The fine art of crafting

Yarn Along: Summer Reading

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Knitting! I’ve been knitting!  Last night I finished the Newborn Hat with a Touch of Lace, although I hope it shrinks because it seems I totally made it too large.  Serves me right; I didn’t exactly gauge it because, well, impatient.

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This morning I cast on the Perfect Fit Newborn Socks, both in Knit Picks Shine Sport Blush. I took it along to my OB appointment because I like to be the gal knitting in the ob/gyn office like you see in the 1950s-60s movies (“Pillow Talk” comes to mind).  I had the chance to see Munchkin 2 today and asked my doctor if it’s definitely “go” to still knit pink.

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He said, “Yep. Absolutely.”

I had had my doubts about that early sonogram.  This just hadn’t felt like a “girl” pregnancy.  However, clearly my intuition was wrong, and since it has rarely been right, who’s surprised?  😉

We simply just can’t wait to meet the newest Princess of the Haus, who already has our hearts in her tiny hands.

And now for books.

I’ve been keeping up with the Modern Mrs. Darcy Reading Challenge.

January: A book published this year. “Spark Joy” by Marie Kondo.

February: A book recommended by your local librarian or bookseller. “The Life-Giving Home” by Sally Clarkson.

March: A book recommended by your BFF, sibling, etc: “Pistols for Two” by Georgette Heyer.

April: A book you’ve been meaning to read: “The Trim Healthy Mama Plan.”  I credit my pregnancy health–and passing the glucose screen–to this book.

May: A book that’s been banned: The Call of the Wild by Jack London.

Also May: A book that intimidates you: Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset.

Why in the world did that book intimidate? Because in the past several years every time I heard it highly recommended, it came with the caveat that I wouldn’t be able to put it down.  When do I have the time to read an non-put-downable Norse saga?!  So I avoided it. Until this year.  I was going to save it for the hospital since I anticipated at least a bit of down-time to read (and not aimlessly surf the internets on my phone), but then I opened it, and couldn’t put it down.  And for the record, I didn’t mind the Archer translation.

Other reads going on in the Haus:

Haus Meister: “A Man on the Moon” by Andrew Chaikin

Haus Frau: “The Snake Pit,” by Sigrid Undset.  Waiting for Book 3 to come in the mail, thank you Thrift Books!

Trooper: just finished “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis on Audible.  Unabridged with Michael York narrating.

Rascal: working on “St. Pius X, the Farm boy who became Pope” for his 4th Quarter Book Report.  He’s champing at the bit to read more Hardy Boys mysteries, though. 😉

Dino: writing a book summary of “Ox-Cart Man” for his 4th Quarter Reading to finish it off.

Princess: just finished “Betsy-Tacy” by Maud Hart Lovelace.

Sunshine: listened to “I’m a T-Rex

Miss M: listened to “Going to Town.”

Today some of us are going to our favorite buy-sell-trade bookstore to find more gems for summer reading!  We’ve been looking forward to this all month, especially as we are meeting friends there to share the joy.

 

family life

Lucky #13

Today is Haus Meister’s and my 13th Wedding Anniversary!!

That was then:

Sappy wedding photo alert
May 31, 2003

This is now.

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The balloon stayed home when we went out for dinner.  I haven’t seen it since we got home, so I assume it lasted the usual average of 3.5 minutes before popping.

Ah, married life.  It’s been such a fun adventure.

Sometimes it looks like this:

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(The Rattlebang Picnic, by Margaret Mahy)

Sometimes like this:

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(The Seven Silly Eaters, by Marla Frazee)

And we’re rather looking forward to a time like this:

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Only with a corgi instead of a cat.  (Thanksgiving is Here, by Diane Goode)

We made up a fun numerical countdown regarding the joys of our happy crazy life, and the ups and downs, past, present, and future… Although don’t consider this is in any way in order of importance.

13 years of happy marriage

12 years of diaper changes

11 gallons of milk a week (I wish we were joking)

10 amazing little (and tall) blessings

9 pairs of shoes to hunt for on Sundays

8 used vehicles

7 years homeschooling

6 years or so left to save for college (EEEEEKK!)

5 bedrooms would be nice…

4 address changes

3 loads of laundry daily

2 runs for the dishwasher

and 1 Pembroke Welsh Corgi!

Thanks, Haus Meister, for 13 fabulous years.  Looking forward to all the many many more.

The Everyday

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real: One Morning in May

~ {pretty, happy, funny, real} ~

Capturing the context of contentment in everyday life ~

and some

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Happy May, and month of our Lady!

Someone had a birthday this month! Someone pretty and precocious!

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Our Little Bit is every bit of 2 now.  She celebrated with donuts on a Sunday with one set of grandparents, and strawberry shortcake on her actual birthday with the other set. And both times she was equally well pleased.

Happy

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Princess’ American Heritage Girl troop ended the year with a painting & popcorn party.

Then there’s my knitting.  I’m happy about knitting.  I’m happy about books.

But I haven’t been knitting much lately because I discovered these books. Also because it kept falling off the double pointed needles… or a toddler began to unravel it. I digress…

It’s hard to knit when every free moment of the evening was spent in medieval Norway.

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Project: Simple Newborn Hat with a Touch of Lace.

Happy, kind of funny, and real, too.

Our house projects continue to shape up and finish.

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Haus Meister made his semi-annual trip to IKEA on his way home from a business trip and found the new accessories for the bathroom (now beautifully blue and white).  We found the light fixture at our Lowes.  But as for the vanity, well, let’s just say someone decided to be helpful, ala Paddington

So there’s that to be finished.

Meanwhile, Haus Meister fixed up the paint in the boys’ room.  We still need to do behind the bunk bed and replace the trim, but the Paddington helper had “helped” in there as well so we wanted to catch up fast as it was a bit of an eyesore.

In an earlier post we mentioned that the walls matched the boys’ Trail Life calendar, so we thought of the three mountains in the Trail Life logo, and from there we decided to add a few more.

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(Plus a droid)

And a volcano (because I am pitiful at patching a wall).

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The boys are quite happy and excited about their room.

The fine art of crafting

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.

 

 

The fine art of crafting

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.

The fine art of crafting

Yarn Along — It’s Really Done! Plus a lot about books….

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Other Knits Here!

A few days ago I published a teaser about the Armas sweater, and while I don’t yet have a picture of my beloved wearing said “beloved” sweater (“Armas” is Finnish for “beloved,” if you haven’t actually read the Ravelry description), he did try it on and do I ever wish it were a COLD WINTER down here so I could see him wear it more often (cue starry eyed expression)!

However, the winter sun was kind enough to shine this afternoon and I snapped this picture.  I confess I am still preparing myself to block the sweater… I had a nightmare one night after working on the second sleeve that I accidentally felted it … I’m sort of afraid now to let water touch it… I mean, eighteen months in the knitting, heh heh heh….

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I’m in the post-project breathing phase.  I gauge-swatched for the Evelyn sweater, and should be posting about that in the next Yarn Along post I manage to write.

In the meantime, I have much to report about BOOKS.  For Christmas my mother gave our girls some of the “Shoe Books.”  Anyone who has seen “You’ve Got Mail” remembers the “Shoe Books” (in below video, skip to 2:24 or so).  I confess before the Christmas season was really over I read all three that we have (“Ballet Shoes“, “Skating Shoes“, and “Dancing Shoes“).  “Ballet Shoes” is my favorite, too.  Although, I never knew these books existed before the movie.  Same with the Betsy-Tacy series!  I was reading a book I’d bought for my girls’ home library when I found myself quoting out loud: “…whose name, I’m sorry to tell you, is Thelma.”  I love this movie.

Then there is my winter project to name that Austen quote’s source.  I have read “Pride & Prejudice,” “Northanger Abbey,” and I was reading “Sense and Sensibility” the week my sister called to say: “Did you hear that Col. Brandon died?! And by the way, happy birthday.”  I finished the book with the nostalgic memories of many a weekend spent with my sister watching and rewatching and rewatching again the classic “S & S” movie with Alan Rickman as THE HERO (sorry, Edward, but it isn’t you. You got out of a jam with considerable good luck.  We all like you immensely, but that’s true). Even ten years later or so, when the newer movie came out and gave Col. Brandon his due with a much larger role in the film, it wasn’t the same without Alan Rickman’s voice.

But I’m sharing this clip which doesn’t have him talking, because this song was in my head all day on my birthday after that phone call.

Rest in peace, Col. Brandon.

Now, on to those quotes.

“The very first moment I beheld him, my heart was irrevocably gone” Definitely Isabella Thorpe in Northanger Abbey…. And she has no heart to give, incidentally.

“A woman, especially if she has the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can.”  Definitely Northanger Abbey.

“One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.” I was wrong about this one. It’s from Emma. I’m nearly halfway through this novel at present but I actually have two reads on my bedside table at the moment.  It depends on what I feel like.

“I wish, as well as everybody else, to be perfectly happy; but, like everybody else, it must be in my own way.”  Ok, the almighty Internet tells me that it belongs to Sense & Sensibility and it did indeed.  I thought it would be Marianne or Willoughby but it was, in fact, Edward.  Ironically, he says this as he visits the Dashwoods in Devonshire after having visited his secret fiancee.  And at the time he was saying this, he was pretty miserable.

Will you bear with me a moment more, dear reader?  I finally decided to do the Modern Mrs. Darcy 2016 Reading Challenge.  I haven’t decided on all the titles I want to read, or the order I wish to read them, but I’ve got one done already.

January: A book published this year.  “Spark Joy” by Marie Kondo.  My pantry never looked better after reading this one. 😉  Just don’t ask me about the corner cabinet. We’re getting there…

February (other current read): A book recommended by your local librarian or bookseller. I chose for this one “The Life-Giving Home” by Sally Clarkson.  It actually just arrived today and I’m working on the first chapter.  To be honest, I don’t go to our local library since I’m not “in city.” To get a library card at one time cost $50 for us non-citiers. So I decided to spend $50 on books I can keep and use our buy/sell/trade bookstore as an easy “library.”  If I pick out something we don’t want to keep, back it goes for credit.  Now, the general type of workers at the bookstore would probably suggest “Game of Thrones” for my reading pleasure, and that type of book just….isn’t. So I went with Elizabeth Foss’ recommendation via Facebook because let’s be honest, I get many book ideas from other moms on the internet.  You ladies are wonderful. 🙂  I had already pre-ordered the book, so I’m glad it was highly praised.

Now for a cup of tea.  Good night!

The fine art of crafting

Yarn Along: Armless Armas

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IMG_4679Well, not exactly entirely armless Armas… I’m 3/4th done with the first sleeve, if you can see past that shaft of winter sunlight that wasn’t quite as blinding in person.  Illuminates that yoke detail, though!  The other sleeve is still absent, and the sweater looks rather lopsided without it.  I’ve customized the sleeve decreases for him, and I need to make sure I properly note that before beginning the next.

No real reading this week, unless you count the Tintin anthologies the kids received for Christmas. Even Posey Pie sits and looks at the pictures for quite a time.  We have almost all seven sets of books, with #3 still en route from somewhere.

Meanwhile, my parents gave me this wonderful mug for Christmas, covered in many quotes from Jane Austen’s books!

 

There’s just one problem… I feel like I should know where all quotes are from.  I’ve been reading Austen since high school; my senior thesis for my BA was on Emma, Persuasion, and Pride & Prejudice… my devoted husband one year gave me every novel she wrote–in hardback, even the hilarious Juvenilia.  Why don’t I know all the quotes?! So, while many other literature minded friends and ladies on FB and blogs are writing out lists of new books to read in 2016, I’m going to go through Austen and figure out the quotes I’m unsure about.

It’s just for my vanity, but also curiosity.

So, the quotes I know–and please correct me if I’m wrong:

“If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.” George Knightley, Emma.

“In vain I have struggled.” Mr. Darcy, Pride and Prejudice.

“A man does not recover from such a devotion of the heart to such a woman. He ought not. He does not.” Frederick Wentworth, Persuasion (he writes a better letter than Mr. Darcy, by the way).

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”  Pride and Prejudice, opening lines.

“Till this moment I never knew myself.” Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice.  Also, “The more I see of the world, the more I am dissatisfied with it; and every day confirms my disbelief of the inconsistency of all human characters.”

“Let other pens dwell on guilt and misery”  Mansfield Park

“Friendship is the certainly the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love.” Northanger Abbey

Now, the quotes I’m unsure about:

“The very first moment I beheld him, my heart was irrevocably gone” That sounds like Isabella Thorpe in Northanger Abbey….

“One cannot have too large a party.”  Mr. Elton? in Emma?

“A woman, especially if she has the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can.”  Again, I’m almost sure that’s Northanger Abbey.

“One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other.” That sounds like about three or four of the novels… but I want to say Persuasion

“It isn’t what we say or think that defines us, but what we do.”  Ok, I look at that and think Batman Begins… which I only saw once.  So where is it in Austen (mainly so I can tease my brother-in-law that the writers of the movie must have read Austen! ;))?!

One more quote that’s not on my mug but which I have recently seen: “I wish, as well as everybody else, to be perfectly happy; but, like everybody else, it must be in my own way.”  The almighty Internet tells me that it belongs to Sense & Sensibility but I want to know for myself who says it, because to be honest, there’s a lot of characters in that book who don’t always have the nicest ways of getting their own happiness.

Advent/Christmas · family life · The fine art of crafting

Goodbye 2015!

YARN ALONG! I can’t seem to get the tag to link up, so I’m just linking in ye old-fashioned way.

Well, it’s been months since I posted on my knitting because frankly, it didn’t seem to change much from week to week.  Some weeks I had only managed a row or two on the way to Mass on Sunday, but I’m happy to say this Christmas break I’ve been able to seriously step up the knitting progress.  The day after Christmas I was able to bind off the body of the sweater, and have been working down the first sleeve ever since. Will I finish it for him during the 12 days of Christmas? To be honest, I have no idea. I want to be done by January 18th, though, as that was the date I cast this sweater on the needles.  Also, I signed on to participate in the Evelyn knit-a-long, this time for something for me, and it starts sometime next month.

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Altogether, though, I’m very pleased with the Armas project.  It took a good deal longer than I thought it would, but that wasn’t the design’s issue but rather my everlasting struggle with time management. 😉

A little light reading this week.  I’m kind of on an Astrid Lindgren kick, having scored Ronia the Robber’s Daughter, as well as Happy Times in Noisy Village on Thrift Books this month. I am not above reading the books I buy for my children, nor do I think anyone should ever be.

Meanwhile we had a very Merry Christmas here at the Haus.  My parents came down for the main holiday, and on Boxing Day we had a big dinner for them, my in-laws, some friends, and our parish priest. What fun!  We aren’t doing a big dinner tomorrow for New Years, but we are expecting more friends to stop over for the night on their travels back home.  It promises to be a fun beginning to a new year.

My resolutions for 2016 seem to be trending toward keeping things running smoothly.  Yesterday I sat down and pencilled out a menu plan for the entire month of January.  Today I began to work on the lesson plans for the month, knowing that I would not want to do that while having our friends over.  My workstation in is the foyer, where I can have a central space to keep track of things. It consists of an old dresser from my grandmother’s house, that keeps our binders, maps, mailing materials, and lesson plans out of sight.  A shelf on the wall above–from my great-grandmother–is the year-round place where I keep the books I’m reading, stationary (if I ever get around to hand-writing an actual letter or sending a real card!), a letter holder for bills, a plant, a picture of Jacob, and a favorite icon. This year I’m trying something new and have Susan Branch’s desk calendar on the wall between shelf and dresser.  My menu plan is to the left of that (with chore rules above), and to the right are favorite drawings from my resident artists.

Now, I would love to say having this workstation means that everything stays neat and tidy, but my husband will be the first to tell you that is not the case, if he were inclined to do so. 😉  And it’s a constant struggle not to let the workstation become the dumpstation. However, at the moment it is looking nice and tidy, which is more than I can say about it’s appearance an hour or so ago:

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And that’s another struggle constant in the household: keeping things running smoothly while raising toddlers!

Here’s farewell to 2015 and a blessed 2016 to all of you with love from all of us!

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The Everyday

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} Mid-October

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We closed on the Old Haus on Sept. 29.  That chapter of our lives is now closed as well, and I’m pleased as punch that if we had to wait four years for this, at least the buyer is precisely who we hoped for–someone who was actually looking for a house of our “vintage” and who fell in love with the arched entryways and all the other little 1940s quirks. We hope she and her daughter have many happy years there.

In the meantime, we’ve been busy now doing a million projects around here that were on the backburner until the house sold! Not to mention the daily stuff, like work, chores, childrearing, and homeschooling. 🙂

Pretty & Happy

Okay, we think our baby gets prettier every day.  Littlest is still littlest (there seemed to be time when she’d pass up Posey Pie, but Posey had a growth spurt and still inches her out…by an inch or two).  We also call her the “feisty little one” (influence of Star Wars), and if we weren’t already set with princess dresses, I’d send her Trick-or-Treating as R2D2 just for kicks.

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Since October crept up on me, I hadn’t gotten many Fall decorations out until last weekend!  And still, someone had to bring in something a little early. This is a well loved animated Christmas thingamabob from Hallmark in 2006.  It sings and plays music and blinks lights.  There’s supposed to be some penguins but those migrated a long time ago.

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And she LOVES it.  She hugs it and drags it around the house.

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Morning, noon, and night.

Happy

Last Wednesday, one of my best friends and I headed out to the used bookstore because that’s what we do on our Mom’s Night Out.  We’ve “closed” the store twice now.  It’s becoming a bit of a tradition to be lingering in the aisles looking for one last treasure while the voice on the com is saying “Please make your way to the front, the store is closing in ten.” In the last five I finally found where they moved the old Pleasant Company/American Girl books and nabbed the entire original Felicity set, five Kirstens, two Mollys and a Samantha.

The boys told me next time to bring something home for them.

And guess who waited up for me?

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He did let me pass.

The Gandalf wig/beard arrived in the mail two days later.  He’s wearing the Santa beard from last year. 😉

Funny

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Picture of the Month.  TK-42Dino and TK-42Miss M do school on a Friday. Yes, we’ve already had to duct tape his helmet.

Real

After 12 years of marriage, we have bought our first new (not consigned, secondhand, previously-owned by family, or garage sale) couch.

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Thank you, IKEA, for this easy to assemble treasure.

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Now to clean the basement before the first fire of the season.  No, that’s not dust, it’s flour.  When Miss Sunshine decides she wants her trains to run into snow, she creates it at the expense of my pantry.  But do you see my glorious Wodehouse collection? Second bookshelf, the one on the right.  We have now reached three full shelves (top 3). Give or take a book.

The Everyday

{Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} The September Catch-Up Edition

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I am sorry to have neglected ye Olde Blog, but honestly, if I had to sit and write out my thoughts over this past month in something long enough to count (not a Facebook update, for instance), it’d have gone something like this:

Oh please let this house sale go through. Please let this house sale go through. Please don’t let the house inspector go bonkers because the house is 60yrs old.  Please let the buyer’s FHA appraisal pass. What if none of this happens? Please let this go through.

In other words, I still have much to work in the Faith and Trust Department. By the grace of God and no doubt the intercession of a few saints, the Old Haus will likely close next week.  It could have been tomorrow, but the flood insurance transfer got stuck in paper limbo.  The house inspector was pretty merciful (there were a couple of lines that had Haus Meister and I laughing–like how the railing attached to the house next to the back steps might fall off and hit a car?!). The appraisal passed with no repairs needed.  The buyer still wants the house and didn’t ask for additional repairs beyond a few small things recommended in the inspection. A far cry from the offer we had to reject in 2014– Mr.-You’re-paying-my-closing-but-I-also-want-you-to-pay-15K-in-upgrades-and-while-I’m-at-it-let’s-give-you-4k-less-than-the-previously-agreed-price. I’m sure he has a name, but that’s how I recall him, bless his heart.

I need to work on Charity, too….

So I’m relieved mixed with anxious (we still have six days til closing) mixed with a little sad.  We will never call that place home again now, really. It won’t be ours.  It will be someone else’s cobbled walkway and someone else’s yellow elm tree and someone else’s familiar creaks in the old floor.  On the other hand, it will be someone else’s mortgage. And we can return to fixing up the lovely house we live in now. Not a bad plan, that.

Pretty

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Our pretty little girl on her 7th Birthday.  She picked out the dress, the tiara, and the boots.  It is good to be 7, and a Princess.

Happy

Everyone in the family who is kindergarten age on up participated in the Mudstache Run, an obstacle course/race benefiting our Trail Life troop here in the area.  IMG_3601

Princess and Dino were in the first race, a 0.5mile course.  Princess is ahead of Dino, her bright flowered headband blending into the shirt of the person in front of her.  Dino is running in his John Deere boots.  We couldn’t find his sneakers before the race.  Keeping it real, here!

Rascal was too fast for me to take a picture.  He and his best friend ran the 1 mile course.

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Here I am, huffing and puffing behind Sunshine who ran the Adaptive Race (also 0.5 mi).  She enjoyed herself so much that she ran the course two and a half more times. I also need some work in the Running Department.

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Haus Meister ran with Trooper in the Adaptive Race, too. Trooper and Sunshine both came in first for their groups.  Princess came in second in her age group, and the other two boys did a fine job and are already planning to medal next year. 😉

Funny

Ben Hatke’s latest, Little Robot, is a huge hit around here.  I kept finding children reading it at various times in various places.

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Real

Well, we did something bold last month.  We signed up to have our picture taken for the parish directory.  I’m pleased to say it turned out well, and here’s a picture of a picture of the family!

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So in this year’s installment, Dino ISN’T wearing a hat, everyone is FACING FORWARD, and mostly smiling.  Miss M did not like the way the photographer was trying to get her to smile and the only way to convince her not to jump on my lap was to hold her as I was doing. Sunshine insisted on bringing her ragged “BabyDoll” inside and we decided not to fight that battle as we didn’t know how she’d do with the picture taking anyway. Fortunately she’s holding the doll’s face against her and that’s good because the week before she’d colored it purple and the last thing I wanted to do in my Christmas letter is to explain that my daughter is not in the habit of asphyxiating her dolls.  Just coloring them.