yarn along

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I’ve almost finished the baby blanket for Wren, but needed one more skein of yarn to finish the last couple lace repeats in the pattern. ¬†I’m adding length and width to the blanket to make it a more substantial baby blanket. ¬†I’m eager to finish it, block it, and wrap baby girl up in it! ¬†It’s been slower to knit on because I can only work on it when I have almost no distraction around, which is hard in these busy days.

I finished reading A Circle of Quiet (loved it) and was part way through At Home in the World by Tsh Oxenreider but just couldn’t really get into it for some reason. ¬†I am not feeling ready to be out and about yet so I haven’t made any trips to the library for more books. ¬†Last night I was scouring my shelves for something to read in the bath, and came back to Christie Purifoy’s Roots & Sky. ¬†I forgot how much I loved this book, but a few pages in and I am hooked again. ¬†It’s odd reading it again, almost two years exactly after my first reading, and seeing my notes and thoughts in the margins. ¬†I feel like I’ve changed tremendously in the last two years, and not necessarily for the better. ¬†I read this book before we had bought our home but were in the process of looking and dreaming, and it felt quite significant to read this book about journeying to find “home,” in the midst of that. ¬†Now I come to the book having lived in our first home almost exactly one year. ¬†The reflections I have now are so different as I read Christie’s words about her experience of longing for, looking for, and making home. ¬†I think I believed some of that ache for home would end once we had a place of our own, but I realize now that there will always be a sense of displacement and longing for something indefinable, for what I know to be that far country, that final Home. ¬†Anyway,¬†she is a phenomenal writer, and I definitely recommend this book.

Joining with Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.
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welcome, wren josephine

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Born March 3 at 8:55 am, 7 lb 11 oz 20 inches long.

wren: ¬†“little conqueror”

josephine: ¬†feminine form of ‘joseph,’ meaning “God will add, God will increase”

In the past few years, I’ve noticed myself paying more attention to the birds. ¬†In these last weeks of February, spring weather has broken in early and the early dark of morning has been filled with birdsong. ¬†Brandon and I rarely agree easily on baby names but when I mentioned “wren” to him, he loved it immediately. ¬†From that point on both of us kept finding ourselves drawn to it and calling her “wren” in our minds. ¬†It seemed fitting that this little baby girl was coming into the world in the spring season, the first of my babies not to be born mid-winter, just like the birds returning to the mountains in spring and filling our mornings with song. ¬†Reading in the psalms lately in the early mornings while I listen to this backdrop of birdsong, scriptures about singing His praise:

God has been teaching me and reminding me to spend time praising Him, to do it as easily and early as the birds do every day, to praise Him even when I don’t feel like it, especially then, because no matter what my circumstances are, He is worthy of praise! ¬†My prayer for our little girl is that her life would be a hymn of praise to Him.

Brandon and I were praying about having another child, and even while we were unsure if we should have any more, God surprised us with her life. ¬†We delighted in that He would add to us, and we pray that He would also “increase” in her life and through her.

“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. ¬†My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” ¬†Psalm 28:7

“Therefore let all the faithful pray to you while you may be found; surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them. ¬†You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance…Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!” ¬†Psalm 32:6-7, 11

Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him…Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy.” ¬†Psalm 33:1, 3

yarn along

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Spring must be here.  There are buds and blooms forming on the trees!

I’ve cast on a flax sweater for our baby girl (my due date is today!!) in the newborn size, though it doesn’t look very newborn-ish to me, and I can’t say for sure if she will need a wooly sweater with all this warm weather here lately. ¬†I’m about to bind of the bottom ribbing and start on sleeves. ¬†We’re all hoping she comes soon! ¬†For now, I’m trying to carry on with life as usual. ¬†Thankfully, three children keep my mind very preoccupied.

Phoebe and I started reading The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street last night for our next read-aloud.  Too soon to say if we like it or not, but she seems intrigued.

waiting

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It’s that time where I start to get texts and inquiries from people, where neighbors walk by and holler, “you still here?” and all those last minute projects feel so terribly crucial. ¬†Every day it seems I make a little bit of progress mentally in checking things off my list to be ready for baby. ¬†I’m just a few days away from my due date, but I’m feeling more peaceful about it all than I have with any of my other pregnancies. ¬†Thats a gift from the Lord! ¬†I had a ton of anxiety going into my birth with Philippa after such a traumatic delivery and recovery with Noah. ¬†Because her birth went so much better, I’m feeling more at peace with how this one will go. ¬†Of course, I say that and that could change as soon as labor actually begins! ¬†Pray for me and with me that I would remain at peace, fixed and focused, and full of joy. ¬†I’ve just been feeling more joy and excitement to meet this little one than anything else. ¬†I’m treasuring these last days with her moving around quietly inside, knowing I may never experience this again. ¬†And I’m enjoying good nights of solid rest, knowing those will evade me soon for some weeks.

I appreciate the little bursts of energy and motivation I have some days to get things accomplished that have been waiting for attention for months. ¬†Reorganizing the open shelving in our kitchen. ¬†Hanging new light fixtures as well as treasured photos that have been sitting in boxes since we moved in. ¬†Giving all the kids hair cuts on the porch, and wishing I could squeeze in one for myself. ¬†(I’m desperate enough to be tempted to cut my own.) ¬†I love seeing the little basinet in our bedroom when I glance down the hall, knowing it will have new life in it again soon. ¬†This new little person we don’t know yet, but soon won’t be able to imagine our lives without. ¬†The bursts of energy do help to get projects done, but usually they are followed by days of increased tiredness. ¬†It’s just the rhythm for now, and I’m being gentle with myself in it, for the most part.

Phoebe and I are still working diligently on school, but I can feel myself losing steam and motivation there. ¬†Brandon is starting to take her to her weekly co-op so I can stay home with the littles and the change of schedule is a little weird for us, but also really neat to have him more involved in her schooling. ¬†It’ll only be short-term as I recover from birth and keep the baby home for the first number of weeks. ¬†My parents treated us to a really fancy date the other night, maybe the nicest restaurant we’ve ever eaten at, and we talked so much about our kids and schooling. ¬†His thoughts and observations were really fun to hear and helpful to me, and made me feel like he’s getting a peek into my “work” that helps him understand a bit more of my world. ¬†I love that he’s interested and truly enjoys doing schooling with Phoebe when he gets the chance, and that he has ideas and excitement for our future in it with all the kids.

My parents also gifted us a new BOB stroller which is so generous and helpful, and when they were watching the kids during our date the other night, they all brainstormed name ideas and wrote them all over the box. ¬†Super cute, and I wanted to snap a picture of it so we don’t forget. ¬†We still haven’t 100% decided on a name, I have literally so many I love (few that Brandon approves of, though), and I think as usual we’ll just need to meet her and see what fits. ¬†But don’t give me suggestions!! ¬†We want to name this little one. ūüôā

This week has been up in the mid-seventies and sunny here in NC, and it feels so odd to me to be ready to welcome a baby in such weather! ¬†All my babies thus far have been born in the deep middle of winter. ¬†It’s fun and different this time. ¬†I have a feeling this little one wants a March birthday. ¬†I’ll keep you posted, but know that it may be quieter around the blog for a little bit!

yarn along

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This cozy little scene by my bed currently bringing me joy. ¬†So I’ve been knitting on a few different projects this week. ¬†It’s funny how a project can sit neglected for awhile and then suddenly you have the desire to pick it back up and finish it. ¬†That’s how it has been with my featherweight cardigan. ¬†I mentioned a few weeks ago that I thought I would run out of yarn for this project and I went ahead and ordered another skein but, of course, the dye lots are drastically different. ¬†As you can see above, the skeins I did have were already pretty different. ¬†I started alternating skeins just toward the bottom of the cardigan where it looks pretty stripey in the photo. ¬†I don’t really mind how it’s looking, but I don’t think I’ll keep alternating skeins on the sleeves so hopefully it turns out ok and not too odd looking. ¬†I’m almost done with the ribbing on the bottom, and then will move on to sleeves. ¬†I’m sort of hoping now to not need to use the extra skein I ordered and just make 3/4 sleeves with the two balls of yarn I have currently going, because the new skein is a much brighter purple. ¬†Maybe I’ll knit a little baby cardigan with the new skein of yarn? ¬†I’m sure I’ll find a use for it. ¬†ūüėČ

I finished Francine River’s new book and have been back to reading A Circle of Quiet in the evenings before bed. ¬†I’m really enjoying it. ¬†I so appreciate her thoughts on writing and creative work.

Linking up with Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.
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signs of life

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Last Friday as well as today we’ve gone for little hikes because both days have been unseasonably warm, sunny, and beautiful. ¬†Actually the last few days this week have been so spring-like and warm, it’s hard to believe it’s mid-February. ¬†Part of me is enjoying it, because who can resist being outside on days like this? ¬†Part of me is a bit sad.. it feels too early, and I still wanted a few more blustery winter days. ¬†Maybe we’ll still have some. ¬†I know everyone seems to love spring the most, and it is irresistible with its bright colors, blooms, sounds and abundance, but I still love dreary winter most of all. ¬†I guess I was assuming this baby would be born in the midst of cold days and nights and somehow it feels wrong for everything to be so warm already.

Anyway, the children are loving it and have been outside as much as they are able during the day. ¬†I’ve noticed the days slowly stretching longer and longer, and what a good effect it has on all of us to have a little more light to enjoy.

Last Friday we went for a short, easy hike at a place nearby called Jump Off Rock.  It was truly beautiful and a great picnic spot, so I was glad I had packed our lunch.  Afterwards the kids stretched out with bare toes in the sun and then climbed around the rocks, finding a little passageway/cave through them.

Our weeks have felt really busy lately, even though I can’t say we have a ton of “activities” going on, per say. ¬†Weekly OB and chiropractor appointments for me, as well as trying to get in our weekly grocery trips (I usually go to at least 3 different stores), homeschool co-op, library trips, other random errands, and school work/house work seem to fill up our days to the full. ¬†I’ve been nesting like crazy, too–working on finalizing things in Noah/baby’s room, like having Brandon make and hang those shelves for me (which I haven’t finished organizing quite yet), organizing boxes of stuff in the school room, etc. ¬†You know, the important things. ¬†Meanwhile, the car seat is still not installed in the car and I don’t have a hospital bag ready or anything like that. ¬†We are delivering at a different hospital than we have with all the other children, and we still haven’t done a hospital visit. ¬†I think we vaguely know where to go. ¬†I’m still trying to knit a few items before baby comes, too. ¬†I feel like my brain is all over the place and I only have 10 days left before due date. ¬†Nothing much is happening yet and I feel mostly normal, just increasingly tired and big. ¬†Something must have changed because now everywhere I go people look and smile and somehow know I’m due any day. ¬†Lots of “ready to pop” comments from strangers.

I am trying to get as much school work done with Phoebe as I can before baby comes and throws a wrench in things. ¬†I’m not sure exactly what we’ll be able to accomplish or how much time we’ll need to take off before I can get back in the rhythm with her, so I’m trying to diligently get in a good solid 4-5 days a week while I can. ¬†She and I seem to have hit a hard spot with math, which has historically been her favorite subject, but as it gets harder she has been “dreading” it, she tells me. ¬†We’ve started doing it first thing in the morning versus the copywork/language arts we normally focus on first thing, but it doesn’t seem to be making much difference. ¬†Maybe having Brandon teach her and fill in a bit while I’m recovering with new baby will be refreshing for all of us? ¬†Reading with her, history, science, art–these are all a breeze and enjoyable for both of us. ¬†Hoping she and I can still spend a good bit of time snuggled up reading while new little baby girl sleeps.

Today we went to a local historic home, the Carl Sandberg home, which we have really enjoyed visiting in the spring/summer months for picnics and to see new baby goats. ¬†With all the flu going around rampant in our area, I’ve been trying to avoid public places so our hikes and walks have been more in the woods and less at parks/playgrounds. ¬†Our hike today was just lovely, and I told the children to be looking for signs of new life. ¬†They saw a pilated woodpecker, new little buds forming, and heard lots of birds singing. ¬†The first set of twin kid goats are due in about a month, so we’ll be back soon to see and play with them. ¬†We’ve been seeing daffodils and crocuses pushing up through the soil on our neighborhood walks, too. ¬†Just before I snapped that picture of the three of them holding hands, Noah had asked Phoebe, who had come back to me to tell me something, to keep having a little conversation with him, and they ran off holding hands. ¬†A sweet little moment. ¬†They spend a lot of time together and there is always a lot of friction between them because of it, but they really adore each other too. ¬†Its always encouraging for me to see the good moments happen. ¬†Don’t worry, the hike ended with its fair share of whining and weariness, and we squeezed in a library visit afterwards, which was probably pushing it being everyone was already “starving.” ¬†But we survived and recovered this afternoon with naps + quiet time spent with fresh library books.

 

 

yarn along

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Its a cozy rainy day here in NC. ¬†Rose is sitting on the windowsill watching the rain drip from the eaves, Phoebe and I are having tea while she practices her cursive. ¬†Noah and Philippa are off playing cars in his room and we’ll probably be spending all day cozied up in here with books, warm mugs, maybe even a movie later on. ¬†I think nesting is in full swing for me, so I’m busy cleaning nooks and crannies that have been neglected for some time, and making unreasonable goals for what I want done before baby arrives.

I cast on a pair of newborn baby socks this past week, hoping that some hand knit socks will stay on better than the store bought newborn ones that always seem to slide right off. ¬†I’m knitting them with the same yarn I used recently to knit my own pair of socks. ¬†They are tiny and cute and the kiddos can’t believe we will have a baby with feet so small. ¬†I still have a few other projects on the go, and I’m starting to feel really ancy about finishing that baby blanket but have so little time to work on it! ¬†If it’s late, I know the baby won’t mind but I imagine snuggling her right up in wooly goodness when she’s at the hospital.

I’ve been reading Francine River’s latest book, The Masterpiece, (which just released yesterday!) and have been staying up way too late in the evenings reading it. ¬†It is everything I love and enjoy about River’s writing, and so fun to have a new book of hers in my hands again. ¬†I’m already almost finished with it. ¬†As with most of her books, this one tells the story of brokenness and redemption, romance and the turning of hard hearts to God. ¬†It’s definitely worth reading!

Joining up with Ginny’s yarn along and Nicole’s weekly Crafting On.

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Thanks to Tyndale Publishers for a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my review.