Saturday, October 31, 2015

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Online Craft Sale

The last few years I've ended up selling items at Fall craft shows, but I don't have anything on the horizon this season. That said, I have had the knitting/crocheting bug all year, and besides the myriad of gifts I've created, I have extra stock. So it's online craft show time! I'll be posting some pieces on my blog and also on my RubiLu Facebook page. Feel free to email me at if you're interested in purchasing. Also, if you see something you like and would prefer a custom order, we can definitely work it out.

I love using cozy, snuggly, soft yarns and knit everything like I am making a gift for a friend, so you can be sure that anything you purchase is top-notch. I also make handwarmers to correspond with any of the hats or cowls for $15. (I can't seem to hang on to a pair to show you, but I'll try to get an example up on the blog.)

Note: Shipping charge is $5.75 flat rate, but if you are local, I also offer free delivery.
Happy Fall!

Multi-colored headband with cream edging. 82% bamboo/18% polyamide yarn. $12 + shipping.
Blue and brown slouchy hat with brim. 100% acrylic yarn. See below for side view. $20 + shipping.

(side view blue and brown slouchy hat with brim)
Green apple cabled slouchy hat. 80% acrylic / 20% wool yarn. See below for side view. $20 + shipping.

(side view green apple cabled slouchy hat)

Chevron stripe infinity scarf. 85% acrylic / 15% wool yarn. Can be worn doubled up as shown, or full-length as shown below. $35 + shipping.

(full-length view of chevron stripe infinity scarf)

Harvest color headband with leaf and button. $15 + shipping.

Dark lavender slouchy hat with cable detail. See below for side view. $20 + shipping.

(side view dark lavender slouchy hat with cable detail)

Chunky crochet pom-pom hat. This one is so much fun, and I also have it available in a yellow/beige/white mix. 85% acrylic / 15% wool yarn. $25 + shipping.

Purple multi stripe cowl. 85% acrylic / 15% wool. $25 + shipping.

Purple multi bandana cowl. This has four working wooden buttons on the side for easy removal. 100% acrylic yarn. $25 + shipping.

Red falling leaves cowl. 82% bamboo/18% polyamide yarn. $25 + shipping.

Red and grey super slouchy hat. 80% acrylic / 20% wool. See below for back view of contrast color. $20 + shipping.
(back view red and grey super slouchy hat)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Happy birthday

Someone special is having a birthday today... See below for encoded message, courtesy of Milo.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Varsity CC star

Just in case you were wondering, my sister's nephew Vonte is a total cross country track star. Not only does he normally take first place, but he looks good doing it!

Little men

Little Nate...

Little Milo...

Any questions?

Monday, October 19, 2015

Little People Update

When we started school, we hit the ground RUNNING, and I feel like I've been at this marathon ever since. I haven't updated much because I've been so busy, but I have to tell you how proud I am of these little people.

Milo is doing amazingly well with school. He loves to learn, and he absorbs everything I give him. We colored, cut, and pasted a model solar system onto our wall, and he stood there and memorized the planets in order the first day. I gave him moon phases (with Oreos, by the way), and he and Lucy both learned them right away and give us updates on what phase it is every time we look at the night sky. I have been working on handwriting lower case letters and numbers with Milo, and he works until he gets it right each time. Math is a breeze because he innately possesses Nate's skills. I am getting really spoiled with my first homeschooling experience, and the only thing wearing me out about it is getting my stuff together this year as I'm just creating our curriculum (I might as well put that master's degree and teaching certification to use since we will be paying off my education until after I die.).
Look at this handsome, serious school face.
Lucy potty trained like a champ. I was expecting hard work and scores of accidents. What I got was a little lady who knew what she was doing the day we started. It's really true that if a child is ready, potty training is much easier (let this be a lesson to anyone who is trying to keep up with other people's children - it will only give you headaches). Our only hiccup with her is that we also moved her to a big girl bed, and the excitement has proven to be a little much for her every time I put her down for a nap or bedtime. Well, I say that, but after three weeks, she seems to be settling in a bit. Oh, and I was bound and determined to never use a pull-up, but poor Lucy wasn't able to go to sleep because she was so concerned about wetting her pants when she went to sleep (my sweet little overachiever) . So, she's in a pull-up at night time so that she (and the rest of us) can go to sleep, and when she gets a little older I will remind her that mistakes are proof that you're trying (oh, Lucy, I am learning the same tough lesson).

First day in undies.
So there you have it. We are alive and well, and our days are so full that sometimes I get very little else done (hello, weeks of ironing...). But as we get more into the routine, everything gets easier, so I am more thankful for a schedule all the time (words I never thought I'd say).

Happy Monday to you!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Dear October

Dear October,

I think we're breaking up. You've been my favorite month for as long as I can remember, but it's just not the same. You see, I've been disappointed in you for a long time...

It all started when I moved to Texas. I spent the long, hot summer waiting for you and your beautiful changing colors. I anticipated the cool temperatures and the days spent in layers and boots. I longed for the cold wind scattering the crunchy leaves, and I changed over my wardrobe to my warm, snuggly clothing.

But you didn't come. Or, at least, not the way you used to. Yes, the calendar read October, but the weather still read mid-June. Temperatures crept into the 90's each day, and the humidity turned my beautifully straightened hair into a lion's mane each day. The only wind was a stale one that felt like the breath of Sheol as opposed to a refreshing gust.

I gave you a few years to get with the program. I griped to everyone who'd listen about how October is my favorite month, and I mentioned that you needed to stop all this nonsense and get back to normal and let me have my pumpkins and crispness and apple orchards (oh, wait - no orchards, either). When I should have been crunching leaves, I was trampling on dead pine needles, withered from the heat. When I should have been bundling against the cold, I was sweating like a full-grown man. I tried to wait it out and let you right yourself, but I came to a realization.

It's not me. It's you, October. You can't be the October that I remember from my youth and fell in love with so long ago, because in Texas, we can't be together. You are something different here, and it's time for me to choose a new favorite. I haven't locked myself in to a new number one month, yet, but this has been a long time coming. We have to part ways, but I'll always remember what we had together in Illinois (and Ohio... and Indiana...).


Monday, October 12, 2015

On This Foundation by Lynn Austin

Well, I'm back at it. Reviewing a book for Bethany House Publishers (this was a complimentary copy), and I have to say that this one became a quick favorite.

I will preface my review with this fact - I love history, and I love Biblical history, which is a huge factor in why I enjoyed this book so much. Lynn Austin did her research on this one, and it shows. Not only did she know what was happening in the Bible, but she also reviewed the historical events going on elsewhere. I feel like some authors like to take Bible stories and then just take complete creative license, but what she did seemed authentic.

This book is the story of Nehemiah, the Persian king's cup bearer who became the re-builder of the walls of Jerusalem. Fantastic. This story doesn't get enough attention, in my opinion, and why? What an amazing tale - a servant in the court who is given full permission and supplies to repair the most important city in his homeland. How on earth did he even gain that much favor? Austin developed Nehemiah's character so well that when this event occurred, it was completely believable.

Austin also has a good knowledge of Jewish culture and customs, as evidenced by her discussion of the feasts and laws from the Torah. Her accuracy was refreshing and added a lot of depth to the characters.

And, by the way, the characters - the story was told from a variety of points of view, mainly Nehemiah and two other main characters. This seems to be quite the trend right now, but I have to admit that I buy into it every time. I like being able to see the broad scope of the story and how it affects more than just one character. Nehemiah is a pretty static character, but both of the supporting narrators go through some pretty serious character development, so I can forgive Austin for that.

100% pick this book up. If you like history. And even if you don't. This was by far my favorite book I've reviewed thus far. Thanks so much to Lynn Austin for being careful and thorough in her research and crafting a story that added so much depth to what I already knew of Nehemiah.

Friday, October 9, 2015

It's the most horrifying time of the year

We've reached the time of year when I'm going to have to stop taking my little people out in public, for their sake and everyone else's.

Yes, it's Halloween time, and decorations are everywhere. And not just any decorations, but the most horrifying, vile, creepy pieces of you-know-what I've ever seen. Hello, my neighbors, a.k.a. The Holiday House, have a yard-wide depiction of a pirate graveyard, complete with skeletons crawling up out of the earth. And these same neighbors will be decorating for Christmas with enough lights to create daylight on the entire block as soon as Halloween is over. What in the world? What's a girl to do when she just wants to get these little people out of the house to ride bikes and we can't go more than a few houses down? I remember seeing this kind of nonsense when I was a kid and being terrified to go to sleep at night.

I try really hard to explain things to my little people by going back to the origins, especially when it comes to holidays that we as a family choose not to celebrate. But we were out today and I have a horrible headache and some serious sinus congestion (thank you, up and down Texas weather), and when my people asked (LOUDLY, by the way) about all the disgusting decor, I popped out with the generic, "It's for Halloween, which is a bad holiday to celebrate the devil." Oh my word. It happened, and it didn't do me any good, by the way, because I haven't ever even discussed the devil with them or blamed anything on him...

By the time we got to Target and had to stroll past aisles with Halloween items (with people browsing, mind you), I was fielding comments made at full-volume.
"Mommy, WHY DO PEOPLE LOVE THE DOUBLE (because that's his name now, "the double" - that's what Milo heard and I didn't even bother to correct him).

And all the while, Lucy is telling Milo (also at full volume), "EWWWW, Milo. EWWWW. That's GROSS. Don't look at that stuff, IT'S SO GROSS. Josie Grossie."

You're welcome, Halloween shoppers, for the good laugh while you picked out your items. I'm sad that America makes such a commercial success out of scaring tiny people, but that's my personal opinion, so you're free to leave it. I guess it's time for another sit-down with my little people, this time about the Druid origins of Halloween. And I might as well throw the devil in there, just for fun. But this is just one of the many reasons we're moving to a farm in the middle of nowhere any day now.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Space and potty chairs

I like to kind of ease into my days... Wake up, take a nice little walk/run, shower, have a cup of coffee and do my morning study... Then my little people wake up and we get on with the day, which includes homeschooling and now potty training. And may I make a confession? The number of people who have homeschooled and potty trained at the same time is certainly beyond my comprehension, but I am exhausted at the end of each day like I'm the only person who's ever attempted. Lucy is doing amazingly well, but I still sleep like a baby who's learned a new skill every night.

The last week or so, every day has been like a sucker punch in the face first thing every morning, and today was no exception. I barely got a shower before I tripped over Milo on my way out of the bathroom. Lucy wet the bed and woke up an hour and a half early (which, if you know my little lady, is a HUGE deal), Nate went to work but quickly came home with strep throat and instructions to take our little people to get their throats swabbed (no strep for them - hooray!). It's only 1:15 and I feel like I've lived a week already today.

All this to say, hey, who has time for blogging these days? But I wanted to tell you a cute story about each little person before I forget...

We've been studying space since we started school, and Lucy enjoys sitting through our science lessons and experiments with us. Milo and Lucy are both super interested in the solar system and soak up everything I teach them, and when we went through the planets Nate mentioned how preposterous it is that Pluto is no longer a planet. Both kids are now indignant right along with him. Lucy looked at me with tear-filled eyes the other  night in the tub and told me, "Mommy, I am so sad!" I was so concerned until she told me, "I'm so sad because Pluto is not a planet anymore!"

Milo is always thinking. The other day he asked me, "Mommy, who is Yahweh's daddy?" I explained that He doesn't have a daddy, but that he is the daddy to everybody else. Milo sat with a furrowed brow for a minute and then asked, "So who is Yahweh's wife? Does he have one?" I told him that Yahweh didn't have a wife, and he looked even more puzzled. "Then where did He get all these kids?"

Hope you're having a wonderful week. Fingers crossed I'll blog again soon!