Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Keeping Company :: May 2016

Welcome to the May edition of Keeping Company! Hope the weather is lovely where you are and that the notebooks are out and open as you and your children enjoy recording the relationships you're forming with God, man, and the world around you.

I've been battling a cold for the past couple weeks, but surprisingly, it has given me more time for notebooking! I have been reading a lot and feel well enough to sit and write in my commonplace or paint a bit, but the household tasks have fallen to the wayside as I recover.  It has been a frustrating but unexpectedly fruitful time of rest.

The completely unposed picture above was an attempt to take a quick snap of my latest commonplace entry that ended with my prying my notebook out of a drooly fist.  LOL  Such is the life of a Keeping Mama!

But let that quote above hit home, friends: we are not just students when we're "students," if you know what I mean.  Feed your kids regular meals--and sit down with them to enjoy the feast!

In that vein, I'm going to share the work of some moms and kids that have been doing just that...

In the Past Month

Keeping by Moms...

top (l to r) - oneripetomato - legendsandlace - rjnsix
bottom (l to r) - happylhomemaker1 - littledrops5 - vlcjrogers

"keeping" springtime for all year round!
obispo98 - northlaurel

by sarahjokim

by ellieeugenia

Melanie writes a beautiful tribute in Keeper of Life.  It will bless you to read it as I'm sure it blessed her to write it.

A Peace in the Puzzle shares a mish mash of kept bits: a look at her nature journal and her own reflections on the wonderful Schole Sisters podcast with Art Middlekauf.  (And can a recipe be a form of keeping?  Wasn't that part of the "Enquire Within" notebook mentioned in The Living Page? Because she shares a carrot soup that looks divine!)

Amy shares some quotes from Gladys Taber's The Book of Stillmeadow that will resonate with every Charlotte Mason-educating mother.  (And the accompanying photos are not only fitting but also hauntingly lovely.)

And for a load of inspiration: go see Carol!  She took my questions to heart last month, and she weaves together answers full of encouragement and beauty.  Check out Keeping and the Leisure to Stand and Stare--it is a do not miss.

And Keeping by Kids...

(l to r) - athena_amidstthereeds - witheagerhands - spreadingthefeast - cmnewby

(l to r) - msjschole - ambervanderpol - theycallmemommy618

Starting the Month's Discussion

I have found as our summer break has begun that I'm longing for a challenge. By that I don't mean that life isn't challenging enough--certainly the education of lots of young ones is no vacation!  But I mean a challenge for me.  I need to stretch myself a bit.  (But just a bit. :))  I've been crafting some small new goals to make sure I'm progressing toward my larger vision of life and to inject some freshness into my learning routine.

I thought I'd ask if any of you feel the same.  If so, how have you been challenging yourself lately?  Have you made progress on those goals you set at the beginning of the year?  Is there something small you're hoping to do more or differently this summer to grow as a student?  Sometimes it is helpful to define those goals to work toward making them habits.

I'm trying to get out of my element this summer and do more painting in the field. I usually paint at home, which is fun and relaxing. That said, my goal isn't to view my nature journal as a relaxing hobby (though if it's that too, wonderful!), but rather as a practice that hones my observation skills and helps me learn about the natural world and form relationships through that knowledge.  So I've been taking my paints when we go places and forcing myself to do a little something with them. I assume at some point it will feel a little more natural.  Right now it feels a little nuts.

that guy in the background is one of the reasons it feels nuts! ;)

I'm pondering some other goals too, but this one is first in my mind so I'll leave it there for now and update with more another time. :)

So are you challenging yourself in your Keeping this summer? Share with me and we can support each other!

The Link-Up

:: For bloggers: Click on the "Add my link" button below, and it will prompt you to include the information for your post.  Once you submit it, your link will be added to the list, and others will be able to click over and read what you have shared.
:: For Instagrammers: Tag related photos with #KeepingCompanyCM to join the link-up.

:: Remember to link to a specific post and not to your blog's homepage. 
:: Any posts about CM-style Keeping are welcome!  The prompt is optional.  Your post can be as simple as a photo of your commonplace book.
:: Feel free to add more than one post.  The link-up will be open for a month, so you can come back and add more if you are so inclined.
:: You can grab the button over there on the sidebar if you'd like to add it to your post or site.

As always, thanks for sharing!  I look forward to seeing inside your family's notebooks this month.


  1. I'm looking forward to sitting down properly to read this post. It's been a full time here; morning sickness and colds, stay in hospital, family coming to visit. I'm quite behind, but can gladly say that I have kept up with reading even if it is only a few paragraphs a day sometimes.

    1. Sounds like quite a year for your family, Lucy. :/ I hope reading has been the balm for you that it has the potential to be--good for you for keeping up with that life-giving habit! Praying that things slow down for you and you can settle into a calmer routine. :)

  2. My challenge is to truly make Keeping a habit instead of sprodiac happenstance. What paint set is that you take with you?

    1. This set is the Sakura Koi travel set: http://amzn.to/1NjV6dc

      I have also heard good things about this Winsor Cotman pocket set: http://amzn.to/1VJXBbz

      John Muir Laws has a post about how he uses that Cotman set to its full potential by switching out a few of the colors: http://www.johnmuirlaws.com/art-and-drawing/pimp-my-palette

      Hope that helps, Hollie! And I love your challenge. :)

  3. I like your goal, Celeste! I will think on this the rest of this week. I've been just wanting to be more faithful at adding things to my journal. It's fallen by the wayside in this busy time for our family and I miss it and keep seeing beautiful things to add! I think it may be that I will challenge myself to an entry a week or something. And shucks...thanks for you nice comments about my photos. Bless your day. Amy

    1. My overall goal for this year is a nature journal entry a week. I had the same goal last year but didn't quite make it (thanks to baby, in part ;)). This year I'm still on track, and I can honestly say it's feeling like more of a habit. Love when that happens! :)

  4. Just added a Commonplace link. Thanks, Celeste!