Happy New Year!

2013 quote

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!

I just love the first day of a new year. Even though in reality it is just another day, to me it always represents a new beginning, a fresh start, a new chapter in my life, our family's life.

After the challenges and overwhelming year of 2012 I am certainly ready for a new start. There were so many things that we as a family wanted to achieve but just didn't or couldn't due to so many different reasons. Our desire to return to the simple things in life was certainly challenged. Every corner we turned, every hill we climbed there were new obstacles in our way. Our life was busy, and I actually think busier than I have ever known. All the things I had in place before the big move to Sydney just fell to bits. And the year flew by so quickly. I feel overwhelmed just thinking about it.

But you know what?  I would never change our journey through last year. I would never wish it away. Yes it was hard, very hard. Yes there were tears (and lots of them). Yes it was frustrating (especially for the organised, structured person like me). But God walked us through every step of the way. He made us stronger; more confident to fight for what we believe, what we know is right; and a renewed passion for the simple things in life – faith, family, good health.

So as we enter 2013 we are certainly beginning a new chapter in our story. Not only is it a new year but we are currently relocating back to the country (yes literally as I type). Back to the place where I know we can get back to the simple things in life. This unexpected move was such a huge blessing at the end of a very long year.

I know the year won’t be without its challengers. My wonderful husband is starting a new job; little Miss Rapunzel is starting school; I have a house to unpack; therapists to sort out and of course keep up with making goodies to sell. But I this year I am not going to get overwhelmed by it. I am going to embrace every step, every challenge and every triumph that we encounter on the way. Every day is a new page in our story so every day I am going to make it count! And I pray that you do to.

Have an AWESOME and BLESSED 2013.

 

Granny Square Crochet Square – Centre Flower Square

This spring I had the opportunity to be involved in a granny square Crochet swap. Each person made 37 x 6 inch squares. We could pick any colour or pattern as long as it represented spring for us. We then sent it into the coordinator who is in the process of sorting through the suqares and distributing them back to us.

Originally we had 36 people in the group so we would get 36 different squares back. The last squares was being used to make a blanket to donate to charity. I should be receiving the squares back this week. I am really excited about about seeing the variety of squares that people send back and how they interpret spring.

I think the hardest part of the project was deciding which square to do. I needed something that won't take too long to make but was bright and cheerful. I didn't want to do the traditional granny square as we had quite a few beinngers in the group and they were doing this. I also wanted to create a new design. So this is what I created. It was really easy to make and only took about 20minutes for each square.

 

Requirements:

small amount of 8ply yarn/wool in two different colours (overall it took about 80g of yellow and 250g of pink\ to make the 37 squares)

4.0mm crochet hook

 

This pattern is worked in one directions so do not turn.

 

Pattern:

with centre colour (yellow)

row 1: 12 sc into magic ring (alternatively chain 6 and sl st into first ch, 12 sc into ring), sl st into first sc

row 2: *ch 15, sl st into next sc*, repeat around for each sc, sl st into first sl st. Fasten off (make sure you don't twist the chain

row 3: using outer colour (pink), attach to centre of any 15 ch space using a sc, ch 4, sc into  next 15 ch space, ch 4, * 2DC into next 15ch sp, ch 4, 2DC into same 15ch sp, ch 4, sc into next 15 ch space, ch 4, sc into next 15ch space *, repeat * three (3) times, however on the last sc, sl st into first sc.

row 4: ch 1, sc into space, ch 2, 2 DC into same space, ch 4, * DC into next sp, ch 4, 3DC into next space, ch 4, 3DC into same space, ch 4, DC into next space, 3DC in next space, ch 4*, repeat * twice, DC into next sp, ch 4, 3DC into next space, ch 4, 3DC into same space, ch 4, DC into next space, ch 4, sl st into top ch

row 5: sl st into next DC, 5DC into space, sl st into DC, 5DC into space, sk DC, sl st into DC, sk DC, * 8DC into corner space, sk DC, sl st into DC, sk DC, 5DC into space, sl st into DC, 5DCinto space, sk DC, sl st into DC, sk DC, 5DC into space, sl st into DC, 5DC into space, sk DC, sl st into DC, sk DC * repeat *  twice (2) (edges), 8 DC into corner space, sk DC, sl st into DC, sk DC, 5Dc into space, sl st in DC, 5DC into space, sl st into first sl st. Fasten off.

The square becomes very bunched up when being crochet so give it a good stretch out in all directions (even a warm iron can help). Weave in the ends.

Finshed!

 

At first I know tha pattern seems really confusin, but after one or two squares you get the hang of it . I actually made all the centre pieces first then did the outer section. Saved me changing yarn every 10minutes.

When I ge the rest of the squares back I'll show you what I plan to do with the blanket.

 

Kids being seen but not heard.

When I was out doing the yesterday something really caught my attention. Every time I walked passed a pram where toddlers and preschoolers were sitting, or passed cafes where they were having morning tea the kids were sitting very still and quiet. And I mean really still and quiet, and absolutely absored in what they were doing. Not a peep, no climbing out. Nothing. They were just quiet and still, completely oblivious to what was going on around them.

Down the next isle I heard a toddler starting to tantrum because he wanted something and he was told no. The next thing he was completely quiet. Dead silent… As I turned down the isle I noticed why…. just like what seemed to be every other toddler and preschooler that morning they were playing with the iPhone.

Wow. It really got me thinking just how techno savvy these young kids are today. You could see just how easily they could navigate their way around the smart phone or iPhone. 

I don't even have to look any further than our house where our two and half year old, Miss Minnie, knows exactly how to navigate her way aorund my iPad, and has been able to get to the movies since 18months old! I guess the kids of today just know no different. For many of them they do not know life without these wonderful devices that can entertain everyone for hours.

I guess what really got to me that day wasn't how well kids could navigate their way around the devices, but how quickly parents pulled out the smart phone or iPad as soon as the kids started to complain or get into things. What are we using these tools for? Is it just to keep our kids quiet so we can get on with our busy lives. Or is for educational purposes?

I just couldn't believe how many children I saw that day sitting in their prams being entertained by an electronic device. And every time I heard one complain or start to grizzle or start touching things the first thing parents seemed to do was pull out the electronic device to keep them quiet.

It started me thinking. What are we teaching our kids these days? or not teaching? Shopping is such a wonderful time teach kids so much whilst having some fun…. communication skills on how to interact with other each other, other shoppers, shop keepers…. manners when we purchase items or ask for assistance….. obedience of doing as asked and not touching things…… patience whilst we wait in line for our turn or not being allowed to purchase something straight away….. problem solving skills and maths skills when working out how much things cost and how much we can spend…. literacy skills when reading signs and packages….. perceptual skills of finding items, finding our way around the shopping centers (a huge effort for this country girl trying to manage in the world of Westfield)…. memory skills of remembering where we parked the car….. you can teach them numbers, colours, letters, matching, difference….. the list is endless. And it doesn't have to be boring. Shopping can be so much fun for a toddler and preschooler when they are challenged with little tasks along the way.

But are we too busy rushing from one job to another because our lives so busy (I have certainly had days like that)? Are we too busy, too exhausted and does it require too much effort to use this time teach our kids some important life skills? Is it just easierto keep our kids quiet so we can concetrate and get the job done quickly? Are we going back to the age old tradition that kids should be seen and not heard?

I think it is such a shame to see that the world of technology is creeping into every part of the lives of these young children and at such an early age. They have so much to learn in this exciting big world. Everything is a new and wonderful adventure. It is our responsibility as a parent to take their hand and lead them through these adventures…. even this simple adventure of shopping. So why are so many of us stealing these wonderful opportunities away from them? 

Now don't get me wrong. I think iPads, Tablet computers and Smart phones are brilliant devices. I have used them endlessly during my therapy sessions when working as a paediatric occupational therapist. I used it heaps with Little Miss Rapunzel as part of her therapy programs and getting her ready for school. And I've used with Miss Minnie to compliment teaching her how to do mazes, learn colours and shapes and now her ABCs. I even saw wonderful story on 60minutes the other night on how the iPad is being used to unlock the communication world for people with Autism;mothers are now able to communicate with their children for the first time in 25years.

I just wonder if we sometimes rely on them too much these days to entertain our kids so we don't have to? so we can keep on with our busy lives?

Please don't think there haven't been times when I have used the iPad to keep my girls settled – sitting waiting at specialist appointments (they never run on time!), that long car trip, even Saturday morning when they have woken up really earyl (yet again!). But it has certainly opened my eyes as to just how much I will be using it a baby sitter in the future!  

More posts coming soon!

Wow! I can't believe it has been over a week since my last post. I was hoping to add posts most days. But between lots of visitors, dancing competitions and getting back in to the swing of the school term (preschool and therapy) the week has slipped away without me even noticing. I did however get a chance to make some more hair clips to add to the shop. My girls are so excited about their new assortment of hair accessories. They love picking out of the newly made clips which ones they can add to their collection…. I'm not sure how many more their storage box can hold?

I think the cutest ones were for the AFL grandfinal. Our little princesses asked for matching ribbons for their new Hawthorn Princess tops we gave for them to wear on the AFL grandfinal day (yes they follow Hawthorn Hawks just like their Daddy). Even little girls can get into the spirit of the game!

  

 

 

 

                 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now we are back into the swing of things I can get back into posting.

 

Here is a sneak peak at what else I have been making during the week.

 

 

Get your orders in now for Christmas!