Yarn, Family, & Life


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Simple Recipe For Kids to Make: Fruit Smoothie

Posted on May 13, 2017 at 3:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Here is a simple recipe that young kids will be able to make by themselves. This is also a great recipe to use to introduce preschool kids to the art of cooking. Preschool kids can help wash fruit and put it in the blender and turn it on.


Kids if you haven't used a blender before, be sure to ask your parents about how to safely and correctly use a blender before trying this recipe.



Fruit Smoothie Recipe

Serves about 6 people.


Base ingredients:

1 cup of milk

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 can of orange juice concentrate

1 tsp vanilla

1 tray of ice cubes


Fruit Ideas:

Bananas

Strawberries

Blueberries

Raspberries

Apples/Applesauce

Kiwi

Grapes


Instructions: I always put milk in the blender first. Most blenders have measurements on the side so you don't have to measure the milk in a different container first. Now add the sugar, juice, vanilla, and fruit of your choice. Don't forget to wash your fruit and remove any stems.


(For your first smoothie, be sure to pick fruits that you like. It does not matter how much of each fruit you put in as long as you don't overfill your blender. My favorite combination of flavors so far is 2 bananas, a few strawberries, and a few blueberries. As you make more smoothies, try putting in a little bit of a fruit that you don't normally like. For example: I don't like blueberries if I am just eating them plain, but I love to put 7 or 8 blueberries in my smoothies. My favorite smoothie even has blueberries! So don't be scared to add a little bit of a fruit you haven't tried before.)


Once everything is in the blender except the ice, turn on the blender until everything is chopped up and mixed. Turn off the blender and add the ice. (I add half the ice. Blend. Then add the rest of the ice. Blend again.) You don't want to blend the ice too much. You still want to have small pieces of ice left in the smoothie.


Now pour it into cups and serve it to your family and friends! Be sure to eat it immediately. If you let the ice melt it won't taste quite the same.


Enjoy!!


Click here for more kids recipes.

Click here to find more free homeschool resources.

Organized List of Free Homeschool Resources

Posted on March 14, 2017 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)

I have been homeschooling for a little over a year now. We are not a wealthy family so I cannot afford to by the $100 curriculums for each subject that many other homeschooling families pay for. We do our homeschooling almost entirely free. Occasionally I do find a resource that I do feel is worth paying a few dollars for, but these are the exception not the rule.


There are many free resources on the internet that can be used to help educate your children. However, I have not found a list of these resources that I find particularly helpful in finding just exactly what I am looking for. After I unexpectedly lost my "Favorites" menu (which is how I saved all of my favorite resources), I decided to make my own organized list of free home educating resources. You are all welcome to use my list as well. Just click here and save the page to your "Favorites" so you don't lose it. (Unless of course you randomly lose your "Favorites" list like I did.)


This list is still in its beginning stages. I will not claim that it is well organized or very extensive at this point. I do however have a growing collection of sites that offer free resources. Some of this information is organized into subjects and level of understanding. This is an ongoing process and both the list of sites as well as the organization of resources by subjects will continue to grow.


This is a sample look at what my collection of free website resources looks like. The websites are not organized in any way yet. I just add new ones to the list as I come across them. I'm sure this list will get quite big before too long, so I will work on organizing it. How would you like to see it organized? Leave any ideas in the comments.




I have also begun to organize various parts of these websites into categories. I thought it would be best to start at the preschool level and work my way up. So I have a few of the resources sorted. Most of this is only up to the kindergarten level at this time. I plan to have resourses sorted by MANY topics. However, at this time I only have them sorted in the most basic of subjects.


You can view our math resources by clicking HERE, our reading resources by clicking HERE, and our writing resources by clicking HERE.


Do you have organizing recommendations? Now is the best time for your input, because I am just getting started!!


What are some of your favorite free resources? Let me know in the comments.


Don't forget to save the list in your favorites so that you don't lose it. Here is the link to the list again. Please check back soon to see the new additions to our list.


Happy Homeschooling!!!

How to decorate a Christmas Tree with NO Money

Posted on December 8, 2015 at 2:25 PM Comments comments (0)

It is Christmas time again! This year (just like every other Christmas for the past 8 years), I feel like there is no spare money for decorating. When I say "no money," I mean I'm not going to spend ANY money on decorating." I started searching the internet for ways to decorate a tree without spending any money. To my surprise I didn't find any blogs on the topic. There were a few that give suggestions of how to make a "perfect" tree with less money. They tell you to find sales. They teach you how to make your own ornaments that aren't free. They teach you how to make perfect looking ornaments from cheap (or not so cheap) store bought ornaments. If that is the kind of information you are searching for, you are looking in the wrong place. I am not here to tell you how to make your tree more glittery or stylish. If dollar store ornaments seem to cheap or plain for you, this isn't for you.


This article is for those who feel lucky to simply have a Christmas tree, but have NO MONEY to make it look festive. To clarify more, our tree is a "hand-me-down" that was given to us for free. When you are decorating a tree with no money you have to be creative. If you don't have a Christmas tree, I did find this article that might help. When decorating a tree without money, you HAVE to become creative. Now remember that most things DO cost money, but the trick is to recognize what you do have and how it can become an ornament. If there is something that I list, but you do not have those supplies already, then just skip it. Focus on the ones that you do have supplies for around the house. That is how you make it free.


Since I crochet (and this is a crochet site),

I will start with crochet ornaments.

Supplies needed: Crochet hook, scrap yarn (any colors)

(if you happen to have knitting needles, search the web for ornaments to knit)


This one is called Chain Loop Snowflake by Better Homes and Gardens.

Instructions are found here.



This snowflake, along with a lot of other crochet ornaments only look very good if you use a fabric stiffener to make them hard.

Fabric stiffener isn't something I keep on hand so I found an alternative.

If you have Elmer's glue, cornstarch, OR flour you can still make these ornaments.

Click for instructions for DIY fabric stiffener.


Here is another crochet snowflake ornament.

This one doesn't have written instructions, but it has charts if you are good at reading them.


This one is called Christmas Wreath Ring Ornament by Whiskers & Wool.

Find the instructions here.



The wreath pattern asks you to use 2" plastic rings. I happened to have shower curtain rings sitting around, so that is what I used.

If you don't have plastic rings, I suggest that you ch a ring that is about 2 inches in diameter with your yarn.


Add some variety and make this Mini Wreath Ornament by Planet June, too.

Instructions are found here.




Crochet Ice Skates Ornament by allcraftsblogs.com.

Here is the link.



This pattern calls for large paper clips. I only had small ones. If you have paper clips, but they are the wrong size then just improvise. You want to just crochet across the top of the paper clip. You don't want the stitches to bend around the ends of the paper clip. Continue in rounds until about the 3rd row, then decrease on one side. Continue a few more rows. You can make a chain for the shoe laces and skip the flower.


This one is Granny Square Stocking Ornament by Allen Williams.

Click here for instructions.



These Crochet Star Ornaments are found on The Darice Craft Blog.

Find the pattern here.



Once again if you don't have fabric stiffener you can get similar results if you have flour, cornstarch, or Elmer's glue.

For your convenience, here is the link again.


There are lots of other crochet patterns for ornaments you can try.

Here are a few links:

Spiral Ornament by B. Hooked Crochet

Christmas Bell by Yuli Nilssen

Tiny Christmas Angel by Bella Crochet

Six Pointed Star Garland by Anabelia Craft Design

24 day Countdown with 24 Ornaments by Heidi at Snappy Tots


Now lets move on to other free ways to decorate for Christmas!


You can make a simpler version of

Felt Holiday Ornaments by domestifluff.com

You can find the instructions here.

Essential supplies: Felt (or fabric), needle and thread

Be creative. If you don't have felt or fabric maybe you have an old shirt. If you don't have fiberfill you can use scraps of yarn. If you don't have that, what about a crumpled piece of paper or fabric? If there is something you don't have, try to think of something that will work.



Peppermint Candy Christmas Ornaments by Hello Homebody

This is where you will find the instructions.

Supplies: Peppermint Candies (or Spearmint) and Metal Cookie Cutters

I have a bag of spearmint candy that is several years old now. I thought this was a good way to use it up.

Please don't try putting plastic cookie cutters in the oven. (I only say this because I almost considered it!)



No Cook Cinnamon Ornaments by Crystal Underwood

Instructions are here.

Supplies: Flour, Salt, and Cinnamon




Salt Dough Ornaments

This page is a compilation of 27 ornaments.

Supplies needed: Salt, Flour, Paint (optional)

If you don't have paint consider making them colorful with crayons, markers, or food coloring.




Popcorn Garland

This site has good instructions.

Supplies: Popping corn, needle, thread

Here is another way to pop popcorn in a microwave without the bag.



Egg Carton Ornaments

Supplies: Egg cartons, paint/crayons/markers, string


Egg Carton Christmas Tree by Mermaids Makings

This idea was found here.



Egg Carton Snowman by Crafty Morning

Instructions are found here.

If you don't have the supplies for eyes, nose, etc; then just draw them on.



Egg Carton Bell

Instructions are found here.

If you leave the bell off it is still a cute little ornament.



Paper Ornaments

Supplies: Paper, string

(Whatever paper you may have is fine. Use newspaper. Use recycled paper. Your paper doesn't need to be fancy.)


Paper Fir Tree at krokatak.com

Instructions here.



Origami Paper Diamonds at designoform.com

Instructions here.



5 Pointed Origami Star at Homemade Gifts Made Easy

Click for instructions.



Paper Christmas Ornaments by Dinah Wulf

Find instructions here.



Don't forget the . . . PINECONES!

Go looking for pine cones under a pine tree. Add a bow and string them up on the tree!



Here is one last idea!

If you have a piece of wood and a pocket knife. Perhaps you would enjoy carving an ornament!


Please leave more suggestions in the comments!

Merry Christmas!



Ruffles Car Seat Blanket Crochet Pattern (Infants or Toddlers)

Posted on December 3, 2015 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Guess what!? Yes, another pattern is here! I am super excited about this one. I think you will like it too! Once again, I found a unique fun stitch. If you have been crocheting awhile, you know where I am coming from. The basic standard stitches get boring real fast and you want a new stitch. If not a new stitch, you at least want a new way to put those stitches together that creates a unique beautiful finish. This pattern uses the later. There are no new unusual stitches that the beginner doesn't already know. The hardest stitch used is a double crochet! BUT the combination of style and stitches is unique and creates a masterpiece!


I WON'T say I made the stitch up. I did actually see something similar once before. I WILL say that I had no one to teach me the stitch. I scoured the internet to discover how to work the stitch or to identify the name...I never found anything. I experimented and pulled out my work until I found a way to replicate what I had seen. What I mean to say is, I do owe credit to another crochet artist for the stitch. I just don't know who to thank. Even more, my version may not be the same as the original. So if this combination of stitches has a name, I am unaware of it. I decided to call it "Ruffles." Want to see it? Here it is!



Deciding what to do with the stitch was the easy part! Like always, I wanted to make a car seat blanket! (In case you are new here, check out my other car seat blanket and canopy patterns!) To be quite honest, my first attempt to make the pattern was a complete failure! At the time, I couldn't cope with the failure after so much hard work. I quit crocheting for over a year (that is why you haven't seen any new patterns for a while). I walked away from my business (except for answering pattern questions when they came in).


I focused on other parts of my life (and believe me there was plenty to keep my focus away from crocheting). Little did I know that my path away from crocheting was the path that would reignite my love for crochet. (I'll try to remember to write about that in a different post.) It was a very important journey for me. When I returned to crochet; there was excitement, ease, and a sense of accomplishment. Honestly, those are things I hadn't experienced in my life for a very long time. (Seriously! I need to write another blog about that! It is an amazing story for me. It is a little off topic for this post, though.)


Let's get back to the car seat blanket. I finally got up the guts to undo all of my hard work and begin the process of starting over. I was SO surprised by the ease and the lack of resentment for the previous failures. The pattern whipped together in only a matter of days. That was so much faster than I had been able to create a pattern before. My previous attempt for the same pattern had taken several MONTHS! It flowed, it was easy, and I was excited to feel this difference. At last, the beautiful blanket I could see in my mind became reality. So, now, I would like to introduce the "Ruffles Car Seat Blanket!"




This car seat blanket is different from the other car seat blanket patterns I have made. My other patterns had a thin layer of material between the baby and the car seat. A couple of people (literally 2) felt uncomforrable putting a blanket underneath their baby while in a carseat. I took those comments into consideration while designing this new style of car seat blanket.


So here is a list of everything you need to know about this blanket:

  • Includes variations to make for toddlers and infants
  • Material is thick (in order to keep baby warm in wintery weather)
  • ONLY on top of the baby.
  • Pocket to keep feet warm (only for infants)
  • Attached to car seat
  • It cannot be kicked off
  • Babies/toddlers can still use their hands
  • Impossible to forget or lose the blanket
  • Unusual, beautiful stitch
  • Written pattern
  • Diagrams and pictures are used to improve understanding of the pattern
  • Only uses basic stitches (but results in a more than basic look!)
  • Information to help with gauge is included in the pattern


Where do I get my copy of the pattern? (all of these patterns are great for grandchildren and baby shower gifts, too!)



Do you want to see a matching canopy pattern for this blanket?

(I've already got new design ideas spinning in my head!)

Let me know in the comments!


Are you a victim to life?

Posted on January 13, 2015 at 7:00 PM Comments comments (0)

Do you feel like you have no power to direct your life? Do you feel that all of your choices have been taken from you? Maybe you feel your happiness depends on your spouse. Perhaps you feel that whether or not you enjoy the day depends on how the kids behave. Do you feel like your life is controled by illness, death or grief? The truth is you do have the power within you to choose whether you are happy or sad. You have the power to make choices and choose how you react to the things that happen around you. To start the process from thinking "something happened to me" to "I can choose the way I react to my circumstances" it is a good idea to balance the base energy station in your body (the root chakra). Here I will explain some tips to balance this energy station.


In someone whom the root chakra is underactive they may feel like a victim to life. A victim feels their fate is out of their control. Maybe they feel their spouse, family, boss, etc controls the outcome of their life. In someone who's chakra is overactive, they may feel that they need to control how their life plays out.


The root chakra is located at the end of the tail bone. In your mind's eye picture a red light in the area of the tailbone. Picture that red (or sometimes i use white) is coming into this chakra from heaven, the earth, and/or the atmosphere around you. Then picture the red being dispersed from this energy station throughout your entire body. I also use white to purify my chakras and entire body. If my chakras are so disfunctional that I cannot recall the color (in its pure form) that is associated with that chakra, then I cleanse the chakra with white first. To do this, imagine the white coming in from the earth up through your feet, from heaven down through your head, and from the atmosphere around you coming into your torso. Imagine the white cleansing first the chakra then working outwards to cleanse the rest of the body. I also like to push any black/gray energy out of my body. The most effective way for me is to chase it with the white, forcing it out of my fingertips and toes.

 

Also to balance this chakra we must trust that God is in control. By trying to control our lives, we are showing a lack of faith in God's judgement.

 

The affirmation for this chakra is "I do not need to be in control of my life to be happy. God is in control of my life. He sees more than me and understands more than me. Today I will trust him. Today I will let him guide my life. Today I don't need to have control, but I can go with the flow and enjoy it."

 

Repeat the affirmation after opening the chakra with the colors and/or in the morning before you start your day.


Here is a site that might help you take your root chakra to the next step after you have succeeded at the basics that I have outlined.

http://www.joythruyoga.com/balancing-the-root-chakra.html


Now it is time to get to work healing your emotions and your spirit by correcting the energy inside!

Gluten Free Banana Pancakes for Kids

Posted on January 13, 2015 at 4:05 PM Comments comments (0)

I have decided to start posting recipes to help those who are parents of children with celiac disease. I am not the type of mom who uses tons of expensive flour and xanthum gum. I do occasionally put rice flour or cornstarch in dishes, but other than that I try to avoid flour completely. So as I come across recipes that are successful and yummy I will try to post them here so you will have a collection of dishes to make out of "regular" food. The recipe I have for today is banana pancakes. It seems a little crazy that these pancakes can be made without flour, but it's true! I've done it! They smell amazing while they are cooking too! Give it a try!

This is how mine turned out!



BANANA PANCAKES

1 1/2 large ripe bananas

2 eggs

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp. baking powder


INSTRUCTIONS: Crack the eggs ina bowl and whisk them. In another bowl, lightly mash the bananas with a potato masher or fork. Add the egg, baking powder, vanilla, and cinnamon to the bananas. Pour about 2 Tbls of the batter at a time onto a skillet placed over a medium-low heat and cook until the bottom appears set (1-2 min). Flip and cook other side. Serve immediately, topped with fresh fruit or maple syrup.


The recipe was originally found at paleoleap.com/flourless-banana-pancakes/

What is Healthy Living....Really?

Posted on January 5, 2015 at 5:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Last April my daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease. She spent the entire week of her 3rd birthday in the hospital! I felt awful! The doctors reassured me that there was nothing I could have done to prevent this. I believed them. After all, why should I not? They are the doctors and specializing in pediatric diabetes to boot! I am just a mother of a sick child. Well, although I do not consider myself an expert in how to keep a body healthy; I am lucky because I know someone who is an expert. Heavenly Father. He designed our bodies and built them, right? It is no surprise that he knows how to maintain them, is it? So a gracious Heavenly Father has been guiding me down a path to learn how to correctly take care of our bodies. I would like to share with you some of what I have learned in this process.


So what is healthy? We have been taught "Eat Your Grains," "Whole Grains," "Sparing Fat," "Fat is Bad," "Eat your fruits and veggies," etc. This is only a few of the examples of health advise that we get. In addition to these basic guidelines there are a bunch of health fads out there that conflict with these statements and each other? Which of these are true? I'll dive into these a little deeper.


Lets start with eating grains. Are grains good or bad? Both. Complicated right? Grains in and of themselves are good. I say this because Heavenly Father tells us so in the scriptures. However, grains are bad for us in the American Society. Especially wheat. Why? Because of the way that farming has progressed here. Guess what! Diseases like Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease that are caused by a destroyed digestive system and an intollerance to wheat are not a problem in undeveloped nations. While there are lots of differences besides the way wheat is grown between these nations, I do believe it is a significant factor. Some people who have gluten intolerances (wheat, barley, etc) say that when they leave the country to a 2nd or 3rd world country they no longer have a reaction to wheat products. Strange isn't it? Here are some ideas that some people believe to be the cause of our wheat not being safe to eat. 


First, some believe it is because we harvest the wheat too early. The impressive farming equipment allows us to be on top of harvesting our crops faster. They claim this is important because of the stage of the gluten inside the wheat. If harvested too early the gluten is in an undigestible form and rips up the sensitive digestive system as it passes through. They claim that before technology advanced the wheat would begin to sprout in the field before it was harvested. The sprouting caused a change to happen to the gluten making it not only digestible but healthy to the human body. These people also claim that correctly fermenting wheat into sour dough also changes the form of the gluten into a digestible form.


Second, there are others who believe that pesticides are the cause of our wheat being unhealthy. (I personally believe that both are true.) Roundup is heavily used in wheat farming. In fact, it is said that it is common practice to use it during harvest. This means the poison is sprayed directly onto the grains we put into our mouth. Disturbing right? While Roundup producers claim that their product is food safe, I think even they would say it isn't a good idea to drink a bottle of Roundup? Yet with all the wheat we eat and Roundup sprayed directly onto the seeds, don't you think we have all drank our bottle of Roundup by now? Just a thought.


Also another thought about Roundup. Roundup seems to be a company protected by the government. (I am sure there is plenty of money and power involved.) People in the government don't want Roundup to go under. This means they are willing to protect the Roundup company even if their products aren't safe. There is a story on the grapevine about a community in Texas near a Roundup plant. The entire community had serious outbreaks of all sorts of crazy diseases. Finally the citizens were able to track the cause back to the Roundup plant. If I remember correctly they found the Roundup in their water supply. They tried to get the cops and government involved to stop the issue. Sadly they received no help. The government turned a blind eye and even protected the Roundup company. You, like me, might think twice before spraying that stuff in our yards again.


So, do you still want to eat wheat? I suggest growing your own. No I've never done it. I imagine it isn't an easy thing to do unless you have the right equipment.


Alright, so now we have covered why we shouldn't be eating wheat so why even cover if whole wheat is good? Obviously the same applies! Whole wheat is better than refined wheat, but if you are growing your own wheat what are the chances you are going to refine it? :)


So what about using fat sparingly? Many believe that eating fat is what causes us to get fat. This is completely false. Fat is stored up because of extra glucose in the blood that is not needed immediately for energy. All foods with calories are converted into glucose. It does not matter if the calories come from fat, protein, or carbohydrates. In fact, fat and protein require more energy to digest than carbohydrates so the amount of glucose remaining in the blood stream is about the same regardless of where we get our calories. So are fats good or bad for us? It depends on where they come from. Fats and oils that are found in nature are good for us. Oils that are human produced? Not so good. So which ones are good? The fat on a chicken (or other animal), butter, coconut oil, olive oil. Not only are these fats fine, but they are important for your health so make sure you incorporate them into your diet.  There are other grievances about whether or not dairy products are healthy for you. Again, this is due to the way milk is produced. If this is an issue, milk your own cow in order to make your butter. Which fats are not healthy? Vegetable oil and any oils made from seeds. Also margarine and any other vegetable oil based foods such as shortening, etc.


So our last health statement we focused on was eating fruits and vegetables. Should we be eating these? Yes. Any food in it's natural state is good for us. The only warning with fruits and vegetables is the pesticides and other chemicals that are sprayed on them. Do what works for you. Organic is expensive, grow your own, or wash them.


I hope this helped you to learn a little bit about how to be healthy in our day.

Thanks for reading!


Best Snack to Cure the Munchies

Posted on October 6, 2014 at 3:05 PM Comments comments (0)

The past few months I have had a craving. I indulge in this snack at least once a day, sometime up to three times. With all of this snacking, I have had plenty of time to reflect on it. I have decided that it is the perfect snack for just about EVERYONE!


This snack is great for:

Curing the Munchies

The Healthy Eater

Pregnancy

Weight Loss

Diabetics

Gluten Free

Healthy

No Calories

Addictions

Cures Heartburn

and it's FREE!!


Now I am sure you could make that list a lot longer than I did, but those are just the things that stuck out in MY mind. So what is this all amazing snack? Well, it's CRUSHED ICE!


Cubed ice doesn't provide the same satisfaction as crushed, so you have to crush it! If you don't have an ice crusher, then just throw the cubes in a bag and hit it with a hammer a few times. I have often heard that eating ice is bad for your teeth. While I do not know whether or not that is true, I think it is likely less true of crushed ice. Why? Besides it being in smaller pieces, the ice is fractured and cracked and is very easy to bite into. I think that being able to bite it is an essential part of curing the munchies, so don't just suck on an ice cube and expect to get the same results.


My kids absolutely love snacking with me! It has become a bonding moment with Mom!


I have only found one drawback to this amazing new snack of ours. I am not sure it is the best thing for winter...but until then, who wants a glass of ice?


Oh and did you catch that it cures your heartburn. That has been a lifesaver for me when I am pregnant!


Update (1/5/2015): Here is a tip. Don't put the ice in a glass cup. I am sure it has something to do with heat conduction, but the glass cup makes the ice freeze to itself making it hard to get out. I have found that a tupperware cup works best.

Spring Flowers Baby Blanket/Car Seat Canopy

Posted on August 15, 2014 at 6:30 PM Comments comments (0)

My latest pattern is finally up! I have had this pattern mostly completed for the better part of a year now! Yeah, I know...ridiculous! This year hasn't been a typical year for us, though. It has been a year filled with health issues and medical surprises. Among all of these, we are expecting a new baby this fall! We are excited for our little girl to join us. An interesting note is that I had this blanket almost completed before I even became pregnant. Lucky for me, I picked girl colors!


So here it is: The Spring Flowers Baby Blanket!

Crochet Experience Level: Easy

Hook Size: J



Included with this pattern, for only the price of one, is the Spring Flowers Car Seat Canopy! Here is what the canopy looks like.



Buy both of these patterns for $3.50.


Other patterns designed by Yarn & Hook:


Are there homeless people in Cache Valley?

Posted on February 10, 2014 at 2:35 PM Comments comments (0)

"Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my bretheren,

ye have done it unto me."

- Matt 25:40


Only a short while ago, if you would have asked me if there were homeless people in Cache Valley, I would have said "no" or "maybe 1 or 2." Am I naive? Yes, of course!! This past month, I have set out to find a way to help my needy neighbors. You know what I found!? There are a lot of homeless people in Cache Valley!



You don't believe me, do you... You are thinking to yourself, "Then why haven't I ever seen anyone like the man in the picture above?" The answer is because we are talking about a different kind of homelessness. The man in the picture is likely chronically homeless. Most of the homeless people in Cache Valley are temporarily homeless because of some misfortune. They are the type of people who have lost their jobs because of the economic downturn. Then they watched their savings disappear as they handed out resumes and filled out job applications. Eventually the mortgage payment couldn't be paid and banks kick both parents and children out of their homes. These are good people. They are our neighbors, our relatives, and our friends.


Do I have proof? Yes! Capsa (a facility who shelters victims of abuse) has told me that in the year of 2013 they had to turn away over 250 people with no where else to go. Why were they turned away? Two-thirds of them who were turned away were abuse victims who qualified for the program, but the facility was full. The other third were homeless people who did not meet the qualifications of the facility. Roughly 2/3 of those turned away were children!! I have also spoken with the LDS transient missionaries for the area and they say they average about 1 call per day of people who need a place to stay that night.


So, what is the current procedure in Cache Valley for these people? To send them to St. Anne's homeless shelter in Ogden. You may be saying, "What is wrong with that?" I have a few reasons.


First of all, is it really the responsibility of Ogden to take care of the poor in OUR community? We aren't incredibly overwhelmed with other social issues here in Logan. Surely we can find a way to take care "of the least of these, [our] bretheren" (Matt 25:40)


Second, remember that feeling you feel when you walk in your door after you have been away for a while? You may breathe a sigh of relief and perhaps even say to yourself "I'm home." Kids are great examples of this! They will often run into the house and call out "Mom, I'm home!" Why do we do this? Because it is a place we feel secure, loved, accepted, and safe. It is these things in a person's life that encourages them to love, serve, learn, forgive, and ultimatley succeed.


So, what does that have to do with anything? If you are a resident of Cache Valley, chances are you have been here for quite a while. Perhaps if you are like me, you have even lived here your entire life! Have you ever been away from Cache Valley for an extended period of time and then on your trip home you came out of Sardine Canyon and saw the valley before you? Did you ever feel the same way you did when you walked in the front door of your home? Have you ever breathed a sigh of relief and said "I'm home" as you looked out over the valley?


So now think about that for a moment. Imagine you had lost your home. It would feel like you had lost everything! It isn't until you go to the charitable organizations in the valley that you realize you had more to lose. They tell you that your only option besides sleeping in the canyon is to leave another home behind. This time you have to leave the comfort and security of Cache Valley to go to Ogden. Suddenly they don't even have the comfort of waking up to see the Wellsvile mountains! If this happened to me, I would suddenly lose all of my self-reliance and become completely dependent on others. Why? Basically everything I know is in Cache Valley. Not only would  I need to rely on others for a roof and probably a meal, but suddenly I need help finding the grocery store, the employment center, the church, the gas station, etc.


I personally think that sending them out of Cache Valley is the most detrimental thing we can do for these people. Similar to the affects it would have on a child's success if they were removed from a loving secure family and home and placed in an orphanage. There is great power in the comfort of home!



Third, this forces children to leave their school. I think we would all agree that switching schools in the middle of a school year is more likely to decrease the child's chance for successful learning than if they had stayed in the same school until the end of the school year. On top of this, if the child were allowed to stay in the same school, their school would likely be the only constant in their life during this rough time. The more we can keep constant, familiar, and secure in their lives the better.


Fourth, there is currently no way to get homeless people to Ogden after regular business hours. This means that if someone comes looking for a place to stay that night and arrives at 5:30, there is no way to to get them to Ogden until 8 in the morning. Even worse, if they happen to be looking for shelter on the weekend, they have to wait until businesses open on Monday morning. So what are these people told to do in the mean time? Hunker down somewhere and wait for morning. What if it is the bitter cold of winter? Same scenario. There are many good people here in Cache Valley! Can't we put our heads together and find a way to solve this problem?


Fifth, some of the people who are being told to go to the Ogden shelter have expressed concern about returning to a previous addiction to drugs, alcohol, etc. It is unclear if these people had been residents of the shelter in years prior due to their addiction or perhaps they have connections and friends in the area who would influence them to return to their addictions. Either way, being in Logan has helped them stay sober. Isn't that an admirable quality? Yet, if they stay there is no respect or help for them. Can't we do something?


If you are interested in helping me find a way to fill the needs of our neighbors here in Cache Valley. Please shoot me an email at: [email protected]! There is no reason that people need to suffer or be rejected in such a wonderful community as Cache Valley!

Family Photos

Posted on February 3, 2014 at 10:00 PM Comments comments (0)

I promised an updated family photo a while back, so here it is! This photo was taken by the amazing BreAnne who runs BreAnne Weston Photography! You can see her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/pages/Breanne-Weston-Photography/260400343978330.



You many notice the expressions on my youngsters .... kudos to BreAnne for getting them to look THiS good!!! What you can't tell is that it was a very chilly day AND it was raining on us. You may notice that we are standing in mud. We were all covered in mud by the end of the photoshoot, and we had at least 2 inches of mud stuck to the bottom of our shoes. Of course,also clinging to our shoes are those beautiful leaves we were trying to capture. The biggest winner (and therefore the muddiest of all) was my second daughter. She had mud from her head to her toes! Of course, it got all tracked into the car. If you are ever around small children you can imagine how many places they could find to put that mud. It was all over their seats, the floor, the mats, the seats in front of them. Thank heavens I asked them to sit still! Can you imagine if I hadn't!? I am sure they would have had it on the ceiling and in the trunk!  :D


After all is said and done, it was a great time! We certainly have more crazy memories to laugh about every time we see these pictures!


My hope is that we can all find the reasons to be happy despite the curve balls that life throws at us. There is always something good in our lives if we just search for it. Sometimes we may have to look hard and other times it may stare us in the face. I am working on a goal to see every situation, person, trial, etc. in a positive light. Guess what!? Now I find myself smiling randomly for no reason at all! Yes it takes work to think positive. The popular media today certainly doesn't teach such a way of thinking. Oh, but you should so try it! It is very, VERY worth it!!!!


Wishing you the best!

Yarn & Hook

How to get a child to sleep

Posted on January 13, 2014 at 3:20 PM Comments comments (0)

You know those days when you are up all night with a tired kid who screams hysterically when you put him to bed. Usually there is a good reason for this like an illness or teething. Sometimes they are scared because they had a bad dream, or best of all they just want to play all night and don't act tired at all.



Those nights can be so frustrating! Before you know it, you discover that being ornery is contagious and Mom's got it too! So what is the answer? The past few months I have found something that has worked 100% of the time! It works in about 10 minutes! Plus, it won't cost you a penny! However, there is one catch. It won't work in the summer. Still it works about 60% of the year, so go ahead give it a try! So what do you need for this little miracle?



Recognize that? Yep, that's a heat vent!



... and baby's favorite blanket! If it isn't big enough to cover both you and your child then grab a big one as well. Believe it or not that is all you need! Now it is time to turn up the thermostat, sit on the floor, and put the blanket over both of you and the heat vent. Usually your child won't want to just sit there at first. They will likely try to squirm, get away, or play with your face. Hold them gently but firmly so they can't move. Please don't squeeze, there is a difference between the two. The child should enjoy this one on one time with mama. Give her a kiss, tell her you love her, rock her back and forth, and sing her a lullaby. Try not to do anything that will stimulate her mind like games, books, stories, etc. Keep it simple. Just love him and make sure he feels that love. By the time the furnace shuts off he should be very relaxed and no longer squirming. Then wrap his favorite (rather warm) blanket around him and put him in bed with a kiss.


Ta-Da! Baby is in bed to stay! At least it has always worked for me. I hope it works for you, too!


Yarn & Hook


Crochet Patterns by Yarn & Hook



Winter Warmth Car Seat Blanket Crochet Pattern

Posted on December 22, 2013 at 12:35 AM Comments comments (2)

This blog is focused on our most loved pattern, the Winter Car Seat Blanket. This pattern works great for boys and girls, and is the very best when it comes to warmth. This blanket is made with a weave stitch that few people use or know. This particular stitch makes a very thick fabric and is great for keeping the cold out and warmth in.



Beyond that, this blanket is designed with three flaps to fold over baby. This guarantees that baby will lose as little of his body heat as possible while he travels in the cold of winter. This blanket is designed for convenience, as it stays in the car seat while baby comes and goes. It is also extremely easy to remove and clean, and is impossible for baby to kick off into the dirt while transporting.




This blanket was originally made for my newborn boy. While he used it, I discovered a few things that weren't as good as I wanted it. I always believe the best way to know how to improve a product is to use it. First of all, I discovered that while the blanket was the PERFECT size for him when he was a newborn, he began to outgrow the blanket when he was about 6 months. To fix this problem, I have included in the pattern a variation which includes instructions to make the blanket larger for an older or bigger infant. Second, I discovered that while his body was warm, his face was not. He would often breath in the cold air and have a coughing spasm. To solve this problem, I designed a matching canopy!




The Woven Car Seat Canopy is made with the same stitch as the blanket, and is therefore also very thick and effective at keeping the heat in and the cold out. Still this canopy (like any crochet project) has small holes in it, making it breathable. After making these 2 basic changes, I decided I had reached perfection and could not improve on them any more. Now your baby can be warm and cozy while he travels this winter, too! If you buy both patterns together, you can receive them for a discounted price HERE.


These patterns make wonderful baby shower gifts from Grandma!


If you have any suggestions or comments, feel free to leave them below.


Happy crocheting!

Yarn & Hook


MORE PATTERNS BY YARN & HOOK



This entry is an update from an older post.

Broken Links

Posted on December 11, 2013 at 1:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Sorry if you have come across broken links on my website! I have been working all day to fix them all. Please notify me if you find any more!


Several months ago I noticed a severe drop in my sales and visits to my site. I had tried many things to improve my site so it would be more searchable, among other things. I even put out a new pattern during that time (which always brings up the visits). I saw small increases, but not lasting changes. Then, today, I decide to get on my site and change a few links. While looking at those links, I discovered that virtually none of my internal links on my website were working anymore. I soon discovered this is thanks to some "upgrading" done on the part of my site builder (webs.com). In the process they had changed the URLs for my pages without forwarding them from the old URLs. Slightly frustrating.


As far as I can tell, I finally replaced all of the old URLs with the new ones. If you come across another broken one, please let me know! It is unlikely that I will come across it, I rarely navigate my site the way that my customers do. This also means that links to my site are broken all over the web. If you happen to have a link to my site on your blog, website, pinterest, or facebook; it would be greatly appreciated if you would update that link.


Thanks again to all my wonderful supporters!


Yarn & Hook


An Addition to the Family

Posted on November 29, 2013 at 1:45 PM Comments comments (0)

I don't think I ever mentioned that we had an addition to our family!!! Oops! :P Well it is old news now! He is our third child and is his mother's pride and joy! I think I may have mentioned I was pregnant. I guess I haven't been a very good blogger (but that's no secret, is it?!). But here he is anyway, my young little sweetheart! Love you!



Sorry, that's not a great picture. It also isn't a very recent picture. He looks so sad. I don't remember why, but I do remember it was about 100 degrees that day. Maybe that is why he looks so uncomfortable. My girls got tons of pictures by his age. He only has a handful. It looks like I need to get the camera out a little more, again. I do have some cute pictures that we had taken professionally this fall. I'll post them up when I get them, so check back soon!


Yarn & Hook

Thanksgiving Sale for Crochet Patterns

Posted on November 26, 2013 at 9:15 PM Comments comments (0)

Black Friday is a time for the best sales of the year! It is also the time that people start thinking about Christmas gifts! Yarn & Hook is having its own sale this year! Get patterns for the best home made gifts you can give this season for the little one in your life! What better way is there to prove Grandma's love?


BUY 1 GET 1 FREE!!!!

Just use the promo code "Black Friday" at checkout.


Crochet patterns also make great gifts themselves! Give the gift of a beautiful pattern to that special crafter you know!


Hurry! Sale lasts only 6 days!

Just spend $3.50 to get your free pattern!

Nov. 27 - Dec. 2, 2013


***Important Note: You must check out by clicking "add to cart." Here you will see a tag symbol where you can enter the promo code.***


Happy Holidays!

Yarn & Hook


SHOP NOW!!!


Toddler Car Seat Blanket Crochet Pattern

Posted on November 25, 2013 at 1:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Introducing my latest crochet pattern. I am still in the groove of car seat blankets, only this time, it's for your toddler! The pattern costs $3.50 and can be immediately downloaded after you checkout! Enjoy!



Have you ever had to put your toddler in a freezing car and felt bad for them watching them shiver and freeze? Maybe you are the type that brings a blanket along to keep them warm. Did you ever forget to bring it? Perhaps your kid is like other kids, and tends to throw the blanket on the floor and then begs for you to reach back and pick it up again.




With this car seat blanket all of that is solved! It fastens to the back of the car seat so it won’t move around or be a hassle. It stays in the car seat permanently, so you will never forget the blanket again! It folds around your toddler twice, to make sure no body heat is lost! It can be removed so you can clean it. I even included tassels, because many kids find comfort by holding onto strings, hair, etc. In this way, the blanket will help your child self-sooth and and they’ll be more pleasant to travel with!

As if that isn’t enough, the blanket is also very elegant and stylish with it’s design of popcorn stitches!

Level: Intermediate (However, the popcorn stitch is explained in the pattern. A less experienced crocheter could figure out this pattern with some effort.)

Gauge is included in the pattern.

Happy crocheting and happy child!

Buy pattern now for $3.50.


OTHER PATTERNS BY YARN & HOOK


Patrones de crochet para asientos de bebe

Posted on August 23, 2013 at 5:50 PM Comments comments (5)

Este patrón ahora está disponible en español, además que en inglés.  Esta cobijita es bonita y práctica, y permanece en el asiento de bebé, aún cuando le sacas al bebé.  Acomodas la cobija en el asiento antes de meter al bebé, luego la doblas tres veces encima de él para que quede bien calientito.  Selecciona el botón "Buy Now" para comprar este patrón por $3.50 USD.  Planeo traducir más patrones al español pronto.  Vuelva pronto para ver más traducciones al español.




Compra ahora por $3.50 USD.


AVISO: Tengo dos patrones adicionales disponibles en español: otra cobija de asiento de bebé y una cubierta de asiento de bebé. Ambos le mantendrán a tu bebé cómodo y caliente en el invierno, porque la tela resultante es muy gruesa. Estos dos patrones combinan y hacen juego. Están diseñados para los que tejen al nivel intermedio. Cada patrón cuesta $3.50 USD. Podrás bajar el patrón inmediatamente después de comprarlo. Para comprar un patrón, simplemente oprime el botón "Buy Now"  del patrón que deseas comprar.

 


Compra ahora por $3.50 USD.




Compra ahora por $3.50 USD.


Un saludo cordial,

Yarn & Hook

Car Seat Canopy/Cover Crochet Pattern

Posted on February 22, 2013 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (8)

Here is my newest crochet pattern! It is called the Woven Car Seat Canopy. This pattern is designed to go with my Winter Car Seat Blanket pattern. Together they make a super cute car seat set! The canopy is thick, but still very breathable. This feature makes it great to help keep the chill off baby in the winter and even the intense heat off him in the summer. This canopy is also helpful in protecting baby from the wind, sunburns, and keeping the sunlight out of her eyes so she can rest.


Woven car seat canopy crochet pattern


The canopy is a great gift idea from grandmothers, mothers, or for baby showers! The pattern level is intermediate. Buy the pattern for $3.50 by clicking here or save when you buy both patterns for only $6.50.


matching car seat blanket and canopy crochet patterns



MORE PATTERNS BY YARN & HOOK!


More crochet patterns by Yarn & Hook

Save Money When You Shop Online!

Posted on December 28, 2012 at 10:35 PM Comments comments (0)

If you like to save money and if you ever shop online you should read this!!


This may not be news to many people, as I don't make it a point to be the first to know about internet sites. My sister-in-law told me about this one and I will be forever grateful. Here is a site you want to know about. They give you a percentage of each online purchase you make back in a rebate. They give rebates for over 1,500 stores! Plus they are stores that we all know, such as walmart.com, amazon.com, bestbuy.com, and homedepot.com! There are also a bunch of other sites we don't know about (at least I don't know all of them).


Not only do they give you money back in rebates, but they also have a bunch of coupons, and a lot of sites offer free shipping through this website! So anyway they call themselves Ebates and just click here to go to their site.


I wanted to know, so I figured you would too. Enjoy!!


Yarn & Hook


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