Make: Chunky Bobble Garland

I do not know what possessed me to want to make bobble garland, but make it I did!  And it looks adorable on my “Advent” tree.  (An “Advent” tree is an artificial tree that you put up as soon as possible after Thanksgiving, even photo-nov-27-11-35-46-amthough your husband doesn’t care for “Advent” trees, and would prefer that you wait till the family goes out to find a real one closer to Christmas.  Husbands.)

So anyway, back to the Advent tree.  My vision has always actually been to use the Advent tree to hang our Jesse Tree ornaments, except that we’ve never had any Jesse Tree ornaments, nor have we ever been disciplined enough to make it through the whole Jesse Tree saga, anyway.  But, hope springs eternal!  I’m drawing some ornaments this year, because I can, and I like to, and they’ll be just exactly what I want them to be, more or less, as my skill or lack thereof dictates.

I thought the garland would look nice while we waited for the tree to fill up with the devotional ornaments, but the children hung up all of our New For 2016 ornaments right away.  And I still think the garland looks really cute.  It has potential as a year-round decoration, too; I see similar types of things adorning walls and mirrors and whatnot on fashionable home-dec blogs, so there’s that!

Would you like to make one?  It’s really

I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease chunky yarn and a size P crochet hook.

Start with a chain of eight or nine stitches.  Triple (or treble) crochet into the fourth chain from the hook, but don’t finish the stitch.  Leave the last loop on the hook.  Make three more triple crochets into the same chain stitch.  You should have five loops on the hook now.  Yarn over and pull through all five loops at once to form the bobble.  (Photo instructions follow.)

Now slip stitch around your last triple crochet, and again into the chain stitch you’ve been working in.  Chain 6 and make another bobble in the fourth chain from hook.

For some of your bobbles, you want to push them inside out and then flip your work.  Your first slip stitch will be around the three chain stitches at the beginning of the bobble, and then into the chain you worked in.  This will give some variety to the garland, so keep them a bit irregular!  Finish up with a few chain stitches at the end.

One skein makes about 8 feet of garland.  If you want a little more distance between your bobbles, you can make a longer chain in between.  Just make your next bobble in the fourth chain from the hook.

Let me know if you make any garlands of your own!




The End of a Day

When she was done picking out which parts of her dinner she wanted to eat – mostly carrots, hers and mine – Evie climbed into my lap.  “Are you sleepy?” I asked, noting her unusually subdued attitude.

“I not sleepy,” she said, putting her head on my shoulder.  “I tired.”

She was sound asleep in seconds.  Deeply asleep.  Like I washed her, changed her diaper, put her in pajamas, and laid her in her bed, and she never even opened an eye.

This picture is blurry, because indoor lighting, slow shutter speed, and fast moving baby, but I just love that look on her face.  She loves her gift, Rosie's old kitchen all cleaned up and repaired and back in service!

This picture is blurry, because indoor lighting, slow shutter speed, and fast moving baby, but I just love that look on her face. She loves her gift, Rosie’s old kitchen all cleaned up and repaired and back in service!

Christmas is a really big day, full of all the regular stuff that goes along with having a family – and maybe a farm – and then all the excitement of a holy day and a holiday, too: gifts, and Mass, and special foods, and maybe even company or travel.  It’s overwhelming for everyone, but especially for little ones.

But love – and maybe a shoulder to rest a weary head upon – conquers all.  And I’m grateful that I still get to end my days with a sleeping babe in my arms.

Tommy got a tool set and few kits to put together.  Now he's got his own gear when it's time to help his daddy in the garage!

Tommy got a tool set and few kits to put together. Now he’s got his own gear when it’s time to help his daddy in the garage!

{p,h,f,r} It’s Sunny!


8x10 sun in the cribWinter, in my part of the world, tends to be gray and overcast.  Except when it’s brutally cold!  Alas, like most of the country this year, we’re experiencing unseasonable warm weather, and thus, it is rainy and gray something like 99.9% of the time.  But today!  Today I spied the sun shining on my baby’s crib, and I was filled with joy!  Because I am completely and totally solar powered.


8x10 rosie and evieJust my two happy girls.  We decided to go shopping this morning for some last minute Christmas groceries.  The store was crowded, but they had all the checkouts open, and the patrons were remarkably cheerful, so it was not nearly as stressful as it should have been!  That makes me happy.


8x10 evie and the baby howsEvie is endlessly fascinated with the calves… but she’s still afraid of them! She walked over, saying to herself, “Pet the hows.  I pet the hows.” (That’s Evie for cows.  She refuses to say the /c/ even though she knows it belongs there!)  But as soon as I snapped this shot, she shook her head and started backing away. “No, no, no, no, no, no!”  (This picture is from a cloudy day.)

8x10 shopping buddyWe were in the store today, and she was riding along, watching me consult my list.  “Let me see dat,” she said, taking it from my hand.  She studied it carefully for a moment.  “Do we need anything else?” I asked.  She nodded and grinned.  “Cookies!”  Cookies were not on my list.


8x10 muddy feetWell, the combination of warmth and endless rain means… mud.  That’s my reality.  Mud.  There is no place to walk without getting muddy.  The grass is muddy.  The drive is muddy.  The patio is muddy.  And you take your life in your hands if you walk behind the barn.

Let’s just stick with enjoying the sunshine, okay?

More {p,h,f,r} at Like Mother, Like Daughter!

{p,h,f,r} At The Tree Farm

We’ve been going to a small, family-owned tree farm for our Christmas trees for most of the time we’ve lived here, but last year, we noticed that the trees were getting scragglier, and he didn’t seem to be planting new ones.  So this year, we went with a bigger, agri-tourism operation not far from Louisville, and we were not disappointed!  They had a ton of beautiful trees, friendly employees, and, because we went on a Tuesday, it was very quiet.  We actually found our tree about ten feet from the road, though there were plenty of other likely suspects within a short walk.  The tree was more expensive, but we like it very much.

The best part of the day, though? We were all home at the same time!  That’s the biggest trial of children growing up: they have their own lives and their own agendas, and we don’t always get to do the fun things as a group.  But this week is working out perfectly for us!


8x10 Brenna and EvieOur eldest daughter Brenna is Godmother to our youngest daughter Evie, but they don’t get to spend very much time together.  They make a lovely pair, though, don’t they?


8x10 five sistersSix sisters!  Don’t they look happy to be together?  A little funny, too: When I was editing this image back home, I was looking at their faces, and finally, I said out loud, “No wonder people think you all look the same!  Take away the hair, and your faces are very similar!” They all looked, shocked to find out it was true.  At home, we take them each as individuals, and we know all their differences, subtle or not, physical or not, but now we know why everybody else thinks they look just alike!  Also funny: I emailed this photo to my mom, captioned “Five Sisters”, because obviously I can’t count.


8x10 david the mighty tree slayerMy clown of a husband, lording it over his trophy kill. David, the mighty tree slayer!


IMG_1354 8x10 tree farm family oneAnd this is us. A lot of us.  Happy to be together.  Even Jonny there at the end, who thinks it’s his job in life to look serious in photographs.  We’ll be eleven soon, plus Grandpa makes twelve.  Crazy, huh?  I never did envision this when we were young and starting out, but it is good.  So very, very good.

Please visit Like Mother, Like Daughter for more {p,h,f,r}!

Once an Army Family, Always an Army Family (9/365)

We went to the commissary this morning, and lo! An Army Band, playing right there in the checkout line! It was a pleasant, if odd, surprise, and we enjoyed the show!
Just as we left the commissary, we noticed a big C130 circling overhead, apparently practicing take-offs and landings. So we hurried on over to a park beside the airport where we could see the action up close. It lifted off just as we pulled alongside and we settled in to wait for it’s next run. We watched it circle round and round and then… fly off toward Louisville! Oh, well.
What is that we hear in the distance? Is it… Could it be… Oh, yes! It is! A helicopter! Well, that makes up for the plane’s abandonment. Almost. 🙂
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As we drove away, all of us ridiculously excited, I recalled a question Davey was asked not too many years ago. “How does your wife plan to get you out of the Army?” she’d asked. “How do I plan to get you out of the Army?” I’d retorted. “Or how do I plan to get the Army out of you?” The truth is, none of us will ever be able to let it go.

Once and Army family, always an Army family.

St. Nicholas Day

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All the family, eager, but still a little sleepy, (im)patiently waiting for me to get my camera settings just right so they can open their stockings.  I love these people.