Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Yarn Along - Knitting for Baby and Abraham

Whenever I am knitting, Abraham, who is three years old, asks me what I am knitting.  I tell him.  And then the next question that always follows is, "Is it for the baby?"

Lately, it seems that I am always saying, "yes".

So after finishing this little bunny, pattern from the same book I keep mentioning, Vintage Knits for Modern Babies, I cast on for Abraham -

mittens and socks.

I am still reading Anne of Green Gables and really enjoying Anne's love of life.

Joining in with Ginny again this week for the Yarn Along.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Simple Summer Joys

~ Popsicles
~ Playing electric guitars outside
~ Lavender
~ Sun Tea

Would love to hear what others you can add...

Warm wishes,

Monday, June 27, 2011

Small Projects

It was one of those weekends where we just had bits of time between bringing our children where they needed to go.  Nolan off to a camp counselor training session and Thomas and Isaac to a  youth group outing.  Then yesterday we had to bring Nolan back to the camp where he will be a junior counselor for two weeks.

In between the car trips we were able to do some small projects around the homestead.

I cleaned the goat's barn and set up an area in our bedroom to put a crib size mattress on the floor for Abraham to transition him into his own bed before the baby comes. 

Mike was able to complete two small projects ~

a sink stand for an old ceramic sink we had for the children's outdoor play area

a small chicken tractor for the chicks - they are out of the extra large tote that went from in the house to on the porch and now outside!

Wishing you a joyous week,

Friday, June 24, 2011

Just One Strawberry

Last spring I planted one little strawberry plant I bought at the Farmer's Market for $2.00.  By the end of the summer, there were several runners coming from that one plant, so I cut the stems and let the new plants grow on their own.  This year we have a few strawberry plants but probably only about 12 strawberries in total. 

With seven out of eight of us loving strawberries and not having had even a one since last summer, the competition is fierce to be the first to spot the next ripe berry.

Isaac found the very first and I did get a taste of it.  Oh, so good.
We will continue to add on to our strawberry patch each year.  But in the meantime....

We are thankful to have an organic strawberry grower, Berrycreek Farm right in town.  Strawberry picking begins this weekend.  Now how to save enough to make jam before they are all eaten.......

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Yarn Along - Baby Pants and Anne of Green Gables

Joining in with Ginny, of Small Things this week.

I finished the knit infant pants from Vintage Knits for Modern Babies.  These were so simple to knit up on two needles.  I used Plymouth worsted weight yarn in a wool blend.

I am reading Anne of Green Gables for the first time!  And I am enjoying it so.  What a wonderful book to read aloud to your family or to just enjoy some good quality light summer reading.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Simple Weekend Spent

Putting the somewhat composted chicken litter in between the garden rows - to become part of the soil next year.

Fishing - We found a beautiful new spot to go to, just a mile and a half down the road.

Setting up and having obstacle course races.

Making a flower garland.
How was your weekend?  I hope it was filled with beautiful moments.
Warm wishes,

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Morning Prayer and Fathers Day

Let our thoughts, our words and deeds,
ever be pure, kind and good.  Let us live peaceably
with each other, respecting one another in love.
Let us see the good in our fellow man, that we
may love our neighbors as ourselves.
-Amish Prayer-

We usually set Sunday apart from the rest of the week to worship, be together as a family, keep the elecrtic guitars and drums quiet for the day, and to reflect on all of the beauty around us and to give thanks.  Today the sky is just a beautiful shade of blue with the temperature closing in on 70 degrees.  We will all go fishing after lunch at the brook to enjoy this Sunday and Fathers Day.

A Happy Fathers Day to my wonderful father.  I have been thinking of him already a lot today and am grateful that he is such a strong presence in my life and in the lives of our children.  Despite the geographical distance, he makes great efforts to see us all regularly and to plan special events with the children.

Also a Happy Fathers Day to my husband.  I am so grateful for our beautiful children and that they have him to do all the playful silly things that I may not be as likely to do with them.


Saturday, June 18, 2011


We celebrated Abby's 11th birthday on Thursday.  
Her day began with the birthday tradition of her Dad bringing her out to breakfast.

After lunch her friends came over for make your own sundae.
At Abby's request we bought one of those cans of whipped cream.   We usually make our own whipped cream from cream from a local farm.  But what a treat it was for them to spray it out!

Then they were off to the lake on the beautiful summer day.

And then  home again with Chinese food and cake, of course, for dessert.

For her birthday gift this year, she requested a set of Prismacolor pencils.  

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Picnic

I looked out our bathroom window yesterday and saw this sweet scene.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


I think one of the keys to simple living is changing our mindset from one of "getting it done" to one of being fully present in the moment and being grateful for the little things. The more activities a family is involved in outside the home, the more computer time, video gaming and television programming become a priority, life becomes a blur of motion and meaningless activity and often harried rushing.

Taking time to make a meal from scratch instead of using pre-packaged ingredients helps to reduce waste and is healthier, but more importantly, if I am not rushed and instead giving thanks for the food, and thinking about the importance of making my family a healthy meal, it is no longer a chore, but a pleasure. If we are not under time constraints because one of the children has to be to an activity (which is sometimes the case), then I find myself even more at peace while preparing the meal.

Another key to leading a less rushed life is practicing gratitude throughout the day. Our great-grandparents probably led a much simpler life (although the work may have been harder), enjoying conversation, sunsets and meals together. By just being grateful for their food, for those 30 minutes to sit together at the end of a hard days work sipping a lemonade, those precious moments make up a life. I think they were able to appreciate the little things without all of the distractions and without rushing.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Sometimes I feel so overwhelmingly blessed that a feeling of sadness comes over me as I think of so many others that live a life of struggle and pain. 

I work through the daily chores and hugs and redirecting the children and frustrations when they don't get along... or I feel a bit sick or tired from the pregnancy, but that is about all - that is nothing, so little compared to the trials that others face.

Thank you, God, for all of the blessings that you have given me - my life is so full - use me to bless others and work me a little harder each day to be all you intend me to be.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Just Relaxing

We found a brand new hammock at a garage sale last weekend for just $20.00.
What a blessing it has been already.

Warm wishes for a beautiful weekend,

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Knitting and Reading

Joining in with Ginny at Small Things as it is Wednesday already.  Knitting and reading are also two of my favorite pastimes.

Mike and I are reading The Revolution by Ron Paul as we are both very interested in his ideas.
I am also reading DIY U.  This  book is about rethinking the higher education system in our country and looking at new options for young people.

On the needles are some pants for baby.  From the one of the two books I seem to be knitting lots from, Vintage Knits for Modern Babies.  The yarn is plymouth worsted weight, 25% wool, 75% acrylic that I purchased from our little local yarn shop.

And, again from the same book - I finished these little booties.  The yarn is peace fleece and the buttons are handmade of hemlock by our son, Nolan.

Looking forward to reading about what books you are enjoying (or not) and your knitting or crocheting projects.

Warm wishes, Tonya

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


When I came home from a midwife appointment and some thrift store shopping, this is what I found.  Isaac and Abby's "shack". 

The post holes and drainage are dug for the barn.  A start....

Warm wishes, Tonya

Monday, June 6, 2011

Simple Joys

~watching Abraham and Sarah feed the goats~

~strawberry blossoms~

~blueberry blossoms~

~Abe lead me to the chives to show me the bumblebee and as he held my hand he sang his own version of "Over in the Meadow" - something like
"Over in the meadow in the garden
lived a mother bumblebee and her babies... sting said the mama we sting said the bees....

What simple joys are you enjoying?

Warm wishes,  Tonya

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Baby Socks

Joining in with Ginny at Small Things today for her Yarn Along.

Baby Socks on Two Needles

Using size 3 needles and DK weight yarn

Cast on 28 stitches

Knit about 8 rows in a rib - knit one, purl one across the row

Continue in stockinette stitch knit one row, purl the next for the desired length of the sock.

Now decrease 7 stitches at the beginning and end of the next row.

Continue knitting in stockinette stitch for approximately 3 inches or until desired length.

Now shape for toe.

Decrease at the beginning and end of the next rows until 7 stitches remain.

Now increase at the beginning and end of the next rows until back up to 14 stitches.

Continue knitting in stockinette until bottom of sock measures the same as the top.

Now shape for heal in the same way you did for the toe.

Cast off.

Seam up the back center of the ribbing. Sew up the "angles" on both the heel and the toe. Sew the heel to the bottom of the ribbing/top part of sock; and then seam up both sides of the sock.

Sorry I don't have any cute baby feet to show wearing them, yet.

Warm wishes, Tonya