Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A request for prayer for a very special man

When you are a kid, you think your parents are invincible. You think they know the answer to everything. At least I did. I thought my mom was the best cook, the best seamstress, the best cake decorator. I thought my dad could move mountains. I thought he was the best gardener, the best sportsman, the hardest worker.

I don't remember when it happened that I thought I knew more than they did. When I started being  embarrassed by the big full-size station wagon picking me up from school or my dad's car that was ever needing repairs. But I still loved them fiercely with all my heart and thought they were invincible.

The day I realized otherwise was a shock to me. We went bowling and for the first time ever, I beat my dad's score. I felt like I needed to apologize. Somehow it scared me that I had beaten him. Like there was a chink in his armor.

This past January, I was once again reminded that my dad is human and not invincible. He was diagnosed with cancer. They removed the tumors and began treatments. All seemed fine. A few weeks ago, I called home just to say 'hi'. My parents informed me that they were just returning from the hospital because my dad had another tumor removed. This is a very aggressive cancer and my dad will be having another surgery soon.

Please keep him in your prayers.

Taken when we met for a week at the lake.

Teaching Anna the finer points of waiting forever for a fish to bite fishing.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Bunny has a new dress

One of my favorite knits ever.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Yarn Along- the bunny

The little bunny needs a dress, and I will get to that, but she is finished! And we all think she is adorable. The pattern is so well written, with lots of links and other helps, that I highly recommend this pattern. Plus, did I mention how cute this little bunny is?

Still reading C.S. Lewis' 'The Screwtape Lettters'. Love it too.

Joining Ginny.

Friday, October 18, 2013

7 Quick Takes

There are many drawbacks to being of small stature. I constantly have to use a chair in the kitchen to reach things on the shelf. Since I can't take a chair to the commissary, I sometimes rely on the kindness of tall strangers to assist me. Once, when trying to reach an item in vain, a woman in one of those motorized carts offered me her cane to knock down the can I could not reach. It worked. I have seriously considered buying a cane just for trips to the store. 

Driving my car, though, is not usually a problem. I can just push the little button on the side of my seat and magically my feet and the pedals meet and we are off to wherever we may be going. Not so, yesterday. I pushed the button and the seat moved forward, but the kids had been "adjusting" the seat and had made it go higher. I pushed the button to lower the seat and nothing happened. My feet were still dangling in the air. Yes, my feet could not reach the floor! To get to the pedals, I ended up moving the seat all the way forward, with the steering wheel inches from my chest. With my arms basically pinned between the back of the seat and the steering wheel, I got us where we needed to go, chastising said children on the way. 

 My wishlist of things I would like to have includes chickens, rain barrels, a headlamp for knitting (our house is dark). Not on my list: taking the van to the repairman so that I can reach the pedals.

Don't get me wrong. I'm all for technological advances. But when it comes to my car, I really prefer the basic options. They tend not to break. I would not be in this mess now if I could manually move the driver's seat.

I also prefer my coffee perculator to a coffeemaker. It doesn't plug in, so unless the handle falls off, it won't break, and even if the handle did fall off, I could still use it. Also, if the power goes out, I could always go outside, fire up the grill or make a fire in the fire pit, and I would still have coffee. And that is good. 

Speaking of plugging things in, we are trying to pare down items that won't work over in Germany. As is typical for our family, we are trying to throw together a yard sale in less than 24 hours. I have low expectations for success, so any profit that we make will be a pleasant surprise.

This whole 'moving to Germany' thing has got my anxious side really worked up. We have decided to rent our house while we are gone. I have been mentally compiling a notebook full of advice for our prospective tenants on how to properly care for our house. I am sure they will greatly appreciate all my helpful tips and thank me for helping them keep the house in tip-top shape. Can you tell I am a wee bit nervous about letting strangers live in my house?

Linking up with Jen today.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Yarn Along

Knitting: a little rabbit.

Reading: The Screwtape Letters.

Gratuitous Peter photos because he always wants my attention when I try to take pictures.

This is how I see him lots. Pulling on my skirt, wanting to be held.

But who can resist those big brown eyes? Not me.
Linking up with Ginny.

Friday, October 11, 2013

A New Do

Two months ago, Anna tried to donate her hair. She was one inch shy of the required ten inches. Patiently, or not :), she waited. Today, we returned to the salon and the scissors cut through her hair. Being the great blogger that I am, I forgot  to take a before shot.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Yarn Along

I usually do not have so many projects going at once. I finished Peter's sweater. The neck is horribly too wide and I know that I want to change it. I have never tried to go back after I have already finished a project. It is daunting, and I know I will need to work undisturbed. That undisturbed part is almost more challenging than the repair itself!

I started making a bunny. I have been admiring her sweet animals for a long time, and when she finally published the pattern, I knew I wanted to try and make one.

The purse is the thing that has been the longest in completing even though the knitting part is done. I need to make the lining and sew it in. Once again, undisturbed time is hard to come by, so this project could be lingering on for months yet.

I am reading 'The Screwtape Letters' for the second time. This time around I am reading it with a friend and we will try to do our own little book club type thing. I think it will be fun and I am really looking forward to our discussions.

Linking up with Ginny, as usual.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Breath of Fresh Air

After a rainy, stormy night, I awoke today to a typical cool fall morning. Last week, October showed up and it was still in the mid 80's. It made for a wonderful time in  Historic Jamestowne. This is the actual site of the original colony. It is a good thing we visited on this day, because the government shut-down closed this park the very next day. The sun was dancing through the trees, the skies were painted with thin white clouds, a nice breeze would blow and swirl around us every now and then. I truly believe we were outside more than indoors that whole week. Breathing in the air, the change in routine, the company, all made my stress melt away. I felt a calm and a laid-backness wash over me and it was good.

I tried experimenting with some black and white shots with the camera. One day, I will learn how to use my camera. One day, I will not have all these little ones always needing me. Then I will be sad that they are not always needing me, but right at this very moment, I would love to have one complete thought. Yup, I would.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Only the Beginning

The wise words from my few readers last week was to step back and regroup. I can be silly and stubborn at times and probably would have continued on in a bad mood. Sometimes God knows how to help us put aside our own pride and follow that good advice. He sent one of my dear friends and 7 of her children to stay with us for a week. We got a week long pass to the Williamsburg historic triangle and had the best time. At least I did. Believe me when I say that I am bone tired, but in such a beautiful way. In having their family stay with us, I was shown how to live out my faith as God intends. Not just when things are good, but in every moment. I somehow had this crazy idea that I was failing my family if they were not perfect all the time. But instead of using those moments for gentle reguiding, I was beginning to yell and be anything but Christ to my family. Not good, I know. Oh, but being with this friend helped me find Jesus in my heart, buried beneath all that sinfulness and pride, and let Him shine forth. I pray that I can keep this in mind when we step back into the schoolroom on Monday.

The kids made fast friends. Her teen aged children were amazing and such fun to be with.

Our first day out found us in Jamestown. There are so many moments to share that each day will get its own post. Hopefully. We know all about those best laid plans, don't we? So let's get started!

Actually, our first day was at the Navy shipyard. I forgot the camera. We toured a destroyer and a submarine. Just make your own mental pictures!

We are on our way to see history, but first....

a little science. There were the strangest caterpillars everywhere we looked.

There were beetles too.

Therese needed a little coaxing from Lucy.

Learning how to make needles from bone.

Peter and his buddy for the week.

"Hmmm. What did they use this for?"

"It's OK. Come on in."

Testing out the canoe.

I can't tell if Jack is trying to paddle or keep the girls out!

If he was trying to keep the girls out, he was not successful.

The ships were Jack's favorite last time we visited. This time he and I missed out because he started having an allergic reaction to something. His lip was swelling and his cheeks were blotchy. We went looking for some benadryl, but never found any. The reaction left as quickly as it appeared and we headed back to the boats just as everyone was ready to move on.

We saw this guy sunning himself. Notice the pine needles in the background. He is not as big as he seems.

I kept finding this green pottery in strange places.

Trying on the armor was a favorite.

Why does he make this face all.the.time?

more cool caterpillars

The beetle was actually eating the caterpillar.