Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Yarn Along

Hi there!

The kids have finished school for the day, and I have a little time before I have to make supper, and I am ignoring the fact that there is a load of laundry beeping at me so that I can write a quick knitting post!

I think the bunny looks quite dapper in his new sweater.



I ordered this book last week. This is as close to a spiritual director as I can currently get. I made it through the first chapter yesterday morning before little people were up and about. I think it is going to be very, very good.



Holiness might be for everyone, but holes in the shawl may not be for me. I cannot decide if I like this or not.



Don Camillo's little world is quite hilarious and a great light-hearted read. I love his conversations with Christ when he is trying to decide what he should do.


Joining Ginny, as usual.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Yarn Along- the multi-tasking edition

This week found me working on three different projects, which is very atypical for me. However, I find it is working out just fine. First up, I am knitting a new sweater for an old bunny. I might have swiped the too-small sweater off Jack's bunny to put on the elephant I just finished. He is much tinier and it fits him just right. Jack picked the color and it is the perfect piece of knitting to have at the school desk while giving spelling tests and such.




Second is the baby blanket for my niece's new baby. Since she knows what the first blanket looks like and since she picked the colors of this new one, I do not feel the need to hide it from her. This is the perfect car knitting. And by that I mean that the pattern is easily memorized, and I don't have to watch my husband drive. And that is all that I have to say about that.




Third is my new shawl for me. Tortured by all the choices, I just picked one and cast on. I had read a review of this yarn saying that they didn't think it looked so good in stockingnet, but I am not finding that to be the case at all. I had been looking for mainly patterns using garter stitch, but in the end, I picked this one.




I read the first several chapters of "The Little World of Don Camillo" last night and I am loving it. It is so funny and yet at the same time poking at my conscience. I highly recommend it.

Joining in Ginny's Yarn Along, again. But on the right day! Go me!

P.S. Just to show I am not the only crafty one in the family, I found pictures of Jack's latest Lego design on my camera when I downloaded my knitting pics. He almost never uses instructions, only his imagination.



Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Globe Trotting or Space A, Take 2

After our amazingly crazy adventure last summer flying Space A, you would think I might wise up and not try that again. Not so, my friend, not so. First and foremost, I like free. Free is good. Free is worth putting up with little inconveniences. Free is not $10,000, which is what it would have cost us to fly home otherwise. Secondly, I miss my big girls and all my family. Therefore, we watched the flight lists, packed our bags, and waited for our chance. We did not have to wait long at all. Tony's leave started at 12:01am Saturday morning. There was a flight to Charleston whose call time was 3:15am. I was very realistic and did not plan on catching that first flight, but that is exactly what happened! And Charleston! That meant we were only a couple of hours from the cemetery in Georgia where Ben is buried. So, after a brief frustration with the car rental place, we headed to Hinesville to have dinner with Jack's godparents, who happen to be amazing people. The next morning was Sunday and we went to Mass on Ft. Stewart, where I was a member of the choir. They were playing all the songs we used to sing and it was so nostalgic and wonderful.

We then drove to my parent's house, where we spent the majority of our time. All three sisters were able to come in and spend time with us. I feel so very blessed. Our time passed quickly but pleasantly, and all too soon, we found ourselves watching those Space A lists again, trying to catch a ride back to Germany. It looked most likely that we could fly from either Delaware or New Jersey, so we headed that way and stopped in to see some of Tony's siblings. We showed up in New Jersey to a very packed passenger terminal. I was so sure we would not get on the flight that I made a bet with Tony.

While we were waiting, I started chatting with another mom with several kids. Over the course of the conversation, we discovered we were both Catholic. She asked if I home schooled, because she said I reminded her of her sister-in-law who does. She kept telling me how amazing her SIL was and how wonderful her children were. At one point, they called Tony over the loudspeaker, and completely messed up our last name. She laughed, saying that always happens to her too. Then she spelled her last name. I stopped short. I already knew the answer to the question I was about to ask. Her SIL happened to be a good friend from Virginia. I taught her girls piano lessons. Anna had a sleepover at their house. And she was right, her SIL is an amazing woman! I love what a small world it really is!

Well, we made that flight too. That gave us a chance to rest up before we started school this week. Two days in and so far, things are going well.

It had been two years since we were able to visit Ben

No ladder means this is the only way we can get up there. We each took a turn on Tony's shoulders.

There is a new carousel in Kingsport. The music it played was great. Father and daughter taking a spin.

He decided about 5 seconds into the ride that it was most definitely not fun.

They liked it.

So did we! My grandmother is 103. We found an animal low enough for her to sit on, but it was stationary. When I explained that to her, she looked at me and quipped, "We got gypped!"

Having fun at the Narnia park with Grandma.

My mom.

They seem to have developed a close relationship which makes my heart so happy.

A nice spot to sit and ponder the world.

He is always on the go! Most pictures of him are fuzzy, just like this one.

One of the rare moments where he stopped running.

It was much easier getting on the wobbly log in the middle of the creek than getting back to shore.

This mama and her babies were in my parent's yard most every morning.


These next set of pictures are from our bike ride on the Creeper Trail in Virginia. If you ever have a chance to go, don't pass it up. It is simply breathtaking.



along the trail

my little ham

lunch with sisters


He was fascinated by this book of black and white photographs of old trains.

inside the old train station

outside the old train station

All my babies!!


we stopped to take a break here. Three out of four little ones fell in and got completely soaked, but no one cared. Well, maybe Anna cared.









 Our last night in the states, with Tony's siblings. We had such fun!


Everyone loves playing "Make Jack into a pretzel"!

We miss them already!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Yarn Along

Knit Picks was having a great sale in July. I have had my eye on their Hawthorne yarn for some time, but what with my frugal nature and the idea that I wanted to make myself a shawl that I could wrap up in when the weather cools down, (though I can barely imagine that right now. We are in Germany, sans A/C, with temps in the 90's all this week! To say that I am melting is an understatement of gigantic proportion!) I just couldn't bring myself to make the purchase. But with 40% off? I did! And I bought 2 skeins. Anyhoo, now that I have this gorgeous yarn, I am overwhelmed with all the beautiful patterns on Ravelry. So, the question I am putting to all you knitters out there is this: If you had  roughly 714 yards of fingering weight yarn, what is your favorite shawl pattern?



I cast on for a new baby blanket for a new niece or nephew that is expected to arrive around mid-October. I am knitting the chevron blanket again, since it is for the sibling of the first one I knit. My grandmother, who happens to be turning 104 in September, knit my sister and I the same blanket in different colors when we were born. She made the same blankets again for my first two children! Those are very dear to me, as you can well imagine. So, I thought I'd carry on the tradition. I will knit the same pattern, with a different color scheme.

As for reading, I have been loving, LOVING, St. Josemaria Escriva's book "The Way". It is hitting home in a big way, by which I mean, I have such a long way to go in my spiritual journey. I am re-reading "A Mother's Rule of Life" and have just started "The Little World of Don Camillo".

Joining up a day late with Ginny. I see a pattern here.




Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Gazing heavenward

I let the kids stay up late tonight. Darkness is beginning to come a little earlier, which meant we could get down to business around 10:00pm. All the lights in the house were turned off and we all gathered on the back patio and laid together on a huge blanket. At first, we could only see one or two stars, but as we chatted, more twinkling lights dotted the sky. We lay there, hoping. Hoping to catch sight of at least one little streak of light. Just as the kids were beginning to grow doubtful, a large shooting star made its way across the sky! We all cheered and laughed, and then immediately hoped for another one. Before heading inside to bed, we spied four shooting stars.

Yesterday marked eight years since Ben left this world. More years than we had him with us. I can't tell you how many times in those years that I have gazed up at the sky and wondered about him. Sometimes the sky is the exact color of his beautiful eyes. Sometimes I just look up and talk to him.

On the night we said good-bye to him, the Perseid Meteor Showers were making their way across the expanse of sky. Each year, we have tried to see them. Some years, it has been cloudy, or the moon has been too bright. One year, we were with my family at the beach. We sat out on the deck in a row of big, white rocking chairs,  the waves beating the shore, the salt air thick with humidity. We saw so many that we lost count.

Tonight as I turned my gaze to the sky, I thanked God for my family and the love we have for one another and the sweet saint in Heaven, who I'd like to think was looking down, watching with us.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Summertime

Being a kid in the summertime is a wonderful thing. You sleep in, make your own fun, and are generally care free. I love watching the kids make their own summer memories.


I love little feet and the little people they belong to

They never use rain boots for their intended purpose. They always fill them with water and slosh around.

Slosh, slosh, slosh

And then, of course, one must jump and make the water splash out.

Doesn't it look like she is balancing on little icicles?

It really does look fun

See? Don't you want to try?

Anna's turn

notice that there is a constant line for "refills" in the background

happy little clouds

A raincoat completes the outfit

He takes his job  very seriously...

most of the time. Everyone needs a break now and again.

"I finally got a turn with the hose!!"

 On this hot, sunny day, we walked down to the market. The kids are forever asking me to stop at the park. I always say no. Today, I said yes. There is a slide, two swings, and not much else. They quickly tired of that and went exploring down the gravel path. It was in the shade and smelled of damp earth and crunched under my shoes in a most nostalgic way. There was a little wooden bridge that arched in the middle over a tiny creek. The muddy creek was canopied by trees, where eight ducks were bathing and swimming in the same carefree manner of children with nothing to do. Anna managed to slip on the slimy rocks and get her shoe firmly stuck in the muck. Jack pulled her out and that was our cue to actually go pick up our groceries. The walk home was hot, humid, and filled with the kind of whine that one cannot drink. Time for ice cream! With a cone for each kid and maybe one for the mama, we headed up the hill, in a much better mood. Still very sweaty, and don't forget the muddy shoe, I turned the hose on the kids. These are the kind of days that I want to always remember. So here I am, writing it down!