Just a few days after our fossil hunting trip the weather turned very cold and we had a couple days of ice mixed with a little snow. It’s still very cold. Job is losing all his sweet baby hair to the hats I have to keep on his head. Our house is drafty and cold, so he stays bundled. I am so thankful that I was able to knit him several big warm things to wear. The gowns stay on him most of the time. My most recent finished objects, ribbed hats for Keats and Jonny, are worn all the time. It makes all that ribbing worth it. The only Christmas gift knitting I am working on is a couple of bunny sweaters for the girls’ bunnies. But I did receive yarn this week for some gifts that I hope to finish by mid January. Knitting time is scarce though, so we’ll see!
With the freezing temperatures Jonny and I are checking on our bees most days, and so far they are still alive. We don’t open them up of course, just peer through the holes drilled in the back of the hives to see them inside. If I put my ear up to the entrance I can hear the faint sound of all those thousands of bees moving around. I love it. Jonny wants to talk about our spring bee plans, but I won’t yet. I want to save those talks for late January and early February when I need something to look forward to at that point when it seems like winter will never end.
Silas has been wanting to make blackberry jam for months because there are scenes of blackberry jam making in this little book we’ve been “reading” (there aren’t any words) since early fall. I finally bought frozen blackberries to make him happy since we are long past blackberry season. I messed up somewhere and we ended up with blackberry sauce, which we ate in our oatmeal.
I think that last photo should be called “wishful thinking.” My knitting is sitting there on the table in the midst of the mess, and I am wishing things would slow down for a few minutes so that I could knit a row or two.
I ordered this book for Jonny last night, as he’s feeling a little cramped and crazy in our little house (well, maybe we all are.)
Thinking some more about gifts:
For the past couple of years we haven’t given our children Christmas gifts beyond those that fit in their stockings. This year though, there will be a few gifts under the tree as well. I can’t think of much in the way of useful things to stuff the older boys stockings with, things they don’t already have. They need some things to help them with projects (namely a drill, and a soldering iron) and because those are things that I only want to purchase one of each for all to share, they don’t make good birthday gifts. Christmas seems like a good time to give gifts to be shared. Other gifts include waterproof gloves for the three older boys, and these mittens for my younger three kids. I bought a box of art supplies from Stubby Pencil Studio and those will help fill stockings. That reminds me, a friend sent us a box of these beeswax crayons recently and I really like them. They seem to be holding up better than other (more expensive) beeswax stick crayons I have tried, although the sturdiest beeswax crayons for younger kids are the Stockmar blocks. I’ve had the same set for twelve years! Anyway, I am trying to focus on just purchasing a few things that my children need and want, but not things that cause present hysteria if you know what I mean.
With the weather being cold, my older boys are getting interested in coin roll hunting again, so we’ve made a couple of trips to the bank recently for boxes of coins. Seth likes to search through nickels the most, the other two like pennies. Boxes of coins would make great gifts, especially if you were already planning on giving money to the recipient.
I am often asked for camera and photography advice. The book I always recommend, and the one I used to learn how to shoot in manual mode from is Understanding Exposure. That book would make a great gift for someone wanting to learn.
And another cute gift idea that I may plan ahead for next year is one of these blue heritage ball jars along with a Cuppow and a knitted jar cozy. I already bought the jars, I just don’t think I will have time to do the knitting this year.
A friend suggested that I spend some time updating my book shop, and I will try. So far, I have mainly only worked on the chapter book category. The books there are some of those that my oldest son Seth has enjoyed over the past few years. He is one of those kids that is hard to “keep in books” because he reads so quickly and so much. All of my boys have been loving the experiments in both of Steve Spangler’s books.
And I guess that’s it for this week. I hope you all have a great weekend!