Tuesday, February 25, 2014


Random little things that have been making me go "huh" lately:

1) Cutting my littlest one's fingernails, I find myself realizing that I used to cut my other kids' nails too; and I don't even remember when that stopped. Nostalgia hits a mom at odd moments for odd reasons. I wouldn't want to cut all their fingernails now, but I miss doing it. Why do I miss doing it? It must have something to do with that whole, "they're getting too old too fast" thing.

2) I'm 4 days into doing "oil pulling".  It's this somewhat odd thing I discovered through friends' posts on Facebook (my husband teases me endlessly for what I learn on FB and Pinterest!).  Read this article on it for more information; but basically, it's just swishing coconut oil around in your mouth for as long as you can stand it (I don't think I've made it longer than 5 minutes yet- if I'm lucky). Supposedly, it's very healthy and a good way to detox your mouth.  Possibly even whiten your teeth. I don't know if it's whitening my teeth, but after the first day, I noticed my teeth felt incredibly clean- which is always a good feeling.
    I have to say, I totally disagree with the opinion of the author of the aforementioned article that oil pulling is divine and sensual.  3 out of the 4 days, I've gagged horribly as I spit out the coconut oil. It's hard enough to put it in my mouth (in its fairly solid state), get it liquid, and swish it for a long time. Now, I like coconut oil, but that much of it raw and alone in my mouth is pretty intense.  So healthy, yeah, I can see that (I use coconut oil for a great variety of things, it's amazing- see this article); divine and sensual? Not so much. Pretty raw, organic, granola, hippie, and all that kind of thing.  I'm definitely enjoying the clean mouth feeling. But then, hubby has been teasing me about being a hippie for a while now....

3) Every time I think I've gotten something figured out, I find out I'm wrong.
I've had a design in my mind for some yarn for a couple years (it had to wait, I was knitting some books), and finally sat down to turn it into reality.  I totally figured I'd be sailing through it, it's a nice basic design for a cabled tank-top.  Yeah, not so much. I've knit and frogged (rippit, rippit) it 4 times already. Huh. Guess I don't know as much as I thought I did....

4)  I am continually amazed at little "coincidences".
For example, this morning, my oldest son informed me that he was out of notebook paper for school ("I can't do that report after all, Mom."). So I dredged some up from somewhere ("Oh, yes you can!"), and gave it to him, making a note to purchase more on grocery day as we have absolutely no more.
  This afternoon, a friend comes to visit- on her way out the door, she says, "Oh, I have some school supplies my kids don't need, could you use them??"
Packages of notebook paper on my doorstep.
Coincidence? I've never believed in the word and I never will. Call it what it is: Providence. He is Jehovah Jireh after all....

5) Every now and then, I feel like I need a little bit of encouragement. Life is hard, you know? And always changing- just when you get used to one kind of "hard", everything changes and you run into a new kind of "hard". Last night, I found more than just a little bit of encouragement. I found a lot. Here. For moms of older kids. (so much for that thing called "coincidence" again...the timing is always just so perfect, you know?)
Suddenly, I find myself a mom of older kids.
I guess that's pretty much how this post started, isn't it?


Monday, February 10, 2014

Snow Days 2014

 Last Thursday, it started snowing.

The kids were thrilled.

We don't often get snow in this typically rather wet part of the Pacific Northwest.

Snowmen were built, bikes were tested for weather-worthiness, and fortresses were constructed.

Saturday, the freezing rain came, and the fortresses became almost indestructible (and in-constructable as well)
The novelty wore off as the city shut down. Classes were cancelled, churches were closed, and we settled in to enjoy each other in our wonderfully warm home.
Warm fires, good books, fun games, walks in the snow to return to hot chocolate, knitting- and the kids' first time watching "The Fellowship of the Rings".
Snow days are good days. :D

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Oh! Hello There!

Ack. I can't believe it's been two and a half months since I posted! Craziness!  And to be honest- I wouldn't be posting now, but my awesome sister-in-love reminded me I have a blog....

So since my last book was published, I've been super busy with family life.

We had a most excellent Thanksgiving.  Lots and lots of people came to our house and laughed and talked and ate way too much and laughed some more. We are so blessed to live in such a wonderful big house where we have room to entertain everyone we want to. What an amazing time it was.

Christmas was just fun and crazy and overwhelming and the best time with family. We went to my parents for the Day and J's parents for a few days after so he could help with some home projects, and it was great. Until the Roo got super sick the last 18hrs we were there- but we made it home with no vomiting, and J's van held together until he pulled into the driveway, when it gave up.  We made it there and back safely, though! That was a big answer to prayer.

January- I'm just in shock. I can't believe the month is gone.

My sweet Bear turned 8. Eight! What?! He lost his two front teeth for the occasion, and got his own room complete with his drum set.  I think he is happy. I know we are.

Then, my Sweetheart turned 12. Twelve. Ok, stop. I'm so not ready.  Not that that matters. Here we are anyway.  She is beautiful and growing and learning- and teaching me. I'm so thankful for this amazing daughter.

Knitting during all this?  Well, I managed to knit one thing for each kid and sew one thing for each kid for Christmas, plus knitting for most of our extended family gifts. I didn't really do any designing though. After finishing the last sample knit for the big book last March, knitting kind of went out the window for a few months. It wasn't until August that I really had any desire to knit again. That book was  a lot of work!  Now, I'm knitting, but I'm having a great time following other people's patterns instead of coming up with my own.

I finished a huge project- that World Map Afghan. It took me 3 years (since I started just before I got the book contracts), but it's done! And on my Bear's bed. He loves it. I need to get a photo of it, but have been negligent.

I made myself a cowl and matching "gloves",

made my daughter a horse beanie,
made my nieces and nephew some awesome toys from Susan B. Anderson books (they rock. Super cute toys, and some of them can be knit in a day- talk about instant gratification in knitting!), made a whole bunch of knitting headbands for various family members...
and lots of other little accessory knits- as well as a sweater for my Dad's 70th birthday and a matching vest for my Mom's Christmas.
It's been tons of fun. Simple knitting- following patterns instead of making them. Just the break I've needed. I only have plans for 1 design in the coming months, and while that is subject to change, this break from the designing section is really relaxing.

Besides knitting, I'm having tons of fun making Natural health and beauty products. I just got stuff to try my hand at natural deodorant- now I just have to find the time to do it. ;)

When I'm not playing with string or tallow, I'm teaching my kids, taking Taekwondo classes, taking my kids to Akido, swim lessons, youth group (yes, she is that old.), and SkateChurch.  Oh yeah, and cleaning, cooking...... Sometimes I feel like the typical "Soccer Mom".  

Life is good. Crazy, but good. And I like it.