yarn along

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Brandon and I went away this weekend (with Wren tagging along, too) to a cabin in Banner Elk, NC to celebrate our 13th anniversary.  (If you follow me on instagram you saw plenty of photos from our time).  I finished the sock project I had on my needles so those could be gifted, and I am nearing the finish on the Minaret top I’ve been working on.  I had pulled together yarn mostly from my stash to knit a soldotna and have been forcing myself to wait to cast on until these projects were off my needles, but it felt like the right time to cast on for something new and fun this weekend.  So, I cast on the soldotna and it is as fun and addicting as everyone says, I can hardly put it down.  I will say that after spending a lot of time working with cotton the past few weeks, it feels so good to have wool back in hand.

I’m still reading (affiliate link) Marilla of Green Gables, enjoying it and just wishing for more reading time!

Joining Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.

 

Schiele Museum of Natural History

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Recently, a good friend and I did a day trip to the Schiele Museum and Planetarium in Gastonia, NC, which is a couple hours drive from us.  It was a field trip I had been looking forward to all school year.  For our science work, we have been focusing on earth science, rocks + fossils, dinosaurs, and outer space.  I visited this museum as a college student either for an ecology class or field natural history, and it left an impression on me!  I thought it would be so neat to share this with the kids, to let them see the constellations in such a neat way in the planetarium, the life size dinosaurs, and all the other exhibits.  Of course, the kids thought it was a blast to skip our regular school day and do a day trip.  They absolutely loved it, especially because we shared the experience with friends we love.  My only regret was that it felt pretty rushed and the kids were flying through and not taking much time to read and learn as they went, more so just taking it all in.  We can always make another trip!

The outdoor exhibits weren’t open but we had fun running through the woods and exploring it all, reading the placards when we could.  It would definitely be neat to go back when these outdoor exhibits are open!  Wren eventually lost steam and by the time we were due for the planetarium show at 12pm, she was pretty much done.  Needless to say,  I stepped out with the screaming baby while the others enjoyed the show.  We ate a picnic lunch that was hurried/interrupted by the rain and then we scooted off to nearby Ikea.  It was a bit of a feat taking 8 children into Ikea between my friend and I, and we were hurrying because it was a Friday and we wanted to do our best to avoid weekend traffic in the rain.  We ended up taking longer than expected, and the bed frame I was looking for for Philippa was out of stock 😦 but I would say it was still a success and really, really fun.  We returned home tired but also energized.  It was a fun way to culminate our science work for the year and a reminder of some of the best parts of homeschooling–experiential, hands-on learning together as a family + with friends.

yarn along

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There’s something about spring and fall that makes me crave rewatching the Anne of Green Gables series (the old version with Megan Follows).  I saw Marilla of Green Gables at the library yesterday and picked it up.  I’ve been needing some fiction lately, and I began it last night.  Here’s to hoping its a happy diversion.  I do plan to slowly re-watch the Anne movies, too.  It’s funny how my perspective has changed since becoming a mother/getting older as I watch these movies, how as a young girl I identified more with Anne and now I think more of what it must have been like to be Marilla.

I’m still making slow progress on the Minaret top but I needed some plain stockinette (the twisted rib using cotton has definitely taken a toll on my wrists) the past few days so I picked up my Felix pullover and started the first sleeve.  Clearly I won’t get much wear out of this sweater until the fall but it will be nice to finish it and tuck it away all ready for the cooler weather.

Joining Nicole’s Crafting On.

yarn along

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The past week or so I’ve been working as much as possible on this test knit.  It’s a summery top called the Minaret Crop which I plan to wear over dresses and such as a light and colorful layer.  Admittedly, it’s been a bit difficult at times working with the yarn, beautiful though it is.  It’s mostly cotton (75% cotton, 25% wool) and it does make me realize what an amazing fiber wool is with it’s squishy stretchiness.  Cotton is much harder on my hands.  Also, this yarn is lace weight while the pattern called for fingering weight, so my knitting progress has been a bit slower than I expected.  I hope to finish it up soon and be able to wear it before it gets too crazy hot here in North Carolina.

I’m still reading along in Mystics and Misfits, and the children and I are reading Moominland Midwinter (well, we started it a bit ago but I’m not sure if they’re into it now that we are out of the snowy cold weather) as well as The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  Last week we still had some really cold days, but this last weekend we spent at the beach with Brandon’s parents and the last couple of days here have been quite hot.  This warm weather makes me think about hot afternoons lounging around on the couch together reading and reading.  I’m looking forward to wrapping up another school year (by God’s grace!) and having a summer break filled with gardening, hiking, camping, outdoor adventures, and lots of read-alouds.  I’m already making a mental list of books I hope to get to.  Do share any you recommend!

Joining this week with Nicole’s Crafting On and Ginny’s Yarn Along.
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eastertide

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If there’s anything Easter teaches us, it’s this: there can be sorrow and still there can be joy.  There can be life borne from death.  What a victory!  In fact, the greatest joy I have tasted came out of death.  First, His death.  Then the resurrection.  If there’s anything Easter teaches us, it’s that we can be adrift on the waves of pain and loss while also rejoicing in that unshakeable Hope.  There is a future coming for us that will far surpass our imagination.  Indeed, there is a weight of glory.  I was struck by these words on Easter:

“It still feels like Saturday to me – the loss of a best friend’s youngest son this year, Rachel still in a coma, the Sri Lankan bombings this morning, other sadnesses of this year, and the weight of the world’s longing still feels as present in our sanctuaries as the fulfillment of those longings. Maybe even more so. I’ve cried off and on all morning, unable to rouse my usual celebrations or rituals… As we sang a hymn together at the end, I was struck by the line, ‘Break the bread of new creation where the world is still in pain.’ In the brooding longings of our Saturday world, we feed each other, we pray, we remind each other of all that is beautiful, true, and good; we feast, we ‘drink the wine of resurrection, not as a servant but a friend.’ Perhaps that is what Easter can be today for us, too – bread and wine, hope and each other, even when the world is still in pain.” (Sarah Bessey)

There were bombings in Sri Lanka and the loud headlines.  There was my own broken heart.  There was the unexpectedly cold Easter weather, the children with coughs and runny noses.  There was a broken family held together and holding together in the midst of it by this Savior who takes the failures and the doubters, the deniers and the deserters, and restores them.  Resurrects them.  Sometimes I can hardly believe its true.

This Easter we surprised the children with little Easter baskets in the morning with a new naturally-dyed hair bow for each of the girls, a new hat for Noah, a small simple journal and some new coloring supplies for each.  We worshiped together with our church family, came home for a very cold Easter egg hunt, naps, and then dinner and another Easter egg hunt at my parents house nearby with my brother and his family.  I hope I didn’t bore you with my millions of photos of a bonneted baby looking a bit like mother hubbard shuffling around in her linen dress.  Every first is so fun with a baby.

I hope it was a blessed Easter for you, and that you were able to catch a glimpse of the Risen one and the glory once again that awaits us, too.

yarn along

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Despite taking a bit of a break from blogging, I have been knitting away as usual.  I have finished a couple of shawls and socks since I last posted.  This week I cast on a pair of socks for a loved one and I have had a hard time putting them down.  The colorway is so spring-y and sock knitting is just so meditative and peaceful.  This is my first time knitting the blueberry waffle sock pattern, a free ravelry pattern that every knitter has probably knit, and I feel like it works so well with the yarn.  I’m really loving it and probably will be making a pair for myself soon!

I’ve also been reading (affiliate link) Mystics and Misfits: Meeting God Through St. Francis and Other Unlikely Saints by Christiana Peterson.  This was gifted to me by my sister-in-law over Christmas.  It’s a memoir about the author’s journey with her family moving to an intentional Christian farm community, finding help and focus through the perspective of the saints.  She shares how her perspective on simplicity, hospitality, contemplation, church, and death were challenged and re-formed.  I’m about 10 chapters in and enjoying it so far.

Joining with Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.

hello, again

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hello, dear old friends. 🙂

I’m so sorry for my unannounced absence in this space.  I haven’t posted in a bit over a month, the longest this blog has ever been silent I do believe.  As I shared on my instagram account, there have been some personal things going on that have been difficult and discouraging, and I haven’t felt much like myself.

I also wanted to step away from social media for a few weeks, at least the producing of content side of it, and see what it did for my soul.  I guess I’ve needed to sift why I keep this blog, what my hopes and intentions are.  As a busy mother, it is hard to justify what feels like the extravagant wastefulness of keeping a blog, knitting, reading, editing pictures, etc. etc.  I often hear from other mother friends “I don’t know how you have time to x y z..” and maybe in part because of the other personal hardships we’ve been facing these last number of weeks, I wasn’t sure that I did in fact have time for it.  My home is seemingly always in varying states of disarray, there’s always work I must neglect in order to pursue creative endeavors.  I often feel guilty because of that.  I wondered if I’ve said everything I’ve needed to say, if I’ve begun to just take the same photos again and again.

Anyway, I can’t go into it all now because I only have a few minutes to write here today.  What I can say is that I thought it would be harder to go without sharing and posting much.  It wasn’t actually very hard at all.  In fact, it felt surprisingly good to be silent and private.  What I didn’t anticipate was how much I would miss taking photos and keeping a record of our daily moments.  I did keep up with taking pictures here and there, but I was mostly just still and quiet.  It made me sad, and that surprised me.  Keeping the blog somehow helps me stay present and awake to my own life.  It helps me pay attention and keep a record.  It brings focus and a bit of purpose.  It forces me to process, in a way.  I don’t know all of the reasons why I feel compelled to keep on, and I don’t know that I will forever, but for now, I’m back and it feels good.

I’ve missed you, too, reader, and hope you know that I do so enjoy connecting with you and hearing from you.

So while my soul was feeling the very heavy weight of grieving some losses, winter gave way to spring in our little part of the world.  I noticed it more intently this year than I have ever before in my life.  Every day I have walked around our home, looking for the bulbs we planted last fall to sprout and bloom.  They have!  I can’t quite express the ministry it is to the soul to watch green things come out of the ground, but I know many of you know just what I mean.  I’ve also planted new things in the soil.  During the last few weeks I’ve had some time convalescing and haven’t been able to do my usual physical labor, so Brandon faithfully prepped the garden soil, tilling in our compost from the last year, while I sat near him knitting in the sun.  We’re making better walkways between rows this year in a hope to minimize weeding.  We’ve planted strawberry plants and more asparagus, even as daily there are shoots of asparagus popping up from what we planted last year.  We’ve planted lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, edible flowers, beets and sunflowers all from seed and are hopeful that we will see them sprouting soon.  It has been so lovely spending time each day out in the sunshine, enjoying the cool mornings and warm afternoons before it is unbearably hot and buggy.

The kids and I are all feeling the itch to wrap up our school year.  Our homeschool co-op finished up this week, and we have about 5 weeks of curriculum to finish up before we break for summer.  We’ve done some fun simple field trips, like visiting the Biltmore House (local to us historic home) to see the horses and animals and gardens.  We have a field trip to a museum later this week and hopefully a couple little getaways are in our near future as well.

I hope that spring has come your way, too, and that you are experiencing the ministry of new green things, sunshine, honeysuckle and lilac on the breeze, buzzing bees.  Sending much love to you today. ❤