Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A Typical Day?














This was the conversation today at our house while cleaning out the kids drawers and trying to reorganize life...

One of the Boys: (can't remember which one)  "I need some, blah, blah, blah...(I wasn't really paying that much attention)"
Me:  (after an hour of working on the SAME 2 drawers with the boys...and their bickering and griping)
        "I need to get some new kids."
Benji:  "Where would you get new ones?"
Me:  "Craig's List"
Benji:  "They don't have kids on Craig's List."
Me:  "They're about to have 4 of them."
Jon:  "Mom really could be a comedian."

:)












Thursday, September 15, 2011

I Have No Title

I know, I know, I said I'd be around more...have you ever heard the quote, "We plan, God laughs."  Well, yeah, that's true.  I have pages of daily schedules, weekly plans, and yearly calendar appointments, and yet I don't think I've successfully completed one day of my plans in the last....well, ever!  One reason for the chaos, is Emmitt.  He is the Miniature Schnauzer puppy we got for Jonathan back in June.  He was a 6 lb. floppy eared snuggle muffin when we got him, and I had a hard time doing anything, but cuddling the little guy.


Now, he's a 12 lb. snuggle muffin with a LOT of energy and we spend at least an hour every day at the dog park letting him play with the other dogs and run around and around and around, and around and.......

 Dave has decided he wants to learn to knit like Mommy and Maddie...he's working on practice rows, but he thinks it's a sweater.  :)
 Maddie got her very first Pointe Shoes and has started dancing on pointe at the studio this year.  (That's her AMAZING ballet and pointe teacher, Ms. Deidre.  She came with us to make sure the fit and the shoes were just right for the girl...I told you she was amazing!)  And pointe is just ONE of her ELEVEN classes at the studio this year.  She takes her dancing VERY seriously!  :)
 I tackled Entrelac Knitting for the first time, and then I felted it to cover up all the mistakes, which resulted in one of my favorite projects ever..this purse.
 I liked it so much that I made another, slightly bigger and more "fallish" version...and gave it away to my friend for her birthday--that's how much I love her.
 Then I pulled out the Cashmere/Merino Wool yarn that I bought for another project that didn't wow me once I got it started (the project, not the yarn) and I made this adorable little boy sweater and hat set for a couple at church about to have their first baby! (Sorry, I forgot to rotate the picture before posting...and now it's too much work to go back and do it again.)
 I thought this button was fabulous, even though the picture doesn't show the colors well at all!  The sweater is a lovely neutral oatmeal shade and the button has several tans and rust colors all swirled around on it.
 So, I added a tan stripe to the matching hat, just to make it worthy of the sweater!  ;)
And THAT'S what I've been doing since I "saw" you last.

Currently, we're still homeschooling 4 days a week.  The Texas fires have stayed away from us, but threatened my folks and some friends for awhile there....too scary!  We're dancing full force again with daily classes and weekend rehearsals every other Saturday.  I have two pair of socks on the needles in various stages of completion, as well as David's ninja mask which I put down when it got too hot for him to wear, but will need to pick up again to be ready for the winter...if winter even shows up around here this year!  (I have my doubts.)  And another felted purse is in the works to add to the Etsy store since I've gotten more oohs and ahhs over the two I finished than I have over anything else I've made. 

So how about you, what have you been up to?  Fill me in...I'm so out of the loop!

Monday, August 8, 2011

In Case You Were Looking for Me....




I've been on Etsy. At least that's where I've been internet-wise.

I've been to Dance Intensives with the girl, Motorcycle Competitions with the boys, 3 day long Birthday Bashes with the girl and her friends, and I've been to Dallas a time or two for Kidney Stuff...sigh.

At any rate. I am going to try to stop by here a little more often, but I must warn you, the cakes and cookies will be few and far between. I have found that making them for other people is quite stressful and tiring for me and with a 3% loss in my kidney function over the last year, I don't need to add stress. So, from now on, I'm only doing them for VERY special occasions and for immediate family. The knitting on the other hand, is more relaxing and fun for me, so plan to see a lot more of that around here. :)

With that in mind, I've opened up my own little Etsy shop! It's in the VERY early stages right now, and I hope to do more aesthetic work on it soon, but I'm just trying to get it stocked with some merchandise at the moment and start generating some sales.

An interesting little story about the name of the shop...As long as I've had an "At Home Business", (from Tole Painting to Cakes to Knitted Items) my business has been called "Linen and Purple". I took it from the verse in Proverbs 31 which says something to the effect of "...she clothes herself in linen and purple by the works of her own hand." With that in mind, I entered that as the name of my new little Etsy shop and guess what? Someone else already had a shop by that name! AND they referenced the same Bible verse. Kind of cool that someone out there thinks like me, but kind of a bummer to lose my name after all these years. However, I thought about it, and I decided that I've become so connected with the name "Kids and Cakes" that I'd just stick with that name. It's how I'm known here in the blogosphere, it's my name on Ravelry, and I even use it for my email address, so why not keep it over in the world of Etsy? And that's what I did. If you want to find me over there, you can look me up at http://www.etsy.com/shop/kidsandcakes.

I've only got a few items up right now, and I have actually made a couple of sales locally to people who saw my items and contacted me for special orders. But here are some pictures of the types of items that are/will be available for purchase. The felted purse in the picture above I made for the girl, but I intend to make several of these, so they will be available soon!

A 4 Piece Kitchen set: 2 crocheted double-layered potholders and 2 hand-knit dishcloths


Hand-Knit 100% Cotton Cardigan and Hat for a Newborn Baby Girl (sold)

A Combination Knit/Crocheted Market Bag With a Variety of Uses

And Finally, 2 Styles of Elfin Hats for a Newborn Baby Boy (these were a special order, and are apparently a new trend in baby-wear)




Thursday, June 2, 2011

Ditto Kelli...

So I just read Kelli's latest post and I say, "Ditto". Every time I sit down to fill you in on all that's happened since surgery, something else takes over my brain and since I can only focus on one thing at a time these days, the blog goes (again) to the back burner.

So, as a quick summary (while my brain is focused here) I had the surgery, but it didn't accomplish much. The problem wasn't in the tube leading into my kidney, it is in the condition of my kidneys in general, and while my doctor and very good friend tried his best to make it better, I ended up septic in the hospital with
peylonephritis. It was not fun. I don't every want to do it again. And the doctor says that because of this development, he won't do that surgery on me again. Which means, the next time I am blocked, well, I'm not sure what we'll do about it...sigh. But I'm better now, and that was just an update for those who have been wondering what happened to me after surgery.

Now, on to one of the other things that keeps me away from the blogoverse...my daughter's dance schedule. She was in 11 different dances in this year's Spring Show. She is taking 11 classes this year including the performance troupe at our studio which participates in MANY performances and competitions throughout the year. For those of you who think that is too much, and I should lighten her schedule, here is how the conversation went in the car last week:

Maddie: Mom, what am I going to do for dance for the next 2 weeks until summer classes start?

Me: Well, I can just take you up to the studio and you can practice whatever you want while I work.

Maddie: But I NEED a teacher to teach me!

Me: Don't you just want to enjoy a little break before you start up again?

Maddie: NEVER!!!

And this year she choreographed her solo for troupe tryouts completely on her own. She chose the song and planned the entire thing by herself. I didn't even get to see it until the day before the tryouts. I do have a video taken while she was still working out the choreography. It's not danced full out as she was still figuring out parts of it, but it will give you an idea of what kind of dancer she wants to be...and why I don't mind taking her to the dance studio almost every.single.day.

FINALLY got the video to work!


video

Monday, February 28, 2011

Ups and Downs and All Arounds...

I haven't been here in a week or three. Yes, I've been busy, but it's more than that. I've made cookies and cakes, I've knitted socks and ninja masks, and I've traveled and chaperoned the most amazing group of dancers EVER. Yes, I've been busy, but the reason I haven't been here is not the busyness of life. It's the in-between stuff.

I've been having kidney troubles again. And while I've managed to fulfill my responsibilities thus far, in between each of those events, I've been crashed on the couch...recovering. Last weekend, while I was in San Antonio for the ShowStoppers Dance Competition with the girl, it became unbearable and I knew that something would have to be done--soon. So, I am here to announce that I am having surgery to remove blockages in my kidneys tomorrow, March 1st at 3:00pm CST. If ya'll want to say a prayer, that would be awesome.

However, my problems are NOTHING compared to my friend, Kelli. In my last post, I wrote that after 5 agonizing years, a possible donor was found to give Kelli a new kidney. Yesterday, that donor was rejected. She was the last one on a list that began with 50 or so candidates, and they turned her away. The search begins again. My heart is broken for my friend and her family. So while you're saying those prayers, please send one up for her as well, and if you've ever considered being a living kidney donor, please, please, please head on over to No comments: Links to this post

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Best News EVER!!!


Last night, I was in my car listening to an audio book, when it paused and chimed indicating that I had a new email. I paused the book to check the email,(Calm down, I was just sitting in the driveway listening to the end of the chapter--not driving!) and it was from Kelli! And it contained the best news EVER!!!

WE HAVE AN APPROVED KIDNEY DONOR!!!

WE HAVE AN APPROVED KIDNEY DONOR!!!

SURGERY IS TENTATIVELY THE END OF MARCH!!!!

5 YEARS FROM THE DAY I WAS FIRST LISTED!

We just got word that Sarah has been approved, and should be flown into Cedars in the next 2 weeks or so.

Surgery is tentatively the end of March, but we will know more as we go.

Are we excited? Yes/No. I think with all we have been through it will be a "once I am on the table" thing.

I will need to be going to LA for treatment starting the first of March for 3 treatments, one week apart.

So, now, we just have to kick fund raising up to the moon to get all this paid for.

Ok God, sell a few of those cows on the hill please :)


YOUR PRAYERS ARE SO APPRECIATED OVER THESE LAST 5 YEARS EVERYONE. You have sustained us through so much fear and doubt and and and and and ....

Thank you.

Thank you.


Yeehaw!! Woo-Hoo!! WOOT-WOOT!!!

I am sooooooooo happy for my friend who will hopefully have kidney function within the next two months and then perhaps she can get those legs to start working again! The road is far from over, but the light is bright and shining at the end of a very, very long tunnel.

You can pop on over to Kelli's Blog to get more details, or to get to know this amazing friend of mine a little better, or to make a donation to help her pay for all of the travel and surgery and whatnot.

Did I say Yeehaw???

Thursday, February 3, 2011

An Update on Baby Lily...


As you can see, she is a peaceful little thing.

Since I last posted on her, she has been taken off the ventilator, but apparently still "forgets" to breathe sometimes and will go quite pale--which scares her mama quite a bit. But, she was up to 2 lbs. 4 oz. at her last weigh in and is eating quite well.

She has brain scans regularly to look for infections and other problems common to preemies. So far, they have all come back clean. However, her last test showed a potential problem. Here is the post from her mama.

Please pray especially for healing for Lily. Her brain ultrasound came back with evidence of small cysts in her frontal white matter which is known to cause cerebral palsy. The doctors said we have to wait to have an MRI done for a more conclusive diagnosis, but it will not be done until she is closer to going home. These cysts can go away which is what we are praying for.
Please join us in praying that these cysts disappear on her own and that Lily continues to grow and develop normally as she would have in the womb.

She is getting so big, I think you'll be seeing some pictures of "big girl" knitting projects popping up here soon! :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Therapy...

Recently, a conversation was had at my parents' house. It began with a discussion of the newly released movie, The King's Speech. I had heard there was a lot of profanity in the movie, and my father was explaining that it was a necessary part of the story as apparently, just as stutterers can sing without stuttering, they can also curse without stuttering. So in this particular case, the cursing was...therapy. (Upon hearing this, my husband cheered.)

The conversation then took a turn and we began discussing the socks I was knitting, and the fact that I had recently walked into a yarn store to find no fewer than 5 men knitting along with the ladies in a knitting group. Now I had heard that there are men out there who knit, but I'd never actually seen them in real life. It was fabulous!

Anyway, this led the conversation around to the rumor that Russell Crowe is a knitter. And it was suggested that perhaps he used the knitting to control his temper--as opposed to the therapy described above. :)

At any rate, I did manage to finish my January socks with one day to spare, and just in time it seems. Yesterday we had a high of 81 degrees--today the expected low is 18!!! There are two things that make this forecast bearable: 1) This is Texas, and it can be 18 degrees today, but chances are that before the week is out, it will be closer to 80 again, and 2) I have a lovely pair of Merino Wool socks to wear with my boots to keep my tootsies toasty!

I also finished the stocking cap for the neighbor boy and yesterday I found the yarn to finish his matching scarf. I'm betting he's wishing I had found that yarn a bit sooner right about now...brr! (I'll get a picture once both are finished.)

I also finished the beret for the birthday party TWO DAYS EARLY! It is modeled here by my lovely daughter--I've not yet seen the birthday girl with it on...but perhaps now that it's frigid outside, I will!

And I was able to finally get a picture of my mother-in-law in the sweater that I knit for her this Christmas.

Yesterday, I started on my February socks. I am making them for the girl for Valentine's Day. They are made from a beautiful fingering weight wool/bamboo blend in a muted red that does NOT bring the Nebraska Cornhuskers to mind, and therefore does not make me twitch. The pattern, however, has caused much twitching, gnawing of fingernails, and gnashing of teeth.

This pattern is apparently not for the beginning knitter, or even the somewhat-experienced knitter, this pattern is definitely for the advanced knitter--which I am not. I managed to work 13 rows of a 16 row pattern before I dropped 3 unrecoverable stitches and had to frog the entire thing...sigh.

I cast on again and managed 3 rows of ribbing before I noticed that I had cast on too few stitches and had to start over....again.

At this point, I am seriously considering switching to that other form of therapy....

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Seen and Heard...

I was having a conversation with Dave the other day. It went something like this:

Dave: "Just one more baby Mom, please!"
Mom: "No Dave, you are the last baby. No more. But when you grow up and get married, you can have your own babies."
Dave: "I can have my own babies?"
Mom: "Yes. When you are married."
Dave: "How many can I have?"
Mom: "As many as you and your wife decide to have."
Dave: "I'm gonna have a thousand babies!"
Mom: "Wow, that's a lot of babies."
Dave: "Yeah, God doesn't have enough pieces to make that many babies!"

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Little Holiday Cheer for You

I know, the holiday season is over, but as we have already established...I've been missing on the blog for a little while.

Yesterday, I managed to finish sock number one. And may I say that it is amazingly comfortable and the perfect sock to wear with my winter boots. I am pleased.

I have also made some good progress on the birthday beret--I told you they were easy and quick. (Don't judge me, it is from a 9 year old girl to a 9 year old girl...black and sparkly hot pink are all the rage.)
So, while I'm off to continue working on the hat--in between the school and the dishes and laundry, of course--I thought you might enjoy a little Nutcracker video. Since the girl made the competitive dance troupe this year, she was moved up from a Snowflake to a Chinese Dancer--representing the spice of tea. This is the video from just one of their performances at a local elementary school. My girl is in the front on the far left at the beginning of the dance. Enjoy!

video

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy!

I am still furiously working on that sock. And then, of course I still have to knit the other one--which is the problem with socks...you have to make TWO! And I'm not yet finished with the scarf, and I haven't started the hat, AND I've decided that a beret would be an excellent gift for a birthday party that the girl is going to on Sunday (they are quick and easy...really, they are). Oh yeah, and I'll need to be educating the children too. In other words, I'm a tad swamped over here--or buried beneath a pile of yarn--whatever.

So I thought I'd just post some pictures of things you all missed while I was, um, NOT blogging.

I knit my very first cardigan! Believe it or not, I made it for MYSELF! If you click on the picture to enlarge it, you may be able to see that on the yoke are two little longhorns knit right into the fabric. I found out how to put designs into the fabric like this while browsing through a book, so I plotted some longhorns on graph paper and added them to my sweater...they just seemed to belong on a burnt orange cardigan. :)




I also designed my first ballet shrug. It is seamless with thumb holes so even the hands can stay warm in when it's cold in the studio. I also knit a matching hat with a ponytail hole in it. This design was something I saw on one of my knitting programs on DIY network, but I added the ponytail hole.

And because I know you miss the cake pictures....I made a few cakes! I'm not going to post all that I did over the past 6 months, but I did do another wedding, and the cakes were rather unique.

The bride's cake was 4 tiers of alternating flavors--vanilla and chocolate. Yum!For the groom's cake, all I was told was to put a motorcycle on it. So I came up with this. I found a bride and groom cake topper with no heads, and I made helmets out of fondant and gumpaste. Then I made a "Just Married" sign for the back of the motorcycle (which you can't see in this picture) and tied little tiny Coca-Cola cans to the back.

The cake was Red Velvet with Cream Cheese Buttercream icing....DOUBLE YUM!!!!!

Now, I'm off to finish a sock...oh, and teach the kids some stuff!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Knitter's Dilemma

You've heard of "The Prisoner's Dilemma"? Well, every knitter has at one time or another been faced with "The Knitter's Dilemma". It is the point in a project when you must decide whether to frog the whole project and start again, keep going and hope it turns out right, or just toss the whole thing aside and start with a fresh ball of yarn!

Remember that lovely Merino Wool sock I was knitting?


Well, I decided to go ahead and finish it and hope it all turned out right....it didn't. I've knit socks before--lovely socks for my girl, and they turned out just beautifully. Apparently, the girl has normal feet that just fit a normal pattern. And apparently, I. do. not....sigh.

So, I got myself a brand new ball of yarn, and started again.


I also decided that I wanted a different pattern for my lovely Merino Wool socks, so I went with these lovely Sugar Maple Socks. It is sort of a mock cable pattern that keeps it interesting without being tedious.

I've been furiously knitting away on them as I've joined the self-imposed "Sock of the Month" club and need to have them finished before the end of the month. I am also still working on the red scarf and hat which really also need to be finished this month, so I will be knitting every spare moment of my time for the next couple of weeks....like I don't do that anyway! :)

Right now the kids and I are listening to "The Lord of the Rings" audio book everyday after lunch...which is now, so I'm going to sign off and try to finish the gussets on this sock before we finish chapter 5!

So what are you filling your spare time with these days?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sorry, I Got a Bit Sidetracked...

I've been a bit busy for the past couple of days. I have been working on a couple of different knitting projects this week. There is this scarf for the neighbor kid that asked for a solid red hat and scarf. It's really a simple 2x2 rib, but it gets a bit boring AND I can only stand to look at Nebraska Corn husker red for so long before I start to twitch....
So, when I need a break, I work on this lovely pair of charcoal grey boot socks...FOR MYSELF! I rarely knit for myself, so I'm anxious to get these finished and on my feet! They are a merino wool/bamboo blend and so very, very soft and just lovely to work on. However....
...I still managed to get sidetracked into knitting this little, itty-bitty, baby had and socks.
And just in case they don't look all that itty-bitty in the picture, take a look at this...
That's a 16.9 oz. bottle of water, and the hat fits it just perfectly.

And right about now, you are probably wondering why I made them so tiny. Well, I would love to introduce you to Lily Claire! Below is Lily's very first picture! Isn't she beautiful? She was born at only 25 weeks gestation and weighed 1 lb. 11 oz. She is a miracle, but look at how big that hat is on her head! She most definitely needs a new one, don't you think?

Her mom has been keeping us up-to-date on her progress via Facebook. The following pictures and quotes are from her page.
Well we started 2010 wanting a baby more than anything in the world and today we are ending 2010 next to our beautiful and strong little girl. She is a miracle!!!
Look at how tiny her hand is as she grabs on to her daddy's finger!

Lily had another good day today. I could not see her tonight because I had an elevated temperature, but Luke comes back with a huge smile on his face every time he sees her. She truly is an amazing and perfect masterpiece. We are hopeful for her recovery and are counting down the days to when she can come home.

I just LOVE this picture of her daddy hugging her incubator before they were allowed to hold her...I think he likes her! :)

Lily is doing well. The doctors and nurses are amazed at her strong lungs. She has been able to breathe on her own since she was born. They keep telling us how feisty she is. We can not wait til we can hold her and bring her home. Thanks for all the prayers, we feel God's presence among us.
See how tiny her feet are? I had to come up with my own pattern to make socks that little that wouldn't fall off...at least I hope they won't!

Today was a long day for us. It gets harder and harder to leave Lily and come home empty handed. They had to up her oxygen because her lungs were a little deflated and she is back on her beliruben light. I wish that it was time to bring her home already or at least just get to hold her.
This is her daddy's wedding ring around her WRIST!


I just saw my daughter without machines all hooked up to her face. Her eyes were opened and she wrapped her tiny finger around mine. It was a breathtaking moment...she is absolutely beautiful!!!
Well, Lily for sure does not have any infections. She went down in weight and is having blood sugar problems, but they say it's normal We did get to see her whole face and eyes opened but just long enough to get a picture, then the breathing apparatus went back on. I am beginning to understand these next few months will be a roller coaster ride!



This is the first time her mama got to hold her, and the first picture that really shows how tiny she is. I think the water bottle may be bigger than she is!
This is the most recent post from her mom.

Please pray for Lily today. Last night she had to be put on a ventilator and they think she might be septic. She has worked so hard these last two weeks to breathe on her own and while the ventilator is giving her lungs and brain a rest, it can still be damaging to the lungs and of course we hate to see her in pain. She has fought so hard so I just ask that you pray for God to give her strength and give us peace.
They are working on getting Lily her very own blog, but they gave me permission to share her with you here. When they get her blog up and running, I'll be sure to link to it for anyone who wants to keep track and to pray for her. In the meantime, I decided that a plain, pink cotton hat and socks just weren't fancy enough for such an amazing little girl, so I started on this little set that is just a touch fancier, and as you can see, I still have one more sock to make...so I'm going to get off this thing, and get to knitting!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Because I'm Really Competitive, That's Why....

My friend, D and I have sort of an unofficial competition with each other. It's a medical competition. You see, when we first became friends, about 15 years ago, (gosh D, you're OLD!) I was very pregnant, and pretty much miserable all of the time. Then she went off to Russia on a mission trip for a l-o-n-g time, which, much like pregnancy, can be both rewarding and kinda miserable all at the same time. When she got back, she started having pains and things very similar to those I have with all my kidney stones.

It turned out that she had endometriosis and had to undergo a few different surgical procedures to deal with it. In the meantime, I had a few more kidney stones, and 2 more kids. So, she went ahead and got married, and then had 2 kids of her own. Then I developed the endometriosis for myself. Then we both had one more kid each--which puts me ahead in the kid department, but we were pretty much even on the whole medical complication issues.

Since then we've continued to go back and forth with various odd ailments as well as some common ones, like ear infections...but always really close to being the same thing--at the same time. The oddest one being that shortly after I was finally diagnosed with stage 2 kidney disease, she started having kidney issues as well--although hers were said to be "over-active" while mine are, of course "under-achievers".

So, this brings us to December 2010 when I did something obnoxious to my foot.

The first suspicion was that it was a stress fracture, but x-rays showed that it was just a pulled/swollen tendon, and after 2 weeks of steroids, and a month of wearing only flat shoes (oh how I miss my cowboy boots!), I would be just fine.

Then D decided to one-up me and crack a rib or two a couple of weeks ago in what must have been a really spectacular fall in her laundry room.

Not one to give up easily, I somehow managed to hit myself in the face hard enough to knock my glasses off and apparently BREAK MY NOSE! (And yes, I remember getting hit in the face, but I can't for the life of me remember how I did it...sigh.)

So, now I can't wear my glasses...which means I can't really see all that well, so who knows what I'm really typing here...AND we're right in the middle of Cedar Fever season here, so I'm having to blow my nose about 62,000 times every day--OUCH!

So now the question is...who's ahead? Does a broken nose beat cracked ribs, or do I need to step up my game just a bit???


P.S. (By the way, right after I wrote yesterday's post, I went by Sam's Club and saw no less than THREE people buying flat screen tvs! Guess they must be a tad more reasonable these days...I haven't priced them in awhile, lol!)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I Do Love a Good Gadget

It's 9:15am here deep-in-the-heart-o-Texas. We start school at 9:00am. I wake everyone up at 8:00am. They all get up and get dressed and then get to watch some tv or whatever else they want to do until 8:30am when breakfast is served. Everyone eats, thanks me for the wonderful breakfast, brushes their teeth and eagerly prepare to start their schoolwork. Really. I'm not kidding. It says that on my schedule!

However, here it is now 9:18am and the only one awake, dressed and fed is the 5 year old...because he likes to get up early and invade my private, quiet time with the house to myself.

The girl is sleeping because she has been sick and I decided not to wake her, but to let her rest and get better. The boys are asleep because when I came home from my knitting group last night, the husband was asleep in the recliner, and the boys were playing Call of Duty--Modern Warfare on the PS3....WAY past their bedtime. The 5 year old and I have gone in to wake them up twice so far, but to no avail. On the one hand, this is frustrating...on the other hand, I'm free to write this post...so I'm not trying all that hard to get them up at the moment. Most of the country isn't even having school today because of all the snow. So really, is it fair that we should have to have school just because we live in a place where the sun is shining and it's quickly approaching 50 degrees outside? Even in Dallas they aren't starting school until 10:00am. I think 10:00am is a lovely time to start school today, so 10:00am it is!

So, back to the original purpose of this post--I Do Love a Good Gadget. A couple of years ago, thanks to a generous gift from one of my husband's clients, I received a lovely iPod Nano with Nike Plus that totally transformed my then-running, now-walking life. I was able to listen to my favorite music, or even audiobooks while I got my daily exercise all while my mileage and speed were being tracked and recorded online for my future knowledge and use. It was by far my favorite gadget of all time, and it still holds a very special place in my heart.

However, there is a new contender.

It has long been my theory that the people who need the most recent technology are those who can never afford it, while those who have the funds to purchase all the new wonders don't really need them. For example, flat screen tvs. Those of us who live in tiny houses with way too many people in them, could most certainly use a lovely flat screen tv that hangs on the wall and doesn't take up much needed square footage on the floor. However, the only people that can afford these modern technological marvels are those who have large houses and possibly even an entire media rooms to put one in. You see my point?

I have felt the same way about all the new hand held reading devices on the market today, like the Kindle and the Nook. For those of us with absolutely NO bookshelves in our homes, and no where to put one if we had it, who also happen to love books, this is the best invention EVER! However, even though the prices have started to drop in recent months, they are still a bit in the pricey range.

Enter the smartphone app.

Several months ago, Amazon released a FREE Kindle app for the Android phone. Did I mention that it was FREE????? I couldn't download that thing fast enough! And then I started reading...and reading, and reading, and reading! Basically, no matter where I am, I have a book to read, and believe me--unless I'm in a place where I could be knitting--I'm reading, baby! I even used it way out in the middle of nowhere to download a book to read to David while on a fishing trip with the family. He got bored and wanted to come and sit in the shade with me. I searched the Kindle store from my phone, found a FREE book of classic children's fairy tales, downloaded it within seconds and began reading to my boy!

I currently have one Diana Galbaldon novel, A Daily Devotional from Oswald Chambers, an Andy Andrews book for teens that my boys are reading for school, and my favorite--Lisa McKay's book "You Can Still Wear Cute Shoes" all on my Kindle ready for reading whenever I want...no bookshelf required.

So how about you, do you love gadgets too, what is your current favorite?

Monday, January 10, 2011

So, what do you think?

Mondays are a tad busy around here. We don't have school on Mondays. (I just love 3 day weekends WAY too much!) But we do work. The plan on Mondays is to recover the house and our lives from the weekend. So we do our major housecleaning on Mondays. I also kinda-sorta have a job but not really, and it usually has to be done on Monday mornings. Then I have a standing accountability meeting on Mondays. The girl has 3 dance classes on Mondays (although she has classes every day that the studio is open, so I can't really blame that on Mondays). And I have my amazing knitting group, the Needlers, on Monday nights--which I absolutely, positively DON'T like to miss. So...I probably don't have time to sit here and write a post, but.....

I did play around with a new blog name and design. I also purged some stuff. And I added some stuff. I'm not sure I'm completely satisfied with it all. And I'm pretty sure I'm not finished changing and tweaking. But I just thought I'd get a little input from ya'll.

What do you think? Do you like the new title? Is it lame? How about the new look?

Go ahead and weigh in, and I'll keep messing around with it...in-between all the cleaning, and working, and being accountable, and dancing, and knitting, and stuff.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Apparently, it's a new trend...

Okay, so in addition to NOT writing on the blog for half a year, I also haven't been reading blogs all that much. As most of you probably know, Facebook has kind of taken over as the way we all stay in touch with each other. It's so much easier to post a quick status than to, you know, compose an ENTIRE post that will hold the interest of whomever might stop by to read it.

So, with my new commitment to actually show up here and try to produce some sort of post every now and then, I decided to go ahead and check in with some of my old favorite blogs and just see what everyone else has been up to. Here's what I found...

1) at least 1/3 of the blogs I used to read daily haven't posted in at least 6 months either and some have been silent for more than a year!

2) another 1/3 of my former favorites, have abandoned their previous blogs, and started new ones under a new name.

3) the final 1/3 are still posting regularly and are as amusing and delightful as ever to read! It's good to visit with old friends again, I might add. :)

So, while I actually thought of some things to post about this morning...as I was NOT sleeping, but should have been (which could mean that I may not have had any good ideas at all...and could really just use some sleep), I began to think about the fact that this blog-o-mine really needs a good old fashioned overhaul. I need to clean up the sidebar and get rid of somethings that are no longer priorities for me, and add some new things that currently delight me. I need a new background and header. And I'm perhaps in need of a whole new blog name. I'm just not sure that the title still reflects life around here as accurately as it did when I began this blogging adventure. Of course, the kids still come first--mostly, but I'm backing off from the cakes and cookies, and let's be honest, the dishes and the laundry are merely pipe dreams that will perhaps be all caught up in the year 2025 when the last kid finally flies the coop...or Jesus comes back, whichever.

So, what do the two of you who might be reading this think? Should I archive this blog and begin again? Should I just overhaul this one, name and all and move forward? Or should I just leave it alone and get to posting something interesting for a change???

Comments will remain open until someone posts an answer I like. :)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hello...hello....is anybody out there?

I was recently accused of abandoning my blog. I was told that I have let people down. Personally, I have no idea why these accusations are being made. I mean, really, I JUST wrote a post on....JULY 16, 2010!!! Good grief!

In my defense, I did try to get on and post once or twice and couldn't log on. But really, there is no defense. Well, nothing other than a total lack of anything to say. I don't know why. For some reason, I just haven't really had much to say. I've still been making some cakes, although I've greatly cut back. I still have all four of the kids, and I still homeschool them. I've also taken up knitting, which quite frankly might be the biggest culprit. Instead of taking my little Netbook up to the dance studio and blogging while the girl dances, I've been knitting...and knitting...and knitting some more. It's an addiction. But one that produces something tangible that makes me feel like I'm accomplishing something while I sit.

It all started with a scarf, and then a hat with a hole in the back for my ponytail, then I learned how to knit cables, and I knit an entire afghan, and they whole thing just started to snowball. I've moved on to actual items of clothing, including socks and sweaters...and I'm totally hooked! My kids are requesting items...the neighbor kids are requesting items.

So....although I'm sure that a post about my new-found love of knitting, is not exactly what my accusers had in mind. It's a start....and a post...and hopefully, it will be the start to getting back on track with keeping the blogosphere up to date on the oh-so-exciting things we've been up to over here. :)