A Grateful Heart

The past year off from blogging (and thus, switching over to a free wordpress.com blog) has been mostly good. I’ve been able to focus a bit more on my primary job as a homeschool mama of a now high school sophomore who would rather be playing piano than just about anything else and a 3rd grader who is struggling very much with reading skills.

But just over two weeks ago something major happened. Something that I’m still processing and dealing with. Something I’ve been wanting to write about for two weeks.

I was in a car accident.

Now let me just interject right here: NO ONE WAS HURT. Praise God! Though the accident was a bad one, there were no serious injuries. A reason to be grateful, indeed.

So let me tell you now what happened as I remember it–some details have gotten a tad fuzzy but this is my best account of the incident.

It was one week before Thanksgiving on the afternoon of Thursday, November 19th, just after 3pm. My hubby was out of town that day for a work-related meeting, but was heading home and was about an hour or more away still. The boys and I needed to go to town and run a few errands, so we got ourselves ready, and I auto-started the van to get it warmed up. It had snowed that day, so when we went out to get in the van, I needed to take my car brush and get the snow off the windshield, hood, headlights, etc.  But the snow had let up and visibility (for me, at least) was just fine. It should have been a normal, uneventful drive into town.

Then what happened?

We were just under a mile from our rural home (if you can picture it–our little Northern Minnesota town is a straight shot of just under 3 miles south from our house), when another driver coming the opposite direction (north) attempted to turn west (the road he was trying to turn onto was on his left, my right) directly in the path of my oncoming van.

I had probably a second to react. If that.

As I was driving, I could–and did–see his van coming. I remember taking my foot off my gas pedal when I saw him slowing just before the intersection we were both nearing because I knew the roads were slick in spots from the day’s snow and I wanted to be sure that he was going to yield to me as he should.

When I saw him stop, I assumed he saw me and would wait. But then his front wheels turned and I knew…I knew!…he wasn’t watching or looking or something and he didn’t see me. He was going to turn. Right in front of me. It was the scariest experience of my life. Once the thought “he’s turning!” hit my brain, I slammed on my brakes. Of course, that just caused me to skid on the icy road, and so I immediately steered my van (my beautiful dark grey “Granite” 2014 30th edition Chrysler Town and Country Touring, Greta–yes, we name our vehicles!, which had less than 30,000 miles!) towards the ditch on my side in hopes of avoiding hitting him if he would just see me in time and brake. He did not and we hit. Hard.

My poor Greta was totaled.

I was aware throughout the whole incident. The airbags in the front and on the driver’s side deployed immediately upon impact, so once that happened, I couldn’t really see where we were or anything. My van had ended up going straight into the ditch facing mostly westward. The other van had deflected off of ours and was also in the ditch but facing almost the opposite direction. It was nearly a head-on collision.

Once we stopped moving and I knew I wasn’t at all seriously injured, my first thoughts were on my kiddos…”Is everyone okay?” I asked. My younger son, who was riding in the second row passenger-side seat, started to cry and exclaimed, “I don’t want to die!” Poor buddy. I remember trying to look back at him and having the seat belt holding me so tight I barely could move, but I could see him well enough to know he was alright and told him he was going to be okay. I then looked over to my older son who had been riding “shotgun” and asked him if he was okay. He looked at me with eyes full of shock and horror and quietly replied, “I think so.”

So we were all alive. Thank you, Jesus! My next thought was whether the other driver and any passengers he might have in his vehicle were alright.

Fumblingly, I unbuckled my seat belt. I then struggled with and finally shoved open my door. Do you know how hard it is to open a mini-van door once the side airbag is in the way? It’s really quite difficult! I believe I stepped out (my memory is a bit fuzzy about when I got out) and I think I started walking toward the other van, but I only got a step or two when I heard a man asking if 911 had been called yet–someone had already stopped to help! The other driver must’ve answered no and I heard him reply, “Okay, I’ll call it in.” So I went back to sit in my van and then tried to call my hubby to let him know what had happened and that we were okay.

Can I just say at this point cell phones are both a blessing and a curse?

A blessing, because within a few short minutes we had emergency personnel on the scene taking care of things.

A curse, because they don’t always work right!

On my first attempt, I got through enough to say, “We’ve been in a car accident.” And then the connection dropped! ACK!  My poor husband. I just about gave him a heart attack. He was at that moment in an area with low cell coverage so had to wait a few minutes until he had a better signal to try and call me back.

Since I couldn’t get through to my man, and I knew my boys and I were not at all seriously injured, I told the boys we were going to get out. My younger son tried to open his door–most likely with the power door button, but it wouldn’t open. I remember pressing the unlock button thinking perhaps the van was still locked. Having about a foot of icy ditch water to walk through (in my favorite pair of Mary Janes, no less!) wasn’t at all what I wanted to be doing, but I slogged around to the other side of my van and opened up the van’s backseat door without a problem. Because the right side airbags didn’t need to deploy, it was much easier getting the boys out. Despite a few minor injuries, my older son was able to get out and walk on his own. I had him grab my purse and then carry it for me so I could carry his brother. We headed up towards the road. With his added weight pushing me into the ice-cold, water-covered, soggy ground, one of my shoes got stuck in the muck and came off. So after setting him down on dry land, I went back to retrieve it while the boys continued up and out of the ditch.

The first person on the scene, the man who called in the accident, just happened to be an off-duty US Customs and Border Patrol. God is so good! He had sent us someone right away who could and would be a real help! As my boys were heading up out of the ditch, he asked if they wanted to sit in his car to stay warm. He got them settled: older son in his front passenger seat, younger son in the backseat behind the driver’s seat. He cranked up the heat and even allowed my younger son to hold onto his badge. Pretty cool! When I came up to the car after retrieving my shoe, I at first just huddled by my younger son with the backseat door open, comforting him with words of love, of how we were all okay, and checking with both boys about any injuries they may have gotten. I was and am so grateful that our injuries were minor. It could have been so. much. worse.  By this time, I was getting pretty cold with my pants wet up to the knees (and my knee-high socks wet and cold too). So when the Customs officer came back over and asked if I wanted to sit in the front seat to warm up, I surely did.

While we sat there waiting, I tried to call my hubby again (and he was trying to call me back) several times to no avail. Part of the problem was that my phone was still connected to our van’s UConnect System. If I had been thinking clearly, I would have turned off the Bluetooth on my phone, thus disconnecting the Bluetooth connection. But I was in shock and my brain wasn’t at all thinking clearly. I can only imagine how my poor husband must have felt as the fire trucks and ambulance came on the scene and that’s all he could hear! Uffda! He tried calling my mom, who of course, knew nothing because I thought my phone wasn’t working for me so I didn’t even try to call her. Poor Mom. She went into “figure out what’s going on mode” and went to the police station, then to the hospital, all while we were still hanging out at the accident scene. (She did find us still there a little while later.)

Two of the volunteer firemen that responded to the call that day just happen to be guys that work with my husband. It was such a blessing for me to have guys I sort of know show up in their fireman’s gear after having just been through something traumatic. A third guy from hubby’s workplace is also a fireman and had responded to the call, but hadn’t gotten to the station fast enough to be on the truck, so he was at the fire station when my husband decided to call him in hopes of finding out what was going on. Thankfully, he was able to tell hubby who the guys on the fire truck were and hubby was then, finally!, able to get through to one of them and learn that we were okay. And I was (finally!) able to talk with hubby too. Phew!

While we were waiting, my older son put his head down by his knees. Of course, I asked him if he was alright, and he said he was feeling queasy (or did he say nauseated? I don’t remember.) He had his head down in an attempt to quell it. Shortly after he had sat back up, an EMT came over to check on us. She noticed how pale he was and we talked about his symptoms. Although he answered all her questions without any difficulty, she ultimately recommended he go to the ER to get checked over. Just in case. I agreed.

We had to wait a bit for a second ambulance to arrive. The other driver was already headed in to the ER in the first ambulance.  (But as I’ve already mentioned, no one was seriously injured.)

I was in shock. As I talked with the wonderful EMT while we waited, my jaw was shaking uncontrollably. It’s been nearly 16 years, but I have a vague memory of my jaw doing the same shaky thing during my labor transition. Weird.

Anyways, the local sheriff had also arrived on the scene. I think he’d been there a while taking photos and whatever else he is supposed to do at an accident scene. At some point in all the chaos, he came over to the car we were in and asked for our full names and who was driving, stuff like that. He said he needed to get my full statement right about the time the second ambulance arrived.

It was also about this time that my mom showed up. She saw how badly damaged both vans were and just about had a panic attack, I think. I calmly told her, “we’re alright…everyone’s okay” and she took a couple deep breaths and was a tad better. Since my younger son wasn’t complaining of any pains at all (yet), Mom and I decided the best thing for him would be to go with Grandma to her house while I went with my teenager in the ambulance to the ER.

Because the EMTs were already getting my older son onto the gurney and strapping him onto it for the ambulance ride, I ended up just giving the sheriff my phone number so he could contact me for my statement. Later, he showed up at the ER and got my statement as well as giving me his contact number so we could call him with our insurance info. I had forgotten I had a card for our car insurance in my wallet or I could have given it to him right then and there. Oh well. I was in shock. And have never had need of that insurance card before this.

So I got my first ride in an ambulance (as a passenger in the back) with my teenage son. On the way to the hospital, the EMT said his oxygen looked low so she gave him an oxygen mask which seemed to help his color come back a bit. His hands were so cold and the ER nurse (another familiar face and someone I know pretty well from church) said that being so cold was most likely why his oxygen was registering low. Once he was settled in a room in the ER, our nurse-friend got him some warm blankets to wrap up in and his O2 readings normalized. I took off both my son’s and my shoes and socks and she gave us a towel to dry off with. And she had an extra blanket there that she allowed me to wrap my feet in too.

They took an x-ray of his right wrist and hand because he was complaining of some sharp pain in the hand near the wrist. The ER doctor on staff that day was fabulous! She had a great sense of humor and kept things lighthearted and yet was able to skillfully check my son for injuries. He did have a couple of small lacerations on his hands. One even had a couple small pieces of glass in it (we still have no idea where it came from since there was no evidence of shattered glass in the vehicle–our best guess is it was from the airbag, but we really don’t know what it was) that she discovered and took out. Since that boy doesn’t handle the sight of blood well, I believe that seeing his slightly bloody cuts combined with the pain in his hand added to the shock of having been in a crash was what caused his earlier light-headedness and nausea. His hand didn’t show any fractures. She even double-checked the x-ray.  (She also did a cursory check of me and made sure I didn’t have any serious injuries too despite the fact that I wasn’t her patient). He was sent home with some pain meds and told to rest his hand.

Our injuries have been minor, but all three of us have had some pain, which we manage with OTC pain relievers, related to the accident.

My younger son didn’t have any pain until right before bed or maybe the next morning. He had a bruise from his seat belt and some neck and shoulder pain. We saw our chiropractor on Wednesday the 25th. He was able to adjust my baby boy’s shoulder and neck after which the kiddo said he felt much better. He still had a little neck pain when we went back to the chiropractor on Monday the 30th, but he didn’t need an adjustment and now says his neck feels fine.

My older son’s hand still hurts after two weeks of babying it. The chiropractor adjusted his wrist, but the pain he complains of is either a bruised bone or possibly a hairline fracture. We’re hoping the pain will lessen and that it’s not fractured. He’s determined to play the piano piece he had been working on for our church’s Sunday School Christmas program on December 13th. Thankfully, his hand was his only injury. He didn’t even get a seat belt bruise!

As for my own injuries, I had a very sore sternum from either my seat belt or the airbag, a slightly swollen and bruised nose bridge (for which I was recommended to sleep in a recliner a few nights to prevent the bruising and swelling from getting ugly), a little jaw pain, and various other bruises and/or scrapes on my left arm, legs and feet immediately after the accident. My nose and chest hurt the most at first.  After a few days, my neck began to hurt and my upper-mid back too. I’ve been “out” enough times over the years that I knew my back needed adjusting. My left thumb and up the arm from it was also hurting. So my chiropractor adjusted my back, my right hip, my neck, and my thumb. He told me the thumb was sprained. I asked him if that meant I shouldn’t be knitting. His response was, “I wouldn’t recommend knitting for a while.” BUMMER!!! And since this is my knitting blog, I’m sure you can imagine how hard that is for an avid knitter! I’ve managed to carefully sneak a few knit stitches in anyways, but am trying my best to rest it and let it heal.  By my second visit to the chiropractor, I also had noticed pain in my left foot by my big toe so he adjusted that along with my back, hips and neck again. He said we’ll watch the neck pain, that I have whiplash, and if it gets bad enough he’ll give me a neck brace to give my muscles and tendons a break. I had forgotten to have him check my jaw during the first visit, so he checked it on the second and found the muscles were also very knotted, but the jaw wasn’t out.

So then. On Monday, I was eating one of my favorite snacks–hummus and pita chips–before we headed out the door for an over-nighter in the nearest Big City where I had already had an appointment scheduled before the accident happened to talk with a surgeon regarding removal of my gall bladder. While chewing, a piece of a tooth on the upper left side of my mouth broke off! SERIOUSLY?! What next?! Being gone Tuesday, not having a rental vehicle until Wednesday, I waited until Thursday morning to have my dentist take a look at it. THANKFULLY, it was an easy fix with just a simple white filling! However, the night before I went to the dentist I started feeling more pain on the right side of my mouth. I have a sensitive tooth over there so was concerned something had happened to it too. So I asked my dentist to please check it out while I was there and explained how I’d been in a car accident two weeks prior. He checked my teeth and didn’t find anything, so checked my jaw by having me open it and close it while he put gentle pressure on each hinge. Ouch. It was obviously pain in the right side hinge. He told me to try and baby it, keep taking Advil, etc. but that it’s much harder for the jaw to heal since we use our jaws so much for eating and talking. I’m sure it doesn’t help that I have bruxism and tend to clench my jaw in my sleep. Off and on over the years I’ve worn different types of mouth guards while I sleep. Because of my already sensitive tooth, I’d been using my night guard faithfully for several months, but although it protects my teeth, I can still clench my jaw. 😦

So right now, my jaw is my worst pain. It’s a hard pain to pinpoint too. One moment it feels like a toothache, the next like a charlie horse in my jaw. Sometimes it radiates from the hinge along both upper and lower jaws. Ugh. I’ve been icing it, using my Deep Relief essential oil roll-on on it, and taking Advil or Tylenol to help with the inflammation. But it still hurts.

This jaw pain is what woke me up this morning at 3:30 and, since I couldn’t sleep, I decided to write a blog post about all that we’ve been through. It seems as though I’ve already written a book.

I’m sure there are more details that I’ll wish I had added to this journal entry. Like how the night after it happened, I didn’t sleep a wink. Couldn’t shut my brain off. And how many times I’ve woke up with one pain or another and had to take medicine and haven’t been able to fall back asleep. But I’ve been writing (and editing) this for several hours and it’s time I spend some quality time with my family.

Through it all, the one thing I keep repeating is how grateful I am. To be alive. That no one was hospitalized. That our injuries are relatively minor. Although I’m sad my van is totaled, we are so thankful for the safety features it had. Vans can be replaced. People cannot.

Hence the title of this post is A Grateful Heart.

Am hoping to be knitting again soon. If you’re on Ravelry, find me and friend me there–I’m perfectioKnits, of course! Check out the projects I’ve been working on–no new designs of my own, sadly, just haven’t had time for it. Maybe someday soon I’ll get inspired and just *have* to design something!

One final note: I’ve become a Yarnbox junkie this past year too. So if you’re a Yarnbox subscriber like myself or just interested in learning about their yarn subscriptions, you can join the Yarnbox community on Ravelry where you’ll frequently find me adding to the discussions. I love that community as much–maybe more!–than the yarn sub itself! 🙂

Happy knitting, y’all!

And God Bless!

Stephanie

On Pause

Where has perfectioKnits gone?

Well, if you’ve been following perfectioKnits, you’ll have noticed that the past few months my blog posts and social media interactions have been at a bare minimum. And so I’m writing this quick update so you know that I’m still here, but I don’t plan on writing as many posts now.

Why?

I’m home-schooling a high-schooler and a second grader now and simply don’t have time to blog. {I know some home-school mamas are excellent bloggers and make time for it, but for me…if I’m not working, I want to be knitting or reading and right now blogging is work!}

What does this mean?

For now, it just means I won’t be posting every week–or even every month. I’m still hoping to find time this winter to work on my new designs and get some more published so I’ll post when I have exciting news like a new pattern. So I’m not going away completely–at least not yet! Just don’t expect many new posts from me during this season of my life as a home-school mama.

As always,

Happy knitting!

Stephanie

P.S. I’ll be celebrating my 40th birthday next month, so I set up a Ravelry coupon code { birthday40 } for you to use in the month of October to get 40% off my patterns!

Yarn Along

Happy Wednesday!  Can you believe it’s July already? Me neither. This summer is slipping away! This morning when I looked at the outside temp it was 44 degrees. Brrr. Because we have our air conditioning on instead of heat, it got down to 65 degrees in the house. Perfect for sleeping, so even my youngest who is usually up early stayed in bed a little longer this morning. But at least the sun is shining today so it should warm up. After 2 rainy days keeping us indoors, it will be nice to be able to go outside and play with our kittens.

Speaking of kittens…

We have four adorable kittens. They are six-and-a-half weeks old today. And so much fun to watch. I just love watching them practice their pouncing. It’s hilarious!

kittens

Yarn Along

Once again I’m going to link up with Ginny at Small Things for this week’s Yarn Along!

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~

I know I get a bit long-winded at times, so this week I’ll TRY to keep it short and sweet! 🙂

On My Needles

1) Kingdom Gloves: PROGRESS HAS BEEN MADE! Amazing. I know. But 2 days of administering my 8th grade son’s standardized tests (as required for homeschoolers by the state of MN) means a lot of time where I need to be present and quiet. So once I get him started on a test, I either read or knit. I decided to work on the gloves because the quiet atmosphere allowed me to really concentrate on the cable pattern.  Not only did I finish knitting the right-hand glove, I started the left one too!  Woot!

2014-07-02 09.12.12 cable knitting

{You can see I still have to do some weaving in ends and seaming between fingers as well as sewing the cuff’s inside layer where it belongs, so it’s not all done, but the knitting part is!}

2) Simplicity Socks: This is my take-along project. During the kids’ swim lessons, or whenever we’re going somewhere and I think I *might* have time to knit, I grab the bag I keep this project in. So I’ve made a little progress on these also.

3) Mendel sweater: Finished my swatch. After washing and drying, I think my gauge matches the pattern’s. I will check it once more before I cast-on this project though.

Reading

My Book Reviews:

I decided to quit reading Graceling by Kristin Cashore.  I don’t enjoy reading books with descriptive scenes of intimacy–it’s not my style. And it really disappointed me that the author had the {rather young} characters choose to have sex without the commitment of marriage.  Unfortunately, it’s a reflection of what a lot of people think is perfectly acceptable behavior nowadays.  But it completely ruined the story for me. I’m usually very careful to read reviews before choosing a book by an author I’ve never read before. But too bad for me…I obviously hadn’t read enough reviews on Graceling to know I shouldn’t waste good reading time just to get half-way through the book and quit.

Still Reading:

One Realm Beyond  Force Heretic Remnant cover

Although, technically I’m still reading the others in my last post’s list, these two have been getting my attention the most this week.

1) One Realm Beyond by Donita K. Paul I’m really enjoying this story now that I’ve gotten into it a little more. Bixby is such a funny and interesting character…can’t wait to see what more happens in the rest of the story! {And I know I can trust Donita’s writing!}

2) Star Wars The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic I: Remnant by Sean Williams Having read a TON of Star Wars books, I pretty much know what to expect with this one too. Just plodding along, seeing where the storyline goes next. 🙂

Show and tell?!

I’d love to see your current projects too! Once again, let me remind you that my Facebook page {perfectioKnits’ Facebook page} is open for you to share photos of what you’re working on. Or leave a link to your project’s Ravelry page if you prefer. Also, I’m using Instagram more and more these days {follow me: perfectioknits}, so tag me if you’re sharing project photos and want me to see them. Thanks!

And be sure to leave a comment below before you go! I look forward to hearing from you!

As always, happy knitting and reading!

~Steph

Knitting and Reading: June edition

Yarn Along 6.18.14

I’m going to link up with Ginny again this week at Small Things for this week’s Yarn Along!

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~


Evidently it’s been a month since my last knitting and reading update. Ugh. I can’t believe how incredibly busy I am, but how seriously neglected this blog is. I *want* to write posts once or twice a week at least…real, meaningful posts! But then life happens, I guess.

I thought I’d go back and give a quick review of the books and projects I was working on when I wrote my last Yarn Along update today. And then share what new things I’m working on too.

Knitting Update

Old projects

1) Kingdom Gloves:  I’ve lost interest in this one…for now. I know I’ll come back to it. But I’ve only finished one more finger since I wrote about it last month.

knit gloves

2) Mystery Mitts, size Large: Still working on this too…but it’s mostly hibernating right now as well.

(no photo–its’ still a secret!)

New projects (you know–the ones I’m actually working on right now):

3) I’ve started knitting my hubby a new pair of socks. Same yarn as the only other pair I’ve made for him, but this time I’m using a toe-up pattern “Simplicity” by Melissa Morgan-Oakes. Pattern is in her book Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks.  Hopefully this new pair will fit a tad better–his other pair is a just a smidge too large and get a little loose when he wears them.

toe-up 2-at-a-time knitting

4) Mendel:  I’ve started swatching for this sweater project, but need to finish the swatch and then wash/dry it to make sure that the gauge doesn’t change significantly. So far, it looks like my stitch gauge is right on with the US 6 needles I have, but my row gauge is off a little so I might need to do a little math to make sure it’s shaped correctly.

knitting swatch

Reading Update

Last month I wrote about the EIGHT books I had in my currently-reading list. Crazy, right? Well, I finished a few, started and finished a few more, and am currently reading a total of  (only) SIX right now.

Finished (my reviews)

1) Heiress by Susan May Warren Honestly, this was not my favorite book by Susan May Warren.  She’s still one of my favorite authors, but I much prefer her Deep Haven series. I ended up giving this one 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.  The characters and setting were realistic enough…perhaps too realistic for my fantasy-loving taste? I liked how it ended, but getting there–especially about mid-way through the book–was a struggle for me. A couple times I was so mad at the characters that I didn’t want to read any more! But I’m glad to have finished it and to see how the author redeemed/resolved the different situations.  If you really love Christian historical fiction, you might really enjoy this one.

2) Death Comes to Pemberley by P. D. James This one only got 3 stars from me. I really liked the beginning…how the characters were developed and the murder mystery revealed. But there’s a point in the book where it gets rather dull and boring. Not enough action, just a lot of talking. Eventually, it gets a bit more action again and my interest picked back up, but getting through the dull part was a bit tedious at times.  Still, as a huge fan of Jane Austen, it was fun to see how another fan used her characters and setting for a story like this. And learning that P. D. James wrote the book at age 91…impressive!

3)Uncovering the Logic of English by Denise Eide  EXCELLENT! I can’t say enough of how exciting it is to me to read a book that actually makes sense of the English language. I’ve always been a good reader and speller, but I’m a visual learner and remember easily the shape of words. For my younger son who really has struggled with reading, I have hope that this method of teaching the foundations (starting with phonograms or “sound pictures” and then learning to put them together into words and then sentences AS WELL AS learning rules for spelling!) will be the program that actually gets him to learn how to read.  We’re only about halfway through the Foundations of English Book A (the curriculum by Logic of English for younger students) and we’ve found the lessons engaging and fun for the most part. I love that they teach handwriting along with learning the phonograms…no need to get a separate handwriting curriculum!

4) How Am I Smart:  A Parent’s Guide to Multiple Intelligences by Dr. Kathy Koch  Another helpful book! This has been my introduction to the concept of multiple intelligences. I love that Dr. Koch writes from a Christian perspective and explains the different intelligences with examples and easy-to-remember labels such as “body smart” or “picture smart”. It’s been fun to try and see which “smarts” are my sons’ natural strengths and which smarts maybe need a little development. Being able to encourage my son who struggles with reading by reminding him he has other areas where he naturally excels has helped me as a parent. I can remind him that we all have different smarts that don’t come easy–for him it happens to be reading which is probably a combination of his word and picture smarts needing developed–and they require a bit more effort to learn. The cool thing is that we can develop those areas that aren’t natural strengths.

Started and Finished since last post

5) Lemon Meringue Pie Murder (Hannah Swenson, #4) by Joanne Fluke  I started this series  a while ago. My public library has them on their ebook site, so they’re easy to check out and read on my Kindle.  An easy to read whodunnit…somewhat predictable, but I like the characters and still enjoy reading them.

6) Fudge Cupcake Murder (Hannah Swenson, #5) by Joanne Fluke  Obviously, I continued in the same series and read the next book too! Another enjoyable, quick read.

Still Reading…but with rather slow progress

Force Heretic Remnant cover A Princess of Mars cover Say Goodbye to Survival Mode cover Praying for Boys cover

1) Star Wars The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic I: Remnant by Sean Williams  My bathroom read. I enjoy it one or two pages at a time.

2) A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs  I still like reading this on my iPhone when I don’t have another book with me and want to read fiction.

3) Say Good-bye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine I need to get back into this one! I got the e-book version when it was on sale, thinking I’d read it on my phone. But I’ve been on a fiction kick lately so it’s just sitting there, waiting.

4) Praying for Boys by Brooke McGlothlin Same thing goes for this one…just haven’t been reading as much non-fiction the past couple weeks. I’m sure I’ll get back to it someday soon.

New books I’ve started recently

One Realm Beyond Graceling

5) One Realm Beyond by Donita K. Paul Another of my favorite authors, Donita writes Christian fantasy. This is her newest book. I’ve only read a few chapters, but I can tell it’s going to be good! (My 14 yo son has already read it and says it’s very good!)

6) Graceling by Kristin Cashore  Checked this fantasy book out from the library e-book site. Because I only have it for two weeks (unless I need to renew it), I tend to read library e-books much faster than paper books. I think I read faster when I read on my Kindle too.

So that’s this week’s (month’s?) update.

It’s show-and-tell time!

I’d love to see your current projects too! Would you be willing to share photos of your projects on my Facebook page? If it’s a knit or crochet project, be sure to tell what pattern and yarn you’re using!

And be sure to leave a comment below before you go! I look forward to hearing from you!

Happy knitting and reading!

~Steph

Knitting and Reading Update

Yarn Along 5.14.14

I’m going to link up with Ginny this week at Small Things for this week’s Yarn Along!

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading, and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs.  I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~

Knitting Update: On My Needles

1) Kingdom Gloves by Becky Herrick.  I’ve only made it through 2 fingers at the time I’m writing this.  Perhaps I’ll work a little on the next finger tonight. Or not.  My brain is tired.

knit gloves

2) Larger version of my Mystery Mitts  (new design I’m developing) Due to the nature of my wanting to reveal it when the pattern is ready, I’m not posting any pics!

And that’s ALL.

Which is rather weird for me.

I think I need to cast on a pair of socks just so I have another project in progress!

And since the Kingdom gloves have so much detailing–fancy cuffs, cables, fingers, cabled fingers!–a simple or easy sock pattern would be a nice go-to project for when my brain is too tired to concentrate. After a quick peek at my extensive queue, I’ve decided Cookie A.’s Monkey socks look like a great pattern. I’ve seen lots of other knitters have made pairs of Monkey socks over past few years, but for some unknown reason I haven’t.  Perhaps it’s time.

Reading Update:  The Many Books I’m Reading

As usual, I’m working on a BUNCH of different books.  {I’m only including the ones I’m reading on my own. If I added all the homeschool books I’m reading with/to my kids, you’d probably think I’m insane.}

Fiction:

Force Heretic Remnant cover  A Princess of Mars cover  Heiress cover  Death Comes to Pemberley cover

1) Star Wars The New Jedi Order: Force Heretic I: Remnant (A book I’ve been reading off and on for…ahem…2 or 3 years. Have finally put it where I can read it on a regular basis: the bathroom! Ha! Seriously though, I’ve gotten interested in the Star Wars series again.  I think I just needed a break from it for a while. I’m looking forward to the new movie, but knowing they’re basically scrapping the whole Star Wars Extended Universe makes me a little sad too.)

2) A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs (I’m reading this via my Goodreads app on my iPhone.  It’s nice to have a book to read as long as I’ve got my phone with me!)

3) Heiress by Susan May Warren (I had paused in my reading of this one for a while, but have picked it up my old Kindle and continued the story where I left off.)

4) Death Comes to Pemberley by P. D. James (I’m reading this one on my Kindle Fire. Right now it’s my go-to book if I want to read before bed.)

Non-Fiction:

Uncovering the Logic of English cover  Say Goodbye to Survival Mode cover  Praying for Boys cover  How am I smart cover

1) Uncovering the Logic of English by Denise Eide (An amazing look at the English language explaining the various phonograms and the LOGIC…yes, that’s right…of how and when to use them for reading and spelling. Having a child who is a struggling reader, I’ve pursued finding the “right” method to teach him so he best understands. Not only did I get Denise’s book at a homeschool conference we recently attended, but we bought the Foundations series to teach him with.  And although he still complains about how he “hates reading,” once we start a lesson he *almost* enjoys it! So far, I’m really happy with it and am recommending the program!

2) Say Good-bye to Survival Mode by Crystal Paine (I’ve just started this one, but am hoping to glean some tips for time management from her.)

3) Praying for Boys by Brooke McGlothlin (I’m also reading this one on my iPhone, but using the Kindle app.)

4) How Am I Smart:  A Parent’s Guide to Multiple Intelligences by Dr. Kathy Koch (I don’t actually have this book right now.  I started reading it a few weeks ago, but had to return it to the library before I finished it.  Have requested it again in hopes of being able to finish it! Hoping it comes in soon!)

Phew!  That’s quite a list!  It’s no wonder it sometimes takes me a long time to finish a book.  But I do find myself focusing on a single book when the story has drawn me in to the point that I don’t want to put it down!

Tell me:  what are you knitting and/or reading these days?

Let me know by leaving a comment below. Hearing from my readers puts a smile on my face! It really makes my day!

Thanks for stopping by the blog today!  Hope you enjoyed today’s post!

And as always, happy knitting (and reading)!

~Steph

Mother’s Day Pattern Special

Happy Mother’s Day! 

I’m so thankful to have a loving mom who is always there for me!

In honor of my mom on this Mother’s Day weekend, I’m offering a pattern special. 

Buy 1 Get 1 Free Pattern Special!

(Details below!)

Get my Katelyn Mitts pattern for FREE when you purchase my Andrea Mitts pattern

Buy this pattern:

IMG_0706A

Get this one free:

Katelyn mitts

So it’s a buy-1-get-1 free offer!  Fun, huh?! 

Be sure to put BOTH patterns in your Ravelry shopping cart and enter code thanksmom at checkout to get your free pattern. 

Hurry, because this sale ends at midnight May 11th CST!

Have a wonderful Mother’s Day! Celebrate your Mom tomorrow!

An Update, Some FOs, and a New Design in the Works

April Update

Another month has passed me by…it’s hard to believe it’s been so long since I’ve posted!  Not for lack of things to say, but rather for lack of time to write it.  For the past month I’ve really tried to stay focused on teaching my boys–which is my primary job after all–and by the end of each day most, if not all, of my energy is used up and I just want to sit in front of the TV and knit.  So, sorry dear faithful readers (both of you).  Perhaps this summertime I’ll be able to make time to blog more regularly?

2014-03-28 12.48.20

Science Experiment…homeschool science in the kitchen!

I’ve posted a few of my knitting pics here and there on Facebook and/or Instagram.  So even though I’ve neglected to write blog posts, I’ve tried to keep as active on social media as I can. As I already mentioned, knitting each evening while watching television with my hubby has become my primary means of de-stressing after hounding my 14 year old and working hard with my 7 year old to get their schoolwork done each day.  With lots of good knitting time, I’ve managed to complete a few projects!  Yay!  I love FOs!

Knitting Update

Finished Objects:

#1) After 2 months of working on it off and on, I finally finished my Diving in shawl!  I just love it!  The Malabrigo yarns are so soft and warm!  And although the colorways don’t contrast a lot, they work very well together and the result is quite lovely.

2014-04-25 14.58.02

2014-04-25 15.01.54

I know you wanted to see headless photos of me, right?! LOL! Taking selfies is not my forte.

#2)  Earlier this month I finished knitting scarf using the pattern “My So Called Scarf” by Allison Isaacs with that lovely Phydeaux yarn from my February Yarnbox.  Have I mentioned how much I LOVE this yarn?!?  It’s wonderful!  I decided to use just one skein for the scarf, so I sewed the seams together to make it into a mobius.  I especially loved the stitch pattern in the variegated colors of the yarn. Such a lovely combo!

2014-03-28 11.55.00

2014-04-06 11.02.16 HDR

#3) After finishing the My So-Called {Mobius} Scarf, I decided to use my second skein to design a pair of matching mitts.  I adore how the yarn worked up for my new mitts too!  And although I really want to show off these finished mitts to you all, I’ve decided to wait until my pattern is ready to publish.  Which leads me into the last heading of today’s post…

New Design in the Works

I’m hoping to work out the details for a couple more hand sizes before I write up my new pattern since not everyone can wear my extra-small ladies’ mitt size!  So for now, all you get to know is that I’ve got a pair of Mystery Mitts (that match the above cowl) in the works!

Now if someone would just invent a working time turner so I can work on two things at once!!!

As always, happy knitting!

Steph

PS!  Did you know my patterns are currently on sale?! NO? Well, now you know! Get 20% off with the coupon code “Easter2014”!   (Granted, I only have 3 patterns to sell right now…but still!)  Happy shopping!