Friday, October 25, 2013

Weekly Report: Week #10

We have been on-fire this week!  It's good to really be back into the groove of homeschooling!  (Apparently, it takes our family about six to eight weeks to do that...good to know when we start up next year, right?)

Junebug had a great week of Kindergarten!  We learned to play dominoes, which she loved.

I also think that her phonics works is starting to "click"--she's actually sounding stuff out on her own now!  It's been months of me saying, "Alright, think about that again--what sound does [insert letter here] say?  Good, now if [letter] says [whatever], then make that sound when I point to the letter.  Ready, alright, make the sound..."

[insert sound of crickets chirping here]

This drove me nuts when I was teaching my oldest to read.  All the pieces were there:  phonics curriculum, time, a teacher, a student.  But the recognition, mental maturity, whatever that magical spark is...that didn't show up for two years after we started.  I was sure I was doing it wrong, everyone else seemed to glory in agreeing that I was doing it wrong and should reconsider this crazy homeschooling idea, and Bluebird was all "This is stupid."

But, partly due to believing in what I was doing, and a little bit to do with proving everyone else wrong, I kept going through the paces with her every morning, and then it clicked one day and I haven't been able to hold her back since.  Knowing that it does eventually "click" saved me a lot of grief in teaching Penguin to read, and it's been a great blessing in regards to my personal stores of patience while I've worked with Junebug, who has preferred to translate all the letters into her own personal language.  The reward of this particular teaching task is one of my favorite highs.  It's an amazing thing to know that you've taught another human being to read, and that feeling never gets old.  Yay, teaching!

So, yes, Junebug has moved ahead in the reading arena, but as for her penmanship...

...I've made the executive decision to spend more one-on-one time with her while she does her work.  ("C" is a gallon jug of milk, in case you can't figure it out.)

Penguin's been a little recalcitrant in regards to school this week.  There was a lot of coaxing on my part to get her to do her work.  I really do think Second Grade Stubbornness is an actual thing.  Once again, I'm glad for my previous experience with Bluebird, and knowing that this is completely normal.

We started out the school year with her balking about silent reading time, but I took my lessons I learned with Bluebird and have remained calm in the face of her resistance, informing Penguin that she will read her books because it's just what she has to do.  If she wants to sit on the couch all day long and stare at the wall, that's her choice; but it wastes her day and she's just going to keep on doing the same thing over and over until the job gets done.  We had a really, really rough two weeks where she sulked on the couch and whimpered through reading, and then she gave up and now she just asks how much she needs to read and goes to her task.  Even on her "difficult" days, she's done with her school work before lunch, and then she spends the rest of the day making arts and crafts projects, and snuggling with the cat.

Little Miss Bluebird finally received her very first compass set this week (it was supposed to be here about three weeks ago), and she is utterly fascinated with all the coolness that accompanies the wee tools.  (Do you remember your first compass set?  I felt like such a big kid when I got mine!)

Bluebird also beat the clock on her math facts drill for the first time ever since starting Saxon 54!  She's taken to bragging about her mathematical prowess to her sisters; and, even though I don't encourage bragging, it's so nice to hear her talking about her math skills in a positive light again.  I don't think I've heard her say good things about math since before the second grade--stupid Second Grade Stubbornness and all the havoc it wreaked upon our home!  But I believed in what we were doing, and we kept pushing along, and it's turned out alright.  (I'm writing this all down so that I can remind myself that these sorts of things do turn out all right!  You know there's going to be something that's going to pop up in the future that will have me doubting all this again.)

Oh, speaking of Math:

This week's "Math Meeting Sanity Knit."  It makes me chuckle every time someone mentions to me how great an idea they think it is to have some handwork to take the edge off of the Math Meetings!  Seeing how you seem to like seeing it so much, I'll try to include a picture whenever I remember.  (We should make this into a thing!  The "Math Meeting Sanity Crafters!")

Reading-wise, the girls have been busy.  Penguin has sailed through A Child's Garden of Verses, by Robert Louis Stevenson; finished up Treasure Island; and is currently tackling The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.  I think she's a fan of Sherlock, as she keeps yelling that she's "not done with the chapter" she's working on when her reading time ends.

Bluebird finished Treasure Island and The Boys' War, and is currently working on The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Bull Run.

Bluebird also wrote her first full-length writing assignment:  an essay about her best friend.  I'm requiring all "final" work to be done in cursive this year, which meant that it took two days to write it out.  Oh, my handwriting-phobic daughter, it's for your own good.  I knew she couldn't handle it last year, but she's in the fourth grade now and it just has to be done.  I noticed this morning that she has started writing her name in cursive on her worksheets, so it's starting to stick.

It's a bittersweet thing, this growing up that children do...until I sit back and reminisce about all the conversations I have had over the past nine years in regards to why underwear is superior to diapers, why learning to tie shoelaces is not optional, why learning to write the alphabet is not optional, why belching at the table is not appropriate, why crying won't get you out of putting your dishes in the sink, etc.  It's great to be moving on, but the moving on comes at a price that makes my heart ache at times.  I love my babies, and I'm excited to be moving forward and out of the baby stage...but I miss my babies, too.  Being a mother is so ridiculously irrational at times.

Awesome Moments from this Week:

  • Monkeyboy rattled off the 1+___ addition table.  Apparently, he is listening during memorization time.
  • Junebug's newfound ease in sounding out words.
  • Penguin's Treasure Island comprehension answers.
  • Watching Bluebird tinker with her compass, and hearing her talk about how great she is at math again.
  • Listening to the girls argue over which American President came first, and then singing the American Presidents song together to see who's right.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

More Pirates

Michael was reading something online and started telling me about it--some movie with Tom Hanks in it portraying the captain of a ship that was taken over by Somali pirates.

Penguin was playing nearby and looked up.  "Are those pirates from the place where the really small people come from?"

Michael and I laughed, "No, honey, they're not pygmies.  Although that would make for a much more entertaining movie."

"Pygmies?  What are pygmies?"

"Pygmies," we said, "you know, really small people in that part of the world.  The pirates weren't pygmies; the pirates are from Somalia."

Penguin nodded and said, "Yeah.  Smallia.  The place that has small people."

Monday, October 21, 2013

Treasure Island Comprehension

Penguin finished reading her abridgment of Treasure Island today, so I sat her down and went through the various comprehension questions I could think of, and then asked her the "Questions for Discussions" found in the back of the book.  (Love those!)

We discussed Jim Hawkins' choices and motivations, and Penguin thought she'd probably do a lot of things the same way he had done them in the book.

The discussion turned to Long John Silver with the following question:  "John Silver is an unusual character.  He is likable one minute and treacherous the next.  Have you ever met someone like that?"

Penguin scrunched up her face in contemplation, and then she leaned in closer to me and said, "I do know one person like Long John Silver."

Feeling a little concerned, I leaned in closer as well, "You do?  Who do you know who is likable one minute and then mean the next?"

Penguin glanced around quickly, and then said, "Monkeyboy."

Friday, October 18, 2013

Weekly Report: Week #9
Australia, and I think we're getting the hang of this

October continues its kind treatment of the staff and students of Brooketopia Academy!  This week was pretty fantastic, even with the last, grasping fingers of our sickness refusing to give way, and getting through the last week of Michael's two-week business trip to Australia.

Our school days had a definite end time this week--I set an alarm on my phone to go off each day at 3:15pm so we could boot up Skype on the television and have a chat with Michael, who would be just getting up at 6:15am the next day in Brisbane.  We learned a lot about Australian culture this week!

Everyone is moving ahead in their subjects, and I sat down with my newly-printed lesson planner to figure out what kind of catch-up we need to start playing in order to be where we're supposed to be by Christmas.  (We've got some big weeks ahead of us.)

Bluebird and Penguin both scored 100% on their spelling tests this week, yippee!  Bluebird should be done with Level 2 next week and move up to Level 3 spelling.
This week's "Math Meeting Sanity Project."

Lots of work done, and a trip to Salt Lake City in order to pick up Michael from the airport!  (Yes, there were yarn purchases.)  Here's to another week of productivity, and a fervent hope that we'll all kick this nasty little virus's rump to the curb.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tweedy Lil' Pumpkin Hat
My First Published Pattern!

Because it's October,
Because I have an adorable little nephew who is going to totally rock this hat,
And because I've harbored a secret desire to design knitting patterns for almost a decade.

Here it is, my debut pattern, self-published on Ravelry and available to any who wish to partake of its cuteness.

Yes, I'm proud.

Broken down to its bare bones, this is just a simple little hat with cables and a little bit of colorwork on the top.  This particular version was knit with Rowan Felted Tweed DK, which was quite nice to work with.  I prefer DK-weight yarns for kids' hats because of its lighter weight.  Worsted can so easily get too bulky on wee people, but DK-weight just works so perfectly.

Monkeyboy is modeling the hat, but it has been knit to fit a slightly smaller child, so it's a tad snug on my boy's noggin.  I'll probably knit him one in the 2-4 year size since he was such a fan of wearing it for the pictures.

You can read more about the pattern over on Ravelry, and you can buy the pattern if you'd like.  There's just something about knitting up little pumpkins this time of year and watching little people run around with stems atop their heads.  Makes me smile so much.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Turning My Heart Back to Homemaking; Opening My Heart to Christ

When I started this blog, years ago, it mostly focused on homemaking.  I couldn't find a whole lot of encouragement and support online in regards to what I was doing, so I thought I'd throw my voice out there and help lift my fellow women who had chosen to pursue homemaking as a career.  The years have gone by, we've added more children to our family, and now homeschooling is the main focus of my day, and the blog has shifted to reflect that change in emphasis as well.

With that shift, it felt as though the mood around here changed.  Instead of feeling like a motivational figure, either online or in my own home, I felt like a manager of tasks.  "Do this, and you'll achieve that."  "Keep pushing through, and you'll eventually have success."  "Pray, and His strength will come to you and allow you to finish the difficult challenges in your day."  I felt like I was striving to complete an obstacle course in a rainstorm--like there's this film of me falling down in the mud, but then dragging myself back up, sweat and rain streaming down my face as my eyes focus upon some goal in the distance, and my brow furrows before I force myself to start moving forward yet again, staggering with that first step, but then growing stronger and faster.  You know, that epic shot of the underdog before they harness all their strength and miraculously win the race, all to the soundtrack of the drumming of an isolated heartbeat.  I will finish this race.  I am a finisher.  I work smart.  I've got God on my side.  Strength, self-discipline, commitment, go.

The dishes can wait, there's a grammar lesson that needs teaching.  The laundry can sit in the baskets while I drill math facts.  We'll vacuum after piano practice; and, because the school day is taking longer than originally planned, we'll order pizza for dinner or have Dad bring home drive-thru.  I'm going to buy frozen breakfasts to heat up in the morning because there's no time to cook in the mornings before starting school.  The call to homeschool is of higher importance than the call to be a homemaker.

At the end of this last school year (2012-2013), I knew I was done.  I was done with this.  Done with the battle, the gritted teeth, the slow-motion shots of myself prevailing against difficulty every. day. of. my. life.  (Of course, at the time I was trying to nurture four young children while recovering from two herniated discs that literally had me lying flat on my back.  I guess it's pretty natural that one might feel like everything about their life was a bit of a battle.)  Fearing that homeschooling was no longer the path I was supposed to pursue, I prayed many a tearful prayer that I could do the right thing, that I could choose the path that God had prepared for me, and that I could feel joy in walking His path, whatever it may be.  Because all I could feel was anger and resentment--here I was, a college-educated, ridiculously smart woman of enormous ability, stuck on a couch because I injured myself with carrying heavy loads of laundry, bearing children, and sitting on my butt teaching my kids.  Hurrah for homemaking and my wonderful feminine potential!

It was in these low moments of last spring that my eyes were opened to the importance of what I was doing.  You see, three months of not being able to walk, bend over, lift, cook, or sit--in a home with four young children who stay home all day--it trashes your house.  Completely.  Michael worked his tail off making dinners and getting the laundry done in the evenings, but the other ten "children are awake" hours when he wasn't around--the house was getting trashed worse every single day.  One Sunday my bishop shook my hand before church and asked how things were going.  I broke down in tears and just blurted out, "My house is filthy and I can't clean it up."  And then my eyes widened at having said that, out loud, to my bishop.  Bless that man, he told our Relief Society president and she had a posse of women show up at my house that week for a serious housecleaning event.

It was during that "work party" that my eyes were opened:  that same Relief Society president, while sweeping the dining room floor, bent over at the waist to pick up a piece of garbage off of the floor.  First, I felt a pang of jealousy because I couldn't remember the last time I had bent from the waist and not felt pain; second, that little moment of picking up a piece of trash made that room look so much better.  I felt better not having to see that piece of trash.  I felt better not having to worry about tripping over something.  I felt better not having to smell food rotting in the garbage cans or in the sink.  I felt better seeing the carpet and the vacuum tracks that told me the carpet was clean.  I felt relieved whereas I had felt suffocated an hour before.  I said a silent prayer that I could remember that moment, and it has stuck with me since.

We just had General Conference last weekend.  It's a time when we receive counsel from church leaders in the form of various talks/sermons.  Two weeks before this General Conference I felt a strong desire to "prepare" for it.  Normally I consider Conference a positive experience if I manage to just listen to the sessions, but my heart yearned for a significant experience this time around.  So I embarked upon a course of preparation--I attended the temple, I re-committed to daily scripture study, I read a talk every day from the last General Conference, I was more attentive in my prayers, and I was diligent about writing in my journal.  Our bishop counselled us to pray earnestly to Heavenly Father to know what lessons we needed to learn, or to know what answers we should be searching for.  I prayed, but I didn't really have an idea of what I wanted to hear or for what question I wanted an answer.

But I was starting to notice a pattern in my studies:  talks that mentioned the work of homemaking, the work of motherhood, and the gentle love of Christ were hitting my heart in an almost painful way.  It started first with Elaine S. Dalton's talk "We Are Daughters of Our Heavenly Father," when she said, "Our daily contributions of nurturing, teaching, and caring for others may seem mundane, diminished, difficult, and demeaning at times..." and, of her own mother, "She was never recognized by the world.  She didn't want that.  She understood who she was and whose she was--a daughter of God.  Indeed, it can be said of our mother that she acted well her part."

I found myself wanting to be like Sister Dalton's mother.  I want my children to have a mother who lovingly serves them without complaint, who has a gentle answer and a powerful faith that shows, through example, that God is with us.  I wanted to see the beauty in folding laundry, making dinner, mopping the floor, and scouring the bathtub.  I know it's beautiful because I've seen the homes and families that have a mother who knows those things are beautiful.  I know how I feel around those women, and I want my children to feel that way around me:  calm, safe, loved, at peace, clean, healthy, strong, beautiful, glorious.  I've respected those women since childhood when I'd visit the homes of my friends whose mothers were full-time homemakers, and I knew that was the kind of mother I wanted to be when I eventually had children.

And then there was Elder Richard G. Scott's talk, "For Peace at Home," which grabbed me starting with the first few lines:  "Many voices from the world in which we live tell us we should live at a frantic pace.  There is always more to do and more to accomplish.  Yet deep inside each of us is a need to have a place of refuge where peace and serenity prevail, a place where we can reset, regroup, and reenergize [sic] to prepare for future pressures."  And it hit me--I have no place like this.  I have a building that I have to keep clean, in which I also have to simultaneously prepare meals, teach children, and keep young children from harming themselves.  All I saw from wake-up to lay-down was work.  I was living in a cubicle.

So I started to pray to know what this all had to do with me.  I was already home, what more could I do?

General Conference weekend arrived.  I sat on the couch, journal and pen in hand, to take notes rather than knit as I usually do.  The talks were good and uplifting, and then Elder D. Todd Christopherson took his turn at the pulpit and launched into a beautiful discourse about the morality of women and how our innate desire for the virtuous and lovely is so under-appreciated by so many in this day and age.  He talked of the power we hold to inspire others to reach higher, and of how strong our influence is within the walls of our homes.  It was during his talk that I felt, in my heart, a re-affirmation of the immense importance of homemaking.

Our homes are where our children's standards are shaped, where they learn what is right--and parents vary widely in their teachings of the definition of "right."  Standards aren't just obeying the Ten Commandments; standards are knowing how to treat others, how to speak to others, how to conduct one's self, and how to love.  People act out what they learned in their homes far more often than what they learned anywhere else.  How am I teaching my children to act?  What "version" of right are they internalizing?

What is the spirit of our home?  Is it peace?  Love?  Contentment?  Christ?

Or is it anxiety?  Anger?  Resentment?  Exasperation?

What am I teaching my children to be comfortable with?  What is "normal" to them?

I've tried to shift my focus off of the homeschooling and back towards homemaking since last weekend.  I've prayed for the strength and the desire to prepare healthy meals, to keep caught up with the laundry, to clean all the things, and do all the organizational stuff that keeps things running smoothly.  And you know what?  Life is better this way.  Homeschooling is so much easier and enjoyable this way--and I would venture to guess that we'll actually get more done each day once things are really running smoothly again.  Heavenly Father even showed me, through my bout of sickness this week, that the "burden" of some of my tasks can be shared with my growing children.  (Maybe I should say "joy" of my tasks...)

When my children are nourished with a healthy and balanced diet, they are calm; and, therefore, kinder.  They are able to focus much better and perform better on their schoolwork.

When my children are able to get dressed in the morning without having to search for clean clothes, they have more time for their schoolwork and chores, which allows them more time to play.  There's no anger on their part about not being able to find something they wanted, and no anger on my part about how long it's taking them to get ready.

When my children can walk through a room without stubbing their toes on toys, stepping on LEGOs, or tripping on items, there's no tears and yelling at other siblings for not picking up their stuff.  If everything is put away, then it's easy to find those things when we need them, rather than getting angry and frustrated about not having what we need when we need it.

When the grocery list is filled out, I purchase everything I need instead of getting halfway through a recipe and realizing I'm missing a key ingredient and having to either run to the store or leave out the ingredient and risk the dish tasting wrong.

When the calendar is kept up-to-date, we have a chance at attending the neat things we'd like to attend.

When the baseline essentials are taken care of, we have time for the sublime--and we can enjoy it completely.

Our biggest goal as homemakers is to create peace in our homes; or, in other words, to have the Spirit of Christ in our homes.  His Spirit is the Spirit of Peace and Joy.  Any other feeling is not of Him.  "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."1  To be called the child of someone is to assign a sort of ownership and acknowledgement that the child's actions are in harmony with the parent's beliefs.  To create peace is to act like God would act, and there is no one else I'd rather be more like than God.  And when this is our true and sole intent, when all we seek after is His peace and His will, then we can see God and His love and His blessings more readily in our daily lives.  "Blessed are the pure in heart:  for they shall see God."2

Is "homemaker" synonymous with the word "peacemaker?"  For it is in our homes that we strive to create peace, a place of beauty and refuge from the storms of life.  In our homes we teach peace to our children, in essence creating peace for future generations.  Creating an orderly home is most definitely being about our Father's business.3

As a woman, a wife, a mother--as a homemaker, a hostess to Christ, my supreme goal is to invite Him into our home, and into the hearts of my husband and children.  There are many, many tasks that lend to the accomplishment of that goal.  It's work, and how I view and execute that work largely dictates how much of Christ's Spirit will enter my home.

I have so much influence through my work as a homemaker.  I now see how important it is to put that work first.  It's far easier to love and teach in a peaceful environment.

1 Matthew 5:9 KJV
2 Matthew 5:8 KJV
3 Luke 2:49

Friday, October 11, 2013

Weekly Report: Week #8
Homemaking and Independent Learning Week!

Homemaking and Independent Learning Week is just a fancy code name for "Mom got sick."

But this time, I figured out the perks of me getting sick!  (I know, actual perks!)

I've realized, with this past week that included  me being completely exhausted, congested, and, yippie me, eventually mute, that my kids are capable of doing a lot of things, not only for themselves, but also for other people in our family.  Without getting sick and having to completely hand the reins over to them, I wouldn't know that.

Bluebird stepped up and delivered all this week.  She has cooked meals, changed diapers, and given baths.  Penguin has helped keep her younger siblings quiet so I could rest--if you've spent any amount of time around Junebug and Monkeyboy, you would be absolutely amazed.

On most days the two of them have done a fair amount of school reading, and a random smattering of other school-related tasks that they can accomplish on their own.  (The school stuff needed some fancy hand signal reminders from good ol' Mom, but the work was done, so I don't care that they needed the brain jog.)  Bluebird has been working through Undying Glory: The Story of the Massachusetts 54th Regiment, and Penguin is still slogging away on Treasure Island.  Bluebird's doing good on her Book of Mormon reading, and Penguin is avoiding it.  If I had more energy, I'd push it more, but I'm going to make a conscious choice to be happy with what we've got.

So far none of the kids have caught whatever vicious germ I'm fighting, and I keep wiping down all the door knobs, handles, and light switches with disinfectant wipes to try to keep the trend going.

Next week was supposed to be Autumn Break, but I think we'll count this week as our break and use the next to catch up.

And I should probably come up with some awesome field trip or activity to go on/do as a way to express my appreciation for what troopers they've all been this week.

Sometimes trials are just an invitation to see others' abilities in a whole new light.

Pretty proud of my kids this week.

(Won't lie though, I'd really like to get my voice back...)

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Family isn't about blood.

Did you know that I habitually go back and re-read the posts I wrote about making Carly's Wedding Honeymoon Shawl?  That was "the" moment I felt I could call myself a hardcore knitter.  Up until that point, I wasn't sure if I could knit anything my little heart desired, but once I was finished with that shawl, I knew I was limitless in my knitterly abilities.  Plus, those posts are funny.  How much can possibly go awry with one single project?  Ha ha.  Good times.

So remember that--I am pleased with how it all turned out...

Because I just volunteered myself to make two more wedding shawls.

And I'm just as ridiculously excited now as I was back then.

Carly married my brother Shaun.  He and I are full-blood siblings, the only two that sprung forth from our particular set of parents.  What's interesting is that I also have ten other "siblings."  Some share half of my DNA; and most do not, but some of our parents were married to each other at some point in my life.

I struggled with this idea for many you "count" step-siblings after your parents divorce?  What about kids that your ex-stepparents have with other people?  Do you "count" them?  Because that's a whole lot of people in my particular circumstance.

It was my ex-stepfather who shaped my decision.  He never forgets my birthday, and he never forgets to call me at Christmas.  He might be a little late with those calls, but he makes them when he looks at the calendar and realizes the date.  I'm one of his six kids, despite ending his marriage to my mom some twenty-something years ago.  I do not doubt his love for me.  And knowing that he loves me makes me feel pretty fantastic.  Why limit love to only those who share some genetic similarities?

So yeah, everyone counts.  I have eleven siblings--four sisters and seven brothers.  All are welcome in my home at any time.

I started a tradition with Carly's shawl that I intend to carry out for each and every one of my siblings' future weddings:  I will knit each bride a shawl for her special day.  The next two marriages are for two of my brothers, Dakota and Steven, so the shawls will be for my future sisters-in-law, Alexah and Meghan.

I only came to this decision about the "Shawl Tradition" a few weeks back, so there has been one wedding that I missed, that of my sister L'Teara.  I plan to make it up to her.

Prepare yourselves for a whole lot of lace knitting for the next many months.  I don't think there will be any knitted Christmas presents whatsoever this year.

But there will be lots and lots of lace, which is totally better, right?

Jacob 5:61

Friday, October 4, 2013

Weekly Report: Week #7
October is my new best friend

I hoped that October would bring better school days, and it has!  Yay October!

Of course, her "some, some more" drawing
included penguins!

Bluebird continues to sail along.  She had a test this week and scored 100% on it.  Penguin is doing really well with all the little new things that are being thrown at her.  Junebug's lessons are so easy that it almost doesn't bear mentioning.  I'm thinking about just bumping her up into Saxon 1 so she can have more to do.

How to stay sane during math meetings.

Language Arts

Junebug thought it was so incredibly awesome that her penmanship book used my name as one of the practice words!

Both Bluebird and Penguin had spelling tests this week and both of them scored 100%!  They are both doing so well with their spelling!

Grammar is going well for both of them.  Bluebird's memorizing a new poem, and I think she'll have it pretty quick.  Penguin is learning about contractions, which makes her think a wee bit in regards to what words the contractions stand for.

"Mama!  Look!  I do penmanship too!"

Knitting during read aloud time
Bluebird wrote a paragraph about finding a wild cat in the park.  I required that the final copy be done in cursive.  This stipulation was not well-received.

Bluebird finished Behind Rebel Lines, and Penguin is almost through Treasure Island.  Our bishop issued a challenge to our ward on Sunday to read the entire Book of Mormon by the end of the year, so I have the two of them doing that as well during Reading Time.

Everything Else

We went to the Kaya book club this week and discussed the third book.  I taught the girls how to do loom beading, and it went really well.

I had a lot of paperwork to wade through before we could run errands this week, so I told them to do art with whatever medium they wanted to try, and they did:

It's been a busy, productive week that I'm proud of.  Yay October!

A funny from the week:  We're memorizing the American Presidents, and Junebug thinks Teddy Roosevelt is all sorts of awesome.  Bluebird and Penguin thought it was incredibly funny to change his "Speak softly..." quote to "Speak softly and carry a pogo stick."  Junebug completely loses it when she hears them say this.  She stopped speaking to them for the better part of a day this week when they first came up with it.  Don't mess with Teddy.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Knitting Cannibalism

Last week I treated you to a shot of a pumpkin hat-in-progress.  I finished it shortly thereafter, and loved it immensely.  Unfortunately, it was majorly too small for its intended recipient.  What you see is presented to you only as photographic evidence that the too-small first version of this hat did indeed exist in its entirety at some point.

I dutifully cast on for a second try, and I've been churning away on Pumpkin Hat #2 ever since.  However, it got serious last night:  I ran out of orange yarn.

I had to decide between buying another skein, or sacrificing the petite version to feed the gluttonous beast that is the\second hat.

I opted to commit Knitting Cannibalism.

 I'm not sorry at all.