Rosie’s Socks, Or The Meditative Power Of Knitting


I am well on the way to getting Rosie’s socks finished. My dad was admitted to hospital on the Tuesday before Christmas with pneumonia, he was extremely poorly, so I sat at his bedside, the gentle clicking of my needles filling the silence. My stitches helped to keep me calm, an unspoken prayer for when words were too difficult.

Often, I was simply too tired to knit. When not at dad’s bedside, I was at home, busy with Christmas preparations, or in the car, driving my mum to the hospital.

As he began to improve, my hands were busy with washing and feeding dad, then bringing newspapers, or helping him speak to mum on the telephone.

I am beyond thankful that dad is back at home now, but I have been reminded of what Christmas really is to me; family, togetherness, warmth, and love. That darkness and despair will not go on forever;

For a child is born to us,

a son is given to us.

The government will rest on his shoulders.

And he will be called:

Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

His government and its peace

will never end.

Isaiah 9:6-7

Liebster Award Nomination

I have very kindly been awarded the Leibster award by Lori at CM Schooling. Thanks Lori!

Liebster Award Rules  

Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
Display the Liebster Award on your blog
Share 11 random facts about yourself.
Answer the 11 questions you were asked.
Nominate 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers for the Award and have them answer 11 questions.
Let the other bloggers know you’ve nominated them.
Copy the rules into your post.

Here are my 11 Random Facts:

  1. My passion is seeing families exploring and enjoying the outdoors together.
  2. I am married to my childhood sweetheart.
  3. I like to bake fairy cakes.
  4. My favourite book is Wuthering Heights.
  5. I am a knitter, a spinner, and a dyer. You will occasionally see my projects pop up on my blog.
  6. I love clothes. When I was younger, I wore original vintage pieces (cocktail dress for college class, anyone!) I rarely wear jeans, favouring pretty, 1950s-style dresses.
  7. I am a big girl.
  8. My faith is extremely important to me.
  9. My first job was as a beauty therapist, and before I had the girls, I worked as a national make up artist for a international company.
  10. I celebrate the liturgical year and special seasonal days, such as the winter solstice. I do my best to see the beauty and celebration in each day.
  11. Raising Little Shoots is eight years old! I began my blog back in 2007 on blogger.

Answers to the 11 Questions

  1. Are you a night owl or early bird? Early bird
  2. What musical instrument do you wish you could play? Piano
  3. What three words best describe you? Emotional, Faithful, Determined
  4. If you could do anything as your occupation and you would be guaranteed to be successful, what would you do? I get to do it! I am a home educating mother 🙂
  5. Coffee or tea? Neither
  6. To which literary character do you most relate? Anne Of Green Gables
  7. What was your favorite class in school? Art
  8. Which country would you most like to visit? USA
  9. Why did you decide to write a blog? To record our day-to-day doings
  10. What was your happiest moment? Corny, I know, but the birth of my children & my wedding day.
  11. What do you wish you had known before you started blogging? Home much time it takes!

11 Questions for my nominees

  1. Your favourite season?
  2. The words I’d like to live by are…
  3. Introvert or extrovert?
  4. Your favourite childhood place?
  5. Which character from a book would you most like to meet and why?
  6. What are your hobbies?
  7. Something you’re good at?
  8. What would your super-power be?
  9. Your favourite drink?
  10. Your favourite book?
  11. What kind of day are you having today?

My nominees (in no particular order)

  1. Under An English Sky
  2. Viking Academy
  3. Leah Boden
  4. The Tiger Chronicle
  5. Delivering Grace

I will have to leave it here, as I do not follow many blogs, other blogs I follow have more than 200 followers 🙂

I Will Honour Christmas In My Heart…

x eve 1

Wishing you all a very merry Christmas, dear readers

Lynn x

The Winter Solstice ~ Exploring Nature With Children


Hello friends! Today is the winter solstice and a whole chapter is devoted to this day in Exploring Nature With Children.

The weather here has been mostly extremely wet and windy.




We found many signs of winter:

• The pale winter sun, low in the sky

• A nibbled evergreen cone

• Birds’ nests visible in the bare trees

• Animal tracks in mud

• Glossy, prickly Holly leaves

• A delicate leaf skeleton

• Leaves still hanging from a tree

• Spiky Pine Needles

• Lichen on fallen wood

• Bright red berries

In other news, I am working steadily on Rosie’s new socks, using her hand-dyed yarn.


Once they are finished, I would like to get to work on a small shawl for myself using some yarn I finished spinning recently.

Christmas is almost upon us & there is much excitement chez Little Shoots! Only three more sleeps 🙂

How was your nature walk this week?

Christmas Plants Week ~ Exploring Nature With Children

This week’s theme is Christmas Plants in Exploring Nature With Children


This week has been dark and rainy, but we managed our nature walk. All the birds & fowl were extremely hungry!






We observed & sketched holly from a large tree in our garden; it was studded with bright, jewel-like berries last month, but is pretty bare now.





We are making the most of the darkness & cloudy skies; we have twinkly fairy lights and candles everywhere. In front of our nativity is a gorgeous, ginger & citrus scented candle.


As an aside, I am on the second sock of a pair for myself (a rare treat! they are usually for someone else)

I hand-dyed the yarn and chose a stitch pattern to accentuate the colours, which I thought were rather similar to the illustration in our read-aloud today; A Christmas Carol.


Happy exploring!



My Diary Is Ready!


Do you remember my Calendar of Firsts post? I talked about keeping a Charlotte Mason-inspired diary of the firsts in nature for a whole year.

I did a follow-up post about Setting up Your Calendar of Firsts. Well, as you can see from the above picture, mine is now all ready for January!

When Rose and I got home from church on Sunday evening, we all settled down for the Strictly results show, and I worked on adding washi tape to the edges of the pages.



Extra-special glittery pages for Christmas week 2016


Have you found a suitable diary for your calendar of firsts?

Advent Calendars


I thought I would take a little time to show you the many different advent calendars we have in our home.

I am compelled to point out that I have celebrated advent with children for many years now; my eldest will be thirteen years old in a few short days. So our collection has been built up over the years.

In the photo above, you can see the Advent spiral I made many years ago. We used to have a more traditional advent wreath, with five candles, but I made the spiral & prefer to use this instead. This year we have been very blessed my my mother in law, who gave the girls these two Yankee candle calendars, so we will be using the lovely scented tea lights to light our way to Christmas.

Image of Yankee Candle Christmas Advent Calendar 2015 Pink

Image of Yankee Candle Christmas Advent Calendar 2015 Blue

We say this little rhyme as we light our daily candle:

Winter is dark,

Yet each tiny spark

Brightens the way

To Christmas Day

Shine little light

And show us the way

To the bright light

Of Christmas Day.

Unfortunately, I cannot remember where I found this rhyme, so I am not able to give credit to the author. Please let me know in the comments if you do!

 The country diary of an Edwardian Lady advent calendar I bought last year, but for some reason we did not use it, so is new to us this year. Isn’t it beautiful?


Next up, we have two lovely books; Tasha Tudor’s A Book Of Christmas, which is so much more than just an advent calendar. A real treasure!

The Animal’s Advent is a sweet nature-themed calendar.


Here is our Jessie tree


Again, I made the most of the ornaments when the children were very small, we also use a clay Christmas tree ornament, which goes onto the Jessie tree on the last day.


I found the templates for the ornaments free online (the link has been long-forgotten; I printed out the daily readings and such years ago, but there are many links on the internet for you to follow. I customised the daily readings, and now use the ornaments I made with selected readings from The Jesus Story Book Bible

You will notice the nature table has been cleared for December, so we can add our nativity. We add baby Jesus on Christmas eve, before bed-time 🙂


The Wise Men make their way from a shelf in my bedroom, along the landing, down the stairs, as advent progresses, arriving on the nature table on Epiphany.


This is the children’s nativity set. When they were little, they would play for hours with this set.

(Picture of Elianna when she was a wee dot!)


We have this calendar, into which I tuck wee chocolates


This year we have also added the Latin Advent Calendar from Classical Academic Press.


In the kitchen, I have my very own Nativity


I love having this in my window! As I stand washing dishes, or preparing food for my family, its presence gently reminds me to reflect upon Christ.


I bought this set the first Christmas I was married, and in my own home. It is a very treasured possession.

I also have my advent devotional readings, which are a calendar of sorts.


This year I am using Lighted Windows, which I have used in previous years too.

I usually journal during my quiet time; sometimes I add drawings & colour.

This is an excerpt from my Lenten journal this year.


Often I just write 🙂

Each evening, I read this lovely book to Rose: Advent Storybook 24 Stories to Share Before Christmas.  A beautiful tale for young children/

So, as I said at the beginning of this post, we have many different advent calendars in our home! Please share what you use in your home in the comments. I would love to know.