Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy Belated Anniversay to Me!

It's been so busy around here that I missed my blog anniversary on the 29th. I was telling my family over the holidays how much I enjoy blogging. Between my blog and my flickr page, I have been able to push myself to become a better knitter, crafter and photographer. I have enjoyed meeting new friends through the comment sections and I think it's just plain crazy that anyone would want to read or look at what I post. I look forward to 2008 and what it brings along with it. Thanks for stopping by!

My last finished object for 2007 is another Zoe bag. My friend asked me to make one for her mom which I was pleased to do! I love this bag, but I'm not planning on knitting anymore anytime soon. I have stash longing to become sweaters and socks.

Lastly, I picked up a cheapo amaryllis at our local grocery store just before Christmas. I was pleasantly surprised to see the beautiful blossoms that have bloomed in the last few days. The sun came out for a few hours this afternoon allowing me take some pictures with my macro lens.

Again, thanks for stopping by! I hope the New Year opens many new possibilities to you and your family! Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2008! See you in the New Year!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Third Time's A Charm!


"Mom, will you make a purse for Mrs. V. She will really like it!"
"Sure Ry, I'll make a small one for you."
"No, I want a big one with a ruffle."
"No problem Ry. I'll whip one right up for you."

And that I did. Actually, they are simple to make. He wanted the same colors as the one I made in the Spring. It went all pretty smoothly and I know she will love it!
I give pretty generously to our teachers. Maybe it's because I taught for so long and I think a teacher should receive some perks to the job or maybe it's just a little bribery. Whatever it is, my kids' teachers have all been great and work hard while raising their own families. I give them a lot of credit.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Excitement Is Building!


Thank goodness I don't teach anymore. Thank you to all of you who do. Enough said.

The boys are overflowing with excitement and with that comes absolutely no listening to anything that is asked of them. Not sure if I'm going to be able to keep my sanity this year! Enjoy the pictures of the boys stringing popcorn. This was the only time my little guy stood still the entire weekend or the only time they were actually civil with one another. I'm not even going to place them next to each other on the same page for fear they might reach right out on the screen and start to wrestle. Good luck everyone on the final stretch!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Completed!



This alpaca scarf was just the softest thing that I have ever knit! The pattern was free from my LYS with the purchase of the yarn. I hope the recipient likes it! She is 21 and can be a bit picky, but this is what she asked for! I plan on making one for myself in January! Gotta go before the nine inches of snow in six hours arrives! Should be make for an interesting driving this afternoon!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Preparing


Oh man, I feel like I'm on a treadmill that's going a million miles per hour. Sleep evades me with worries that I'm not going to get things done in time. I know I will, it always does....but boy does it knock me down each year when it arrives.

We found the perfect tree this year! Thank goodness! The last two years we ended up buying from inside the barn because we couldn't find one in the field to cut. The tree farm is highly publicized so many come from all around for the country experience of cutting down a tree. Because of this, the field has been oversold and all that are left are small trees that are growing. In a few years, the farm will be back to where it was, but for now, not good. The boys don't seem to mind that we don't cut the tree down, and we do stay warmer and drier this way.

And because the normal stuff never stops in all this activity, I leave you with a shot of a typical Monday morning in our home! Laundry day! Notice our cat, sitting so pleasantly in the middle of the mess!








Thursday, December 6, 2007

Friday Round-up

Lots of things to talk about today so let's get to it!
Book recommendations:


One of our all time favorite Christmas collections is by the infamous Jan Brett. The boys grew up reading The Mitten and The Hat and from there we collected all of her enjoyable and well illustrated books. Jan Brett's Christmas Treasury collects all of her "classic" tales and binds them into a large, one volume book. It is sure to become a favorite in your home during the holiday season.


Another one of my favorites is Eve Bunting's Night Tree. It's a nice story about a family who shares with the animals in the small woods near their town. My kids enjoy reading it each year and then making treats for the animals that live behind our house. We scatter all sorts of yummy treats that the animals love. The boys like imagining that the animals have their own Christmas feast.



Lastly, the boys always enjoyed Who Is Coming To Our House by Joseph Slate. It's a wonderful board book for little hands. All the animals are anxious for the arrival of Baby Jesus so the are sprucing up the barn. It is repetitive and gives parents plenty of opportunity to use animal voices. It also comes in a paperback edition.



Some of my favorites that I look forward to each holiday season has to do with coffee. Last year I was introduced to Peet's coffee. Love it! If you enjoy strong black coffee this is for you. Their holiday blend is outstanding!




My all time favorite holiday treat is Starbucks' Peppermint Mocha! I can't drive by a Starbucks (we only have one on my side of town...go figure!) without stopping and getting my fix. The lady at the counter tells me every year that they can make it all year long for me...but I save it, just so I can have my own Christmas treat each season.


Enjoy the snow....we've had a lot the last few days. It helps make the season a bit more bright!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Snow Day #1

Today was the first snow day of the year. We usually have about five so there will be more of these posts. The boys were wicked excited to know they didn't have to go to school...but of course they were up at the normal time and outside playing in the snow at 7:30 AM!!

We were busy most of the day. The boys are creating special presents for all of their relatives so they put some effort towards their projects today. I seemed to be multi-tasking all day.

Early in the morning I made these. The tutorial can be found here. They are super easy to make. I would have made more but I ran out of D-rings. These are going to be gifted to my friends along with something else. Since we all spend our time in the car I thought it would be a good gift.

Next we made peanut butter cookies. These aren't the boys' favorites, but I had a taste for them.

Finally, amidst all the shoveling, I sat down and worked on the alpaca scarf I am making for a gift. It is so soft to knit. Hopefully, the recipient will enjoy it, as she can be a bit picky.

If only my shopping was going as well as the other areas of the holiday season. Just can't seem to get up the energy to finish it.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Friday Round-up...A Day Late

Sorry this is a day late. I planned on writing this last night, but a trip to Urgent Care changed all plans. Ryan decided to test out my new rotary scissors on his index finger. All is fine, and the cut was fixed with a butterfly, but oh the drama of it all. Did you hear him at your house???


I have enjoyed reading all the gift and craft ideas out in blogland and thought I would add my two cents. So here you go! Our favorite books, both holiday and for general enjoyment.






First up:

Probably one of the best books I have read in a long time with my children. Ry and I read this together and could not wait until bedtime to read a few more chapters. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is a wonderful book about giving and receiving the gift of love. The illustrations captivated Ry and the writing of Kate DiCamillo is outstanding. A must have in a child's library.


Next:


A true classic! The BFG by Roald Dahl has been a favorite with children for many years. Anyone who knows Dahl's works will marvel at his imagination yet directness to touch on issues that are important to any child. The BFG deals with being your own person and standing up to those of a group. Ry and I held many discussions about being different that probably would not have been started had it not been for this book.

Third:



This is for a bit older child. Matt and I surprisingly enjoyed Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pierson. As anyone who has read this or the reviews knows, you need to get pass all the spelling and grammatical errors in this book. Whoever edited this book for print has hopefully lost their job by now. This book could be used as a "what not to do" in Editing 101. Once passed that part, the book is full of action and typical ten year old humor. It's a new spin on Peter Pan.

Finally:



Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree by Robert Barry was introduced to our family by my husband. I had never read this book as a child and I have seen that it has been since updated for today's children. It a perfect book for today's "green" world.
I'll have more next week and the weeks following up to Christmas.
One last thought. I linked the Edward Tulane book through Chinaberry. Take a look at this site. They have all the classic books yet many new and different books that you may not find at your big bookstores.
That's it! Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I Am Here...Just Doing Other Stuff!

It's only November 28th and I already feel the panic of the holiday season. Why is that? I feel as if my shopping should be completed, wrapped, tree up, food bought and cookies baked! I blame the media and the merchants....enough said. I have been busy none the less. Our playroom has been cleaned and dusted(Tim and Julie we have vacuumed all the popcorn kernels and have rid the toys from your bed!) and I just finished cleaning the oven (YUCKO)! Of course the self-cleaning part of the oven is broken! Oh and please let it freeze soon so I don't have to keep mopping the floor of muddy paw marks! Please, please, please.Within all of the daily aspects of my life I have been creating. The weather has been cold and gloomy so it has been difficult to get good light to take pictures. First up:Ry's camo scarf. Made out of acrylic yarn that I found at JoAnn's. He LOVES it! Wants me to make one for all his friends as Christmas gifts. That's not going to happen! Sorry bud!

Second:


Simple hat made out of leftovers. An old ball of brown wool with an old ball of Noro and you get a cute little hat.



Third: two scarves for my niece. She gifted me with this fluffy stuff last year for Christmas. I wasn't going to make myself anything with it so I made her these girly scarves. Sorta regifting in a new way. Maybe she won't remember she gave the yarn to me, she is only 12.

That's it for today....

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

One of my favorite places on Earth that I am truly thankful for.
Enjoy your day everyone!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday Round-up


Some new things have come into my life lately. Granted they have been around for awhile but I'm always late to the party!
First: Dansko Shoes! Love them! Where I have been with these? Perfect mom shoes for being on the go. Stylish too!Second: I found this new magazine when I was perusing B/N for vacation reading. It's a perfect magazine for jump starting your organizing around the house.
Third: The Magic Eraser? What exactly is in this sponge? I don't want to know, but after trying many different products in attempts to get the milk off the wall (that has been there since my kids were toddlers) this did it!
Finally: My view from my porch this AM. It was pretty crappy driving today while out and about! Not sure I'm ready for this! Have a nice weekend everyone!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Looking Back On Disney

Well we made it. I guess, all in all, we had a great time. It's just that Disney is just SO MUCH for the brain to consume. As an adult I feel overwhelmed so I can just imagine what kids must go through. I tried to watch and record as much as possible this trip and came up with a few thoughts about the whole experience.
  • I was surprised how much the boys forgot from four years ago. Matt remembered a bit more, but Ryan didn't remember a lot of his trip when he was four. Thus, proving that going to Disney with very young children is not worth it. Wait until your kids are out of strollers at least. That being said, I am glad we took the boys when they were four and six because I have pictures of them with all the characters. This trip...no go! They were way too cool for that and didn't want to wait in the lines.
  • Amazing! That's the the word I would use for the total operation of Disney World. I am in awe about the whole package. From check-in to check-out and everything in between. The whole experience is a thoroughly oiled machine. Even when there is a hick-up in some way you can see it has been planned for and practiced, so the fix can be quickly taken care of. Homeland security could take a page from Disney's book. We only saw one crabby ride operator...and man, she was having a bad day!
  • Check-in at the parks disturbed both myself and my husband. Talk about Big Brother watching. In the past, all you had to do was scan your ticket or room key through the kiosks and go through the turnstile. Now if you have an adult ticket you also have to have your index finger read on the machine. So somewhere out there is my fingerprint. We asked about this -the Disney official told us that it was a way of keeping people from going outside and handing off your card or ticket to someone else. Nice try. Think about how many people go through the turnstiles in a year! I was not impressed!
  • This visit was the year of the rides. Gone were the easy peasy rides. Space Mountain, Everest and Mission to Space were all conquered. I have to say that Everest is the best roller coaster I have been on in years. Space Mountain will never be rode again by me...it absolutely freaked me out. The only one we didn't hit was Rockin Roller Coaster (which is my fave). The boys were just not sure of that one.
  • Take breaks! For your sanity and those around you. Plan that into your total experience. If you need to rush your visit, don't. We've all seen it at Disney, parenting at it's worst! We planned our breaks everyday and still fell into the traps of bad parenting. I think we even resorted to the "we paid a lot of money to come here..." line. Our kids weren't whinny, they just decided to beat each other up while waiting in line. Oh the joys of Disney!I guess that's it. We have memories to look back on for the next few years. I think that's how long it will take to forget the negatives and want to go again with my children. Next time they will be teenagers...I don't even want to thing about that yet!













Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Lovely New Site

It has been a whirlwind week already and it's only Tuesday. I'm trying to get things wrapped up as we are going to visit the most famous mouse couple ever to live in Florida this weekend. But, this new site came up on my radar today and I wanted to pass it on to all of you. I met Camilla through a click here and there one day while I was wasting time on the computer. Her photography is gorgeous! I only wished I lived closer so I could have her photograph my boys. Enjoy!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Friday Round-up

I am certainly glad that this week is almost over! The first part of the week was long on anticipation with the second part being short on patience! Some highlights of the week included:

Number 1: Not sure if this picture will due justice with the Halloween costumes. Ryan didn't wear half of his and Matt looks like a girl with his wig on( more therapy). They were Ghostbusters and would have looked really good if they wore their costumes correctly. That sounds pretty snarky coming from their mom. Oh well, it's been a long week! Fun was had, so that's all that counts!
Number 2: Tom Ashcroft is my new favorite hero. I have to listen to him through iTunes because our NPR station doesn't carry him. Two shows this week were particularly good. His interview with Tom Perrota on his new book, The Abstinence Teacher and his show on Our Toxic Environment. Both scary, scary topics in today's world. The Abstinence Teacher deals with sex ed in our schools, moral and ethical choices that are or are not taught to today's youth. Touchy subject no matter what side of the line you are on. Our Toxic Environment frightened the hell out of me. Pretty much nothing is tested in our country and not many people care that it isn't.

Number 3: The boys annual shaving cream war. As Ryan said" We have our war at home so we can concentrate on the candy in town."Have a great weekend everyone!







Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween Mishaps

I always say that parents practice and make mistakes on their oldest child. We ruin them and scar them for life with choices we think are correct at the time. My oldest has had enough happen to him that he will be in therapy for his entire life, due to us! That being said, I would like to share two stories that I am sure he and his therapist will be analyzing for a very long time.

Being new parents we wanted to make memories for Matt since he wouldn't remember his first Halloween, plus we were looking for that perfect Christmas card shot. My husband went out to find the biggest pumpkin he could, carved it, and decided that Matt needed to be placed inside the pumpkin and have his picture taken! Where we placed the pumpkin for prime picture-taking was on the kitchen table. Oh yea...you know where this is going. Right off the table he rolled! Thank goodness, Andy was there to catch him! I searched and searched for the picture just before his big roll, but couldn't find it. Crap! But, being first-time parents we didn't stop with the roll off the table. Oh no, we continued on and insisted that we get. the. "picture". for. the. Christmas. card! Poor Matt. I do have that picture! Even our dog looks pissed!Fast forward to second grade when Matt was obsessed with astronauts. That year we searched the Internet high and low for the perfect costume. There it was. A cool astronaut costume and it even came with its own helmet---with shield. Off we went trick-or-treating in town. Everyone was commenting on Matt's costume and how original it was! We were about halfway into the evening when Matt started to walk a little slower. Thinking he was only tired from the long day..we as parents, told him to hurry up. Slower and slower Matt continued to walk until someone, NOT US, looked at him and noticed that he didn't look too good. Being clueless parents, we didn't notice that Matt had slowly begun to pass out on his exhaled breath. We whipped off this helmet and in no time he felt better. This year they will be Ghostbusters...although they were talking this morning that they might change to something scary. Who knows what tonight will bring. Hopefully not more stories for the therapist. Happy Halloween everyone!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Wisp

This wasn't a fun project for me. The yarn, Kid's Silk Haze, gave me many problems so I had to rip back many times. For those of you that have used this yarn, KSH is not a fun yarn to rip back. This was suppose to be a gift...but I'm not happy with the results and therefore I am keeping it. Enjoy the pictures....I'm just glad it's done.

Friday, October 26, 2007

The Art of Living In the Country

I didn't know what I wanted to write about today, but then my mom sent me this link. I apologize in advance if you think I am laughing at all the city dwellers out there, but this is kinda funny! Especially the quote that says,

"I feel I’m more of an intellectual artist and they’re kind of machine people,” he said. “Everyone has their own backhoe up there, and their kids have A.T.V.’s and motorboats. And they all have guns, which scares me.” or maybe this one:
"After disturbing a camouflaged fellow in a tree during a family hike last autumn, Mr. Wolf wrote a letter to the hunting club that leases the land beside his, asking members to “please make sure your bullets don’t cross my property lines.”
Maybe showing off your money in the country ain't all that it's cracked up to be.
Have a great weekend everyone! I'm off to put on my camo, jump on my ATV and go shoot things with my gun!
Added later: My brother told me that the pig looked dead and it didn't go very well with my camo quote...ie: it looked like I killed the pig. Here is a picture of our country landscape that I view every single day.