Wife, Mummy, Nurse: February 2016

29 February 2016

Currently {February 29, 2016}

Walking to the library and the park. Saturday was gorgeous. I took at least 20 books home and only checked out 10 books. I need to return more books by March 2nd. When we go to the library, my children often go to the playground. Charis asked, "Can Buddy and I walk up the steps together? I'll hold his hand."

Burberry Inspired Cowl Neck Scarf. Still on hold. I went to Wal-Mart on Friday to try to jog my memory about what the black sparkly yarn was. Thankfully, I remembered, but unfortunately, the black was out. For the curious, the yarn was Caron Simply Soft Party Black Sparkle.
Calico Scarf. I now have 5 1/2 inches knit. Since it's sock yarn that is only knit in a stockinette stitch, I'll keep this for when I want something easy to knit.
Zag Zig Skirt. A test knit for Taiga Hilliard Designs; the pattern is not on Ravelry yet. I'm using Red Heart Super Saver Grape Fizz. I'm knitting the 7-8 size for my daughter.

Reading The Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer. I'm trying to decided what we'll use to homeschool Charis next year. There are many options I like, but will not consider because they're way outside our price range.

Watching Fuller House. I grew up watching Full House on television. When we lived in Iowa, one time my punishments for not bringing home my spelling list from school was no Full House that night.

Praying for
Drew's dissertation. Drew heard back from the chair of his committee last week-with bad news and good news. The bad news: One of the committee members is on medical leave from the university this semester, so she's not able to be on his committee. The good news: The chair and the methodologist are ready for him to defend after he finds a third committee member. There was another professor who was on his committee, but she retired and moved to Washington. The Chair of Drew's committee asked Drew to e-mail her and ask if she'd be willing to be back on the committee. We're waiting to hear back from her. We're trying to be cautiously optimistic. We're praying that the professor in Washington will say that she's willing to be on Drew's committee once again.

Hard hearts-especially mine. Lately I've noticed that Charis has a problem with anger, and as I get after her, I often have to stop and pray for my own anger, either towards her or something (or someone) else outside of my control. This is the hard part about parenting-having a magnifying glass showing my sins even more.

What's going on in your life?

26 February 2016

Katy and the Big Snow #FiveonFriday

At the start of the school year, I had great plans of regularly posting things we did in homeschooling, but life moves quickly. After a month passed, I thought, "Why bother?" I realized that I do not have to post every week; instead, I can post when time I'm able. I have found many ideas for homeschooling online and decided to try and share things I've found helpful.

Like I wrote in the fall, we settled on Five in a Row as a general studies program for kindergarten. The idea behind Five in a Row is you read one book to your child/children throughout the week and from that book, you draw out lessons in various subjects-practical math, science, social studies, and art. I usually spend Friday and Saturday nights planning the days, reserving books from the library, and printing out pages from Pinterest. Last month when I found out we were going to have a blizzard, I decided to row Katy and the Big Snow, instead of Who Owns the Sun? (This worked out better than I realized because with February being Black History Month, rowing Who Owns the Sun? worked out wonderfully.)

He Named Me Malala #WithMalala

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Review Wire Media for 20th Century Fox. I received information to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.

One of the many things I have taken for granted is my formal education. Almost three years ago, I walked across the stage and received my BSN. I was so excited. As soon as the doors opened, I showed up to get in line. When I received my diploma, I cried a few drops of tears. It was hard work-as single working woman, marriage, unexpected pregnancy during our first year of marriage, to taking a few years off, and finally resuming my studies. Despite the hardship and tears I've had over the years, it is nowhere near what others endure throughout the world.

24 February 2016

Calico Scarf #YarnAlong

My family is now well trained. For the last few Christmases, I've received knitting gifts-yarn and books. This past Christmas was no different. My brother and SIL gave me Sock Yarn Studio. I have at least 5-10 skeins of sock yarn with good intentions of knitting socks, but I never do. Two things I like about this book: 1)There are NO sock patterns and 2)The patterns are arranged by how many skeins they take-One, Two, or Three.

I decided to knit the Calico Scarf for another high school senior from church. I honestly have no clue why this pattern was in the book. All you do is cast on a certain number of stitches and knit in stockinette stitch . I'll probably buy Ravens fabric to sew on the back, since K. LOVES the Ravens. I feel like I'm betraying the Steelers and the rest of the Pittsburgh teams with knitting these Baltimore colors.

I finished listening to Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham, and now I'm trying to decide what to read next.

What's on your needles? What are you reading?
Join me at Ginny's Yarn Along.

22 February 2016

Currently {February 22, 2016}

Knitting graduation gifts. This year, there are 5 teenagers graduating from high school at our church. I started knitting the Burberry Inspired Cowl Neck Scarf holding two strands of yarn-Red Heart Super Saver and another that I don't remember-together. Unfortunately, I ran out of the black, sparkly yarn before finishing the cowl. The good thing is, I remember buying it at Wal-Mart, so guess where I'll be shopping this week.

Reading Rogue Lawyer by John Grisham. So far I'm enjoying Grisham's book; it's short stories weaved together into one larger story about his various hobby horses.

Listening to Revive our Hearts interview with Rosaria Butterfield.

Praying for 
those who have lost loved ones.
those who suffer from depression and think that suicide is the answer

What's currently happening at your house?

17 February 2016

My Favorite Things Infinity Scarf #YarnAlong

Recently I was browsing through Instagram and saw people doodling (or drawing) memorable things that happened in 2015. I sometimes wish I enjoyed drawing, but I don't have the patience to work at it and get better. I want a way to remember some things that happen in 2016, and that is when the idea to knit the 'My Favorite Things' Scarf came about. I have so much stash yarn from projects completed (or not begun), that I REFUSE to buy any yarn for this project. If I use yarn I buy this year, it will be AFTER the original project is complete.

I did a provisional cast on with 72 stitches. January's sections include:
Birthday cake. I turned 32 on January 8!!
Fish. My daughter's Sunday school teacher was out of town on the 3rd and 10th, so I offered to take her class. Let's just say, it made me much more thankful for Miss Jennifer.
Snowflake Eyelets from Up, Down, All-Around Stitch-Dictionary. My infinitely scarf will not just be fair isle knitting. I enjoy knitting lace and cables and decided to throw it in my scarf ever so often. I knit the snowflake eyelets because of the blizzard we had on January 22-23.

Have you knit the 'My Favorite Things' Infinitely Scarf? If not, it's an EXCELLENT stash buster! What's on your needles?

15 February 2016

A Whirlwind Weekend

Every year, Drew is the meet manager for the Presidents' Athletic Conference swimming championship at Grove City College. We left Maryland last Wednesday morning and drove the 5 hour trip to Grove City. Arriving after 2:30 PM, we checked into our hotel, then went to my parents' house and unloaded the rest of our van there. Drew took the van a mechanic so our brakes could get looked at, and his parents picked him up and took him over to the college.

Overall the week was pleasant, but tiring. With our van at the mechanic, I was not able to see friends I wanted to see. Why do visits have to be so short? I am often to see only family and church friends. (Sigh. Maybe one day.) During the visit, it was made clear that we need to get a new vehicle. Thankfully Drew's parents lent us their van, and we're trying to find a "new" vehicle to purchase. I'm trying not to worry, but it's hard.

Even with the increased financial worry of trying to find a van, I was reminded of God's goodness. Yesterday, one of our good friends invited our family and my in-laws to their house. After lunch was served, the three older children went outside to go sledding. They came in for dessert-apple pie. After we ate dessert, Charis asked if she could go outside and play with the bigger kids. I replied yes, but told her to bundle up. Once she had everything on, outside she went, trailing a few steps behind the bigger kids.

After a while, we noticed all four children coming in. Someone said, "It looks like the youngest is crying." When she came in, we were told that, "We were sliding down the hill. We turned the sled. K. and E. jumped off the sled, but Charis stayed on it and hit an electric fence post." Her face was bruised and swollen. She was ambulatory, new the date, her location, where she was, and her pupils were equal, round, and reactive to light. I gave her Tylenol and watched her. About 15 minutes later, we decided to take her to the ER. I was 99.9% sure she was all right, but I wanted to be sure, especially with the drive back home. Off to the ER we went-about a mile up the road.

We were seen in triage immediately, and it was Charis answering all the questions in a calm, matter of fact manor. The nurse probably thought, "These parents over reacted." We went back out to the waiting area and within 5 minutes were called back into a room in the ER. The doctor came in examined Charis and said she was going to order x-rays of her nose and orbital bone, since that's where most of the swelling was located. After leaving, the nurse came back in with the radiology technician and told us to remove Charis's necklace (she has had it on since June and did not want to cut it off). They took a 5 minute trip to get her x-ray (Drew went with her). When they came back, Charis had a copy of her x-rays in hand. I looked at them and could tell she was all right. The doctor came back in and briefly explained the x-rays and told me she was all right. By this point, Justin was spinning in circles in the room and Charis was wanting to get up and dance. Drew left with Charis and Justin, while I waited to the official discharge instructions from the nurse.

As I walked out of the hospital (which is on a hill), I was reminded of Psalm 121. My help comes from God, the maker of heaven and earth. He does not slumber or sleep.

We left around 5:30 PM to come back home. We are now at our home sweet home, and it's good.

How was your weekend?

09 February 2016

4 Martin Luther King, Jr. Children's Books

January 18 was Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Drew and I decided to give Charis a day "off" and read books about Martin Luther King, Jr. When I told her we would not have the usual school work, she was slightly downcast, but excited at the same time. Now that it's Black History month, when we go to the library, we see at least three different displays on African Americans. Charis excitedly points out, "There's Martin Luther King, Jr. There's ANOTHER book about him-and another one!!! They have a lot of books about him."

Martin Luther King, Jr. by Edith Hope Fine

Brief biography of Martin Luther King, Jr. Total pages: 32. It has 5 short chapters: 
Chapter 1: Martin's childhood and college.
Chapter 2: Boston University. Marriage to Coretta Scott. Pastor in Montgomery, Alabama. Involvement in boycotting buses in Alabama.
Chapter 3: Martin's involvement as a civil rights leader. Protests against segregation. Wickedness of Bull Connor and the police. Martin's "I have a Dream" speech.
Chapter 4: March for the right to vote.
Chapter 5: Death of Martin Luther King, Jr. 

I like that this book has a glossary in the back and has suggestions for further books to read.

I Have a Dream by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Speech that Martin Luther King, Jr. gave on August 28, 1963. This book is illustrated by fifteen different artists to help display Martin's dream and beliefs that motivated his involvement in the Civil Rights movement.

Overall I enjoyed this book (yes, there's a but coming at the end), it is the story about Martin Luther King's funeral and procession. It was not until the very end that my daughter realized it was talking about Martin Luther King, Jr. 

It is presented as non-fiction, but one should be cautious when reading this book. The author wrote, "The mule is a symbol of freedom... Each slave got a mule and forty acres when he was freed." (I don't believe that is accurate.) Though the author was saying that's why the men wanted mules and that's what they said. (And that part may be true.)

Martin Luther King Jr. Day by Margaret McNamara

Of the four books, this was my least favorite. Mrs. Connor's first grade class went to a museum. While looking at a bust statue, Mrs. Connor asked her class if they knew who it was. One of her student's replied, "That is the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior." But then it went down hill from there. The book has NOTHING to do with Martin's life, other than he has "big dreams". This would be at best, preschool "literature" (and yes, I use that term loosely). My recommendation with this book is, do not waste your time reading it.

What books about Martin Luther King, Jr. do you recommend for children or adults?

03 February 2016

FO: Snow Country Felted Mittens #YarnAlong

On Black Friday, the only shopping I did was go to Wolf Creek Yarns. Sadly, that was the last day it was open. Yarn was 45% or more off the original price. Patterns were buy one get seven free. I promised Charis that I would knit her a pair of mittens. One of the patterns they had was snow country felted mittens. Into the bag it went. I stood at the pattern section going through every single pattern until I was happy with the eight patterns.

I went back to my parents house and made soup for the Thanksgiving celebrations on my husband's side of the family. When I left to go to my SIL's house, I swung by the yarn store one last time (sniffles) and let Charis pick her own yarn for the mittens. After much deliberation, she choose Rowan Creative Focus Worsted Magenta yarn.

When I went to cast the mittens on, I saw that I was supposed to hold the yarn doubled. What?!?!? Why did I not look at the pattern with greater care? Always, always double (triple) check directions on knitting patterns before buying yarn. Lesson learned. Hopefully, I'll remember in the future. I asked my daughter what other yarn would she like for the mittens? After going through my yarn stash and telling her the various possibilities, she settled on Paton's Classic Wool Magnolia.

The pattern itself is easy. I knit the small (youth) size. The pattern has short rows which allow the thumb to be placed behind the fingers (just a wee bit). Unfortunately, they're TOO big!! I'm trying to find comfort in the fact that she'll be able to wear them in a year or two.

What are you knitting? What's on your needles (or hook)? Join me over at Ginny's Yarn Along.

01 February 2016

Knitting: Not just a Hobby, but a Passion

If you have been reading my blog, it is no secret that I enjoy knitting. In fact, it's one of my passions. Knitting is something I am interested in. Even though there's only two basic stitches-knitting and purling, there are many techniques and projects I have yet to make.

I also enjoy knitting because it's easy to create knitted objects with children (with my other hobby, sewing, I have to clean and clear the table, pull out the sewing machine, ignore my children, make a huge mess, and clean everything up because supper time or breakfast). Knitting requires two needles and yarn. I can take it anywhere. It's easy transportable and a great conversation starter.

What passions or hobbies do you have?

Currently {February 1, 2016}

My eyes on the Iowa caucus. Having lived in Iowa for 9 years, I have friends who will be voting tomorrow, so I'm interested to see how it turns out for the candidates. I am not a fan of any of the front runners, on either side. More and more, it seems Republicans and Democrats are basically the same. They want power and prestige and will say whatever they think will get them elected.

Read The 5 Love Languages. The first completed book I've "read" this year. I'm participating in #26BOOKSwithBringingUpBurns this year (and audiobooks count). I was searching for audiobooks on Hoopla and decided to listen to Chapman's book because it's a book with a number in the title. As of January 31, 1/26 books is now read.

Chapman's thesis is there are 5 love languages: 1. Words of affirmation, 2. Receiving gifts, 3. Acts of service, 4. Quality time, and 5. Physical touch. My two primary love languages are physical touch and acts of service. Drew's love language is words of affirmation. Overall I enjoyed this book. Since words of affirmation is not my love language, I sometimes downplay its importance for Drew. I often (wrongly) think, "How many times does he need me to complement him? It seems like I'm saying the same thing over and over, again and again." Hearing words of affirmation from me is important to Drew.

Some things should be taken with a grain of salt. I did not agree that I request, not demand things from Drew. In our marriage, there have been times when both of us needed to be hit over the head with a 2 by 4. We needed to use discernment about when we needed to sit down and have a serious conversation; there are times in marriage when it's appropriate to bring up issues that one sees in his or her spouse and talk, pray, repent, and forgive each other. One thing I noticed with many of the examples Gary Chapman gave is the couples had stopped communicating their wants, needs, and desires with their spouse. Husbands and wives need to be open and honest with each other.

What book have you read recently? Have you read The 5 Love Languages? If so, what did you think of it?