Yarn Along

I finished my shawl, and am so pleased with how it blocked out.  I actually have been working more on my second one this week which is a deep purple, and I’m making it not quite so shallow for a bit of variation.

I’m going to be doing something a bit different with this pattern, and doing a KAL (Knit A-Long) right away when it is released, which I’m hoping will be near the end of next week.  The first 10 people to post pictures of their finished shawl on Ravelry will get their pattern reimbursed, or have the option of picking one of my other patterns.  I have already seen some interest in this, so that’s exciting.  If you want to be ready for the pattern release, you’ll need some fingering weight yarn, (depending on size, somewhere between 500-600 yards, but I’m still confirming those numbers as we speak).

Besides knitting, we had Silje’s grandparents and great -grandparents and cousins over yesterday to a final harrah to her 8th birthday.  This weekend my parents fly in for the week, and we are looking forward to our huge 4th of July celebration each year that centers mostly around freshly baked pies.

For reading, I’ve picked up an impulse buy when shopping for Silje this last week.  I totally did not go into the store intending to buy a book for myself, but this one looked too tempting.  It’s called Baby Catcher
 and is just a collection of stories from a midwife who practiced as a labor and delivery nurse for many years, and then finally decided to go to midwifery school.  Of all the “midwife/birth” books that I’ve read, this one isn’t so “hippie” as she comes from a midwestern/hospital loving background as me, so I guess you could say I relate to her better than some other books.  Her stories are laugh-out-loud funny, and touching and I have to admit, I have stayed up way too late at nights reading just one more chapter.

I suppose when I’m pregnant, I love surrounding myself with positive birth stories, as opposed to the ones you hear off the street or on cable television.  This book has such a variety, including one scary one that I read where she had an emergency transfer to the hospital for a breech birth and it was so intense.  It’s so interesting to see how differently each woman handles labor and works her way through birth.  These charming stories go past that into the fun of each family, from grandpas present at birth and being in the way to older children being entranced by the process, and brought to tears with the miracle of it.  It’s my joy reading these days.

I’m linking up again with Ginny this week, who hosts a fun weekly party where people gather together to talk about what they are knitting/crocheting and reading.  It’s always bunches of fun.

I’m Blessed

What a weekend.  Silje had such a fun birthday, and we all enjoyed it!  I don’t think that we’ve ever thrown such a party, and I don’t think we intended to throw as big of a party as we ended up throwing, but it was so much fun I don’t regret it at all.

Silje had everything planned down to how the cake should go exactly.  She told me exactly how the frosting had to go, and which horses were to be placed where, and exactly what color sprinkles had to be used.  In fact, she was a little annoyed I didn’t just step aside and let her do the whole cake.  I’m old fashioned in the way where I think one shouldn’t make their own birthday cake.  I kept explaining this tradition to Silje.

A few hours before the party started, our friends the Roberts brought the horses.  When Knut was growing up in this house, they had 2 horses in the barn.  When we bought the house, we were both certain that we didn’t have the time necessary to properly take care of horses, so Knut’s parents re-homed Buster and Star to a family at our church.  They live about 45 minutes from our farm now, and those horses live in the lap  of luxury there with 2 other “retired” horses that the Roberts took in.  They get ridden all the time, brushed and combed and washed with care.  They’re probably over 20 years old now, which is pretty old in horse years, but I think behavior wise, they’ve never been better with all the attention they get.

Of course, the Roberts’ children are all grown now, so their heavily hinting they would like Knut and I to take them back at any point now.  We, however, were hoping to wait until Silje was at least 10 so she could help out a bit more.  We’ll see down the road…

Anyway, I can’t believe how much this family blessed us that day.  I don’t know if I thanked them enough, even though they probably heard me say it about 50 times.  They drove Buster and Star, and one of their other “retired” horses, “Rocky” way out to our farm, and the Dad, his son Wynn, and Wynn’s fiance Anna came out to help for the whole day.  By the time the horses got settled, and our kids got a super long ride, our party guests started showing up.

We invited more girls than usual this year, mostly because many from Silje’s list is from our homeschool group, and I was trying hard to make sure none of them in our little group was left out.  Since everyone’s thoughts were on the horses, we did some riding first.

 The Roberts family walked the girls around on the horses to their hearts content, and then we went inside for cake, “pin the tail on the horse” and presents.  The Roberts took a quick break and trotted around the “neighborhood”, but came back after presents, so the girls could all get one last ride before they went home.  There were some little brothers and sisters of our guests too who got in some last minute rides as well. 

The Roberts wouldn’t let us pay them for gas for driving all the way out to our place, but accepted only some supper at our table for walking with the girls and horses probably several miles worth of circles around our place.  I’m told they slept well that night.

Party time isn’t quite over, as we’re having some grandparents and cousins of Silje’s out tomorrow night for some more cake. 

I’m so grateful Knut had the day off to spend with us, and he was such a huge help to have around!  I’m so blessed with so many friends.  I’m blessed with so many exciting things in our future.  I get to go to another prenatal appointment today, which will be sort of a relaxing morning alone.  We moms take what we can get.  😉  My parents are flying in at the end of the week for their yearly visit.  Knut and I have gotten to have some great heart to heart talks lately after our fun date night last week.  It’s so good to bear one another’s burdens as a couple, and almost feels like a relief to do so.

Please share your heart in how God has blessed you this last week!  You can leave a link to your blog if you’re long winded like me, or just a comment below!  I love reading how God is working uniquely in each of our lives.

Where Have I Been?

I feel like I haven’t been blogging that much lately.  Maybe it’s just I’ve become aware of how little I’ve been blogging over the last few months.  What’s going on now?

-I hit the 2nd trimester, which means I’m cleaning my house a lot more.  I’m not saying it’s clean, but I am saying I’m cleaning.

-I’m reading…probably too much.  I’m into so many books right now.

-I’ve been managing the kids doing more chores and schoolwork, yes, schoolwork.  They’ve been driving me crazy whining about how all they want to do is watch t.v. all day.  Every other suggestion is a whine.  So my newly energetic self has given them each a “chore list” for the day that they must finish before they get any free time.  Things like: play fetch with Lena for 15 minutes, dishes, clean room, put away folded clothes, math worksheet, practice piano for 30 minutes, etc.  Their lists are short, but their achieving their goal of getting the kids to work, and exposing their minds early in the morning to more options than the television. 

This morning, David finished breakfast and asked Knut if he had any chores for him to do.  Knut grinned from ear to ear that his son asked for that instead of asked to play on the computer.  David has been hitting his lists hard and getting done before noon each day, leaving the afternoon open to play.  Silje has been dragging her feet over it all, and I continually find her reading a book instead of finishing her list.  We’re still working on that.

-Speaking of Silje, we’ve been planning her big birthday party for tomorrow.  I remember her 1st birthday very well.  I was very pregnant with David, and this was our 1st child’s 1st birthday and I wanted to go “all out” which in our broke state meant buying fun paper plates and napkins.  In fact, I spent about $35 on party things from cups to a “One is Fun” banner.  Knut nearly hit the roof that I just dropped $35 on a baby for just one party.  I held my ground and said she only turns 1 once, and I really wanted all of those little disposable do dats.

The next day, Knut was grumbling at work (he was in management at UPS at the time) to one of his friends that “my wife just spent all this money on our one year old’s birthday party.  It’s not like she’s even going to remember it!”  His co-worker said he knew what Knut meant.  He said when his wife through their child’s 1st birthday party, they hired horses, clowns, a magician…$2000 later and the whole neighborhood at their house, he often wondered what the point was.

Knut came home that night and surprisingly told me: “I’m glad you spent $35.  It is a big deal.”  Such a change of heart.

Well, he must have changed even further, because for Silje’s 8th birthday tomorrow, Knut is bringing Silje some horses…just for the day.  The family that was given the horses that Knut grew up with has offered to drive them over for Silje and her friends to ride for their party.  Silje is so excited.  Excited might be a bit of an understatement.  I can’t think of a bigger word right now, but think excited x 100.

-I’m knitting and loving it.  I’m doing another version of my shawl, in this deep purple.  I’m finishing up writing the pattern, and this one is going so much faster.  I’m reading my friends blog, and keeping an eye on what my other patterns are doing online.  I’ve been having several jumps in sales, and turns out several big sites are starting to feature them.  I enjoy lurking around online discussions of my patterns because it seems like the best way to get genuinely honest feedback.  My favorite read probably wasn’t this big forum discussion, but the first finished Serina Cardigan other than mine that I know of.  I’ve sold several of these patterns, but this is the first one that has been reported as finished…and it’s GORGEOUS!  I love the yarn she picked, and may need to make my next cardigan that color because of it.  She finished it just as she arrived in Dublin.  You can read her little blog here.  I don’t know her, but I enjoyed reading it.  You know, who doesn’t like hearing their ego stroked by someone they don’t know. I hope she knows those pictures made my day.

-Knut and I finally got out on a date this week.  We try to get out just the 2 of us once a month, but it might have been about 3 months since we last went out.  So we went all out. We ate at a restaurant, went to the theater and saw “Avengers” and then hit Cold Stone Creamery.  We had to drive about 45 minutes to get to all of that, so we got to chat in the car a bunch too.  I feel so refreshed.

Well, I have some party planning/shopping to do!  Expect some pictures of a very happy girl riding a horse to follow in the next few days!  (And pray that the 20% chance of rain during the party will not amount to anything!)

Yarn Along

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~ (Ginny’s blog)

I think I’ve settled on an edge for my shawl, although I went through about 2 or 3 initial ideas before I realized they didn’t look good on this particular edge at all.  So I hit the stitch dictionaries again, and came up with this.  I’m anxious to get the binding off complete and get this blocked so I can get a better idea of how this edge lays.  If I’m satisfied, then it’s just writing up the pattern, photography, pattern layout, then off to the tech editor, and then testers.  You know…almost done.

As for reading this week, I finished Naya Nuki, and loved it.  I started going through teacher manuals for next year and taking deep breathes.  I’ve always felt excited for the upcoming homeschool year, and this year is a bit more intimidating for me.  I’ve really been stressing out over how to manage 2 students, like most moms stress out when you’re having a second child.  You finally got a system down with 1, how in the world do moms of 2 manage?  Of course, as a mother of almost 5, I now know you just get through…sometimes with tears…to a new normal that will soon feel comfortable.  I’m hoping that rule remains true with homeschooling.

I think I’ve gotten over a hump, though.  My biggest worry has been David’s language arts program.  I bought a great, advanced language arts curriculum when Silje started 1st grade.  She basically started at 3rd grade level in this subject as it’s her best subject.  I nearly bought the 4th grade for her, actually, and I think she could have handled it.  David does read very well for a little boy going into 1st grade, but I really don’t think he’s ready for a 3rd grade level in this subject.  I’ve been trying to avoid buying yet more curriculum, and have been planning to just go through the 3rd grade level slowly.

That preliminary decision has not been sitting well with me at all.  I looked into getting the 1st or 2nd grade curriculum, and then talked to Knut who talked me out of that.  He pointed me to the shelf of language arts curriculum that we already owned, and said I should look at it all over again.  So last night I went through and realized that I have everything I need for him in this subject…more than enough.  The only thing I don’t have is a daily schedule that pieces together these various elements of what I have.

So I just need to put together a work schedule, and that shouldn’t be too hard.  I’ve got a great grammar program, which I think I’ll modify a bit for him, a great phonics/spelling program, as well as handwriting.  We have a ton of books from old McGuffey readers to our bookshelf to the library to get his readers from.  I think I’m going to put off the 3rd grade LA curriculum for awhile, which I know will disappoint David as he was looking forward to those books.  I remember an education professor I once had say that the basic premise of teaching is finding out where the student is, and bring them to the next level.  I know that sounds pretty elementary, but that has stuck with me.  I settle down my nervousness pretty quickly when I realize that I just need to continue his learning from where he’s at, and we don’t need to make any leaps.

When I start stressing out on how I’m going to combine Silje and David’s school day, and teach them from the same “core” curriculum of history etc. and how that’s all going to be juggled, I try to pause and remind myself “just keep them learning.”  I’m at the point where I need to remind myself that they don’t need to learn everything in the world this year.  The perfection of the order of it all, and may not be as important as keeping their feet moving in the “learning journey.”  At least I hope…