What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

First Birthday

Ineke's first birthday came just two days before we celebrated the greatest Birth and though I am considering celebrating her "half-birthdays" in summer from now on, somehow the FIRST birthday seems to me to be one in which the baby has really, truly been with us for a whole year.

For several weeks afterward, her birthday hat went missing and I wanted to wait to take pictures of her in her birthday outfit- hence me posting December 23rd birthday pictures on the eve of February. (Though, I've been known to be late with posting birthday photos anyway.  Ahem.)

Knowing I have (Lord willing) many wonderful years of elaborate birthday cake requests ahead of me, I took this opportunity to make super simple cupcakes with super simple frosting.  Ineke was only going to smear and smash her cake anyway, right?  In fact, she very daintily put two little fingers in the icing and had a few tastes of icing and that was that.

Ineke's birthday outfit was made with the last remnants of fabric from another birthday dress.  I had hoped to make a dress for her since skirts on babies are so funny looking- with their little potbellies hanging over- but there was exactly enough to do just a bonnet and skirt.  There was exactly enough fabric with nothing to spare- and exactly enough leftover rabbit fur trim for the bonnet so I guess it was all meant to be.  Her sweater was a hand me down from her sister.  Back when I was a newbie crocheter and Adele' was just a pipsqueak.

I also made Ineke a birthday doll.  The arms are outrageously long- making her perpetually offering a hug to any who lays eyes on her and her eyes are blue-gray just like the girl who she belongs to.  I put a quick love patch on the back of her dress and a jingle bell in her hat.  I had such a hard time deciding if it should be a doll with legs and arms or a baby with a poofy pillowy body.  I somewhat regret my decision, but she seems to like it okay.  ;-)  When Ineke ripped off the top of the paper- she saw it was a baby and gave it an immediate quick hug and then unwrapped the whole thing and squeezed her hard and happily.  It was the very best reaction a Mama could wish for.  I posted all of the photos in sequence (sorry about that- one of the downfalls of reading a Mama blog) so if I scroll through really, really fast I can practically re-live the sweetness.

My girl.  I am so grateful for her.  I lament that she must grow in an age of confusion and suppression and decay, when women march with curses and crudeness and for the murder of innocents and yet I look upon that sweet face, the sweet faces of all of my children, and I see only hope.  They are the change.  They will change the world.  She makes this dark, tainted world better already with her smile, her joy.  And I will raise her to see womanhood as the great honor that it is- and motherhood as the greatest vocation- and children as the gifts they truly are.  And the world will change.  One little person at a time.  Praise be the Lord.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

My First Knitted Baby Garment

Long before I knew a baby was in my future, and when I was first starting out on this whole knitting thing, I started this little vest.  I started it because I love knitted garments, because it was small (so it would take the least amount of time) and because there was lots of stockinette stitch for me to practice.  I believe I was, at the time, working on dpns for a pair of fingerless mitts and having a devil of a time of it.  So, this little vest was my sanity saver and maybe a place where I knit in a few hopes and wishes too.

I remember thinking at the time that the sleeves were extraordinarily short but with no baby to try it on- I couldn't be sure.

I extended the straps about 4 inches on each side so that she could get at least a bit of wear out of it, my first knitted baby garment.  Her little potbelly hangs out of it but I am glad it sorta fits.  For a bit.

And it perfectly matches her stormy eyes.

Funny, I remember when I was pregnant I was hoping and hoping I might have a blue-eyed baby (all the children have Matt's dark brown eyes).  To think that I finished it up knitting this vest peering into the very same color of my soon-to-be-Tiddle's eyes.

PS.  Still working on the book Bandersnatch.  Enjoying every minute of it.



Tuesday, January 17, 2017


There is just too many totally unrelated pictures in this post to follow my usual blogging protocol of pictures then words.   Halfway through January and I am just as scatterbrained as ever.

  I'll just chime in as I get the urge, if you don't mind.  Because... it's raining outside, dreary and gray,  school is done for the day and blogging these ever-growing outdated photographs just seemed right.

As you can see, I have already taken some goals to heart.  Curtains hung, check.  Beautiful pictures, check.  Rainbow, just a bonus.

garlic dill cheese. 

The week before hosting our Christmas party I decided I needed to make some applesauce from our stored apple supply.  Incidentally, it was the very day that Matt tackled his own big project (further down in the post) making the house very....messy.

Though somehow miraculously these photos make is seem as though applesauce canning can be tidy and clean.   Ha.  This just proves that pictures LIE.

I need to have another applesauce making day because.... this:

feedbags full of apples

We've been under the weather here a bit...

Ineke's favorite spot is on the grate right above our woodstove.  It blows warm air up and she toddles over and plops down- then thinks things through and grabs herself a blanket, a bottle and something to look at and then plops down again.

Poor sick-eyed baby.  (She is on the mend now.)

venison stew

The "Papa Project" a few days before company.

Sure, saw the walls out in the dining room!  Yeah.  Awesome.  

This is the doorway.  The doorway that broke part of Ineke's jaw and two lower teeth.  (It was too wide for a babygate, even the extra long ones.)  The doorway that draws all the cold winter air right into our house.  We hang a quilt over it in winter (very fashionable, I assure you.  Not.) and when the south wind blows, the blanket waves along on the air current, making it not only freezing cold but pretty darn depressing to see a blanket waving like a flag inside a building.

The best solution to both problems was to put in doors.  Awesome idea.

Doing it the week of a Christmas shin-dig?  Less so.

(never a good sign.)

Matt polyurethaned the molding one evening, but I totally get credit for doing the doors.  Every last little grid of it.  BOTH sides.  All by myself.  UGH.

The finished product?  LOVE IT.


Brought to you by the letter "B":
Broccoli, chicken and cheese bread braid in bad light.
Broccoli, chicken and cheese bread braid baked.  In bad light.

We've been trying to really buckle down on home-learning and we've been succeeding somehow...

I'd be almost proud of myself if I didn't know that we had just as many "little boys putting pencil curlers in his sisters' hair" moments.

Corynn after a very traumatic hair cut.

Thank you, Locks of Love, for making it easier somehow.  (For the both of us.)

breakfast.  WHY do I take these pictures?!?!

She loves her Papa's shoes.

A baby hat I made for a Christmas Day baby.  If you wanna see the hat with baby inside, go here.

Another baby hat made for a friend...

Did I already blog this?

a heavy load
The boys went hunting for the first time this year.  Judah needed a hunting vest.  I went to Walmart and got a $2.97 shirt and made one for him.

(The boys strategizing, morning of...)

After Christmas, the next big job is thank you notes.  The children draw their own and then I print copies for them.  This way, they don't get tired of drawing pictures but instead can do a really great job on one.  (And then get tired of writing the messages.)

Here are this years', for posterity.

(Corynn drew the one of Matt and I and gave it to me as a Christmas present.) Corynn drew the horse, Andrew~ the bunny, Adele~ the snowpeople and Judah~ the lion.  In case you couldn't guess.

If each of these thank-you notes represented ONE present for one child (and indeed, some of them were much more! ), think of all the extra things we now own!  No wonder January often seems cluttered to me!  I have a bit of purging of old, broken, unloved or just plain excess things to do in order to make room.  We are very rich, indeed.

Who is that cutie?  That, my friends, is a little Mattie.  

I'm reading a gift-wish that Matt granted me this Christmas, Bandersnatch.  And I love it.

 I was knitting a bright orange hat for Matt to take on a hunting drive that he went on last weekend.  I cast on three days before Saturday and that is how far I got.  I should have known that finishing something three days after beginning it is WAY over-ambitious for me.   I am both slow AND busy- not a good combination for a knitter.  Now, with the hunting drive over, I don't feel like finishing it.  But I will.  And then I will tuck it away for a next hunting season surprise.

And now I leave you with a marshmellow baby.  Because I am pretty much in love with rompers and tights.  And pointy little heads.

Have you noticed?