Monday, September 28, 2009


I've heard people say that women go through seasons in their lives. I guess that sounds better than going through a think? One way to tell what season it is, is to look around and notice the things that are going on around, as I survey the details of my life, I realize how full this season is, in which I find myself. The bulk of my day is spent in educating our kids. We've chosen to home school and that has an impact on a large chunk of my day. Home education has been a great choice for us. Way back when we started to home school, I felt like it defined me. I was really self conscience about being a 'home school family' that we've been doing it for so long, I feel like it's just a part of who we are. It's definitely not a phase...this year is our 10th year of home schooling. Unbelievable. I always say that I'm probably the one who has learned the has taught me self sacrifice, diligence, accountability, time management and how to lean on the Lord (among other things). I still struggle with insecurities and wonder whether academically we're doing enough, too much or hitting all the important stuff. (I don't however worry about case you wondered) Our typical day starts with a group Bible time. Right now we're reading through the book of Joshua. We just read a chapter each day and talk about how we can apply it to our lives. It's probably the most important thing we do all day long. After Bible the kids start in on their schoolwork. From that point on, I'm moving from one student to the next, teaching math, editing papers, working on science labs, reading history, teaching get the idea. This is really the first year that everyone has their own individual curriculum for everything. No one overlaps on specific curriculums. I've got a High School Sophomore, a 7th grader and a 2nd grader. In past years, I was able to share a science or history curriculum between two kids. This year everyone is doing their own thing. In between lessons, the rest of life happens. (I throw in a load of laundry, get dinner started, make phone calls or check my favorite blogs.)On Thursdays, the girls head to classes and John Samuel and I go to Community Bible Study. Fridays are full with morning school here and then science, geography and a logic class at a co-op. The trick is maintaining a steady at home schedule. There are so many options...but in order for us to do a thorough job of getting school done, be have to be home. John does some supplemental stuff in the evenings with the kids. It's a full family effort. It is a full time job. One that has benefits I may not even know about in this lifetime. Some of the things that make it all worthwhile are:
  • I love seeing the light bulb go on when one of them catches on to a new concept.
  • I love that they know each other and are involved in each other's daily lives.
  • I love not having to pack lunches!
  • I love seeing them help each other out with struggles.
  • I love being able to let them find their wings and follow their interests as they learn.
I know that there will be seasons where I have more time to myself than others. This however, isn't one of those...but that's OK. I wouldn't trade this season for anything. What season are you in right now? Enjoy it! The seasons go by too fast.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

just in time for autumn..ha!

Happy first day of autumn to everyone! I finished my Provence Broken rib sweater a couple of weeks ago. I really like it a lot. I've yet to wear it though, because just after I completed and blocked it, I got the poison ivy that wouldn't go away. Not very attractive in a sleeveless shell. I joked with Kristyn that I could go ahead and take some photos and label them "the new look for lepers". Seriously, that's how bad my arms looked. We won't even talk about my legs. I seriously want to say, "Thanks" so much to everyone who sent well wishes for me with the poison ivy...I really appreciated all your prayers and thoughts. And gratefully the poison is finally subsiding (due to prayer and prednisone). I had Maggie take some photos of me on Sunday when the day was ending. I'll probably be wearing this sweater with a jacket for the time's starting to get a bit chilly for sleeveless tanks. Here's the nitty gritty:
Pattern: Provence Broken Rib Yoke by Kristin TenDyke for Classic Elite Yarns
Needles: Size 6, circular
Yarn: Jo Sharp, Summer Soho, color Pennant #21, I used 5 skeins
Size: MediumMods: I knit the sweater in the round instead of flat. (this was a new thing for me...if you're thinking about trying it, go for it!) I slipped the first stitch of every other round to give a false seam down the side. By knitting it in the round, I had no seaming to do whatsoever. Fabulous. I also did a single crochet around each arm hole to tidy up where the stitches were cast off.

This was a fun knit...and even with improvising it and changing it to be knit in the round, the directions were easy to follow and convert...I think this sweater will get a lot of wear. I might even try it with a long sleeve tee underneath...maybe.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

in perspective

I've been itching and itching for weeks now. This poison ivy is just the pits. If you have a secret family cure for poison ivy please email me ASAP....if not, go find one! You'll be happy to know that I didn't take any pictures of my poison. So no worries, there won't be any oozing blister photos in this post. (whew!) However, I have gotten some perspective as I've been swabbing, whining and applying lotions. I realize that it's just poison ivy. There are so many people around me that have much greater things that they are dealing with. I've got a friend who's son is on a machine 24/7 to help him breathe. I've got another friend who's dealing with a marriage in crisis, one who's hoping he'll see his son more than every other weekend and a neighbor who's sister has terminal cancer. There are tumors and depression and major stuff going on all around me. When I really stop and look around, I've got no time to spend whining about my poison, I need to be on my knees praying for those who are hurting and scared and needing a touch from the Lord. So, when I'm ready to scratch...I pray for someone else. (in all honesty, sometimes I'm praying while I scratch) I know God hears us when we pray. I encourage you to turn your itching into prayer too...whatever that thing is that's causing you to keep your focus on yourself...allow it to turn your heart to prayer for someone else. "We wait in hope for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you." Psalm 33:20-22

Monday, September 14, 2009


I received this wonderful package of fabrics in the mail from Larissa, a couple of weeks ago. She was cleaning out her stash and gifted me with these beauties. {Thank you again Larissa!} I still have some of them sitting on my work table just so I can enjoy them. They are just bursting with possibility. While sewing some this weekend, I used the beloved Amy Butler Lotus fabric for one of Larissa's belt/scarves. This was super easy and Larissa's tutorial gives you several options for length/style. Really, it was whipped up in no time. These would make great gifts for your girlfriends for the holidays or for birthdays. My intended sewing found me working on a couple more box pouches. My mom requested a couple to give to her friends. They are going to Italy and she thought they would make nice travel jewelry holders. (you know they'll be bringing home jewelry!) I also made Mckenzie her promised pink pouch and another for a friend that I'm getting together with this week. I was really touched by Larissa's spontaneous act of generosity. It reminded me how fun it is to get something that you weren't expecting. I've been trying to look for ways to bless others when they are least expecting it...just like I was blessed. Hope you have a week full of blessings!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Can you believe it is September? Labor day is gone and it's beginning to feel official...autumn is slowly dancing in. As we wind up summer and head into autumn we've been observing some of the brackish beauty that is the two seasons all mixed together. Some of it's been good...some of it's been...not so good, all of it is what makes life interesting.
{the best peaches and plums of the season}
{starting a new science curriculum this year....and liking it!}{having molly in the crate more than usual as the horses go by the house and she barks and howls at them....she does not have a good understanding of her size!}{enjoying the japanese anemones and their late summer beauty}{dealing with the worst case of poison ivy that i've ever had...i ended up on prednisone}{watching our sticky footed tree frog soak up the last of the summer sun}

{enjoying late afternoon games together outside on the deck}{finding creatures on the window screens that make learning even more exciting}We'll keep observing and watching as God puts on a spectacular autumn's one of my favorite seasons. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says "There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven". So, here's to enjoying each new season and finding the beauty that each new day brings.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

creating = recharging

This past Saturday afforded me some time to do a little bit of sewing. I stayed in my jammies and sewed until after lunch time! It was wonderful. John and I were talking the other day about this need to create and how it really does recharge me to work on something creative when I've had a long week. (our first week of school went great but it was a change to our summer routine) Some people need to shop or exercise or eat ....I like to do all of those, but I need to create. So that's what I did this weekend. I finished the little toiletry bags that I had cut out a while ago. They are from the book Sew Pretty Homestyle. On my first pouch, I did something wacky with the lining and the zipper, but I picked it out and fixed it. The part where I messed up had no illustration and that's just where I needed some help! Oh well, nothing another cup of coffee and some concentrating couldn't solve. They turned out surprisingly well. My mom really liked them too....(I've tucked that in the back of my brain for future surprise ideas) The brown one was already snatched by Maggie and I've kept the one with the orange goes great with my yellow purse. Mckenzie has requested one in pink. (no surprise there!)

After I finished those I wanted to try the perfect box pouch. I saw it first on Betz's blog. I love the shape of it and you can get the pattern free from Indie House...she has a great tutorial that walks you through constructing it...step by step. These were way easier than the other bags...and the construction of them makes them simple to enlarge if you wanted to try a bigger version. This size is pretty small, but they are great for make-up or sewing stuff or even a fashionable first aid kit. I'm thinking that they'll make great teacher (or mom) gifts with a gift card tucked inside. So, I recharged my battery with all that sewing. Having some time to create helps me in so many really does make me a better mom and wife. What do you do to recharge yourself when you've had a long week?