recording on Instagram. Check in with me there. Kristin is doing the run streak, too. She's such a huge encouragement!

::giving thanks 

Here's where I tell you that Mike has been gone for most of the summer, and actually a lot of the spring before it. He's been working on a project in South Beach and another in New York. We don't live in South Beach or New York. It's been a long, lonely, exhausting summer for both of us. We struggled through this one. He's burned out. I'm hanging on by my fingernails. One show launched yesterday. The other will launch today. He's done some amazing, artistic, creative things and I am so proud of him. Tomorrow, he travels home and we are going to spend huge amounts of time together for the rest of the month, including some pretty cool trips. I'm am so grateful to have arrived at this point in time. I cannot even adequately express it. 

::loving the moments

that begin with a safe landing. 

living the liturgy

It's the time of year when our family liturgical devotions truly come to life. it's time to update that post. I've been giving lots of thoughts to enduring liturgical traditions, the kinds that follow kids to college and take up residence in the homes of newlyweds. More on that very soon.

::planning for the week ahead

Mike comes home tomorrow! And we're going to Charlottesville together later in the week. We have plans to celebrate our 27th wedding anniversary in the very same place we went for our first date in 1981 (yes, I was way too young to date;-). Lucky for all of us that Patrick's locker room is in University Hall and 27 years ago, Robert E. Lee High School won the Virginia State basketball championships in that very same building. I was there. With my new boyfriend. Friday night, we'll park there and walk across the street to watch our boy play soccer. Sweet.