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 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!

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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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. :)