Tea Talk! Five Things to Start the Week

Happy Monday! I hope you had a good weekend, whether it was spent collecting candy, snuggled on the couch, or knocking out home projects. We had a bit of it all and spent Sunday cleaning, food prepping, and building a new deck to cover up the hole left from removing our hot tub. Ok, I did the first two and David knocked out the third.

Still, it was a great weekend mix of fun and productivity, finished up with a walk with a good friend, a hot bath, and an early bedtime. #thisis37. I’m feeling my Earl Grey this morning and just felt like chatting with you, so… let’s chat!

Halloween was a blast.

It was so refreshing to have a night that felt normal. We had a few friends over for chili and Brunswick stew. I used this Brunswick stew recipe and would make it again but with a few changes. First, I would use a vinegar-based BBQ sauce instead of the recommended Sweet Baby Rays. I also would eliminate the sugar, or only add half the amount if needed with a more vinegar based sauce. I added potatoes to mine as well. Overall it was good, but just too sweet!

As for Halloween festivities, the girls were thrilled with how our costumes turned out. They had been wanting to do a Star Wars theme for a long time and I think we pulled it off! The neighborhood really went all out making it a special night for everyone. Neighbors gathered in cul-de-sacs and the community vibe was heartwarming. The full moon was beautiful and the weather was cool but not as frigid as I was expecting.

All in all, I’m just really grateful for such a fun, normal feeling evening. And the girls still have their candy spread out and categorized; the trading fun has yet to cease!

Lands End is having an amazing sale right now. I’ve been wanting a warm coat for myself at the girls that falls somewhere between a hoodie and a ski coat. These fit the bill! They are rated for temperatures down to 9 degrees and aren’t big and bulky. David has been looking for a vest (I love a good vest for cold weather and I think he’s been jealous…). Anyway, I don’t know how long this sale will last, but it’s a good one to take advantage of!

Consider this your friendly reminder to book your dermatologist appointment. I have to book mine at least 6 months in advanced, but my actual appointment was last week. With melanoma in my family and a lot of moles to keep tabs on, I’m glad I’ve found a dermatologist I trust. She uses a dermatoscope (a special handheld light that allows her to see the structure of the skin that might be hidden to the naked eye). 

I had two biopsies done and while I keep a close eye on my skin, neither one would have been spots that I had my eye on as suspicious. I’ll get the pathology report back in a week, but wanted to give you a gentle nudge to make an appointment to have a professional help keep an eye on the health of your largest organ. 

Homeschool update. We took last week off as a fall break at it was rejuvenating! We baked biscuits with Nannie and got watch a couple extra Halloween movies. Now this week I am feeling refreshed and ready to jump back into a few solid weeks before we break for Thanksgiving. Right now I’m feeling really grateful we started our new curriculum in June. We are over a third of the way through our math and language arts curriculum. That has me feeling good.

We ditched Singapore science early on (it was a bust) and just received my order of The Good and The Beautiful Human Body unit study. We are starting that today and after combing through it, I think it will be a great fit for the us. I plan on staying the course through the holidays and adding in more writing and reading come January, as we are fans of homeschooling in rhythm with the seasons.

As for readalouds, we finished The Prairie Thief recently (would recommend for ages 7+ and get ready for a lot of new vocabulary words) are currently reading Tuesdays at the Castle. Hailey (9) is really into it and Kaitlyn (6)is so-so. It starts off a little dark and I think I’d recommend it for ages 8+.  In the car we are listening to the audio version of The Land of Stories and both girls (and myself) are hooked. Chris Colfer does a wonderful job with the narration. After devouring the Whatever After audio books more than once, we are all really excited to have found a new twist on the idea of characters going into fairy tales. 

The Election

The big ‘ol elephant in the room, right? This will most likely be the only snippet I share about politics, but I had it on my heart to say this on the day before election day, especially after being asked on Instagram multiple times if I was going to share who I am voting for.

While I do have opinions on the matter (I’m a political podcast junkie), my strongest thoughts on the election are this: I care a lot less about who anyone votes for than I do about how they treat people who vote differently than them.

We are a very divided country right now. I saw videos of DC boarding up shops and restaurants in preparation for election night and it broke my heart. No matter the outcome, it appears that roughly half the country will have voted in line with you and the other half didn’t. We have to start figuring that out and finding the common ground between us rather than labeling each other with blanket statements.

I have friends and family that I love dearly that vote differently than I do. That’s OK. That’s more than OK; that’s what our country was founded on- voicing our different opinions, formed by our unique perspectives and priorities, in the spirit of listening to each other and using that to create a strong country.

I love this country, am grateful to live in this country, and believe the world we raise our children in has a lot less to do with what happens in Washington and a lot more to do with what happens within our own four walls and in our communities. Sending so much love to you all that you find peace right now and turn off the dang news if it just feels like too much.


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