Kindergarten Repeat–and Other Stuff–Plus, a Stripety Giveaway

Morning. I haven’t even had my full dose of green tea and yet I’m buzzing with energy. I think I have the new school year jitters–up early, wanting to do a thousand things all at the same time.

Right now Andrew is eating a still-warm muffin. Yum. Madeleine is tidying her room while singing to Mumford and Sons, and John Ronan is literally running circles around our dining room table. He dressed himself this morning and chose the Dr Seuss shorts I made him.

Warms my heart.

My husband is out back in his sweet office, the door open, taking a phone call no doubt. He’ll be heading off for coffee soon at Via Maestra, just like he does every morning. Yesterday I caught him in his dress shirt (because he had a video conference) and shorts and sandals. Had to snap a photo. What d’ya think? Pretty nice working out of a backyard office!

Muffins! Some day I’ll share my muffin recipe–it’s easy and adaptable to all sorts of stuffing. I especially love adding chopped cranberries, but today I baked to please the kids and made them plain… (Those kids...)

Giving. I baked a double batch of French rolls yesterday–and snuck some cheese into the dough, and gave it ALL away (my kids don’t like it when I do that). One ring of rolls to Jack, our neighbor across the street whom we love, who watches over our home when we’re gone and who helps us with strange electrical problems when they reveal themselves through our breaker box. The other, larger, ring went to a family of a dad and his five kids who are all stuffed into a one-bedroom apartment. If I had the time and the strength, I’d bring them fresh bread every day.

Anyway. This year I just have my little one with me at home; we’re tackling kindergarten together. Do you know how amazingly fun it already is? We started our year off by reading Bob Books, drawing mazes

and eating a long, long lunch at the beach. I think we’ll be eating lots of long, long lunches at the beach this year. Wouldn’t you…

…when there’s all that good stuff to learn about tides, and the moon, and the creativity of God Himself!

Giveaways and a Giveaway. We have some fun giveaways coming for you this fall. It was a smart move for me to take the summer off from that sort of thing. But, I’m ready for giveaway giving again. I would bake bread for y’all, but some of you live a quadrillion fourteen miles away. Bread is better fresh.

However. On our road trip I made all those stripety bags. SO MANY of them. Four bags, plus a hat. (Please, admire all those stitches!)


It’s true that I’m a Bag Lady, but four new bags is simple gluttony, even if i did get blisters making them. So, I’d like to give one away to YOU! I’m not a professional stitcher, though. These bags come with a disclaimer. For example, if one of my bags falls apart the first time you use it, no weepy tears–you may not cry, and I don’t want to know about it!

Because. I might cry, and then say, I told you so.

  • The Fuzzy Details. First bag. Lots of colorful stripes. Has been sort of felted, which means it’s washable!. Is pretty big–like big enough to carry 25 skeins of yarn. But if you put 25 oranges in it, which would fit, I bet the shoulder straps would lengthen several inches. Which wouldn’t be good…
  • The Fuzzy Details. Second bag, which shouts, ORANGE. Yes, in caps. This bag is not up for giving, unless you want to pay me. 🙂 It’s smaller, would probably hold 15 skeins of yarn, and would certainly hold 15 oranges, and look good doing it.
  • The Fuzzy Details. Third bag. It’s little. Not felted. I’m doubting any of you will choose this little thing over the big stripes, but it’s cute. I have a feeling this bag, which would hold about 8-9 skeins of yarn, is destined for a miniature girly.
  • The Fuzzy Details. Fourth bag. Still under construction. I used every last loop of my $50 dollars worth of yarn for this bag and I think it came out just scrumptious. I plan on felting this bag before consumption. It’s the same size as bag one. Kinda big, and awesome.

The Reason. I haven’t finished the last bag because… we just adopted a piano

and it has upset our whole house, furniture flying this way and that. Couches on the curb for folks to take, chairs finding new nooks, stuffed dogs being displaced…

Today. Is the third day of my second time going to kindergarten, and guess what? We’re going to pray, and read our Bob books, and draw mazes, and THEN, take a packed lunch and picnic at the boulder grove!!!!!!!!!!!! Isn’t it grand?

Summer was great. But kindergarten is better…

If you want to pop your name in the hat for a bag, just leave a comment below. Let me know in the post which one you like best–but just know, the wild orange one that mimicks this wild mood I’m in is mine. 🙂

Cheers! I’ll be choosing names when I get to 100 comments, (or next Friday, whichever comes first–or last–depending on my mood)

so tell your friends!

41 thoughts on “Kindergarten Repeat–and Other Stuff–Plus, a Stripety Giveaway

  1. I’ll be starting kindergarten with my last little one next year. (Sniff) For now, it’s preschool and perfecting potty-training. My favorite is the first bag. It’s just what I need. I need a new bag, and something with color! After 4 babies in 7 years (the last of which just turned 4) and carrying around a black diaper bag FOREVER, it’s time. LOL

  2. Jane, My husband calls me a bag lady too, I love bags of anykind 🙂 It is funny though, I have never made one before, and I love to crochet! Just started back to school with Lucas this week, he is in first grade this year. I had to get a preschool book for Anders too, since he couldn’t be left out of the action. Anders is the same age Andrew was when I lived with you, which is hard to believe. At the moment he is sitting at my feet, he is so cuddly and reminds me of Andrew sometimes. I sure miss you all!

    • Oh, so sweet about Andrew and your little Anders… Andrew remains a very sensitive and warm person–giving me two kisses anytime he leaves, and five to his little brother. I bet Anders will remain cuddly when he’s 17, too, in is own way.

      Nice to know there are other Bag Ladies out there!

  3. I love your writing and how much you simply ENJOY life. I have to admit I personally love the bag that screams ‘ORANGE’ but I’m partial to anything orange these days. I hope that someday I will gain the patience and courage to home school my kids and learn to bake so I can gift my neighbors too!

  4. I LOVE bags too 🙂 My favorite of yours is the first stripey one–such cheerful colors! You know, my husband is currently lounging on his bed while he works. He, too, is all business up top and (pajama) party on the bottom bc of the skype calls 🙂

  5. I love your blogs Jane. They make me smile and bring such joy into my day. I love all the bags but bag #1 is a stand out to me. I love the variation of color. I love the new piano. It is beautiful! Thanks for sharing your talents.

    • The piano players will be: Andrew, Madeleine, and John Ronan. All taking lessons in a row on Thursdays! Yippee. We bought the piano for about two pence off Craigslist–two pence is all we could afford. It’s a bit scuffed up, but all the keys work!
      I can play only part of one Bach piece (don’t even know the name), remembered from my earlier days of the piano teacher with blue hair who used to slap my hands. She wasn’t all that inspiring of a musician… 😦

  6. Wow. You packed a LOT into that blog – and in such a tidy and orderly way. Sigh. I love order. Wish I had some. What I (emphasis on I) want to know is what the dog’s name is. And don’t crush my eager anticipation of the answer by telling me that he does not have one or that it is “dog.” Now the bags…hmm…gray and green stripey looks just right for me!

    • Eek. The dog. I could lie and try to come up with a name now, but that would be awful, so I’ll just admit, he’s nameless. Loved, but nameless. Every now and again we take him down to the laundromat and run him through the machines! Our first dog who doesn’t complain when it’s time for a bath.

  7. oh my i wish i had dr seuss shorts when i was little..what fantastic bags! the first one really tickles my fancy…im a huge fan of color..and stripes recently and it would make a lovely bag for carting to the yarn store and for carrying one of my many wips 🙂 ..thanks for the giveaway!

  8. Oh, I knitted a lovely bag a few months ago and took it for a test drive at the grocery store, where I bought a LOT of heavy items (jug of milk, a pineapple, etc) and by the time I got home (walking) it had doubled in length. So now I would only buy light, airy groceries if I’m using a hand-knitted bag. I like bag number one. I like it a LOT better than the bag I knitted.

  9. Holy cow! I fell in love with that big striped bag (the first one) when you posted you had just finished it. And your kindergarten days sound absolutely delightful!!! So jealous…my “baby” is starting 3rd grade…sniff, sniff!

  10. Hi Jane,

    I would love the orange one! Yeah, I know its yours, but it looks so nice and bright.

    However, number one or number three would be nice. These are my kind of bags.

    I would probably put some laminated pictures games of our orthodox faith, in there for the children that I teach.

    Anyway, great job with those bags, they look great! 🙂

    The dog looks real!


  11. Wow Jane! I think your generosity knows no bounds, or very few anyway – you’re inspiring! Please include me in your drawing…I especially love the colors and size of the first bag. I have been meaning to thank you for the gift that “The Man and The Vine” is. Terri Speier sent us a copy and after I read it , I felt so thankful for it, and thought, “This is why we’re Orthodox.” Thank you! I am getting ready to start Sonlight’s kindergarten curriculum with our 6 year old daughter. Suddenly I realized that maybe she should be in 1st grade – I think I missed a year! Panic! Whoops! I’m trying to take it in stride. Blessings on your year of exploring and learning with your son. Wiht love from Romania…

    • Brandi–some day we will meet and I will give you a BIG hug! Don’t think starting schooling at six is late! Just soaking up Romania, and all your ministry is a world of school already!!!

      • I agree. I have an MS in Educational Psychology. Different children learn different skills at different ages and at different paces. Learning is a lifetime activity that just builds on the scaffolding you’ve already built. Most likely, your daughter has excelled in areas that other children have not over the past year, because, although she was not being formally taught in school, she was still learning! You may even find that she learns more quickly and goes through her studies faster than she would have if you started last year and can easily catch up over the next year or two and it be more enjoyable. I have found that sometimes my own children excel in one area and continue to do so if I allow them and encourage them. However, in another area they may struggle, and sometimes waiting and tackling it six months later makes a world of difference, and they become eager learners. This is one of the benefits of homeschooling. You have the flexibility to nurture and instruct your child according to her unique needs rather than a cookie-cutter standard. Enjoy! 🙂

  12. Jane- Reading your blog was such a delightful way to begin my day. We just got a new-to-us stereo system and I did my cleaning yesterday to a VERY LOUD Mumford and Sons. I think eventually we should see you doing hand-stands on that piano! You could then land softly on your big, nameless dog.

    I love the smallest of the bags. It would have a very special job of holding and carrying my Nook. I didn’t get a case for it, but see that I need something to protect it on the very rare occasion that I leave home with it.

    Enjoy Kindergarten. How fun for both of you and what precious memories you are creating. Blessings to you and your family.


  13. I’ve already missed your give-away deadline, but I always love leaving a message anyway. 🙂 Your creative bags are just adorable…and inspiring! Another “recipe” I want to try when God allows me the time. 🙂 The little ruffles at the top are so enchanting, Jane. I love just looking at your bags–just about as much delight as owning one.

    I love you!

  14. When I saw you were making the bag on your vacation to NE for a family event I so wished you’d stop in Omaha and say Howdy!! Thanks for linking the pattern – it’s intriguing! Can’t wait to see what you do next!
    Matushka Susan

  15. It is so refreshing each time I get to read your posts. I admire your baking skills and the love of sharing your work with others. I love all of your posts, in fact, I have made a separate folder in my mail program saving each one. By the way, your photography is incredible. You capture every precious detail of a moment with grace. I myself am a photographer (amateur). Thank you again for sharing your little snip its of your life with us all. You inspire me to start baking more and sharing…….
    God Bless you and your family,
    Presvytera Tina Millsaps

  16. –Entering this for Tina Gessler 🙂

    I am trying to enter the handmade bag contest. I would adore having
    something you made ( as we ate the pumpkin bread). Is this the right place?
    I don’t understand how blogs work. But then much of life puzzles me…

  17. Dear Jane,
    When I first read of your driving and knitting adventure earlier this year, I confess I tried to copy your pattern.

    My eyes and yarn are old so I had a real mess on my hands that quickly got thrown back into our craft area.

    Thank you for sharing your treasures with us…I’m vicariously living through your work!

    Love you,

  18. Hi Jane:

    You take the best photos, Jane. I always love seeing what you see through the view finder. Fantastic pix for sures! And I love you and John Ronan and all your family. And…I love orange, but I know, I know, I can’t love orange this time. Thankfully you found a way to put some orange in the first bag – so that’s my choice.

  19. Hi Jane,
    I l-o-v-e reading your blog. . .all the news, great photos, and new recipes. I’m very intrigued with “Smashed Peas”. Love stripes of all colors, but the little one would be perfect for a special godchild. Checked out the link for the Attic – that was a fun trip across the pond! If you do this again, maybe you could have a “Name-the-Dog” contest! ~cb

  20. Jane,
    You are my inspiration! Your love of God, family, friends, life and learning shine through in all that you do – – your writing, your picture taking, your stories of baking bread and gifting it away (I do wish I lived closer!), and now bag making! Just the pictures of them cheer my soul!
    Love you,

    • This is Hendry’s beach in Santa Barbara. Officially known as Arroyo Burro beach (but no one uses that name…) It’s a wild beach, with no machine cleaning or grading, etc… We head there almost every week. BUT, there are so many other beaches that I love here. Butterfly, Hammonds, the cliffs at Mesa and Haskells are other favorites…

  21. Jane,

    Love the bags. Orange is my favorite. Picked orange and white towels for our kitchen and orange mixing bowls. It is my happy color 🙂 You and your husband our RARE gems and we are blessed to have you around.


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