sweaters and sunny days

DSC_0002DSC_0004DSC_0006DSC_0010DSC_0012DSC_0015DSC_0016DSC_0017DSC_0019 (1)DSC_0022DSC_0041DSC_0044DSC_0086DSC_0087DSC_0089DSC_0091DSC_0092DSC_0093DSC_0094DSC_0096DSC_0098DSC_0104DSC_0108DSC_0110DSC_0114DSC_0116DSC_0119DSC_0120DSC_0003 (1)

We recently had a string of sunny, incredibly warm and spring-like days.  It was in the 60s and 70s and everyone in our home wanted their skin in the glorious rich sun.  So we spent as much time as we could outside, playing, picnicking in the yard, trying to soak it up.  I love winter so much and I don’t mind the cold and gray days, but it was a gift to have a short reprieve and remember what is soon coming.  The air held that smell of warming soil and all of us began to think about planting and growing things again.  Buds are forming on the trees and some of the bulbs we planted in the fall are beginning to send up shoots.

Phoebe set to work on planting a little “garden” in a corner of the mulch of their play gym.  She transplanted various weeds and onion grass from the yard and I even overheard her singing to her little plants.  I kept walking through our little garden plot, thinking and planning.  I’m excited for those planting days that will soon be upon us, but I know how much work it adds to our plate as well.  Also, I’m just not quite done with winter yet.  I’m still hoping for a few more snows!

I finished up Phoebe’s flax sweater (with a good few modifications).  Despite my best efforts to modify the neckline and ripping it out a couple of times, it still turned out quite large.  She doesn’t mind it but I wish it wasn’t quite so boat necked.  I shaped the arms a bit more drastically than the pattern called for and also cropped the sweater.  She has been wearing it constantly in rotation with her other hand knits, and I so love that about Phoebe.  She is always so grateful for anything I make for her.  The yarn is some rustic farm yarn from our recent visit to a local sheep farm called Bovidae Farms.  The yarn is dry and toothy and very lanolin-rich.  I loved knitting with it, it’s incredibly warm and every time she wears it she smells like a little lamb.  She’s also been wearing the sweater inside out and it looks just a good worn on the wrong side!  I hadn’t blocked it before taking these pictures of her wearing it and it looks a bit better after blocking, of course.

It has been back to feeling like winter again, as it should for just a bit longer.  We have days of rain ahead of us in the forecast so we are missing that warm sun but we know it’ll be back soon.  In the meantime, we’re happy to have woolen sweaters to snuggle up in.

yarn along

DSC_0003

A couple of years ago when the Syrian refugee crisis was the prevailing news story, I had talked with some friends about wanting to knit items to send over to those displaced.  I am so happy to hear about an organization collecting such donations and a group of knitters participating in the “Keep Syria Warm” knit-a-long, so I jumped on board immediately.  We are knitting this classic kerchief pattern by Fox and Folk, which she offered for free to those participating in the KAL.  It’s a sweet pattern that I had been interested in knitting anyway.  I am hoping to make a few of these to send off by the end of February, and it is a quiet delight to be able to do something with my hands, small though it may be, to send over to keep someone in Syria warm during the coldest months of winter.  I pray it is a blessing and a tangible reminder to whomever receives it that they are seen and cared for.

Still reading Sylvia’s Farm.

Wishing you a happy Tuesday!  It’s a dreary, rainy one here but we are attempting to make the best of it.

Joining with Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.

L O S T

18 years today since we walked out into the snowy wilderness, not knowing within hours we’d be fighting for our very lives. Every year we remember and are stunned at the work and many miracles God did to keep us alive that Feb 11, 2001.  The second part of this blog post can be found here.

everything He gives

2008-0210-5430

February 11, 2001.

It looked much like this when we set out that day.  The wind was raging wild gusts, threatening to just pluck us off the ridge and send us into oblivion.  That’s what drove our decision to hike up the peak behind the bowl, the peak in the background that you see pictured here.

The further we hiked on our usual route around the Loveland Pass bowl on the Continental Divide in Colorado, the more tracked out and ice-crusted we realized it was, so we headed to the peak behind the bowl.  It looked fresh and promising and untouched.  We wanted a hard workout and we wanted a sweet ride back on our snowboards.

That decision, that little decision could have ended our lives that day.  I was sixteen, my sister, Jennie, was twenty.

We rode down that peak after climbing as close to the summit as…

View original post 777 more words

yarn along

DSC_0123 (1)

Today’s post probably looks just like last week’s (except for the leftover birthday jelly beans on the table), but I have made some progress.  I’m nearing the end of the garter triangle section of my cosmic remix shawl.  It has been so relaxing to knit on this project which has just been rows of garter thus far, and also with this yarn which is unbelievably soft.  I am close to beginning the lace border which I’m sure will be more involved and thus will go a bit slower.

I’m maybe about half way through Sylvia’s Farm (affiliate link) and just so enjoying the short farm stories and reflections as well as her writing style.

Joining with Nicole’s weekly Crafting On and Ginny’s Yarn Along.

 

happy birthday to daddy

DSC_0025DSC_0030DSC_0033DSC_0036DSC_0037DSC_0038DSC_0052DSC_0053DSC_0050DSC_0055DSC_0059DSC_0131DSC_0132DSC_0134DSC_0138DSC_0006DSC_0061DSC_0062DSC_0067DSC_0071DSC_0084

His birthday always comes quietly amongst all the hubbub of the Super Bowl.  Not that we are sports people (we’re not) and we don’t watch a single other game all year long (unless olympics are on or occasionally the world cup), but he likes to watch the Super Bowl.  We went to church as usual on Sunday, and I encouraged him to go do something fun that afternoon — go fly fishing, mountain biking, running, or whatever would be refreshing to him.  He decided to take the older two kids mountain biking, while I stayed home so the younger two girls could nap.  It ended up being perfect as he ran into a few friends on the trail, including phoebe’s best friend, which made her day.  She also got to pet a horse that was at the trail head too.  They came home just before dinner and I forgot to snap a photo of them.

I made his favorite dessert, cherry pie (using this crust recipe and the filling recipe from this one) with homemade ice cream, and his favorite food ever, pizza + caesar salad for dinner.  I always use this recipe for our favorite pizza crust and topped this one with spinach, pepperoni, and local grass-fed chorizo and it was amazing.  We watched the game while eating dinner and intermittently taking care of kids, singing happy birthday + blowing out candles before wren went to bed, and opening his gifts.  I got him this book on fly fishing, always trying to stoke the flames of his passions for the sports he loves and has so little time for.  The children wrapped up paintings they had made for him, and their handmade cards were the highlight of the evening.  I also gave him money toward a tool he’s had his eye on.

I think it was simple and fun day, and we really enjoyed being home together.  It’s hitting me that he’s getting closer to turning 40 and that just seems so odd.  I still feel like we are in our 20s.  Maybe that never really changes.  We are really thankful for this guy who works very hard to take care of us and pour his love out on us.  He loves fiercely, steadily, and often quietly, and we love spoiling him when we can!

when it all sits a bit heavy

0

It’s the first of February, the last day of the work week.  I realize I haven’t put up a regular old blog post in a couple of weeks and wanted to say a few words here.  January was quiet and simple for us, with a lot of sickness and thus we hunkered down at home.  With February comes some relief and hope that we will be out and about as normal soon.

I haven’t been taking many photos at home with my camera as I usually do, maybe feeling a bit uninspired and blue.  I’m sure it has to do with being sick and feeling incredibly worn out.  It’s taken every bit of energy just to keep school going for the children while I’ve been sick and wanting just to lie down in bed.  I’ve also been deeply saddened by things happening in the world around me that make me feel quite helpless: for one, the passing of the legislature in NY last week for full-term abortions and even post-delivery “abortions”, which hit me like a punch to the stomach.  I have felt nauseous over it whenever it comes to mind.  I honestly have no words to say other than I’m deeply grieved and I’m praying about ways to take action.

A newborn baby I was praying for passed away last week.  A woman battling cancer dances weary at the possible end of her fight and I can’t sleep, up praying for her, a woman I’ve never met but yet feel so burdened to pray for.

Also, those in the knitting community are well aware of the deeply divisive conversation/debate that has been happening regarding racism.  Though I am not anyone with a voice in the knitting industry, I’ve been reading along, at times very angry, other times anxious and always quite sad.  I have been surprised at how much it has affected me.  I think we can do better than this as a community, we can show more grace, understanding, and kindness.  Then I look around at my own children who squabble and hurt one another often throughout the day, and I understand.  If we can hardly get along with those we love the most, our very own flesh and blood, how much harder is it to get along with those who seem so different from us? How much harder to be kind to those whose beliefs we disagree with?  I find myself constantly instructing my children throughout the day to love one another, “be kind, be kind be kind,” to esteem one another more highly than the object their fighting over.  I weary from repeating it, yet the reminder is always needed.  Left to ourselves, this is humanity.  Even tightly-knit families have rifts and disagreements.  Maybe especially tightly-knit families.  We need to remember that peace with one another is to be treasured above being right, and is a goal worth sacrificing our own thrones and soapboxes for.  Does that mean we sacrifice truth and the fight for what is right and just?  Absolutely not.  But I do think we can stand for what we believe in and for a better world/more equality while treating our fellow man with dignity and respect, and not adding injury to insult.

Sometimes the brokenness of the world sits on us like lead.  It sits so heavy.  At times if I’m honest, I want to shield myself from all the hurt and ugliness, maybe even from my own complicity.  My hands are full of dishes, wiping snotty noses, throwing in the next load of laundry, pulling together the next meal, nursing the baby, teaching the next school lesson.  I am hidden away in my home raising little people — what can I possibly do?  I am reminded: I can pray.  We can pray — with the confidence that our prayers mixed with faith are able to move mountains.  Things that seems impossible, fixed, overwhelming, insurmountable — God is able to level them.  Conversely, when we feel like the very ground beneath our feet is shifting and the world around us rages, we can turn to God, our refuge + strength, a very present help in trouble who tells us not to fear even when the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the sea (Ps. 46).  He makes wars cease, He breaks the bow, shatters the spear and burns the war chariots with fire (Ps. 46:9).  We are destined for a kingdom where peace will reign.

And then the familiar and eternally comforting words of Romans 8:

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.  For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.  For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.  For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.  And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.  For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.  And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:18-27)

He is interceding for us continually, He is working while we sleep, working in spite of and even though our weakness.  Let us take heart and trust Him to move the mountains while we sow the small seeds of hope and faith in prayer.  And if we have opportunity to take great steps, then by all means, let us take them!

How has January been for you?  Whoever you are reading along here today, I hope you know you are welcomed in this space.  Thank you for reading my rambling thoughts, however imperfect they may be.

xo

yarn along

dsc_0115

I started over on my cosmic shawl using some beautifully soft superfine merino + alpaca blend yarn that my dad bought for me a few months ago.  I just wasn’t happy with the way the wensleydale was looking in the garter stitch and it’s too special of a yarn to not love the end product.  I will set it (the yarn) aside until I find the right project for it.  In the meantime I’m loving the way this gray yarn is knitting up and I think I prefer this shawl as a neutral anyway.  I have quite a few small projects on the go (a sweater for phoebe, a sweater + hat for wren, socks for me, etc.) and I keep rotating between them all.  I need to just hunker down on each one until it’s done so that I don’t feel quite so scattered.

I’m reading Sylvia’s Farm: The Journey of an Improbable Shepherd (affiliate link) which I originally heard about through Ginny’s beautiful blog some years ago.  I’m thankful for a lot of reading inspiration via her blog.  The chapters are short, winsome, and engaging.  Its been so enjoyable to read in the evenings before falling asleep.

We are supposed to get some ice and snow potentially today.  I hope if you’re getting some wintry weather where you are that you are staying safe and warm and enjoying the coziness!

Linking up today with Nicole’s Crafting On.