Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Yarn Along

pointy gnome hats

sock and books

books i am reading to the kids
I finished up Fiona's doll last week and over the weekend I knitted up three pointy gnome hats from "More Last Minute Knitted Gifts" one for Fiona, one for her dolly and one for one of Logan's friend's mom's new baby. I cast on my first pair of socks. I search the internet for a super easy pattern and found this one, which seems pretty good and works because I have the right size needles and yarn! I got this cool looking self stripping yarn at Joann's. I am not sure who the socks will fit, but the colors are pretty asexual so someone in this house will get some cool socks in a week or so (if I can get past the heel... i am terrified of this! LOL). I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed here at home with the wildness that is my children, so I pulled out some books to help recenter me. I really love "Above All, Be Kind" and really reminds me how much of a better parent I can be. And I have had "Simplicity Parenting" for some time now and just haven't really invested much time in to reading it.
Here in Arizona we are in full on spring time and so the boys and I have been reading gardening and plant books. I always get such garden fever this time of year. We are planning on a trip to a garden center this week also, so they can pick out a few goodies to plant in some pots we have. I already have a few seedlings to plant this coming weekend after we get the garden bed all ready. It has been too many years with out a garden now, I think I am in withdrawal.
If you wanna see what other awesomeness is going on in the knitting world check out Ginny's Yarn Along.

Desert Botanical Garden

yes another picture of this, but i love it

flowery goodness

barrel cactus

plant parts

fiona exploring

water fun

look at the needles on that thing

things that desert people eat

grinding mesquite beans

a rabbit

what is in this pot?

on the trail



The littles and I went to the Desert Botanical Garden today. I just love botanical gardens, my favorite is still the Tucson Botanical Garden, but this comes in a close second. You think that the desert is barren, but there is so much life, such stark beauty. I do love the barrel cactus, they remind me of zafu cushions. I always get an itch to xeriscape after a visit. They have a traveling exhibit going on right now "Design for a Living World". The coolest one, at least to me, was a rug made from the wool of a small herd of sheep. Each hexagon was one sheep,s worth of wool, pretty dang neat. They also had cocoa, salmon skin clothing, bamboo, pearls, latex, wood, and a couple other things.
The kids enjoyed the mesquite bean grinding in the People of the Desert Garden. There were houses, and gardens and some fun hands on stuff for the kids to do. After talking about how important mesquite was to native peoples in this part of the desert we decided it would be sort of cool to get some mesquite flour and cook with it. Maybe this week we will have mesquite pancakes for dinner.
The boys talked about how neat it would be to live like the people did "way back then" and how long they might be able to actually do it. They decided that maybe a week would be enough. LOL They weren't sure if they would want to do all the grinding, but hunting might be fun... that is until they saw the rabbit and thought maybe they would want to hunt something not so cute.

Monday, January 30, 2012

A day at the park

look at all those balls

where is this water coming from

let me help you with that, i have a wipe

minecraft planning

i will push you around
Yet another lovely afternoon at a park with our friends. This is the very best time of the year here in Arizona, mornings are nice and cool and afternoons are warm (but not hot at all) and you can spend all day running about with your friends.
Really, this is what it is all about. This is the good life, what we have going on right here. Spending my days with the kids, hanging with our tribe, soaking up the sun. When people say "How can you be with them all the time?" Or "How do you homeschool?" I have to remember, not everyone sees life the way we do. Being with my kids all day is such a gift, not just for them but for me. And who wouldn't want to spend all day with these loonies? <3

Saturday, January 28, 2012

It's finished

Fiona's new baby

here it is!!!
Finally finished. The dolly turned out great. I am still wondering if I should add a face or not, I think it looks super cute and I have to admit I am pretty proud of myself. Fiona even seems to like it. So yeah me! LOL I even knitted the doll and Fiona matching pointy elf hats (no picture yet).
I think I could make everyone I know one of those elf hats, super easy and totally fun and quick to make. It is the hat pattern from More Last Minute Knitted Gifts. I had to modify the pattern just a bit as I was running out of yarn for Fiona's hat so it isn't as tall. Working with size 13 DPN and bulky yarn is so nice! Everything goes so fast!


birthday pancakes

making stone soup


ready set go!


what's in the basket?


balloons and lollies

the great red lolly pop

kids in the sand
Thursday was just a good day. We started the day off with birthday buttermilk pancakes, then the boys and I talked about the story of stone soup and made a batch to cook in the crock-pot while we were at the park. At the park a dad had hung a rope on a tree and there was much swinging on that rope and someone else had brought balloons and someone else (ME!) brought lollipops, so there was just a wild good time.
I love days like that, just hanging with the kids in the mild Arizona winter soaking up the sunlight at the park with great friends and knowing that a yummy dinner is waiting at home. It was a lovely way to spend Fiona's first birthday/

Friday, January 27, 2012

{ this moment }

Joining Soulemama for this weekly ritual. A single photograph from the week, a moment I wish to pause, savor and remember.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Happy Birthday, little one

a wee few hours after being born
one year old
Oh this sweet little girl. You know, you think after having kids, you just sort of get use to them and well you know, nothing new, nothing amazing... but each one, each one is so freaking breath taking. And your heart, your love just grows and expands and is over flowing. This little baby girl, she is so loved. I think she might have a hard time finding anyone who loves her as dearly as her whole family. My happy sweet girly. Happy birthday.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Yarn Along

doll in progress
Joining Ginny in this weeks Yarn Along. Still working on Fiona's birthday gift. Not so much knitting the last few days, BUT I am using yarn and a crochet hook, so it's close right? I am still following the pattern from the Wee Folk Art website, but now I am on to part two, hair and face. I want to have this little dollie done by Saturday, although I am sure Fiona won't care, and I still have no idea what to make her to wear. Should I knit up a simple smock dress? Try and make a dress with some fabric and hand sew it? Use wool felt and stitch up a little something that doesn't need a hem? I have no idea. Maybe I should have have knitted her in on yarn for the body and another for the head (meaning she would always have clothing on! LOL
I am also still reading All Wound Up which I am really enjoying. She makes me want to knit socks! Which I think I might start on as soon as I finish this doll. I still have a sweat 1/2 done for Fiona, but I am just not feeling it any more. Maybe I will rip it and make something else with that yarn. I have no idea.

And what do they choose?

the games and puzzles

games and craft stuff

boys toys and some of the books

more toys

piano and drums

bikes, scooters and hoops (not all shown)

bubbles, chalk, and thingies

play kitchen

basketball hoop

the BIG screen

the little screen
I have been trying to simplify, get rid of some stuff and make room in our space, but also in our heads. We have LOADS of goodies for the kids, lots of games, toys, art supplies, things to ride, things to throw, sand, a outside play house, easels, the list goes on and on and on.
As a homeschooling mama, I feel the need to have alot of stuff just waiting for them to be inspired. But really what they spend most of their time doing, or what they want to spend most of their time doing is watching something. It's hard because I want to be one of those free-wheeling-let-them-do-what-they-want-when- they-want-for-as-long-as-they-want-sorta unschooling mom, but I feel like that might be not so good either. I don't want to be uber controlling and crabby. I know we need the TV and computer, I can't hide them forever from things, and it isn't so much that. It seems that (to me anyway) we (as in humans) are not meant to sit around on our butts all day long staring blankly and a screen. We are meant to be DOING things, being outside, playing with toys, using our minds on puzzles and games. Doing things together, reading books, drawing, blowing bubbles, playing in the sand. I feel like the TV in the living room and a computer in the dinning room sort of change the focus. I am not sure where to put these things, or maybe DO WE NEED THEM? I mean will my children be forever scared with out a TV (we have been without on for years before, it is sort of a new thing that we have it again), we they be outcasts without a computer? Is there some sort of balance we can make?
My vision... oh how I wish I had stuck to my guns on this, is a TV free home. Yes, I too am a TV and computer addict and maybe that is the best reason to let it all go. There have been studies that show TV and computers are just as addictive as drugs and do to your brain the same things that drugs do. And yet there are pieces out there that say limiting your children's computer time is also bad and you just need to nose out. What I wonder about, though, is aren't I the parent? Is it bad for me to use my life experience to help my children? Do you allow your child to play with fire and get burned just so it is their experience, and you don't push your own experience on them? I don't know. Some days I just feel like I have no idea what to do. Am I screwing them up? I guess I will never know. I can just do what I think is best and keep my fingers crossed. That seems like such a crap shoot. I want to just be guaranteed a good out come. LOL I guess that is too much to ask.
I think, that maybe, just maybe we will try something different, let the TV and computer be off more then on and be outside more then in. I do have plans on us doing something not at home every weekday and my hope is that that will inspire us to maybe not need the TV and computer so much to fill up our days.