Sunday, November 15, 2015

An African Feast

 The kids have currently been studying ancient Africa in their history lessons. Our history book, Story of the World, always has some very cool hands on activities that correspond with the history lesson.

We don't have time to do all the activities that I would like, but I do try to make at least one thing with each chapter section. This particular activity was perfect for my kids, because they just love food!

We got to make an African style dinner! Peter made steamed yams.

Gabe made the main dish, which was chicken legs cooked with figs, lemon, parsley, and other spices.

Brianna made the rice, which had some interesting spices as well as papaya and red peppers!

Several of the fables in the chapter were about Anansi the spider and food. The kids enjoyed getting to learn about the foods in the stories.

I also made some fried plantain which everyone enjoyed very much, surprisingly. Peter liked the meal so much that he requested it for his birthday dinner!

Sunday, November 8, 2015


This has been one of the most beautiful autumns I can remember.

I have been using every excuse to get outside and enjoy the last few waning days of warm weather.

It is so easy to get busy with day to day things and forget that there are some beautiful places to go for a nature walk nearby.

Bringing my camera with me is a lot of fun as well, because it makes me more aware of little vignettes of beauty that I would normally just walk right past without noticing.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

A Walk in the Woods

 The weather here in the Frigid North has rapidly become, well, more frigid.  (We had our first frost last night.)  I decided to take the kids for a nature walk to enjoy one of the last beautiful afternoons of the season.

I will admit to having ulterior motives. I needed some very long branches / tree limbs for our annual Thanksgiving tree and I haven't been able to find any in our backyard that would suit.

I also wanted to give the kids an opportunity to find more mushrooms for their daddy to enjoy. Andy and the kids are avid mushroom eaters and they get a thrill out of finding some hiding under some fallen leaves or in a nook in a downed log.

The mushroom pictured above is called a Hen of the Woods. It is a ground-growing mushroom that looks a lot like a pile of leaves. This particular one wweighed about 10 pounds or more and was a bit tricky to get back to the car. If you notice in the picture above with the branches, you will see it nestled in the branches. It was too heavy for me to carry so I had to drag it!

This mushroom was the second Hen of the Woods that my Gabe found. We are starting to call him the Fox of the Woods because he is so good at finding the Hen of the Woods!

Saturday, October 10, 2015

New Gnome Dresses

It has been a long time since I felt like sewing.  My schedule is usually so busy that finding the time to sit and accomplish something  isn't possible very often . 

I prefer to purchase my fabric through a small online store called The quality of the fabrics is excellent and they have such unique patterns!

For this dress I actually used to pattern. (Usually I don't because I am impatient and want to start sewing right away!)

I made a similar dress for Breanna, but this time I just winged a pattern.

They look so cute together!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Glam Shells for Grandma

My Grandma in Hawaii will be celebrating a birthday in a few days, so I decided to knit her this shawl as a present.  Obviously, living in Hawaii as she does, the weather is a lto warmer than it is here in the Frigid North.  That beings said, it can sometimes get a little chilly in the evenings so a light shawl should be useful.
 Right now I have it "blocking", which means it is still damp from a light rinsing and is pinned out to dry in the shape I wish it to be.  (The kids were asking me why I was making a Batman blanket.)

Once the shawl is dry, I will unpin it and it will still have the same shape. I don't know if it shows up in the photos, but the yarn has a beautiful silver sparkle to it.
 A glamorous shawl for a Glamorous Gram!

Pattern: Glamshells
Link to Ravelry Page
Yarn: Anzula Nebula

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ladyslippers for Oma

My dear Oma is turning 91 fabulous years old in September, and I really wanted to make her something extra-special for her birthday gift.

I got this book from my mother in law, and when I saw the pattern on the front, I knew it was just meant to be.
(not the bikini.  Some things ought not be knit).

THIS pattern.

I need to ask my Oma if she'd prefer the sweater knit as shown, with sleeves, or if she'd prefer it made into a vest.  She lives in a warmer climate than I do, so a sweater might not be as practical as a vest.

So far I've completed the back and half of the front.  Obviously, it still has to be blocked, which will help it lay flatter without all the bumps.  I'm a little concerned that the colored yarn will bleed.

It's by far the most complicated thing I've ever knit.

I had to rip out the edging five (FIVE!) times before I figured it out.

It's looking beautiful though, and definitely worth the effort.  Can't wait for my Oma to see it!