Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Words and Wool

And now I can show you the secret birthday knitting:

This "Teddy Bear's Picnic" was knitted for John's 3rd birthday. When I was young and my family lived in Uganda I came across this pattern in someone's magazine and knitted it for Christina. In recent years she has mentioned it several times. Well, when I came across the pattern, still in my files(!), I knew I had to make it again for John.

Quite easy knitting really, it's just the sewing up that is time consuming! However, everything was ready in time. And that leaves very, very little on the needles at the moment. I hope to remedy that soon.

I am preparing for the Fall Knit Club at our homeschool group. I'll have to groups each week and I'm really looking forward to it.

As for reading.......

September by Rosamunde Pilcher was begun out of desperation last night. With no mental energy left and not being heavily attached to any of my in-progress books at the moment, I felt it was time to break open the next Rosamunde Pilcher book. She is definitely my current favorite author. :) This book is set in Scotland, so I further comforted myself that it goes along perfectly with the theme I'm meant to be reading about right now anyway!

Winter Holiday (Godine Storyteller) by Arthur Ransome is the current Swallows and Amazons book that the kids and I are listening to. It goes in the car with us and keeps us entertained in the evenings. This adventure takes place in deep winter, as you can probably tell.

Mara, Daughter of the Nile (Puffin Story Books) by Eloise McGraw is the book we are currently reading in history class right now. We are all caught up in the intrigue and on-the-edge-of-your-seat narrative. It takes place in ancient Egypt and involves spying and plotting against the Queen who is in power. We have no clue how the book will end but we can't wait to find out!!

For more ideas on books and knitting, check out Ginny's Yarn Along.

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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Monday, August 27, 2012

Mondays are for Grace

"Joy requires setting aside work for wonder and worry for worship -- 
in order to see the sweetness of what is, 
rather than the disappointment of what is not."

--Dan Allender from Sabbath

Friday, August 24, 2012

The Bits and Pieces of our Days

We were excited to find another Black Swallowtail Butterfly caterpillar munching on our parsley a few weeks ago and promptly brought it inside. One morning last week I woke to find the chrysalis looking like this. I had time just to wake Andrew up and run downstairs before the butterfly broke loose.

It took quite awhile for the butterfly to unfold his wings. I was quite nervous for him, but after about 15 minutes or so he was good to go!

Andrew let him fly away. Isn't he beautiful!!!!

Our mornings of school look like this. Mostly the children work in Michael's office but if they are working with me one on one or we are doing history then they sit here.

I was informed last week that I had "won a chicken dinner" from a drawing I signed up for at the County Fair. It turned out to be a demonstration of waterless cookware.

The kids enjoyed the dinner and it turned into a very good learning opportunity for all concerned.

I got Emily's wedding invitations addressed last week. They looked so pretty with white ink on brown envelopes.

Rachel and her friend played "house" last week with real babies. They did such a good job of babysitting and the two babies had fun!

The real country is just a hop, skip, and a jump from where we live. We ventured out to a picnic reunion for Michael's Leadership Hendricks County group on Saturday.

On Sunday we enjoyed Middle Eastern food to go along with our studies of the Ancient Near East. It was a delicious and fun lunch!

Then we took a little walk in the nearby park. It really is beginning to feel like Fall.

Monday evening we went out shopping for Rachel's junior bridesmaid dress for Emily's wedding. This rainbow brightened the sky the whole drive to the mall.

And now another week of school is almost over! We are enjoying it, despite the long hours and very full days. This afternoon we are headed out to celebrate cousin John's 3rd birthday!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The State Fair

The Indiana State Fair is one of the biggest highlights of our childrens' year!!! They love it so much! This year we had the most perfect weather ever -- never getting above 75F! It made 8 hours at the fair actually tolerable!

We started off with a trampoline show -- quite impressive!

Little Hands on the Farm is top of the list and this was Laura's first year to really participate:

Milk the cow, Laura!

This will have to function as our "First Day of School Picture" this year as I forgot to take one the previous day when we actually started. How's that for going on a field trip the second day of school!

The kids stopped to make dowels in the pioneer village:

Pictures on tractors, another tradition:

I thought of my in-law's when I saw this carved pumpkin -- it would be at home in Oklahoma!

Canned food art! I hope that the food was donated to a local food pantry!

The biggest pumpkin! Looks like the drought didn't effect this thing!

What an amazing cheese sculpture!!!!

The kids were allowed one ride each as well as a ride on the Ferris Wheel. Rachel and Andrew chose the swings.

James chose this Flyer:

I let them try one game since for $5 we got 60 pingpong balls to divide between everyone. What do you know? We won 4 fish! Sadly, I've killed 3 by over-feeding. Hopefully the last one will stay alive a bit longer.

David chose the trucks.

It took 2 hours just to get the kids to choose and ride their one ride and the Ferris Wheel. However, wasn't it a beautiful evening?!!!

Couldn't get enough of the sky!

About 20 minutes out of the 2 hours was taken up with a lost child -- yes, David got lost in the Midway. Fortunately, Michael always gives the kids business cards so a lady promptly called me and then we just had to figure out how to find each other in the Midway. Poor guy!

Then we all rode the Ferris Wheel together, along with the 4 fish.

This is to prove I was there!

9:45 p.m. found us getting a "midnight" snack of elephant ear and potato chips. We had already feasted on free milkshakes and chocolate milk.

Certainly it was one of the best trips to the fair ever! I had intended to be home much earlier, but I think we made some wonderful memories!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Words and Wool

Each day I work a bit more on the crochet afghan. My piles of ten are growing! It is very happy and relaxing work.

I am also working on a knitting project which is a birthday gift. The finished product can be revealed next week!

Just today I started sewing flowers again! It's about time!!

 Victoria Magazine has been a favorite in my family for nearly 20 years. I couldn't have been more excited to find that this September/October issue is the British issue and they've made Scotland a focus!!!! Utter bliss to thumb through the pages and read about the land that we are planning to visit again next fall!!!!

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys is a book I finished this weekend. This gripping novel, aimed at teenagers but just as moving for adults, is set in Lithuania and Siberia during the Soviet takeover during the 1940's. It paints the heartache of arrest and deportation and the sheer difficulty of survival in Siberia for years on end.

I found this book all the more meaningful because I have three different friends of Lithuanian descent and their parents and grandparents suffered during this time, including the parents of our piano teacher who spent eight years in Siberia. It brings this story very close to home. I am so glad I read this and highly recommend it.

The Low Road: A Scottish Family Memoir by Valerie Miner is another book I finished this week. Set in Scotland over the last century, it weaves the tale of a real family, some of who immigrated to America. Part fiction, part truth, Miner pieces together the fragments of her family history into a cohesive whole. The book was of interest to me because of my "Scottish reading theme" and I also found it interesting how she took genealogical information and turned it into a novel.

For more knitting and reading ideas, visit Ginny's Yarn Along.

Note: this post contains affiliate links.