Yarn Along 4

Well I swore to myself after last weeks yarn along that I wouldn’t still be working on this hat for Luke next yarn along. But here I am… one week later and it’s still not done. It’s close though! I have to knit the band for around the bottom and sew it on and then we will be done.

I had my first encounter with the kitchener stitch this weekend, the pattern called for it to stitch up the back of the hat. It was easier than I had originally thought… I only had to watch the video 7 or 8 times. 😉

I was relieved after trying it on Luke that it will indeed fit him this winter and probably next winter too, I would be mighty sad after spending all that time knitting if he only wore it for a few months!

Seriously what did people do before youtube??

This week I’ve been reading Embers of Love by Tracie Peterson on my ipad, I love being able to borrow ebooks from my library!!

I’m also reading The Creative Family again. I requested it from my library three months ago now and just got it. I wish my library would order extra copies of popular books!! I’m so excited Amanda Blake Soule has another book coming out! I have Creative Play for Your Toddler which I love and I think I’m going to love her next book just as much.

In my mug this week is a most delicious tea called creamy earl grey. I love the tea lady at my farmer’s market. Earl Grey isn’t normally my favourite but this is a really yummy tea.

I’m not sure how much knitting will be done this week. I have one sick little man who wants nothing more than to sit in my lap and watch “ha ha” (Curious George) or “dee go!” (Diego). The poor boy can’t breathe at all and all he will eat is oranges and applesauce. Hopefully this doesn’t last a full week like it did for his sister!

Exhibit A: a very sick boy with his blankey. 


Desperate Times….

This is day 5 of not leaving the house with the kids. We’re all going a little crazy. It has been snowing like crazy all week and Mary has a stubborn cold so we’ve been camped at home. Considering we usually go out at least 3 days a week I think they’re both starting to feel a little cramped in. 
Well desperate times call for desperate measures, this is what my kids did this morning while I made turkey soup:

1 tub of water + 2 containers of snow = very happy children. 
This was a great activity, they really enjoyed pouring dropping the snow into the water to watching it melt and pouring water in the snow as well. It kept them occupied for almost an hour while I made soup so as far as I’m concerned it was a success!

Yarn Along 3

Wednesday completely took me by surprise last week so I totally missed yarn along. I’m glad to be back this week though!

After knitting Meg’s pixie hat for a friend as a baby shower gift (how did I forget to take a picture of it!?!?) I was inspired to make a larger version for Luke. A much larger version. I need to stick to knitting smaller things because this has been a test of my patience to be certain!

I was contemplating making Mary a matching one but now I’m thinking once this is done I’m going to knit something small… like a bird.

As far as books go I have been reading The Dugars: 20 and Counting this week. I have been enjoying it so far and have managed to glean a few helpful hints for managing our home and money as well.

I just finished reading The Virgin’s Daughters: In the Court of Elizabeth I which I borrowed as an ebook from our library. It was definitely not my normal novel but I enjoyed it quite a lot (despite the couple scandalizing passages!). I have a feeling many more novels about the Tudors will be in my library pile soon. Except that I need to not have a novel for a little while. I have no self control when it comes to books and read when I should be doing many other things.

Mary and I have been reading Pascual and the Kitchen Angels by Tomie dePaola this week, have you read it? If you have young children it is SUCH a good book! It deserves a post of it’s own which will come soon. 🙂

Our Favourite Children’s Books: part 2

Today’s favourite books are the My First Little House series. Like most girls I was in love with the Little House on the Prairie series as a little girl. I read my set so many times they literally fell apart.

After taking them out of the library constantly for months I ordered Mary the entire set of 13 books (from christianbook.com) and they are very well loved. I rotate them seasonally so she doesn’t get bored with them.

 They are filled with colourful, inviting illustrations which I absolutely love and are very well written. I also love that the books really teach the morals and values of Larua’s time. For example, the book above Summertime in the Big Woods Mary and Laura are each given cookies for helping an elderly neighbour but they both only eat half of their cookie and take the rest home to share with their baby sister.

Included in the series are a few books about Laura’s future husband Almanzo. Winter on the Farm, and County fair are both great books, Luke loves Winter on the Farm.

I love these books, I can’t wait until Mary is old enough to really delve into the Little House books but until then this has satisfied my desire to share them with her.

My Daybook: January 17th

I can’t believe it’s Monday again already… January is flying by!

Outside my window… Record amounts of snow!! We haven’t had snow like this since the winter I was pregnant with Mary, we got 2 feet this weekend alone!

That is our deck, if I threw Luke out there he would disappear completely! My poor husband spent the entire weekend shoveling.

I am thinking…
about how we are going to clear out all the stuff in the room that will (hopefully) soon be Luke’s room. He has spent his first 21 months in our walk in closet but I am pretty sure he is weaning (sniff…) now and if he completely weans we will move him into his own room.

I am thankful for… ~Mother Angelica! I have added Mother Angelica’s Private and Pithy Lessons from the Scriptures to my daily reading and I can’t recommend it highly enough. I have been praying lately that Jesus would draw me closer to Him. I want to know Him, to have a living relationship with Him and I needed help. Mother Angelica’s lessons are really bringing scripture to life for me and she is so funny!
~Our Church’s mommy group. Was I thankful for that last week? I’m still thankful. We started doing a Scott Hahn video series on apologetics and it rocks!
~A working furnace that didn’t cost me $800. What the repairman thought was wrong didn’t turn out to be the problem. THANK YOU FATHER!!!!

From the learning rooms…
Let’s Read and Find Out! These science books are great, I borrow them from the library but I would like to build up a library of them to have at home.

My daughter is shocking people left and right these days. We were at a friend’s house the other day and she was telling me a story and spelled the word bath. As soon as she was done spelling it Mary piped up and said “b-a-t-h spells bath, you can just say it.”

From the kitchen… Turkey dinner. We are very snowed in and I have no desire to go anywhere so I figured I might as well make something yummy for dinner. I really wanted turkey soup more than the turkey itself but we will probably be able to eat it for a week!

I am wearing…
a pretty shirt I got from Costco, yoga pants, and my slippers. I can’t stand not wearing slippers anymore, they are on my feet all the time.

I am creating… lists. Lists make me happy. I can get anything done as long as I have a list, with no list I feel lost and overwhelmed and I do nothing. It’s bad.

Pondering these words… “You meditate from the time you get up to the time you go to bed on silly things. Pull it together and meditate on holy things!” ~Mother Angelica

I am reading… Books about felting. I tried needle felting a few months ago and it didn’t turn out anywhere near as well as I had hoped. So of course I did what I do with anything I can’t do perfectly the first time: I stuffed it in a box in the office and ignored it. Well I’m ready to try again so hopefully my second attempt will produce a more desirable result.

I am hoping… to take Mary on more dates. I took her to see Tangled this weekend (her first movie) and it was tons of fun! We went with a friend and went and had dinner first it was a great night.

I am hearing… a talk by Peter Kreeft. Naptime is the only time I have to listen to talks, I like to sit and knit and listen.

Around the house… …let’s just not go there right now. Maybe next week. 😉

One of my favorite things… When hubby makes breakfast! These egg/cheese/bacon english muffins were delicious!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Another busy week! Dance, Little Scientists, play group and a playdate!!

Here is picture for thought I am sharing…

 Luke stealing the icing off of daddy’s cake while he wasn’t looking. Cutest thing ever.

Our Favourite Children’s Books: Part 1

I love books. New, old… fiction, non-fiction… adult, child… I just love them! 

I love reading other people’s book reviews so I thought  I would share some of our favourites from our collection. I’m going to start with children’s books because we have a lot of favourites. I tend to be drawn to books with great illustrations, both my kids (and I’m sure most kids) are really drawn to brightly illustrated books and I really notice Luke will sit better for a book that has interesting pictures.

The majority of the books in our collection I have either found at the thrift store or ordered from a used book website. They are usually library discards which is great because underneath the dust jacket they are almost always practically brand new!

A Child’s Garden of Verses is a very sweet book. It is full of poems and beautiful illustrations.

 Mary has been working on memorizing a few short poems and we usually take them from here. If it is a long poem she does the first stanza.

The Child’s Book of Virtues is a recent addition to our collection so I haven’t read all the stories yet but the ones we have read have been great.

It is divided into four sections: Courage/Perserverance, Responsibility/Work/Self-Discipline, Compassion/Faith, and Honesty/Loyalty/Friendship. Each section has short stories based on those particular virtues.

It has a wide variety of stories in it, some poems, some fairy tales, and some about little boys and girls. Mary’s favourite so far is the story with the knight and the princess. We’re going through a serious princess phase here.

Simple Woman’s Daybook: January 10th

Outside My Window… it is c.o.l.d. We went from +1 to -26 and it was not fun!! It’s not supposed to warm up any time soon but at least there won’t be much more snow.

I am Listening to… Dr. Ray. I love The Doctor is In podcasts, listening to Dr. Ray makes cleaning house much more fun.

I am Wearing… My husband’s new pajama pants. Poor guy just got two pairs for his birthday but they are SO comfy I’m ‘borrowing’ one of them. 

I am so Grateful for…  ~My husband’s new job. Are you sick of reading that yet? I guess it’s not even really new anymore but after 4 years of him never being home it is so wonderful to have him home at night and on the weekends. We had a great weekend together, I love having him around!
~Good friends. We had friends over for dinner last night and it was tons of fun, I made Sunday pork roast with mushroom gravy from the America’s Test kitchen 2011 book… it was YUMMY! My sil introduced me to Cook’s Illustrated and every recipe I have made has turned out super yummy. (Thanks sil!)
~Having a nice clean house and leftovers in the fridge for dinner, it’s a great way to start the week.
~My library’s ebook collection! It is so awesome to be able to borrow books from home and download them to my ipad.
~for the mommy group at our church. It has been such a blessing to connect with other Catholic moms! I was unsure how Mary and Luke would do in a different room being cared for by people the don’t know but they are loving it! We are about to start an apologetics series by Scott Hahn, it’s going to be great!

I’m Pondering… each days Small Steps entry. I’m really really loving that book!! I am thinking about ordering the companion journal, it sounds really interesting.

I am Reading… Way too many books right now. The Best Kind of Different, 20 and Counting, Knitting Mochimochi: 20 Super-Cute Strange Designs for Knitted Amigurumi, and The Thorn. I like having more than one book on the go, what I want to read depends on my mood.

 I am Thinking… a lot about my word for this year. I found a word that really sums up what I want this year to be and I have it sitting by my sink. I have a post started about it, hopefully I’ll finish it soon.

I am Creating… A peaceful home, a Jesus tree, mittens for Mary, a quilt, book lists, school plans, budgets, and jelly… no wonder I’m so tired!!

On my iPad Bob Books. are really popular with Mary right now. She has also been listening to a lot of Cat Chat. For me I have been doing lots of reading.

Towards a Real Education
I’ve been looking over the CHC website. I want to find something to do with Mary that isn’t really school-ish but will still satisfy her desire to learn. I’m leaning more towards something like Five in a Row, I am hoping it will be a good fit for us.

Towards Rhythm and Beauty… I have devoted January to regaining our rhythm and making some adjustments to it. I’m trying to focus on that more than the projects I have on the go.

To Live the Liturgy
I have been taking a planning afternoon every two weeks. I pack up and go to the library and plan out our activities and feast days for the next two weeks and then pick up anything we will need for crafts or special food on the way home, it has been WONDERFUL! I am able to plan and focus so much better when I’m not at home.
  I am Hoping and Praying… for my husband and kids. Taking time to pray for each of them specifically every day is something I should have done ages ago.

Around the House… New Christmas toys are being played with a great deal. The Plan toys garage, barn, and stable are just as popular as I hoped they would be.

From the Kitchen
I have a few more recipes planned for this week from my Best of 2011 America’s Test Kitchen magazine.

One of My Favorite Things… My Contigo travel mugs. I haven’t had time to sit and drink coffee in the morning lately but these keep it nice and hot until I have time to finish it.

A Few Plans for the Rest of the Week
I don’t think I can keep it to only a few, we have a busy week!
Tomorrow we have dance and I have an extra kid in the afternoon, Wednesday we have Little Scientists, I have an extra kid all day and dh and I are going out (hopefully… if he isn’t working late), Thursday we have a playdate and have to grocery shop, Friday is mommy group and I’m doing newborn portraits for a friend. 

A picture to share:

Mary and Luke sledding with Grandpapa over Christmas. 🙂

Yarn Along 2

It’s Yarn Along time!!

My poor daughter has been asking for weeks when her other mitten will be finished. So far I’ve only gotten as far as the cuff, hopefully it won’t be too much longer. I think I’m going to make an i-cord string for them so they stay in her coat, mittens on a string are so cute!

I pulled out A Landscape with Dragons to read again. I haven’t read it since Mary was a baby (I think?) and I had forgotten what an excellent resource this book is! I love Michael O’Brien, the book list in the back is such a treasure!

 The three picture books are the newest addition to my old book collection and they are SO sweet! They were published in 1959. Mary and I have really enjoyed looking through the dictionary and I have hopes that something in the Manners book will rub off…

In my tea cup (I think yarn along should have a tea section!) I have creamy earl grey from our farmer’s market tea lady. It is fabulous!! I’m not sure what has come over me but I find myself reaching for my tea brewer more often than my coffee pot lately.

My Daybook: January 3rd

Outside my window…  beautiful sunny day! Winter and snow is so much more bearable when the sun is shining.
I am thinking… how happy I am to be back home and back into our routine. My kids are going through some major grand parent withdrawals but there is nothing like a routine to help with that.
I am thankful for… my husband. He really helped me keep it together over Christmas and put up with my emotional wreckedness over the holiday. He really kept it together which really helped me keep it together.
I am wearing… It’s late so I’m wearing comfy pants and one of dh’s t-shirts. 
I am remembering…My Grannie, so many things make me think of her and it hurts so much… every time.
I am going… to get my house de-Christmased and everything back in it’s place by the end of the week… Lofty ambitions but a girl can dream right?
I am currently readingSmart Martha’s Catholic Guide for Busy Moms, Small Steps, and my newest issue of Cooks Illustrated, the best recipes of 2011.
I am hoping… the goals I have set for January bring about the much needed changes I want to see.
On my mind… money. Hubby and I sat and took a close look at our budget, we based it on a 40 hour week which he almost never does so any thing else he makes on top of this can go straight into savings. I’m excited about this, we have some really exciting things to be saving for this year so that is great incentive.
Hoping that… If I start thinking about Lent now I will be able to get everything done before it starts!
Pondering these words… “Sometimes you just have to accept that no matter how hard you try, no matter how good your intentions some people are just going to be difficult. Accept it and move on.” ~My mother. She has such good advice.
From the kitchen… winter food. Winter food is so comforting and yummy.
Around the house… It’s still Christmas. As much as I wanted to really celebrate each of the 12 days of Christmas in our family I just couldn’t do it this year and the presence of all the Christmas stuff is a constant reminder of that… I really need to get it packed away.
One of my favorite things… my sewing machine. I had to force myself to bring it out to do Christmas sewing but now that it’s out I can’t wait to start some ‘just for me’ projects.
From my picture journal…
 My ice fishing girl. She had a blast out with her Daddy, Grandad, and Uncle.

Good Riddance 2010!!

Dear 2010,
You pretty much sucked, there is just no way to sugar coat it. I’m glad you’re gone and will not be looking back on you fondly. In fact I don’t expect to be looking back on you much at all. So there.
Good Riddance.

 Right, so now that we have that out of the way lets move on to happier things. Like the new year! I’m not much of a resolution maker but hubby and I had an 8 hour car ride yesterday in which to talk about our goals for the next year. It was wonderful and I think we are going to revisit our list monthly.

One of my goals is to quit scrapbooking and update my blog more. I had a chance to go through a friend’s blog book that she had printed and it is so neat! I am hoping that by next December I will have enough content to turn into a memory book for my kids.

Another goal that we are setting for ourselves is to live on cash. Not just debit, but actual cash. After adding up the totals of our spending every month there are definitely areas where we were spending more than we realized. By being more aware of where that money is going we hope to be able to channel it into better areas, such as….

Our marriage. We have a great marriage and I consider myself extremely blessed to have such a wonderful husband. I truly believe that the greatest gift we can give our children is a happy marriage and I want to make sure that we don’t let our kids or anything else slip into the spot our marriage should hold in our priorities. I have a blog post coming up on how we plan to do this.

There is no food in our house and I really need to make a menu plan… so I’m off to do that, the rest of our 2011 plans will have to wait.