My missing post!

Poor neglected blog! Looks like I abandoned a post that I didn't finish writing. I can't remember what interrupted me but perhaps it was a young little dude? I'll put money on it. ;)

I can't figure out what to do with this blog - keeping two blogs has proven difficult. I'll post this one and for now will direct you to my other blog at Dwell Wool Knits. I promise to share more often besides businessy stuff. I hope you don't mind!


I have been a very bad blogger lately, haven't I? Sorry!!! We are indeed still here and alive. We've been living with Justin's parents since November 1st - and here it is the beginning of February. The time has flown past! We had a number of milestones while living here.

Jackson turned 4!

For his birthday we had his aunties and uncles over for a big meatballs with spaghetti dinner. He had a blast with his cousin Ava and opened up his gifts so fast I don't think he noticed what he got until the next day when he was asking where everything came from. ;) Mimi and I took he and Liam to the Doylestown Firehouse on his actual birthday. He had a private tour of the entire station!

Check out the fire dude!

Liam enjoyed eating Jackson's birthday cake. We all went to the other room for gift opening and didn't realize Liam was still eating. Apparently he liked it this way without any interruptions.

For a gift from Uncle Jon and Aunt Emily, Jackson got this really cool Light Brite cube. He and Ava were trying it out that night.

Four is a fun age! Jackson is in to all things Star Wars. Big time. And it's cool he's mostly into the classic Star Wars though it's becoming apparent he is aware of the newer animated series of The Cone Wars Star Wars. Target and all their action figures prompts questions of who particular "guys" are. His other favorite activities are playing with his Playmobil Pirates and Knights. While staying here Jackson's toy selection expanded to include various toys that used to belong to his daddy and uncles. PIcture 1,231 GI Joe guys and their vehicles and approximately 45,030 tiny Lego pieces. !!! Jackson has been into the Legos created ships for his Star Wars guys. ;)

a good cause

A woman named Colleen passed away on October 17 from a rapidly speading liver cancer. She left behind a beloved husband, Jens, and 2 precious children, Anneke(5 years old) and Fritz (2 years old). You probably don't know this woman. I don't really know her either. But she is one out of a small group of women who sell their hand made wares on Hyena Cart where I have my store, Dwell Wool Knits.

Many ladies have pulled together to create an amazing fundraiser. All the proceeds will go to her children's college fund, per her last requests. The "Celebrating Colleen" fundraiser begins today, October 28, 2pm EST and runs through Tuesday, November 4th.

Like I mentioned, I didn't know Colleen - but when something like this happens to such a small little "online" community, it sends ripples throughout it.

Colleen hand-dyed amazing yarn. I am so glad to have had the pleasure to knit a couple things with her it. I am quite sure that the recipients will treasure their items.

Here are a couple of them:

I am collaborating with Kim of Western Sky Knits and Suzanne of Goodmama to bring together a fun set for cloth diaper users. I'll knit the yarn Kim dyed to match this adorable cowboy print goodmama diaper. You can view my auction here.

So even if you don't cloth diaper, there is something for everyone. It's all for a good cause. Please stop in to the Tiny Lady Cooperative throughout the week!

We set off for our annual hay-ride pumpkin picking trip this year but were almost very disappointed! We pulled in to an empty parking lot and no sign of rides or pumpkins or hay or gourds. Unfortunately our old spot was closed! So off we drove hoping to fine something else, which luckily we did. The kids couldn't tell the difference between an actually get your feet muddy kind of pumpkin patch and a grassy field with ready-priced pumpkins scattered through them and we weren't about to point that out. Look how much fun they were having! They even pulled us out to the little spot on a tractor hayride.

Looks like you're going to be stuck with us in PA for a little while longer after all!!!!

I haven't gotten to tell everyone personally yet - the news is trickling. So please feel free to call if we haven't talked to you yet.

Justin and I had to make a very important decision. After having the move to Montana full swing in the works, a door shut. We really feel God in this and that this is meant to be for us right now. I'm very thankful that we felt the door closing before we moved!

The economy is really the biggest factor right now. Homes don't sell like they normally do in the winter and people are not buying right now. We are very blessed that Justin has a great employer right now, and feel led to keep it that way. To branch off on his own and to sub-contract for them at this point in time may not provide us with security we would need to get by. Now is not the time to chance things.

So where does that leave us? Well... we sold our home already! Rather than trying to buy something or rent right away, we are blessed to have the option to move in with Justin's parents for a time while we sort things out. It will be an adventure and we're thankful that they so readily opened their arms to us.

After the winter we will reevaluate and go from there. Ultimately we'd love to still make it out to Montana. So let's just say it's on hold for the time being. :)

Big Announcement

No no, I'm not pregnant! We are MOVING! To Montana!

Yes, it seems so out there and crazy and I know those who are close to us know the news, but I just haven't had time to announce here. So this will make it official.

Justin, for some time, has just felt something lacking in his job, never being truly happy or content. He wants to have the ability to do more. Never finishing his degree is something that has weighed on him. So after lots of prayer and consideration, it has been decided to pursue going back to school... at Montana State University.

Why there and not here?
1. Excellent program that has certifications in Sustainable Design (something Justin has been passionate about before it became popular)
2. Lower cost of living.
3. Walkability/Bicycle distance from school.
4. Safer than Philly.
5. Cleaner than Philly.

We considered Temple and Drexel, but it came down to not wanting to move our family into the city. Staying here and commuting is not reasonable. It would take 2 hours out of the day.

So the process began... He applied and was accepted. That was step one. The second much larger step was approaching his employer. Justin wrote a very extensive proposal to work for his company as a sub-contractor. Being self-employed he can better manage his hours and enables us to afford to have him go to school full-time while working at the minimum 25 hours a week while in school.

The hardest part about this transition is leaving our family and friends. It's heart-wrenching really, as close as we are to our them. We do plan to come back east for about a month each summer while we are there. Oh - and that will be three years approximately.

So... That's where I've been pretty much while not blogging! We listed and sold our home and have been searching for a rental to live in in Bozeman. We just found it yesterday and have been approved! So it's nice to have an address - one less stress...

I think this will be an adventure. A hard one. No doubt. Justin will be working 70 hours a week and myself.. well, I will be starting over I guess. I plan to get plugged in right away at a church and join a mom's group to meet people. I plan to blog often about our "adventure." I don''t want to lose touch with my friends here, so I hope by blogging that will at least give a means to keep other's a little plugged in to our lives, as that's how I feel reading other blogs. Of course there always is the telephone too!

Our move-in date is scheduled for November 6th. We are hiring a moving service - one of those 'you pack, they drive' services. So that takes about 7-10 days to actually get out there. We will be staying with Justin's family until Justin has to leave to drive out, and I will fly out with the boys on the 6th or 7th. Eeek! Wish us luck! It's coming upon us quickly.

I'll have to do an additional post later to update you on the boys and share some photos! I don't want to overload. ;)

me again

OK, so we're going to ignore the big white elephant in the room. Yes, that thing I say all the time when I take forever to update the blog. I'm not saying it. :)

The summer has been flying. And we've been enjoying it thoroughly. I've been really busy with my new stay at home knitting business. Often I have late nights and early mornings, but overall my plan is that it doesn't get in the way of family. It's a slippery slope.

Here are some highlights from summer fun we've had.

Gone fishin'
We took Jackson down to the reservoir which is just down the street. He had a blast catching little fish there. Justin did the casting, but he was happy as a clam waiting for his bobber to get pulled under so he could reel it in.

Liam was a good sport searching out rocks and sticks to throw in the lake. I love the cute moment they had on the log. (Yes, I made them sit together!) But miracle upon miracle, they stays and acted all brotherly together. They were looking at the worms if you're curious. ;)

The Beach
We only made it once to Long Beach Island this year. I want to go again. Oh heck, I want to live there to be honest! We went with the entire Isabell clan. I love making those memories with family. Liam lived up to his initials (He's LBI, didntcha' know?) and couldn't get enough of the sand, the waves and the "airmanes" flying the banners overhead. Jackson loves it too but can't seem to pick if he's a mountain boy or beach boy better. He had a blast too. It was hard to capture photos of the dude, as he didn't sit still most of the time.

OK, there's more to post, but I have to get moving here. Erin, I hope you're happy! LOL!

OK, I know, I'm a week behind on Fresh Idea Friday. I have a valid excuse. ;) I'll get to that later.

My good friend Lisa blogs at Out of the Blue and each month on the first Friday comes up with a Fresh Idea. This month is share your favorite recipe source and Lisa asked for us to share a favorite recipe from it. Okey-dokey! You asked for it!

Well I'm a cook and a foody. I love both! My poor family is subject to my tinkering in the kitchen and it's not often we eat the same thing repetitively. I know a few times I shared my meal plan on here, African Peanut Soup anyone? Remember that? It was actually really good! They were peanuts, just plain ole peanuts, not special African ones. I know someone was wondering.

My favorite source for recipes is Real Simple. I subscribe to the magazine but their online directly is free to anyone. They have fancy to every day recipes. It's hard to pick a favorite. If I had to the Rosemary Garlic Chicken is up there. My whole family enjoys it.

My second source is an actual cookbook. With pages ya know? Who uses them anymore? Ha! I have one called the New England Cookbook. I bought it when I lived in Boston and I reach for it when I'm missing New England. There's lots of yummyness in there. I frequently make their 5-Alarm Chili recipe that is in there. Someday I'll type it out. I would now but I'm savoring this moment before the kids are screaming fo me.

I have a new source I'd love to share that is going to probably rapidly climb to favorite. It's The Pioneer Woman. What a cool website. There's some amazing looking food in there and I just love the conversational tone of the recipes and the photography is amazing. I want to bite the computer screen. These things here are apparently worth their weight in gold. I haven't tried them but it's on my to do list.

So there you have it!