Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real–April’s Almost over Already??

~ {pretty, happy, funny, real} ~
Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~

So, a few Thursdays have come and gone without my attempt at weekly posting.  Of course, around here that doesn’t mean a lack of things going on.

PRETTY flowers!  My geranium planter really…blossomed, and my Texas roses began to bloom last night.  These are the Lafter roses from Antique Rose Emporium.  I’m also pleased to report that the three tomato plants in pots on our porch have begun showing yellow flowers.  Looking forward to fresh tomatoes!

HAPPY girls!

Happy kids enjoying the first homemade (healthy, smoothie based, low-sugar-ssh-don’t-tell-them) popsicles of the season.

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Happy Trooper goes climbing.

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And I am happy to have re-enrolled the children in Seton Home Study School for the 2016/2017 school year.

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The first time I ever heard about homeschooling was in my public school classroom, and I was 11.  A substitute teacher was announced for the day, and the girl in front of me turned to me and hissed, “He homeschools his kids. They think they are so much better than the rest of us.” With the implicit belief in the veracity of my peers, I ticked that fact away that homeschoolers were pompous and went on with the day.

Later I saw the same substitute teacher with his kids at a high school basketball game, and looking at his daughter, who was my age, I thought to myself that she didn’t look as if she thought she was a cut above the rest of us. In fact, she looked very much like someone I’d want to have for a friend.

Homeschooling isn’t for everyone.  It’s a calling.  Like every calling, it’s not “one size fits all.”  It just happens to be our calling, and part of our family story.  It may not be part of yours. That’s fine. We do NOT think we are better than anyone else, and never will.

FUNNY

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I looked up from rinsing the dishes to see this. Oh, kids.

REAL

Changes around the house continue, large and small.

The main bathroom is now a lovely shade of “Woodlawn Silver Brook,” the “Endless Love and Laundry” sign is across from the laundry room, and the wainscoting is up in the laundry room.

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I added some baskets and straightened up the sideboard.

It keeps our tablecloths available.

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I’m kind of stuck on tablecloths.  We’re finally at a stage in our family where we can put these on the table before dinner and no one tries to pull them off.  So now the person in charge of clearing and washing the table picks one of our random assortment and decorates the table before dinner. It adds a dimension of beauty to our day, and transitions from school day to after-school quite nicely.

And then, we switched places betwixt the sideboard and kitchen table.

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We have another large table in the living room, and someday I’d love to make an opening in that wall where the sconces are, ideally to make a counter with barstools on the living room side, adding some more natural light to the kitchen thanks to the living room’s massive window, and adding more seating.  But that’s on the 10year plan.😉

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Sunshine shows off our new microwave, since our 1995-era dinosaur of a microwave went out with a pop one evening.  I considered going back to a microwave-less existence, but then proceeded to burn three things in a day on the stovetop trying to reheat or bake. Including green beans.  I’ve never burned green beans.  So to Lowes we went!

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real–April Already?!

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I left this blog stuck in the Triduum and here we are in the second week of the Easter Season.  Happy Easter!  He is Risen, He is Risen indeed!

image5An Easter family picture, which pretty much encompasses pretty, happy, funny & real. From the spunky lass who snuck to the back step when she was told to stand in the front, to the boy who forgot to tuck in his shirt, Trooper’s cheesy grin, and Posey pinching me while looking so sweetly… Ah, life.  It’s good.

More “Pretty Happy” about Easter…

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The Lamb cake survived!  I used a Betty Crocker gluten free cake  mix so that our whole party could enjoy it (we had 18 people over for dinner.  It was great!).  Of course, Miss M had to point out that it looked like a dog.  So it’s a lamb-dog cake.  Again.

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Lace curtains always make me happy.

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Little Bit always makes us smile.  Hard to believe she’ll be two at the end of the month.

I promised the boys that we’d begin to do something to their room this month, and no sooner did I begin to try an idea than they ran wild with it and now they’re eager to finish.  It’s a good incentive to get school done.😉

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We joked that since it matches their Trail Life calendar, then it’s the “Trail Life Room”!

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The Little People Cinderella was totally left there by a little sister who had come in to observe.

I know a lot of the blog pictures have to do with the girls, so here’s the other two boys.:)

Funny Real.

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Hello, my nickname is Sunshine, because I’m an energetic warm beam of fun and light in my house. I just lost two front teeth, cut my hair (Dad and Mom did damage control), and specialize in taking phone pictures.  I have been known to take 132 pictures of “Little Bear” while watching it on Amazon Prime.  Lately, Mom found about 30 pictures of random items on the floor before it got swept.  Famously, The Spoon and The Spaghetti Noodle.

Keeping it real, always.

Triduum

Tomorrow, March 25, we recognize the confluence of two major feasts of the Church: The Annunciation and Good Friday.  Christ in the womb of the Virgin Mary, taking on our flesh to save us from our sins and Christ dying in that same flesh on the Cross to accomplish His mission. This joining of dates will not happen again until the year 2157, and here is an amazing must-read about the significance.

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In the meantime it is Maundy Thursday, feast of the priesthood and the Eucharist.

Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart,
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art;
Thou my best thought by day and by night,
both waking and sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my wisdom, and Thou my true word,
Thou ever with me, and I with thee Lord;
Thou my great Father, and I thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be thou my breastplate, my sword for the fight;
Thou my whole armor, and Thou my true might;
Be Thou my soul’s shelter, be Thou my strong tower:
O raise Thou me Heavenward, great Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise:
Thou mine inheritance now and always;
Be Thou and Thou only the first in my heart;
Great Sovereign of Heaven, my treasure Thou art.

High King of heaven, Thy victory won
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun;
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be Thou my vision, O Ruler of all.

Two Chloes and the end of a Quest

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What luck! My phone upgrade garnered me the wonderful boon of a camera that actually went into FOCUS MODE, so ideally you won’t have to suffer through too many fuzzy pictures for a good long while….

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I thought to stage the knits alongside the daffodils, but it’s still Lent so the purple grape hyacinths it is.  The climate is totally unfair here in Deep South Land.  We get all the Easter glory very early and the bushes, trees, and flowerbeds are already celebrating.

Not to mention that it’s hard keeping the Easter dresses from the girls when it’s over 70 degrees on a Sunday (not LAST Sunday, though!) and their winter Hanna Anderssons aren’t quite comfortable anymore!

But I digress.

The lower sweater was my modified version of the Chloe pattern.  I didn’t do stripes or a ruffle, mainly because I knew Sunshine would wear it with pretty much anything and I thought keeping it plain would suit.  Also, I had three skeins of KnitPicks Billow in “Comfrey” that I’d gotten her for her birthday, ostensibly to be mittens, and I wanted to use it. I used two and a tiny bit over.:)  Now, I also say “modified version” because I added the increase stitches a little differently.  I would love to say I was being creative and artistic but the reality is I messed up even with the instructions in front of me, and to my extreme good fortune, it worked out all right.

The sweater on the needles is Princess’ “Chloe,” also in KnitPicks Billow but in “Clarity” Will I finish it by Easter?  Wait and see…. I’m infamous for my last minute holiday projects.

NOW….

 

 

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In January on one of these Yarn-Along posts, I mentioned I was going to find out where all the quotes came from on the clever and capital little mug I received from my parents last Christmas.  I said I’d read through as many Jane Austen novels as necessary to find them out.  I’ve already posted about some of them, and I was down to three.

“One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.”  That’s in Emma.

“One cannot have too large a party.”  Also in Emma, as I thought, but the speaker was that ever social Mr. Weston.

Now the final quote had me stymied.  “It isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.”  I joked at the time that it sounded like something from Batman Begins, mainly to tease my brother-in-law, who likes JA about as much as I like Batman.  Let me tell you, dear reader, that after rereading the five main novels in the past three months, I could not find this direct quote anywhere.

I did not feel like reading Lady Susan or the Juvenalia.  I did not feel like rereading JA’s letters.  Having read Emma, Mansfield Park, and Persuasion back to back, I needed to take a break.

((So I reread The Reluctant Widow by Georgette Heyer for the hundredth time, so I could sit back and laugh and not think too hard))

But it bothered me that I should have reached what ought to have been journey’s end and not have found so simple a quote as that.  So begrudgingly I turned to Google.  It lead me to Goodreads, which told me that quote came from Sense and Sensibility!

WHAT?!  That was the very first novel I read this winter! How had I missed it?!  With eyes primed to find those quotes, surely I hadn’t missed it…

I searched further down the Google rabbit trail, and discovered that once upon a time, not so long ago, someone else had done a similar search on another mug, and found out that the quote had come….

FROM A FILM ADAPTATION.

I call foul!  If you’re going to quote JA on a mug of novel quotations, quote her! Don’t quote someone’s modified version of her.

But now my quest is over, and I can go back to some serious reading.  And I do have some serious reading to occupy me during these days of the Triduum.  More next week.

 

 

It’s Rolling With the Punches

…or so I have learned this Lent.  Re-learned?  It has been one of those seasons where nothing seems to go as planned, but if I don’t sweat every last bit of small stuff, it’s not so bad, right?😉

The strep episode ended at the commencement of a three week fiasco with a refrigerator that wouldn’t cool. We’d think it was fixed, then it would stop again. So last week, new refrigerator.

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Then, my beat up phone was due for an upgrade. That took a week to work out.

First World Problems.

We continued our fixing up of the house, repainting as the days got warmer and the sunshine came out.  Plants arrived in the mail that I’ll write about another time (when I have them all in ground).

My sister-in-law coaxed me into the yellow (Benjamin Moore 275 Banana Cream) for the laundry/powder room. This is in progress. And I admit she made a good call, and so I would show only laundry triage is happening.

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Haus Meister and the kids spent last weekend working on the red bathroom upstairs. It will no longer be red very soon.  (Top wall: Valspar Woodlawn Silver Brook; Wainscoting: Valspar Bungalow White)

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I can’t believe how big these kids are growing.  They’re all shooting up like rockets this Spring!

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This is so tranquil now….

Ideally, the bathroom would have been totally done by now, but that’s where we roll with the punches.  No sooner had we the satisfaction of a working fridge, a working phone, projects going well, and school coming along nicely… enter stage left the 12 hr flu bug, which hit all of us between Tuesday and Friday.

Eww. That’s what I mean by laundry triage. Finally this morning I determined to just stop saying that “THIS week we will get back to normal.” Bad things happen when I say it!😉

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But around here there’s too much fun going on. Look at that smile!

So we roll with the punches and look for the fun silver linings and brighten the Haus for Spring.

 

I confess I’m kind of addicted to The Pioneer Woman’s line of products. A convalescent cup of Vernor’s and ice chips never looked so good. Or my morning coffee. Or that creamer with a hyacinth that Sunshine plucked (without permission, alas) from my front bed. And I finally found a kitchen rug I liked! You can’t see it, though, because it’s just as often a toddler reading spot. The littlest girlies barely remember carpet in a house!😉 And for the record PW isn’t being compensated for this endorsement. I’m just gushing because would you really rather hear about the doings of 10 people with a stomach bug?

 

 

 

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} 2016 So Far

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Time to chime in and reassure you that Life is Happening besides Knitting.  And oh, how it’s flying by!

On January 14 we made some news public.

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Littlest isn’t the littlest anymore!  Little Bit, as we have re-blog-nicknamed her, is happy to announce that in July, Munchkin2 will join our family.

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I’m just reaching week 21 and feeling pretty well.  It’s a little more tiring than it used to be when I was pregnant at 25, but I have extra help around the house these days.

A month ago, my sister-in-law moved in with us!  The kids are over-the-moon excited to see her every day, and we’re having a ton of fun, too.  She is looking forward to beginning CNA classes and in the meantime helps out around here and in other places, Church included.  People kept congratulating us on the “new addition,” meaning her, which threw me a pregnancy-brain loop because I’d be giving them dumb looks, knowing that they knew about the baby…

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In other news, we’ve been busy with Church…

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Birthdays…

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Being sick (every child and even adult had one or more of the following: strep, croup, colds, ear infections, and then one had an allergic rash, all since February 1) …

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Cooking … (Daddy made it, she helped)…

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Enjoying what little snow we had….

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Dreaming of the weather staying consistently Springlike….

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And starting to redecorate rooms too long neglected.  At the first of the year, when I looked over my Christmas journals and realized that for the first time in nearly five years, I didn’t have “Sell the Old Haus” on my New Year’s Resolution but realized again that we could concentrate our visits to Lowes and etc, on this House, this one, our HOME, and only our HOME, it was like gulping breaths of fresh air.

(If you wonder why that didn’t hit me full force at the end of last October, I blame it on first trimester fatigue plus concentrating on the upcoming holidays)

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Incidentally, I covered that unlovely label on the giant detergent bucket with a picture of sunflowers that the kids colored for me.  It’s the little things.

Yarn Along: A Tale of Three Sweaters

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Firstly, I promise I’ll be back here soon with an update on the whirlwind that is Our Life. However, I also said I’d post a picture of Haus Meister in the sweater, so here we go, and as a bonus, I’m in it too, for once:us

Unfortunately, that looks like it was the only day he’s going to be able to wear it down here until November.😉  Downside to living in the South; wool knitting is kind of overrated.  But so comfy when it gets that cold!

So onto the current knits.  After Armas was finished, I did indeed cast on the Evelyn sweater.  Because our weather was warming, I didn’t quite know if I felt like more wool (it’s Alafosslopi again, just a different dye lot), but the braided cable caught me and I was enjoying it.  It’s on the right in the picture below:

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But then! Easter is coming, and the charming dresses I found this weekend for my oldest daughters could use an adorable little shrug, no?  Enter the Chloe stage left, now on the needles for Sunshine in Knitpicks Billow.  I’m planning a lighter blue color for Princess, mainly because that’s what I have in my stash.😉  So Evelyn will have to wait on Chloe.

Reading-wise, I finished “The Life Giving Home” and thoroughly enjoyed it.  I’m rereading parts of it.  There’s a lot to think on, but it’s good.