Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year!

:: Happy New Year ::

Happy New Year to you, my friends. This past year has been a series of ups and downs but we are continually blessed with good fortune and happiness. Our little family will once again grow in February and we are looking forward to getting another year of fulfilling dreams. 

In this new year, I hope to....

read more good books

spend less time worrying about housework 

spend more time just being 

eat more wholesome, home-grown foods 

love and live a little more slowly. 

Here's to 2014! 

Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Time Festivities

:: Christmas Time Festivities ::

We had a wonderful Christmas filled with lots of baked goods, gifts, time with family and friends. Christmas Eve we enjoyed a beautiful Mass and dinner at my parent's. Christmas morning was very good to our girls with lots of fun gift opening and brunch with grandparents, great grandparents, and uncles. The traveling to visit with family started Christmas night with my mother's family, then my father's family at the family farm, and ending last night with a quiet dinner at our home. We have had our fill of goodies and fun. To me it is one of the best times of the year to spend with loved ones because the days are short and nights are long. We are looking forward to a quiet New Years Eve at home and 2014. It is a big year for us! 

Two days before Christmas we always take a drive to look at lights. 

Our sweet pup enjoying a quiet moment

My brother made the girls a wonderful looking and very fun kitchen play center. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas!

:: Merry Christmas:: 

All the last minute touches are being put on the home, the oven is full of sweet smelling goodies, the sewing & knitting is done and the Advent candles are all burning low in these final days before Christmas. It is finally beginning to look a lot like Christmas....

Merry Christmas Everyone! May the season and holidays bring you and your family love, happiness, and peace. Enjoy every moment...

Friday, December 20, 2013

This Moment

:: This Moment ::

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words- capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want pause, savor, and remember. 

Inspired by Amanda of  Soulemama

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Yarn Along

:: Yarn Along ::

The scarf for my husband, James, is coming along quite nicely. It is an easy knit that I can work on in between things during the day or in the evening when my brain and body are tired. I think it will be a great little homemade gift for him. I always make the girls things for Christmas and other holidays but never him. I am a pretty slow knitter so any hope of completing many projects before Christmas is out. After Christmas I am hoping to finish up the baby sweater and start a new one. Our little man will be here before I know it. 

I found this book ( The Knitter's Book of Wool)  at the library. It is a book about all things wool and knitting. I just started reading it the other night and I am reading about "what is wool?" and the different breeds of sheep who produce different types of wool. It is a bit technical but I like it. We hope in the not so distant future to have a sheep or two. I think this is a nice starter book for me to educate myself about wool. The sheep keeping and care taking will be my next read. It is fun to dream about the future and our woolly friends. 

Merry Christmas to you all! 

Joining Ginny of Small Things

Monday, December 16, 2013

The makings of Christmas

:: The makings of Christmas ::

 I do believe that it is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas around here. We have had a bit of snow thus far and it is only December. Our home has become a bustle of activity and I am almost done making and buying Christmas gifts for everyone. ( admittedly my least favorite part of Christmas is trying to figure out the best gift for someone) There is always so much we want to do during the holiday season and this year has been no different. I am enjoying the season because before we know it will be over and then winter will settle in as will I before our son is born in February. 

Have a little peek....

 Candle making with beeswax capping from a family friend. James loves this and wants to grow it into something we can develop into a small business in a few years. Once we buy the farm. I have been looking at real estate and the thought that our dreams will come true in a few short years is very exciting.  

Homemade Christmas gifts to family and friends. A dry rub mix and cookie mix along with homemade candles. 

The girls have been busy also with building their own nativities and making angel puppets. Oh the glitter in this house! But it does make the floor sparkle oh so nicely. 

Even little treats for our bird friends. 

There is so much to do and enjoy over the next week. I am especially looking forward to celebrating Winter Solstice this weekend and taking our oldest to The Nutcracker. Even in the midst of all this bustle our youngest gal wanted to know when we will plant our garden. I just smile and hug her, whispering "in due time" . Winter is a good season for dreaming. 

Friday, December 13, 2013

This Moment

:: This Moment ::

A Friday ritual. A single photo -no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember. 

Inspired by Amanda of Soulemama

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Yarn Along

:: Yarn Along ::

We have been enjoying the first snow of December here. The girls have been frolicking in the snow until they can't stand the cold and we had some nice days of just relaxing and being a family since James had off. I was also able to snuggle up and get a bit of knitting done this week. 

I had started work on a ribbed men's hat for hubby but in the middle of the pattern my circular needle broke. Just plain old broke! I didn't have another the right size to fit it on. Needless to say, I was upset and so disappointed. I decided to settle on a scarf instead until I can get new needles this weekend. I made a little progress on the baby sweater and I am ready to move to the next section. I also found some great yellow yarn for a knitted baby cap. 

As far as reading goes, I have given up on yet another book. I can't seem to stay the least bit focused to read these days. During all my pregnancies my brain just doesn't seem to want to focus on the printed word. Thankfully, the newest edition of Taproot showed up and I have something fun to read for the next week. 

What are you knitting this week? 

Joining Ginny of Small Things

Monday, December 09, 2013


:: Snow ::

Some pictures taken by our oldest the other day in the snow....we are waiting on our next snow tomorrow...

"Out of the bosom of the Air,
      Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
Over the woodlands brown and bare,
      Over the harvest-fields forsaken,
            Silent, and soft, and slow
            Descends the snow."

A portion from "Snow-flakes" by H. Longfellow 

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Our Weekend

:: Our Weekend ::

A few words and pictures to capture our weekend before the last few hours slip into the new week....

Gingerbread house making and pizza night 
Chaotic visit to the Commissary before the snow
Hot Cocoa and sharing an old Christmas movie with the girls 
Late night elf work with hubby
The smell of beeswax melting and candle-making filling my kitchen
Sleepy heads off to early morning Mass in the dark
Second week of Advent 
Beautiful voices and burning candles seeing us through the Advent season
The first Big Snow of the season  ( a whole 8 inches)
Playing in the snow  
Watching the snowbirds eating the treats we left for them 
A clean house and no laundry piles to end my weekend and start my week

I hope your weekend was filled with love, peace, and special times with your loved ones.

Friday, December 06, 2013

This Moment

:: This Moment :: 

A Friday ritual. -no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember. 

Inspired by Soulemama

This deserves a little explanation: the girls attended their first  local political function in support of their uncle who is managing his first campaign.  They were more interested in the sheep shaped sugar cookies and Christmas parade that followed but it was a fun time. 

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Days of Learning

:: Days of Learning ::

There are times when we are out with other families and the conversation inevitably leads to where our oldest goes to school. I explain that she is home with me and that we learn together through an organized home preschool program. I usually get various reactions from surprise to concern. There are a lot of questions after that. How do I do it? Don't I miss working? ( for the record, I am a high school teacher who left teaching to raise a family. I don't know that I'll ever go back because life is leading me on a different path.)  Aren't I afraid she isn't getting enough social interaction? ( This one is funny because we are actually interacting at that moment so no, I am not worried.) I fully understand that every family is different and we all must do what we must do to raise our children to the best of our ability. And our oldest has expressed the desire to go to school next year and so she will. ( my nervousness and worries about that are a post for another day)

 But every so often I meet someone who wants to do the same as me but doesn't know where to start. Now, I am no expert but a lot of support from other homeschooling friends and some research has helped us develop a plan that works for us.

I love sharing what we do because it is usually so fun. I use the Calvert School preschool program which is amazing. I can't say enough good things about this institution. But this month we are playing and learning with the holidays in mind. My favorite websites for learning and play are: The Imagination Tree and No Time for Flashcards. I can't say enough about these sites. So great! 

Here is what we have been doing this week: 

Topic: Winter 

We have been reading books about Winter, making snowflakes, winter scenes, and play snow dough to learn about animal tracks. With our usual things of writing, reading, letters, numbers, patterns, and more. 

Every day is a different adventure and I am blessed to be able to teach and learn with my children. I have learned that it doesn't matter when you spend time with your children but what you do with that time that matters.