31 August 2011

getting into the swing

Well, I think we're finally getting into the swing of things around here and things are going very well.  The last two weeks of August were busy with us celebrating Brooke's birthday on the 20th with a big slumber party, and then there was the back to school shopping, and enjoying one last leisurely trip to the library.  The children are in their second week of school and we're all sailing along smoothly now.

The children are all doing well and are happy with their teachers.  Brenna is in 8th grade (I can't believe it!), Brooke is in 6th, and Sean is in 1st.  I'm still volunteering in the library this year, in fact today is my first day.  And...even bigger news, I have been asked to teach art this year!  Yay!  I will be teaching art to 4th grade and 6th grade.  

Monday was my first day with art and I think it went really well.  I'm so excited and know it will be a fun year.  What a fun way for me to help at school, do something I love and pass on that joy to a room full of eager kids!

Brooke and Sean are still humming along smoothly with soccer and football.  (You should see all those 5 & 6 year old boys running around in their helmets and pads!  So cute!)  Their first games start next week.  Brenna was supposed to be playing soccer in the same league as Brooke, but they didn't have enough 8th grade girls to form a team, so now we are checking into an indoor league for her.

I've still been knitting up a storm and am also itching to paint.  I have a big 36 x 36 canvas waiting for me.  I haven't painted in a while and I'm really looking forward to sitting down and enjoying some time in my studio. 

  All in all, I'm happy and we're blessed.  I hope you are, too.

blessings and happiness,


16 August 2011

school girl scarves

So here they are!  The scarves I knit up for my two school girls to wear this year.  It was so refreshing to knit a couple of quick and easy projects after I spent such a long time on that summer shawl.  I didn't even use a pattern -- just seed stitch with some random drop stitches thrown in to make it a little interesting. 

The blue and green one is Brooke's. 

And the pink and orange one is Brenna's.

I bought this beautiful Noro yarn on our most recent trip to Louisville.  When I go home I always try to visit our local yarn shop, Friends and Fiber in LaGrange, KY.  The yarn is called Taiyo and is a soft and squishy combination of cotton, silk, wool and nylon.  Just enough wool to make it warm, enough silk to make it special and enough cotton so it won't be scratchy.  And of course Noro is famous for its explosion of vibrant cascading colors.  Who wouldn't want to wear such a happy scarf to stay cozy on a blustery day?

Now I'm working on a cowl for myself.  Hopefully, I will be sharing that soon.  In the mean time the school year schedule is starting to pick up.  The children start on Friday and we are already beginning the plate spinning orchestration of football and soccer practices and games.  Praise God I have the comforting solace of knitting to keep me sane and my family warm and toasty.

blessings and happiness,

09 August 2011

summer shawl

I recently bought this beautiful book and found a pattern for a lovely summer shawl.  I've been working on it most of the summer and finally finished it.

The book is a collection of Vogue patterns, so of course they're all beautiful.  I knitted my shawl with Dream in Colors' baby lace weight 100% Australian merino wool in Sour Pear.  Isn't that a pretty name for a summer yarn?

I find myself knitting a lot lately.    It's hard not to be insprired by beautiful knitting books and lovely yarn.  As soon as I finished this shawl, I cast on for a new scarf I'm knitting for Brooke for school this year.  More on that next time.

blessings and happiness,

03 August 2011


Wow, what a full summer it has been.  I have enjoyed our lazy quiet days so much, but there have also been busy, crazy days, too.  We have enjoyed many trips to the libray, cookouts, bike rides without training wheels, lost teeth, trips to Kentucky, South Carolina, horse camps, football camps, knitting shawls, planting trees, more trips to the library, more cookouts and one last trip to Grama's house.

Now we are barely two weeks away from school starting and I am not wanting to see summer come to a close.  I never am.  It's hard to start school when it still looks and feels like summer outside.  I wish we didn't have to start til after Labor Day. 

School starting means a few new beginnings for us this year (Sean starting football and me teaching art at school), as well as continuing some standard favorites (the girls both playing soccer, and me working in the library at school).

There are a few things I'd like to make more time for once the kids are back in school, mainly, painting, writing and knitting, oh, and hopefully, blogging.    :)

I hope you've been enjoying your summer with many
blessings and happiness,


27 May 2011

a different point of view

The last couple of weeks have seemed such a blur.  It seems to have rushed by amid of flurry of track meets, field trips, volunteering in the library at school, guitar lessons, and school carnivals. Today it all came to a happy and welcome close with the last day of school.  There was a chapel service and Seany's kindergarten graduation, followed by cake and tearful good-byes to his amazing teacher.   We then spent our first hours of summer vacation enjoying a lovely day at our favorite book store with a dear friend and her daughter, followed by a yummy lunch. 

Last weekend we drove to Chicago as a family to watch Brenna run with her teammates in the state track meet.  (The boys and girls teams each brought home the 2nd place trophy!)  It was held at Condordia University.  I thought the campus was lovely.  It was surrounded by beautiful old shade trees and lovely old neighborhoods. 

A track meet can be a long and grueling day (even for the spectators).  Little Sean just does not have the patience to sit and watch race after race after race.  Fortunately for us, there was a small playground near the track and we would take him there periodically throughout the day to help alleviate some of his boredom.  While he and Brooke were playing, I began to notice the interesting patterns and textures on some of the nearby buildings.  These pictures are a collection of images that caught my eye that day.

Now that school is officially over and we have the summer to look forward to, it seems as if I can finally take a breath and just enjoy whatever we want to do without so much of a sense of urgency. 

I hope you are enjoying your weekend and that you, too, have quieter, more relaxed days to look forward to.

blessings and happiness,

19 May 2011

little pretties

Don't you just love vintage hankies?  They're so small and yet so full of lovely details. 

From the simplest shades of white and cream, sing the beauty of intricately stitched borders.

I wonder what woman or young girl might have made these dainty embroidered flowers and beautiful crocheted trims. 

I also love the colorful printed flower patterns.

In preparing for my sister's wedding this June, my mom and I are hosting a bridal shower in her honor.  It will be fun and lovely and I know we will have a wonderful time.  My mom and I both love planning parties and decorating for them.  As part of the take home favors, each of the ladies will receive one of these endearing memories of our past. 

I lament sometimes how far womankind has roamed from the quiet lovely ladylike things in life.  The lost arts of letter writing, hand stitching, flower tending, and hankie carrying of the by-gone days of our great-great grandmothers.  So on Sunday, June 5th when we celebrate my sister and honor her upcoming nuptials, we'll also pay homage to a little piece of our handmade past. 

blessings and happiness,

15 May 2011

a little bit of beauty...

I've been away so long.  It's so embarrassing to come back after such a long absence and try to come up with a plausible reason.  The only explanation I can offer is that I felt like I was in sort of a creative "funk".  I felt like nothing I created or worked on was worthy of merit or worth sharing here.  I know that's not the right way to feel, but I did.  I think I'm "over it" now, and hope I won't ever let that happen to me again.

So, as my apology, I thought I'd like to share a little bit of beauty from my fledgling garden here at the new house. 

I'm most excited about the peonies.  I've always wanted peonies and never had them at the old house.  I think they're so beautiful and so fragrant.  They're like roses on steroids!

In the early days of spring, we were sooo blessed to have a Bluebird couple come to make their new home under the rafters of our deck.   Mrs. Bluebird would work on building the nest and Mr. Bluebird would "stand guard" on the handrail of our deck, keeping an eye out for danger.  We felt privileged to hear his beautiful song as she constructed their new home.

Unfortunately, despite our best efforts to be quiet and respectful of their shy and timid ways, a group of House Sparrows did not feel the same.  They harassed the poor Bluebird couple, finally resorting to destroying their nest and throwing it down off the deck support post.  

  Fortunately, poor Mrs. Bluebird hadn't even had a chance to lay her eggs yet, so there weren't any babies or eggs destroyed.  But the poor couple decided they needed to find a less hostile place  to start their brood.  We were so sorry to see them go.  And we really missed their beautiful song.  We know how rare and precious it is to see these quiet little birds up close. 

I've even planted a couple of trees, but I don't have pictures of those yet.  We're still getting a little more rain than we'd like, so I'll try to share those next time. 

It's nice to be back in blog land.  I sure have missed being here. 

blessings and happiness,