yarn along

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My summer is proving to be busier than expected, how about you?  I am still working away on both of these from last week and enjoying them so, so much.  I’m knitting an Ara shawl with the called-for yarn, Even Tinier Annapurna in color way Red Pear.  It is so very soft and dainty, beautiful to work with.  I’m also highly enjoying reading Mother Culture.  The chapters are short and topical so you can pick up and read wherever you want in the book, though I am reading it chronologically.  It is full of beauty, inspiration, and encouragement!

What are you reading or making lately?

Joining with Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.

California (pt 2): to the Golden Gate and beyond

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Most of the week we spent nearby the house where we were staying (my aunt and uncle’s beautiful home).  We would head out for walks and short adventures in the mornings, then spend the rest of the day by the pool.  Meanwhile I had been hoping to get to explore a bit more, driving on Rte 1, seeing the Golden Gate Bridge, and visiting the nearby yarn store A Verb For Keeping Warm.  Brandon and my dad worked some extra evening hours so that we could spend Friday out on those adventures before we flew out Saturday morning.

No trip would be complete without a forced “down day,” and Thursday was that day for us.  Phoebe and Noah both woke up with high fevers.  For the first time ever, neither of them got out of bed for an entire day.  They slept and laid in their sleeping bags listening to audio books, managing to listen to 1 1/2 books from the Narnia series.  They must have felt super awful and neither of them really ate.  Noah’s fever broke Thursday evening, Phoebe’s lasted until Friday morning.  Thankfully they were well enough for us to do our day of adventuring.  We drove again to Half Moon Bay to hit Rte. 1, then drove to the Golden Gate Bridge, marveling all along the way at the beautiful weather and beaches.  Driving across the bridge was unforgettable and we all thoroughly enjoyed taking it in.  Then we drove to Muir Woods, but hadn’t reserved parking ahead of time so we had a picnic lunch and then just hiked around above Muir Woods area.  It was still so beautiful, and the trail was covered in huge bushes of wild dill and eucalyptus!  Wren slept during the hike.

Then back in the car to drive through Sausalito to Oakland, CA where the yarn store was.  Brandon happened to find a parking spot right in front of the store, so Phoebe and I hopped out to explore.  I had some birthday spending money and was able to splurge on some really nice yarn.  I cannot wait to knit with it but I’m also hoarding it a bit because it is so, so lovely.  Experiencing AVFKW was well-worth the drive.  As I said in my last yarn along post, it was full of inspiration and beauty, the staff were very helpful and welcoming.  I could have spent an hour or two in there, but because everyone was waiting in the car I went through it as quickly as I could.  Then we drove back to the house for our last evening there.

Seeing the sights and sharing the west coast with our children was a big highlight, but spending time with my California family was also a real treat.  We don’t get to see each other very often and it was good to catch up and reconnect.  The children absolutely loved being doted on by their great auntie and great uncle.  We felt very spoiled to have had such a fun week together in all that west coast beauty.  ❤  Now, back to ordinary life here in the Appalachians! 🙂

yarn along

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I began reading Mother Culture a few days ago and have so been enjoying reading a chapter or so before bed.  It is a grounding, inspiring, peaceful read and I resonate with the concept of “mother culture,” which is essentially that we as mothers need to continue to practice what we preach to our children.  We need to care for ourselves and “fill the well,” so to speak, in order to both model a life that values creativity, continued learning and curiosity, and also to pursue those values for our own sanity and wholeheartedness.  It is part of how we teach our children to value self-care.  It is always so important to me to refresh my perspective on homeschooling especially as we close up a year, because I often feel burned out and weary, and a little lost sometimes.  This book is helping so much to do that, and I’m grateful.

You know, it’s a funny thing.  On our recent trip to California we had two flights home, a longer 5 hr flight and then a short hour or so flight from Washington, D.C. area into the Asheville, NC airport.  I was marveling to Brandon about observing people on flights, how many people get into a conversation with someone seated nearby them and by the end of the flight you can tell they have made a connection, you hear them exchanging phone numbers and contact information.  It really is a crazy thing, how much we do all have in common with one another.  If we spend just a few minutes talking, we can often find a point of connection.  Yet for me on our flights I was more concerned with keeping the children entertained and quiet and I wasn’t really interested in chatting with anyone (introvert).  But on our last flight, the short little hour one, I was seated next to another momma with a baby just about Wren’s age.  I asked her if this was her first child and she said, “No, actually, she’s my eighth.”  Thus began a super fun conversation in which a stranger became a friend. 🙂  Come to find out, she’s a homeschooling momma as well, a Charlotte Mason/Amblesider, a knitter who also loves Ginny’s blog, among other things.  (I don’t think I’ve ever met a person in real life who reads Ginny’s blog!)  Anyway, we don’t live too terribly far apart, we exchanged phone numbers and have chatted back and forth since being home, and I do hope we are able to meet up sometime.  Isn’t it a small world?  (We actually talked a bit about Mother Culture, so that’s what made me think of this little story.)

While in California I was able to squeeze in a trip to A Verb for Keeping Warm.  It was so wonderful to be there, it is maybe the most beautiful yarn store I’ve ever been in.  Absolutely full of creative inspiration.  I could have spent a few hours in there soaking it all in, however Brandon and the children were waiting in the car outside the door so I had to rein myself in.  I did purchase a skein of their Even Tinier Annapurna in the color way Red Pear to make an Ara Shawl, which I’ve had the pattern for since it came out.  Isn’t it the prettiest rusty red color?  The yarn feels differently than anything I’ve knit with before, and I’m really enjoying it.  This will be a gift for a loved one, but I’m sure I will knit this pattern again for myself at some point.  I have another shawl (or two) on the needles that I need to finish but I couldn’t resist casting this on yesterday.  It is bringing back happy memories of our time away!

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

 

California (pt 1): farmer’s market + half moon bay

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We had an unforgettable, extravagant week last week, quite out of our usual ordinary if you couldn’t tell from the photos!  Brandon and my dad were doing some remodeling work for the week at my Aunt and Uncle’s house in the Bay area in California.  My parents generously offered for us to all come along, and we couldn’t pass it up!  It was quite an adventure for us and required a good bit of planning on my part to be sure Phoebe would have what she needed (food-wise) for the long day of travel and the time away.  Being that we don’t usually do this sort of thing, I was a bit overwhelmed but it was such a good experience.  I’m hopeful that it communicated to Phoebe that she doesn’t have to be limited by her (celiac) disease.

It was so much fun and such an incredible treat for all of us!  To see the children experience the thrill of taking off and landing on an airplane alone was neat.

We flew out the day after my birthday, and on my birthday Philippa suddenly had a high-ish fever, so on top of last minute packing and prep I had to squeeze her in to the doctor to make sure it wasn’t something that would inhibit travel.  Thankfully, she woke up fever-free the next day.

The first day there was a Sunday (Father’s Day), and the only day we had planned to take off together (with my parents, too) to do some sight-seeing.  First we went to the local farmer’s market to get our fruits and veggies for the week.  So fun to explore a local farmer’s market any old place, but especially in California!  Afterwards, we drove to Half Moon Bay and happened to see horses along the way and then again on the beach.  Phoebe was in heaven and also very jealous that she wasn’t on horseback herself.  The beach was windy and cool, but very pleasant.  We walked around a bit, had a bite of sushi for lunch while watching a couple of seals in the marina.  Everyone felt a little groggy and off due to the time change, but they all did remarkably well!  I was blown away by the wild eucalyptus and massive nasturtium all along the roadside, as well as the beautiful garden at my aunt and uncle’s home, complete with avocado, lemon and fig trees!  It’s so incredible to explore a different part of the country.

yarn along

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Hello friends!

We were away last week to sunny California and I’ll share more about it soon, but for now, our regularly scheduled program of yarny things.

I barely did more than a few hours of knitting in the past week which is understandable because we were busy enjoying family and exploring in CA but also unfortunate because I’m working on a test knit that I do hope to have finished by the deadline in July.  I’m cruising along on it now and it feels good to see some progress.  So, I’m working on a test knit for Norah of FoxandFolk on instagram.  It is an absolutely darling button up cardigan with a peplum waist for Phoebe.  I tried it on her for fit yesterday and it is just going to be so, so sweet on her.  I really love knitting with Berrocco Ultra Alpaca, a yarn blend that is 50% wool + 50% alpaca.  It is so buttery soft, and having knit a few children’s sweaters and hats with it before, I have realized it is their favorite wool to wear because of its softness.  Noah’s last birthday sweater was knit with it and he wears it almost daily when he’s cold.  Anyway, gray may be a boring color but it will be so wearable for Phoebe!  And I’m realizing I need a gray cardigan for my wardrobe soon, too! 🙂

I also didn’t do much reading on the trip, but I am still slowly working through (affiliate link) The Artist’s Way, and hoping to make more progress in it soon.

What are you making or reading lately?

Joining Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.

a summer rhythm

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We have finished up another year of school and it feels so good to do so!  Last week was our first full week off.  I found myself both happy with the wide open free schedule and also feeling a bit odd/paralyzed without our usual rhythms to ground the day.  I mean, there are some structures that remain in place, of course, like quiet times after lunch, morning and evening devotional time and such.  Last summer I remember hoping to do a lot of reading and hiking in the summer, yet finding that it got sort of choked out as we weren’t super intentional about it.  So I came up with a little loose and easy summer plan, because that’s about all I can handle.  Something very simple, flexible, and attainable, with the goal of providing space and motivation to do those summer things we don’t want to miss out on.  (If you follow me on instagram you’ve seen me sharing a snippet of our daily rhythm in my stories for the last week.)

It all just sort of came to me the other day, so I wrote down the few major things I want to accomplish each week with the kiddos, the things I hope to emphasize this summer.  I’m trying it out and the children are loving it so far.  The part of me that likes to just have the freedom to do whatever we feel like each day is revolting just a tiny bit, but at the same time, I know we can toss the schedule out of the window when we need to.  (Like this week, when we are busy prepping and packing for a sort of big trip coming up this weekend.)

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to share my little idea/venture here with you in case anyone else would be helped by it, or spurred on to try your own little summer rhythm.  On weekday mornings we have been having “morning time” after breakfast, where we do some bible reading, singing, and catechism questions.  I’ve put together little simple binders for each of the children to compile the hymns we are learning (one a month), and anything else we are memorizing or using during this time.  After morning time is over, we are implementing our “morning focus,” each day centered around one theme.  After lunch it is quiet time for the older kids and nap time for the younger two, and the rest of the afternoon is generally free play time, because I firmly believe children need hours of open play/free time daily without the management of their every minute by an adult.

Sunday: worship + rest

This is pretty self-explanatory, but this day is devoted to worshipping with our church family and spending the rest of the day resting.  Rest could look like getting outside for a hike, or it could look like being lazy at home.  Whatever is needed.  For me, it usually means leaving the laundry unfolded and trying to minimize my time in the kitchen, while giving myself permission to take extra time to knit, read, nap, or get outside.

Monday: tend to home

Mondays are days my mind is usually busy with catching up on housework, bills, and such, after taking a rest day on Sunday.  I’d like to pull the kids into helping more with house work/chores and help us all to remember that tending to our home helps to ground us and gives us a nice place to come home to after our fun outings.  Part of life is setting aside a little bit of time to care for what has been entrusted to us, and I think making this our morning goal on Monday helps me feel more free mentally to do other activities during the week.

Tuesday: read

During this time, we just loaf around and enjoy either independent reading time with some music playing, or I will read to the children.

Wednesday: create

Making time for art, hand crafts, baking — these are things that so easily get choked out of our week during the school year because schoolwork and household chores take longer than expected.  Setting aside a morning devoted to the theme of MAKING something together is really freeing for me, to feel like we have time and room to do so.  The kids absolutely love when I pull out paints, or invite them to bake cookies with me.  I plan to do a fun little “knitting class,” embroidery, writing haiku, or woodworking project with them, too.  (I have really enjoyed using this book as a help for seasonal craft ideas to do together that are simple, like leaf pressing, rolling candles, etc.)  Also, just letting them tell me how they’d like to be creative.  I think it’s important to stir up all of our creative juices over the summer!

Thursday: serve

During this day we look for ways to serve one another and hopefully also serve our neighbors or community in some way.  This one requires a bit more forethought and planning for me potentially, and pushes us all a bit out of our comfort zone.  Last week we took cookies to a neighbor, recently we did a neighborhood road clean-up, and we’ll see what other little ways we can find to serve those around us and reach outside of our home a bit.  Maybe we’ll deliver vegetables and flowers from our garden to neighbors, take a meal to someone in need, or offer to help a neighbor with a yard work project.

Friday: explore + play

I for sure want to make hiking, river splashing, or pool time a weekly event at minimum this summer, so this day is for those sorts of adventures.  Of course, if the weather is better for a hike on a day other than Friday we can just switch things around.

Saturday: connect

We often do house projects, yard work, grocery shopping and errands on Saturday, but I’m hoping we can remember that Saturdays are a really good day to connect all together since Daddy is home for the day usually.  So our aim is to do something that day to connect even in the midst of the work we also need to accomplish, whether its play a game together, picnic, walk, ride bikes, hike, visit the farmers market, etc.

So, we are trying it out and doing it without a lot of pressure or guilt.  I’m hoping it helps give us room to squeeze in all the fun things we want to do this summer.  It has been helpful so far!  Do share any fun ideas you may have or ways you’re trying to be intentional this summer to enjoy time together and make time for the things that matter to your family.  And if you’re thinking of trying out something similar, let me know how it goes!

yarn along

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This week I’ve made a bit of progress on my antarktis shawl, but have also been working on finishing up some sweaters that are really close to being done.  I’m wanting to clear the plate so to speak, and it feels so good to finish up some projects!

I started (affiliate link) The Artist’s Way, something I’ve wanted to read for years.  It is really resonating so far, and I think I will need to purchase a copy so I can mark it up and take my time through it.  If any of you have read it, let me know your thoughts!  Happy June, everyone.

Joining Ginny’s Yarn Along + Nicole’s Crafting On.