horses for her eighth


Just after winter solstice eight years ago, a bright and shining light was born into this world.  You, our sweet Phoebe girl.  Our horse crazy girl.  Vivacious, energetic to no end, singing and talking and dancing all the day long.  We knew we would love our little baby girl but we had no idea how everything would change the moment we laid eyes on you.  You came so quickly I was still in shock when I was staring into your dark eyes and wrinkly forehead.  Were you really here?  Were you really real?  You stole our hearts then and you still have them now.  It’s not easy being first, being the oldest, but I can’t think of someone more well-suited for the task.  You are a leader if ever there was one, never shy or unfriendly.  You are brave and bold, my girl, facing your own set of challenges with a cheerful spirit.

Eight years old feels grown up in ways that make my momma heart ache a bit raw.  Normally on your birthdays you are up before the sun and can’t wait to open all of your presents at once.  You have grown up this year, I suppose, and instead you spread the opening all throughout the day even until just before bed.  You received a horse for your Kaya doll that we found at our favorite consignment store as well as a barn and corral for your other horses.  You and I have so enjoyed the Misty of Chincoteague book series so we gifted you this Album of Horses book by the same author.  Your birthday sweater was still damp on the blocking boards but you couldn’t wait to wear it and your sparkly purple skirt as well.  You have worn your sweater literally every day since your birthday and truly you are the most knit worthy person I know!  It’s a joy making things for you.

Your daddy and I are so very proud of you Phoebe, thankful to know you and humbled to raise you.  We hope you grow this year in your love for God and for His Word, that you continue to seek Him and rest in His favor over you, His love that can’t be measured or lost.  We hope its a year full of growth, adventure, learning, and laughing.  Happy 8th birthday!


Ps. Phoebe’s cake is the Chocolate Layer Cake made from the Paleo Kids Cookbook (highly recommend if you’re looking for ways to recreate children’s favorite foods and snacks) and I found organic and naturally dyed sprinkles from our local food co-op (very pricey though!).  My children haven’t really ever had sprinkles on anything so they were so enamored and excited, which made the cost worthwhile.  The cake seemed like it was going to be a big flop and it wasn’t pretty but it was delicious!

pps.  Amazon links in this post are affiliate links.  (That just means if you click through and happen to also purchase the same item through my permalink I get a very small payment from amazon without any cost to you.  Thank you for supporting this blog and our family!)

natural dyeing + a little family etsy shop


Like most of you, I’ll be busy this week prepping to host Thanksgiving at our home + birthday celebrations (on the same day) for Philippa.  Last night I wove in the ends and sewed on the buttons for her birthday sweater.  Brandon and I spent some time on Saturday shopping for her other gifts as well.  I think we are mostly prepared!  I am so happy with the way her sweater turned out.  Of course, it’s a lovely and classic pattern but it was really special to have dyed the yarn myself and see the sweater come together from start to finish.  I have a couple skeins of avocado dyed yarn that I didn’t need and I plan to include them in my first small etsy shop update.  I don’t know when I will actually get that little shop open but I do think I’ll be ready soon.  I hope that some of you find that exciting because I’m doing this not only to help provide for my family, but also to share some knitted goodness with those of you who have shown interest, as well as some other hand made things from our home.  Anyway, more about that soon, hopefully in the next couple of weeks.

I never thought I’d be into dyeing yarn and I was so surprised with how much I enjoyed the whole process, particularly using things from our home like leftover avocado pits + skins, and marigolds from our garden.  I hope to get to do it again someday!

In other news, Wren has taken to crawling and is so very proud of herself.  Last week she realized she could get around from room to room, and the exploring and getting into everything has commenced.

yarn along


I did in fact visit my favorite local-ish yarn store last week and picked out yarn for noah’s sweater, and cast on.  I am skeptical that I’ll have this finished in the next week, but I am doing my best!  He asked me yesterday if I’m making him a sweater this year and when I’m going to start on it, so that’s a good sign that it’ll be a worthwhile endeavor.  🙂  I’m knitting the “tot lot #10” sweater, using Shepherd’s wool in I think the Shepherd red color way.  Really liking it so far, just a simple knit.  It’s knit from the bottom up, so I’ve finished the body (up to the yoke) and also the first sleeve and now am onto sleeve number two.

I’ve been reading Housewife Theologian, which is a book I’ve had for a few years now and finally getting around to reading.  I’m enjoying it so far.

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yarn along


Still working on Phoebe’s leksak.  I had to rip out the front edging part way through, realizing I had picked up the stitches on the wrong side of the fabric.  So I’m just now on the first sleeve.  I’m trying to force myself to work monogomously on this project until done, but I did cast on some Christmas socks for Brandon and trying to work on them secretly during the day if I have chances to knit so they can be a surprise for him.  He’s not a huge sock fan, but I’m hoping if I make a cozy enough pair, he might wear them?

I’ve been eating up this book, The Dirty Life, and loving it so very much.  Highly recommend.  It’s the memoir of a city girl from NY who goes to interview a young farmer and ends up falling in love with him and the farm life.  It’s the story of their adventure together and it’s been very engaging as well as interesting to me, a girl who’s always dreamed a bit about living the farm life.

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yarn along


I’ve finished up the body of phoebe’s sweater, working on the front edging now.  Once that is done, it will be onto sleeves.  I’m surprised with how quickly it has gone!  I haven’t been able to keep it a secret, trying it on her multiple times (it fits so nicely!), and it will be hard to wait till her birthday to give it to her when these chilly and often dreary November days are upon us.

I’m still reading We Took to the Woods, it seems to take me much longer to make it through books these days.  Still, I carry on.  This one, The Secret life of Sarah Hollenbeck, came in the mail last week for me to review.  I’ve read the first few chapters, and it’s okay so far, but the jury is still out on whether or not I will love it.  It’s the story of a woman with a broken marriage who begins writing steamy romance novels, which become wildly popular, and then she comes to know the Lord.  The story then unfolds of how she deals with her past and the binding book contract she has even as she walks into a new future.

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yarn along

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It’s quite a dreary dark rainy day here, so I had a hard time finding a spot with enough natural light to snap a photo.  Philippa’s sweet little sweater is blocking and I cast on for a leksak tunic for Phoebe a few days ago.  I’m a few inches below the underarm now, so I’m hopeful this will be a fairly quick knit, although a sweater for a seven year old will inevitably take longer.  I’m knitting it with yarn leftover from my Lila sweater, Shepherd’s Wool in color way seabreeze.  I’m knitting her the size 6 because her chest fits those measurements better and I remember this yarn blooming a little bit once blocked.  I seem to always knit their sweaters too big, despite getting gauge when I swatch, so I’m hoping this will actually fit her just right.

I’m still reading We Took to the Woods and enjoying it.  It’s a very peaceful and engaging read for before bed, which seems to be the only time I have lately.

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yarn along


I suppose I’ve decided to make each of the children birthday sweaters again.  I wasn’t sure if I’d have time to squeeze in 3 sweaters before Christmas, but I’m going to give it a shot.  I’m also very tempted to knit baby knits that I have planned, but really I can work on those in January and February before baby comes so I’m trying to hold off.  I’m thankful that each of the sweaters I knit for the children last year still fit and they have been wearing them again in this chilly weather we’ve been having.  Honestly, it brings me joy every time I see them wearing them!  I decided on this little cropped sweater for Philippa with a lace/cable detail on the front.  I’m adding length so that it’s not quite as cropped and I’m knitting long sleeves, after seeing Brienne Moody’s version on instagram.  I’ve made a few mistakes on the lace/cable panel, but I don’t think it’s terribly noticeable and I’m learning that I’m not a perfectionist when knitting.  Good enough is good enough.  🙂  I’m knitting it with Shepherd’s Wool yarn, which is such a nice yarn to work with and fairly inexpensive.

Also, I’ve been reading We Took To the Woods.  It’s a memoir written by Louise Rich who with her husband made a life in the Maine backcountry.  I’m enjoying it so far, her writing is often humorous and full of tales of the adventures that are inevitable in a mainly subsistence lifestyle.

ps.  Happy Halloween!!

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my strawberry girl


She tells me her phoebe sweater is one of her favorite gifts and she’s been cozying up in it every day at some point.  The yarn relaxed so much after blocking it that even though I made a size 6 for my petite little 6 year old, it still is quite big and will fit her for a few years if she takes good care of it.  I loved knitting it and am so glad it is cozy and warm and a cheery red for her.  It reminds me of the bright red cardinals we see flitting around in the drab winter scenery, little spots of color in the long winter.  The bonnet was one of her stocking gifts, she has asked for one for months.  I think this one is so cute and it will get lots of wear.  We gave her the book “Phoebe’s Sweater” along with it, which has the knitting patterns in the back.

Her birthday this year was really calm and quiet and peaceful.  She wanted to open all of her presents before daddy went to work so we let her.  We gave her a violin and the sweater I had knit her.  Brandon had picked out a special necklace for her, it looks sort of “indian-ish” so it goes well with her latest imaginary play.  She had a few other gifts to open from her grandparents.  She wanted to go to the park to play, the one that has swings, so we spent the morning there.  The weather has been fairly mild lately so it was really nice to be out.  I let her skip her “quiet time” after lunch and we worked on her new legos and then snuggled and watched a christmas movie.  I baked her cake that morning, a gluten-free funfetti cake with my own buttercream icing and I covered it in strawberries because she loves them so.  She was soo excited about her cake, as you can see.