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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Joe is Finished!

Last night, at 10:45, I wove in the last end. No photo yet, but I will post it soon and his school picture with him in it as soon as we get that. Dominic also wore his birthday sweater (this was given a week and a half early for Alexander), and I will put his school picture up when we get it also.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Mystery Vogue Knitting Issue

I am pretty sure I bought an issue of VK which featured a collection of Victorian inspired patterns. However, I cannot find it, nor can I remember which issue it was. I have loaned out my Fall 2004 issue, but I vaguely remembered it being a more recent one. If anyone has any idea which issue it was, please let me know, so I know what I am looking for, and can get it if I didn't actually buy it.

Thank you to Debra who let me know that it was the Holiday 2005 issue. It turns out that I looked at the exact place it was seven times before it registered that it was a magazine under those two books and not another book. Ah, lifestyles of the messy and sleepless!

I am almost finished with Joe. I have three more rounds to do on the neck. I ended up adding 12 more stitches instead of six. Six would have fit, but this leaves more room and I didn't want to have to undo it again, if it were too snug. Picture day is tomorrow.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Knitting Mothers' One Skein Stash Swap & Other News

Knitting Mothers is having a one skein stash swap to celebrate our first anniversary. I am very excited and have been looking all over for one skein patterns. If you would like to be a part of the swap, you need to join Knitting Mothers, which means you must be a knitting mother. The deadline to join the swap is Monday, the 25th of September. What it involves is picking a single skein of yarn from your stash (something you like) and mailing it off to an assigned partner with an idea or two on what to do with it. We've been compiling a list of free internet one skein patterns also.

In other, more exciting news (to me, anyway), Jerome has been smiling pretty regularly since the 13th. He gave his first real smile to Rich over Labor Day weekend, but was pretty sparing with them until last week. We're hoping to catch him in the act with the camera soon.

Picture day is next week, and I have been working on the neck on Joe. It will be finished in time, and then both Dominic and Alexander will have a sweater from me to wear.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

What's in a Name?

Jerome didn't have a name until he was born. We had pared down our list to three options, but couldn't decide and were waiting to see what he looked like to us. Jerome was one first name option and Malachi was another. When he was born, Rich asked me what I thought, and I was still torn between the two, so I gave him both. Malaak is the Arabic name with the same root word as Malachi. Jerome comes from the Greek Hieronymus (which we think is a pretty cool nickname) and means Holy Name. Malaak means angel or messenger. The only difference between it and Malachi is that Malachi means My messenger/angel.

So far, this is the only name with nicknames of which we approve, but they are not the nicknames normally given with the name. We like Hieronymus, as I said, and Jeronimo, which is another derivative. We do not like Jerry. We've successfully avoided Alex, Dom and Eli for the other boys, so I think we can avoid Jerry with Jerome. We could live with Alex, should Alexander choose it, but he prefers Alexander. If you call the other boys Dom, Eli or Jerry, you will not receive any of my cooking or knitting until you repent publicly. (edited to note that I don't have a problem with Eli, but see it as a separate name. They were two different people in Scripture, Eli the priest who raised Samuel and Elijah the prophet.)

Dominic is the only one who seems to want a nickname, and we think it stems from wanting a superhero name. He has two: Domino, which we think is cute, and Dominator, which we find irritating. If he ever is involved in sports, Dominator would be a good name, but to just answer to that, is bizarre. Two boys at school started calling him that, though, and he finds it entrancing. We are trying to push Domino if he wants a nickname.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Gentle Men

I learned something about Rich on Sunday that I had not noticed on my own. He has undertaken the spiritual and physical discipline of fasting before the Eucharist. Not the Vatican II easy definition of fasting and only an hour, either, he does not eat between Saturday night and Holy Eucharist which takes place at our church at roughly 11:30 a.m./12:00 p.m. Evidently, he has been practicing this discipline for about six months without my discovering it. In a great show of my own self centeredness, my first thought was to wonder if he judged me for not observing it. My second thought was to justify my non-observance, by reminding myself that I had been pregnant, or nursing a child during this whole time. My third thought was to try to find a way to observe it as well, so I could match him, without him knowing that that was my motivation (he always tries to make sure I eat in the morning).

The reality is that his observance has nothing to do with me. I was disappointed in myself, when I was finished thinking about how this should affect me, that I hadn't noticed in six months that there had been a change in his behavior. Now, Sunday mornings are busy in our home, we have five children (four on the outside when this started) and trying to get everyone up, showered, dressed appropriately, fed, teeth brushed, our offering for the coffee hour taken with us, the diaper bag reloaded, and everyone to the car and on the road without forgetting three things takes up a lot of my attention. He is not a man to hang a banner up announcing his spiritual disciplines, but I know him, and we talk about these things, and I should pay more attention to him than I did in this.

After I got over myself, I was again thankful that he is a great example to me, and to our children, on the practice of piety. We practice fasting and abstinence in our home and we talk about their significance, and we pray together and on our own, we ask for the prayers of our children and pray over them, we read scripture, study the lives of the saints and doctors and fathers of the church, and we grow. There is still room for private observances that come out of personal spiritual growth. I am pleased that I have a husband whose growth is a model to me, as well as our children.

He is teaching the boys how to be men, and Amira what to look for in a man. There is much talk about men getting in touch with their feminine side, or raising boys more like we raise girls. I think this is garbage. A nurturing man is not more feminine, and I find that those self aware, sensitive types of men tend to only be in touch with their own feelings. A boy learns to be gentle and nurturing from his father and from his mother and from his siblings, but he learns how to be a gentle man from his father.

This is a photo of one of our priest's sons holding Jerome.

Spencer has taken to Jerome quite a bit (which makes up for Jordan, his older brother, not forgiving us for not naming him Jordan). He is gentle and nurturing, he is the first to ask to hold him and is as caring as any mother, as the phrase goes. However, he learned this from his father. He is as gentle as any father would be. He is fortunate to have grown up in a large family, he is one of six, and has had the training, through this, to become sensitive and to love children. Where else will our young men learn this, but in the family? They won't learn it on a football field, or a classroom, or, heaven help us, all those feminist sensitivity training sessions, where they are taught that men are violent and women are gentle and that they should behave more like women.

One day he and his brothers will make excellent fathers, because they have learned how to love like a man does, including not entertaining naughty behavior (one of our favorite examples of this was when Amira got in trouble for disobeying us, and she started to cry. One of Spencer's younger sisters tried to comfort her, not knowing why Amira was crying, and Spencer told her not to comfort her, she was being naughty.) Yet, if any child is hurt or sad, these boys are the first to come to their aid and comfort. When the little children want to play, these boys are the first to organize a game. When a small child is being noisy in church, one of the older boys will come to claim him, shush him, and hold him, so the parents can participate in church, and the new person will distract the child from misbehavior. It is not only this family, though, Rich and I have been so impressed with the young men of our church, how much they love children, understand discipline and are openly soft and gentle, without any shame. They have learned from their fathers, their brothers, the other men in our church, but above all, from our Lord, that to be a man is to love and nurture children, to put one's wife and family first, to feel deeply and stand in strength.

Now, though, we have so many homes with no father (I grew up in one), so many children don't see up close how a man lives. We have tiny families, where children never learn what it is to look after their siblings, so that sometimes the first baby they hold is their own, and live in communities where there aren't other families to be involved with daily and make up for the small family at home. I am deeply grateful for our bustling, busy family, for our church family, and for the strong men, whose only feminine side is their wives.


Sunday, September 10, 2006

Learning to Fly

This picture, taken today after church while swinging Amira around.

It was taken by the son of the fellow swinging her around. He held the camera in front of his father's chest and spun around with them until he got the photo.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Quick Post

I asked Rich to get a photo of my shrug and of Jerome in his hat. So, here are both photos.

This was us heading out to the store, where Jerome received all sorts of compliments on his behavior, his looks and his hat. A few people even noted that it looked hand knit, though nobody commented on his blanket, and I didn't want to brag. Perhaps I should have unfolded it and wrapped it about him with a flourish.

The shrug was made with almost an entire skein of Knit One Crochet Too Marco Polo in the Oslo (I think, #175) colorway. I should have done one more repeat of the dropped st pattern, but it fits as it is and I didn't feel like undoing the bound off edge and going back 10 rows to repeat it. I have no idea what I am going to do with the little amount I have left of this yarn. Maybe one of those knit necklaces, but I don't think I actually have enough for that.

Anyway, off for now. I'm going to try to get a batch of blackberry lime jam made and canned tonight.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

More Photos

I finished three things in five days. On the 26th, while Jerome was being circumcised (Rich went with him, I waited in the examination room), I finished a garterlac washcloth.

On the 28th I finished a crocheted bath puff from Crochet Me.

On the 30th I finished an Everybody's Doing it Shrug, even with a baby in the house, it took me only two evenings. I don't have a photo of this yet, as I haven't had a chance to both have it on and be near someone else with a camera.

Just for kicks, here is a photo of Jerome from church on Sunday.

I haven't had the time and concentration level to fix the neckline on Joe, but I have only two or three weeks to do it in time for picture day.


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