Thursday, March 31, 2011

Yarn Along

Joining Ginny again!  (a day late...shhh... don't tell)

 So I had this birthday money from my mom.  I was hanging onto it wondering what I should do.
Yarn?  Bird feeders? 
(I know, I'm weird)
I really wanted to make myself a sweater from the book I talked about last time.  BUT, I think that they are just too involved for me right now.  And I really wanted to make something that I could wear this spring.
  I picked this.

 I stole away to the yarn shop to find something I could afford.  I just yesterday learned what "Superwash" means.  I bought  Cascade 220 Superwash sport.  It is actually very soft.
I had to add this picture here because the yarn looks so cozy:

 I messed up though.  I was supposed to get DK but I ended up with sport!  The pattern already calls for thin yarn to be knit on larger needles.  I went up a size larger than called for and I am still a little off gauge.  
So I was wavering on the size I should knit.  Should I go on the smaller size since the fabric is going to stretch a lot or should I go with the larger since I'll be knitting up something just a little smaller then the pattern calls for?  What do you think?

The book in the first picture is a homeschooling text.  It is so well written and fun to read.  The girls are really remembering the stories from it. (and so am I)  Did you know that Justinian the Great's wife grew up in a circus, became a famous actress, found Christianity and became a wool spinner?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Giving thanks

Just popping in to give thanks for the many blessings!  Things don't always go as planned and one can get all hung up and cranky that one doesn't get one's way.

I'm choosing to see the good. So here we go:

14. Some serious outside time.
15. Snow that holds together! (usually too cold and the snow is powder-ish)

16. Shedding coats.

17.  The crab apple tree is still (mostly) standing. (hoping that it will still bloom)
18. The bright spring sun and how it reflects off the snow and shines in my house!

19.  Eager kitchen help.
20. Mister Rogers play clay.  I use the second recipe.

21. A van full of kids.
22. A friend willing to pick me up!

23. Sisters

I pray that you are looking on the "bright" side of things.

Monday, March 21, 2011


Everyone deals with pain in a different way.  As a little girl I remember my father brushing my hair.  I would scream out (believe me I was a drama queen.  I'm sure I screamed out more than I needed to - wonder where my girls get it from....) and my father would say, "That doesn't hurt!"  Other times when I would fall he would say, "That's ok, you are fine, get up, it doesn't hurt, come on."

That's me

And not only physical pain.  In my family we ignored the emotional pain too.  Stuff it down, don't cry, you are strong and if you ignore it long enough the pain will eventually subside and you can forget.

I've done that all my life.  And I've done that with God.

You see I've been doing so well lately.  I've been able to rest in my heavenly father's love.  I've been able to believe it, to know it, and to be free in it.
life has also been going fairly well.  Spring is finally here and the snow is melting.  The workload hasn't been that overwhelming.  I've had a little more fellowship.

And then
  I found out that my grandmother's health is failing.  We live so far apart and there is nothing I can do.
  This hurts.
How do I respond?  What is my reaction?
My first reaction: cry.  Wow!  This is good, I've so often in life just got distant and said, "That is sad." and went on with my life.  Crying is good!
But then I had to go on with my day.   I had meals to make and kids to take care of.  As the day went on and on I could feel my heart getting cold.

I put up my wall.  I protect myself.  I start to feel that God is not on my side.  He won't answer my prayers.  His thoughts toward me are indifferent.  He doesn't really care.

sunset taken by my daughter

A good friend asked me yesterday how she could pray for me.  After I told her she asked me what was I going to do.
 I told her I was going to repent.

God has not changed just because my grandmother is getting weak.  God did not stop caring for me.  He did not stop loving me as his precious daughter.  He did not stop answering my prayers!

I am still his child.  He is still my shelter.  He is still my heavenly father!
  I will choose to praise.  I will choose to hurt.  I will choose the truth.

Choosing to thank Him.
10. I have a shelter in Him
11.  In ministering to others I am encouaged
12.  Anne Steele
13. My Heavenly Father loves me.  He really does.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Five Minute Friday :: On Waiting

The Gypsy Mama's Five Minute Friday is underway.  I wrote this and then decided that I didn't want to post it and then I changed my mind again.  There is so much I want to say I'll just have to do another post.


Yesterday morning I slip out of bed.  I sleepily get my daughter off to school and when she passes through the doorway out into the world, I sit and read.  I open my email.  Some junk (always the junk) and then I am bolted awake.  There is a message from my father.

My father never emails.  He never calls.  We live states apart.  My grandmother, his mother, is not doing well.  

The last visit I had was last spring.  The once robust woman was now small and frail and quiet.  Afraid of not seeing her again I have been praying that she would make it until our family vacation in Aug.  Waiting until August has been hard.  So many things to miss.   

I remember standing on the field and showing her where she will watch me graduate college.  "If I make it till then..."  She always said that and it sounded ridiculous.  I am now 36 with 5 children of my own.  She definately made it for my graduation.  

Oh grandma, please make it till August.


silly girls!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Three Down and None To Go

Yay for another yarn along over at Ginny's

This blogging thing (although in theory is so much fun) when it comes down to it is a discipline.  I'm so very happy for things like this to keep me going.  AND not only in blogging but in knitting and reading as well!

This week - actually just now - I finished my third "In Threes" cardigan.  The first is here and the second is here.  This one is for my three year old.  As I was knitting it she shouts out, "For ME!  So I can wear on Easter!"  Well yes Bethany, you can wear it on Easter.  As long as when we get the dresses out of the hand-me-down box there is one that matches this lovely shade of purple.  

I still have to block it and weave in the ends.

New England knits... I think that I will be making myself something next.  I'm pretty sure this will be my first knitting book purchase. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Five Minute Friday :: I feel the most loved when...

... I'm forgiven.

When all is at peace (shalom).  When I know that I don't have to work for that forgiveness.  When I know that the work has been done for me in Christ.  I don't have to be somebody I'm not.

I am just learning what God's love for me really is.  I used to get so worked up about things and then my husband would say, "You're just not believing that God loves you."  THEN I would burst out in tears.

"Your right?  How could God love someone like me?  I'm always late, always saying the wrong thing, I'm always..."

But Jesus is always.
He is everything I am not.
He is my rock and my shield.  He is my righteousness.

Just this last year I have been changing.  Believing.  Trusting.  Resting.

That was five.  Now off to find a picture.

Note:  Here is my post from last year on this date.  Here is from two years ago on the 7th.
Oh, and I have 2 followers!  Thanks!
And I would LOVE to have your comments.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Note:  My husband merged our family blog (that we haven't updated in a year or two) with this blog so there are some updates.  I've wanted to do a post about homeschooling so I thought this would be a good time to get it done.  This post is also a page that you can get to from the menu under the header.  I think this will be the first of many posts on homeschooling so if you have a question about something we use or do or any question about homeschooling leave it in the comments and I'll either answer you directly or do a post about it as soon as I can.  So here it goes...

While I could go on and on about why and how and advantages and disadvantages, I'm just going to tell you WHAT we are doing this year and what I plan on doing next year.

My oldest is going to a classical charter school.  My second oldest is going next year.  Abbey is in 7th grade this year and Emma will be in 6th grade next year when she starts.

The younger three are in our second year of Classical Conversations. (Bethany is in the nursery)  Here is the BEST explanation of it I have ever read.  No use trying to write my own thing. (make sure you go to her side bar which has two more posts about CC in detail)  We love the Foundations program.  It keeps me accountable.

At Classical Conversations on Tuesdays the kids do presentations and art and science experiments and memorize LOTS of wonderful facts about history and science and grammar and geography and Latin and math.

At home during the rest of the week we do:

Math:  We use Saxon.  We are currently using 5/4, 3rd grade, and K

Science:  using My Father's World curriculum (MFW) "Rome to the Reformation".  Right now we are mainly using this amazing book and The Body Book (we are a little behind in the MFW curriculum).

History:  My Father's World .  We are just about to get into the Medieval times.

Latin:  We are using English from the Roots Up.  Amazing connections being made to words we use in every day life.

Bible:  MFW.  Memorizing verses from the book of Romans and learning about the early church in Acts.

Spelling: Spelling Power

Grammar: Rod and Staff

Next year I will have only a 3rd grader and a Kindergartner and a preschooler.

For Bible, History, and Science we will be doing "Adventures in My Father's World."  This is US history.  This will coincide with Classical conversations cycle 3 very nicely (I think).

Math:  Caitlyn will be doing Saxon 5/4.  Ben will be finishing Saxon K and moving onto Saxon 1.

Latin: Song School Latin for the little ones (and Caitlyn too) and Caitlyn will be starting Latin for Children.

Grammar and Spelling:  Same as last year.

Phonics: Abeka K5 for Ben.  I have all the material.  If I didn't I would probably do something different.

Writing/CompositionAll things Fun and Fascinating (IEW)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Look Elizabeth! I made a sock!

I am sharing a conquest for the Yarn Along this week.  The conquest of the sock.  A friend of mine gave me a bag full of tangled yarn and some nifty knitters.  This was mainly for the kids to use but after some time spent separating and pulling out knots, this emerged:

This yarn ball is the size of her head!  I have no idea what kind of yarn this is.  I'm sure it was bought at a chain craft store so its probably "plastic."

So out I blurt, "I could make all of you slippery socks with that."  What was I thinking?  I can't make socks!

So what you thought happened did.  They all looked at me wide eyed and amazed and now I am promised to make at least 4 pairs of socks that I don't even know how to begin!

Now I'm a mommy on a mission.  To overthrow any inhibitions I have about making something that seems so complicated.  I got out the yuckiest yarn (a small ball that was pulled out of the bag gifted to me) and my only pair of DPNs (size 9) and searched Ravelry for a beginner sock pattern.  I found this, printed it out, and got to work.  I made the cuff (knit and purl).  No problems.   Then the leg (knit, knit, knit)  I love how knitting in the round produces all those little "v"s.  I really don't like to purl.  My purling is loose and my stitches come out all uneven.  Now listen, I knew no one was going to be wearing this sock so I didn't follow the length requirements.  I don't think I was anywhere even close to the gauge.  I just wanted to do it so when I was tired with some part I moved on.  Then I made the heel and turned the heal.  Connected everything with the gusset and then made the foot and decreased for the toe.  I stopped there.  I'll learn the kitchener's stitch another day.

This is not a sock for wearing.  It is a victory sock.  You know, like a trophy that you hang on the wall.  Not my best work but a GOOD first try! (if I may say so myself -hee hee)

Oh and I am IN LOVE with Elizabeth Zimmerman.  Every chapter in this book is like a knitting lesson with a close friend.  I haven't tried anything from the book yet but I've learned so much already.  And - if Elizabeth can cheer herself through a snowy April with some knitting -  I think I can make it through March.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Five Minute Friday :: On Monday

Wow!  I just discovered this blog.  I tell ya, I feel like I'm getting more and more deeper into the blog world.  I'm finding more and more women who are deep and real and love Jesus.    This is right where I need to be.  So here it goes:

When I look in the mirror I see...

A woman. My mom.  Better yet the picture my minds eye has of my Aunt Kim (my mom's sister).  I am not a kid anymore.

I am old.  Not elderly, but old.  Not a young person (to some I still am).  I have grown.  Most of my rough and tough attitude is gone.  I can no longer buck up and take it.  

I am weak.  Thin.  My mind and spirit.  Not by body.  I cling to Jesus.  I need Him.

I am easily overwhelmed.  I need the Holy Spirit.  I am seeing that this is what a real relationship with Jesus is all about.  He is not just the savior of my sins initially but my savior every day, every minute.  

He is everything.  Life is hard.  Circumstances and people fail you (fail me).  Comfort doesn't really come from knitting or TV or kids.  It is only found in him.


Laid bare in 5 minutes flat.
I think that I need to do this every week.
Thanks Gypsy Mama.