Archive for December, 2011


the daisy and violet scarf

   Posted by: liz    in crafty, earthkeeping, farm

daisy, our blue-faced leicester (white) and violet, our romney sheep (brown) have been shorn twice. last spring, my mom had their fleeces sent to a local fiber artist to clean and spin. after waiting 8 months, we finally received the spun wool!

mom gave me a skein of each, so i decided to make a scarf for kenny, who does the majority of the farm work around here, and who also doesn’t mind wearing wool.

the sheep are always relieved once their heavy winter coats are gone, and they are able to deal with the warming temperatures. this is daisy and violet a few hours after their shearing last spring (same day the first picture was taken!).

this past month, i spent a lot of time taking care of sick children and of myself, so i was able to pull this scarf together in no time at all for kenny. following a very basic pattern (CO 22. *K2, knit into back of next stitch, P1 *repeat until last 2 stitches, K2) this is The Daisy and Violet Scarf (click on photo to enlarge):

although i’m not a fan of wearing wool, i like to work with it. i can’t wait to see what future projects will come from our farm. one of my new year’s resolutions is to do more with the farm, do more making and creating and gifting. can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store!  thank you, daisy and violet, for your fleeces!









when Advent is turned upside-down

   Posted by: liz    in advent, family, seasons

as you can tell, i’m rehashing old blog posts because i got nothing new this Advent. so, i dedicate this post to all of us who have grand plans for observing a solemn Advent, and celebrating a joyous Christmas….and end up changing because that’s what life gives you.

i’m learning that you just gotta roll with it most days. so here is another older Advent post from a few years ago.


(originally posted december 10, 2007)

mondays in advent

advent sundays are so fun…they’re feast days, so fun happens.  last week we spent sunday afternoon with my parents and yesterday our friends traveled from the big city to eat and fellowship with us.

this morning, it was grey all morning long. the forecast called for nothing but grey. fortunately, i had a whole hour to plan the day between the time kenny left for work and when the boys woke up. and here’s how our day went down:

we were out of milk (the milkman comes every monday around 8:30) so breakfast was muffins and apple juice. i found a chicken carcass (lovely word, i know) in the freezer, so i decided to make chicken soup for dinner. i found a fabulous recipe for dumplings or homemade noodles (there is a fine line between the two and i would call what i ended up making dumplings, and not noodles. but they were fantastic nonetheless – the only thing that all three boys inhaled) from the boomama soup carnival. so i started the pot-o-broth with some additional frozen vegetable cuttings i had stored and continued cleaning the kitchen while the boys ate their breakfast.

after getting dressed, we all headed to michaels. it was a grey morning, but that didn’t stop us from bringing some color inside! i had started clipping strips for the construction-paper-garland (that we all did as kids – but rowan and sawyer don’t remember doing it last year, so it’s new to them!) this morning, and we needed just a few other supplies for more kid-friendly christmas decorations.

i don’t know about other moms with kids who like to make things and like to craft…but i always have an idea in my head about how something will turn out and it just doesn’t turn out quite as i had planned. but i’m learning to let go of this and embrace my kids (very eager and yet oh-so-young) artistic endeavors. for instance…

i planned to make these with the boys:

instead, we ate gumdrops until we were sick worked hard and ended up with these treasures (with a lack of reds and purples. hrmmmm…):

and i bought tinsel-like pipe cleaners to put these up all over the mantels:

and we ended up with:

i’ve let go of my need for a martha-stewartesque decorated home and treasure every little arts and craft that decorates our rooms for any celebration.  i don’t think the boys would enjoy making things if i was a drill-sergeant craft instructor.after our craft-time (and adam’s nap), rowan helped me roll out and throw in the dumplings to our soup, now simmering with edible vegetables, waiting to be eaten. kenny came home and he gushed over the gumdrop trees and pipe-cleaner contraptions, said the soup was delicious and we all settled in for a long winter’s night.thank goodness this monday didn’t feel grey all day.

in the bleak midwinter…

   Posted by: liz    in advent, faith, family, seasons

i was planning to do some christmas baking and all of our shopping over the past two weeks. but at least one, and sometimes two, members of our family has been sick since last monday (if you’re counting, that’s 10 days now). it was the stomach virus, and now some really high-fever congestion/cold thing.

i was also planning to do our tradition St. Nicholas “delivery of gifts in secret” on St. Nicholas day last week, and celebrate St. Lucia today.  but when at least two of the family members in the family are sick, pretty  much everything comes to a grinding halt.

i’m not at all stressed that i haven’t gone christmas shopping yet. and i was reminded why when i remembered this post from last year:


i’m not a fan of being woken in the middle of the night. and that’s exactly what it feels like when i crawl out from under our warm flannel sheets and down comforter at 6:00 a.m. these mornings. i love the morning silence, but the cold…the dark…..

i have to ease into these mornings. keeping advent readings closeby and advent songs on my heart help the start of the day. i’ve also eased into our daily lessons by choosing activities that will encourage the boys towards a sacred moment these days.

the boys still wake with ENERGY, so my deliberate slowed pace these mornings fall flat some times. when i encourage a time of sacred reflection i am met with puzzled looks: “sacred? is that like scared? you want us to feel scared?” and then jokes emerge from the question, and i have three boys in piles of laughter at the kitchen table.

sometimes sacred is not what we think it should feel or look like.

we begin with a prayer and a song as we light our family advent candles. there is sacred in the small little boy voices of “o come, o come, emmanuel” as they are transfixed with the match, the flame, the continuous light from the candle.

aha!  just add fire and voila! silence!  sacred.

“they are getting it!” i think to myself and i feel full of emotion which, again, falls flat as the singing ends and the contest begins to see who can be the first to blow out the candle which breaks into a fight because one didn’t get to blow out the candle and the candle wasn’t supposed to be blown out yet any way!!!

but then i remember…sacred is not what we think it should feel or look like.

sacred is sitting around a kitchen table for with my three energy-filled boys and taking them out in the snow: their favorite place to be these days. sacred is walking out in the bleak wind and snow to care for animals who depend on you for food and warmth. sacred is sitting in the dark, calm of a kitchen giving thanks to God for the three lives sleeping soundly upstairs.

sacred is God in the flesh.


(originally posted, december 9, 2010)