Not my color

I finished the hat I was knitting for my friend Lori’s birthday this week, in one final cozy knitting session with Em.  I think it’s a bit risky to knit hats for girlfriends, especially slouch hats.  It’s hard to predict if they will fit well or look goofy.  I thought this looked great on Lori.  Black isn’t my color, but it looks great on her.

We’ve had vultures roosting in the trees around our property for the past couple of weeks.  I decided to try to take some pictures of them.  In response, they all left on that particularly gray day, the flapping sound of their giant wings filling the air in a creepy but cool kind of way.  Seth called out, “I don’t think they like you, Mommy!”  I guess not.  We haven’t seen them since.

I had planned to ask you guys for some toy recommendations for Silas.  He’s been a real handful for the past six weeks or so.  It obviously has to do with adjusting to Job, but I just thought that maybe if I could find the right activities for him, he would settle down a bit.  Then I started reading Clutterfree with Kids last night and I changed my mind.  I already knew that a toy wouldn’t be a magic cure, but reading just the first chapter of this book, I got really excited about getting rid of things rather than acquiring more.  I’m going to focus instead on spending more one on one time with Silas each day.  When one of my kids is acting up, that’s always what is needed, but when I’m stretched thin it’s easy to let myself think otherwise, to look for an easy fix.   Anyway, I’ll let you know what I think of this book when I finish it.  So far, I like what I’ve read.

Today my dad turns sixty and we get to celebrate with him.  I am off to bake a cake!


  1. hat is awesome! I need to take a picture of me wearing it!!!!

  2. What a great pattern! I actually think it looks great on you (if you’re the one in the photo).

  3. Our children really do spell ‘love’ t-i-m-e…don’t they?

    When my now-grown daughter was almost 5, I gave birth to our son. He entered the world at 10 and 1/2 pounds, with a never-ending need to be nursed. My husband worked swing-shift, and there were 80 odd head of mama cows to be cared for. One day, when Will was about a month old, my sweet daughter asked, “Mama, I really love Will and he’s really cute, but could we take him back to the hospital and let some other family adopt him?”
    “No honey, we can’t. But why?”
    “Because mama, you don’t have time for me anymore, now that he’s here.”


  4. I smiled broadly but wanted to be sure you knew that one of your pictures is on this buzzfeed bit on homeschooling.

  5. I love that hat- I think I need to make one 🙂 And I totally think you can do black! I hope Silas enjoys his special time with you and that helps with the adjusting to his new brother.

  6. Ginny, we loved the following books to help everyone mellow out and connect: 1. Respectful Parents, Respectful Kids; 2. Raising our Children, Raising Ourselves; and 3. Simplicity Parenting. It’s a touch transition for a little one (and for his mama). As you know, every child is different so there is no magic potion, but we’ve found validation and connect – and simplicity – are KEY in shifting behavior. Be well!

  7. Love the hat 🙂

    I think I’m in the minority when I say vultures creep me out. We have the packs too and it’s always so ominous when you see them in the trees or huddled around their “all you can eat buffet.” Love Josh Becker! My family and I have been minimalists for several years and it is trying at times, it does work being clutterfree. The kids benefit from less toys and we benefit from less cleanup- books, to me, do not count as clutter 🙂

    Both of my youngest are going through that stage and it is trying! More time with them and lots of prayer works! My question is: how old were your kids when you gave up and let them “help” cooking or baking without telling them no?

  8. The hat looks beautiful. It’s an elegant slouch hat, I love it!
    Nola is about one month older than Sila’s and she has been getting up to all sorts of tricks lately too. She has become very clingy and will tantrum at the drop of a hat. Sometimes it’s like walking on eggshells lol! She is definitly my most demanding toddler yet! I think when little ones have older siblings it makes them more frustrated at not always being able to be involved in everything the older ones are doing. Nola idolises her big sisters and if they are off climbing trees she will too! Mama is just boring 🙂
    I have found, on reccomendation from a homeopath friend, that a tablet of aconite works well for tantrums and night terrors. Camomilla is good if she has flushed cheeks and is generally weeping and clingy.
    I’ve also invested in some washing up bowls and filled them with dry foods such as pasta, rice, popcorn kernals etc and buried little toys, shells and treasures in them. She’ll spend hours pouring and filling with these and I can keep an eye on her at one end of the room while also helping the girls at the other with their work and projects. She also loves to use scissors, tape and glue so I’ve got her, her own little making box full of feathers, bits of coloured paper, sequins, pipecleaners, flowers and leaves, googly eyes, a sheet of stickers, string, a pritt stick and some rounded scissors and she’ll spend ages, beside me sticking bits and pieces onto bits of card! If it makes a mess, she’s generally happy lol!

  9. A good distraction for Silas might be a lacing board – just a board with fairly small holes cut out and a long shoelace with a knot in one end. I loved playing with mine when I was little, and it might focus his attention on something creative. He can use his imagination, or you can ask him to create different shapes for you.

  10. One on one with older siblings is the ticket. They need to know they’re still your babies.

  11. OH and I think that hat looks great on you. Black is everyone’s color!

  12. Admittedly this is a little random, and doesn’t help for terribly long periods of time, but I’ve been buying big bags of clementines lately and letting my two and a half year old peel them herself. I’ll give her one for a snack, start it for her, and it takes her 7-8 minutes to peel and eat the whole thing. When she’s done, I give her one more. She loves it, it’s nutritious, and by the time 15 minutes has elapsed I’ve hopefully come up with some other trick to help me through the post-nap push.

  13. I agree with you that one-on-one time helps children the most. I’d prefer that time together came naturally at various points in the course of the day, but still I keep in mind a formula that I read about somewhere, 10-20-10: 10 minutes of dedicated time in the morning, 20 in the afternoon, and again 10 in the evening. It actually works!

  14. Hi Ginny,
    I love the vulture shots! Our neighbors used to feed the vultures, and there were always so many around. It really made a lot of local people squeamish. I just thought they were fascinating and haunting. Thanks for sharing.

  15. I have not read this book but if it is anything like “Simplicity Parenting” (which it sounds like it is), I will have to add it to my list. I found Kim John Payne’s words so inspiring, this book has become a standard baby shower gift. One of those books you want everyone to read because it could literally change the world for our little ones and those to come.
    I agree with the others who say the hat looks more midnight blue to me than black and is charming on you.

  16. Ha! I was going to suggest empty toilet paper tubes. Seriously, I found the best thing to keep a handful boy happy is a reading aloud to him while you are nursing (I know, no knitting). Have him gather a basket of his favorite books to keep handy. You’ll read them over and over and over and over, but the attention will satisfy and soothe something deep in his confused and displaced little self.

  17. I have a ” handful boy” and I have found that less toys is more with him along with individual attention. But he could have one on one attention all day every day and still seem to need more. With less toys he is more able to focus, less is better for more kids but my daughter has always had such amazing ability to focus that she can block out clutter. That is a challenge in itself.

  18. Diabra Anderson says:

    I made up busy boxes with things I already had. Playdoh and cookie cutters, animals and some rocks, pipecleaners with a magnet, nuts and bolts, all had a themed small book in them too. I had about 6 and they were brought out one at a time, when I needed Zeke to be busy without me and then were put away the rest of the time so they stayed special. You’re right, one on one fixes these things mostly. Discovery walks are great for my little one, he chats and looks, I breath and enjoy him, then we both return to the busy household and he is happy while I am busy with the others. Good luck.

  19. Great hat! I realize it’s a gift, but I think it looks great on you, too! We are also in decluttering mode. I am not sure if I will ever become a true one, but I am inspired by minimalists.

  20. that hat is lovely, what a great gift! I’m intrigued by the clutter free kids book, i’ll have to check that out. Lately I’ve felt like we have way too much stuff, and the toys my daughter got at christmas… half of them she doesn’t even realize we have, because they never got unboxed.

  21. Lovely hat! Though it is indeed unusual to see you in black. It must be wonderful to have a friend who knits!
    That’s a great lot of vultures and we think the pictures of them are fabulous.
    I’m reading Friendly Gables right now (finally getting around to reading all these wonderful books my kids have been enjoying for years), and visits with (the convalescing) mother are portrayed as being good remedy for challenging children’s behavior. I’m sure Silas will benefit from your new resolution (and you too!). 😉

  22. Your choice to spend more one on one time with Silas, I think, is the ticket. I have been tearing my hair out with my four year old son, and I have vowed to do the same thing. With nine other siblings, I think he feels lost in the shuffle at times. I know exactly what you mean about feeling spread too thin…I’ve been feeling that way quite a bit the past few weeks. Sometimes taking the deep breath, slowing down and refocusing is what it takes to get back on track.
    I have put Clutterfree with Kids on my wishlist.

  23. I would say black is one of your colors! I think that hat looks great on you.

  24. I have slowly been taking away my kids’ toys. Every time they don’t pick them up, we put more in the garage. And we’ve figured out that if they have their train tracks and trains, and a few dolls, that is totally enough for them. Sophia (Job’s age) cares little for the nice wooden toys I got her, and instead likes to play with extra binkies and an empty disposable wipe package more than anything 🙂

  25. Those photos of the area outside your house reminded me to put in my two cents’ worth about having a small house. Down here in Mexico everyone has a small house because so much of life is done outside. With surroundings like yours (and the many photos of your kids enjoying it) this is yet another reason to not sweat having a small house. When my kids were small and we lived in the redwood forest, if the noise of their playing got too loud in the house I’d send them outside and they were rarely unhappy with that mandate.

  26. Ginny! I love that hat on you! Your friend will love it! I think it’s a beautiful color. I am obsessed with slouchy hats lately. I’m so jealous you know how to knit a hat!

  27. I love the pics of kitty snuggling in the covers, that is so very sweet. For some reason I find vultures so interesting but I guess one does have to have a great telephoto lens not to scare them off. I wish I had one!

  28. It almost looks dark blue in these photos. Such a spooky winter day with the birds, I swear, your pictures always tell such good stories.

  29. That book looks very interesting I think I will have to read it. I remember when I was pregnant with my first someone gave me some advice that I think of everyday. They told me to hug my child everyday and on the days when I want to hug them the least because of their behavior to give them some extras because that is when they need it most. Now that my oldest is almost 8 on the days when I really consider giving her away I give her an extra hug or two and most times it seems to help. More one on one time is always special.

    Oh, and great hat I really love the detail in it.

  30. You already know this but outside time is key. Probably not easy at this time of year. I think everything can be solved with a quick trip outside 🙂

    Another thing my toddler loves is bean and rice or some such in a big plastic tub to play in. Putting in cups and stuff make it even funner (and I love it too!). Water play at the sink or in the tub with spray bottles. Mine LOVE our “science kits” – muffin tins filled with baking soda, colored water, salt, vinegar and then a big towel under it and bowl to mix all the stuff together in.

    And cooking!! Even just spreading cream cheese or almond butter on celery and adding raising (bugs on a log) and then presenting to the siblings. FUN!!

    Thinking of you,


  31. lovely hat! ooh, vultures; they are not the nicest birds; glad that they saw you and left; this is a good thing I think!!! 🙂

  32. I really like the hat… The whole colour scheme of the photos for this post are very harmonious 🙂 we are de-cluttering too… Badly needed, especially with our sixth due in ten weeks or so! X

  33. I love the hat! It looks dark blue on my monitor, which looks really pretty on you. I really enjoy getting rid of things also. I cannot do clutter, it makes my brain cluttered!

  34. Love the pattern. I’m a rookie crocheter and so far I’ve only mastered straight lines.

    In time…

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