Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Yarn along

Here it is Wednesday again (okay do I'm writing this Tuesday night because I never have time to post in the mornings...)! That means it's time for Yarn Along with Ginny!

This week I am still reading On the Banks of Plum Creek and knitting Rosie an "In Threes" cardigan. Not much time to knit this week since we have a few extra activities ahead of us but I've made some progress on the cardi. You can tell its a busy week when I rely on my phone for pictures for a post- no time even to plug the camera into the computer and look through photos there... just the kind of night when I snap one quick before climbing in bed to type the rest of the post on my tiny phone keyboard.

This Saturday our friend and the leader/founder of our ministry is receiving an Indian name- a huge honor! We get to attend the ceremony as a family. We are really excited for Chris. Then, of course Easter on Sunday (as a side note, do any of you exchange goodies with your spouse on Easter? We aren't this year but I think we have in years past) and the next weekend there will be a birthday celebration at our house.  Our family alone has three birthdays in 2 1/2 weeks!

So April is a whirlwind:
I'm hoping to get a few seeds in the ground this week so our garden can start.
The chicks are growing fast and got moved to temporary housing until they are full grown and we can attempt to move them into the big coop with the rest of the flock.

Our genius dogs have found crazy ways to break through our gate and are driving me crazy.

We planted a cherry tree start, a weeping willow start, and a maple start out around the property.  I hope they make it. We have a few other starts to put in the ground as well- a couple pears, a couple more maples, and another willow. The tiny willow is already leafing out so that's a hopeful sign. We desperately long for more shade on our property in the summer so maybe down the road we'll get there.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Parks and (Dinner) Wreck


(intrigued by Daddy's waffle iron)

I have felt fortunate to find a couple fun playgrounds away in town that have really fun climbing equipment and other things - slides, spinning seats, and more. The park we visited a few days ago is one I found toward the end of last summer and it has never yet been crowded, it has nice shade trees right near the playground for sitting and knitting (well, maybe when Rosie is a little older...) and I am really thankful for a few places I can take the girls.  One of the things I have missed a lot in moving here is the easy access to beautiful parks and lakes.  It kind of still befuddles me that there doesn't seem to be anywhere nearby that I can take the kids in the heat to splash around outside; growing up in the Seattle area that was just a complete given.  So if anyone knows of any great water play options in Yakima that I can have in my mind to explore this summer, let me know!  There are a couple spray parks that we visited last summer too - those will probably be even more of a hit this year as Millie will be more adventurous, I think. 

Do you ever have a day when you are really counting the minutes to kids' bedtime, not because of any one kid or one situation but just because you're tired of noise?  I felt like that tonight; a little like maybe I'll should just make dinner and then hide in the bedroom while everyone fusses or grumps instead of eating.  It doesn't matter whether I am making kid-friendly food or not, dinner time is just kind of exhausting, especially because it's smack in the middle of Rosie's fussiest time of day.  I don't know why, but that adorable sweet baby turns into a screeching machine through the entire meal, right in my right ear and I can't even eat a bite fast enough before she's yelling again.  And then someone spills their milk which slides in a big white puddle across the table, dripping onto the floor through the crack for the table leaf, and then someone whines that they don't want that corn, and then someone fusses because they wanted the pink bowl and then someone... well, you get the picture.  Most days I can handle it, but every once in a while I just want to get a pair of earplugs and pretend I can't hear the whole thing, eating my own dinner (which I have worked hard to prepare deliciously and creatively) in silence. 

Someday I will miss the noise and chaos and mess.  I know that's what everyone says, so I know it must be true and so I remind myself that this is Blessing and these pictures remind me too, even the ones that capture messy hair and piles of papers on the counter, and runny noses. I hope they remind you of beauty and light and God's goodness in answered prayer the way they do for me.  

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

funny faces, blue stitches, and pink flowers


Well, I did it.  I ripped out the Plain Tunic that was almost finished.  I just didn't like how it was turning out!  So I decided to knit a large size (2T) of the In Threes cardi for Rosie with the Simplicity DK in hopes that it will come out to fit a 12 month old.  So far it looks really sweet!  I loved that pattern when I made it for Millie with worsted weight yarn and it looks sweetly dainty with the lighter yarn.  

I'm still reading On the Banks of Plum Creek.  It is so different to read these books as an adult.  I see the life choices that Ma and Pa made in a really different light than I did as a child when I read them last.  I know what's coming in the story, with the grasshoppers' arrival looming, and the knowing fills me with dread, the knowing that the peace the Ingalls family has finally been experiencing in this story, the joy and hope for their future in this community, is coming to an end.  It is made a little worse by the fact that I can't really remember any details about the rest of the story.  I am making my way through so slowly because there isn't much reading time in my life right now but I am savoring it.

My Millie is really such a funny girl.  I convinced her to make her classic silly face when I had the camera in hand and she just screeched with giggles while rolling her eyes and stretching her mouth downwards.  She does this face often and it is often paired with a surprisingly deep voice saying some kind of nonsense followed by a collapse on the floor in laughter.  She has such an incredible sense of humor and I can't wait to see how that develops in her further.  She never struck me as an "entertainer" sort of toddler but these days she has turned into a little ham who does love to entertain us, and who entertains us unintentionally as well. 

So the sun is out, the weather is warm enough for barefoot play in the mud.  The pink clouds of flowers have appeared on the bushes.  The dandelions are taking over the yard, and the buds in the apple orchards are soon to open.  The seeds for the garden are ordered and shipped, on their way.  Spring has definitely arrived on the Rez.

Joining up with Ginny for Yarn Along to see what others are reading and knitting this week! 

Friday, April 04, 2014


How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh I do think it the pleasantest thing 
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
River and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside --

Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown--
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down.  
--Robert Louis Stevenson, The Swing

 I call this the Smolder.  Ow! You broke my smolder... (I'm certain that's what he was thinking here)

The cold never bothered me anywayyyyyy!  (She was actually singing that in this picture)

We love Tangled and Frozen 'round here. We don't technically own Frozen yet since it is set aside as a birthday gift but the excitement on everyone's faces when that gift is opened in a couple weeks and then watched again will be a fun experience.  These girls don't even have exposure to the Frozen craze out there; they have just fallen in love with it on their own and have no idea how crazy everyone else in the world is about it too.  

As evidenced by the pictures above, Jesse got the swing portion of our swingset built this past week and the swings have gotten so much daily use already.  All day I hear cries of "Mommy, push me!  Push me, mommy!"  I try to make time several times a day to push and push and push, and maybe I should think about doing lunges while I'm pushing swings to get all four limbs a good workout. When I'm not free to come push, they have found other ways of using the swings: pushing each other, standing and twisting, swinging on their tummies.  And then when everyone is really tired of swinging for about 3 minutes, attention is diverted to bubbles or sidewalk chalk or the tricycle or climbing around in our juniper hedge.  And then back to the swings!  Rosie sat on my lap this morning to swing together with me for the first time, and I am hoping we might be able to get a bucket swing for her too.  Our weather has been really lovely: in the 60s and really breezy in the afternoon but that doesn't seem to bother anyone enough to halt the outdoor play.  I am so thankful to Jesse for the hard work and time he already has put into the swingset.  He is still planning to build a playhouse and little rail around the platform (not pictured) which will ensure even more outside creativity but the swings have added a really nice dimension to our days, of which we spend several hours outside as soon as it's warm enough. 

Rosie has no interest in standing or walking independently which surprised me after she starting cruising along furniture at 9 months!  But she is interested in all sorts of beautiful babble, and the way she claps her chubby little hands and imitates my finger wagging for "no-no" is incredibly wonderful.

In other news, that little tunic I was knitting for Rosie is soon to be completely unraveled even though I'm about an inch from the end, which shocks even me!  I am quite sure I am about to run out of yarn again in spite of the fact that I should have had plenty for this pattern from all my calculations, and decided that after buying four skeins of this yarn I didn't even love this pattern enough to rip back and figure out a new way to make the yarn last, so instead, I am going to tear it out and knit a little In Threes cardigan, modifying it to use DK weight yarn.  It's a pattern I really loved when I knit it for Millie and which I will be able to use for Rosie all summer and fall if I knit it big enough.

Well, I better go wake up some sleepyheads for some afternoon fun or they'll never sleep for me tonight!  

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Yarn Along, April begins

Ahhh.. color!  

I have been knitting more this week, determined to fit it in.  I have about 6 inches of Rosie's Plain Tunic complete, so there's about 7 inches of plain stockinette left before the garter yoke.  I am planning on giving it to her as a birthday gift, since she turns one this month, oh how can it be?!  One!  And Millie turns three!  The picture above of my knitting is terrible since I keep forgetting to snap a picture when the daylight is here but the color is much nicer than that photo makes it look - a deep teal blue.  It will be pretty on Rosie with her blue eyes; it does seem like it's going to fit big so it might be a staple next fall. 

Those vibrant pink-red flowers are quince; aren't they beautiful?  The lighter pink buds will be Japanese flowering almond and they will soon be a fluffy cloudy dream.  Our chicks are growing quickly and we have at least one rooster and maybe three. That's what you get with straight-run banty chicks.

I did abandon The Last Sin-Eater but was thankful for the comments last week recommending some of Rivers' other books, which I'll keep in mind. It wasn't a bad book, actually, and I was sort of surprised that I couldn't get into it, but I just think this little season of life is requiring books with short quick sections and simple relationships, making Plum Creek another good choice.  It takes me less than five minutes to read a chapter before falling asleep so I can actually read a couple chapters at night and feel so accomplished.  I am also listening to North and South on CraftLit but am a couple weeks behind right now. 

My life feels a little like it's in an upheaval, kind of like right after you have a baby, and I am having to reconfigure some basic things about our days and schedules.  I am also extra tired in this process of adding a fourth little one to our household, so I'm back to struggling with waking earlier than the kids just like I always do after having a baby although this is very different practically and emotionally.  My days require more of me, but I miss waking up around 6:15 and getting some good quiet time to start my day as a person and not simply a mom before the kids get up.  I really need to be diligent about that each day again, since that time allows me to shape my day proactively instead of starting off reactively.  The more the sun begins to shine earlier, the easier that will be as well and I almost can trick myself into being a morning person in the spring and summer here!  

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

March's End Glimpses

The hours and days fly by but I have been seeking out at least twenty minutes a day to do something entirely to recharge, preferably knitting, which soothes me by its rhythm and creative productivity.  Sometimes I work it in during the girls' afternoon rest time but not always, since I have been trying to use some of that time to get extra time alone with Lyddie, so today I was glad I squeezed it in early before the girls all woke up in the morning.  I got a few more rows done on Rosie's Plain Tunic.  I am concerned that I will run out of yarn even though I have the amount called for in the pattern, so I just ordered another skein and hopefully it will come in the mail soon!  It is knit with DK weight yarn but held double stranded so it is thick and squashy and I think it seems big, so that it will fit her next fall really nicely, if not before. 

Although I took a picture of The Last Sin Eater as my current read, I really have to qualify it.  Does it count as "reading" if you read half a page every few days because you just don't really care what happens next?  I think it's time to put it away; this is my second time to try to pick it up over the past few years and even though I'm a good ways into the book this time, I am just totally not into it which I realized tonight as I had to hunt through the house to find it for the photo.  When I'm in the middle of a really good book I never have to look hard or far for it, since it's always nearby, so that was a good indication to me that I should pick back up on the next Little House book, Plum Creek.  

Yesterday, on the way to Kids Club, I got a flat tire about a mile from home.  I got back to our house since it wasn't totally flat yet, and Jesse took it in to Les Schwab this morning.  Of course, he couldn't get the spare tire out of the back, and maybe had the wrong tool, so while I was stranded, bless my friend Neena, she ran to pick it up and bring it to me this morning so that I could put it back on (all by myself. Although my dad taught me how to change a tire in high school, I have never needed the skill and required a refresher course from Jesse at 7:45 this morning).  Thank God for friends and for the fact it was just an easy repair and not a replacement and for the chance to have coffee together and catch up for a few minutes when she came by!  

That's about all the news I have to share tonight, along with the precious pictures of all the little princesses getting play and cuddle time with Daddy.  Time for a little bowl of ice cream before falling into bed!