Friday, March 9, 2018

Books, Books, Books

It's an understatement to say that we all love books over here.

Natasha could go to the library every other day at the rate she goes through books. True, I'm talking about picture books, and a couple chapter books thrown in, but still. Her most recent chapter book was "The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic" by Jennifer Trafton.
I'm thrilled Lincoln will sit and look at the pictures with us and even sit through an "older" story book.
Daniel is currently re-reading, "Pride and Prejudice" and "Mere Christianity".
I typically have two books going at once: a non-fiction and a more fun, easy-read fiction one or a memoir. Right now I have bookmarks in: "How to Raise a Wild Child" by Scott D. Sampson, and "Bloom: Finding Beauty in the Unexpected-A Memoir" by Kelle Hampton.
For our "read aloud" I just started reading "The Green Ember" by S. D. Smith to Natasha.

This isn't even touching all the cute picture books we get. Oh my. My brother-in-law moved to Las Angeles in January, and he kindly left me those wire baskets pictured above, and they have been superb for storing our library finds. I used to keep them in a picnic style Longaberger basket, but it was never large enough. I just looked at our library tally and it says we have 69 books currently checked out. Yeah. That won't work in one Longaberger basket. These wire ones are so much more sturdy and I don't fret about the wooden basket cracking. So, Amos, we do miss you, but I sure like having your wire baskets.

My favorite method of choosing new picture books is from the several Instagram "bookworm" accounts I follow. They are always highlighting children's literature and then I simply save the ones I like, request them online at home from our library system and when I stop in, the librarians (who know I'm the crazy mom with a huge stack on the reserve shelf) just start checking them out for me. That way I don't have to spend a lot of time perusing the shelves hoping to find something. Natasha does that herself, and I just pre-request the really good ones that I want to come home with.

Here's a list of great gals to follow on Instagram for new book ideas:

What's on your nightstand? Do you read more than one book at once?

Monday, March 5, 2018

First Monday Morning in March

Folding laundry.
Handwriting while listening to a podcast.

It was a successful morning.

Little does Natasha know that dusting is now going to be her job. She's been folding laundry for a while now, but it's time to add a new chore. One that I am probably too excited to give her since it's not my favorite. Hee hee...

Friday, March 2, 2018

When Knitting Takes Over Sewing

This lovely pile of yarn came from Denmark. We met a family when we visited their church and when they invited us their home for dinner, I found out she's a knitter. She told me about her sister-in-law who bought a yarn shop which went out of business and had all this yarn in her barn. So we later met up and I shopped with great glee, and tried to remember we only had room for carry-ons. 

Raveled here

While in Denmark, I did some knitting to pass the time and did my first color-worked piece, shown above. It was surprisingly easy, especially since I know how to read a crosstitch pattern. With leftover yarn, I made the baby hat, shown below, for an unknown recipient. I'm learning baby hats or bonnets are the best little handmade gift to have on hand when a new baby is in the neighborhood.

 Raveled here

Here are some more baby items I've made and given out in the past year or so:

Raveled here

 Raveled here

Raveled here

 Raveled here

 Raveled here

Raveled here

Also, something for my wee little man. A cowl, to keep his neck warm made from the soft green Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino in the yarn collection up there. It's been a favorite accessory for him. Very practical too, but so cute on a little boy. 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Children In Nature: Rainy Edition

After the snow, it got warm. As in, 60 degrees in February and suddenly the snow was gone and we had rain and puddles. We quick went to the thrift store to find rain boots for the little fellow (they turned out to be a couple sizes too large, but they worked anyway) and enjoyed some outdoor time without snow pants.
Gracious. Little boys in boots just make my heart melt.
And, little girls with pigtail braids...makes my heart smile.

Also, a washing machine is something I do not take for granted.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

February's Challenge

I joined a challenge on Instagram started by Kristalii for the month of February which she calls, Children In Nature Challenge. It's to encourage you to get outside with your children every day of the month. We have managed to get out most days, but it is indeed a challenge. My dear little girlie is not automatically drawn to be outdoors, especially in cold weather when uncomfortable, lumpy, bulky snow clothes are involved. However, last week, it did warm up a bit and we skipped the snow pants completely for a walk in the woods. I got permission to hike in our neighbor's back woods that even has a pond, so we went on a "fairy walk" and enjoyed some sunshine.

I just finished "There's No Such Thing As Bad Weather" by Linda Akeson McGurk and it is so inspiring. I highly recommend it. 

Basically, just go outside, as much as you can. 

Fresh air is good for you...even if it's as simple as letting the wind blow on your face. You don't have to go to a nature preserve, or visit the Grand Canyon. Studies have shown that it's the everyday encounters in a child's own space right outside the door, that they make memories in and that influence their love of nature, even more than the once-a-year-vacation to the mountains. 

Friday, February 23, 2018

A Decade Together

Exactly 10 years ago about right now, I walked down the aisle in my homemade wedding dress, to a tall and handsome guy wearing boots. It was February 23rd at 2:23 p.m. and thus began a decade of happy times together.

It is kind of funny how a single day in your life can become one of the most memorable dates and then, 10 years down the line it's just as special, but the actual day is nothing like the one 10 years prior.
For instance, a wedding day is:
A day to look your best.
Smile at friends and family who have gathered to celebrate your marriage.
Share a first kiss.
Feel like a movie star with all the pictures being taken.
Eat a specially prepared carrot cake just for us.

However, today has been a very, very, ordinary day:
Daniel fixed breakfast, like he has been doing for the past 7 years.
I did laundry.
I coaxed the children into going outside despite the weather.
Daniel boxed some orders in the summer house.
I somehow managed to get through one chapter of history for school.
We had leftovers for lunch.

But that doesn't mean the day is forgotten or our love has diminished because we aren't currently off on a tenth-year celebratory cruise or something. There are seasons of life for grand adventures and noting memorable days like this, and there are times for saying, "Happy Anniversary to us" over the heads of a couple slightly grumpy children. It hasn't always been easy, but the hard moments do not outweigh the smooth-sailing ones.

So here's to a lot more special days, ordinary days, and grand ones spent with my favorite guy in the world.

(And yes, we do plan to have a little getaway next week; 24 hours away in a big city with no little will be wonderful.)

Thursday, February 22, 2018

His First Haircut

The time had come. His hair was long enough to curl around the bottom of his ear lobe and I could have made a ponytail from it in the back. So, he went to the hair salon, made the old ladies smile, and came home with his first sucker. I saved his baby curl and tried not to cry or be overly sentimental. sniff. sniff. I do wish I would have taken him to a proper men's barbershop for his first official haircut, but there will be other times.