Tuesday, February 25, 2014

In this Moment :: Love

I've been thinking a lot about love and mothering lately. I don't have any concrete thoughts that would translate well, so I've made a list. 

This is what I have been trying to do
  • Get up before them
    • That means I set my alarm for 6:30, get up to it, and take a shower. If I'm lucky I might even be able to start the coffee (or warm up yesterdays). If I'm really, really lucky I might be able to have a morning chat with my mom with no little ones hanging off me.
  • Remember to love them with God's love
    • This means my agenda is their agenda. My children are more important than: laundry, dishes, clean laundry, made beds, folded laundry, and my knitting. 
    • This also means I often chant "He's only three. He's only three."
    • Lower my expectations for his behavior. He's had a rough winter with teenagers living in his house for a couple of months and now a little sister that takes up all of Mommy's time.
    • Remember that God sacrificed everything to me and loves me unconditionally.
  • Shut off the screen
    • We have a new rule since the beginning of the year. TV's and computers are for "dark" in this house. Unless we are watching something together.
    • Shutting off the screen has been a tremendous help. I still slip up sometimes, but I'm getting better.
These are things I want to do more 
  • Read my Bible.
    • Seriously, I can spend how many hours playing stupid games on Facebook, but have no time for God? How lame am I?
  • Listen to the Sermon on-line. (Bean's Corner Sunday Morning Sermon)
    • Often on Sunday morning I am busy chasing Stomper, teaching in a class, or caring for Our Sweetie so I don't often hear the sermon. 
    • Especially right now I think this is important because Ira is teaching on love, I need to hear these messages!
  • Spend time one-on-one with Stomper -- every day
    • I miss him sometimes. Tuesday we have visits locally and I leave in the morning, but I don't see him until after nap. Then he goes to his Mimi's on Wednesday nights so I don't see him until supper on Thursday. I miss my boy.
  • Include Stomper in my daily activities
    • Yes, having a three year old do your dishes is effective, but time consuming. I think if I let him help me more we'd have better weeks.
That's what's been rolling around in my head.

All-in-all what I want is to know that my children feel loved. Jason assures me that I am a wonderful mother, the best actually, but I always feel like I've really blown it at times. I know that feeling like you're failing is natural and normal, but I'd like to feel it less often. I'd like to know that I am doing my best, and I don't feel like I am.

I do know that mothering is a learning process and I won't ever be perfect.

Thankfully God loves me despite my imperfections.

Saturday, February 22, 2014


I snuck these photos of Stomper playing with Grandma through the window of the kitchen. The window you can see him standing in is at least four feet off the ground, probably more. Some of the snow is from off the roof. Its a lot of snow. The five foot picketed fence is buried and we can step over the five foot turkey fence easily.

Every time I send him out to play with the school kids he fights me. Every time. In the third photo I put my cowl on him and told him "I am wrapping you in this, its like I'm wrapping you up in my love and I will be out there with you." He still continued to cry while I dressed him, so my ploy didn't work. However, the next time he went out while our Sweetie and I had an appointment I was told  he insisted on wearing it again, so maybe he liked the thought of me being with him after all. Who knows? I certainly can't figure him out. It should be noted that he ALSO fights coming back inside. I think he just hates getting dressed. I don't blame him, its a lot of bulk!

We are trying to enjoy the snow, but wouldn't hate the spring if it came a bit early.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Tweedy Owl to Pink Bunny

I started with the pattern that made Stomper's Owl Hat and wound up with a cute little Bunny Hat for Our Sweetie.

The first noticeable mods I made were to knit it flat in garter stitch and omit the ear flaps. I have found that attempting to tie anything under her double chin is impossible and not worth the effort. Instead of ear flaps I knit five rows of rib. In retrospect I should have knit it from the bottom up, but hindsight is always 20/20 isn't it? Here is the list of mods I made if you too want to make your little one a Bunny Hat like Our Sweeties.

1. Knit in garter stitch either by knitting it flat or in the round by knitting one row and purling the next for the same length as given in the pattern.
2. Knit a 1x1 rib in one needle size smaller than you use for the garter and knit it for five rows (either knit the rib first or last, but do not include the rib when you measure for the inches to knit)
3. Omit the ear flaps.

Ears: (The ears in Tumble Bunnies was my inspiration)

This is where I get a little tricky.

1. Fold hat in half.
2. On either side --both front and back --  slip six stitches on to waste yarn for 12 stitches total on each side.
3. Stitch hat closed.
4. [Use US Size 4 DPN] With hat flat split the six stitches on the left hand side in the middle, the slip the right hand three on to one needle (needle #1) and the left hand three onto another (needle #2). Slip the next three stitches from the back six on to the right hand needle  (needle #1) and the other three to the left hand needle (needle #2) Totally confused? Your needles should be going across the hat forming a T at the very end.
5. With needles parallel get ready to start you ear.
6. Knit the first stitch off the needle closest to you (needle #1) then the first stitch off needle #2. [The object here is to close the hole]. Continue to knit a stitch off needle #1 and then needle #2 until all 12 stitches are on one needle.
7. Start the Ear Pattern

Ear Pattern (use US Size 4 needle)

Knit across 12 stitches
Row 1: sl1, k1, kfb, knit to last three stitches, kfb, k2 sts (14 stitches)
Row 2: Repeat Row 1 (16 stitches)
Knit until Ear is 2.5 inches long (or desired length)
*sl1, k1, k2tog, knit to end* repeat this row until 4 stitches remain
k2tog, k2tog
cut yarn leaving 6inch tail, thread unto needle and run needle through last two stitches and pull tight. Tie knot, fray ends of yarn and trim to desired length. [I tied a knot by making one end a loop so that I wound up with three ends]

Sew bottom sides of ear together.

Make eyes as explained in hat pattern and turn beak upside down to make a nose. Or get lazy and cut them out of felt like I did.

Questions? Feel free to ask!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Yarn Along :: Nearly Finished

~Knitting and reading two of my favorite activities. Today I join Ginny and a host of other knitters and readers to share what we have been reading and knitting. How about you? Care to join us?~

Finished (or will be soon)

Slippers for Stomper - these have been a labor of love. As I said on my projects page, I am blaming the yarn. And not because I'm a bad carpenter. I really do believe that the yarn doesn't have enough give. Live and learn. I will knit these slippers again, but with the correct yarn. I finished the cuff in a 2x2 rib. The foot construction was really interesting and I like how it looks.

Ribbed Hat for my brother - I used up a whole skein of yarn for the body of the hat (I held the yarn double) I wanted to make sure that he had plenty to fold over and keep his ears warm. I think it might be a wee bit too big, but he can fold it up and no one will know.

With some major modifications I turned an Owl Hat into a Bunny Hat for Our Sweetie. I wish I could show you how super cute she looks in it! I think I will add some whiskers just to give it a final touch. I will post better run down of the mods tomorrow.

Odd Thomas - Forever Odd - This book series is amazing. I love the voice of the main character. The story is told from first person point of view and the way it is written holds my attention and makes me chuckle.
"I shrugged out of my backpack and rummaged in it for an Evian bottle. the water wasn't cold but tasted delicious.
The plastic bottle did not actually contain Evian. I had filled it at the tap in my kitchen." Odd Thomas in Forever Odd  by Dean Koontz
In Progress

Last night I started The Scorch Trials the second book in the Maze Runner series and almost stayed up too late reading it.

Jason and Stomper started the Children's Illustrated Classic: The Three Musketeers. They read a few pages first thing in the morning all snuggled up together. Made this Mama's heart melt!

Stomper has us reading and rereading toddler how-to and self-help books: Manner Time, Sharing Time, Germs are Not for Sharing,  and Tails are Not for Pulling by Elizabeth Verdick.

Next up for me to knit is a pair of fingerless gloves for my SIL and a test knit that I will probably need to keep secret.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Yarn Along :: Outside

~Joining Ginny for another Yarn Along.~

This is not a true Yarn Along post as there are no book or "In Progress" photos. However, I did knit the hat on his head, the mittens on his hands, and the socks in his boots. All of which work so well he refused to come inside!

I am still working on the book, the slippers, the hat, and shawl from last week. Maybe some finished photos soon!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Before the Storm

When it is warm enough we have afternoon snack outside. We see no sense in being in when it is nice out!

The season may be over, but football training never ends.

I took a few "before" shots, before the next series of snow rolls through.

No, we don't cage the cat. My Mom opened the bunny's cage door (she's wintering in the barn) to give the cats someplace snow free to hang out. Apparently the cat (Hinata) likes pretending to be a bunny.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

On Eggs

I've been doing a little research here and there on chickens and the benefits of farm fresh eggs and I thought I would share them with you. First though a quote from my brother-in-law "I don't really like store bought eggs, but I can't get enough of yours!"
From Williams Sonoma:
"What should you look for when buying farm fresh eggs?

You should look for pasture-raised, if possible.  The grass diet helps give the yolk a deep, beautiful orange color. They should be free of cracks and fresh (eggs can be sold as “Fresh” for up to 30 days from the time they are placed in cartons–or 45 days if a “use by” date is applied).   If you can get them within a few days of being laid, they are even better – another reason to develop a trusted relationship with a farmer or farm. Interestingly, it’s actually better to have eggs that are a week old or so for hard boiling.  The pH changes, allowing the egg to peel much more easily.  Hard boiled eggs with a dash of salt are a perfect snack food!  "

An interesting video on store-bought organic chicken eggs

From simple bites:
"You may be thinking, “I buy organic, free-range eggs from the grocery store”.  This is a great start, however, with the demand of “organic” and “naturally” raised products, more companies are jumping on board to sell you what you want.
This is great.  Our demand of good nourishing food is being met.  However,many standards are truly not what you may expect.
In order for eggs to be labeled “free-range” a chicken needs to have access to the outdoors.  This usually means hundreds of chicken confined to an industrial chicken house with a small slab of concrete to walk outdoors if they’d like.
Your “free-range egg” chickens are really spending their lives indoors in a ventilated area and will not have the nutrient levels as described above.  If you’re buying “vegetarian-fed eggs”, this is a sure sign that they do not have access to pasture as real chickens are not vegetarians.
Chickens live and thrive on a variety of worms and bugs outdoors which only a pasture can provide. "
 Some notes on our chickens and their eggs.

1) In the winter our chickens are kept inside and grain fed.  However, in the spring-fall our chickens live outside in a large fenced in area where they have access to grass, worms, bugs, and dirt to scratch in.

2) Our chickens have lots of space and light. If you would like to see where they live in the winter, please ask! We don't mind giving a tour! In the spring-fall in addition to their yard; they also have a coop large enough to sleep and lay in.

3) Due to cost our eggs are not organic or non-gmo. If we were to raise chickens on organic feed the price increase of buying organic feed would be passed on to you, our customer. If this is something you'd be interested in us doing, let us know.

4) During the winter we do expect our chickens to lay (some farmers don't) and provide them with adequate light to "trick" their normal rhythms into laying an egg daily. [For some additional reading check out this article by backyard chickens] Our reasons for doing this (as outlined in the article) is because our chickens are not pets.

5) When you purchase a dozen of our eggs you will find some are "funny" colors. That is because we have "Easter Eggers" in our flock and the shells of their eggs are blue!

6) Our chickens are laying about a dozen eggs a day, so if you need some eggs let us know!

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