Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer plans

Summer has officially started, but it already feels half over. I hate being one of those the-glass-is-half-empty types, but I can't help wanting to slow down this particular Summer. I'm not ready for school routines yet.  I will be ready, but just not yet. There will be a day in August that I will hear a certain rustling sound in the aspens and I will know, despite what the calendar says, that summer is over. But, for now,  there's so much I want to do and this year, I'm truly feeling like myself again and I'm ready to enjoy this summer to the fullest. Last year, I was very pregnant and miserably uncomfortable.

It seems like a theme around here to write about having an intentional summer.  I've been mulling around these thoughts for days and it looks like I'm not the only one who has a long list. I want to savor every moment, but June has already been very busy, but more flexible. The big kids have attended VBS. Twice. We've been camping. Although June is very busy, our routine has relaxed quite a bit and I'm enjoying the feeling of summer. Now, if I only had a canoe....

So, here it is:
  • make strawberry jam,  peach freezer jam,  raspberry freezer jam (I love jam and I'll need to bake some cream scones to go with all that jam.)
  • make Popsicles with Sammy- I have plans for peach, strawberry, chocolate and I've got two new Popsicle books. I even ordered a very nice stainless steel Popsicle mold set. 
  • make ice cream- I already made the orange ice cream from the Ben & Jerry's ice cream book, but I'd like to make banana this summer and of course, strawberry. (I promise that this list won't be all food related.)
  • plan an inspiring 7th grade curriculum for Luke-  I tend to think about home school plans at night right before I fall asleep. Of course, I'm way more inspired this year than last. I'm envisioning more Botany,  pen and ink drawing, and creative writing this year. I'm hoping to start the year off completely refreshed and motivated.  (I'm sure it's because I'm not pregnant with the twins!)
  • take the older boys to a movie at Red Rocks
  • finish up the basement remodel. The carpet goes in this Saturday and Paul is getting closer to finishing the painting. I'm so blessed to have more space for the family.
  • ride the Royal Gorge train (I want to enjoy more of Colorado this year.)
  • turn the guest room into the twins' room (Yes, I'm losing my guest room, but I'm actually okay with it.  I am more sad at the prospect of the twins leaving my room any time soon. James is already getting close to growing out of his co-sleeper.)
  • knit, knit, knit- (Okay, no surprise here, but I have plans for this, this, this and this). Actually, if you look at my Ravelry queue, I have plans for many many projects, but I wanted to make sweaters for all the kids this year. Maybe I could have a picture of all of them wearing handmade sweaters for the Christmas card?? We shall see.  That might be a wee bit ambitious. I'm still looking for a sweater pattern for Luke. He is most definitely not a little boy anymore.
  • sew- I promised Luke a wildlife quilt and I have a pattern for an adorable cupcake quilt for little T. I also need to finish the little dress I started for Tess in April. I know it will be too short for her, but I'm okay with it. It's all about the process of sewing a dress.
  • celebrate my 15th wedding anniversary with some fancy carrot cake! We had carrot cake at our wedding and we've always eaten carrot cake on our anniversary.  I'm thinking about baking a miniature wedding cake and ordering carrot cupcakes from a bakery. 
  • plant more strawberries and figure out how to protect them from the critters who ate my kale and carrot seedlings
  • watch my Mammoth Sunflowers grow 
  • read to Luke (for at least 10 minutes) every day
  • celebrate with Sammy when he gets to lesson 100 on Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons! (See Sammy Read!)
  • learn to fly fish (Actually, I just want to stand in a river wearing waders.)
  • sit outside on the deck in the evening with Paul drinking lemonade
  • star gazing with Luke
  • have one-on-one time with both Luke and Sam. (It has become increasingly important to carve out time to spend with the older boys by themselves. They look forward to having time to having alone time with each parent. I notice that they are almost completely different people when isolated from their siblings.)
  • read a lot, but not over-do it. 
  • purge more. As the twins outgrow their clothes, box them up and donate them to a local Crisis pregnancy center. Never say never, but I suspect the twins might be my last babies. I can't imagine life without a baby...must cherish baby time!
  • LIVE WELL by recognizing those tiny little blessings every day!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Yarn Along

This week, I am reading The Reading Promise by Alice Ozma and yes, her name is Alice Ozma (named after Alice in Wonderland and a character from the Oz books). Her literary name matches her memoir of reading with her father. Alice and her father made a reading promise that lasted from when she was nine until she left for college. Her father read to her every day (no exceptions) for at least ten minutes a day.  This was the perfect book to read right now as I contemplate how Luke and I seem to have less and less time for reading aloud. When I read that they set a minimum of ten minutes daily, I though that I could do that easily. Since the twins arrived, reading aloud with Luke had diminished to about once a week which is hardly enough time to keep the flow of a book going. He's growing up so quickly and I want to hold onto our reading tradition. So, I decided that Luke and I would read again every night, but I wouldn't put so much pressure on myself to read for thirty or forty minutes in one sitting anymore. The important thing is the consistency. We recently started reading the latest Penderwick novel and it's just the thing for summer reading!
On the needles?  Too much stuff, but this week, I'm working on the Cat Cay Cowl featured at Quince and Co. and boy, is it ever tedious. I like the small cables, but every round is different and I can't really look away from the pattern very much. I'm also making another self-striping hat for Tess, but this time in something a little more feminine. I'm actually not sure what yarn this is.  I know it's some sock yarn from Hobby Lobby. I always need some project that doesn't require a lot of brain power and something that I can throw in my bag without also having to grab my entire knitting bag of tools. I'm also organizing my yarn again. I can't help it. When I'm knitting something, I can't completely focus on it as I am always planning for or thinking about  the next project. I am literally forcing myself to stay focused on this cowl until it's done. Knitting may calm me down, but it hasn't cured my ADD tendencies.

Don't forget to head over to Ginny's for more yarn and books! 

Trying to capture all 5...

isn't easy.

Monday, June 20, 2011


Here's where we were last week! It may have been ambtitious for us to go camping with 8 month old twins, but I do love camping! Tessie climbed all over the air mattresses in the tent and refused to sleep and well, the twins weren't much better, but Luke and Sam both earned Junior Ranger badges. I managed to knit these hats for the boys on the long drive and around the camp fire.
So, I couldn't really get a good picture of the boys modeling their new hats, but this photo does make me chuckle. A knitter needs some mindless knitting for camping and this hat fits the bill. When it starts to get dark outside while enjoying the warmth of a camp fire, a project that I don't need to think about is perfect. I used this fun yarn. It's hard to find self-striping yarn that isn't sock weight and Adriafil Knit Col is a DK weight

Anyway, we're relaxing into Summer and all the joy the season brings. Although I have a list of things I'd like to do and a huge list of things I need to do, I'm trying to live a more deliberate life. I'm slowing down and focusing on the smaller joys. My list will follow later today!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Liam's sweet potatoes

Liam had his first meal the day after James. Liam was sleeping when I fed James and of course, I'd never wake a sleeping baby!  Here he is enjoying his sweet potatoes! It looks like he's grabbing the spoon.  Yummy!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Yarn Along: gardening and knitting at the same time

I planted our small garden this weekend. Again, I'm hopeful for a small harvest. It isn't easy to garden at our elevation (8600 feet). I'm ever optimistic despite the past few years of midget carrots, pumpkins that start off promising, but fizzle and pathetic strawberry plants.  This year, I planted Carnival Blend carrots (they grow in yellow, orange and purple), chives, strawberries, marigolds, Mammoth sunflowers, kale and snap peas.  With all the tall evergreens surrounding our home, I suspect my plants don't get enough sun.  I keep trying because like knitting, time in the garden is relaxing to the soul. 
I cast on this hat called Seedling by Alana Dakos. I have yet to knit something by Alana that I didn't like. This hat is done in Reverse Stockinette which means that it's a lot of purling. It's a good thing that I don't mind purling. Each row, I'm growing little seedlings. This is what I call easy gardening!

If you've been following my Yarn Alongs over the past few weeks, I'm still on Row 4 of my Baby Surprise Jacket.  Oh well.  I will eventually get back to it.

As for reading, I'm re-reading The Magic of Ordinary Days for upcoming book club.

I must go to put the twins down for a nap. We're kicking our Summer break off today with a trip down the hill to the library. We'll also meet up with daddy and get some ice cream. Okay, the babies are sleepy.  Must go.  So, head on over to Ginny's to read about more yarn and book adventures this week.