I finally figured out how to get the photos off my camera and onto the computer. First there was software to install and more software to install and then something went wrong and Pete had to help me. Computers just don't like me. Here some pictures showing tidbits of life around here in the past couple of weeks. Birthday flowers, my new houseplant interest (that fern looked much smaller at the greenhouse were it was so sadly wearing a clearance price tag and longing for a home), the compost tea I'm making for the plants, a baby sweater blocking, toddler painting, some very handsome men
So much to do, so little time. Where do the days go? They are wonderful days (mostly) consumed by school and keeping everyone on task- and helping them get along. I have tiny moments to knit or read or think straight. These days I find, more often than not, that I have to use those tiny moments for sleep rather than accomplishing the things I really want to do. I'm not getting up as early as I'd like in the mornings and I often have to use that hour of required rest time that the kids have to actually put my head down for a bit too. Pete just got me a camera for my birthday so I'm trying to learn how to use it. I need TIME to read the manual, play around with it, and mess around on the computer to figure out how/where to store and edit the photos. I have a couple of knitting projects to finish and a few more to start before the baby is born but those all require TIME. And then there's this poor little blog that could surely use some help. Soon, soon I'll get to it. For now here's a picture (from my phone) of the yummy yarn I just got in the mail today to make Elizabeth Zimmermann's Baby Surprise Jacket (the link will show you the finished version of one of my favorite bloggers).
Each morning the kids and I gather at the table for a time that consists of Bible reading, prayer, and singing the hymn of the month. We also use this time to read/recite the poem of the month, go over some Greek and Latin word roots cards, and do our Tapestry of Grace read aloud. I also like to incorporate a separate thing I consider character study. Last fall we went through the book Making Brothers and Sisters Best Friends by Sarah, Stephen, and Grace Mally. Today we are starting The Young Peacemaker by Corlette Sande. I am really looking forward to the lessons about handling conflict Biblically and hope and pray the children really take them to heart. I have seen that when we talk daily about relationships, love, kindness, and how we should treat eachother, it does make an impact. It's a lot of work, a lot of talking- but Lord willing they will leave this home well equipped to handle conflict in a way that is glorifying to God!
I haven't been here in awhile and I can see I really need to update some pictures. I'll try to do that soon!
Ready or not, Christmas came and went and here I am on January 2 working on my preparations for our second half of the school year. I've been sick almost since Thanksgiving, first with a respiratory infection, then a relapse a couple weeks later and along with that, the flu. We had to rearrange our plans to travel to Michigan for Christmas, shortening our trip and missing a party, but thankfully we were still able to go for 2 nights. This week I have THOROUGHLY enjoyed being home on a school break and just enjoying more relaxing days. I realized this afternoon that I've had no clue as to what time it is most of the time! I sort of wish I could live like that more often, but schooling this many kids requires a solid schedule.
I'm not one to make "resoutions" for a new year. Resolutions come throughout the year when I see places that change can make me- or our family- better. And by better, I mean more faithful. More faithful at living out this calling God has given each of us. With that being said, I am going into 2015 with some new inspiration.
Last week I checked a book out of the library. It's called the Nesting Place. I figured I'd flip through it and look at the pretty home décor pictures. Little did I know....I have to own this book and I wish I had the money to give it to every woman in my life! First of all, I opened the back to see who wrote it. I recognized the name (because it's unique) as being the "girl" who snagged one of my basketball coaches from my sophomore year in high school. I guess that was partly memorable because we girls all thought he was something special and were probably a bit jealous ;) So it's written by a Christian woman with a very sincere and kind heart who recognizes the importance of making your "nest" a place to welcome others, share God's love, and be a reflection of who you are. Her main message is "it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful." I LOVE that and I've heard it in my head since the day I READ the book from cover to cover. I've always thought of decorating as something I'll do "someday" because it's not really in the budget. But this book inspires you to do so many things that are free or thrifty- and some crafty too. She also mentions the home you step into that you're almost afraid to move for fear of messing something up. Let's not try to have that kind of home, okay? Seriously, I never could if I tried because I have so many "mess makers" here. But I totally got that. I've been to homes (even of people I'm close-ish to) where I felt like I was in a museum and I was scared to really be myself. There is beauty in the messes. In the reality that PEOPLE are in the business of growing, creating, LIVING here each day.
Along with the whole decorating the nest idea, I've also had a bit of a knitting epiphany. 2014 was full of frustrating projects that I left undone. I tried to make too many things that take more concentration than I can dedicate to at this time in life. And it bothers me to see my stash of random unused yarn . So I decided to make a crazy stash blanket. I'm planning to keep it in the living room to add a bit of color and fun . Then I got to thinking- I could probably make a couple more blankets with the amount of yarn I have from nearly 14 years of knitting. So I'm simplifying my knitting goals- maybe a couple of simple blankets, pillow cover or two, and a couple of things for the baby. Back to my school prep. It was nice procrastinating with you :)
I have a really cute video of how we told the kids but apparently you have to have the paid version of weebly for that. so this picture of our little one (sucking her thumb?) will have to do.
we've had some fun times the past couple of months. the kids had a fun time raking and jumping in the leaves at papa and nana's house. I took peter on a date to a mini golf place where he also did bumper cars and a bungee trampoline. we got a membership to the museum of science and industry. we also had a nice day at a local arboretum. we missed the peak of the fall colors but it was still a welcome break from the norm. Pete and I also took peter to a third day concert to celebrate his upcoming THIRTEENTH birthday.
This baby vest has been a fun quick knit. I thought I could get it done tonight but then I realized I have to join the front and back of the shoulder strap with the kitchener stitch. I've only done it once and it took way too much concentration for this time of the evening. I have a bad habit of starting a knitting project without reading the whole pattern. I do the same thing with recipes sometimes. I guess it's good though that I hadn't read ahead and seen the words "kitchener stitch" or I may have avoided making it.
I'm still reading Far From the Madding Crowd and quite enjoying the story of Bathsheba Everdene and her three very different suitors. I don't care for her much though as she seems to be making a foolish choice. I'm nearly halfway through the book and really hoping she gets some sense before the end!
On a school day all of the tables- and even the kitchen counter- become covered with our mess of learning. Yesterday was especially messy as the 4 oldest spread out to work on their biographical reports. We are taking a bit of a break by just doing half days this week. I found it cute that Ella and Charlotte's playtime consisted of a very "educational" activity. They had a sweet time buying and selling play food to each other with pretend money. I like that it was reinforcing their money counting skills!
I finished the Garter Yoke Baby Cardi today. It just needs to be blocked and have buttons added- navy if we're having a boy and lavender or coral for a girl.
Although I was really disappointed in Tess by the end of Tess of the Durbervilles, I found Thomas Hardy's writing captivating. So now I'm reading Far From the Madding Crowd.
Sunday morning I woke up to the sound of Pete moaning in pain, something about his back. I figured it was due to the outdoor work he did Saturday and headed to the bathroom for my middle of the night potty trip. He continued moaning in pain and said something about kidney stone and ER. I think that's when I really woke up all the way and started moving quickly to get dressed, wake Peter to tell him what was going on, and get out the door. When a man who doesn't normally want to hear anything about going to a doctor says he needs to get to the ER, you get him to the ER! It took about 30 minutes before they had him hooked up to an iv and maybe another 30 before he got any pain meds. Then they did a cat scan and determined that it was indeed a "small" stone. It took a couple of hours for us to actually hear those results though. In the meantime there was desperate moaning and begging for more meds which resulted in him getting morphine- a relief to both of us. By then the worst of the pain was over. Once he could give a urine sample so they could test for infection we were able to leave. By 10:30 am we were home with meds. I made him a concoction of olive oil, lemon juice, and lemon essential oil and within an hour he passed the stone with no more pain. We rested most of the day and now he's feeling pretty good except for being a bit sore.
Monday Pete went to work for most of the day and I was planning to try to have as normal a school day as possible in spite of being extremely tired. Then mid morning I looked out the window and saw something I was hoping we'd never see again- a pit bull that escapes from its yard and roams my neighborhood. About 4 months ago I was on a walk with 5 of the kids. We got to the end of the block and a pit bull started jumping on Teshome. He just stood there calmly with his arms up, hands by his face, wondering what was going on. Teshome is a boy who doesn't like to admit weakness or fear and at that moment those were great qualities. I sent Maddie to a house nearby with Silas. As soon as Ella and Charlotte saw the dog the went running towards home (actually Charlotte was scootering- and screaming). I stood there waiting to see what was going to happen and wondering if I'd have to intervene. Finally the dog got bored of Teshome and walked away from him. At the time I didn't know who the dog belonged to. Well, after that I started talking to neighbors and found out it lives across the road from our subdivision and it had been seen around the neighborhood several times. Since then it actually bit a grown man who lives down the road, sending him to the ER. All that happened was the owner got fined. Just the other day I was thinking about how pathetic it is that I haven't gone for a walk since then and I was thinking about getting back out there. Then I saw the dog in our neighbors yard and a couple of minutes later it was wandering around our yard. I can't stand the thought of what could have happened if the kids- especially Silas- had been outside. I've been busy making phone calls trying to get someone to do something about this dog. But there's a big problem. We live off State Line Road. So our neigborhood is in one state and this dog lives in another. Yesterday a police officer came (it took FOREVER) and he arrived literally one minute after I watched the dog jump back over its fence. Since it was out of our state he could do NOTHING. Every agency or police department I call says it's someone else's responsibility. It seems the only thing we can do is contain it and call our local animal control. Supposedly they'll come and get it and it would be really hard for an out of state owner to get it back. I'm not in a hurry to try to get a leash on a vicious dog though so the chance of that happening is pretty slim.
Basically, these two events have unnerved me. I am having a hard time focusing on anything and I just feel distracted. Add to that the fact that my grandpa is in the hospital and it's just plain been a rough start to a week!