New Traditions

This will be the first Christmas celebrated by 3 of my 4 children. No, I didn’t have triplets. ๐Ÿ˜‰

My husband and I decided to stop celebrating Christmas years ago for several reasons. That’s not what this post is about, so I won’t be going into any detail about our reasons right now.

What I will say, is I have a 13 year old who is looking forward to celebrating again, a 4 year old who is very excited, a 2 year old who LOVES the tree and a newborn who is just along for the ride. ๐Ÿ˜‰

We’ve been trying to have fun, so we’ve been doing different activities. We purchased Advent calendars with chocolates, that the boys get very excited about every day. We decorated a faux gingerbread house.

We used ornament making/decorating kits that had mixed results. ๐Ÿ˜›

This year we are trying something new, and for the most part it has been great. There have been struggles deciding how much we should do for the kids. Having a teenager who’s items tend to be smaller yet more expensive than those for the little ones leads to concerns about how fair we are being or how the kids will feel Christmas morning. We’ve also had some delivery issues, but thankfully everything we ordered has arrived on time. (This pressure was one thing I never missed while not celebrating)

We are not supporting the lie of Santa, yet we are not completely boycotting him either. We know there is exposure to Santa in this world, so we have acknowledged the story but maintained the truth that we are buying/giving the gifts out of love. I handmade stockings for the kids. They are a symbol that is tied into the story of Santa, but we wanted to give small gifts too. They are a perfect vessel for those items that are small and awkward to wrap. Because this is our first year celebrating in a long time our initial plan was to use gift bags for those small items rather than purchase stockings. Then I found I could easily make stockings with my round loom. I enjoyed making them and I think they came out nice.

I had thoughts of different crafts to make with the kids, but most things have simply stayed in my head. I’ll try to be more prepared next year. We may spend a little time this weekend drawing or crafting but since it’s me and 4 kids it won’t be complicated projects.

I can’t say that everything we tried this year will become new family traditions, but we will surely be finding more joy in this life.

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Feeling Like Christmas

My family and I haven’t celebrated Christmas since my 13 year old son was maybe 5-6 years old. Religious beliefs led to our giving up Christmas. Christmas seemed pagan and wrong to us. The way it was being celebrated didn’t fit with our belief system. At first we gave up Santa, and the traditional Christmas “stuff” then we gave even the religious take on Christmas up too. None of it made any sense to us.

Recently we decided to celebrate again. None of it makes sense still, but we are in it for the fun and to see joy in our children’s faces. Maybe even to give ourselves some joy again too. We put up a tree on Thanksgiving.

I have to say that walking by it does put a smile on my face. ๐Ÿ™‚

The cold temperatures here have put me in a crafty mood too. I used my knitting loom to make a replacement hat for a family friend. I wasn’t happy with one I made him last year. This one seems better, we’ll see how it holds up to regular use. (If he likes it)

I’m also working on a new hat for my friend’s daughter. I don’t think she liked the slouchy one I made her, but her mom does and wears it all the time. Her favorite color is blue, so I chose to make a blue and white one.

I told her mom that if she doesn’t like it, at least she’ll have a spare.

A Blanket For My Girl

I like making my babies blankets just for them when they are born. I crochet and knit…very basic skills only. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I had started a knit blanket a while ago for my little girl, but it’s going too slow. I searched for a quick pattern with a tutorial, and I found a crochet one that should work for me. I wanted to use yarn from my stash. The pattern called for a chunky/bulky yarn. I hoped that my Lion brand homespun yarn would be close enough.

I had trouble with the foundation row since the homespun yarn is so fuzzy. I know my edges are going to be wonky since I’ve already made some mistakes. I don’t think the baby will notice, or care.

It is growing quickly, so I am happy so far. Due to my yarn choice I don’t think the finished product will be as big as the example, but it should be a decent car seat blanket. ๐Ÿ™‚

Below is an updated picture of my blanket. It has grown so much and will be crib sized after all. I am amazed by how quickly it worked up. Especially since I have a very grabby almost 2 year old and my hands still go numb due to my carpal tunnel.

On my needles

I’m going to turn $2 of thrift store yarn into a neutral winter scarf…if the toddler will stop messing with it. He has already pulled my yarn off the needle once, and I am not a skilled knitter so that was a nightmare for me to fix. ;P

I probably shouldn’t be drinking coffee while I knit with such light yarn either…especially with a 3 year old and 1 year old running around. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I am making some progress. It’s not perfect… I’ve made more than a few mistakes but I’m pretty happy with it.

Been knitting๐Ÿ˜€

I mentioned in an earlier post that I’ve been knitting dish cloths. I really enjoy working with this yarn, and having an item finished so quickly is quite satisfying. โ˜บWhen you have 2 children under 3, an item that knits up quickly is important if you ever want to see a finished product. ๐Ÿ˜‰

You can see that the green one shrunk quite a bit in the wash. It’s not a big deal since I’m using these to wipe up the baby and his high chair at meal times. They don’t have to be huge.๐Ÿ˜‰

I just LOVE the colors I’m working with now.

A New Hobby

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Stash

Stash

Loom hats

Loom hats

I have had a yarn addiction for several years, and I have attempted to crochet, but I have never been very good at reading patterns. I have wanted to make beautiful yarn projects, but have failed most of the time. My husband recently bought me a round loom set, and I am in love! I haven’t made much with it yet, but I am intrigued by the videos I have seen online showing the variety of objects that can be made using these looms.

I have carpal tunnel syndrome, and holding my crochet hook and yarn would make my hand go numb rather quickly, so any projects I did start would take longer than they should have. I have been able to whip up a few hats pretty quickly on my new looms. I did practice a few different stitches on the last hat I made…the pink/purple one, so I am not actually happy with the result. It was good practice though. As you can see from my photos, I think I could afford to waste a bit of my stash on it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I know I have written in the past that I don’t have time to get into crafting, but these looms make a project go quickly and I can do it while relaxing on the couch after work which I was already doing anyway. I will also report that my time with my Bible has increased too, but I still need to do better in that area. I have found that I am able to read a bit even on my early work days when I first get up. At 2am the house is usually very quiet. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I will post some pictures of past projects that I have made with crochet. I have several more “hidden” around the house, but this is what was easy to find. ๐Ÿ™‚

Blankets

Blankets

Scarves

Scarves

Bags and hats

Bags and hats

There are also several works in progress stored throughout my house. Many of them have been sitting for years and will most likely be taken apart rather than finished. I hate to take apart hours of my work, but I would rather use the yarn for a new project than have it sit undone.

Getting Crafty Already

So, yesterday my big boy and I started looking for projects to do when we have extra time during the day now that we are getting close to the end of our homeschooling for the year. This morning we are already on project number one…. no schooling done yet today though. How did that happen? The actual project should be quick, but what to do with the finished items will be decided later. If this first attempt goes well, he wants to make a video of the project to post somewhere too. (Video making has been his thing lately.) We are attempting to make fried marbles. I just hope they don’t shatter in my oven. The posts I have seen say that they won’t, but I have terrible luck. Theย marbles are supposed to break after they are heated and shocked by dropping them into an ice bath, so there is a chance there will be shattered marbles in the bowl we use. I am a bit nervous about doing this project, but the boy is super excited to try it. This is where I originally found this idea. https://wordpress.com/read/blog/id/82325340/ There areย more videos and articles about fried marbles if you do a web search. Here are some pictures of the finished product. We used plain,ย cheap marbles. I imagine if you had better quality/colors these would turn out much nicer.

Fried Marbles

Fried Marbles

Here we have a picture of fried marbles in the top row, and the original marbles below.

DSCF2541

The marbles stay smooth on the outside. I am not sure what causes the glass to break inside, and still keep its form. Maybe there is a homeschooling science lesson here after all. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Gotta do some research.