Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I finished my Rusted Root, twice. It was actually finished it on Saturday night. I had the ends woven in, yarns snipped, it was all but blocked. Then I tried it on and realized the sleeves were too tight and the length was too short. Bummer. I wanted to deny the facts and just be done with it, but my arms started to turn blue from lack of blood. Not attractive. So, I ripped out the sleeve edgings and re-knit them using a size 6 needle instead of the 4 that the pattern recommends. The real help came when I bound off with a size 8 needle. I must really bind off tightly, so I need to remember to bind off with a larger needle. After I had the sleeves modified so as to not restrict blood flow to my lower extremities, I redid the bottom and added about 2 inches to the length. Now, I really like it! I'm so glad I took the time to make it work for me. I think I will get a lot of wear out of it. The lace panel requires you to wear a cami under it...I'm thinking some bright colors will be fun to try peeking out from the lace and the bottom.

Here's the knitty gritty:

Pattern: Rusted Root by Zephyr Style (I love their patterns, this is my second one..I knit the Green Gable last year.)
Needles: Size 6, bound off with size
Size: small
Yarn: Cotton Ease, Plum – 3 skeins
Mods: I added about 2 inches to the length and I didn’t switch needle sizes for the ribbing. I continued to knit the ribbing with size 6 needles. I did switch to a size 8 needle for the bind off.

Special thanks to Maggie for the photos! She's my 'go to' photographer!

Friday, June 26, 2009


It's been one of those weeks where the stars have aligned and for whatever reason , thanks to the Lord's help, the jobs that have been on my mental list are getting done and checked off. Here's a peek at what we've been up to this week!
::Mckenzie and I painted polka dots on her wall. She's been asking for these for about a year. I realized that it was not a passing novelty and on Monday we finally saw spots! :: We had our ceilings painted last week and I took the 20+ pictures off our hall wall. I left the nails, thinking I would put the frames back. It was like a bad jigsaw puzzle, I could NOT get them back on the right nail, so I went to Joann's and got two nicer frames and chose 16 of our favorite family portraits! I like this cleaned up look so much better! :: We bought a plain pine shelf in Amish country and on Monday I painted it black. John hung it in our foyer. It's got pegs for our jackets and bags. My favorite part is that I now have a new surface to decorate! :: The kids started their Summer Bingo cards. Kristyn shared this idea (originally from Stacey Julian) and I thought it was a great way to get the kids into some productive activity. They're working on earning some money for vacation. We got off to a rocky start, but it is going great now!
:: The last of our baskets was hung on a wrought iron hook off the deck. The hummingbirds love these flowers and we love watching them drink! :: Broken letters have been mended.:: Knitting has been slow but some progress has been made. Hopefully there will be a finished object post coming next week! :: Even my plants have been productive this week. John Samuel's zinnias are blooming, along with the nasturtiums, purple cone flowers, balloon flowers and hydrangeas!
What have you been up to this week? Hope you have a happy Friday! We've got some serious relaxing on tap for this weekend! I hope you do too!

Monday, June 22, 2009

a quick getaway!

John and I got away to Lancaster for a short anniversary overnight. (Thanks to all the grandparents who helped with the kiddos so we could have some time together....alone. without any kids. or dog!) We had a great time together. So glad we took the time to get away! Here are some of my favorite shots from the weekend!
The biggest blessing is knowing that we still love and enjoy each other after 19 years and we're both looking forward to many more years together! Happy Anniversary sweetheart!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

using my fruit

The kids and I went strawberry pickin' for a second time on Tuesday. My girlfriend, Pam, and I decided we needed to make some strawberry jam. Pam's my jammin' friend. I have only canned jam with her. (I'm not sure I could do it without her..she brings the canner and the expertise) Anyways, we headed out to the strawberry fields early Tuesday morning to gather our berries. The pickin' was nothing like our first trip. Because of all of the rain we have had, a lot of the berries were over-ripe. We really had to search for good berries. They were there, but it was tough pickin'. Much of the fruit was rotting, soggy or moldy. I swear those moldy ones looked like little mice under the strawberry leaves. eeeewwww! While we were picking I commented, "Look what happens when you don't use your fruit." Nobody else seemed to sense the profoundness of my statement. But it really hit me right between the eyes. I've been thinking about it ever since. I believe we've all been given three T's...time, treasures and talent. I also firmly believe that we should use those things to encourage others and glorify the Lord. When we don't use the fruit that we've produced...it just goes to waste. It rots and gets all creepy on the vine. But when we use our time, talent or treasures to bless others, to invest in our children, to spread the good news; we actually produce more fruit. As the fruit gets picked...new fruit has room to grow. The strawberry patch shut down the next day. Too many unused berries went to waste. I don't want to waste my fruit...I want to share it with those in my life, even if I have to boil it and add some sugar. So, I encourage you to use your fruit...really those around you will be blessed!
"And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work...." Colossians 1: 10

Sunday, June 14, 2009

skirting the issue

I love wearing skirts in the summer. I especially like them with sandals or flip flops. But as much as I like to wear them, I only had 2 kick around summer skirts. So I bought some fun cotton fabric and made 2 simple summer skirts this past week. Easy-Peasy! Skirts are fun....slips are not. So, I skirted the issue and lined both of them! In case you're interested, the pattern is New Look 6494. It's a line from Simplicity. I did make the waist band with a casing and I used elastic instead of the twill tie the pattern suggested. I'm planning on wearing them with tee shirts and blouses....no tucking required!
I also really want to thank all of you for your sweet comments on my mother in law's birthday post. I showed them all to her and she was overwhelmed. She just couldn't get over the warm wishes and the kind words! You all are great!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

no moaning....only celebrating!

My mother in law lives with us. (Does the idea of your mother in law living with you ellict groans?) Actually, years ago I might have groaned at the thought of living with my mother in law. (I'm just being honest...heck, she might have moaned at the thought of living with me!) But 15 years ago, on Labor day weekend, we moved into the house where my husband grew up and his mother moved into the 'in-law' apartment that is attached to the main house. Here we are 15 years later and I can honestly say that I love my mother in law today in a way that wouldn't have been possible had we not lived under the same roof. I wouldn't appreciate her the way that I do, had we not intertwined our lives the way that we have. Today is her 70th birthday and I wanted to honor her for the godly woman that she is! She has a generous and giving spirit. If anyone in the near vicinity needs a helping hand, she is there giving all that she has to help out. She faithfully gives to her church and blesses others with her ability to serve. She's been through some really tough times in her life but rather than allow them to make her bitter, she's risen above those hard circumstances and because of her faith, become one of the most forgiving individuals that I know. She is never in a hurry and has the gift of always making whomever she's talking to feel like they are the most important thing on her schedule for the day. She is an amazing woman! I love you so much Barbara and I'm so thankful that your son shared you with me through the bonds of our marriage. I am a better wife, mother, daughter and friend because of what you have sown into my life. Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

finding time for

The start of summer has found us:

::enjoying::experimenting::expanding (from this)(to this)

::and trying to savor every juicy morsel that is summer!....I hope you find time to savor your days as well!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

settling in

We're settling in to summer. It's funny, on Tuesday, our 'second' official day of summer break, my little guy had trouble finding stuff to do. (Monday was great because we were busy picking strawberries and visiting with friends) But on Tuesday, he kept saying he was bored. Oh. man. Does that happen at your house? We've been watching the calendar eager for break and when it arrives the kids don't quite know what to do with themselves. I, on the other hand, have lists that I've been chomping at the bit to get to. When I look at it honestly though, I think that an entire day without structure can be overwhelming to kids. Maybe you have kids that are complete self motivators. I don't. So, in thinking about how I would like our summer to go, I've come up with a couple of ideas to keep us from boredom. Because I know if they are having trouble with their free time, I'll be having trouble with mine. :) These bones will be in place for those days that we're just home, with no other plans. Hopefully they'll help us keep some shape to our days without it seeming too structured. Because it is summer after all!

I've asked the kids to come up with a couple of long term projects that they'd like to complete over the course of the summer. So on those days when we're home, we can take some time to work on them little by little. Maggie's chosen to complete her novel (she's been writing one all year long) and work on a scrapbook from the basketball season. Mckenzie is wanting to make a log cabin quilt top for her bed (did ya hear that Larissa?!!) as well as some jammie pants for winter. John Samuel needs to organize his baseball/star wars/trading cards and (with some input from me) make a pizza book reviewing our mammal study.
We're also going to have some time each day to do some jobs around the house. It's hard to do chores when your brother or sister are playing x-box and you're working, so if we're all chipping in together on house work, then hopefully we'll get lots accomplished and no one will feel jipped. I feel strongly that I want my kids to help contribute to the running of the house. This isn't a hotel with maid service. We all live here and part of my job is to help them grow into adults who know how take responsibility for themselves and they place where they live. (OK. I'm off my soap box now!) The other thing I'd like to add to our long, summer days is some set aside reading time. For Maggie that's not an issue, she could read the days away. But for Kenzie and Jammer, they need a little nudge to pick up a book. Once they get reading they love it, it's just starting that seems to be needing some help. So, I'm working on some book lists. They will each have their own list with a variety of genres for the kids to read with some free choice slots as well. When they finish their book list, they'll be rewarded ( with a new book :)). With some choices by me, I'm hoping they'll read something that they wouldn't normally choose and maybe enjoy an unexpected book.

So, that's my plan. I'll keep you posted! What are some of your ideas for a fun, relaxing kid filled summer?

eta: Skeins Her Way is running a little giveaway and she wants to hear your summer plans...if you've got some, head her way and give her a shout out!