Let's Face the Music and Dance


My husband is brilliant. Canning outdoors, using propane and a turkey fryer stand. He literally makes canning cool.
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You know when you're on the dance floor, grooving to a beat, and all of the sudden the song changes tempo, and you don't know what to do? Do you slow down, speed up, keep your own beat, or leave the floor and get a drink? Yes, today was kind of like that.

According to our homeschool charter calendar, today is the first day of school. I am officially the mother of a third grader and a sixth grader. For the first time in our homeschooling history we are all excited about starting a new school year. But the music has certainly changed, and we're trying hard to transition - gracefully - into a new song, without stepping on each other's toes.

There's been a lot of chatter in the mommy blogosphere about family rhythm lately. Well, at least the corner of the blogosphere where I travel. Lots of ideas are floating around about improving, enhancing, and even changing the rhythm of family life. Add this to the ideas floating around in my own head about family rhythm and it's like there's a radio on in every room of the house, all tuned to different stations. It gets so loud I can barely hear the music of my own heart. The music that tells me to take it slow. Move one foot at a time. Follow the lead of my partners. Stop moving and just listen if need be.

We've got big plans for this school year. New textbooks, stacks of blank journals, lists of projects, classes on the calendar, hula hoops for P.E., lots of sharp number two pencil ready to go. We're ready to rock the homeschool dance floor! But as I stood in the kitchen tonight preparing dinner, mentally ticking off the list of things I had hoped to accomplish today, and starting to feel behind - already, on the very first day - I had to do a quick inventory of what we had accomplished:

Math for both kids
Science for Aidan
A book read by Avery
A cake made by Avery
Two new fish in our aquarium
Hula hooping for everyone
Five quarts of canned peaches
A loaf of bread baked
A bag of school supplies purchased
Our library basket refilled
Two duct tape wallets constructed
Dinner on the table

We kept a steady beat today, and we'll keep on dancing tomorrow, but to a different tune: the tune of Happy Birthday. Avery will be eleven. It's a common side effect of sixth grade. Time sure flies when you're busy dancing.


  1. Holy cow - that's a lot. I called my day 2 steps forward, 1 step back, 30 minutes cleaning up the mess left behind. Rhythm is something I'm seeking, desperately.

    Our year starts in 3 weeks and I can't decide if I'm ready or not. One in school, one not. One toddler running the show. It's going to be a wild ride.

  2. Beautiful post. And I call that a successful homeschool day.

  3. happy birthday to avery!

    elli is loving eleven, & i hope avery enjoys it just as much (elli's only been 11 for a couple months so i'm calling it a tell tale sign for the rest of the year, knock on wood).

    i was totally surprised by the email this morning stating it was the first day of school, i laughed, it'd be just like us not to know. our ES, bless her heart.

  4. You did in a day what I might do in a week, or two, but what a nice list!
    But I get the rhythm chatter. It feels like each season brings its own influence on our rhythm into the house, so I am kind of waiting Fall out to see what she wants to do. Yours sounds beautiful. And XOX to Miss Eleven.

  5. happy birthday to Avery !!!!! And oh my goodness, what a load for the first day of school !! You're a busy gal !!! :)

  6. wow, a very successful day! im searching for rhythm too ... around this time every year, the end of winter is nearing, i start looking to change things up, help things run a little smoothly.

    a very happy birthday to Avery!

  7. reading this, i wished for a moment that i could send my kids to your house for school.

  8. happy birthday to avery!

    we are spending this last week enjoying the summer and the looser rhythm summer brings. next week, school but even then, we'll be moving at our own pace, doing our thing, finding our groove. sounds like y'all are already on your way to finding your school year groove :)

  9. Sweet. Happy birthday to Avery!
    Canned Peaches? I really want to come over.

  10. beautiful canning! must be great to do outdoors. sounds like you had a great first day of homeschool!! good for you!

  11. Canning outside - brilliant!

  12. Sometimes its so hard to hear our own song amid the chorus (or blaring! ;) sounds of the outside world. Looks like you rocked the first day, huh? And best of all? You guys did it together. How cool is that!? xo

  13. Whatever you were dancing to on the first day, it seems to have been the right song. I call that a great day. Your second paragraph reminded me of high school dances and the Lionel Richie song "Say you Say Me." It begins as an awkward slow dance (high school, you know) which then becomes an even more awkward dance when the song moves into that fast bridge. I had trouble finding my rhythm in high school.

  14. Canning outside and using the turkey fryer for your hot bath, seriously awesome! Finding the elusive rhythm feels SO good and after reading about your first day i am tired, lol. Here's to a wonderful school year and lots of dancing to the beat! Happy Birthday Avery

  15. Hey, I canned five quarts of peaches today too! I hear you about the homeschooling/family rhythm thing. It all calls us back to where we are in a moment, in a day, in the realm of the "school" year. One step at a time does it. It's hard to turn those radios off sometimes.

    Happy birthday to your Avery. I have a fifth grader and an unofficial first grader this year. Thinking we'll start next week.


  16. I love coming here.

    Do squeeze in all the writing you can, if the living allows it. It matters, it's magic.

    Happy new school year to you, Molly.


  17. You're husband's a keeper if he's devised a way to can outside! How great! Looks like you've been busy. I really need to get my mind in gear for the new year and begin a new 'rhythm' for our family too. How to begin is the question...

  18. I'd call that one successful first day of school! I think you're moving right along with the music.

  19. wow girl, that's a lot!! i'm so excited for you guys this fall - everyone's at the age & you've given them enough space that you guys have a real juicy, yummy thing going. we drove up to tahoe to kayak a few days ago & stopped by, but you guys were out - dancing, i suppose...

  20. My husband was brilliant last year & forgot to put a piece of wood down on the plastic fold up picnic table & melted the coleman to the plastic! We still haven't replaced the table (next summer!). That was a costly 2 yrs unemployed for him...(first time ever for us--that unemployment thing)Lets hope he stays employed & STEP AWAY FROM THE CANNER!



email: mollydunham@sbcglobal.net
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