Teish Knits

Teish Knits -

Thoughts for Tuesday, November 18th

Outside my windows… the ground was mostly bare again when we got more snow. It’s definitely here to stay.

Inside my house… I turned the thermostat up because even 70 was feeling a bit chilly. I must be getting old.

Counting 1000 gifts… people to send Christmas cards to.

Prayers of the heart… good decisions. I have one that I’ve been struggling with for the better part of the year, and I’m at the point where I really do have to decide what I’m going to do.

What the (not quite so) little ones are up to… math and Mario Kart!

From my playlist… Saturn by Sleeping at Last. The first half of the song is beautiful instrumental music, and the lyrics of the second half will make you stop and think.

From my reading list… Tears of the Sea from MaryLu Tyndall. I’ve really been enjoying her novels lately!

From my needlework basket… I actually took a 20 minute break to sew today. It was a good distraction and I was able to get back to things with a fresh mind.

In the learning room… the Middle Ages and early missionaries are on the list for history over the next few weeks.

Random ramblings… I’m so tired right now that I can’t think of anything random to ramble about… does that ever happen to you?

Profound ponderings… “One of the happiest moments in life is when you find the courage to let go of what you can’t change.” – Unknown

Caught on film…

IMG_2032[1]

Thoughts for Tuesday November 11th

Outside my windows… there’s lingering snow dusting the ground. I suppose I’ll have to get used to that again!

Inside my house… yellow caution tape… It’s the perfect party decoration for a little boy requesting a “construction” birthday.

Counting 1000 gifts… So thankful today for Camo. He arrived seven years ago today!

Prayers of the heart… it’s been such a hard month and a half. Not because of any one big thing, just a lot of little things that keep piling up. I’m praying for strength and rest this week.

What the (not quite so) little ones are up to… since birthdays around here mean LEGOs, the kids will be happily occupied all evening!

From my playlist… Angry Birds from The Greatest Video Game Music album. (It’s the London Philharmonic. You know it’s going to be good.)

From my reading list… When Treetops Glisten. It’s a Christmas themed novella collection. I’ll be posting a review here after I’ve finished the book. Since we have snow, it seemed like a good book to pick up.

From my needlework basket… I need to knit nice, thick wool boot socks for kids. I’m trying to wing it, but sock #1 didn’t exactly turn out.

In the learning room… Munchkin had requested books about airplanes a while back, and I came across an interesting used book with lots of photos that I picked up for her. Yesterday, she surprised us with her knowledge of stealth aircraft!

Random ramblings… So, I got a new cell phone. My old one wasn’t ringing through about half the time when someone tried to call me. As much as I dislike change, this one was necessary. I have a pre-paid phone because I honestly don’t use it enough to justify an actual monthly plan. Transferring the number and minutes from the old phone to the new one was not quite as easy as they make it out to be… After going through the transfer process on their website, three times using the automated system, and twice with real live CS reps, they told me that it could take two business days for it to “finalize”. In the meantime, I had no phone. Ah, technology…

Profound ponderings… “We cannot start over, but we can begin now, and make a new ending.” – Zig Ziglar

Caught on film…

IMG_2017[1]

Thoughts for Tuesday, November 4th

Outside my windows… sunshine and snow. We were rather surprised that our first snowstorm of the winter turned out to be a rather nasty blizzard!

Inside my house… are three boxes of books to take to the thrift store. I’m surprised by the number of duplicate books that I still had on my bookshelves from back when I merged Mom’s books with mine.

Counting 1000 gifts… thankful for heat and electricity this morning! We lost electricity for about 18 hours over Sunday and Monday. We have a propane heater that we can use when the power is out, but it doesn’t keep the house quite as toasty as the coal stove does.

Prayers of the heart… so many things heavy on my heart lately that I’m not free to share publically. Praying for myself and for friends.

What the (not quite so) little ones are up to… LEGO club magazines arrived today, so the older kids are engrossed in those! Little Guy has taken to drawing and tracing stencils lately, so he is busy at the table with paper and (washable!) markers.

From my playlist… We Dream of a Kingdom by Greg Long.

From my reading list… I just picked up the kindle edition of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. I’ve heard a few recommendations, and it sounds like a book I’d find helpful.

From my needlework basket… more Christmas knitting going on!

In the learning room… I’m deciding what to do this year that’s Thanksgiving themed. We’ve done the Amanda Bennett unit study in the past, and it’s a great study. I think it’s a little more than I want to tackle this year though. A good read-aloud and gratitude journals might be just about right.

Random ramblings… I ordered a Melissa and Doug “playdoh” set as a Christmas gift for Little Guy. It arrived in the mail today and my IT staff’s comment was, “You’ll regret that. He’ll love it, but you’ll regret it!” He’s right too! I’ll wonder what I was thinking when I’m peeling little bits of dough off every chair in the dining room!

Profound ponderings… “Write hard and clear about what hurts.” – Ernest Hemingway

Caught on film…

IMG_2002[1]

Thoughts for Tuesday October 28th

Outside my windows… there has been a lot of rain this week, but we had sunny skies today.

Inside my house… is a working printer on my desk. I didn’t quite realize how much I print until the previous printer bit the dust a month and a half ago. I did quite a bit of research trying to find the best printer in the price range that I had in mind. The new printer arrived last week while my IT staff was off teaching a workshop. I actually managed to get it set up and printing on my own. Will wonders never cease…

Counting 1000 gifts… so, so, so, thankful that my IT staff is home at last! I sure miss my Aaron when he’s gone.

Prayers of the heart… asking for perspective lately. There are so many things in a day that call for my time and attention. I want to make the right things my priority.

What the (not quite so) little ones are up to… Munchkin has discovered the Grandma’s Attic book series, and the boys have been working on a LEGO fort recently. Naturally, the fort includes cannons!

From my playlist… the soundtrack to Space Pirate Captain Harlock. If you know what that is, you are definitely a geek!

From my reading list… A Lady at Willowgrove Hall by Sarah Ladd. I’ll be posting a review here later this week.

From my needlework basket… Christmas vests for the kiddos. I’m making up the pattern as I go along since I couldn’t find a pattern I liked to go with the yarn I wanted to use. There’s a lot of math involved in pattern design.

In the learning room… multiplying fractions for Munchkin. She seems to take to fractions far better than her mother did, which is another thing I’m thankful for today!

Random ramblings… I went upstairs to grab a cable. Got upstairs and couldn’t remember why I was there, so I started back downstairs. Halfway down the stairs, I remembered the cable and had to turn around and go back for it. I really thought I’d be a bit older than 34 by the time stuff like this started happening…

Profound ponderings… “The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Caught on film… because I still can’t believe that I get to write for my favorite magazine…

IMG_1985[1]

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…

photo

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…

Playdoh

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…

IMG_1960[1]

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.

IMG_1955[1]

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!

IMG_1926[1]

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!