Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Knit A Week

Pretty Socks!!
For me!!

Pattern: Kai Mei Socks from Sock Innovation by Cookie A.

Yarn: Splendor Sock Yarn in the Spring Garden colorway
by Jill Draper

Verdict: The combination of this sock pattern's totally
fun gusset and foot along with Jill's beautiful
and oh, so soft yarn makes me
incredibly happy. I love how the design
for the gusset wraps up and over the top of
the foot. They look great in all my
many pairs mary jane's.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Overheard At Bedtime

Princess #3 (yelling after goodnights): Daddy! Mama!
Queen's side note: {A risky move at the castle, as there is the potential to lose a stuffed animal for pestering parents after bedtime.}

King: What's going on?

Princess #3: I can't find my pink bunny.
Queen's side note: {And it's no wonder, in her bed is every stuffed animal she owns!}

King: (flipping off her covers to find the pink bunny) Did you know that you have Buzzy in your bed?
Queen's side note: {Buzzy is our very alive, not stuffed (yet) cat, gigantic black cat.}

Princess #3: NO!! How'd he get in there??
Queen's side note: {I do wonder how long he would have lasted in there, with all her friends and whatnot.}

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

How We Homeschool With A Toddler v.2

Now this only works if you have a willing big sister.
The Prince is lucky.
He has three big sisters. All willing.
Well, most of the time. {grin}
Homeschooling with a busy toddler is not
for the non-caffeinated.
It is a challenge to keep him occupied and happy.

Homeschooling with a toddler means lots of
after-school surprises, like finding cd's jammed
in the crack between the wall and the trim.
Matchbox cars exploring gravity in the toilet.
Puddles of water, well, anywhere.

But . . .

If Princess #3's interest in and ability to catch on
is any indication, more is caught
than taught.
And that right there, makes me grit me teeth,
pull out my *special* matchbox car retrieval tongs,
and just keep on.

Learning some fractions with biggest sis,
while holding littlest big sis' kitty cat.

Home Ec 101
Washing the potatoes, while biggest sis peels.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Do You See . . .

. . . what he sees?

He found his shadow today.
It's off to Never Never Land tonight, I suppose.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happiness Should Be . . .

. . . baking Christmas cookies with your kids. Right?

Okay. I thought so.

I'll try again.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Knit A Week

Dougie Dog Hat and Scarf
These were made in anticipation of my
nephew joining our family and it makes me feel so
incredibly happy and blessed to see him wearing them.

Pattern: Dougie Dog Hat and Scarf by Lucinda Guy

Yarn: Zenith by di.Ve

Verdict: This is a fun little pattern that would be a great intro into
intarsia. Intarsia is probably one of my least favorite
knitting skills to use, but it sure makes for a fun finished project.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Overheard After a Snuggle

Princess #3: Mama! Mama! I just snuggled the Prince and his sweater you made him is so soft!

Queen: It did end up really soft didn't it?

Princess #3: I can tell you made it with the good yarn.

Queen: Princess, you have the makings of a wonderful (albeit snobby like your mama) knitter someday.

I love that she already *knows* good yarn, just by the feel. I am bringing her up right! {grin}

Friday, December 10, 2010

My Mistake

Princess (whose number shall remain secret): {with great exasperation!} Please bring that upstairs! That mirror belongs upstairs!!

Queen: Hey! Stop being so bossy!

Princess (whose number shall remain secret): I'm *not* being bossy, I'm just telling her what to do!!!!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Overheard After School

. . . an etiquette lesson.

Princess #1: Instead of describing people as fat, you should say they have lots of stored energy.

Princess #2: What? Why?

Princess #1: Well, because fat is stored energy. So you can say, "Wow, that person has a lot of stored energy." It's nicer.

Princess #3: (trying it out) Wow, Santa Claus has a lot of stored energy!

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

At Second Glance

When I have a chance to sit down and obsess, a lot of what I choose to obsess about is asking the "why's". Why did that have to happen that way? Why am I dealing with this particular situation?", and on and on goes the pity parade.

I think asking why can be healthy . . . in moderation. It can bring me round to the point of recognizing God's hand or provision in a particular instance that I need to thank Him for. It can bring me to my knees, reminding me that I am not in control. It can bring me peace resting in a perfect, bigger, albeit, invisible plan for my life that has been promised (by the ultimate Promise-Keeper), to be good.

That brings me round to Princess #3. She is often a source of "whys". Last night, some very dear friends inadvertently or maybe vertently {grin} encouraged me by giving me one answer to a why concerning her. As I explained a tiny bit about our evening routine, they commented that I was showing compassion to her, and that she will remember that compassion.

Hmm. Compassion.

I've been pondering that thought since. I don't feel particularly compassionate as we are doing the evening routine (or any other quirky ritual). Mostly I feel relief that it worked and we had a peaceful episode or ending to the day. However, my heart has been softened so much for other parents who have spirited children. We have been often told that our daughter is strong-willed and we should be "taking care" of that attitude. And while that may be true, with that diagnosis there is no grace, dare I say compassion, for the very, real struggles that my child has in making her God-given temperament mesh with her world. To that end, I think my friends are right and that has been such an encouragement to me.

Why do I have some of the struggles I do with this sweet girl?

Because God wants me to learn how to be compassionate to the passionate {grin} in my life!!

You ladies know who you are. Thank you for blessing me with your wisdom and perspective on my life.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

A Knit A Week

A Thorpe Hat for Princess#1

Pattern: Thorpe, another great multi-sized freebie

Yarn: Classic Elite Countess (sadly discontinued) &
Grace by Louisa Harding (for the border)

Verdict: A wonderfully easy, warm hat. I think that the crocheted
contrast edging really sets it off nicely.
I customized it for her, adding
a top knot by starting the pattern with an i-cord,
and added very long braids.
She loves it! Yay!

Friday, December 03, 2010

Happiness Is . . .

having your husband, of his own free-will mind you, put up the icicle lights on the house! The castle is starting to look festive.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Overheard From the Living Room

Princess #2: Maaaamaaaaa!! Princess #1 is making baby Jesus talk.

Queen: What's wrong with that??

Princess #2: He couldn't talk yet, we're only at the part when the shepherds were there, not when the wise men got there.


My Dad would be so proud! All growing up, our family's nativity scene (aka the one you DID NOT touch), would have either the wise men on the shelf above or far apart from the scene, because my Dad feels very strongly that Bible shows the wise men showing up when Jesus was not a new born babe. And apparently, I have followed in his footsteps! {grin}

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Knit A Week

The Prince's Christmas Sweater

Pattern: The Necco Wafer Sweater
from the Twist Collective

Yarn: Knit Picks Shine Sport

Verdict: Absolutely adorable. As you know, I have a weakness
for anything stripy on my kids.
The applied i-cord (you can see it best in the photo
with the v-neck close-up) was fussy,
but totally made the finished garment amazing.

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Book A Week

Since I just recommended these books to one of my sisters, I thought I'd share or jog your memory about the Carl books, as they are known here at the castle.

Carl is a Rottweiler who takes his human family's baby on a whole bunch of adventures. For the most part, the Carl books don't have much in the way of a print story. The story is told through the very sweet illustrations of the author Alexandra Day.

Some of the Carl books come in board book too, perfect for little ones. I have too many favorite Carl books to list them all, but probably my absolute favorite would be "Carl Goes to Daycare", and a close second would be "Carl Goes Shopping".

I wish I had a Carl around some days, well make that most days.

Age appropriate for all!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

I Have A Grateful Heart

Most days I get bogged down in the minutiae. Why won't life go the way I think would be best?? The curse of being the oldest child plagues me still.

I forget to be thankful. I forget to be humble. I forget that those pesky, life-changers are gifts that I have been entrusted with by the One Most High. I forget Who is the giver of those lives that challenge me so much.

When I do slow down and look out to see the big picture, the blessing that is my life is overwhelming.

I am thankful.

I do feel humbled by the responsibilities that He feels I can handle.

I am grateful for the time I have been granted thus far with my four blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving, dear readers. I hope today you find time to count your blessings and name them one by one.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Almost Wordless Wednesday

Isn't he stunning?

{Hat: Aviatrix pattern in Jill's amazing handspun merino
Light Through the Leaves colorway}

Monday, November 22, 2010

Overheard After a Snowfall

. . . some words of wisdom for her younger siblings.

Princess #2: When you go out in the snow, don't eat the yellow snow. Or brown snow. Well, basically any color other than white. Okay?

I hope she hasn't learned that from experience. Eww.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Babywearing Tip

I like to wear our babies, especially on my back in the mei tai now that our littlest one is not so little. When he is sick, as he has been all this week, I wear him more often in order to keep the moany-groanies away. That leads to my tip for today: Check your shirt front and back after wearing a snotty nosed little one.

It will save you from embarrassing conversations with well-meaning strangers. Not unlike the one I had today.

In the check-out line at Costco this morning, a nice older woman pointed out that the back of my black shirt was sporting a lovely white crusted streak extending from shoulder blade to shoulder blade. Of course, I wasn't wearing the boy then, didn't even have the sling on, so trying to explain was pointless. So I thanked her, and (surreptitiously) unbound my ponytail, hoping that my hair would be long enough cover the babywearing badge of honor, and made for the door.

There, I hope that I have spared you an unfortunate event.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Overheard At Lunch

A pretend conversation. I hope! I think! I pray! {grin}

Princess #2: And I hadn't looked at myself in the mirror for over an hour and I hadn't checked my outfit to see if it matched.

Princess #3: Why?

Princess #2: I needed a break from myself. Being a girly-girl is a lot of work.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Sometimes when things get a wee bit chaotic in the castle, the Queen insists that the "quiet game" be played. As in no talking, no bodily function noises (occurring naturally or otherwise), until time is up, whoever stays quiet, wins {my undying thanks is the reward, which they know, but I think they always hope it will be something they could eat or hold {grin}}.

So yesterday when I couldn't hear myself think, again, I started the quiet game.

The King and I talked for awhile uninterrupted-a little taste of heaven, I tell you, when I overhear this little gem:

Princess #2: Is the quiet game over yet?

Princess #3: YOU LOSE!!

{If she knew how to use the word "buzzinga", I swear she would have, because it was a "buzzinga" kind of moment.}

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Joy of Boys!

**I found a copy of this on a blog I read, and thought you mothers might enjoy it!!*****

Between the innocence of babyhood and the dignity of manhood we find a delightful creature called a boy. Boys come in assorted sizes, weights, and colors, but all boys have the same creed: to enjoy every second of every minute of every hour of every day and to protest with noise (their only weapon) when their last minute is finished and the adult males pack them off to bed at night.

Boys are found everywhere—on top of, underneath, inside of, climbing on, swinging from, running around, or jumping to.

Mothers love them, little girls hate them, older sisters and brothers tolerate them, adults ignore them, and Heaven protects them.

A boy is Truth with dirt on its face, Beauty with a cut on its finger, Wisdom with bubble gum in its hair, and the Hope of the future with a frog in its pocket. When you are busy, a boy is an inconsiderate, bothersome, intruding jangle of noise. When you want him to make a good impression, his brain turns to jelly or else he becomes a savage, sadistic, jungle creature bent on destroying the world and himself with it.

A boy is a composite—he has the appetite of a horse, the digestion of a sword-swallower, the energy of a pocket-sized atomic bomb, the curiosity of a cat, the lungs of a dictator, the imagination of a Paul Bunyan, the shyness of a violet, the audacity of a steel trap, the enthusiasm of a firecracker, and when he makes something, he has five thumbs on each hand. He likes ice cream, knives, saws, Christmas, comic books, the boy across the street, woods, water (in its natural habitat), large animals, Dad, trains, Saturday mornings, and fire engines.

He is not much for Sunday School, company, schools, books without pictures, music lessons, neckties, barbers, girls, overcoats, adults, or bedtime. Nobody else is so early to rise, or so late to supper. Nobody else gets so much fun out of trees, dogs, and breezes. Nobody else can cram into one pocket a rusty knife, a half-eaten apple, three feet of string, an empty Bull Durham sack, two gum drops, six cents, a slingshot, a chunk of unknown substance, and a genuine supersonic code ring with a secret compartment.

A boy is a magical creature—you can lock him out of your workshop, but you can’t lock him out of your heart. You can get him out of your study, but you can’t get him out of your mind. Might as well give up—he is your captor, your jailer, your boss, and your master—a freckled-faced, pint-sized, cat-chasing, bundle of noise. But when you come home at night with only shattered pieces of your hopes and dreams, he can mend them like new with two magic words, “Hi Mom*!”
{*the queen's edit, original post said "Dad" :) }

Saturday, November 06, 2010

A Knit A Week

Pattern: Just Enough Ruffles Scarf

Yarn: Zitron Trekking Hand Flame

Verdict: This is a nice, pretty, free pattern.
And it was fun to make this scarf with sock yarn.
Last time I used some hand-spun yarn and got a
totally different look. Neat. I love that about

Friday, November 05, 2010

And On It Goes

So my birthday was this week. Not nearly as exciting as they used to be, let me tell you. However, as I was opening the gift from Princess #1, I smelled a familiar scent. It was from Yardley of London lavender soap, that she chose to go with the loofah in the same package.

The minute I saw the package, I knew why the smell was so familiar, it was exactly the same brand and scent of soaps and bubble baths that I used to choose for my own Mom so many years ago for Mother's Day or her birthday.

It was sweet and thoughtful. It made my heart get all squishy and my eyes a wee bit damp.

I hope that she has a daughter someday who will buy her Yardley of London lavender soap for her birthday.

I'm reminded of my all time favorite quote from the book Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier: "If only there could be an invention that bottled up a memory, like scent. And it never faded, and it never got stale. And then, when one wanted it, the bottle could be uncorked, and it would be like having the moment all over again. "

Thursday, November 04, 2010

How We Homeschool with a Toddler

How we did it a year ago:
Boy do I miss that saucer.

How we do it now:
I'm putting his desire to destroy to good use and he does a great job of only taking the "Kirkland" paper off. The girls' showed him how to stack the rolls, so that kept him busy too. It was a wonderful 30 minutes of Prince-free school. Then he "helped" distribute them to the bathrooms.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

When the Belt Breaks

So yesterday, things were going fairly smoothly before ECHO, our homeschool co-op. Pants were donned under the dress, without too much fuss and the belt wrapped around those pants, cinched to oblivion, just how she likes it, when the belt broke. Literally snapped. She yanked on it so hard for so many weeks (not to mention it was on it's third child), that it tore right in two.

And that ended the relatively peaceful morning.

I knew we were sunk. No ECHO for her, no relaxing, daughter-free morning. All that stretched before me was stress and baby-fits lasting for hours. And all that without a dose of caffeine big enough to process it all.

After dressing her, we loaded her screaming, writhing body into the car. Crossing our fingers despite the sinking feeling in the pit of our guts, telling us, "there is no way in you know what this is going to work." But we forced it because one of the lessons we are trying to teach all of our kids, is that if you say you're going to do something, you follow through. It's that simple.

We made it to ECHO. She walked into the building, without a belt cinching the top of her leggings {oh the horror}, used the bathroom. And after a slight detour, we got her to her first class. She willingly walked in {after being carried there}, let me hug and kiss her good-bye, and joined her classmates.

Once we got back home, she announced that she no longer needed a belt for her leggings. That when they felt loose, she had discovered that she could just pull them up. Like that. I have been teary thinking about it ever since. She did it!!!

She needed that belt to break. I just didn't know it.

Friday, October 29, 2010

It's True

As the Prince made his way up the stairs this morning, he tried out his new phrase: uh-oh, uh-oh, UH-OH, over and over, louder and louder. So I asked him, "What's uh-oh?" And he didn't answer, he just pointed.

At himself.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

On Groaning and the Like

**Warning: This post got a wee bit religious!** Just letting you know, since I try to keep it light around here. {grin}

I am struggling right now with how to handle this latest rash of "baby-fits", as we fondly call them here at the castle. I know what they stem from, and I know what worked last time, but that is no guarantee of a solution for what today brings. I try to put myself in her place, but honestly, I can't. It makes me feel that somehow and on some level, I've failed as a parent with her. Why else is she unable to get completely dressed in the morning without a meltdown? The "I should have's" come creeping in when I try to evaluate where I took a wrong turn.

I need to have balance in my approach with her. Compassion for the temperament that God gave her, but also teach her that first time obedience is her job, regardless of how something "feels" or when the unexpected trip out inevitably comes up to mess with her plans. Tough calling to be sure. For both of us.

I wonder sometimes if I am the only one who daily gets to the point where my prayers become wordless. Wordless because there are no words. Wordless because I am tired of praying the same prayer. Wordless because saying the words out loud sound ugly and ungrateful. Romans 8:26 has held me upright this week, I like the EST version: Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

I have been struck with the fact that my prayers for her are centered on how I want Him to change her, instead of me. So I have begun to change my prayers for her (and her sibs) to: Mold me into the mom she needs, shape me into a mom who is after Your own heart, and use me in her life for good. And He will. He promised.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Another Ramble

1. This week has been a long one. And yes, I realize it's only Tuesday.

2. I just threw away a perfectly good box of markers because I was tired of the Prince finding them and using them on every flat surface in my house.

3. Don't worry I warned the Princess' of the marker's fate if I found them out again.

4. The Prince had to clean up his pictures off the floor. He thought it was fun. At first.

5. Where was I you ask? Rescuing my pumpkin muffins from the oven. How long does that take you ask? Approximately long enough for an industrious boy to uncap and use five markers all over the kitchen floor. I'm guessing 2 minutes.

6. Princess #3's socks and baby legs are still wreaking havoc at the castle. I don't want to talk about it. I want to rage and scream about it.

7. But I don't. I just muddle through.

8. I like the word muddle. I am muddling through my Christmas knitting, but am losing steam and excitement over it. What I really want to knit is socks. For me.

9. I recently bought Cookie A.'s book Sock Innovation, and it is calling to me.

10. No soccer this week or next week or the week after that, all the way until next August. That makes me happy.

11. So does the thought of planting spring bulbs. Which I am going to do this weekend, since I don't have soccer to watch.

12. I usually forget that I've planted the bulbs and come spring enjoy my wonderful surprises popping up.

13. The Prince just brought me the marker that must have gotten away. I'm off to inspect my floors for more artwork.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Just Another Random Monday

1. My internet free week last week, went well. Not totally free of high-speed, but a definite reduction in time spent. Good.

2. As a result, lots of knitting got done. Finished the Prince's Christmas sweater. It is in desperate need of a good blocking. Then photos.

3. It got cold here. As in long sleeves and the dreaded dusting off of Princess #3's baby legs.

4. Adaptability is something she struggles with, so changes like the weather getting colder throw her. And me.

5. Today it only took 1 hour for her to put on her baby legs. I'm optimistically hoping for 45 minutes tomorrow.

6. When it takes 1 hour to put on two leg warmers, it kind of cuts into mama-supervised school time.

7. However, Princess #1 buckled down on her own and got a couple things done. Whoo-hoo!

8. We've been going on lots of walks.

9. So many walks that the word "walk" makes the Prince run for his shoes and coat and head for the door.

10. Fall is one of my favorite seasons. I hope you all are enjoying yours too!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

High Speed Fast

Well, I have decided to take an internet fast this coming week. I need a break from the up to the minute updates. And a break from the temptation to sit a few minutes that ends up being too many few minutes too many times a day. Our computer is right in the hub of our home, on purpose, but it needs to stop being the center for a while. I love staying in the loop with friends on facebook, keep up with my knitting obsession on Ravelry, and reading wonderful, inspiring blogs that people faithfully update, but I need some space.

So, I'm scheduling my blog postings now and will not touch it for the next week.

I'll be back.

I think.

Friday, October 08, 2010

A Knit A Week

Modeled by Princess #1 outside

Draped over the rocker indoors.

A beautiful shawl or is it a scarf, I haven't quite decided.
Hopefully the recipient can figure out how to wear it!

*free Ravelry download*

Yarn: Twisted in the Wisteria colorway
that I purchased while we were at the coast.

Verdict: Nice, simple knit, with a beautiful
leafy edge=a pattern I most likely will make again.
And this yarn was wonderful to work with, very
soft and the colors are stunning.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Overheard At School Time

Queen: Okay Princess #2, what is the ringneck snake's nickname?

Princess#3: Satan!

**In case you were interested it's nickname really is the corkscrew snake.**

Happy Birthday Mr. F!!

{One day old, in the doll house.}

Can you believe it was only one year ago that my castle was turned into a cat maternity ward?? Well, I guess technically it was the abandoned doll house in the garage, but still they had to move in where it was warm, right? Looking back, I can't believe we did that, not that I felt I had a choice with those three sets of royal eyes begging, "please" with all their hearts and souls. And if I am completely (painfully) honest, it did melt my heart to see that pile of kitten babies in the living room of that tiny house.

Ironically all the kittens were adopted by women who share my first name. Coincidence . . . I think not. :) And they left our house in sets of two. Just lonely Mr. F was left, what were we to do? {grin}

Happy Birthday Fergus! Hairbinders and pairs of baby socks balled together make your life the happiest. So tonight, I'll leave a pair of the Prince's socks out for you, on purpose.

{Two weeks old, eyes barely open.}

{One month old, ready to explore.}

{The white tiger, with his bcf, Buzzy.}

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


I think the most often-asked question that I get regarding our choice to homeschool, is "How do you do it all?" And my answer is always and emphatically, "I don't."

I struggle with maintaining balance. For instance, last week, I was able to maintain a clean kitchen and kept the floors swept (I even mopped once) and homeschooled three kids. However, this week, I've been all about the baking and making dinners that need extra prep work, and keeping the kitchen clean and homeschooling three kids. Floors, what floors??

I have to give myself permission to let things go. I can't do it all and homeschool. Heck, I can't even do it all without adding homeschooling to the mix. A wise woman shared with me her sanity secret right after the Prince was born and I will share it with you. Pick one area or space in your house that drives you the craziest when it is messy and do your best to keep it clean daily. So that's why I do my darnedest to keep my kitchen clean. I hate stacks of "stuff" and things that need to be walked five more steps to be put away, cluttering my counter. And since we homeschool (basically) in the kitchen, that adds to my clutter-angst.

And the second part to the doing it "all" equation is all the extra-curriculars that we add on to our lives. I have an on-going discussion with a couple of dear, fellow homeschooling mama's about how easy it is to get caught in the trap of "busy-ness". I was caught up short when one recently listed all the things that my family is involved in right now (some are temporary), she wasn't criticizing, but it made me realize that there is a reason for the fatigue I feel at the end of the day (with nothing to show for it, it seems). I am so glad that several years ago, I gave myself permission to rest. And the King is in complete agreement. Our kids will have "rest" time daily and that time is mine to do with what I choose--guilt free. I may choose to do chores (yah right!) or as I usually choose, something that gives me rest: knitting or reading.

Try it! Give yourself permission to drop an activity (even it is one of your kid's activities-gasp!) that causes you/your family stress. We decided to cut out going to Awana last year, and oh the relief our family felt!! Or create a time during the day for rest for your entire family and rest yourself without guilt! Rested mamas make for happy mamas!
{I highly recommend reading (Taking Care of the Me in Mommy by Lisa Whelchel) for more on this.}

I'm done preachin'. For now.

Friday, October 01, 2010

My Son

This afternoon as I was watching a certain adorable blonde little boy pulling his wagon around the backyard, it hit me again right in the chest. He's mine. I have a son.

Maybe it just hasn't sunk in yet, after all these years of girls, and maybe it never will, but some days I feel the need to pinch myself as I see this BOY running around my life--my BOY. My carpet is littered with "ucks" and car ramps and pint-sized tools. I don't dare take my eyes off him while dinner is getting made because I know that he'll be on the table helping himself to whatever he can find. He loves to find bugs, inspect them, handle them, and then stomp on them. At his sisters' soccer games I spend more time keeping him from joining the game than watching the game. When he sees a fire truck, he makes a siren sound. And the catch of his breath and excited voice saying "UCK" over any kind of truck he spies, makes me smile every time.

He's a whirlwind. He can be stubborn. He's as sweet as they come. He's my son.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

H is for Haircut

Being a parent to a kid that is a little bit more, means lots of thinking in advance. Being a parent to a kid that is a little bit more means lots of strategic planning and staging. Being a parent to a kid that is a little bit more means less spontaneity. Being a parent to a kid that is a little bit more means that the simplest, normal-est, routine things you used to take for granted are no longer simple, normal, or routine. Like for instance, a haircut.

Our homeschool co-op starts up tomorrow and all three girls will be attending "regular" classes. As in, Princess #3, won't be in the pre-school class, she'll be in the 5-6 year old class-es. And yes, I'm freaking out. And yes, I'm praying like mad. And yes, I've been doing lots of strategic planning, like trying to convince Princess #3 that she should get her haircut, so she doesn't have to have her hair in a ponytail for cooking class. {Ponytails became banned in her world several years ago.}

I tried to get her in with Miss Stephanie, the gal that usually cuts the girls' hair, but she was booked solid. When I told Princess #3, she replied with, "then I'm not getting my hair cut." And I let it drop. Then a friend mentioned "Monkey Dooz", a salon that only cuts kids hair. I mentioned it to Princess #3 and was turned down again. So again I let it drop, but I kept on talking about how cute her hair would look up in a ponytail and how no one in her class wanted to eat her hair in the food they made in class, etc. You know, laying groundwork for Friday morning when somehow her hair was going to be scraped back into a tail. Then out of the clear blue sky yesterday she tells me that she wants to get her haircut at Monkey Dooz. I lunged for the phone and made the call. And thanks to some divine intervention they were able to get her in today at the right time!!!!

She was so brave. They washed her hair and blew it dry. {For our spirited kid, touches to the head are the most unwelcome.} And her new cut is adorable. I am so proud of her willingness to try a new place, trust a new stylist, and get a new haircut.

H is also for hope. I got some today.

A Book A Week

. . . brought to you by the Prince!

The other day the Prince came over to me wearing his rain boots, which he had put on by himself. He was so proud of his accomplishment so the girls and I lavishly praised him! Then I noticed that he had put them on the wrong feet. My heart melted. Babies with shoes on the wrong feet {that they put on themselves} just don't get any cuter in my opinion. So out came the camera. And then Princess #2 piped up that he reminded her of Alfie.

I had her run up and get our big Alfie book, which is really a collection of Alfie stories and we read "Alfie's Feet" to commemorate the Prince's accomplishment.

The Alfie books as we fondly call them are by Shirley Hughes, our local library has most of them. They are little stories about Alfie who is probably 5 and his toddler sister Annie Rose {whom Princess #1 named her cat after when she was 3}. They mostly center around little bits of real life from a child's perspective, and since they are set in England, have fun little nuances and phrases, like my personal favorite, "snick the lock". The artwork is fabulous and the stories are sweet and gentle.

In "Alfie's Feet", Alfie gets new rain boots so he can splash and stomp in the puddles, but after he gets them home and on, they feel funny. Hmmm, anyway Mom and Dad help him solve his problem and he's back in the splashing business again. So fun and so relate-able for preschool age kids.

I think ages 2 and up would sit and listen to these. We just started reading them to the Prince and he can sit for the Queen's special condensed version.

Find them and enjoy them with your sweets! Happy reading!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Knit A Week

Princess #2's colors

Princess #1's colors

{Truth be told, I finished these
quite a while ago, just forgot to post them!}
Pattern: Child's Version Pinwheel Sweater (free pattern from

Yarn: Various hues of Elann Peruvian Highland Wool

Verdict: Nice and easy. Great TV knitting!
The girls had great fun choosing their colors and the
order that I knit said colors in.

Monday, September 27, 2010

And There You Go

Queen: Well, I guess if you can get this writing done, we'll see about the other after rest time.

Princess #2: You mean, I don't have to finish it?!?!

Queen: {thinking: Well, by George you're gonna do it now little missy!} However, calmly saying: You know, it frustrates me when I feel like you are so quick to give up and take the easy way out.

Princess #2: (very matter-of-factly) Well, that is what I'm doing, so that's why it feels like that.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Overheard At School Time

. . . a history lesson.

Princess #2: Pocahontas was only 12 years old when she met John Smith. Seriously. That movie about her was SO wrong!!!!

Princess #3: What?! But she fell in love with John Smith.

Princess #2: No she didn't. In real life she married John Rolfe.

Princess #3: Those people who made that movie need to read your book.

Princess #2: Totally.

Have I mentioned lately that homeschooling my kids is fun {most days}? If they were in the classroom {at school} I would have missed this light going off in my daughters' minds! I love seeing them separating fact from fiction on their own. Awesome.

Friday, September 17, 2010

A Knit A Week

Spring Forward Socks

Pattern: Spring Forward (

Yarn: Mama E's Ceyeber Fiber colorway Grapril

Verdict: Great *free* pattern. Easy to memorize and seems
as if it would lend itself to both variegated or solid yarns.
This yarn is a merino/silk blend, very soft and pretty.
{However, I'm not sure if this company still exists.}
And despite the pictures, it is grape, not blueberry!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Overheard At Bed Time

Princess #2: What part of Laura did Daddy read tonight?

Princess #3: The part about Almanzo crushin' on Laura.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Never Thought I'd Say . . .

. . . please don't take the dictionary into the bathroom, pretty please. Especially to Princess #2. But I just did. Woot!

I love that my letting go of what I thought her reading level should be, and letting her learn to love to read at her own pace, has reaped the sweet reward of a girl who wants to read. Not only wants to read, but loves to read!

I am still coming to terms with the fact that she is {for the most part} completely NOT interested in books her older sister loved, by focusing on the positive--I have justification now to buy more books!!

I am reminded of a verse, "He has made everything beautiful in His time." {Ecc. 3:11} Teaching my kids can feel like an exercise in futility, but will ultimately be beautiful. Not in my time and not with fabulous innovative teaching methods and curriculum {although they may help this mama get a mental boost}, but when God is good and ready.


Friday, September 10, 2010


Sometimes I like to hidey-hole in the house after dinner and let the Royals and their Daddy fend for themselves outside. Then I sit down where-ever-I-want and pretend that the voices and screaming I hear really belong to those pesky neighbor kids.

As a homeschoolin' mama, time alone in my own home is a rarity and a treat. And I love treats.

Not that I would change the course my life has wound it's way through, but there are days when I blissfully dream of the end of motherhood such as it is right now. The end of the constant needs to be met, diapers to be changed, meals to be made and cleaned up, I could go on.and.on.

I dream of the day when I will wish for my kids to call me or visit me. Before you start to say, "that day will come all too soon", hear me out. I know that day will come all too soon. Heck, I still can't believe I turned my back for one second and now have a 10 year old walking around this place. {Whatsupwiththat?} But I think it's only human nature to want the next thing, note I didn't say it was right, just our nature.

However, when it comes right down to it there really is no other place I want to be than here at home with my kids. All day long. Every day. What a blessing that I can make that choice and have my wonderful husband/best-friend-a-girl-could-ask-for, backing me up on it. And have that same best friend working hard each day so that we as a family can live out our choice in comfort.

And on that note, I need to round up the Royals and tuck them in bed and then find a hidey-hole with that best-friend-a-girl-could-ask-for.

Sigh. This is the life.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

A Knit A Week

Pattern: Blackrose Socks (from
Yarn: Splendor Sock Yarn by Jill Draper Makes Stuff
Anthracite colorway
Verdict: Awesome pattern! And it's free!
I love how the lace is on the outside edges of the socks.
And I love this sock yarn.
It is one the softest I've worked with and
has a really pretty sheen to it (that my photos do not do justice to).