Saturday, August 30, 2008

Pumpkin Liesl

I finally finished my Liesl. I am really happy with how this sweater turned out. It was a really fun knit. It was nice to be able to try it on as I went and get the length that I wanted. Once I got past the yoke, the pattern was easy to knit from memory. The only thing that gave me any trouble was the sleeves. For some reason, I had a hard time getting my lace pattern to line up. So after 3 tries on the right sleeve and 2 tries on the left, I got my lace to match. My 13 year old daughter has been eyeing this since I started it. She's been asking me when HER sweater would be done. It actually fits us both...just in totally different ways. I wish it fit me the way that it fits her. I think if I do make this again, I would make it two sizes larger or else pick a larger needle. That whole gauge thing really throws me sometimes.
Here it is with two buttons...not sure which way I like it the best. Buttons or not?

The details:
Yarn: Cotton Ease in Terracotta, although I'd call it pumpkin...
Needles: Size 10
Size: 38
For: Me and Maggie

Go to Gift Idea!

I've found my new "go to birthday party gift idea". Back when we got home from our trip to Hilton Head, I made a towel set for the teenage girl who watched our Molly. It was a thank you gift for all the love she gave our dog. My daughter, Maggie, spied it out and decided that was just what she wanted to give her friend Sarah for her birthday. We made a trip to Walmart and picked out a towel, and material for the monogram. (Apparently, none of the fabrics that I had in my stash were just right for Sarah!) The plan was to give her a towel with her initial on it and a little soap bag to hang in the shower. Well, the little bag never got while I was running errands I picked up some body lotion, body spray and a bath puff. Everything I purchased ended up costing $10.00. (That included the towel!) With just a little bit of sewing...we ended up with a great gift.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Seeing Stars

We are part of a co-op class that meets twice a month. There are 13 families, which adds up to 48 kids. The kids range in age from 1 year to 15 years old. We have classes for the kids. This year the older kids are going to be taking a debate class. The youngest kids are going to be doing an art class and the middle age kids are going to be doing a class on colonial living. After class, we do some group games which is nice because some things don't lend themselves very easily to home schooling. For example, it's really hard to play volleyball with only 3 people. It's also a great place for the kids to perform in front of a group. Each time we meet, 3 or 4 kids do some sort of presentation. We've seen piano pieces played, Irish folk dancing, puppet shows, hand bell performances, speeches and show and tell to name a few. We also schedule some field trips throughout the year. On Friday we had our first meeting for the year and we always make some sort of tee shirt to wear on field trips and for group activities. This year we used the freezer paper stencil technique. You may have used this technique before or seen it around blog land. It is so easy and fun. We used stars as our general theme and we picked out several colors so that we could keep some uniformity. The first thing you do is to cut a star out of freezer paper and then iron the stencil shape on your tee shirt. After the freezer paper is ironed onto your shirt, you paint the shape any color you want. We slipped cardboard in between the front and back of the shirt so that the paint wouldn't bleed through. When you're done painting you let the paint dry. As you can see we had quite a few t-shirts drying that day.
Next, was the really fun part: embellishment! We used those slick paints that you can get in any arts and crafts store. The more squiggles the better. Just squiggle the paint right over the star and freezer paper making any design that tickles your fancy.
When everything is dry, (and this part took the longest) you can pull off the freezer paper gently and see your masterpiece. The edges turn out very crisp and clean, thanks to the ironed on freezer paper! Then of course show off your style! They all turned out so good. This was a really fun fun in fact that I'm already planning some more ideas for the future!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Round the house

We're back to school and we're all busy around the house getting our studies done. The first week is a matter of fine tuning our schedule and our studies. I'm never quite sure how long everyone's work will take them, so I need to be flexible and remember that all things are subject to change. Everyone's been up and raring to go early since this week is the first week of a new school year. Mckenzie started math today at 7:30am. (Good thing I'd had my coffee.) She's my "get it done" girl. Anyways, at lunchtime she told my mom she had finished her school at 10:00am. Good grief...that's a sure way to set off some alarms. She wasn't done, but even if she was, there are just some things you don't tell your grandmother! Especially when you fail to mention you started at 7:30am.
The neighborhood kids went back to school today, so that helps tremendously. There is something nice about knowing your friends are in school while you are too. Well, I've got a sweater calling my name and since our work is done for the day....I think I'll go knit! I've started the sleeves on my Liesl. Maybe I'll be wearing it this weekend. I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Summer Savor.10

I'm feeling a bit corny today! It might have something to do with the fact that yesterday I blanched, cut and bagged 6 dozen ears of corn. I told John that I'm beginning to feel a little pioneerish. He laughed and said, "Yeah, with the help of the local farmer's market!" My mother and law and I worked for a couple of hours chatting and visiting as we cut corn, putting it away for the winter. Mckenzie came and helped us shuck for a while. (Maggie would have helped but she was still on the couch with a fever!) It was nice to have 3 generations working together, laughing and telling stories. I really think there is something to the fact that in years past, families worked alongside each other spending time together and sharing in each other's lives. I know we have a lot of modern conveniences now and life is much easier in so many ways than it was for our grandparent's generation. (I am so thankful for my washing machine...I can't even imagine.) But, I do think that somewhere along the way we have traded in some meaningful relationship time with all of our gagets. Strong relationships take time to develop and the only way to really grow them is to spend time together. Over that pile of corn, I was reminded of how much those relationships mean to me and how that simple act of shucking corn slowed us down and gave us time to talk and visit and of course get corny together.

We have 17 quarts of corn ready and waiting for the winter. It makes letting go of summer just a wee bit easier.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Summer Savor.9

Today my mother in law and I 'put up' (I love that phrase) 19 quarts of tomatoes and 3 pints of salsa. Whew...that's a lot of tomatoes! 1 bushel to be exact. It was a good time in the kitchen. Those tomatoes will show up all winter long in soups and stews and chillis! Yum! Today though, I'm done with tomatoes. But I think I will sit down now and enjoy a nice bowl of cukes and onions!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


My friend Kelly had a baby at the end of July. This was her tenth baby. Yes, you read that right. She and her husband are the parents of TEN children. No, they are not on a lifetime reality show, although they could be. Their children range in age from 4 weeks (Judah) to 23. I'm always amazed at her organization and sense of calm when I go to her house. Anyways, it was great to see her and to meet Judah. He was so awake and alert while we were there. What a cutie!I brought some knit goodness that I made especially for Judah. That is the Sweet Pea hat by Susan B. Anderson. I knit it using Tahki Cotton Classic. I really like this yarn. It is a mercerized cotton and it has just a bit of sheen to it. I had enough yarn left over to knit a pair of Saarjte's Booties. I prayed for him and for her as I knit them. Kelly laughed when she opened the hat. She says she already calls him her sweet pea! How sweet is that!

Summer Savor.8

My favorite summertime lunch is garden tomatoes with cottage cheese and salt and pepper. Yum! The only thing that makes it better is cucumber and onions in a sour cream and vinegar dressing. What a treat! I'll be having this again tomorrow and the day after that!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Summer Savor.7

One of my daily favorite things about summer is my plants. I enjoy my morning strolls around the yard and the deck checking out what has bloomed, what has grown and unfortunately what has become salad bar for the deer. This year we (my kids and I) planted a good number of annuals from seed. It has been so exciting for all of us to watch the whole growing process. The fact that something does what it is designed to do is awesome. I'm sure God watches us with the same excitement. When we grow and bloom in our walk with Him, He's got to be just tickled. He created us for relationship with Him and when we partake of that we're right where He designed us to be.
The whole growing process is just that, a process. I'm still waiting on some of my plants to bloom. God's still waiting on me to bloom in some (many) areas. I love that He didn't create us to be perfect. He created us to be in need of His perfection. So as I see those sunflowers everyday following the sun with their faces...I am reminded that is exactly what I need to do too.

"We, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory are being transformed into His likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord." 2 Corinthians 3:18

Monday, August 18, 2008

Summer Savor.6

I get a lot of satisfaction in hanging out my laundry during the summer. I hang it on drying racks that I put out on our back deck. We got this drying rack in Lancaster, PA. It was made by the Amish. It's a monster of a rack. Holds a ton of laundry. For some reason, laundry just seems more enjoyable when I can be outside hanging it and folding it. My mom used to hang our laundry out on the clothesline when I was a kid. Hanging clothes eventually became one of my childhood chores. Even still, I love the fresh smell of just hung laundry. It saves some electricity as well. I still dry my towels and washcloths in the dryer though. I can't stand how they get crispy. I don't like a crispy towel. Enjoy your laundry today!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Summer Savor.5

The driveway is full of chalk drawings. My kids and the neighbor kids are having so much fun. They've actually worked their way out into the street with their drawings. (Relax! We live on a dead end road-, I'm not a bad mommy!) The giant bucket of chalk might be gone by the end of the weekend. There are even some revealing messages.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Summer Savor.4

My guys headed to the golf course for Jammer's summer golf clinic....through the woods and across the road. Just guy time together...

Friday, August 15, 2008

Summer Savor.3

Things have been busy here getting ready for Baba's John encouraged me to take some time today to relax and enjoy some of my projects. I listened and spent some time this morning knitting. I love to knit in the early morning with my coffee handy. It's even better when I can sit on the deck and watch the hummingbirds as I relax. Thanks honey! You're so good at knowing just what I need.

Baba turns 90!

I've always called my grandmother (my mom's mom) Baba. It's Croatian for grandmother. Her family came to America from Croatia. She's a first generation American. On Wednesday, August 13th she celebrated her 90th birthday. That previous Monday I asked her if she ever thought she'd have made it to 90. (She was diagnosed with terminal cancer in 1990 and given 6 months to live...God had other plans:) ) She replied, "I'm not there yet!" She cracks me up! Well, she made it and we had a celebration that blessed everyone involved. Her great grandchildren were there. (except Jordan who shares her birthday, he had football) Her grandchildren were all there. My cousins from Minnesota and Chicago flew in for the party. Her 2 daughters were there and some special friends as well. She was so happy. We had her favorite foods for dinner. She was genuinely overwhelmed with the entire evening. She performed the Charleston for us and even did some hula dancing as well. It was so good to see her so happy and relaxed. Throughout the evening different people shared special stories of how Baba had touched their life. She gave all the thanks to the Lord for allowing her the "privilege of watching her children and their children and their children's children grow up". She recounted the faithfulness of God and how she has trusted Him through the good days and through the bad days as well. What a legacy she has left for us through her faith. As Baba has gotten older, she has her good days and her rough days. She doesn't always remember everything. She is slowing down a lot. Her hearing is getting rusty and she can't get out the way she used to...but for a moment in time, we had her back. We caught a glimpse of the Baba we've always loved. It was so great celebrating you Baba. I love you so much.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Summer Savor.2

I love the bounty that summer brings. Because we live under oaks we don't get enough direct hours of sunlight to have a real vegetable garden. I do have some tomatoes growing on the deck. But I don't get enough from those. I do however have wonderful friends and neighbors that share their bounty with me. I love summer veggies.
Those little yellow things are lemon cucumbers. They taste just like regular cukes! (John Samuel just had to have a star wars invasion as I was going to take the picture...he plays everywhere. He's got a great imagination!) While you're here, go check out Kristyn's Summer Savor too!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Good to the last drop

In only a few short weeks autumn will be here and summer will be gone. I love all the seasons but I'm always so sad to see summer go. There's a commercial out that says, "Live like it's summer." I've really tried to do that this year. Summer just slows down and the days get lazy and the schedules seem to loosen up a bit and somehow I'm able to breathe a little bit deeper and notice the little things around me a bit more keenly. I'm going to try to take that mindset into fall this year. But, I thought I would Savor Summer and make note of those little things that make this season so special these last 14 days. If you want to join me that would make it even better, then I could savor my summer and yours as well.

Summer Savor.1 - Last minute sleepovers and breakfast outside on the deck the next morning!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


This morning in my devotional reading the author asked the question, “When a shipbuilder erects a boat, does he do so only to keep it on the scaffolding?” The answer of course is no. A ship is built with the plan in mind for it to sail on the seas and to weather the waves and the storms that will inevitably come. The shipbuilder builds the ship to withstand the wind and the waves. I actually read somewhere that the wood on the hull of ships becomes seasoned and stronger after use. Something about the twisting and the water that makes the wood compact so that it actually becomes more fit to withstand the next storm. Pretty cool eh? The same is true with us. We were fashioned and designed to weather the storms of life with the promises of God fully at our disposal. “He has given us His very great and precious promises.” 2 Peter 1:4. God desires that we not only profess Him but that we use Him as well. So we must reach for those promises and make use of them during the seasons where the waves curl large. After the storm has passed we’ll find that God’s promises were true and sufficient…more than enough to take us through the storm. We’ll also find that because of the storm that we’ve weathered we’re stronger and more able to weather the next storm that life sends.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


I bought this book for my girls one year for Christmas. It's from Klutz and it is a great book for learning how to crochet. It came with yarn and a hook and a cute little bag. All the lures. I had high hopes that one of them would acquire a desire for fiber. So far I have no takers. Although Kenzie does sew, neither of them is very interested in knitting or crocheting. Lately, I have been seeing patterns with some crocheting required and my desire to crochet has peaked. I had a friend over at the beginning of summer and she showed me how to chain and single crochet. I was supposed to be helping her and she ended up blessing me. Thanks Mary! After she left, I pulled this book out and started to work some on my own. Then I found out that my mom knows how to crochet and she was thrilled to teach me some stitches. We worked the other night on how to create the inner circle of the granny square. My mom is very creative and at one point did a lot of knitting and crocheting. Who knows, maybe my interest in it will get her HOOKED again...(get it?) Well, after some tutoring and lots of reading and fiddling. This is what I've got:
I've learned how to single, double, half double and triple crochet. I can do granny squares and crocheted flowers. It's been a good use for all those little scraps of cotton and wool yarn laying in my stash. I'm still really clumsy with the hook and the yarn, but I remember feeling that way at first when I started to knit. My girls have already put in a request for me to crochet them some of these:
They want them with the little crocheted flower on the fun.