Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Knitting, Knitting, Wherefore Art Thou?

School has started.

Knitting has pretty much ceased.

This is not a happy situation for me.

Isn't it so annoying when things like your job interfere with knitting?

Ugh. I think I'm having withdrawals...

And I can feel my carefully planned Christmas-knits-schedule deteriorating.

Right before my eyes.

Must. make. time. to. knit.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

What To Do, What To Do

Well, I've been thinking, pondering, and most importantly, praying about what to do. I've felt God pulling me in a direction that I have not been certain I was willing to go. I know, this sounds ridiculous, since I try so hard to just go where I am lead... but every now & then, He points down a path, and I stop & say, "Are you sure you want me to go there? I don't know if I want to do that..." and then I sit right down in the middle of the path to ponder. There are just so many reasons I can think of NOT to share this "religion-stuff."

Not very faithful or trusting, is it?

This summer has been an incredible experience for me, and I have definitely felt the Hand of God at work. If someone had told me in June that I was about to embark on a life-changing journey of faith, I would have said, "Yeah, right. I'll be lucky to retain my sanity after a summer of staying home with my kids! 'Life-changing' this summer will not be, unless it ends with me in the asylum."

And then an amazing thing happened.

I tripped & fell face-first into the blogs of some. amazing. women. I did not know that women mothered their children and cared for their families and lived their lives, walking each and every day, hand in hand with Christ, the way that these women do. Each of them inspired me with their "radical" (um, yeah...) ideas. I learned (and continue to learn) daily from their wisdom. And I've never actually met any of them!

I suddenly felt a strange calm come over me. Seriously, strange. Like, I always hoped this kind of feeling existed, but never thought I would be blessed to feel it.

I think they call it "Intentional Living in Christ," or something like that (hey, I'm still learning), and I thought that sounded interesting. I read on, and learned more about how they live their lives.

And so my journey began.

And little by little, I have felt this calm creeping in around the edges of my life. It's not here all the time, or even most of the time... yet. But I catch glimpses of it almost daily now. And it rocks. I want more.

And I want to share it. I want to thank those women, and I want to share what I have learned, what I am learning.

But where should I share it? This blog? "keowdieknits?" Didn't seem quite appropriate. It's a knitting blog. And although I could quote several scriptures about people being "knit" together in love, and God having "knit" us together in the womb... well that feels like a bit of a stretch.

And then I remembered: I have another blog. I started it a while ago. I had intended to document my struggles & triumphs with depression & anxiety disorder. I didn't really keep it up because when I triumph it's hard to describe, and when I struggle, it's not easy to share.

It's called My Purple Brick Road.

I called it that because I think of my life as being like Dorothy's journey in The Wizard of Oz. It has triumphs & tribulations, friends & foes, sunny meadows & dark forests (and maybe even apple-throwing trees & flying monkeys) along the way. But I have God with me. He is ever present. He puts up road signs pointing me down this path or that, and sets up obstacles deterring me from going this way or that. (I don't always listen, of course...)

This seems like the perfect venue to share this new journey. It encompasses my journey into true faith, my family, and my struggle to manage the depression & anxiety.

So, over the next few weeks, I will be working to return this blog to a knitblog, suitable for sharing all kinds of crafty goodness. And I will be working to transform the other blog into a place for me to share my posts that are more faith and family oriented.

If you are one of my knitterly friends, I hope you will stick around as I share more of that part of my life.

If you are one of my Christian or mom friends, I hope that you will come on over & follow me in my amazing journey to be the wife, mother, and woman in Christ that I know I can be, as I answer His call, and learn how to truly walk in faith every day.

Menu Plan Monday

This will be our first full week of school, so I'm hoping meals go well this week. It's such a bumpy transition from SAHM (Stay At Home Mom) to WOHM (Work Outside the Home Mom). From now until June the afternoons & evenings will be like a horse race and Wild Rumpus all rolled into one. (I will be running the race to get dinners cooked & eaten, kids bathed and in bed, and still have some family time, while my boys will be engaging in the Wild Rumpus, thus making my race almost impossible to complete!) I'll be doing at least one crock pot dinner every week (this week I've got two!), and will likely spend most of every Sunday prepping ingredients & baking for the week.

Here is the menu for this week:

Lunch: PB&J sandwiches, crackers, fruit, a cookie
Dinner: Venison-sausage quiche, Raw veggie tray

Lunch: BLT Wraps, crackers, veggie sticks, a cookie
Dinner: Grilled cheese sandwiches, leftover sides (veggies, baked beans, fried okra)

Lunch: PB&J sandwiches, crackers, fruit, a cookie
Dinner: Venison stew (crockpot, I love you!), sweet potato rolls

Lunch: Leftover stew (always better the next day), fruit, crackers, a cookie
Dinner: Leftovers

Lunch: PB&J rollups, crackers, fruit, a cookie
Dinner: BBQ Chicken in crock pot, Baked Mac-N-Cheese, frozen fall veggies

Weekday Breakfasts: Fruit salad, bacon, homemade cinnamon-raisin bagels

Breakfast: Pancakes, fruit, bacon
Lunch: Cheese & crackers, fruit (This will be for me & Boy2 - Hubby & Boy1 will be golfing)
Dinner: Spaghetti, veggies (undecided), sweet potato rolls

Thursday, August 13, 2009

What do you think?

I am contemplating much lately. I have many questions floating around inside of me. Some of them concern this blog and what I want it to be.

I have been thinking about Mary Poppins' line, "I shall stay until the wind changes."

She stayed until Jane & Michael didn't need her anymore.

I think that if she had come to live with me, she would not be staying with me much longer.


Because I feel as though the wind is changing here.

And I don't know how much I should share. Honestly, I feel like I want to share deep contemplations and personal stories here. It's just that I'm not sure I've ever shared anything that was truly personal in nature here. I share stories & photos of my family, my crafts, my growing skills as homemaker... but it's been sort of superficial sharing, hasn't it?

Perhaps I've been holding back. Perhaps I've not truly been sharing me here.

Maybe I'm a little afraid of who might be lurking (i.e. reading but not commenting), and what they might think or say. I might be related to some of them. I might be friends with some of them. I might work with a few. They might not approve, or might not understand this stuff. They might judge me. It could potentially make family gatherings and meetings... odd.

This started as a knit-blog. Just a place to share my knitting adventures. Then I let a little of the family stuff leak in. And as I (and my life) have changed, so has my blog... superficially, of course. I think I'm experiencing a pretty big change, and I'm wondering if I should go ahead, open up and let it all fly here, too.

I'm not saying I have any deep, dark secrets to hide. I don't have any significant skeletons in my closet. No, I'm not pregnant, divorcing, changing jobs, moving out of the country or running away to join a cult of wool-worshiping knitters.

But I have embarked on a journey of discovery, faith & family this summer. And I've pretty well kept that to myself until recently when a little of it began to leak out at the seams.

Maybe it's supposed to. I don't know. What do you think?

My Creative Space

My creative space still covers the dining room table... I got all the applique's stitched on the quilt! I'm ready to start cutting flannel squares, I need a couple more yards, so that's on hold until I can get to the fabric store.

On the knitting front, I have another batch of hexagons ready to block. In the face of 21 almost-complete hexagons, I decided that perhaps it is time to start connecting them. I'm not sure I could handle having all 42 pieces waiting to be attached at the same time. It took 4 tries to figure out how I will attach them.

Oh, what's this?
It's pink.
It's going to be a baby dress. (for someone else's baby... I have no tiny ones in my forseeable future!)
For more creative spaces, visit kootoyoo; thanks for hosting, Kirsty!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Word Filled Wednesday

This is my first time doing a WFW... I'm still not familiar with a lot of scripture. Hopefully I'll get better with practice!

Click here for more Word Filled Wednesday.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Parenting Success!

We had the most amazing experience this evening.
Here's a little back-story for you: Every evening, Boy1 (6yo) and I (or his Dad) pray before bed. We say the "Now I lay me down to sleep..." prayer, and then we take turns thanking God for things that we are grateful for. We have been doing this ever since he was old enough to speak (or sign) words for things in his life.
Over the course of this summer, we have been working to make sure that God is truly at the center of our family. This means that we study the Bible together (I didn't even know all of the Ten Commandments), pray before every meal and snack and read and discuss the lessons from this book. When I have to correct the boys' behavior, I try to do so with patience and "faithful instruction." I have also been stressing to Boy1 that he can talk to God anytime, and that he should especially feel like talking to God when something is bothering him.

I have to say that I have suspected for a couple of weeks that it is working. It's definitely working a lot better than losing my cool and yelling. [Ducks head] Boy1 is much more accepting of the faithful instruction than he was of the ranting. I still have to take a breath once in a while and remember not to lose my cool. (My personal Bible study is turning toward "patience" lately...)

This evening we had what I consider to be a huge breakthrough.

See, Hubby has been working a lot lately, leaving early and getting home late. He hates it, but sometimes his job requires crazy hours. Boy1 was really tired tonight and whenever he gets tired like this on a night when his Daddy isn't home by bedtime, he tends to get a little weepy. So, we called Hubby on his cell and then settled in to read a book and say our prayers. After we said our thank you's we had a brief exchange:

Boy1: Wait, Mommy. You can't go yet.

Mommy: Why, *Monkey? Did you lose one of your sleepy friends [stuffed animals]?

Boy1: (with tears in eyes) Can you say the other prayer?

Mommy: Which other prayer? We said both of them.

Boy1: The one where you tell God I'm sad?

Mommy: You mean you want me to pray for God to comfort you because you miss Daddy?

Boy1: Yes. So He will make my tears stop?

*I sometimes call Boy1 "Monkey" because he has always been my little snuggler... my "Snuggle-Monkey" if you will. I also sometimes call him "LilMan," because he has always been like a little Man.

And there you have it. For the first time ever, Boy1 asked for help in turning to his Heavenly Father for comfort. I honestly didn't think that part of what I've been saying and demonstrating was sinking in with him. Apparently it was. That's quite a bit of validation, and confirmation to me that we are definitely on the right track with our family.
In other news, I started back to work for another school year. I'm almost excited to get back to my job, back to answering my Call. I will be happy to get back... right after I get over the overwhelming guilt over leaving my children. And the disappointment over not being able to spend every waking moment with them. And the stress over trying to balance my work responsibilities with my home responsibilities...
...but as soon as I get over all that, I will be 100% back in the game and ready to answer God's Call with joy and love in my heart. I just have to get over myself first. Geez. Why is that so hard?
Boy2 went back to day care today. He had a great day(!) so at least that is one thing a can let go of a bit. He had no tears, and seemed to enjoy getting back to the business of playing with his friends.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

My Creative Space

This is my first time participating in "Creative Space!"

This week, my creative space has taken over the dining room table. Half of the table (the half we don't use for meals) is covered in this:
Cabins and trees and bears, oh my! These are the applique's I made for my littlest one's quilt. This project has me VERY NERVOUS. It's my first try at sewing a quilt. My sewing skills are not the greatest, since I'm almost completely self taught. Cross your fingers for me!

And as usual, my creative space is full of sticks & string. Here's a baby blanket I'm working on:
...and a few dishcloths for our trailer.

For more Creative Goodness, click here.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Weedless Wednesday is Back!

Despite my initial concerns, much has been growing in the garden! I picked all of this early this week: 5 (small) ears of corn, two handfuls of green beans and more leaf lettuce than I know what to do with.
I've also been picking lots of okra, which, as it turns out, should actually be picked while it's relatively small. (Hubby says okra is NOT supposed to be crunchy. I don't eat the stuff, so... live & learn!) I also picked three roma tomatoes, but they were consumed before I could snap a photo.

Also, despite my concerns, one of the broccoli plants just started bearing its fruit:
Oh, and the pepper plants my dad gave us have been really busy!

Unfortunately, not everything has been growing so well. The pumpkins, zucchini, watermelons and gourds I planted in the middle of the lawn on the hill have not been doing much. All but the watermelons won their battle with the grass, and we've had several flowers, but no fruit so far. I think maybe they are not being pollinated & therefor are not producing? I'm not sure, but I am a bit disappointed.
Oh well... it was an experiment, after all. I really had no idea if they would even sprout up there.

The garden has finally begun to fill in. I do have some problems with weeds, and although I continue to try to control most of them, some areas are beyond control. I really need a good herbicide to get rid of them, but I'm not sure I'm willing to go there right now.
The okra is much taller and fuller than I expected.
And the corn is doing pretty well.

Inside, the oregano is struggling and the strawberries are brown.
But the basil is taking off! I hope to be able to make some pesto in another couple of weeks!
Happy gardening!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Here is our menu for this week, the last official week of our summer vacation.

Monday: *Brinner! (Eggs with sausage & toast)
Tuesday: Crazy Crust Pizza, salad (mostly from our garden)
Wednesday: BBQ Beef Pockets, corn on the cob (from our garden), salad
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Roast chicken (in the crock pot), carrots & green beans, mashed potatoes
Saturday: Homemade chicken soup, grilled cheese sandwiches
Sunday: Leftovers

*Brinner: BReakfast + diNNER+ BRINNER! (We love to eat breakfast for dinner, but Hubby does not, so we usually have this on Mondays when he's playing tennis after work.)

Yogurt with granola, pancakes, fruit

PB&J wraps, leftovers, crackers, fruit, whatever else I can dig up

We went grocery shopping this morning instead of yesterday. I just couldn't get the planning & clipping done before today.

I spent a lovely bit of time yesterday with this:
I ended up with quite a haul of coupons!
I LOVE to clip coupons. I clipped about $11.00 worth from the paper and printed another $4.00 from various websites yesterday. I know it's fully legit, but I always feel like I'm cheating the system a bit... and saving money at the same time!

For more Menu's, visit the Happy Housewife.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


It occurred to me that lately all my posts have been about the boys, our family & what we've been doing together. I can't remember the last time I wrote a post that focused completely on what I've been doing... about what I've been creating.

Because one of the most remarkable things about staying at home with the boys this summer has been all the creating I've been able to do.
I've still had to wedge my creative time in between changing diapers, cooking meals, doing chores and doing the occasional piece of paperwork, but I've still been able to fit it in, much more so than during last school year.

(I think it also helps that Riley is old enough to go & play by himself or with Ty, and no longer believes it is my duty as his mother to carry him around on my hip every moment of the day....
not that I minded having him attached to me like a little baby monkey, but let's face it: some things are easier to accomplish without the extra load!)

So, I have been creating. This week, Ty & I created some yummy peanut butter chocolate chip cookies:

And I hauled out the sewing machine last weekend after a MAJOR trip to the fabric store. I'm not quite ready to share the products of this endeavor yet, but soon. Very soon. I'm hoping to channel my Granny this week & get it all finished up.

And I have definitely been busily creating with my knitting needles. I have three WIP's (Works in Progress for you non-knitters). The first is a baby blanket for my little niece (who should arrive sometime in early December.) I worked on it after my tennis lesson, while watching Ty have his tennis lesson, on Saturday.

I'm also continuing to work on the hexagon blanket for Riley. I'm planning to give it to him for Christmas. I've completed and blocked ten hexagons, and have ten more ready to be blocked. This puts me at the half-way point. I'm thinking it's time to start stitching them together. It's in this bag, which is currently hanging on my bedroom door because I knitted while watching SNL last night.

The third project I've got going is a set of dishcloths for the new trailer. I know I could go out & buy some for cheap, and with much less trouble, but here's the thing: 1) I've got all this Sugar N Cream sitting in the stash & I need to use it for something; 2) I'm enjoying some new stitches. I'm working all of these in stitch patterns from my Big Book of Knitting Stitch Patterns, and it's nice because it's no big deal if I mess something up; and 3) I really like using knit dishcloths. They hold up really well, are super-absorbent, and the textures are great for scrubbing stubborn stuff off our counters & dishes.
So there you have it. Lots of creating going on around these parts. And hopefully some FO's (Finished Objects) soon!