Friday, November 21, 2014


I know just how Motel, the tailor, from Fiddler On The Roof felt when he got his first sewing machine--really excited with a little bit of nervous.

If something left an impression on you this week, feel free to share it here.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Winter Boutique and Dyed Onesies

The Winter Boutique that I've participated in years past is coming up this Saturday.  I never would have thought that with five children (two of them being toddlers) that I'd still be making stuff to sell.  Usually I'm pretty selfish with the things I make and the precious moments of time that I carve out for me to "make" are reserved solely for items for my own children.  But now and then I get a bug to "make" on a large scale.  And an upcoming boutique is just the motivation I need to get started.

I've had a pile (big pile) of onesies sitting on a shelf since an early summer yard sale.  And yesterday was devoted to dying them.  Georgia and Beatrice really got a kick out of me "cooking clothes" all day long in the kitchen.  When they informed me that it was lunch time I offered them some green onesies.  They looked really confused.

Well, now I have fifty plus onesies dyed and ready to stencil.  These were some from last year.  Priced at five dollars a onesie I hope that they sell well.  If not, bring on the baby showers, I'll be ready.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Yarn Along

Thanks to a late night knitting group last night I was able to finish Heartwarmer shawl number two!  Oh what a lovely little pattern.  I still have to tie in ends, block and sew on buttons but we are so close to wearing them and it can't come too soon.  The weather is so so cold and our old house does such a poor job with keeping that cold out.  We're taking some serious steps this year to help the situation.  Twelve years of freezing in our own home is enough for us.  A wood burning stove insert will arrive any day.  I do hope that it will prove to be a great improvement upon our 65 degree house temperature.  Of course, a shawl, a blanket, good slippers, wool sweaters and some hot tea or cocoa will all continue to keep us warm these coming months.  Winter's here.  We're getting ready.

With all the talk of snow and cold and winter, I should have our winter books out.  But we're still enjoying our fall books and still keenly aware of the fact that our own leaves have yet to be raked and bagged.  We're hoping for a warm(er) weekend so that we can get that chore behind us.  But back to the autumn books.  Along with our Thanksgiving picture books I have a handful of autumn themed stories.  One of my favorites, and one I am excited to pull out every year is The Little Yellow Leaf by Carin Berger.  I don't remember where I got this recommendation from many years ago but it is a treasure.  Obviously it's about autumn and leaves but it's also about a surprising friendship that is so sweet and really touches my heart.  Sometimes I can't tell if it's a happy book or a sad book.  It's funny how sometimes those two feelings are a lot more closely related than we think they should be.

Linking up with Ginny.

Friday, November 14, 2014


It's no secret who Louisa takes after when it comes to cold and snow.

If something left an impression on you this week, feel free to share it here.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Last Warm Day

Are you sick of pictures of little girls in leaves already?  I for one can't get enough of them.  I watched these two play in the leaves for a while, determined to just "be in the moment" and not worry about documenting this play time, but in the end I couldn't resist running in and grabbing my camera.  The colors and the giggles were all too much for me to resist.

Last Tuesday  we pulled into the driveway at 2:30 coming home from The Treehouse Museum.  It was past the twins' nap time.  The big kids were heading home from school and I really wanted to get Georgia and Beatrice settled before the after school craziness began.  But as we got out of the car Georgia asked, "can I jump in the leaves?"  I said no--but not too emphatically.  She asked again and headed over to the big leaf pile (two year olds are not easily defeated).

Knowing that the weather forecast predicted snow and rain and cold cold weather beginning the very next day I responded, "just a couple of jumps."  It didn't take me long to realize that what they wanted was far more important than what I wanted.  I think they could feel the cold weather coming as well, and their need for some last play time outside was a great one.  Their total and complete enjoyment of rolling and jumping and playing in the leaves reminded me that sometimes naps are overrated.

P.S.  The ponchos were hand knit by my brother's mother in law for Oliver and his cousin Karoline when they were both just one.  It's been so fun to see Oliver's poncho passed down to all of my children and then reunited with Karoline's for another season of children.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Yarn Along

Last Thursday and Friday found our family confined at home and in bed with the stomach flu.  Each and every one of us got it.  It was a miserable two days but at least it didn't linger long.  Thursday was my turn and it was very strange to be in bed all by myself for a few hours in the evening.  It is certainly a rare occurrence and I almost didn't know what to do with my alone time.  I reached over to my night stand and picked up a book--also a rare occurrence--reading for myself.  I grabbed a book that I had bought at Savers a while ago, Parallel Journeys, by Eleanor Ayer.  It's about a young Jewish German girl and a young German boy who was a soldier in the Nazi army.  It intrigued me because we rarely hear any stories for "the other side."  It's been interesting to see how charismatic and influential Hitler was and how he was able to win over the hearts and minds of so many Germans.

My knitting project is great--so much fun and so satisfying.  I hope the babies enjoy wearing their Heart Warmer shawls as much as I'm enjoying knitting them.

Linking up with Ginny.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

10 Favorite Board Books for Toddlers

After five children and lots and lots of board book reading, I've decided that reading to toddlers is really fun--if I enjoy the book myself.  I've read a lot of books that drive me crazy and I just can't bring myself to sit through another reading of it.  But there are some here and there that I really don't mind reading over and over and over and over again.  I'm always so impressed by these authors when they can somehow make a very short book interesting or beautiful to both two year olds and adults.  Here is a list of ten of my favorite board books in random order.  

1)  Time for Bed by Mem Fox (I love all of her books)

2)  The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle 

3)  The Swing by Robert Lewis Stevenson

4)  The Going to Bed Book by Sandra Boyton

5)  From Head to Toe by Eric Carle

6)  Mommies Say Shhh! by Patricia Polacco

7)  Where's Maisy by Lucy Cousins (this is always a favorite of the toddlers)

8)  Prayer for a Child by Rachel Field

9)  We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Helen Oxenbury

10)  Shelia Rae's Peppermint Stick by Kevin Henkes

I can't resist adding two more that didn't make it in the pictures--one had been loved to death and the other I couldn't find.

11)  Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boyton

12)  The Okay Book by Todd Parr

What are some of your favorite books to read to the toddlers in your life?