Teish Knits

Teish Knits -

Thoughts for Tuesday, October 21st

Outside my windows… it’s getting quite dark at only 5:30. Summer sunset times have spoiled me.

Inside my house… the coal stove is running again. We had quite the warm spell with summer temperatures for a few days. Now we’ve settled back into chilly autumn nights.

Counting 1000 gifts… I’m feeling better every day, and I’m so thankful for that!

Prayers of the heart… praying for friends who’ve lost a loved one.

What the (not quite so) little ones are up to… Little Guy brought half of the contents of his crib downstairs today. Pretty sure I’ll be the one carrying most of it back upstairs at bedtime!

From my playlist… Do You Hear the People Sing? Though I preferred the film version of Les Miserables over the musical, this song became a favorite of mine.

From my reading list… The Redemption by MaryLu Tyndall. The swashbuckling adventure has captured my imagination, and I’ll definitely want to read through the whole series!

From my needlework basket… The yarn I ordered to use for the kids’ vests will not work with the pattern I’d picked out. I can’t get gauge unless I knit the bulky yarn on size 5 needles. (For non-knitters, that means that the vests would be like a stiff suit of armor!) So, I’m attempting to wing it and come up with my own pattern as I go. This could get interesting…

In the learning room… I am amazed by Mr. Q’s declaration that he loves doing multiplication. He did not get that from his mother!

Random ramblings… Since I’m reading a book about pirates and privateers, I’ve been pondering the idea of “legal” piracy as practiced by the privateers working for various governments throughout history. Though what they did might be technically legal, I have to wonder if it was still simple theft practiced under the color of law. There’s certainly an interesting ethical debate there that I’ll be pondering for a while…

Profound ponderings… “Poetry… should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost a remembrance.” – John Keats

Caught on film…


Thoughts for Tuesday, October 14th

Outside my windows… the fiery-colored leaves have fallen, and the trees are starting to look a little bare.

Inside my house… laundry piled up while I was sleeping. If you see the laundry fairy, please do send her my way!

Counting 1000 gifts… beautiful fall weather.

Prayers of the heart… for a little more energy. It’s hard to jump back into everything! Not to mention catching up on things like laundry…

What the (not quite so) little ones are up to… frolicking outside while the weather is still nice!

From my playlist… a little Chicago. One of their albums was the second CD that Aaron every bought for me. (The first was the Rocketeer soundtrack.)

From my reading list… I’m deciding whether to start a novel or one of the nonfiction books on my reading list.

From my needlework basket… Little Guy’s Christmas sweater is still in the works. Vests for the older kids and mittens are the next on the list.

In the learning room… this is our week off, which turns out to be really good timing for me. The kiddos are taking advantage of the extra time to play outside too!

Random ramblings… I’m definitely getting better, but it’s taking a bit longer than I’d like. The nurse today told me that everyone heals differently and that it will just take time. Like I told my kids, patience isn’t any easier when you’re an adult.

Profound ponderings… “If tea can’t fix it, it is a serious problem.” – Unknown

Caught on film…


Thoughts for Tuesday, October 7th

Outside my windows… leaves are falling and mornings are chilly.

Inside my house… I lit the coal stove for the first time this season. I held off as long as I could!

Counting 1000 gifts… hot tea and snuggly sweaters on chilly mornings.

Prayers of the heart… that this wisdom tooth surgery tomorrow will go well and recovery won’t be too bad!

What the (not quite so) little ones are up to… munching on cereal and watching the fire in the stove with fascination!

From my playlist… Beethovan’s 9th Symphony.

From my reading list… actually, I’m trying to decide what book to start next. Too many great options!

From my needlework basket… a Christmas sweater for Little Guy is in the works. I finished a red sweater for Teddy last night. (Teddy is the stuffed bear that has been with me since I was a newborn.)

In the learning room… finishing up a few things before we take a break for the rest of the week.

Random ramblings… After two weeks of being gone, my IT staff will finally be back home today! I can’t tell you how happy and relieved I am about this!

Profound ponderings… “Courage isn’t a matter of not being frightened, you know. It’s being afraid and doing what you have to anyway.” – The Doctor

Caught on film…


Knockout Knits Review

Now is the time of year when I get serious about Christmas knitting. Accessories are one of my favorite gifts to knit. So when I had the chance to review Knockout Knits by Laura Nelkin, I was thrilled!

Knockout Knits is perfect for a knitter who has mastered the basics, and wants to try out some interesting stiches and techniques. The accessories in the book are the perfect size for practicing something new. The patterns are divided into three sections, wrapped stitches, lace, and beading. Each section starts out with the instructions for the basics of the new technique, so you can quickly and easily reference it as needed.

I had to cast on the Prolix Mitts as soon as I saw the pattern! I’d never tried using wrapped stitches this way before, and I’ve quite enjoyed knitting these.


I’ve decided that my next project from Knockout Knits will be the Cha Ching Mitts featured on the cover. I had no interest in trying beaded knitting until I saw the photo of these beauties!

If you’re just beginning to learn to knit or you are looking for simple patterns, then this might not be the book for you. But, if you’re comfortable with basic knitting concepts, and knitting in the round, you’ll have no trouble with the patterns in Knockout Knits. The patterns are clear and easy to follow. And the photography! The photos in the book are gorgeous! I love the full-page photos that really show off the knitting. They give me a close-up look at the beautiful stitch techniques used.

This is a lovely go-to book for gift knitting. It would also be a wonderful gift for the knitter in your life!

Note: I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review.

Thoughts for Tuesday, September 30th

Outside my windows… We had an incredibly warm weekend, but fall weather has returned. I don’t mind having an excuse to wear warm sweaters and drink more tea though!

Inside my house… there is a spider invasion! I’m not kidding. They are big ones too. I’m thinking a flame-thrower might be the best defense…

Counting 1000 gifts… a sister who came over and made us a delicious dinner!

Prayers of the heart… I’m having oral surgery next week to remove an impacted molar and wisdom tooth. Praying that all goes well.

What the (not quite so) little ones are up to… Little Guy is watching Mickey Mouse while the older kids are working on math and I’m getting a bit of work done.

From my playlist… Into the West sung by Peter Hollens. I really love this version of the song!

From my reading list… How to Write a Novel Using the Snowflake Method by Randy Ingermanson. This is an absolutely fascinating book, and it has me really thinking through some of the story ideas that I’ve been tinkering with!

From my needlework basket… I finally finished I Watch British TV for the Sweaters. I had attempted it for the Rav games earlier this year, but it took a bit longer to finish. I’m definitely enjoying the warm sweater today! (Photo at the end of the post.)

In the learning room… Division and fractions and diagraming, oh my!

Random ramblings… Because it’s election season, and because I’m me, I’ve got to say this: I have little respect for someone who will only vote for a major party candidate, who they usually don’t believe is the best qualified, because no one else “has a chance”. I have far more respect for someone who chooses a candidate based firmly on their convictions, whether I agree with that choice or not. They have had the courage to make a decision based on principle, with little regard to how many others stand with them. Living out your beliefs in every area of life is a brave thing to do today…

Profound ponderings… “The best advice I’ve ever received is, ‘No one else knows what they’re doing either’” – Ricky Gervais

Caught on film… by the girl who may just follow in Daddy’s footsteps!


4 Secret Weapons for Smoother Homeschool Days

Our first week of homeschooling is nearly finished! How have the first days/weeks of school gone for all of you?

Today, I shared my 4 Secret Weapons for smoother homeschool days on the HEDUA blog. Take a peek!

“We don’t have a detailed schedule that fits neatly into assigned time slots. However, if I tried homeschooling without any kind of planning, I’d quickly lose my mind! I do require some semblance of structure in order to function. I have four secret weapons that keep me sane, and help keep all of us on track for smoother homeschool days… ”

And if you want to know what those are, just click here to keep reading!

Maybe We Can do This…

We survived the first day of school, and even more amazing, we survived the second day too!

New Book Day was September 1st at our house. I thought that since I had the day off from work, it would be a good day to start. It was nice to be able to just focus on getting everyone settled into new routines and curriculum changes. (I’ll post my list of curriculum for the year at the end for anyone who’s curious.) Of course, the one New Book Day tradition that must not be skipped is cupcakes!


With day 1 in the bag, we were ready to tackle day 2. That’s the one that made me really nervous. It would be my first day of a full school schedule, and fitting in work. It went surprisingly well. The kids were able to do an astonishing amount of their studying independently, and my work day was quite good too. For the first time, I feel like maybe I can do this. Oh, I’m sure I’ll have plenty of days when I seriously consider finding a nice cave and becoming a hermit, but don’t most introverts have days like that? I think that maybe God knew I needed some reassurance that being a work-at-homeschooling-mom could actually work. Today gave me that, and I’m so thankful!


Now, I know that I love to hear about what curriculum and books other homeschoolers are using, so I’m going to let you know what I’ve got on the shelves this year in case you’re like me!


Munchkin in 5th Grade:

Abeka Language Arts

Singapore Math 5

Spelling List from the Internet

Mr. Q in 3rd Grade:

Growing with Grammar 3

Building Writing Skills 3

Singapore Math 3

Spelling List from the Internet

Camo in 1st Grade:

First Language Lessons for the Well Trained Mind 1

Building Writing Skills 1

Singapore Math 1

Spelling You See

All of the kids:

Foundations 1 (Bible)

Science in the Beginning/Ancient World

Romans, Reformers, and Revolutionaries

Various literature books pulled from our bookshelves and found on Thriftbooks!

Of course, Little Guy has his own new set of washable crayons and markers too. He’s still quite insistent on using graph paper for his drawings!

How did the first day of school go in your house?

“School Supplies”

New Book Day is sneaking up on me. I took my kids back-to-school shopping last week and realized how close September 1st is! I did the only sensible thing I could…

Ordered more tea.

I’ve got almost all of the lesson planning done for our first six weeks, and pared down the stuff in the school room earlier this summer. A final organizing binge will get it all whipped into shape. Realistically, I’m pretty much ready to go.

I still don’t feel ready, but something came in the mail today that will help with that.


This homeschool mom runs on tea. The kids get colored pencils and notebooks for school supplies, and I get tea from Adagio Teas!

I was showing Aaron my “school supplies” today when he asked me, “When are you going to create tea blends?” I kept turning the thought over in my head for the rest of the day. When I asked him what theme I should pick for tea blends, his idea was perfect. Homeschooling! (You can take a peek at the blends I’ve created by clicking here.) If anyone has any suggestions for a homeschool themed tea blend name, I’d love to hear it!

So, what special “school supplies” have you homeschool parents picked up for the new school year?



My New Favorite Planner

I’ve mentioned before how much I love the planners from Home Educating Family. Well, they’ve done it again! Today we’re launching My Well Planned Day (MWPD). It’s an online planner that will help you keep track of homeschooling, appointments, events, shopping lists, meal planning, and more! Now, I’m not exactly a digital planner gal. I’ve been using MWPD for a few weeks though, and it’s changing my mind about digital planners! The big selling point for me was that it’s mobile device compatible. I love that feature! I can access our schedule and lesson plans from my tablet or iPod touch. You can also print off the assignments for the day if you want a paper copy. Another awesome feature is how easy it is to move around assignments. Sick day? I can bump the lesson to the next day, and it will bump all subsequent lessons as well! There is so much to love about the new MWPD. And, you can try it out free for 30 days. Just follow this link and see for yourself why I’m so excited: http://mywellplannedday.com/

Another Year Older…

This afternoon I baked cupcakes while singing “I’m Glad I’m Not Young Anymore”. Tomorrow is my birthday. My kids are far more excited about it than I am, but they don’t quite understand that birthdays look different once you get past 30!


When I look back on the past year, there are good and bad things of course. I decided to list some of the good things that have come out of the past year, and I’m sharing them here. (In no particular order.)

This year I…

… made peace with the fact that I dress like I did in high school. Jeans and tennis shoes are practical and comfortable, and you seriously can’t beat a good denim jacket.

… ditched the makeup. If Mom’s makeup routine consisted of Oil of Olay and lipstick, then I’m not going to worry about my minimalist look.

…decided to keep the rock star red hair dye and bright nail polish.

…realized that I’ll be fighting some dragons for the rest of my life, but that’s OK. This is my struggle for a reason, and God knows that reason, even if I don’t. He can even bring something beautiful out of it.

…discovered the music of For King and Country. A number of their songs have been a huge encouragement to me through some pretty rocky days.

…joined team HEDUA! I’ve been a fan of Home Educating Family for so long, and reviewing and writing for them the past few years has been an amazing experience. I’m so excited to be working in their customer service department!

…fell a little more in love with my husband of 14 years. I still can’t figure out how I ended up with such a great guy, but I’m so very thankful that I did!

…watched our kids gain a few more inches. They grow so fast that it takes my breath away. I see bits and pieces of the people I’ve loved the most in each of them, yet they are still unique individuals. This year, I got to know each of them a little better.

…accompanied Aaron to the first gallery showing of his photography. It was wonderful to see some of his beautiful work hanging on a gallery wall!

…laughed with my sister. Mom always said that we would get along someday, and of course she was right.

…watched starry skies, and remembered that there is always, always hope.

…counted more blessings, and saw that I’ve been given more good gifts than I realized.

…slowed down and enjoyed the moments with my kids a little more often.

…wish I’d gained a bit more wisdom, but I guess I’m still a work in progress.

Some days this year have been so. Hard. There’s been a whole lot of good too though, and even the hard stuff isn’t for nothing. I can see God’s fingerprints all over my life; that alone is enough to make me look forward to the coming year.