Friday, December 31, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual inspired by Amanda, aka Soule Mama. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.



In gratitude this week for:
  • Snow, even if it did come the day AFTER Christmas
  • celebrating the birth of our Saviour with family and friends
  • quiet days at home
  • knitting

Wishing you all a glorious weekend!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Little More Knitting

Our Christmas was wonderful! I hope your holiday was just what you had hoped for. The small break from this space was nice too, but I am glad to be back. Ginny is taking a break from her weekly yarn along, but I had so much fun knitting over the holiday while we traveled and then were snowed in that I thought I would share just the same.

These socks were such a fun project. I have never knit children's socks before. Boy was that silly of me. They are so quick and easy. This pair knit up in two day! The intention was to have them done in time for Boo's birthday in January, I really thought it might take me that long. Well Boo is very particular about how her socks fit so I had to try them on her as I was knitting and now they are hers, way before her birthday I might add. She loves them but wants a GREEN pair. These are green you say - so did I, to which I was told in such a serious voice "don't you see the yellow, red and blue mom? I want PLAIN GREEN. So guess what I will be knitting for her birthday.

These fingerless mitts are just what the doctor ordered for me. They are made out of a handspun yarn from a local farm. They are so toasty warm and functional. I love having my fingers free when I do chores and such. Sliding the lock on the chicken coop and snapping pictures outside just became so much easier. The pattern is a quick knit from Abi at SpiderWomanKnits.

Here is a stash of sage green yarn to make Boo her birthday socks and a Pebble Vest to go with it. I found a toddler size version of the vest on Ravlery that is knit in the round with no buttons. Right up my ally. Now to find a cute dress pattern and fabric . . .

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Yarn Along

A few quick last minute knitted gifts to share as I join Ginny for the last Yarn Along before Christmas. It is so much fun to see what everyone is knitting and reading. Such great inspiration, even if my project and book lists are getting too long.

This week we continued to read from our Christmas book basket. One of my favorite stories is The Beautiful Christmas Tree. A story from my childhood that teaches the power of love.

A quick wash cloth to accompany some handmade beauty products.

A pair of Toasty fingerless mitts to keep someone warm.

And finally last weeks wave scarf finished!
Wishing everyone a blessed Christmas.

Friday, December 17, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual inspired by Amanda, aka Soule Mama. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.



In gratitude this week for:
  • Christmas crafting and candy making
  • a visit to Gramma and Grampa's
  • the last week of school for Papa
  • my children's laughter

Wishing you all a glorious weekend!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Yarn Along

Joining Ginny for the fun of her weekly Yarn Along, a lovely group of ladies sharing their knitting projects and current reading.

I'm still working on the yellow sweater. The back on left front are finished! Hurray! Just the right front and the sleeves. It may be finished in time to be wrapped under the tree.

I've also cast on the scarf. A simple pattern with a wavy pattern. Hopefully it will be a quick knit and find its way under the tree for a special someone. Sorry the photo isn't very good. The yarn is Plymouth Kudo in shades of blue and green, really quite lovely.

As for the reading, we are still digging through the Christmas book basket. The girls picked out one of my favorites, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. And I am trying to spend a little time reading The Christmas Tree, the story of the Rockefeller Center tree.

Don't forget to hope over to Ginny's blog and see all the lovely projects and wonderful book suggestions.

Monday, December 13, 2010

O Christmas Tree

One of the most looked forward to traditions of the Christmas season is going to get our Christmas tree. It's a family affair and takes the whole afternoon. You just can't rush finding the perfect tree.

It was cold as we headed out into the field. Everyone was a little sad that there wasn't any snow. We were a little late getting our tree this year and the pickings seemed a little slim. We had a hard time agreeing on the tree we would bring home. Sarah wanted a tall tree. Hannah wanted a small yet plump tree. Rebekah wanted them all! Papa was patient as we ran back and forth looking at each tree not once but many times.

Hannah's tree finally earned the approval of everyone. She was excited and helped dad cut it down.

Then there was the hot cocoa and spiced cider. We sat in the hut next to the wood stove for a while and then headed out to the bon fire. The views are just breath taking.

Then the two little ones took a carriage ride. It was actually the second one. We started the day with a carriage ride when we arrived. But the little horse lovers just couldn't pass up an offer to take another ride before we headed off.

Rebekah's face says it all.

Papa strung the lights and Rebekah hung the first ornament. It wasn't long before our beautiful Christmas tree was completely decorated, and Papa added the finishing touch - Jack, the elf tree topper that his grandmother gave us last year. He's a jolly little guy that takes some getting used to if you are used to the more traditional star, but Dad has been wanting Jack to come and live at our house for as long as I can remember. He grew up with Jack and wanted to continue the tradition. I looked for many years without luck, so thank you Memere for Jack.
Now the house both looks and smells like Christmas.

Friday, December 10, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual inspired by Amanda, aka Soule Mama. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.



In gratitude this week for:
  • cozy nights home around the wood stove
  • one week of school down for Papa with only one more to go
  • Christmas crafting
  • wool socks - the only way to keep your feet warm on hardwood floors

Wishing you all a glorious weekend!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Yarn Along

Joining in the fun of Ginny's Yarn Along.

Balling the yarn to finish the yellow sweater. A few skeins waiting to be balled for a couple more Christmas projects.

My little helper is hard at work. This is one of her favorite jobs. She loves to wind the yarn into balls for me. I love to watch her and the swift. I find it relaxing somehow.

The sweater is coming along. I just hope I can finish it by Christmas. I have the tucks mastered, but the neck shaping, armhole shaping and dividing the back and sides all at the same time has me a little nervous. I'll just keep plugging away one stitch at a time and hopefully as I see it it will all come together.

As for reading, the Christmas book basket is where it is at. The children love to pull out the Christmas books, searching for their favorite. Now to figure out what book will be added this year. Any suggestions? I'd love to hear about your family's favorite Christmas book.

Please stop by Ginny's blog, Small Things

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Simple Family Christmas Tradition

One of our family's favorite traditions is making the yearly Christmas tree memory disk. We started this the year we moved into our house and have been making one every year since. It is simply a disk cut off the bottom of the Christmas tree. We then sand it smooth and add the year. Some are simple written with marker others have little drawings, and some are stamped with year and design.
Each one holds special memories and it always amazes me what the children remember about the specific trees. Most of them we have cut down ourselves. But a few, the ones with the holes in them, came from the local cider mill. Those years we weren't able to cut our own tree as mu husband had major back surgery. Those trees remind me of how blessed we are and how amazing God is and that his provision is always more than enough. A great thing to be reminded of this time of year when so many seem to want to much not even realizing how rich they really are.
These simple ornament hang in the windows of our living room. They are a daily reminder of Christmas's past and those still to come. They are definitely one of my favorite Christmas decorations.

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Sweet Package

This season I joined the Seasonal Handmade Swap & Exchange sponsored by Jen of SewnNatural and Rae of MommaRae. It was so much fun getting to know my swap family through their blog and then crafting for them.

Then their sweet swap package arrived. Oh look at all the goodies. An eco friendly dyed silk in the most amazing shade of blue. A beautiful bowl thrown and glazed by my swap partner's two daughters. How did they know my favorite color is purple. Everyone in the house was amazed at the Magnolia see pod. None of us had ever seen one. It is so much bigger than I would have expected. The three pecans were collected in their neighborhood. How cool would it be to have pecans in your neighborhood. And of course there was a sweet card.

Thank you so much to my lovely swap family. You made our day a little brighter. Hoping you enjoyed your swap gifts as well.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Crafting - Pomanders

We are all having so much fun with our Christmas count down. The girls want to open the bag first thing in the morning. Of course they aren't thrilled when they have to wait to make the craft until after school work and chores are done. Bu that's part of the fun - the anticipation.

We made pomander balls a few days ago. They smell divine. Every morning when I walk into the kitchen the smell of clove and orange greets me and I think I must remember to post this simple craft for all of you. I love crafts like this because everyone from mom down to Rebekah could participate (without help) and totally enjoy the process.

You will need

  • citrus fruit - we used oranges and clementines, but I have seen lemons used as well
  • whole cloves
  • tooth pick
  • ribbon
  • pins
  • embroidery floss
Simply begin by using the tooth pick to make holes in the peel where you want to place the cloves. Your designs can be as simple or elaborate as you choose. They can even be the random pokings of a three year old. They all turn out beautifully.

Next push a clove into the holes.

At this point, you could display your pomanders in a bowl. We chose to hand ours so we added a ribbon bow to the top which we held in place with a pin. To hand them we wrapped embroidery floss around the orange about three or four times making sure we crossed the floss at the top and bottom. Tied it in a knot close to the fruit and then another a few inches higher to create a loop. The bow hides the knot.

Here the girls are showing off their finished pomanders. I love their different expressions - so typical of their ages.

Here is a close up of the one I made. Sorry about the awful picture, my camera is not the best and I am no photographer.

Here they are hanging above the kitchen table. Oh how they make the kitchen smell lovely. We may have to make a few more of these for the rest of the house.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Handmade Holiday 2010

There has been so much holiday crafting going on around here, unfortunately most of it I have not been able to share because I don't want to spoil the surprise. However, I did want to give you a peek at a few.

A wet felted candle in a birch holder. These were fun to make. I even got out the power tools myself! We are thinking of making more to hang on the tree. Just need to dye some more yellow roving or find some locally. I really need a sheep or two. Ok not a need, but wouldn't it be fun?

These little felt trees look so adorable. We used the wonderful tutorial by the extremely creative Linda of Natural Suburbia. These are already on their way to a special someone. I think I will be making a set for our house soon. Just need to find a good supplier for wool felt - any suggestions?

This is one of my favorite gifts so far. Sarah is making a play mat for Rebekah to go with her collection of Ostheimer Farm and Family Figures. She has decorated the green felt mat with pathways, a garden, and a pond. She has even made a couple sections of rock wall. I can't wait to see Rebekah's face when she open it.

I've made quite a bit of progress on the quilt for Rebekah's doll bed. All that is left to machine quilt it and sew on the binding. I think it is coming along well for a non quilter. And it matches the blanket I knit quite well. Now Rosie (Rebekah's doll) will be warm all winter.

There is still a lot of projects left on our list, but we are having so much fun crafting together and praying for the recipient as we do so. Making our gifts adds so much to our Christmas preparations.

If you would like to see more handmade gift ideas please visit Handmade Holiday 2010 sponsored by the lovely Tonya over at Plain and Joyful Living.

Friday, December 3, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual inspired by Amanda, aka Soule Mama. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.



In gratitude this week for:
  • a little girl who loves to be clean even if it means taking a bath in a bucket of water
  • the warmth and glow of a wood stove on chilly New England nights
  • the start of Advent
  • a fabulous ending celebration to our first homeschool co-op

Wishing you all a glorious weekend!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Count Down has Begun

I know that I am a little late in posting this, but it seems as though that is the speed I am running on as of late. However, it is such a great idea adapted from these Advent bags found over at the amazingly creative blog, Moment to Moment

Our version was so easy to make with items we had around the house. Brown lunch sacks, scrap booking paper, number stamps and some ribbon.

Each morning at breakfast we take down the appropriate bag. Inside is a slip of paper with a fun Christmas activity to do as a family. Some of them are traditions like cutting down the Christmas tree while other are new crafts or recipes to make. There are even a few simple treats like a Christmas book or Christmas movie and popcorn. Those I tried to put in the days I already new we had other commitments.

I'm hoping our activity countdown will help us stay more focused on the true meaning of Christmas. That we will slow down to enjoy each others company. And of course the planner in me saw a neat way to spread out some of our Christmas activities instead of waiting until the week before Christmas to tackle them.

How are you counting down the days and preparing for the season. I'd love to hear.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Yarn Along

This week's yarn along has a finished blanket for Rebekah. It is part of a Christmas gift for her which includes a few things for her doll Rosie. I still have to make a little quilt in floral patterns in the same colors as the stripes in the blanket. The yellow sweater is coming along. It is a pattern that I need to really concentrate on so I have to knit it at home in the evenings. I wish I could work on it at other times but I just loose my place. I hope I finish it in time.

We have started reading Jotham's Journey. This is a advent story that the children and I read every few years. They really enjoy it and some day I hope to get the others by the same author so we can read them in a yearly rotation.

Stop by Ginny's blog, Small Thing to see what others are knitting and reading. It is so much fun to see the beautiful projects and watch your reading wish list grow.

Friday, November 19, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual inspired by Amanda, aka Soule Mama. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.



In gratitude this week for:
  • a little toddler rock & roll
  • a fabulous Thanksgiving with our Awesome homeschool group
  • a girls only weekend
  • long awaited time with friends for Hannah

Wishing you all a glorious weekend!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Yarn Along

Joining Ginny from the wonderful blog Small Thing for her weekly "Yarn Along". A wonderful place to share what we are knitting/crafting and reading. Two of may very favorite things.

Last week I shared the start of this yellow sweater. The fourth Christmas sweater. I have made a lot of progress, but it has been tedious to say the least. The yarn is the beautiful Malabrigo Lace. Oh is it soft and wonderful to knit with. My problem is the lace weight. What was I thinking - knitting a adult size sweater in lace weight yarn. Bulky from now one I tell you!

My next problem is the complexity of the pattern. Now please note I know this is probably simple for most, but I only taught myself to knit about 15 months ago. The pattern just has a lot going on at the same time - waist shaping, tucks, neck and arm hole shaping all happen simultaneously. I had to go out and pick up a few row counters in different colors so I could try and keep track. I have finished the first tuck and so far so good. I am really hoping to finish the sweater in time. Oh and I don't even want to think about the other knitted items on my list . . . I think I can, I think I can.

Needles to say my reading for the week has been this sweater pattern. That counts, doesn't it? Of course there was school reading with the girls and bedtime stories for the little one, but that doesn't really count.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Oliver Twist

The girls were so blessed to be part of another wonderful Children's Stage Adventure's production. I am still amazed at what two hardworking actor/teachers can do with 50 children in five days. If you aren't familiar with Children's Stage Adventures you really should visit their website.

This years play was Oliver Twist. And of the five productions the girls have been in with Children's Stage Adventures, I have to say it was the BEST!

Hannah was cast as a Londoner. I just think she is so cute in her cap and floor length dress. I was so proud of her. She isn't the actress in the family ans at first wasn't sure if she wanted to participate. However, even after the first day she was all smiles, learning the songs and practicing her lines.

Sarah was cast as Nancy the heroine of the story. She was so excited about her part and did a wonderful job. She loves the theater and it really shows. She has come a long way since her first performance in Princess and the Pea four years ago.

Truly everyone of these children did an amazing job. It was a long but wonderful week. A big thanks to the mom's that made this happen for our kids. You are awesome. Can't wait till next year.

And for those of you who didn't make it to the show, we will have a DVD of the performance soon. so just let me know if you'd like to see it. I think we will do a showing at some point too.

Friday, November 12, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual inspired by Amanda, aka Soule Mama. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.



In gratitude this week for:
  • a wonderful six months of riding, sad to see it end
  • a fourth Christmas sweater started and moving right along
  • a week of theater camp for the older girls
  • many play dates for Rebekah with Emmie and Mollie

Wishing you all a glorious weekend!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Yarn Along

Last weeks Yarn Along was so much fun, I couldn't pass up the chance to join in the fun again. It was inspiring to see all the lovely knitting going on right now, especially knowing that most of it is for gifting.

I finished up the sweater I was working on last week and have cast on the fourth Christmas sweater - yeah! I just might get them all finished. Of course I made the mistake of saving the hardest for last. This yellow sweater will be beautiful if I can figure it out. However, knitting an adult size sweater with lace weight yarn and using a pattern that has one keeping track of three different steps at the same time may have me pulling my hair out before it is done. Luckily we have a fabulous new yarn shop in town that I know will come to my rescue if I get stuck.

Ad for the reading this week, most of it is for my littlest. The older girls are in a play this week and aren't around much. So Rebekah and I have been having a wonderful time finding "new" book on the shelves. The Little Red Hen has been a huge hit, because Rebekah can "read" it along with me. It is a special book to me as it was my mother's. She even printed her name in it.

It must be the week for old books, because the other book I'm reading is The American Frugal Housewife. Originally published in 1828 it is full of tidbits that are still sound today.

Here is the pile of Christmas sweaters that is slowly but surely growing. Hopefully, I'll get them all finished along with the other knitting and sewing projects.

Thanks to Ginny from the blog Small Things for hosting Yarn Along. You really must take a peak at what all the other ladies on this meme are up too.

Friday, November 5, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual inspired by Amanda, aka Soule Mama. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.



In gratitude this week for:
  • a day of dress up and sweets
  • a third Christmas sweater almost done
  • a fabulous dinner cooked by my wonderful husband
  • the little everyday things with my girls

Wishing you all a glorious weekend!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Cheesey Pasta and Broccoli Bake

We don't do a lot of sandwiches around here. I find that lunch meat is expensive and really not all that good for you. So we are always on the lookout for simple yet tasty and healthy dishes for lunch. Today we tried a new one, and with a few modifications I think it will be a keeper. The only drawback - it takes a bit of time therefore planning ahead.

Cheesy Pasta and Broccoli Bake

  • 3 cup whole wheat macaroni or pasta shape of you choice
  • 2 cups broccoli - this is one of the changes we made it with 1 cup which was not enough
  • 3 cups shredded cheese - we made it with mozzarella but will change to cheddar
  • 1 3/4cups milk
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmigiano - we didn't use this much
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 4 eggs lightly beaten - next time we'll use three
  • 1 tsp salt
  • fresh ground pepper to taste

Cook macaroni as directed on package, add broccoli when there is about two minutes left. Drain. To pasta and broccoli add 2 cups shredded cheese, milk, 1/2 cup parmigiano, onion, eggs and seasonings. Pour into a buttered 9x13" baking dish. Sprinkle with the reaming cheeses. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

So what are you serving for lunch? We love to hear and if you have a link to a recipe please share.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Yarn Along

I thought it would be fun to join Ginny from the blog Small Things and share what we are reading and what is currently on the knitting needles. Reading and knitting, two of my favorite things so this weekly meme is right up my alley.

At the moment, most of my reading is aloud to the children. We are reading the third book in The Mysterious Benedict Society series, The Mysterious Benedict Society and The Prisoner's Dilemma. All of us have really enjoyed the books in this series.

I have found it hard to find time to read a book for myself. It seems cookbooks and magazines are more my speed right now. Currently I'm enjoying Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day. I need to bite the bullet and whip up a batch of dough. for some reason I'm having a difficult time putting aside our tried and true bread recipe to try something different.

As for my needles, this is one of the sweaters I am making for a special someone for Christmas. That is all I can say, as I don't want to spoil the surprise. I do have a few other projects in the works as well. Seems that one knitting project is no longer enough. When knitting a sweater or other large project I need to have a small project going that gives me that sense of finishing something. Anyone else feel this way?