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Do you ever have the moment of panic, thinking “my kids are growing up so fast. Are they having a fun life?  Are they enjoying life to the fullest?  What are they going to remember most from childhood?”  I have those moments from time to time.  When the panic hits, its helpful for me to reflect on my own childhood, one that, from my perspective, was the most fun a child could have.  The things I remember and treasure are not necessarily the things that cost a lot of money.  I have a few hazy memories from the week spent in Florida when I was five, the beach vacation to Myrtle Beach when I was twelve and the handful of movies my parents took us to.  What I remember most are the traditions my family had, some more frequent than others.  Those are what hold the deepest and dearest memories for me.  Spending summers camping in Canada, the image of my mom washing dishes in that big green bowl with a baby in the backpack.  My dad making pancakes on a Saturday morning, just for fun.  Sweaty summer evenings racing through the neighborhood on my bike with my friends, singing at the top of my lungs.  More recently, my dearest moments are summer cookouts with my family, an afternoon spent at the park with the kids, “family breakfast” on our midweek mornings.  Kids and adults too really thrive on traditions, even just the daily routines of life.  They’ll remember most the dishcloth swinging from Dad’s waist as he flips bacon on the skillet, and mom singing “Princess songs” while brushing the little girls’ hair.  Childhood does not have to be a series of expensive activities or events.  Sometimes regular life makes the best memories of all.

“Family Breakfast” is a tradition we all love…mmmm bacon!

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Its WIP Wednesday!  My favorite blogging day of the week.  This is where I show off some of my Works in Progress.  Due to randomly making that pillow with my girls on Sunday night and waiting for some more fabric to come before putting together our patchwork quilt, I don’t have very many WIPs this week.  That being said, I do have a very special WIP – possibly the longest standing WIP ever.

F’s birthday crown WIP.  Not much early morning light for these pictures, bear with me.

J’s WIP birthday crown

Little birdy on J’s crown

Not sure why the colors are coming out so oddly.  I need some more inspiration for these birthday crowns…not sure what else to put on them.  Thoughts?

D’s birthday dress.  I’m losing steam on this project, I’m in the skirt section which is SO BORING until you get to the lacework at the bottom.  Luckily I have over a month til its “due” so I can take my time.

Now for the ultimate WIP – I began this sampler when I was 8 years old.  I found it in my parents basement and brought it home.  Now I’m not sure what to do…finish where my 8 year old self left off, or leave it unfinished?  It needs to be ironed.  I’m thinking of framing it.  My mom has a sampler (much more fabulous) that my Grandma made when she was a young girl.  It is one of my favorite things in my mother’s house.

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We visited the Thrift Store again yesterday, just for a bit of an outing.  I rescued a pretty JCrew button down with a spring-y floral print (not pictured) and a basket to keep all Husband’s odds and ends in (better than leaving them around the house!).  We also found these:

a precious little candleholder that just needs a beeswax candle

Not bad for 20 cents.

vintage lace ribbon – I think this will be used for F’s birthday dress’ straps.

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That’s it from me for today.  Have a blessed Midweek with your family!

Well it is finally Wednesday so I can show you all what I’ve been working on.  First, we have F’s birthday dress.  This is technically still a WIP since it lacks straps and the elastic threaded through the bodice.  It was an insanely quick knit.  I made the size 2T based on chest measurements.

Still unblocked, so a bit odd looking

a “Little Red” for F

These are my current “WIP”‘s.  I’m hoping to dig out from all of this crazy snow and head to the fabric shop for some elastic thread so I can finish F’s dress.  Then I’ll cast on for D’s and start all over again!

We were hammered with snow last night so today it is a winter wonderland outside!  F loves snow so much, she couldn’t want to get out in it.

The rest of us decided to stay indoors where it is warm and work on some Valentines.  D is my artist, so she was working especially hard.

So much love…

In the kitchen, I made some wonderful Snow Day soup.  We eat a lot of soup, stew and chili here, especially during the winter months.  My family loves soup and I love that most of it is very healthy, can be made inexpensively and can be altered to fit whatever you have on hand.  Today I used a few leftover chicken breasts, cut up potatoes, onion, carrot, celery, green pepper, garlic and added some chick peas as well.  I used chicken stock I had leftover and saved (always save your chicken stock!), although you could use some bullion cubes.  I love that soup can be left simmering all day and eaten whenever someone is hungry.  This helps a lot during our Midweek when mealtimes are not as regular as during our normal weekdays.  Add to it some homemade bread or biscuits and you have a lovely warm meal for a cold snow day.

Off to enjoy my family!  Happy Midweek!

While everyone else in the working world is anxiously looking forward to 5pm and the beginning of their weekend, I am slogging through what is now my Monday.  Although it usually takes me a bit longer to get moving on Mon(Fri)days, I’ve been trying to transform my perspective from “Manic” to “Marvelous!”

Getting back into the swing of the week is not only hard for Mamas, but can be for the kidlets as well.  They are coming down from a Midweek full of snuggling with Daddy on the couch watching movies, playing and largely ignoring chores (would that I could be so lucky!).  Beginning a day of picking up where we left off, cleaning up after lots of lazy fun and refocusing our energies on what needs to be done can be quite a drag to little people.  I’m trying to raise spirits of everyone by baking some yummy treats, reading through our stack of library books, taking a jaunt through the neighborhood and hopefully giving every one naps (or at least quiet time!).

In the kitchen, I’m making a simple bean and ham soup for dinner with some baking powder biscuits to go along.  We still have some leftovers from a few nights this week, so those will probably be making a (re)appearance tonight as well.  Last night I actually pulled off a Teryaki Chicken stir fry, which I’ve never made before.  It was quick and easy and so delicious!  I made enough  for J to take for lunch as well as some extra for me.  It was a bit spicy for the kids, but the adults loved it!

Beans soaking, waiting to be made into soup!

I’ve been having a lovely mail week full of packages!  First a love package from my older sister in Connecticut full of novels, a new corduroy skirt and sweater, makeup, chocolate and of course something for the littles.  Next, my beautiful stack of Anna Maria fabric just begging to be made up into something cozy and warm.  Lastly, a big box full of yarn, not all for me, but still so pretty and full of possibilities.  So excited to see what it all becomes!

Oh so pretty!

drool!

Lastly, I wanted to share a few projects I finished in the last few days.  First, I adapted this hat from a sweater pattern I have made.  I love the button closure.  It is so incredibly stretchy, I tried it on every single one of my kids and it fit!  Albiet a bit snug on the 6 year old and a bit loose on the 10 month old, but still, pretty impressive!

on the 2 year old

on the four year old

on the 6 year old

I also quickly knit up these mittens.  The Cestari Merino is nice and thick, so they are super warm.  I think if they were lanolinized they would also be pretty water proof.

All in all, fun little projects.  Now that the yarn is here though, no more fun and games!  I have to make the girls’ birthday dresses and have about 6 weeks to do it in.  Stay tuned!


Today was a long one.  My littlest darling decided at 4:45 AM to boot me out of the bed I so generously share with him, starting my day off a bit earlier than I am used to.  I fought it for awhile, trying everything in my mommy-of-four repertoire to calm him, but to no avail.  I must have been half asleep while all of this was going on, because I dreamt the most fabulous knitting pattern ever.  Once I get a chance to run to the yarn store, I’m going to attempt to recreate it.  Who knows, I may just make a career of bringing dream patterns to life.

I am feeling the need to refocus a bit in our homeschool.  The spliced together curriculum we are following is just fine, but we haven’t been able to make it to the library recently (read: I am way tooo lazy to bundle up 4 kids and brave the cold) and I am feeling an acute need for new literature for all of our sakes.  I’m really not one to purchase or hold onto books…stemming perhaps from the fact that we have always lived a block away from the library as well as my aversion to owning too much of anything.  It has never bothered me before but I realized tonight, as I was searching my shelves for something to read, that I need a good collection of children’s classics.  It looks like at very least the girls will be getting “Little House on the Prairie” for their birthdays.   I need to come up with some ideas for my 1st grade son as well.  Being a girl (and a girly-girl at that) I am a wealth of knowledge when it comes to what little homeschooled GIRLS love to read, but I need some help in the boy arena.  Incidentally, if anyone needs a book list for girls, drop me a line.

After a break around the holidays, the baby is back in cloth diapers full time.  I am enjoying it so much!  I definitely needed a break, but I am so happy to be back.  The trash was almost doubled when we used disposables and it was very convicting.  I’ve had a few people ask me about cloth diapering, the different types, etc, so I’ll be compiling an informational blog on that in the near future.

Last order of business before retiring to my couch with a glass of wine: I’m thinking of hosting a give away to get this blog started off right!  Stay tuned for more information and to see what the prize will be!

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