Friday, June 28, 2013

In Germany

Neues Rathaus, Hannover

Rathaus, Bad Salzuflen

happy day

Mama with my sweet flower girls

Hotel Rosengarten, Bad Salzuflen

field in Empelde

The main aim of our recent trip was to attend the wedding of my sister-in-law.  They live in Hannover, but the wedding was held in the lovely small town of Bad Salzuflen, where the groom's family lives.  It was a perfect wedding.  The groom is a good man whom we're excited to welcome into the family.  The bride looked happier and more beautiful than I've ever seen her, and she was so excited she answered "Yes!" (in English!) more than once before it was her turn to complete her vows.

The weather was completely bizarre the five days we were in Germany (swinging from a stiffling, unpredicted heat wave to tremendous thunderstorms), but it held for their special day, neither raining nor too hot--a true blessing and we think a sign of good luck for their marriage.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Home again


We are home, and it is so good to be home.  Summer is here.  Watching my 5 year old play in the backyard sprinkler in the late afternoon sun, I felt our jet-lagged day of 4am wake-up perfectly captured the essence of summer.  We are tied to no schedule.  Awake or tired or hungry or playful at odd times, I could say...

...yes to popcorn in the morning
...yes to sprinkler time, then pool, then more sprinkler time
...yes to an impromptu playdate that lasted for hours
...yes to smoothies and pasta with butter for lunch
...and yes to that lunch as an indoor picnic on the living room floor
...yes to on-the-fly peanut butter & Nutella Zoku pops
...yes to stripping naked to dry off and running amok with hula hoops

Ah yes, summer.  We're happy you're here.  We're happy to be home.

But where did we go?

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Ready set go

packing helper

Packing for a trip used to be oh-so-cute (our Ellie at 9 months)!

This first week of summer free from school has flown by, and now we're packing up, soon to be heading out.
Feeling thankful for good friends who will look after the house and the animals in our absence.  Looking forward to fun holiday times ahead.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Knitting ADD

gauge swatch for a Milo vest

Hello, my name is Jennifer and I have knitting ADD.

I started a Tea Leaves cardigan for myself over a year ago, and I cannot seem to knit more than an inch without losing interest for a month (luckily, I still like the colour and still want the sweater...just not enough to motivate myself to finish, apparently).

I recently "tossed the stash" to check for signs of moths (none, whew!) and felt a tremendous wave of stash guilt.  This motivated me to cast on for a new project with several more in mind to use up my unruly stash; however, rather than actually knitting to use up said stash, I spent hours trolling Ravelry, as if appreciating others' knits will magically transform my yarn into finished objects.

Send help.

Thank you.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

School's out for summer

I've been MIA (missing in action) for a few days, and I have missed checking in here.  School is out!  Yesterday was the last day of second grade for my big girl.  My wee one has already been out for almost 2 weeks.  What a wild time!  Entertaining a 5 year old all day every day amidst last minute parties, preparations, teacher gifting, thank you note writing, excitement ramping up into a frenzy...whew!

we're cool

Today feels like a deep exhalation, a slow release of a big breath held in longer than was completely comfortable.  The girls are happily playing together in their playroom, as they usually do on a Saturday.  On this, Day One of Summer, it simply feels like a weekend with the curious and notable absence of Papa, who is working.  Soon, we will be traveling for our big summer trip.  We will use the next week or so to settle in, prepare for that, and take care of a few things that need attention.  Once we return, though, summer will be in full swing.

In the US, summer vacation from school is three months long.  I find that an insane amount of time off in one go.  I love having my girls and watching them enjoy being children, but that kind of gap from school simply doesn't make sense to me.  With that in mind, we're planning to treat this summer holiday as a simple homeschooling term with lessons and activities every day (though not all day; it is a holiday, after all).  Lucky for me, the girls are already excited about it.  In a way, it was my daughter Ellie's big idea.  We listen to Martin and Sylvia on Sparkle Stories, and they have a homeschooling lesson every morning after breakfast.  Ellie asked if we could do that too.  Why would I say no?

We have some big and small ideas we need to fluff out and organize (part of our task list for the next few days), and we plan to implement starting on Monday.  If this sounds appealing or even vaguely interesting to you but you aren't sure where you might start, I found a great blog post on it here.  That site even offers downloadable content for $15 to save you on the brainstorming sessions if you just want to get going.