Monday, November 28, 2011
We got our Christmas tree on Friday, a sixty-degree day in late November, a rare treat in Michigan! After searching and searching, we finally found "the" tree. On our tree-hunting adventure, we ran into some dear friends. I love how God always surrounds us with people we love. They found the perfect tree as well--who would have thought that there would be TWO perfect trees right next to each other!? :)
Our friends, Jay and Shannon, with their adorable boys, Brayden and Camden.
Watching Dad chop down the tree is always so interesting!
Ian, Brodie, Ellery, and I with our freshly chopped Christmas tree.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
While we celebrate Christmas with our focus is most definitely on Christ and His birth, this has become a fun little tradition for us. After years of waiting in line for hours to see Santa, we have made it our family tradition to visit with Santa the day before Thanksgiving. A little backwards, I know, but it works for us. We have done this for the past few years and there is no line at all! Plus, Santa is more willing to chat with the kids for a while so that Momma can take lots of cute pictures.
My oldest son is thirteen this year, what he considers "way too old" to visit Santa, but he loves me and puts up with my crazy ideas for now! My younger son is ten and is stuck in that "I don't believe in Santa, but I wish I did" phase, so he didn't mind (yes, he has a black eye in this picture--a backyard football incident). My daughter didn't cry and even willingly went right into Santa's arms (if you have ever met my daughter, you know this is strange!). When asked what she wanted, she replied, "presents."
I love my Santa pictures with the kids. It's a fun way to see how much they grow each year; from babies in Santa's arms to boys too big for laps, who have to sit next to Santa in his seat. I hope they continue to humor me for many more years as they pose with this jolly guy on the day before Thanksgiving. Maybe their future spouses will join us some day!
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
I was blessed to have a real-live person teach me to knit, but a web site that helped me (and continues to help me as I continue to learn!) is knittinghelp.com. This site has some great beginner patterns and also has videos that demonstrate different knitting techniques.
I tried reading books about knitting and watching different YouTube videos to learn how to knit, but none of it "clicked" with me! The videos on this site are easy-to-follow.
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
The idea for this cute owl hat designed itself in my head at 4:23am one morning! I've seen similar owl hats and wanted mine to be simple and adorable at the same time. The hat is knitted in stockinette stitch with a ribbed bottom edge. The eyes are knitted as well, with a button "pupil" and the beak is a triangle knitted in garter stitch.
This little hat was such fun to make! It will fit a toddler-sized head or a small child. It's also machine washable and dries quickly (a great thing after a day of playing in the snow!). You can find it in my Etsy shop at: http://www.etsy.com/listing/86839322/toddler-owl-hat or contact me to special order one in sizes infant through adult.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Not long ago, I was sitting in yet another waiting room, re-reading magazines I'd read the last time I was there. I was frustrated with so much of my time being consumed with waiting and feeling unproductive. Later that day, I mentioned on Facebook that I wanted to learn how to knit so that I could use my waiting to create something. I was overwhelmed at the number of people who offered to teach me! Thankfully, one of my neighbors brought over some yarn and a pair of needles and patiently showed my how to knit.
God chose for me to be the wife of my husband, Doug, who has ongoing medical issues that require many surgeries, hospital stays, and doctor visits. Doug has Crohn's Disease, which had caused just a couple of simple surgeries and mild health issues over the course of our marriage. But in the summer of 2009, when I was six months pregnant with our third child, Doug's health changed dramatically. A trip to the emergency room with an obstructed bowel turned into a Staph Infection, a surgical wound that took over a year to heal even with the use of a wound vacuum, and multiple other surgeries to remove scar tissue, portions of intestine and colon. He has yet to experience complete healing and currently has a partial bowel obstruction that may or may not become fully-obstructed. We've learned to stop questioning this and are content with living in the middle of God's will for our family.
What a journey this has been and continues to be, for not just Doug and I, but also for our three amazing, godly, beautiful, hilarious, wonderful children: Ian (13), Brodie (10) and Ellery (2). What sometimes seems like a burden is also an indescribable blessing. It's one thing to believe that God is the Almighty Healer; but when you're in the midst of sickness and still believe that, it takes tremendous faith. For God to give my family that kind of faith is a miracle to me! To know that God is using this storm to show us parts of himself that we could not see otherwise is an honor.
We began homeschooling in the fall of 2010, an adventure that both encourages and disappoints me on a regular basis! I love watching my kids learn and grow in ways that I would never witness if they were attending a traditional school. Seeing them wanting to find answers to big questions and listening to them tell me about the latest book they want to read is extremely rewarding. It can also make me crazy when one of my boys can't remember what nine times six is, though they have known how to multiply for a long time or when they complain that homeschooling is way harder than public school. I am grateful to have the opportunity to teach my children at home, especially when life gets messy.
God has also continuously provided for our family, giving us contentment without having a lot of "stuff". I left my full-time job as a Business Office Manager to take care of my family, reducing our income by more than half. I'm glad I didn't know at the time how long this season would last, but so far, God has not let us go without anything we need. We've definitely had to go without many things in the past few years. Hopefully, my children will look back on this time in their childhood and remember how God's hand was on all of it. Knowing that we serve an awesome Lord who will provide for us makes my heart filled with joy.
I am excited that all of the waiting and praying and tearful news has brought me to where I am at this moment and to this new blog about my knitting adventures. Knitting and praying just go together, so I've been doing a lot of both! I've recently opened an Etsy shop to sell what I've been creating. This has given me a feeling of accomplishment and calmness in the middle of what can often feel like chaos! Please visit my Etsy shop at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheRobinsonsHouse and let me know what you think!