Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Reading and Knitting

Joining in with Ginny again to share what I am knitting and reading.

Last week I knit up that little hat that was supposed to be for me but turned out much too small - even too small for Abraham.  So I cast on again increasing the stitches and using larger needles.
What I like about this pattern is that I can use up bits of yarn.

I have a new craft book! - Sewn by Hand - How much fun to not use the sewing machine.  Looking forward to trying out some of the projects.

What are you knitting and reading?

Warm wishes,

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Under Construction

New projects beginning already - children making potholders, hockey nets being put together for the pond, painting to make a Happy New Year banner, and installing a new door and two new windows in our house.

Monday, December 26, 2011

More Christmas Joy

We are simply enjoying these peaceful "in between" days - 
some light lessons for the children as we took the two weeks prior to Christmas off, game playing, outdoor snow play, goal making, and of course, new handwork project planning.

What are you doing this week?
Warm wishes,

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Gifts from God

A mixture of joy and sadness are my feelings on Christmas.  So much joy for the gifts God has given me - the birth of His Son, my amazing family, a home, food, clothing, generous gift cards from family and friends and the list could go on and on.

During Christmas, though as I am reminded of all of my blessings, I think of those that don't have as many blessings - those with very little healthy food to eat, lack a loving family or friends, or have never been introduced to Jesus' love. 

Sarah said to me today as we were listening to NPR," Mom, 1 out of 7 people in Vermont go hungry." 

How much should we help?  When are we being too indulgent instead of helping?  When do I not need to buy a bottle of wine or some new art supplies for the children?  When should I instead be helping others? Or is it ok to do both?  And how does God want me to do so?   

So on this Christmas it seems as if God is reminding me that I am to love others like He loves us and to be more self-sacrificing like Jesus. 

This Christmas Eve as our family sits in our warm home heated by our woodstove, and eats a simple meal of homemade soup before going to Christmas Eve service at church, I will be thankful and know that all of our blessings are from God.

Merry Christmas!

"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."  ~ Ephesians 2:10

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


The chickens are sunbathing,

a small brush fire is burning,

and Sparky is joining in on the fun.  Abraham thought we should get her goat skates.

Warm wishes,

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Little Handmade Holiday

Finishing up a little of this and that such as making tags to go on the cocoa mix jars, baking cookies to go with the goodie boxes that will be mailed off to family.  We are also including some of the delicious goodness from our neighbor's business.

Abby and Isaac decorated our living area with a long paper chain.

And yes!  we are ice skating today - there were shouts of joy this morning.

What last minute projects are you working on?
Warm wishes,

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Moments from the Week

As I was clearing the table from supper and looked across the room, this is what I saw.

Abby hurt her neck - pulled something I think, and it felt better as the day went on but it sent her resting on the couch most of the day.  Sarah lovingly cared for her - getting whatever she needed - she is a caretaker - not giving a thought to helping.

Emmy with her big brother Nolan.  I love how he holds her and tells her she is the most beautiful baby in the world.

Sarah and Abraham making salt ornaments.

Emmy's little hand on her Dad's

Warm wishes,

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Two Needle Mitten Pattern

Joining in with Ginny of Small Things for this week's Knit Along to share a simple mitten pattern that I have had several requests for...

This is a really simple two needle knitting pattern for mittens.

So far I have made the following sizes the first number is for our 3 year old, second for our 7 year old, and third number for our 11 year old.  Please note that our children are on the smaller size, but wool is very forgiving either way.
This pattern is adapted from the Wee Mittens in the book Vintage Knits for Modern Babies.
Cast on using size 3 needles with worsted weight yarn 31 (35) (39) stitiches.
Rib for desired length of cuff - K1P1 for each row.
Change to larger needles (size 5) and work 2 rows in stockinette stitch.
For the Thumb:
Row 1:  Knit 15 (17) (19), place marker, M1, k1, M1, place marker, knit to end - know you have 33 (35) (37) sts.
Row 2:  Purl
Row 3: Knit to marker, sl marker, M1, knit to marker, M1, slip to marker, knit to end -
Repeat rows 2 and 3 until you have 13 (15) (17) stitches between markers
Nest row: Purl
Row 1:  Knit 28 (32) (36), turn
Row 2:  P5 (6) (7), p2 tog, p 6 (7) (8), turn
Work 4 (6) (8) rows in Stockinette stitch
Next row:  K2tog across row
Break yarn and thread tail through rem sts and pull tight.  Start sewing up seam of thumb.
Top Shaping:
Rejoin yarn to stitches on left needles with right side facing, and knit to end  30 (34) (38) stitches.
Continue in Stockinette stitch until work measures length for hand, ending with a purl row.
Row 1:  Knit 2, knit 2tog across row
Row 2:  Purl
Row 3:  Repeat Row 1
Row 4:  purl
Row 5:  Knit 2tog across
Break yarn leaving a long tail and run needle through remaining stitches pull yarn tight and sew up seam of mitten.

I am still reading the Charlotte Mason Companion and have started a new nightly chapter book with Sarah - it is an older book called A Horse like Mr. Ragman.  It is a book that horse lovers would enjoy and Sarah is most definitely a lover of horses.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Handmade Holiday - 2011

Gathered greenery and added some birch bark hearts to the ends of some twine which is holding the         swag together - all can be returned to the earth

Knitting another pair of mittens for oldest daughter in purple

Knitted cotton washcloths to go with these beautiful soaps from Old Gates Farm

Printing these gorgeous free calenders from A Number of Things

How are your holiday projects coming along?

Please feel free to share links and ideas in your comment.

Warm wishes,

Friday, December 9, 2011

Glad that

there are still pumpkins in the basement (our unfinished basement makes a great root cellar) to make these delicious pumpkin bars

it has turned cold enough to make icicles and snow - enough to provide a layer of cover on the ground and trees

Emmy Sue is getting chubby and her crying times are getting fewer

that Abraham keeps taking out the yoga cards and asks me to do them with him.  We usually finish with some hopping, skipping and jumping jacks.

I am also glad that the the children enjoy a few good rounds of Simon Says - perfect for these cold days when there isn't quite enough snow on the ground yet and the ice isn't ready for skating.  I enjoy hearing their laughter and silliness as they try to trick one another into doing something when "Simon doesn't say".

I bought these DVDs from Above Rubies and would like to pass them on to the first person who leaves a comment saying they would like them.  They are a very basic introduction into living a life centered around God and family, one that proclaims children to be a blessing.

What are you glad about today?

Warm wishes,

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Knitting and Reading again for the Yarn Along

Joining in with Ginny of Small Things again...

I have just cast on with some wonderfully soft baby alpaca yarn to knit up this sweet hat, the pattern courtesy of Ginny.  If all goes well, I have some natural colored alpaca as well and I would like to size it up to knit one for myself.

I am reading The Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson as I need extra encouragement right now as we are still working on rhythm and balance and reading her book helps me to  remember what an honor it is to have the privilege of mothering all of our blessings.

I could really use a good fiction read  - any suggestions?

Warm wishes, Tonya

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Handmade Holiday - 2011

Inspired here, I am in the process of knitting apples for Abraham - it is so much fun to have a lot I think - to count, play in the play kitchen, sort and more.  I have still have to knit some green ones.

Sarah is working on note cards - I purchased the blank note cards from  - about $3.00 for 10 and she is giving them in sets of 4.

Do you have an ideas to share this week?

Friday, December 2, 2011


a nativity calender - gifted to us - when each flap is opened, a Bible verse is revealed

our Stockbridge, Massachusetts village - gifted to us over many Christmases when we lived in the Berkshires

a tree from our little homestead

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Yarn Along

Joining with Ginny again today to share two of my favorite things - knitting and reading.

Emmy modeling her new hat.  I am using the rest of the yarn to knit mittens for Sarah for Christmas.

I just received this book in the mail yesterday - 100 Days of Blessings - Devotions for Wives and Mothers by Nancy Campbell.  I need to be in the Word each day and I am hoping this will be a way to discipline myself.  Each devotional references several Bible verses and I have started a Bible journal where I am copying the verses each day.

What are you knitting and reading?

Monday, November 28, 2011

Handmade Holiday - 2011

Abby is helping me with this gift.  She is making the hot cocoa mix - for each quart jar, 1 1/2 cup organic milk powder, 1/2 c. sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa.  I added the burlap top with the white edging.  We are going to make homemade marshmallows as well.  I haven't googled a recipe yet, has anyone made some before?

I am knitting mittens for Sarah using the rest of the yarn from Emmy's hat.  I have the other one cast on and in progress.  She does keep asking me if I am knitting them for her, but I do my best to avoid answering...

Sharing from another reader ~
Natalie of Remembrances shared two different advent ideas last week.

Please share your handmade holiday ideas in a comment and be sure to leave a link if you have blogged about it.
Warm wishes,

Friday, November 25, 2011

Soup and Pie for Thanksgiving

We had our Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday with family that came up to visit and to see Thomas' performance.  We had 20 people including little Emmy.  I baked a 33 pound turkey that we bought locally.  We actually would see him and his friends free ranging throughout the summer as we drove by this farm often.  Yes, we have been eating turkey every day since.  Knowing that on Thanksgiving day it would just be our family and that we would be working for much of the day, I decided to keep it simple with turkey soup and pie.  Abby made chocolate cream.

I made the pumpkin pie from a pumpkin that we grew and we had delicious whipped cream made from cream from a local farm.  I also made a batch of rolls.

Another tradition is eggnog.  The children love and we buy it just this one time each year.  I thought it quite interesting that neither Sarah nor Abraham had any idea how to open this kind of top to pour.  I guess it is a bit old fashioned now as most cartons have the plastic screw cover now.

How was your Thanksgiving?
Warm wishes,

Thursday, November 24, 2011