Yarn Along: Armas Returns

After a month or two of trying new projects (and not succeeding in many), I decided it was time to pick up Armas again.  Perhaps now I have a reasonable chance to finish it for Haus Meister this year!IMG_3049

Before setting it aside for the aforementioned time, I had managed to get past the sleeve cast off and begin work on the main body of the sweater. Somehow, though, I had forgotten this when I looked at the chart and kept wondering how I had something on the order of 100 less stitches on the needles than I needed…. This confusion lasted longer than I liked to admit, but it’s okay, though. I’m fine, really. :)

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My reading for the past two weeks is pictured here.  Marie Kondo’s “The Life-changing magic of tidying up.”  Oh my goodness, how I’ve needed this book!  I’ve been trying to formulate a blog post about this book but I guess I must just be digesting it still. I’m on the third reading of it mainly because I promised to lend it to my sister, and I want to remember as much of it as I can before I do. ;)

How simple the advice is, really. Keep only what brings you joy.  Put your house in order by discarding the things that do not bring you joy. Start with clothes, then books, then odds & ends, and then mementos.  How often I’ve started in reverse. But starting with clothes, the authoress suggests, help us to better get a sense of what we like so that we can tackle the other areas with a decent sense of perspective. I laughed at this at first; I had just been through my clothes at the season change, so surely I didn’t need to look again, right?

Then I saw the Hanna Andersson sweater.  I’d always liked that sweater in the catalog.  I had bought it gently used on eBay two years ago in a very good deal. But it wasn’t the right size after all, and it looked like a tent on me.  I never even wore it last season. I wouldn’t wear it this winter, either.  But I hung onto it because why? It was a Hanna? It was a deal? And now it was hanging unused in my closet? Time to pass on to someone else.  So I did.  At the end of an hour I had reviewed all my clothes and could now look down my half of the closet and see only those clothes I liked and knew I’d wear. There was room for everything, and I was happy.  Wow!

Don’t get me started on how her folding technique has improved the storage in our dresser drawers.  Or that it has made me actually enjoy folding the laundry.

(Anything that makes me enjoy that must be good, right?)

Or how nice it is to know I don’t HAVE to keep everything that I MIGHT need but probably WON’T…

But I will keep my button collection.  And I will keep 98% of my books.  I’m on the book stage now.  I’ll let you know how it goes. ;)

I guess I did write a blogpost about it after all, though…

Summer Read Alouds

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Oh, how we love books here. Today I kicked off our summer read-aloud “program,” which basically means I try to read aloud a lot. I’m going to start logging pages for an end of the year ice-cream party pretty soon, at least for the big kids.

Today:

Paul Revere’s Ride, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow & illustrated by Ted Rand.

Time of Wonder, by Robert McCloskey (honestly, I can’t imagine why I was all of 30 before I even heard of this book. I love it.)

Ella Bella Ballerina and Cinderella, by James Mayhew

Papa Small & Policeman Small, by Lois Lenski. I found these both for $3.50 each at the used bookstore. Hot deal!

In other book-related news:

Rascal, meanwhile, is working on The Cure of Ars; the Priest who out-talked the Devil.

Trooper is listening to: Augustine came to Kent.

Dino can’t bear to be separated from LEGO Star Wars in 100 Scenes. I don’t know if that counts as reading.  

Princess is working through various primer books.  She took to reading like a duck to water.  Today we worked together on reading “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein while in the waiting room for Trooper and Sunshine’s speech therapy. I’m just going to say that I’ve always thought that was one seriously depressing book.  I tried it again today to see if my opinion had changed in the last decade or more. Nope. So pardon me if I don’t bother to link it. :)

Row/Hike/Walk/Bike to Rivendell

Welcome to this installment of the family workout goal of doing something (rowing machine, hiking, biking, walking, whatever) until we reach the same number of miles from Bag End to Rivendell!

Or the same number of miles that it would be… if those places were real….

Haus Meister has the helm right now and thanks to a lot of hiking and mountain biking he’s done lately with his Trail Life troop or after work, we can add 52 miles to our goal. All his miles plus a 3 mile walk we did as a family today definitely brings us out past our last milestone!

At the last milestone we had reached mile 149.89, “Camping due south of the Midgewater Marshes.”

According to our virtual atlas….

As of today, we’re at mile 204.9.  At mile 200 we reached Weathertop, which has a lot more significance in “The Fellowship of the Ring.” For Bilbo Baggins travelling with the Dwarves, well, not so much.

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real}

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This week is brought to you by the blurry iPhone camera. This iPhone came back from the dead after an aquatic dunking so it was to be expected that something wouldn’t work.  In this case, the focus on the camera. One of these days I’ll carry the nice camera around with me.

Pretty

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My Mother’s Day roses in my room. :)

Hoppy

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Note the pun above the picture. Haus Meister did some homebrewing the other night and thought the hop oils were pretty fun.  We quipped that they were “essential oils for guys.”

Funny

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T-K 42-Miss M. Facebook friends please forgive the repeat picture.  It’s one of my favorites from the week.

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Littlest fell asleep in the kids’ Poang chair from IKEA (dangerous store). So Rascal gently removed the cover and let her nap on the floor, and so she did until Posey Pie arrived. Posey’s saying “CHEESE.”

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I had two requests for Mother’s Day.  I wanted time to use my sewing machine, which I was given on Sunday, and I wanted time to go to the buy/sell/trade used bookstore. Last night a dear friend and I headed out together to the bookstore, having to explain to our eager children, respectively, that it was MOM’s Night Out. :) Our crew awaited the arrival of the new (to us) treasures and having been quite successful, we’re ready to start some summer reading! :)

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Yarn Along: The Weeks of WIPS that Weren’t

Knitting.  Yes.  Knitting.  Perhaps I can get back to you on that one.

First were the dishcloths that I cast on and ravelled off and cast on again…until Sunshine decided to yarn bomb my room with it when she gained entrance on the sly.  She pretends she’s a kitten. What can I say? Except that the dual yarn dishcloths do not exactly work after all with the Lions’ Brand Recycled Yarn.  The yarn is good in itself but it does tighten up a bit after washing.

Then I decided I’d hurry and make knitted cupcakes for Littlest’s birthday. Once upon a time we had the Melissa & Doug wooden cupcakes for the kids’ kitchen set but for some reason those wooden cupcakes proved irresistible to puppies.  I kept the plastic cupcake tray and intended to use a pattern like this adorable one to make cupcakes that would fit inside it.

Dear reader, you will note that Littlest’s birthday was Saturday, and as of this morning the first of four cupcakes still looks like this:

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It is sitting atop a ball of yarn I bought last year and packed into my hospital bag intending it to become a blanket for her.  This one, remember?

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The blanket never materialized.  But perhaps, by Christmas, the cupcakes will be done? Perhaps? That book in the picture is still a great Mother’s Day idea, by the way.  Amazon Prime, too.

Back to projects… Haus Meister laughs and chided me to just get back to his sweater. Perhaps he is right. ;)

But reading? Oh, I’ve been reading.  Except for the snippets in Roses Among Thorns, and 33 Days to Morning Glory, my reading has mainly consisted of children’s books.  For Mother’s Day I requested Time to Sew and Time to Go to the Favorite Buy/Sell/Trade Bookstore. The date for the latter has been set and I’m bringing a dear friend along with me. So yesterday I rearranged the bookshelves in the family room, just in case I find any treasures, you know. ;) Also, we’ve cut back on our “TV Time.” Nowadays it doesn’t matter if you actually own a TV or not. We don’t, but we have a computer with Netflix and Amazon Prime, so there’s really not a ton of difference. However, Haus Meister and I have mandated that there can be three times of watching.  Thursday afternoons on EWTN.com we find two of the kids’ favorite shows.  Friday night they can watch a movie, and Saturday morning they can either watch EWTN’s kids shows or some approved kids’ episodes somewhere else (that’s where Kipper, Thomas, Little Bear, etc. come in).  During the week the boys can play games on the LEGO website only after school and chores. Princess has her own interests and the rest of the time finds us coloring or reading.  It’s been great.

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} at April’s End

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Somehow it’s felt like May for a week.  Today, though, it’s still April, and the 26th anniversary of my First Holy Communion.  On that note….

Pretty (& Handsome)

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First Communion Sunday, April 26th.  These two were so happy.

Miss M adored her lovely oldest sister.  Even Sunshine told Princess that she was “So Be-yew-tee-ful.”

photo courtesy of Rascal

photo courtesy of Rascal

Happy

An unexpected treat–my sister and her family came for a visit! We had a fantastic three-and-a-half day weekend with them and my parents, who came the following day.

The cousins get along well together, and I was thrilled to get a picture of my nephew and my Littlest at a park.

 
Sunshine is my Nature Girl. As enthusiastic and energetic as she usually is, you’d think a Butterfly Garden would be the last place to take her.

But it was her favorite place of all that day.

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Funny

The First Communicants were to bring up the gifts at Offertory. Just when you think your kids have the etiquette down, one of them saunters past with his hands in his pockets.

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(At the Aquarium) Grandkids in a shark cage.  Well, everyone was mostly contained for a second!

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Real

The boys’ room had been sadly neglected.  Most of the decorating energy over the past year had been in other rooms, so this month I decided to spruce things up.  It’s called posters… in frames!

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This National Parks poster is now hanging where the Ansel Adams print was once taped.

Ansel Adams now has a spot across the room. :)