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Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Dare I say such a thing? I am incredibly happy that this is almost done - especially considering the birthday party this will be going to is in just a few short days. It has been really fun knitting this, and honestly, it isn't a hard knit.
Last week after I posted my seriously sad amount of knitting progress I decided to sit down and spend some dedicated time knitting. I don't typically do that. Usually I try to knit a few rows here and there, my attention always elsewhere. But, I figured that it was ok for me to sit down for a couple hours and just knit, so that is what I did.
With all of the extended knitting, there has been a lot less reading. I am still reading 1984. I am starting to realize that reading this book on my Nexus before bed is probably not a smart choice. It is enjoyable though, just a little concerning considering all of the news recently. I need to look for something light hearted and easy. I have a few books that I received recently, so I will have to take a look at them and see if they fit the bill.
I'm not sure what I am going to knit next. I have a shawl that I have been working on for a while, but it was put down in order to get this tank top finished, so maybe I will go back to that. There are a lot of beautiful shawl patterns out there that I have been eyeing lately...maybe I will have to take extended knitting breaks during the day more frequently!
Linking up with Ginny, Nicole, and Tami
Tuesday, June 18, 2013
We went for a hike this past weekend. And I am not even sure you would call it a hike...but I am going to name it as such! It is only the second time we have attempted this with kids. The first time was last year when Jack was still in the ERGO. It is something we have talked about doing more of, and I think we were extremely successful this time!
It is kind of funny because I am not really a hiker. I'm not that crazy about climbing mountains or mosquitoes, or sweating for that matter :-) But, I definitely see the importance of getting the kids out into the woods to explore nature.
That isn't to say that we stay inside all the time, but we mainly stick to playing in our yard and being in the garden - which are also great outdoor experiences. The problem that I have when we are home is that there is always something else that needs to be done. Yes, we can be outside playing, but then I remember that I have a load of laundry to do, or I should start dinner, or put in another load of dishes.
When we go away from the house, I feel like it allows a lot more down time to really enjoy nature and not necessarily think about what else needs to be done at home. This is something we have been talking about for a while, and I hope that we can make it into a weekly occurrence.
There is something about being out in the middle of the woods, with only the sounds of nature (and perhaps some screaming children when a toad jumps out of their hand). It is incredibly peaceful for me, and every time that Matt and I experience that peace, we realize that it would be nice to have more of it!
Do you try to get out into nature frequently? Are you able to find the same peace being at your own home? Or are you like me always feeling like there is one more thing that needs to be done, so never completely relaxing?
Linking up at Hip Homeschool Hop, Summer Bucket List, the Mommy Club
Monday, June 17, 2013
My garden seems to be doing really well despite all the rain. I don't see any pests yet. Of course that doesn't mean they aren't there, it just means that I can't see them :-)
This week is typically the week I start to see the cucumber beetles and their very amorous mating rituals. I don't see any sign of them on my potted cucumbers either...so it is probably too early. I am holding out hope though that they have decided to live someplace else this season. I'm all for visitors, but the ones that destroy my plants are not welcome!
The one sign of damage that I have seen is on my pepper plants. The leaves are all turning yellow and dying. I know that it is because we have had so much rain, and not so much in the way of hot sunny weather. It is still early though, and I hope they are able to bounce back.
This week looks like it will be warmer, mid-70's during the day and mid-50's at night. This is a big change from the past couple of weeks where the temps at night have hovered in the low 40's. I know that my plants are not huge fans of those temps. Well, the lettuce and kale are totally fine with that, but all of my other plants are not happy. I have also heard the rumblings of humidity, while not my favorite type of weather, I know the garden loves it...so I will go with it. And honestly, with winter seemingly lasting 8 to 9 months this past year, a little heat and humidity is welcome!
I remember a couple years ago that it rained all but two days in June, followed by half of July also in rain, and then no rain for about a month. What a strange summer that was! But, I am learning that I can't really expect the same thing every year. It is incredibly interesting to see the differences and challenges each growing season. I sometimes wonder if I will ever get ahead of this crazy gardening learning curve.
I recently heard something fascinating about gardening and farmers. Say you want to grow potatoes, and you grow potatoes for 30 years. That is only 30 chances to get it right. If you are trying to learn a piano piece, you practice it hundreds of times to get it right. I thought it was an interesting comparison, and not something I had thought of before. It also made me feel a lot better about sometimes losing a lot of what I plant.
How are things growing in your garden? Are you harvesting already? Have you been gardening a long time? If yes, do you feel like you have it all together?
Linking up at Clever Chicks and the Homestead Hop
Sunday, June 16, 2013
Happy Father's Day to all of the dads out there! I especially want to thank my wonderful husband for the awesome job he does with our kids. And also a very happy 1st Father's Day to my brother!
"You fathers will understand. You have a little girl. She looks up to you. You're her oracle. You're her hero. And then the day comes when she gets her first permanent wave and goes to her first real party, and from that day on, you're in a constant state of panic."
~Stanley T. Banks Father of the Bride
Friday, June 14, 2013
I love cooking and eating, and I especially love looking at pictures of food! If you love food as much as I do, please add your food pictures/recipes/food related posts to the linky below. All you have to do is link back to this blog post. I look forward to seeing what everyone else is eating this week!
Linking up with One Project at a Time
My kids have been on a yogurt and fruit breakfast kick for several weeks now. My 2.5 year old even exclaimed to me this week, "Mama, I love yogurt because it is made out of ice cream!" Highly entertaining...and very happy that I give them very basic vanilla full fat yogurt, instead of the M&M stuff I saw a grandmother buying at the grocery store.
They have always liked yogurt, but it has been more of a snack. They are usually opting for a warm breakfast. I'm not complaining though, yogurt and fruit is about the easiest breakfast I could ask for! But, when they only have yogurt and fruit, they seem to be ready for something else to eat at 8am. With it being cold and rainy at the beginning of the week I decided to make granola.
I don't really have a recipe for this. I used about 4 cups of rolled oats and then about a cup each of unsweetened flaked coconut, raw sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds. Maybe 1/4-1/3 cup of chia seeds, a couple handfuls of brown sugar, some cinnamon and nutmeg. Then I *may* have melted a stick of butter with a couple tablespoons of honey and mixed it all together. Cooked at 250 degrees for a little over an hour stirring several times. It came out delicious. And now my kids want granola with milk for breakfast instead of the yogurt and granola I thought they would want! :-)
I used to make a lot of granola, but I never found a recipe that my husband liked. Apparently I should stop following recipes and instead make it up as I go along :-) I also want to note that I have a HUGE cookie sheet that this all fit on. If I was using a normal sized cookie sheet I would have had to split this in half.
Now for my favorites from last week:
Alright everyone! Show me what you have been eating!
Linking up with One Project at a Time
Thursday, June 13, 2013
How are you at waking up before your kids in the morning? I am successful some of the time, but not all of the time. My kids are early risers - 6:30am and they are awake for the day! We put them to bed at 7pm every night now - this is a newish change, as in it started right around Thanksgiving last year. I know what you are thinking, why don't you put them to bed later?! Well, we have tried that, and have figured out that when they go to bed later than 7:15, they wake up between 5-5:30am for the day. So 7pm it is!
I'm not really here to write about my kids' bedtime routine though! I want to talk about my morning routine. I have talked about it before here, but I wanted to talk a bit about how it has changed.
I am still doing the very cool Hello Mornings challenge. If you haven't heard of it, you should look into it! We are in week six of the summer session right now and let me tell you, it has been a complete blessing to me.
The gist of the challenge is to wake up before your children to have quiet time, plan your day, and incorporate some exercise before the chaos of the morning ensues. The point is to not be a bear to your children in the morning.
Now, do I always have a big chunk of time in the morning to do all of the above? Absolutely not! And I have to say that it was entirely discouraging for a long time. Here I am waking up before the sun comes up, looking for some quiet time to center myself before the craziness starts, and a babe wakes up 10 minutes after I get out of bed.
But, in the past several months, things have been turning around for me and my attitude in the morning. I think a large part of it is because of the wonderful group of women I *meet* with each morning to check in with. Oh, did I not mention that? When you join the challenge, you sign up for a group to participate with. They are your support system and everyone checks in and checks on each other. It is extremely encouraging to get a "good morning!" from someone that early, don't ask me why, it makes me smile!
Not to say that my previous groups were not wonderful as well, but this group is a lot more involved than the previous groups, even the one that I created myself! I realized that even having 10 minutes to myself in the morning was enough for me to take a breath and be thankful for a new day. The biggest change to my morning routine is giving myself the grace to not be perfect about it.
My mornings still start extremely early - I aim to be out of bed by 4:45am, crazy but it seems to be the best time to sneak downstairs with no one the wiser. It doesn't always happen, and I give myself a lot of leniency, especially if we have a teething child or someone goes to bed late (ie me when I am reading a new book). I have been doing this now since September of 2011, and it has become much more routine for me.
I would love to say that I participate in all three areas, but mainly I incorporate the quiet time and the planning of my day with my planning pages. Sometimes during the spring and summer months I can get out for a walk in the morning, but that is rare. Maybe next challenge session I will try to work on the exercise portion!
Do you have a special morning routine to get ready for your day? Have you participated in Hello Mornings before? Is it something you would be interested in doing in the fall?
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
I am making progress on the front. Not nearly as much as I thought I would over the last week. But, let's be honest, I don't seem to ever make the amount of progress that I think I will. Well, unless I am up against a deadline, you know, like Christmas. So I am plugging ahead with the tank, and pretty happy with how it is looking.
I keep holding it up to Emma to check sizing (her and her cousin are only 6 weeks apart in age), and I think she is hoping it will be for her. I might need to get some more yarn and try and make her one as well - although with the speed of my knitting it might not be finished until the fall, in which case a tank top might not be the best knitting pattern choice!
Books, well I started reading 1984. I have a vague recollection of reading it in high school, but really can't remember anything about it. It is a free e-book, so I can't complain there! And I am finishing up A Rabbi Looks at the Last Days. It has been really interesting, and eye opening. I'm also going to start reading the Hunger Games again. I read the series last year, and loved it, but when I read the first book, I didn't realize it was a trilogy, so I plowed through the second two wanting to know what happens - of course. Now, I want to sit down and read them a bit slower.
And with all of those uplifting books on the horizon, I will be in my underground bunker knitting away in case anyone is looking for me!
ETA I just want to clarify that I don't actually have an underground bunker, I was just referring to the types of books I have been reading as of late :-) Didn't want anyone to become too concerned!
Joining in with Ginny, Nicole, and Tami!