Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Merry Christmas One and All!

We are gathered together today, and the kids are very excited with the promise of presents. they hop and hit and argue all around the house, and regularly get kicked outside to "blow the steam off of them." Right now, the eldest, who recently had a birthday, is going out on a bicycle ride. The other two are trying so hard to be good, but, I must say, it isn't natural for them, and the silver coating is wearing thin and showing the brass underneath.

Chris is finishing his Bible reading for the day. He and the eldest made a commitment to read through the Bible, not just in a year, but in about 4 months. I am so proud of them in their faithfulness to this task as they near completion (I think they are up to Titus today). I think I was in college the first time I read through! I pray they learn from what they have read.

Knit a stocking for a friend. I will include the picture when I'm done.

Greetings to all of you, my friends!

Monday, December 19, 2011

New Picture

of a new little one wearing the Candy Striper hat! Isn't she sweet?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Last Saturday we ventured to Chicago

Not only do I LOVE that town, but at Christmas time it is magnified a hundred-fold. We took the train in, and it almost made me think the extensive travels were worthwhile, as the kids kind of knew what to expect and practically sat down the whole time.

Once there we walked over to Macy's. What a disappointment to write that. It was Marshall Field's until a few years ago when it was bought out, but it is the huge, block-long flagship store complete with fancy clock outside, and window after window of holiday presentation. THis year was a kind of steampunk ornament making extravaganza. Here is an example of one of the window:

After that we wandered down the streets toward Michigan Avenue and the Golden Mile. It was nippy and we were bedecked with hats and gloves, earmuffs -- the whole works -- but we still got cold.

Made it to the Water Tower Place, quite a Chicago establishment. In 1871, the city of Chicago burned to the ground. Like many early American towns, it was constructed almost completely of wooden structures. Legend blames Mrs. O'Leary's cow for kicking over a lantern in the shanty barn out behind her house. The result? It was a hot time in the old town that night.

The only place downtown of import that did NOT burn was the Old Water Tower. It still stands, and next to it is the modern American tribute to anything of historical importance: a commercial building. The Water Tower shopping mall is a prime piece of real estate. It is very expensive to open a store front there, but at this time of year, if you do have one, it is jam packed and fun and full of people and flurry. We went to the Lego store there, and a very special birthday boy picked a toy from there for his day.

Also spotted:

Monday, December 05, 2011


On the way back from NY late October, we stayed in Paradise, Pennsylvania. That is one of the small, charming places in Lancaster County. Actually, the front desk worker was quite nice: every place was sold out (beautiful Fall colors, weekend, Lancaster County...), but despite my aqua colored hair, she rooted around until she found a room almost set up, and booked us. So nice!

The Amish qualities of the area reminded us of home. They were just a wee bit intensified. In the morning, we packed up and headed to Bird-in-the-Hand, and Intercourse. At the former, we bought some donuts to eat and take home to the chief donut taster in our home. Then we went to Intercourse and wandered in the stores that were open: the Hardware store, the pottery shop, the other Hardware store, until the quilt and yarn stores opened.

Did I mention I had my precious children with me? My very active little ones? My human little squirrels? Many, many times the owners of these fine establishments heard me say, "put your hands in your pockets, please."

"Yes, I know this pottery is very expensive." "It's not a toy. Put it down please. Please don't touch it." "No, thank you." "Please, sit over there. Yes, there. On the floor. Please wait for mommy."

Wendy Ellis is the proprietor of the Lancaster Yarn Store. It is a lovely, small store on the main strip of Intercourse, and, thankfully, it is very hard to break yarn, although the kids had just purchased honey sticks in the last store and were trying very hard to be sticky. Wendy and I sent them out on the porch until they had ended that activity and were ready to watch mom be slow in another store.

Wendy's own daughter is in college and had recently designed this fabulous hat! She has called it Scatterfraction. Through single stitch cabling, she has created a lovely, little vortex that snuggles your head, and ends up in an adorable i-cord pompom. I bought the local yarn it was knitted up in, and just knitted it up a month later.

I present to you: Scatterfraction in Rose!