Monday, April 26, 2010

Warm Weather

The weather has been gorgeous the past couple of days! The kids are so happy to be playing outside again. Zara is bringing me a flower.

This is what the kids have been doing during the nasty weather - coloring up as good a storm as was brewing outside. Okay, I've been coloring too - the picture in the middle is mine, the scribbly ones are Ash's, but all the other ones are Zara's.

My white sage and culinary sage made it through another winter!

Freddy and I spent a lovely evening last Friday with our cousin Jess, who is pregnant with her and Chris' first baby! Here is a belly comparison - she's due in May, I'm due in July.

No tye-dye yet - but I am almost finished with a Spring Beret hat for me. I am quite proud of this piece. I taught myself a new stitch. I'm working my way up to making a very complicated and beautiful hat for a dear friend. Underneath the hat is the quilt I began for Zara when I was pregnant with her. I just picked up some Sea Grape colored thread to finish it and hopefully if all goes well, Zara will be snuggling in her quilt by the weekend. If I don't get distracted by the dozens of other projects I'm working on!

And my Clover bamboo needles arrived in the mail today, which means I can knit up some things for the baby with this gorgeous, and oh-so-soft, organic cotton yarn.

Have I mentioned that we have a cat pen? Our precious kitties must not be left to wander the forest willy-nilly, lest they be eaten by a wild forest creature. Here is the Hoppy, who has made quite a comfortable nest of straw for herself. Now if only we could get them to lay eggs..............

Sunday, April 11, 2010

It's Been Awhile

Well, it's been quite some time since my last post. I'm not too good at this blog-thing.

So, here's what's new with our family: I'll start with the biggest news of all. We are expecting a surprise new addition to our family this summer! We are all very excited, especially Zara. She has suggested some names: Fern, Tree, Sunshine, River. I've definitely heard worse. A friend of mine's son insisted that the new baby be named Spongebob. Truly.

Next on the list, we have purchased 10 acres of raw land in South-central Oregon to start our homestead! The property is entirely flat prairie land, with a seasonal stream running across the front 1/3. We're not sure when we'll be moving there permanently, there is a lot of preliminary work that needs to be done, like putting in a well and setting up a grey-water system. Nevertheless, we hope it will be soon! Fruit and nut trees need to be planted, gardens established. Chickens will be our first livestock, and we'll add in goats and pigs as we develop farm routines and put up fencing. We are planning to build a small straw-bale home, as Oregon has an actual building code for straw-bale homes, and many resources for building with straw-bale. Here's a picture of our 10 acres:

Next, Zara is making amazing progress learning to read and write. She loves math and is learning to count to 100. She has a good understanding of time, what day of the week it is, what the season is. She also really likes to do workbook pages, interestingly. But her favorite activity by far is coloring. She has declared that she wants to be an artist when she grows up. My mom snapped this amazing picture of her:

Ash has hit the terrible two's. The less said about the subject, the better. As Zara so famously says around our house: "Let's not talk about it." Can I just say that I am enjoying my children even more as they get older? The baby stage is "cute" and "adorable", but not very much fun. Zara is an absolute blast now that we can do things together.

Guess what? Freddy has been knitting! Chelle (my sister-in-law) taught me how to knit a couple years ago, and I really enjoyed it. I had forgotten all she taught me, so after some extensive reading, experimenting and You-Tubeing, I started knitting properly again. So Freddy and I have been knitting together, and we've made some pretty washcloths with cotton yarn. I am also working on a Smoke Ring (not the pattern I'm using, though, just an example) using a beautiful, wispy, oatmeal-colored wool.

In other exciting crafting news, Freddy bestowed upon me a new Singer sewing machine for our 6-year anniversary (yay!), and I've been completing years-old sewing projects left and right. I WILL finally finish the quilt I started making for Zara when I was pregnant with her!

It started snowing while I was typing this post! I can't believe it's the middle of April and it's snowing. We're all ready for warm, sunny days to stay! I'm ready to luxuriate my pregnant body in the river, the bathtub is just not doing the trick anymore. Winter has lasted too long this year. We all have cabin-fever. There is a silver lining though: I have gathered many ideas for projects that I hope will make next winter a great time for indoor learning. Zara will be old enough to do things like sewing, baking, cooking and knitting and I think Ash will enjoy coloring and block-building even more.

I hope to update once a week or so, and I promise to post lots of pictures, talk little and not be too boring! We have a whole mound of stuff we're going to be tie-dyeing, so check back in the next couple weeks for pictures of our projects.