I love October. I love the temperature dropping, the leaves turning color and falling down, I love the golden rays of the Southern sun. October is also when I feel the outdoors beckoning us, and the beautiful changes of seasons scatters us.
It is a perfect time to re-think rhythms and meal planning and perhaps get a little more grounded in the process. Lately I felt like being outside, but at home and in our own neighborhood, so I think it is a good time to look at the things in our home as we head into cooler weather and the autumnal rhythm.
Well, if I had tiny children, I would be totally focused on warming meals, layers for outside, and rest and outdoor play, and work around the house. My rhythm would be simple, lovely and held. I urge those of you with tinies to get some old watercolor paintings and cut them into pieces and write your daily rhythm on it. Turn off the screens for yourself and your child (if any are on during the day) and sink into the warmth of nourishing your home and each other through play, song, work, and warmth.
I find it much harder with teenagers and the spread of ages we have. So, I have settled into
- Warm Breakfast and Discussion about the day
- We try to start around 8:30 or 9. This is our littlest first grader’s time. We try to start by going outside and doing most of school outside if possible. Make sure high schooler and sixth grader are starting with music practice and any work they can do on their own.
- Check in with high schooler about Algebra or Spanish or other work.
- Sixth grader’s time with me- we will be moving into Roman History before Christmas, and I want to start our time together with the idea of being a Roman soldier. So, hearty movement and then main lesson. Work in handwork into our read alouds and invite first grader in. High schooler usually has work that she is trying to get done, so it has been difficult to not honor that during this time, but I am hoping to get into a better rhythm with this so my high schooler has time to do handwork too. She has gone back to crocheting for making some holiday gifts, so that has been fun.
- Check in with high schooler and if time, start Biology. Sixth grader and first grader do chores around the house; walk and play with the puppy.
- Warm Lunch and Rest
- High School Time.
- Finish sometimes between 3-4 in the afternoon
- We have planned several wonderful field trips a month.
- I have planned one main lesson period for our first grader and anyone who can join in solely for nature/seasonal crafts in the backyard or neighborhood each week.
- What I would like to see: my goal is to free up one afternoon a week for “open studio time” where we can complete Main Lesson Book pages that need extra time and care.
- My other goal: toward mid to end of November, we plan to free up entire afternoons for crafting holiday projects. 🙂
This is more complex than I would like it to be, but I guess that is life with a high schooler, middle schooler, and first grader. It is what it is at this point. I could spend eight to ten hours a day on schooling stuff, and it just isn’t feasible for my own sanity, so this is what I do. We start early and try to get done!
I love, love, love Heather Bruggeman’s Whole Foods Freezer Cooking Class and am doing that now and re-working some of our menu plans. October seems like the perfect time to think more about crock pot meals, stews, baked goodies, and heartier meals (even though it has still been rather warm here during the day!)
For breakfast, lately I have mainly been making eggs in tortillas with avocado; oven puff pancakes; french toast; oatmeal in a rice cooker with apples and cinnamon or baked bananas over the oatmeal; buttermilk banana pancakes; frittatas. There is a recipe for morning millet that I want to try. I always offer fruit as well; sometimes we juice.
For snacks we have been having hummus and carrots; muffins. And three words: pumpkin pudding cake.
For lunch, I have mainly been making green chile chicken enchiladas; caesar salads; kale salads; leftovers from dinner, pot pie
For dinner, I have mainly been making fast meals such as marinated pork loin (olive oil, whatever citrus I have on hand that I can juice, thyme); chicken in many forms in the crock pot or grill; shepherd’s pie; beef stew in the crockpot, and still am grilling. I always serve at least two vegetables, salad and fruit salad. I think as the weather gets colder we might add in some rice or potatoes. I am loving roasted veggies right now – beets, butternut squash, cauliflower are my favorites. And I just picked up cranberries in the store, so I am excited about making cranberry sauce!
Rhythms of Self-Care:
- Rest. I find rest and just being able to do nothing an important part of my own rejuvenation during the school year, especially as we head into winter.
- Making time to be with family and friends who love me.
- Making time to exercise and cook nourishing food.
- Participating and being a part of the life in my parish. It encourages me and helps me so much.
- Learning things!
Please share your rhythms of October! I am always looking to learn from other mothers, and usually get so many wonderful ideas when we all share.