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Harmony Art Mom – Catch Up For The Year

It appears I’ve only posted one Harmony Art Mom post for the whole of 2018. What happened there? I didn’t mean to be silent for so long, but I’ll fill in with the highlights of my Harmony Art Mom year.

Harmony Art Mom 2018
This has been a busy year of adjusting to living in a new place and to the comings and goings of friends and family. We knew when we moved here that we were starting a new chapter in our family, but nothing ever quite turns out as planned. I’m getting better at the twists and turns of life with four grown children and elderly parents.
Through the challenges of this year, I was introduced to a new way of looking at things. It has saved my sanity and kept my emotions in their proper place.

“Don’t let your highs be too high or your lows too low.”

We can plan and dream about how a year will go at the start of each new year but really it’s the unexpected joys that come along that make the time special. In my case, it’s been in the form of friendships made and deepened, the surprise of family relationships healing and growing, and then the taking on of challenges and seeing how we are supported by loved ones and the answers of prayers that highlighted 2018 as a memorable year.

Harmony Art Mom 2018 crater lake
Our four children, who are all of the Millennial generation, are continuing to be a big part of our life. No marriages or grandchildren yet, but all four are healthy and growing as adults. Continuing to be home base for the two younger boys, allows us to continue our close relationships. Whether it’s advice on careers, girls, or how to fix a car, both my husband and I treasure the connections and opportunity to see them continue to grow and take on life.

Harmony Art Mom 2018 summer family
2018 was filled with visitors who came to spend some time with us and see the wonders of where we live. Whether it was just a married couple or a houseful at a time, we enjoyed every minute! There were campfires, dinners made on the smoker, horseshoes, long walks along the river, kayak trips and floating, board games, and good conversation. Especially in the summer, it was sort of like a string of mini-vacations when friends and family came to visit. More than once we were told that it’s a joy to come and be quiet and still, gazing out at the landscape. We feel the same and so blessed to be here full time.

Harmony Art Mom 2018 with daughter
What a sweet chapter in our life.

Then the autumn came along and we made the decision to get both my hips replaced at one time. I am relatively young and healthy which made me a good candidate for this surgery. After much research, prayer, and conversation with family, it was decided. I’m now eight weeks post-operative and am feeling like I’m getting my life back. The surgery and recovery have not been too painful or difficult but it’s been the mental challenge of being at home and dependent on my family and friends. I learned to take it one day at a time and remember my goal of not getting to emotionally high or low….keeping an even keel and looking at the positive. I tried to make good use of my time spent confined in the house with a walker and cane by catching up on my reading, doing lots of writing and journaling, and reaching out to others through cards, email, and texts.

Harmony Art Mom 2018 hip surgery
Looking back on the last eight weeks, my sweetest moments have been the little encouraging texts and visits from people who truly care about me. My husband has been my hero and so devoted to my care. He continues to amaze me with his ability to be calm and encouraging even when I am in tears.

Harmony Art Mom 2018 wildflowers
A friend told me that soon this whole surgery and recovery will be a “speed bump in my rearview mirror”. What a great way to look at this whole experience! Next spring when I’m hiking up a trail with no pain, I know this time will seem a distant memory.

Harmony Art Mom 2018 kayak
Like I said in the beginning of this post, we can make a plan but then as the year goes on we see the path takes some unexpected turns and the plan goes astray. I think I’m going to change my attitude about yearly plans and view it more like creating a beautiful painting. As the year starts, it’s like having an idea for a painting. We can sketch it out on the canvas and have a vague idea of how it will look as we put the first bits of paint down. As the year unfolds, the painting becomes more vivid and full of life. There are always things to adjust and adapt to and perhaps even a “mistake” makes us paint over a section. But, in the end, the painting can be a masterpiece.

Harmony Art Mom 2018 family reunion
So, I am approaching 2019 as an unfinished painting. The canvas is spread, the paints are ready, and now we can see what will take shape.

Harmony Art Mom 2018 ponderosa pine
Thanks to all my loyal readers, those of you who take the time to comment or send a personal email from time to time. It makes my heart happy to hear how this blog and my work have helped you and encouraged you.

My message continues to be that there is life after homeschooling and those hours you spend with your children building relationships are some of the most important and treasured times you will ever experience as a parent. Don’t overlook the long term benefits of time spent engaged in enjoyable learning with your children.
If you are like me, you are anxious to see how their canvases will be painted.

“Pleasures of Winter”



“When there’s frost or snow on the ground, children have fun sliding, throwing snowballs and building from snow. But even when the snow is slushy and dirty, or the sky is gray, they should have interesting things to do outside so that their hearts are cheerful even when the day is cold and dreary.”
Charlotte Mason (in modern English) volume 1 page 85

I normally talk here on this blog about art and music and my love for both as part of my family life and my business. But, there is also the love I have for the great outdoors and the study of the things found there. This week I’m sharing a post from my archives that hopefully will give you some incentive to get outside even though it is the winter season. I’ve embraced cold weather nature study since moving to Oregon and have found the benefits of even a few minutes a day outside far outweigh the inconveniences of being cold.

Please click over to read my thoughts on “The Pleasures of Winter”.

Have you checked out my nature study website lately?


Handbook of Nature Study Logo

If you’re interested in an Ultimate Naturalist Library Membership, you can use the discount code NATURE5 to get $5 off a membership.

Winter Wednesday ebook

Here is one of the winter ebooks that you can find in the Ultimate Naturalist Library membership. We are currently working through the nature study ideas together each Friday. You can download a sample here: Winter Wednesday ebook sample. 


Creative Mom – December 2017

Creative Mom – December 2017


I am most definitely in end of the year mode, reflecting on 2017 and planning things for 2018. Each new year breathes fresh inspiration into my creative side. I am a planner by nature so imagining the possibilities for the up-coming year makes me excited about a fresh start.

I have been working on my new planner and writing in goals and aspirations as reminders amid the month’s pages. I purchased a new set of gel pens to use, making it possible to create a color theme for each month’s writing. What is it about color that makes things more interesting?

Hoping to revamp my Harmony Fine Arts website is a priority this year, cleaning up some of the pages and organizing the content even better is also in the works. I have so many years of writing that is buried in the archives. Much of it can be eliminated and the rest needs to be updated to make it more useful.  Just taking a few minutes to read things from the past has made me remember the joy of being creative and making art and music appreciation something that I can enjoy every day.

Video from youtube – Ed Sheeran and Andrea Bocelli and Perfect

I organized my CD collection and put my favorites into a case to put in the car. I spend a lot of time driving so having them to listen to has been uplifting. My current composer that is delighting my drive time is Joseph Haydn. Not strictly sticking to classical music,  I’m also delving into a little popular music and the video from Ed Sheeran and Andrea Bocelli above is one of my favorite all time pieces of music….going on my play list!


Creativity finds its way into my kitchen this month as well. I have continued my baking spree with loads of cookies and biscuits and slow cooker recipes. I am currently reading all about the Scandanavian idea of hygge which includes lots of comfort foods and cozy drinks by the fireside. I am on the hunt for the perfect cheese fondue recipe right now…one that tastes like the amazing fondue we had a restaurant a few weeks ago. I think it will be a perfect way to add some hygge to our long cold winter evenings.

Planning, reflecting, listening, and tasting are all a part of this Creative Mom’s month (and life!)

What are you up to this month? What are your creative plans for 2018?

I will be sharing my new creative adventures next time….involves painting!


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