More to Life

than knitting..

Today is our 14th Wedding Anniversary!  We are growing older together and it's so much fun.

No hot date to celebrate.  We ate Peanut Butter and Jelly on Homemade bread, fresh popped popcorn, and applesauce for dinner.  Nothing fancy.  It's what the budget ordered and the kids were thrilled too :).

This weekend we'll travel North to watch his cousin get married.  What a blessing to celebrate an Anniversary and see a wedding all in the same week.

May the Lord bless us with at least 14 more bountiful, beautiful years.


Been Knittin'

I have decided that if I don't make time for leisure, it won't make time for me.  Maybe that makes little sense, but I think it's an easy investment to miss when you run a busy house.  

Let me rewind a bit.  We began homeschooling again 3 weeks ago.  The first week was difficult and let me say that we were only doing math.  Panic was beginning to set in.  If I can't balance a week with only one class to teach, how am I going to manage in a few weeks when the load is full?  Not to worry, week 2 went smoother and here we are nearing the end of week 3 and with the schedules set, life is returning to normal again. Libby is a pretty big part of why the schedule is running smoother now.  We had just started her with kindergarten and upon "doing the math" we realized she'd be 17 when she graduates.  I was asking myself, "Why would I have one of our daughters graduate from high school early? Not a wise decision and I don't think I need to go into that here.  With this revelation, after speaking with Jake, and then grabbing some counsel from ladies at church who have been in similar situations we decided Libby is officially a pre-schooler and will start Kindergarten in January and we will then pace ourselves.  Yay!  With Libby slowing down a bit from the Kindergarten agenda I had set for her along with reigning in my focus for the other children I decided to make some time for you know who... me.  Sure I get time to myself when I go to the bathroom, but that's not enough.  Actually I do have other windows of time like when I'm blogging and checking email, but I wanted to have something to show for it.  The blog is great for that as the kids love to read it and so does the family.  However, email can take 30 minutes and what is there to show?  Not much.

It didn't take long to determine that knitting was the answer.  Sewing is a blast and could have been what I was looking to do and will still hold a place in leisure time, but you see, the sewing room is upstairs and my life is happening downstairs.  Knitting can be with me anytime, anyplace.

 So I knit this sweater.  Cute huh?

Check out the buttons and button loops.  Way too fun and they were made from extra sock yarn from my stash.

Samuel started to get a little jealous of the yarn that I owned and decided to take some for himself.

Hey you, come back here!

I am currently working a self striping pink sweater in the same pattern I used for the one above.  I have one more arm to knit and once I finish the seams I'll be done with that.  My to do list is growing as my man has requested a manly hat.  I've been looking for a good pattern.  If you have any leads on manly hats send them my way!

Sam too has other projects he's working on.  He's hanging out on the counter in the above picture with all the folded clothes eating yoghurt.  He officially has his own skein of yarn and has now taken up walking!  So, life continues to get busier and I'm glad for it.  


Little Boys

Samuel, trying to dismantle his highchair

He is the conqueror of the stool!

Silas thoughtfully conceiving a victory of his own.."I think I could beat Jackie if given the chance."

Silas, what happened to your curls?

Notice who he's clutching in his fingers. (It's Woody, Jessie, and Buzz)

Yes Silas, whatever you want I will give you. Just keep looking so innocent okay?


Pretty Things

The girls often come in from the outdoors and surprise me with fresh picked flowers.  They often come from the front yard of a home awaiting new occupants.  We recently had a neighbor with a true "green thumb" and the girls took advantage of the fact that the house was now vacant.  

I've discovered a wine glass suits the shorter flowers just fine.
Mom's old Mikasa vase adds even more charm to these pretty things.

Thank you girls! You are more beautiful than these flowers of the field.


Hip Hip Hooray for August 13th!

Apparently I've been missing something for 9 years now.  Benjamin my left handed warrior is to be celebrated on this day along with his Grandpa John.  Do you want to know why?  It's because today is:

Click the above link to discover how you can enjoy a left hander today.

Thanks MT for the tip.


Samuel the Sweet, Strong, Spirited

Samuel is a precious dear child to this family.  He is growing fast and only recently is showing signs that he's ready to walk.  Because he is so loose jointed I didn't anticipate him being an early walker.  He has recently taken up to 5 steps in a row, so we expect he'll take off for real any day now.  He's also very much into climbing.  The picture above was taken the night of Louisa's birthday.  Samuel loves to pull the cushions off of our seagrass chairs and climb away.  Just because he isn't walking yet doesn't mean he hasn't found ways to keep me from becoming idle.  He is the most intent baby I have had!  Whatever the child puts his mind too he will do!  He is a non-stop action, climb the heights, dig in the trash, eat in the trash, up the stairs when he shouldn't be, falls face first on the concrete because he thinks he can walk down the stairs, pulls my hairs out, climbs the dog, escape down the sidewalk, kind of boy.  When we have to tell him no, that's when he decides to throw himself backwards, hitting his head on whatever is in the way on the way down.  I haven't seen a strong spirited boy like this since my first born came through.  Pray for us to be quick in responding to his sin, diligent and faithful in our parenting him.  It's exciting having another one who will require so much intense attention!  Please remind me that I said this if I am ever tempted to complain :).

It will take more than daddy's strong arms to hold this boy back. 



My darling girl, so full of life
called from the womb just 7 years ago.
She enchants me with her smile.
Those golden locks her freckled nose
she enraptures all those who catch her eye.
Her strength is unmatched by many her age.
Strong though she may be she did not clothe
herself that way.
It is her Maker who dresses her well.

We had a special Sunday celebrating Louisa.  Jackie made 4 dozen cupcakes to hand out to the kids at church.  After worship we came home to Louisa's requested meal, homemade spaghetti sauce with meatballs.  It was yummy.  We went to the pool and swam then we came home and ate blueberry cake with bubble gum pink frosting.

Happy Birthday Little Girl!


Busy Baking and Sewing

Tomorrow I am going up to Santa Cruz for a baby shower.  To shower the mom with gifts is divine.. or is that the smell coming from my kitchen?  Divine is a splendid word and since I just read it on my friends blog I thought I should throw it on mine too!

Cinnamon Rolls are for Sunday morning breakfast.  Sunday also happens to be a certain little girls birthday so there would be no missing the warm rolls.  The pound cake is for the shower.  The house is thanking me for baking it and the kids are wondering why they can't have a pinch.

This sweet little pinafore is for one of the little girls being celebrated.  Tomorrow there will be two showers in one, thus two pinafores.

I worked with cloth covered buttons for the first time ever.  I can't believe how easy it was.  If I ever get my Etsy shop started there will be pinafore's with cloth covered buttons to match!


When Colby was born he had a birthmark on his neck.  It is called a CafĂ© au lait macules.  It's located right on his neck and it's beautiful.  Silas has one too, though much smaller, on the top of his left foot.  Jackie has a small mole on her leg.  I can't recall about Samuel, I'd have to strip him down and give him a close look.  Benjamin and Louisa have/had Hemangioma's. Benjamin's was located in such a place that I would have no idea if he still has it whereas Louisa's are located on her stomach and her shoulder.  The Doctors missed Benjamin's at birth, but Louisa's were both pronounced enough that they were immediately detected.  At the time of birth they were super small, like maybe 2 cm.  The good news about Hemangioma's is that as the child grows older the marks eventually fade away and are undetectable.  I have seen numerous children with these birthmarks who have had them on their faces or other more noticeable parts of the body.  I think this can be hard for the parents, because people are naturally curious and not all people have an inkling of social graces. These people, instead of politely asking the name of the birthmark will turn up their nose.  I imagine it's kind of like bringing more than the culturally accepted 2 children per family into a store with you.  Thankfully Louisa's birthmarks are hidden and so I only deal with the large family looks not the what's that on your kids face look. 

This is Louisa's birthmark when she is about 8 months old.  Notice it's grown significantly since the birth measurement of 2 cm.

This is the same day only a close-up.

Here is the birthmark in November of 2009.  
The last I checked her mark it was even lighter than it is in the photo and the mark on her shoulder which isn't shown here is altogether nearly gone.  We have always loved Louisa's birthmark as it is in the shape of a heart.  The Lord was showing us what a sweetheart she would be.


Joy and Sorrow

We are to weep with those who weep and also to laugh with those who laugh.

We had a beautiful last week spending an evening with some old C-130 friends and spending another evening with some new friends from our church home.  Hospitality is a sweet thing and we are so glad that it's an institution, though perhaps institution isn't the right word, put into place by the Lord.  On Thursday while dining with the C-130 folks at our home we learned some sad news.  The kind of news that shouldn't be received at a dinner party.  One of our friends, a Marine, was killed in action in Afghanistan a week ago.  He died a hero.  His name was James Matthew Weis.  Jake and I dined with he and his wife a few times while we lived in Pensacola, Florida several years ago.  They are believers in the faith and love the Lord Jesus.  They were trying to have children at that time and as the years went by and we fell out of touch they did indeed have two sons.  Little Justin and Ryan, ages 7 and 5, are without their Poppa now.  On July 22 James was called in on his helicopter along with another pilot to help some Marines.  These Marines on the ground were surrounded by the Taliban and needed help.  James and his co-pilot flew in and were hit by 4 missiles.  Their helicopter was downed and God called their lives away from them.  As another widow of this war his wife, Mae, will mother his children without him.

I don't know that James even made it to the front page of Fox or CNN.  Like so many other men who have given their lives, the news agencies are more fixated with where Obama is really from or how the oil in the gulf, "seems to be missing."

Jake, the children, and I drove down to San Diego Monday after lunch.  Jake took the three oldest children and went to the funeral.  The littles and I stayed back at the hotel.  Jake says the service was beautiful because of the marines who were there testifying of James' beautiful life.  He was an excellent husband, poppa, marine, but most importantly was known for his praying, his walk with Christ.  There is no doubt where James is now.  As his mother told the press, "I don't have to worry about him anymore." All worries of him are gone.  Mae and the children will miss him dearly and we will pray that God would fill the hole where James once was.  We know that God is father to the fatherless and a husband to the widows.  Thank you Lord for your sweet promises.  I know that Mae clings to them.  After the funeral Jake asked the kids how they were, of course they were sad, but Benjamin remarked, "I don't think I want to be a Marine."

Jake and I were reminded of the importance of keeping up with friends.  We have met so many beautiful people in our lives together.  There are some who have slipped through the cracks.  We will strive to pick up where those lines were dropped.  God was kind to let us know James.  Jake and James were friends before I ever met Jake.  They went to OCS together in 1995.  Jake and I met in winter of 1995.  It is sad that this man, only 37, is dead.  It seems like a life half lived.  The horrors of war ravage on and men and woman deploy from their family and reunite everyday.  For some the reuniting will have to wait.  I imagine that when, "we've been there 10,000 years bright shining as the sun," that the word wait will have had no effect on us, but for now, while we are encapsulated by time and while waiting is a very real thing we must keep our eyes focused on the prize.  Otherwise how would we, how could we go on?