"Let's be cheerful"! We have no more right to steal the brightness out of the day for our own family than we have to steal the purse of a stranger. Let us be as careful that our homes are furnished with pleasant & happy thoughts as we are that the rugs are the right color and texture & the furniture comfortable and beautiful"! Laura Ingalls Wilder

Thursday, January 31, 2013


A balmy change in the weather has everyone feeling a bit like their old selves again.  I never did get bit by the bug that was lodging here.  He tried but I fought with everything I had.. and won.  Apparently, the girls were enough to satisfy and thankfully even they didn't suffer like many have.  Erin was down for only a few days and Audrey the same except that everything always settles in her sinus' and keeps her snuffing for like.. a gazillion days.

When I took off for a couple of hours the girls (did I say they were feeling like their old selves?) went to the park for an incognito photo shoot..    

Ah, the 'ol tiny person photo trick!  Actually no, this is our friend Charity who joined the girls when I got back. She's a 50 foot, 9 year old giant.  Obviously she is a sweetheart or the girls wouldn't climb in her hand like that.  We can only meet Charity in the park because she doesn't fit in our house making for a really interesting relationship, one that takes dedication and creativity.  It's been worth the effort as last week when we needed help moving the garage her dad came over and it took less than five minutes!  Just kidding.. we didn't move the garage!  :)

Praying that you are enjoying balmy weather and feeling well.

Blessings, Debbie    

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

dishcloth with a twist

Next week I'll have a picture of this shawl that I knit for Erin for Christmas.  Today I have a picture of Audrey in the first thing I made that wasn't a dishcloth.. years ago.  It's a.. ginormous half a dish cloth! Funny thing is, when I saw the pattern for Erin's shawl in November I excitedly printed it and ordered the yarn. Fast forward 2 months and Audrey has dug this gal out of the dress up box to wear while doing her schoolwork. Hmm.  Cozy drape.  Extra large.  Plenty of length to wrap around, tying the ends behind her back..  Just sayin'.

Here's the simple dishcloth pattern that when knit (only the first half) with bulky yarn on say, size 11-13 or so needles becomes this version of the Christmas shawl.
co 4
k 1 row
k2, yo, k to end of row
repeat previous row until you have 42 stitches (more for shawl, just keep going until it's as wide as you like)
bo (for shawl)

(if you're making the dishcloth do not bind off and continue)
k1, k2tog, yo, k2tog, k to end of row
repeat previous row until you have 4 stitches

Last week I mentioned that my nose has been in cookbooks.  One of the recipes that has been landing on our table often is soft pretzels.  I've actually toyed with the idea of making a Youtube video on making these (they're that easy and that much fun!) which is just crazy since I HATE to be the other side of a camera.  But today as I was expertly twirling the dough I just felt.. well.. expertish.  :)

Yes, I know.  I should have had some finished pictures.  They really are impressive.  It's just that once out of the oven, Audrey can't keep her hands off of them and before I can think to grab the camera she's polished 'em off!  She'd better be careful or pretty soon that extra large shawl isn't going to fit around her anymore. You're thinking that she has some help aren't you?  ;)  

Joining Ginny's Yarn Along
Blessings, Debbie

Monday, January 21, 2013

walking carefully

I carefully ordered my steps, choosing to walk the long way around the car and up the driveway toward the trailer.  The ice was smooth, reflecting the light from the overhead streetlamp.. definitely slick. My husband called up from behind me, "be careful."  I was.  I found the dry pavement without incident.  Then I sneezed.  A lot of illness going around right now.  A LOT.

I got to thinking and concluded , "it doesn't matter how careful we are we can't control everything."  Granted, we need to make good decisions and make every effort to take care of ourselves but.. there are things we cannot control.  So, what do I do with this piece of insight?  I dunno.  First, I'll take my vitamin C, some Echinacea and put the teapot on.  I'll do a lot of hand washing to try to curtail a germ-fest.  I'll try to remember to do these things again in the morning because I have a tendency to forget that fast.  Of course if this goes all-out, full-blown in the night I'll be much more diligent when I wake.  So I guess I'll treat it like I did the ice.  I'll take the steps necessary to be safe but .. some things are beyond our control.  E-gads.  I really don't want to get sick.

Blessings, Debbie    

Thursday, January 17, 2013

a thoughtful, yes

A couple of days ago, in response to my yes/no list, Bevy of Treasured up and Pondered asked me a thought provoking question.  Rather than answer it in an email I decided it might be interesting to address it here, today.  She asked me if I considered myself to be more of a yes mom or a no mom.  Actually, she meant when the kids were little and I suppose things do change with the years but I'd have to say that really, I haven't in that area.

Larry and I found when the kids were young that by laughing much and loving much, the kids naturally wanted to please us.  We expected them to do the right thing and made sure that they saw our delight when they did. Both of us are fairly calm by design which helped us not to over-react to accidents and mistakes.  We used that to our advantage pairing teachable moments with smiles and hugs (not neglecting discipline when needed).  Those were the easy years... 

Thankfully, what was sown has taken root.  With teens come temptations with larger consequences, peer pressure and conflict as they make more of their own decisions.  Being confident in our balance of boundaries takes much more deliberate discussion and prayer.  Many times our answer to, "can I go see such and such a movie with so and so?" has been difficult.  It's hard being in the world and not of it when your world seems to have become entangled with what peers think.  We've always offered our home as an alternative plan when we have to say no.  Mostly they understand and are thankful, sometimes there's frustration.  Our children love the Lord and are learning every day.  If I still have more to learn in my late forties, I have to be empathetic as they work out their own understanding.  No one is perfect but we do the best we can with what we understand.  That really is all any parent has to offer.

So, yes or no?  I'd have to say I'm infinitely more yes than no, but to parent well means knowing there is a time for each and when to say which.  We say no more to movies and activities that promise to be dangerous to sweet souls, and yes more to people and opportunities.  

Every day the Lord is growing us.  Younger people may find it hard to believe that old people like me are still learning but there will always be room for improvement.  So, I go back to the initial heart behind our parenting.  Smile much and love much.  While my kids are imperfect sinners (just like me), what I do see is young people (who make mistakes) with deepening roots who freely smile and love.  If we did nothing else right... I'm calling that success.        

 Blessings, Debbie

*These photos are from a play the girls were in last summer.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

kitchin knittin'

After all of the holiday knitting and just a couple of weeks before we'll know the sex of the baby (because you know what I'll be casting on for then), I'm up for a bit of quick dishcloth production.  My dear friend in Montana placed an order and I'm happy to oblige.  This is a simple basket weave that probably has a more 'correct' application, but I've been making mine this way for quite some time and find it just right.  If you want some mindless knitting that requires limited skill and almost no concentration, (in other words you may watch your favorite television program or chat away with friends while clicking away) yet looks great and does the job... this is your workhorse.  

Here's how I do it:

Using Peaches and Cream cotton and size 8 or 9 needles (depending how loose you like your fabric),

CO 36

K3 rows

*K3, K5, P5, K5, P5,K5, P5, K3  
repeat from* for 4 more rows

*K3, P5, K5, P5, K5, P5, K5, K3
repeat from * for 4 more rows

Repeat the pattern shown between lines until you have a square

K3 rows

BO and sew in ends

Easy peasy and that's the way something so utilitarian should be.  I've finished 2 and would like to do a few more before sending them to their new home.  I don't think Tami reads the blog so hopefully the fact that these are almost on their way will be a surprise.  :)

I almost forgot to mention the book!  This is actually Erin's, I borrowed it for the post because I'm not reading anything lately except for recipes.  The Masterpiece is book 2 of 3 in The Alcott Legacy (historical fiction) series by Maryann Minatra.  Erin isn't here for me to question right now.  All I can say is that she devoured book 1 in 2 days and said I need to read them.  I'd call that a recommend!  

Blessings, Debbie 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

gathered nuts

Simple truths revealed this weekend ~ (in a nutshell)
Sort of a like/don't like type of list..

*  Snow?  Yes.
*  Sub-zero weather?  No.
*  Knitting while conversing?  Yes.
*  Knitting rows that require counting while conversing?  No.
*  Talent used to glorify the Lord?  Yes.
*  Talent used to glorify self?  No.
*  Potluck?  Yes.
*  Take and bake pizza?  No.
*  Face to face.  Yes.
*  Telephone.  No.
*  Women and Les Miserables.  Yes.
*  Men and Les Miserables.  No.
*  Friends visiting.  Yes.  Yes.
*  Friends leaving.  No!

I'm sure this list isn't all inclusive but.. that's pretty much it in a nutshell!

Blessings, Debbie

Monday, January 14, 2013

...and may Jesus bless you

Do you remember when we first read about Snowflake Bentley?  How we found our own piece of black velvet, smoothed it carefully on the cookie sheet and captured our first (very own) snowflake?  Of course many snowflakes had fallen on noses and tongues, had been gathered into snowballs and preserved in the freezer.. but this was the first time we were intentional in our endeaver to collect and observe a single snowflake.  Many found their way to our prepared platform.  We were amazed at the detail of each crystal-like formation.  How could they be so incredibly perfect and unique?  

christmas at the grands 2012

Happy birthday to my own unique miracle of perfection.  I cherish every memory of you!  Yep, even that one and that one and...  :)

Love, mom

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

a gingerbread day

Outside the weather is doing just what the weather is supposed to be doing this time of year.  Inside we are doing just what we are supposed to be doing this time of year, a little baking while watching a VHS on the 'portable' television set.  Yes, we are pretending to be high tech and modern in our old-fashioned-ness.  

It would be impossible to sum up these weeks of no posting so I won't even try.  Besides, there really is just one piece of news that I MUST share right now.  One perfect piece of news that is filling my heart with flutters, my mind with dreams and my needles with new found vigor and purpose...  For those of you who haven't yet guessed, I'm going to be a grammie!!  Hillary and Monte are having a baby for me, isn't that just the sweetest?  Honestly they are just so incredibly thoughtful... sigh... smile... click, click... dream... smile...

Blessings, Debbie   

**Did you notice?  Pictures!  

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