Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Finished Baby Cardigan

It is done!  Yay!!  I'm so excited and proud of myself for making an actual little something someone can wear.
I made the cardigan according to this pattern.  I'm no expert, but the pattern seemed goofy in a few places, but this should be no problem for a pro.  I was able to figure most things out with the help of a few expert knitting friends.

I do think it looks funny on the top.  I followed the pattern precisely for the 18 month old, but when I look at the collar, I know there is no way it will be able to button around the neck of an 18 month old little guy.  So, I think it would have been better to stop knitting a bit sooner on the top.  But it will work for now.  I will probably just leave the top two buttons unbuttoned.

Here it is on ravelry.

I just have to show off my first ever knitted garment with all the creative people over at Natural Suburbia.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Funny Things They Say

I've been keeping track of funny things the kids say in a word document.  I thought I better finally put them on the blog, before I have a whole novel!  Kids are so funny.  

Isaiah - 5 years old
Luke - 2 years old

Isaiah: "Anytime someone mentions mac 'n cheese or corn dogs, I get really excited."


Luke: "Isaiah! Tackle me!"


Isaiah while watching the Cincinnati Bengals football team: "They must be the Tiggers!"


There was a meeting at 6pm and I wasn't sure if I wanted to go or not.  I ended up going.  After I left
Isaiah told Daddy: "It's a good thing mommy left because now we can have boy night."
Daddy: "What do we do on boy night?"
Isaiah: "Watch movies and eat ice cream."


Isaiah's "best friend" from the neighborhood invited him over to play x-box and Isaiah happily told his friend
he'd be over after his which point, Andrew and I vetoed the whole plan because we don't know our neighbors that well and we are a little anti-x-box.  During dinner we tried to explain to Isaiah the importance of playing outside and learning how to read before we let him play any computer games (that's what we're saying for now...once he learns how to read, I'll have to come up with a better excuse for why computer games are prohibited in this household).

In any case, I told Isaiah that when I was little, we didn't have a TV in our house, nor computers.  I played outside all the time.

He asked: "Did you play with your friends?"
I said: "No, I didn't have any friends, I played with my brothers."  (Meaning that after school, my friends went home and I went home and played with my brothers.)

Isaiah said: "Mommy, I didn't know you didn't have any friends...I have LOTS of friends!"


The other day Luke was playing outside with a neighbor kid who was not quite 2 years old and his older sister.  When it was time to come inside, the boy's older sister took Luke's tractor toy away from her little brother so that Luke could have it back.  

As Daddy was walking inside with Luke, Luke asks his Daddy: "Why is the boy crying, Daddy?"  
Andrew told him he was crying because he wanted to play with the tractor toy.  Luke stops in the doorway, thinks for a second, then runs back to the little boy and gives him the tractor.  He runs back to Andrew in the doorway with a huge smile on his face.


Isaiah was randomly talking about India. 
Andrew asked him: "Where's India?"
Isaiah: "I don't know."
Andrew: "It's far across the ocean, near China."
Isaiah: "I want to go to China."
Andrew: "Why?"
Isaiah: "Because I like that sweet red sauce."


Mommy: "I want to go to a forest, but I don’t know where there is one."
Isaiah: "Well, then you should go to the GPS, and type in: 'Where is a forest?'"


Luke is having a bedtime snack. Banana bread and milk.  While he’s eating, Daddy is asking him questions:
Daddy: “What’s your name?”
Luke: “My name is….”
Daddy: “My name is Lukey.”

Luke keeps eating.

Daddy: “Luke, how old are you?”
Luke: “Uh, uh, ……..let me eat” (puts banana bread he dunked in milk into his mouth.
Daddy: “Lukey, how old are you?”
After taking another bite Luke says: “I gotta eat my food.”

Haha, gee, Daddy, let the boy eat!

I gave Luke a scrap piece of yarn to keep him occupied while I was knitting.  He took it happily and went off to play.  A little while later I noticed he had something in his mouth.
Mommy:  “Lukey, what’s in your mouth? …Yarn?  Icky!  Take it out!”
Luke: “It’s spaghetti…I think.”

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Cookies

First posted 12/21/09.

I've been a little busy.
Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without Swiss cookies.


"Sharp boys" literally, but in Swiss-German we use it like we use "rascal" in English when referring to my 4-year old...not sure what you call the cookie.

"Cinnamon Stars"...they are made with almonds, lemon, cinnamon and powdered sugar.
That's butter.

Swiss cookies and cakes aren't sickening sweet. They go well with a cup of hot tea or coffee.

For all you one-hundred percent Americans, like my dad and my husband...these are for you:

Peppermint Chocolaty Goodness

Ok, that is not their real name.  They are really called "Three Tier Bars", but that title is way too boring for this amazing little piece of yumminess.

Here's the no-bake recipe from the lady my children call "grandma":

Three Tier Bar Recipe

*1st tier*

½ cup butter
1 egg
5 Tbl sugar (1/4 cup + 1 Tbl)
¼ cup cocoa (unsweetened)
1 tsp vanilla

Cook above ingredients in a bowl placed in hot water until it forms a thin custard and the sugar is dissolved.

Add the next three ingredients, mixing well.

2 cups crushed graham crackers
1 cup coconut
½ cup chopped walnuts

  Spread into a buttered 13 x 9 in. pan.

*2nd tier*

¼ cup butter (4 Tbl)
3 Tbl cream
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp peppermint flavoring
green food color

Cream butter, cream and remaining ingredients. Spread over 1st tier. Chill.

Melt a 12 oz. package semi-sweet choc chips—carefully in microwave or over hot water and spread over first 2 tiers.

Chill to harden.
Bring to room temperature to cut into squares.
Can be stored at room temp. after that.

Don't forget to put in the secret ingredient...

Check out Make it for Monday at Cottage Instincts, and Tasty Tuesday at Beauty & Bedlam for more crafts & recipes.

12/24/2010 Update: Baby Jacob's birth has taken over this Christmas a little bit, so I haven't done as much baking as I'd like.  We did manage to make the 3 Tier Bars, a recipe everyone must try, so, I'm linking this post from last year up with

Visit Catholic Cuisine to enjoy more cookies!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Book Giveaway Winner

The winner to the book giveaway was picked via random dot org...

and the winner is...

comment #10:

Yay!  Congrats, Jarka.  I will mail it as soon as you e-mail me your address.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Child Is Born

 And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father's only Son, full of grace and truth.  

{John 1:14}

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Looking Back On Advent 2010

This is the first year we've done a family activity during Advent.  Other Decembers were spent playing in the snow, nursing babies, moving, or traveling cross country to visit family.  This year, we visited family in the fall and spent the time afterwards awaiting the birth of our third son along with the birth of the baby Jesus.

It made for a very simple Advent; something I really enjoyed.

We are slowly building our family traditions.  This is the first year we have done a Jesse Tree.  Every evening after dinner, we'd gather in the living room and read the daily readings, find the corresponding ornament and have the boys take turns hanging it.  We also had a simple countdown calendar with stickers.  The boys would add a new sticker every evening, and Isaiah would practice his numbers by counting the days left until Christmas.

Isaiah and Luke would help Andrew "read" The Story of Advent and Christmas, a page we found in an Advent activity booklet.  Few things bring me more happiness than watching my children sitting contently with their father while he gives them that precious gift of time.

This video is a bit blurry, but I like hearing Luke's little voice trying to pronounce the words.
Isaiah had it memorized before long.

And now we have three little boys!  I can already imagine what this scene will look like in another year.
We are so blessed.

Have a Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Six Years Ago Today...

...I married the love of my life.

Waiting to go into the church.  It was eighteen degrees that day.

I love this picture.

I don't know what we were teasing each other about, but I love this photo.

Yarn Along {Seven}

The cardigan is almost done, but I think I've been saying that a lot lately!  It's no rush though, the cardigan won't fit the baby until he's about three months old.  

I did a quick read this past week: The Christmas Box, which I'm giving away.

I've also been busy "reading" my new little one.  He is just three days old and we are all completely smitten by him.

Have a wonderful Christmas weekend!

Visit Ginny's Yarn Along to see what other's are knitting and reading. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Book Giveaway

It's almost Christmas!  I accidentally acquired two copies of The Christmas Box some time ago, so I thought I'd give one away.  It's not new or anything, just a hand me down copy with a touching story.

To enter, simply leave a comment by midnight on Christmas Day.

I'll pick a number via random dot org, announce the winner the day after Christmas, and mail it out have my husband mail it out as soon as the winner contacts me with their mailing address.

Wishing you peace and many blessings this joyous season. 


PS:  I'll mail it to anywhere in the world the postman will carry it.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Jacob Andrew Is Born

Jacob Andrew

Born: December 18th (his Daddy's birthday, hence the middle name) at 11:31pm.

9 pounds    -    21 inches
Born at home into the water.

This tub is awesome! "La Bassine".
It was such a long and hard labor, I think mainly because he was OP (back to my back) and his head is big.  Then again, I'm used to my babies slipping out in 2 or 3 pushes, so having to work at really pushing him out was hard, but I had the support of my dear husband, two midwives, and friend.  

The water was a life saver.  I really don't think I could have done this birth so well without the tub.

We are doing well.  I have a tiny tear (old scar tissue tore from my first birth) that is closed up by super glue type stuff, so I'm taking it really easy so it heals and I don't have to have sutures.  I'm letting my husband and friend, who is visiting, take over the housework and wait on me. =)

Thank you for all your prayers!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Another Reason Why I Love My Husband

The other day, it was exceptionally quiet while I cleaned up the kitchen after the evening meal.  I finally took a peek.

What on earth?

I sneak a little closer:

It's Daddy and the boys, inside Clarabel, reading Pancakes, Pancakes!

What an awesome dad.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Yarn Along {Six}

Joining Ginny today in another delightful Yarn Along, sharing one photo of what we are reading and knitting.

I managed to attach the sleeves onto the cardigan, simply by following the directions.  I really didn't think I could do it, but I just read the instructions and followed them exactly, and I guess I did it right!  I'm so proud of myself.  I hope to finish it this week.

I am reading Little Women.  I have actually never read the book, only seen the movie a bunch of times.

On the kitchen table you can see the teeth marks I mentioned yesterday.

I am just taking it easy this week, doing a couple of last minute things to prepare for baby Jacob's birth (around the 22nd).  I am finally having my long-awaited home birth.  After Luke's dramatic entrance into the world, the thought of not having to go anywhere to have my baby seems like heaven.

I'll keep you posted.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Simple Things

I have this fairly new thing, where between meals, I clear off the kitchen table, tidy up my counters, put my golden table cloth out, and add a center piece of whatever I can find.

I used to leave the table cloth out for meals, but it's no use.  I was washing it every other day.  Besides, there's no reason to protect the table from anything, it is very worn out, teeth marks and all.

I promise I keep my children well-fed...but we have this clip on high chair, and so far every little guy who has sat in it has felt the need to use the table for teething.  Those little marks in my table make me smile.  =)

I love walking through my kitchen and seeing something simple and beautiful there that reminds me to relax and enjoy this life.

Unfortunately, all I keep focusing on in this pic are the wrinkles on the tablecloth.  I might iron it tomorrow...or not.  I am having a baby sometime this week or next and it is good to just learn to accept the little imperfections in life and focus on the beautiful things instead.

PS: You know what?  That table cloth is magically wrinkle free after resting on the table for the morning.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Pretty Over the Kitchen Sink

How fun!

I did have to think twice whether I really wanted to share my kitchen sink with all of you. 
The thing is, we live in military housing.  It's old, over-painted, and lacks certain things, namely, a window above the kitchen sink.  The sad thing is, there is nothing beyond that wall, but a few big trees in the yard and beyond that, some nice little woods where the deer live and come out to visit in the early morning and at dusk.

I try really hard to appreciate what we have and see the beauty in ordinary and simple things.  So, ever since we moved in, I have been wondering what to do with the white wall above my kitchen sink.

This is the sunlight streaming in around 7:30am.

What transformed my kitchen sink, was this beautiful tile that my mother gave me.

I think she's had it forever.  I remember seeing it in the house when I was little.
The tile acts like a little window.  The woman reminds me of my mother, and the town in the background reminds me of her hometown in Switzerland.

Whenever I look at it, I feel like the children who walk through the wardrobe and find themselves in Narnia.

As I gaze into this picture, while resting a minute from scrubbing the dishes, a thousand memories come back.

My three brothers and I, have just gotten off the train and are walking over the mountain, through the woods and past the farm houses with the horses and donkeys.  Kittens on front porches are soaking up the sunlight, while we skip past fields full of dandelions, and down the hill, towards my grandmother's house, where she is waiting with sparkling apple juice, a big smile, and open arms.

How many kitchen sinks can do that for you.

Thanks for giving me the tile, Mom!  I love you!

+ + +

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Saint Juan Diego Craft

Today is Saint Juan Diego day!
Thanks to this awesome little DVD, the kids and I love Juan Diego.

Today we did a craft in honor of him.

We made these paper dolls we found here.  We glued them onto the cardboard of old cereal boxes (Andrew's great idea!) to make them stand up better.  If you make some, figure out where the tabs for the paper dolls need to be, before you cut out the ones they have suggested.  They didn't really line up well for us.

Luke colored this beautiful page found here.  (If this link doesn't work for you, right click it and hit "save as" and save it to your desktop.  A coloring booklet of Saints from Relevant Radio should download for you.)

This is a turkey craft Isaiah was also working on this morning.  He asked me to take a picture of it too. =)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Yarn Along {Five}

I have finally finished the main three parts of the cardigan.  However, now I'm completely stuck, because I'm supposed to be attaching the sleeves and making the top.  I'll figure it out this week with the help of some knitting ladies.

I'm almost finished reading Full of Grace: Women and the Abundant Life.  I've picked up a nice children's book from Sophia Institute Press for Isaiah called Catholic Tales for Boys and Girls.  The stories in this book were originally published in 1957, so the language is kind of funny sounding to me, but the stories are simple and nice and Isaiah enjoys listening to them.

I also dug out the parenting books!  I only have a few of these, because I have found that if you read every parenting book out there, you will end up very, very confused.  Sitting down with my husband and thinking about our children, their personalities, their needs and brainstorming what we can do to "change" things, works.  However, it doesn't hurt to have some practical advice, and Ray Guarendi has it.

I browse these two books periodically, whenever I begin to feel like my kids are getting out of hand.
The things we have to work on most are these, which are all common sense, but it takes real practice for a parent to do these consistently.  
  • When you speak to your child in a way that requires an answer or an action, you should expect an immediate and complete response. 
  • Never give a command unless you intend for it to be obeyed.
  • Require eye contact when giving face-to-face instruction.
  • Make him say “MAY I…” Don’t let him say: “I’m going to…”
The first three were taken word by word from a workbook called Growing Kids God's Way: Biblical Ethics for Parenting.  This is another book that I take out when I feel I need to remind myself of all those good parenting habits that I sometimes forget to do.

Anyways, enough about parenting.

Today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception!  We are going to Mass at noon and I will have the kids color this beautiful page while I attempt to explain to them the Immaculate Conception.

I'm heading over to Ginny's to join in the Yarn Along.

PS: Isn't that rocker beautiful?  It is an antique my parents bought me when I was eleven or twelve.  I have been living without it until my parents brought it down for Thanksgiving.  It's perfect for knitting because of the tiny armrests, that I was told, were made like that so that a lady can sit and knit in this rocking chair without having the needles bump the armrests.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Book Review: Little Star

I just received the new children's book Little Star by Anthony DeStefano (A Travel Guide To Heaven, Ten Prayers God Always Says Yes To).  

This is the adorable story of the star of Bethlehem.  Little Star is so tiny and dull that all the other big bright stars ignore him.  One day, the stars find out that a great king is to be born and whichever star shines the most in honor of the new king, will receive a special reward.  The comets help shine up all the stars, except for Little Star, who is ignored again.

On the birthday of the great king, the stars look down from heaven.  All they see is a lady, a man, and a poor little baby.  The big bright stars don't believe that a poor little child could be a king.  Little Star, however, understands.

"The baby Jesus is a King!  He's just little!"

Little Star is a unique story that inspires children to look for Jesus in the little, simple things.
I think it will quickly become a family favorite.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.
Please take a moment to rank this review by clicking on the button below.

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