The Golden Hour

It dawned on me recently that we are in the golden hour!  So glad I noticed!

In photography, the golden hour is that time right before the sunset, when the colors are rich and glorious.  It’s hard to mess up a photograph in the golden hour. Warm, saturated hues envelope your subject’s face and features making for the best pictures.


In nature, it is the edges of the summer season that make the golden hours and days. March, April, September and October.  Like right now, in September, the angle of the sun is just a little lower and the sunlight dapples and sparkles a little more brilliantly through the leaves and woods.



In the fields, the fall goldenrod and daisies burst forth golden attracting the bees and the butterflies seeking the last of the intoxicating nectar.  These colors are saturated too, like the bees that are wrapping up their summer exploits.


In our family, these are the golden days, I remind myself, when the kids are still living in our house and on our dole! They’re grown or almost grown, but they’re still here, hanging around like the bees on the goldenrod.  The golden hour.  Its golden and like the nectar, it won’t last. They’re golden, these teens, in their youth, unencumbered.




Watching all this golden, reminds me that I’m moving along with the bees and the boys toward my own golden days. I’ve been trying to put it off!  But, thankfully, God has me here turning golden too.  I’m just going to keep taking pictures and enjoying all this gold while its here.




Easing in!


What does the first two weeks of school look like in our house?  It certainly isn’t typical! But, what is?  This year, we took the first couple of weeks to “ease” in.  With my oldest still at home getting ready for a late-August start to college, there were plenty of distractions. Plus, we made it a point to do life with him as much as possible before he left.

Easing in required us to wake up before 8:00!  Oh my!  Our lives had to be reigned in to a schedule once again.  This was somewhat painful.  But, working outside helped with the struggle.  Outside, we learned math all over again!


Then, there was the getting our curriculum and supplies together.  Having an 8th grader at home this year was going to be a little more work than I thought. I had to actually prepare a syllabus for the language arts and history classes he’s taking with me and then organize all the classes I’m outsourcing.  Since he’s a math and science guy, he’s taking Alg I and Engineering at a local hybrid school and an online geometry course.

With my fourth grader, we basically jumped in where we left off in May.  That was  a relief.  I tried to talk myself into changing a couple of his history books, but realized that what we’d been doing with Story of the World was working just fine.

There was the expectation of the trombone acquisition.

buying a trombone

There was the confusion of wearing new glasses.

new glasses

There were auditions for Advanced Band.

band auditions

An overnight camp out helped ease the pain of that first week’s attempt to bring our lives again into the submission of a scheduled life.

After big brother packed out for college, the second week went a little smoother and we were able to study mushrooms, do a science experiment, and write in our writer’s notebooks.

science experimentsIMG_6366

This gradual approach to layering on the academics in the fall is something we’ve been doing for years now.  During this time we tweak the schedule and the materials. We don’t start with 6 hour days; we start with 3 hour days and then build up to the full schedule of subjects which takes about three weeks. If anything, it is a gentler way to approach the new year. As a result, mom is able to start planning only a week before school starts and then work out the plan while it is happening, making adjustments, adding and dumping as we work it out together. This homeschooling business is a lifestyle!  And, it is hard work to do it right.  Not every home school family does it this way, but it works for us!

easing in