November is book month at Whipup.net
The Rhythm of Family: Discovering a Sense of Wonder through the Seasons By Amanda Blake Soule and Stephen Soule. Published by Roost Books (August 9, 2011).
Because I am such a big fan of Amanda Soule’s blog and have ‘known’ her online since we both started up our blogs many years ago – it’s a bit difficult for me to give an unbiased review – so I am not going to bother with that – instead I will just tell you that Amanda writes, parents, crafts and lives a beautiful, meaningful and inspiring life. I am sure it’s not easy – all those kids, homeschooling, self sufficiency, a farm and a business – but she does it with style and without complaint. Her husband Steve, who co-authored this book, has a different style of writing – almost poetic, it is so obvious that this is a family living their dream and loving each other.
Each month of the year is prefaced with an essay from both Amanda and Steve, they talk about what is happening on the farm and in the family, the seasons are very important as is the routine and rhythm of a homeschooling family with five children, lots of animals and a very crafty and creative and nature based environment. Each month is accompanied by a couple of seasonal crafts, activities or recipes. These are simple, thoughtful and nurturing, not fancy, difficult or even particularly original – it’s the way they are presented – as part of the whole picture that makes each project important.
January begins with Amanda’s thoughts on the push and pull of inside and outside on a wintry day, she discusses the heart of the family and the projects they will do, while Steve reminisces about his childhood and the role of the father in the day’s rhythm. They make potato soup, knit a simple cowl and make icy sun catchers. In other months they watch the birds, tend the animals, make nature bags and press flowers. Later in the year they go on picnics, plant seedlings, make jam and go on walks.
Inspiring and beautiful and simple.