Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Blog Roll Review - Peppermint Mocha Mama


For the next few Mondays I am reviewing a few
of my most favorite blogs.
These blogs inspire, encourage, entertain,
and hold me in their thrall.
I recommend you brew some coffee or tea,
or get a tall glass of water
because once to start reading, you won't want to stop.


Peppermint Mocha Mama is written by Amy. She is a Stay at Home: knitter, seamstress, chef, chauffeur, Mom. She writes about her daughters, her husband, her dog, her life as a Stay at Home Mom, knitting tips, a few family recipes, a bit of sewing, and of course there are pictures of her knitting.

I love what she has to say about herself on her About Me Page: "Her whole goal during this crazy life is to meet some wonderful yarnaholics and shutterbugs, learn a trick or two along the way and perhaps share some of her creations or limited knowledge with the rest of the world."*
I first ran across Amy during Blog Week 2011. I was Googling the tag for Day 1 and this is the blog post that caught my eye. The title reached out and grabbed me and then the first few sentences had me hooked because I could have said them about myself,  "I am a tactile knitter.  I must feel the yarn before I can commit to using it.  It doesn't matter how beautiful the colorway or perfectly it might work, if it doesn't feel good then I won't use it." *  I had to read more!

Amy is both entertaining and encouraging. She makes me laugh and assures me I'm not alone. Quite often she will say what I'm thinking or have thought before. I like that she shares daily, because I know at least once a day I can read something from one of my favorite blogs (it's depressing to log on and find out no one has written anything!) Sometimes she writes just a paragraph, sometimes several, and sometimes with a theme or direction like: Learn Your Knitting ABC'sTuesday Tunes, and Sunday SnapsI love learning about her daughters through some of their ups and downs. She honest in her writing and always remains hopeful even when things look a little dreary. 

I keep reading because she is funny, witty, sassy, and feels like a long time friend. You should read because it is good to sit and relax with a friend every once and awhile. 

*quotes and photos used by permission

Strawberry Picking

Today Mimi and Bumpa took Stomper out for some strawberry picking.
Looks like they had a good time!

Posted by Picasa

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Internet Woes

For the moment we do not have internet at our house and so my posts will be less frequent until the internet returns.

I have been very busy for the past two weeks which is probably why I have come down with a killer cold. Stuffy nose, body aches, cough and fatigue it is full blown! I am hoping to get some pictures and thoughts together to let you know what has been going on. Here is a list of what you can expect!

  1. Blog Review (I missed it on Monday, but it's ready to go!)
  2. My thoughts on House Mothering
  3. VBS successes and misses
  4. Bridal Shower Execution
  5. Gardening
  6. Growing Baby Boy
I hope to post something substanial in a few days!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Gardening To Do

((Found this in my drafts so I thought I'd post it.))

1. Wait and see if what I planted takes root. 
(sunflower and hosta transplants; daisy and zinna seeds)

2. Weed

3. Thin

4. Enjoy

Link Love

I am still away from my home computer.

Here is a short list of links from my blog tracking my knitting.

First Knitting Post (pre-blog-blend)

First Picture Post

First Pattern Post

Newest Picture Post (scroll down to see it)

Newest Pattern Post (Click here to purchase it)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Looking Back

Since I am away from home and cannot upload photos, but I can get on-line I thought we'd have a bit of a review. I went through some of my old posts. I don't have any from June of 2008 because I wasn't blogging then so instead I went back to the oldest one I had.

Our Story Begins (September 2008)

"What I found gave me hope. I found a slew of other women with PCOS that have gotten pregnant, with out this fourth drug that I'm taking (yes I'm on four pills right now!) so tomorrow (sept 2) I'm going to give my doc a call and see if I can stop taking this 6 month pill and go straight to the baby making!"

June 1, 2009

"I just found out that a couple who were married on the same day as us are pregnant. That makes the count 4. Jason and I are holding off on testing or anything because I just can't take it anymore. I need a break. August will make a year and then we will be calling a Doc." *

Changing My Mind (June 13, 2010)

"Wednesday after class** we received in the mail two bios on two sets of brothers who are available for adoption.
My heart melted and my mind changed.
I am more than willing to adopt.
Not yet. Not until I am done with work."

*We decided to stop using meds around March 2010 because I could not take the emotional rollercoaster anymore. It was the best decision we could have made.
**Foster Parenting Class becaue we were not using meds or docs to try and have kids we thought that while we waited on God, we'd help kids out by Fostering them. Check here and here and here for some more posts on Fostering

Monday, June 13, 2011

Blog Review - MommyCoddle

For the next few Mondays I am reviewing a few 
of my most favorite blogs.
These blogs inspire, encourage, entertain, 
and hold me in their thrall.
I recommend you brew some coffee or tea, 
or get a tall glass of water
because once to start reading, you won't want to stop.

MommyCoddle is written by Molly a: Stay at Home, home-schooler, seamstress, farmer, chef, toddler chaser, knitter, crafter, animal tender, Mom. She shares about homeschooling, recipes, glimpses of her childhood, adventures her daughters take, the little animal kingdom she maintains, and about farm life.

She writes on her blog: "But no matter what the topic I may be writing about, I hope you'll find a little inspiration, camaraderie and encouragement as I share honest bits of my every day life and capture it here, as a family field guide, of sorts."*

I find this to be true as she shares about some of her farming adventures. One of my favorites posts is titled "I Carried a Broom"  In the post she talks about foxes: "You'd think I'd be desensitized by now, but I seriously HATE the sound of these foxes. They send chills down my neck and make me want to revert back to my thunder-storm-panicked childhood with hands clamped over my ears and covers pulled up to my eyeballs. [...] So I did the only brave thing a farm girl could do. I woke up Dan." Later in the post she recalls the bravery of her mother, who chased something away in the night with a broom one night when she was a child, and then finishes with: "I like to think that if necessary, I could step up and have that kind of bravery. But for now, if Dan's available, I'll gladly default to him." 

This is one of my favorite posts because of the imagery she lends in her writing. I can imagine myself in bed listening to the fox and worrying about chickens and kittens. I can see myself waking up my husband to go see what was going on and how it would disrupt the rest of the nights sleep for everyone. I also know that I too could "Carry a Broom" when needed to protect my family.

Molly is a delightful writer and I often get lost for hours reading old posts (she's been writing on her blog for a long time!) as I get to know the cast of characters in her life.

Molly inspires me to slow down and enjoy the slow life; she encourages me to sit, pause, and watch my son play. She challenges me to be a more careful in the kitchen from the time where she decided to not go to the grocery store for a whole week. She has taught me that I can be Mom, Farmer, Knitter, Teacher, and Wife and do it all well (maybe not well every day, but most days). 

Recently I tried her Iced Tea for the Over 13 Crowd it was everything she said it would be: easy, refreshing, tasty, and it didn't heat up my kitchen during our hot week last week. 

I continue to read because her words jump off the "page" and hold my attention. Her posts are never dull and her photography always pops. Check her out when you have a few moments. Or, better yet, brew a cup of coffee or get a large glass of water, get comfortable and spend a little time with Molly.

*quotes and photos used with permission

Saturday, June 11, 2011

This Week

:: Attended the wedding of a cousin

:: Stayed clean

:: Enjoyed our porch

:: Finished some pumpkin-y things
:: Worked on some knitted secret-y things

:: Started a new flower garden

~ * ~
I would love to hear how your week went.
Post your own weeks review on your blog
and leave a link to it in the comments
~ * ~

Friday, June 10, 2011

{This Moment}

{This Moment} 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.

~via SouleMama

No Pity

I was enjoying a bit of a pity party today as I swept the floor of all the numerous clumps of dog hair. Believe it or not, this pile here is only 36 hrs worth off of one floor - and it's not as big as the pile I took from the dining room. Disgusting I know, it grosses me out too.

Back to my pity party.

It's been a rough week. Jason worked his usual job Friday-Sunday (he's gone from 4:45am-7:25pm), his once a week job Monday night (4-9pm), training at his usual job on Tuesday (he was gone 7-5), usual job Weds & Thurs (4:45-7:25) PLUS an hour extra on Thursday for MORE training, and today he is getting some OT at his usual job and will be home with any luck by 5pm. Yesterday I worked at my Mom's daycare, which wasn't that hard or strenuous, but today I just feel thinned.

I was sweeping the floor wondering for the millionth time why I ever agreed to getting a black lab (I knew there would be hair, lots of it) I was feeling a little sorry for myself. I was sweeping and praying something like this: "O God, why do we have dogs, I don't like all this work. Why don't we have more money? Why don't we have a second car? O Lord, why is life so rough?" I'm sure God was rolling his eyes at me. Then I got to thinking about military wives who raise their kids on their own for years, I've only been with out a husband (sort of) for a week. Who am I to complain?

Then, still sweeping, (did I mention how I truly enjoy sweeping, it gives me time to think and pray) I started to find things I was thankful for, so here is my list:

  • 1 working, inspected, insured, registered vehicle that we all can fit in
  • We didn't crash the truck yesterday when the moose appeared out of the woods at Stomper's door
  • It isn't winter and so we don't have to pay for heat
  • Today is pay day
  • Family lives near-by and they like fetching me and bringing Stomper and I to their house
  • The dogs, while annoying, do provide entertainment and anecdotal material
  • I didn't get sprayed by a skunk this morning
  • It isn't winter
  • Stomper
  • 2 cats live outside and no longer provide their hair or messes to the general messiness of the house
  • I have a loving, caring, generous husband
  • It's summer
  • I have internet
  • I am healthy and so is Jason and Stomper
  • It rained on the garden yesterday 
  • There is no snow on the ground
  • Most importantly (so why is it last?) God will forgive my selfish prayer this morning.
What are you thankful for today?

Thursday, June 9, 2011


{{Edited to Reduce Photo Content 6.10.2011}}

Stomper and I are at my Mom's house working at the daycare so she and Dad can have an outing to Sam's club (ahh the romance of being married for forever). Dad asked me to take some photo's of their gardens in case they ever sell their house, they'll have nice photo's of everything in bloom.

I think he just wants to show off all of Mom's hard work at maintaining the beautiful gardens. Not everything is in bloom yet, but it is still pretty.

This is actually the back yard. You can see all the daycare toys and stuff. My Dad made that sandbox and the picnic tables. I am hoping someday he will make some outside climbing things for Stomper. You can't see it in these photo's but he also made a swing-set, one of those big,wooden, expensive ones with swings, hand over hand rings, slide, and climbing structure for like 30% of the cost of a pre-fabricated one.

I have playground envy.

This is the front. The Stone steps in the foreground are the "company" stairs, the one people use who don't know us too well, or the slew of friends that my brother sometimes has over. These stairs carry right into the stairs that go to the second floor and where all the "cool people" hang out in my brothers room.

The stairs in the background are the "everyday" steps. So, now you know that when you visit a house in Maine to use the "non-formal" looking stairs to be welcomed in and treated like family.
This is the only kid  at daycare today. Which is nice since I'm no longer used to taking care of multiple children. Some days my Mom has as many as 3 toddler/preschoolers and they all don't get along. She amazes me with her ability to simultaneously comfort someone who has fallen down and break up a fight between two 2 year old boys! Of course Stomper played in the sandbox and tasted it. He was eating it by the fistful when I took him out. He protested, I guess he likes girt in his teeth? Silly baby.

(The Rhododendron --bottom right-- is in the backyard. My Dad uprooted it five years ago with a backhoe,plopped it in a hole, shoved some dirt around it, and hoped for the best. This year it is full of flowers. I guess it has forgiven my Dad for uprooting it.)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hammock {Photo Prop}

Do you remember about a year ago when I said I was working on a photo prop package for a friend of a friend? Well, I am one item closer today! 

I feel like a knit a sheep!

It works really well for Teddy's

I may knit one up for Stomper for his stuffed animals.

Yarn Along

Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading. More often than not I read blogs while I knit, not books. The blog that I'm loving right now is Small Things

Going Slow

Taking Things Slow 

I am enjoying life a little slower, returning to my "homebody" ways like I used to be before I was a nanny. Life as a nanny changed my views of child rearing. I became more education oriented not life oriented and always moving, always busy, always doing

When I stopped being a nanny and worked in the daycare I was concerned that the kiddo's were "behind" the other kids their age because they didn't know all their letters yet. I worked with them and they did know them (they forgot most of them over the summer though) by the end of my teaching time with them (we had to add babies to keep the daycare afloat and thus were too busy to teach). Not that they didn't enjoy learning or that I didn't enjoy teaching them, I just think they would have enjoyed just playing more.

I want my son, when he looks back on his childhood to remember lazy summers, enough time in his day to spend as much of it as he needed knee deep in a brook, so many family cookouts that they blend together, and his mother relaxed not harried. In the spirit of this I am slowing myself down to make it a habit before he is old enough to remember me needlessly over worked and harried. 

Visions of a Slower Pace

Jason actually used this to mow the little bit of lawn we have in front of our house. He is going to buy a file and some grease so it works a lot better. It did the job, but not with out some struggle.

Jason hung some more clothes line for me so that my slow drying is just a smidgen faster. It is so much easier to fold clothes off the clothes line then out of the dryer. With the dryer I think, hurry! On the clothes line I take my time, breathe the fresh air, listen to the birds, all while Stomper plays at my feet.

Iced Tea Concentrate: it will be ready tomorrow afternoon. I am really looking forward to mixing this up tomorrow. It is going to taste so good I just know it!
Check out Mommycoddle's post for the recipe. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Camper Specials

 One of the joys of summer is camp cooking. Our favorite thing is Camper Specials (CS). We usually make our own. We will gather and chop up the veggies and lay them all out and then we each spoon what we want on to our foil and wrap it ourselves. Then we will write our names on them with a permanent marker and re-wrap and then toss them into the fire and wait, and wait, and wait.

Sadly, since camp site moved from Strong to Carthage we haven't been able to get to camp as often as we used to. Last night I thought we'd bring camp home. I put spinach, potatoes, onions, chives, a small bit of tomato, a splash of olive oil, and hamburger patties in our specials.

Usually a CS is cooked in the coals of a fire for most of the afternoon. It takes an hour or so in the coals to fully cook (due to rotating there is usually a number of them in the fire), but on the grill it takes half the time.

Ingredients: (You will also need Heavy Duty Tin Foil)

1lb Ground Beef shaped into 4 patties
4 potatoes (white or red) diced with skins on
2 onions diced
4 garlic cloves diced
2Tbs Olive Oil


Coals: Load up the fire early in the morning and then let it die down in the afternoon. When there are a good heap of coals (no logs left) you know you are ready. You'll also need a shovel so that you can put things in the coals or if you know a fireman, his gloves.

Grill: High for 5mins, then turn down to medium

1. Combine veggies, garlic, oil in a big bowl. Add salt and pepper or other spices if desired.
2. Rip off 4 generous portions of Heavy Duty Tin Foil
3. Spoon equal portions into the center of each piece of foil. Place one patty on top of the mound of veggies
4. Wrap in foil (see photos)
5. Rip off 4 more portions of foil and re-wrap so that the crease of the first wrap is wrapped in the opposite direction, and place the other crease upside down on top of the new piece of foil.
6. Cover in coals for 45mins - 1hr (flip them and rotate them in the coals) or on the grill (flip every 10-15mins) for 30 - 45 mins. You will have to open it up just a crack to check on the potatoes. If the 'taters are done, it's done.
7. Serve with relish, mustard, ketchup, and/BBQ sauce

~the reason for the double wrap is to prevent burning~

*other suggested veggies to try:
peppers (green, red, yellow, ect)
sweet potato

*other meats:
chicken (may need more cooking time)
fish (never tried it)

 Fold in half over the pile of food. Roll down the top.
Roll the ends up to make a neat little package.
Repeat with a second sheet roughly the same size
as the first.

Eight Months


  • Eight teeth - Eight! Five came in all at the same time!
  • Pulls himself up using the coffee table
  • Jumps. Always jumping. I was holding him with my legs (he was standing) and he was jumping.
  • Pulls himself up in his crib (eek!)
  • Says "Ba-Ba" , "Ma-Ba, Ba-Ma" , "Da-Da"
  • Can get to a sitting position from his belly. (I haven't seen him do this yet, but I have left the room and he was on his belly and then returned and he was sitting up -- unless the dog is helping him?)
  • Becoming quite the traveler (we've made several multiple hour trips with him in the last month)
  • Spent a week-end at Mimi's house (two nights)
  • I swear he weighs 50lbs
  • Takes baths in the little tub in the big tub (uses just the big tub at Grandma's house)
  • Eats dirt
  • Loves the sunshine
  • Likes to make friends where ever he goes with his winning smile. Babies though, seem to cry though when he smiles at them. Maybe because he smiles, makes a happy noise, and then lunges for them?
Want more photos? Check out my Facebook Album

Monday, June 6, 2011

Blog Review - Inspired

For the next few Mondays I am reviewing a few of my most favorite blogs.
These blogs inspire, encourage, entertain, and hold me in their thrall.
I recommend you brew some coffee or tea, or get a tall glass of water
because once to start reading, you won't want to stop.

 Inspired is written by Melissa: "Wife. Mama. Naturally living life to the fullest through simplicity."*

She is a Stay at Home: knitter, seamstress, cloth diaper, baby wearer, chef, baby chaser, Mom. She writes about being a Mom, crafting, knitting, sewing, cooking, and about what inspires her. 
She says on her blog: "I'm inspired by the blogs I read, to do more blogging myself."* and "Living simply is important to me, and unnecessary clutter is my nemesis."* I think those two lines sum up her blog in a nutshell. I can see echoes of other blogs in her writing with WIP-Wednesday and {This Moment}-Fridays which are seen all across the web in blogs all across the wold. I also can see that she lives her life simply through the photos she takes and the moments she shares about her and her family
Melissa inspired me to make a few changes in my own life. 

Mostly: cloth diapers.

When I was ten my Mom had a baby and she used cloth diapers. I was appalled by the potential of not only sticking my little brother with a safety pin, but then dunking the dirty diaper in the toilet to remove the solids! Ugh! Disgusting! Then, a few months later my cousin (a much older cousin) had a baby and she did cloth diapers, but she had made her own To me (being at the wise old age of um, 10) they didn't look like they worked well.

Fast forward 19 years (give or take). I come across the blog of my "Wedding Buddy" (we got married on the same day of the same year and we have some of the same friends) and she is preparing for the birth of her first child. In her preparations she is knitting and sewing up a storm, to make covers for cloth diapering.

Cloth diapers? How backwards of her! What is she thinking?

Then I got to thinking about it. About the cost of putting disposables on any child I might have. The cost to the environment and to my wallet. When I really got to thinking about it, it made sense to me. We are now, proudly, a cloth diapering family mostly due to the encouragement of Melissa and her blog.

I continue to read her blog because she challenges my way of thinking and pushes me to do more for my environment. I know that she and her family are just "regular" people doing the best they can with what God has given them. I know that if they can do it, then so can we.

If you have been thinking about cloth diapering, stop by her blog and read everything she has written on Cloth Diapers (check it out under her label cloud) to see how far cloth diapering has come in 20 years (believe me, they are not your mothers cloth!).

If you too would like to be encouraged and challenged to live life more simply, then stop by her blog and read, read, read. I promise you will not be disappointed.

*quotes and photos used with permission

Friday, June 3, 2011

This Week

:: This week we have been growing ::

:: Growing to like new finger foods like beets, 
blueberries, cheerios, and toast
:: Growing out of three naps a day and into two
:: Growing stronger at standing

:: Growing new shoots in the ground ( sunflowers & peas )
:: Growing in knowledge as we read this book

:: Growing tooth #8, finally! { Although we can't see it yet his swollen gums 
are a surefire sign that it will be soon }
:: Growing in our canning ( I hope to make this on Saturday )
:: Growing too crafty in our crib, Papa had to lower it, so he wouldn't topple out
:: Growing faster at crawling

:: Growing tired of stockinette stitch and seed/moss stitch

~ * ~
I would love to hear how your week went.
Post your own weeks review on your blog
and leave a link to it in the comments
~ * ~

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