Thursday, September 29, 2011


With Emily's birth just three days before the first day of autumn, and the days leading up to her birth being filled with waiting and preparing, I didn't give this new season much thought until the last couple of days - and autumn is just such a glorious season.

So with Abby and Sarah off with their grandparents this week, Abraham and I decided to do something about that.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

One Week Old

One week old this afternoon....
Life has slowed way down to a nicer speed, really. My pace had been much too rushed in the past.... this slowing down is so nice.   
We are experiencing so much love with our new blessing.  This is at times mixed with feelings of being overwhelmed and wondering how we are going to get all of our to-do list done before winter.  

The children need us now, not tomorrow.  Thomas needs to get to theater rehearsal, Abby to ballet, the boys to band practice...  Emily needs to be held, Abraham needs to be read to.  These things cannot wait.   The barn can wait.  The peeling paint can wait.  The children cannot.  This is our job right now.

I love this saying - "Just Do the Next Thing".  That is what I am doing now... the next thing.  What matters most.  What must be done. And as I sit and nurse Emily my joy overflows and for the moment the rest fades away.

Friday, September 23, 2011


We are all doing wonderfully.  I feel great and Emily is a sweet and peaceful baby, yet very alert, strong and nursing well.  My eyes have been shedding some happy tears when I gaze at her and am in awe over the amazing gift we have been given.

I have had all seven babies in a hospital with a midwife.  I have some history of bleeding and never could get over the what ifs as much as I agree that home is also a wonderful place to birth.  

At 11 days over and with some scheduling conflicts, my midwife called Monday afternoon and asked if it would work out to come in on Tuesday morning.

Mike and I arrived at the hospital at 6:30 am and my midwife arrived by 8:00 to break my water.  
I was also overjoyed to find that a woman from our town that I know was the nurse who would be with me for the birth.  Kitty is an amazing woman that sometimes joined in with our knitting group.  She is kind, patient  and I felt immediately at ease knowing she would be with us for the day.

This is my birthing gown that I have worn for all 7 births.

I am not going to get into the details of the birth on the blog but it was the most peaceful one I have had and I was so happy to not have to have any sort of intervention or needles or anything.   It was quite empowering to labor through with  God through prayer, Mike - my husband (an amazing birthing partner), Kitty and Lesley (the midwife), and the strength of my body to do what it was naturally intended to do.  Emily was born at 4:50 that afternoon.

I requested to go home at the 24 hour after birth mark and this Emily at just 24 hours old.

 It was just about dinner time when my family came to get me.  The hospital staff had brought a meal which I hadn't ordered.  Isaac and Abraham decided to help themselves to the milk.

Thank you for all of the kind wishes and thoughts.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Emily Susan

September 20th, 4:50 pm, 7 pounds 3 ounces, 20 inches

Sunday, September 18, 2011

A Simple Saturday

More Firewood

Music Playing by the Splitting and Stacking Spot

My Strong Husband

Abraham Hauling a Piece of Wood

Collecting Kindling

Burning Brush

Our 84 year old sweet neighbor came by for a visit on her golf cart.  She loves the children and brought them for a ride which, of course, they love.

Harvested the Winter Squash

Finished with a mostly homegrown, home raised dinner of quiche and roasted potatoes.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Around the House

This last picture is Abby's first apple pie.  She made the crust from scratch and everything!

Warm wishes,

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Yarn Along - Question about Knitting Socks

I was encouraged by Ginny's post last week to pick up this classic book at our little library last week. It is a great read so far.  A book about a working poor family in Brooklyn... so interesting to compare and contrast with today's concepts of "poor" and also the idea of hope.
I have read another of Betty Smith's novels which I really enjoyed as well - Joy in the Morning.

At Melanie's recommendation (thanks Melanie!) I am following the free pattern for simple socks knit on four double pointed needles from  It is exciting to think about not have to sew up seams.   I am stuck though.... I am at the turning the heel point and have the correct number of stitches for the heel on one needle and understand about going back and forth but there is a stitch I have not been able to understand - is is Wrap and Turn.  Can anyone explain this?

I look forward to visiting the other knitting and reading posts today hosted at Small Things.

(no baby yet....)

Warm wishes,

Monday, September 12, 2011

Questions about Apple Tree Care

I had lots of questions about how we care for our apple trees.  To tell the truth, we are novices in this area.

Thus far all we have done is applied composted chicken manure under the canopy of each tree - that means extending it out to where the branches reach out.

Also, we followed the guidelines reading about pruning the trees and have done our best to do that each of the last two late autumns/early winters.

I think that living so far north, we are probably less likely to attract many of the insects that others may be prone. 

Sorry I don't have much to share in this area as we are learning as we go along - some is probably luck and some is for sure trial and error.

Warm wishes,

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Apples, Apples, Apples

We have two mature apple trees on our little 3 acre homestead.  They had been neglected when we moved in two years ago, but after dear husband pruned and fertilized them the last two seasons, we have been blessed with an abundant harvest of organic, healthy apples.  Last year we planted a small apple tree because with our crew we could probably never have too many apples.

Since Monday we have made
~ two large batches of apple crisp
~ 1 1/2 quarts of apple sauce
~ apple muffins
~ two apple pies (one to give to a neighbor)

And we still have many more apples to go!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Knitting and Reading again for the Yarn Along

I knit up this small lavender sachet the other day on a car ride and while waiting for our older son to audition for the musical, Jekyll and Hyde .  The pattern is once again from the same knitting book I keep mentioning, Vintage Knits for Modern Babies.

I am just about finished with this book.  It is filled with inspiring essays written by an Old Order Amish and an "Englischer" that became friends.

Looking forward to seeing what others are knitting and reading this week.  Thank you to Ginny for hosting this wonderful weekly Yarn Along.

**On another note, I am going to begin Monday postings called A Handmade/Homemade Holiday where I will share a project I am working on and would love it if others might leave a comments with a link to their handmade/homemade holiday ideas.**

Warm wishes,

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Goats, Apples and Pumpkins

The goats are growing.  It is much fun to let them out of their fenced in area to graze.  They don't go far as they like to stay near people.

Our apples trees are giving us beautiful apples this season. 
This morning I am making our first apple anything since last apple season - apple crisp.
Everyone can't wait until it comes out of the oven.

Abraham picked up an apple and said, "One apple up on top."

Abraham is helping me stuff little calico pumpkins.

Just enjoying these moments while trying to keep my grumpiness under control from being tired due to lack of sleep.   I am sure this must be God's way of getting new mothers ready for interrupted sleep in order to nurse in the nights to come.

Warm wishes,

Friday, September 2, 2011

September Is....

:: Pumpkins to make Pumpkin Pie, Bread, Soup

:: Finishing the Firewood 

:: Bright Blue Skies

::  Wool Sweaters in the Morning and Evenings

::  Routines  Returning

::  Sunflowers


::  A New Baby to Welcome 

September is my favorite month for so many reasons.  What does September mean to you?

Warm wishes,

(We were blessed not to be too bothered by Irene here in northern Vermont.  There was flooding to be sure which resulted in many roads being washed out.  Thankfully I did not go into labor that night as it would have been a challenge to get to the main road.   Not only was the road washed out but the end of our driveway had a large rut as well which would have made getting out difficult.   We have a wonderful community here and our neighbor told the town roads worker as he drove by the evening of the storm and he filled in the rut for us to make it passable.  We have been praying for all those who have suffered, but also hoping that the trials result in blessings as they so often do.)