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Friday, May 31, 2013

Finished Friday

At last! a Real sweater for myself.  It was a relatively quick knit, and I was able to finish it on a recent car trip.  The weather had taken a turn for the colder, so I had an opportunity to test it out. Yep, kept me warm.


I love the deep brown color, although photographing it was a bit of a challenge.


Tea Leaves Cardigan
raveled here




My only regret?  Making the button bands a little too narrow.  They tend to curl under, but I hope to remedy that with blocking.

My favorite part?  The buttons, which I purchased at MD Sheep and Wool from Jennie the Potter.  

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Book Poor

For weeks now I've been preparing our homeschool curriculum for fourth grade history.  American History, no less!  Our current history program folds American History into a broader history, but I knew that we needed to focus entirely on the events in American History so that we'd actually learn it.  I liked the literature for the Sonlight Core D, so I thought I would use the Sonlight book list as a backbone for my course. Most of the books can be found at our library; I've substituted other books that seem to be good replacements; and I've purchased the one or two that seemed to be essential.

I have been reading and reading, trying to get ahead on all of the literature.  I'm excited to be assigning many of these books to Z for school reading net year--the picture shows just the tip of the iceberg, as it were.  I had never read most of the books, and have read more Newbery award winners in the past two months than I had in the previous thirty-odd years of my life.

Hopefully she'll like them as much as I have.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A weekend, in photographs

For Memorial Day weekend, we traveled to B's family's stompin' grounds.  Our trip always reminds me of this book.

 B drove for most of the long trip.  I knit.  I'd like to think of it as division of labor.


The each little boy had a big helper sitting next to him, which kept the crying to a minimum.  
Why didn't I think of this before?


A tradition upon first arriving at our destination:
throwing fistfuls of rocks off of the bridge.




Or throwing them daddy's way: one at a time.



M and one of the cousins caught a salamander in the creek.





G practiced his grabbing techniques, and was passed from person to doting person.



M scoped out the "purple martin" nest in the birdhouse.   
(I think it was a tree swallow nest, but none of us wanted to contradict M, an avid birder.)


I have very few pictures of Z because she spent most of the first morning we were away making this  doll, named Violeta (sic) Cordelia, with Papa.  The rest of the time, she was holed up with her only female first cousin, doing girly things.




We had a weenie roast, and G loved rolling around while the rest of the kids played and the adults traded jokes and funny stories.





The cousins slept in the tent, above,...



 ...right by the babbling creek...



...and far away from the grown ups.


The big boy cousins taught M and Z how to fire a BB gun(Oh, my!). 


There was lots of early morning rasslin'.



Even T had to join in.





And lots of good, homey, southern food.  

We're always reluctant to pack that last bag, to start the car and head for home, but home we did trot, refreshed and rested from our time.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mother's Week

Good news filled this past week.  A baby is on the way for a dear friend, another arrived yesterday for my cousin.  Both of these lovely ladies are mamas for the first time, and I couldn't wish their children to have better ones.  I'm already craving that fresh newborn scent. (B reminds me that we have a new-ish baby.  Oh, right.)




While I am feeling much more in tune with mothering these days, I hope that I never take this privilege for granted because it has been so easily acquired.  For me, unlike so many women I know and grieve for, the challenge hasn't been becoming a mother.  It has been becoming a good mother.  Being patient.  Empathizing with my children more.  Being patient.  Being silent.







So, to the veteran mothers in my life (you know who you are, I hope) who model patience, empathy, silence, and love: 


 thank you.




Thursday, May 9, 2013

Book Poor

This was one of T's favorite books not so long ago.  We read and read and read it until we could use it as a model for everyday things.  "King Bidgood's in the bathtub and he won't get out, oh! who knows what to do?" became "T's in his carseat and he won't get out, oh! who knows what to do?"  


Even the big kids loved reading it to him.  Strangely this book, by the same authors, was decidedly rejected.





Monday, May 6, 2013

Month 5: Abundance


I was fretting the other night about how we were going to provide for our family next year without that new job for B.  In my head, I know that God always provides for us, but staring at the sum in our bank account as I'm paying bills always sets off those butterflies in my stomach.  As I fell asleep, still trying to settle those jitters, I apologized profusely and asked that God might give me a sign as He did for Gideon.  

When I woke up, I had forgotten my prayer.  However, in the night two enormous boxes of food had appeared on our kitchen counter.   When B woke, he told me that our church Yiayia had given him both boxes, in addition to 4 dozen eggs (from her own hens).  Then I remembered my prayer.  Goodness!  What an answer--our most basic needs met, and then some.  Our fridge and freezer are bursting, and so is my heart.  

When I look back on our Lent, I see the many, many ways in which we have been provided for, and it is this abundance that overshadows all else.  Our only response can be a profound gratitude.  

I...am learning how to be thankful.

B...is surprised that he still has a voice!  He spent most of the last week chanting all of our services. He'll spend the next couple of days recovering.

Z...baked a delicious chocolate cake all by herself last week.  I am trying, trying hard, to let her have the reins when she wants them.  

M...turned 7 on Lazarus Saturday, and was able to serve as an altar boy for the first time on Palm Sunday.  He got plenty of practice during Holy Week.  He is usually the first boy to don the commodious robes and sits patiently until one of the big boys arrives to take charge.  Like me, he needs something to do to keep himself out of mischief.  

T...Oh, T.  We will do just about anything to hear his belly laugh.  

G...He's going places, this one.  He's started inching along like an inchworm, and there is a tooth on the horizon.  What happened to my little one?