Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Opa's birthday

Today is my Dad's birthday. As I pondered how to describe him, so many things came to mind. He was the first man to capture my heart (I'm such a daddy's girl); he spent hours playing games and building additions for our playmobile, barbies, etc; he instilled a love of history and theology in me; and he taught me the depth of compassion. As I grew older he gracefully adjusted to my many crushes, my many mistakes, and my many moves. Through everything I always knew I was loved and special. I greatly admire his strong faith, his complete commitment to my mother (and the fact that he is still madly in love with her), but mostly I am forever grateful for the wonderful glimpse of God he showed me in his everyday life.
Here's to Opa:

M has started calling him Grandpal, because 'he's my best friend'

He is a great pastor.

Much funner to hear him read our nightly biblestories than me!

And seriously the hardest working person I know!
We love you Dad/Opa!! Hope you had a great birthday.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Snow day

We are sitting in the middle of our 2nd snow day:

The only one brave enough to walk outside was pink-sheep-girl. (How cute is she? I begged my sister for one almost daily since I first saw them. I figured there have got to be benefits to her being married to a furniture man, right?)
With highways, schools, clinics, and malls closing (and my Dad still at work, showing that a pastors job never ends), my boys and I settled into a fun snow day yesterday:

Some yummy pumpkin bubble bath (a gift from my sister), a yoyo that Q has attached to his hand, a favorite movie, and my new creation - the happy sock. These are being knit for my bottle buddy. The yarn is Lorna's Laces Child's play and the stitch pattern (which I found in a really old knitting dictionary) is called St. John's Wort, making these the happy socks. hehe.
Favorite part of the day: watching our mailman drive up to the mailbox, pull out a hammer and whack the mailbox in order to break the ice that had frozen it shut.
I also finished M's 'keep-me-warm-in-this-crazy-cold-climate-my-mom-makes-me-live-in' hat. Upon finding out that today was snow day #2 (that's right - no school again), getting him to pose was a bit more challenging:

(see all the snow in our courtyard?). Apparently snow day #2 is also known as must-practice-all-my-karate-moves day. Being a girl, I was not told this secret.
But being a girl, I could use my baking skills to get a somewhat still pose though:

This is the 2-second standing still pose that will get them brownies. In the background is hat #2. This one was knit with Encore Chunky. This time I did a provisional cast-on and knit the hat. Upon picking up the stitches to knit the bottom part, I discovered that the 2x2 ribbing was not going to smoothly transition, so there a few garter stitch rows in the middle of his hat.
(And Jessica, the best way to knit this hat I think, is to start top-down, start the ribbing either after you have all the stitches you need or I think it would look cool to start the ribbing closer to the eye opening. I measured how big I wanted each of the boys eye opening to be, then cast-off the appropriate amount of stitches and in the following row cast-on the same amount of stitches. Once the ribbing was a little below their chins, I decreased the stitches for the neck. Then once it was long enough, I cast-off and they had hats. If you want a clearer pattern, let me know.)
The last picture I'll show is my new haircut. After my brother's wife told me she cut her own hair, I hoped she would have time this past Thansgiving to cut mine. I do believe that this is Z's hidden talent. She did a way better job than anybody else has ever done:

It's been so long since I've had a good cut, don't my curls look glad to be free? Thank you Z!!

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Giving thanks

I'm grateful that I could spend Thanksgiving surrounded by family.

And I'm grateful that my parents passed on their faith to us, as well as the ability to laugh. The little gathering in the picture? My parents set this up on their bed for each other. How cute is that?

Monday, November 21, 2005

Stopping the cold

This year the cold weather has started bothering Q's asthma. While trying to figure out an easy way for him to cover his mouth, I decided to try and knit him a hat that could cover everything but his eyes. I also decided this would be my first top-down hat.
3 days, some Plymouth Encore yarn, and many try-ons left Q looking like this before school today:

See that twinkle in his eyes? He came home to report that he had never been warmer and that some of his classmates loved his hat and were amazed that his mom knit it. Compliments from 3rd graders? How much better can it get?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Alpaca love

I'm going to join everyone already raving about handknit Holidays. It is a great book, like all of Melanie Falick's books. My Mom fell in love with the Vintage Beaded Gloves and I lucked out and got a great deal on a bunch of odd-balls of Alpaca. The only 2 that matched were the perfect blue to match Mom's winter coat.
So began the softest gloves around:

They are yummy. I brought them to a women's day my Mom and I went to on Saturday and had our friends try them on too. So soft. I think I want to marry an alpaca farmer now. A little caution to others who make them though. I had to restart these after discovering that the sizing is different than I'm used to. After my 1st attempt came out way too big, I switched to the small size and that fits great.
I wanted to make something for my boys with some of the other alpaca skeins. M loved the Candy Cane Hat in handknit Holidays, but wanted it in the colors of a candy cane. A boy with a white and red hat? Hmmm, is that not an open invitation for dirt? We instead decided upon the very Christmassy colors of red & green:

As I was making it, I worried a bit about the rolled brim not looking boyish enough. But once finished, I think it looks great and it doesn't roll as much when it's on him.
I'm not quite sure about the 1st decreasing row. I wish the pictures in the book showed this more clearly, but I do not think it was meant to come out the way mine did. M wanted to wear his hat though, so I had no time to refigure it myself. But again, once on his head it doesn't look as bad:

And what did M think?

He loves it. He has no idea what an alpaca is, but loves that it's so soft. And with both colors being worked, I think that it will help add extra warmth to the hat. (don't you love that smile showing off his 2 missing front teeth?)
And by the way, I had to make the woman's size to fit him. Do my kids have bigger heads than most kids? So with this pattern too, I found the sizes odd. But still, a great, great book.

Monday, November 14, 2005

24 hour meme

Jessica tagged me for this, which is exciting since it's my first time being tagged. Am I officially a real blogger now? hehe.
I had to think about this for a couple days though, because although some things are the same every day, alot of things change according to the day. (and if I work on that day or not)
So here goes:
12am - when M was a baby, he would awaken now
1 am - baby M would awaken again. Back in the day, this was my bed-time.
2 am - baby M would once again awaken
3 am -baby M would, yup awaken. Also at this time years ago, I ran over a mailbox. I was leaving a get-together with friends where, are you ready? there was no drinking. It took me years to live this down.
4 am - baby M would again awaken. Years ago, I remember going to Perkins a couple of times for breakfast after an all nighter with friends. I was never a club-going type of girl, so all nighters consisted of coffee houses, games at one of our homes, impromptu biblestudies, and lots of talking.
5 am - baby M knew how to read time young, as he awoke every hour, every night, the first year of his life
6 am - It was during this hour that my oldest son finally decided to be born, after almost 24 hours of labor. He was sunny-side up, making it a hard delivery. I will never forget holding him in my arms the very first time. He was the most gorgeous baby I had ever seen and I never wanted to let go of him. I still have those feelings.
7 am - This is the time our house awakens. During this hour we run around like the crazy non-morning people we are, trying desperately to remember how to dress ourselves, how to eat, and finally the race to the bus.
8 am - If I'm not working, this is the hour I drink my coffee and savor the silence while watching the Today show and checking e-mail, reading blogs, etc.
9 am - in the glorious days of the past, this was a great hour to awaken.
10 am - our cats are busy trying to take their morning nap, and are not very friendly if awoken.
11 am - hopefully if I'm home I've gotten lots of those little housework stuff done and I can sit down for an hour of lunch and download a sermon from my old home church.
12 noon - the hour that M was born after such a short labor that I barely made it to the hospital. Upon holding him in my arms the first time, I was utterly amazed that I was blessed with a 2nd gorgeous baby. Q on the other hand, refused to talk to me for a few days after M's birth, utterly dismayed that I had betrayed him by having another child. (He was 18 months old at the time..hehe).
1 pm - the hour that I was born. See, even back then I was not a morning person.
2 pm - during this hour I'm trying to prepare for the boys return. This involves mostly food-related things like getting plenty of snacks ready and making sure I know what I'm making for supper.
3 pm - my boys return and I try to stuff them with food while listening to the short grunts of what their day entailed. Homework and chores are also done during this hour.
4 pm - the boys get to watch some cartoons and I'm usually watching Gilmore Girls and knitting away. I love this hour. This is also the time that people will try to call me.
5 pm - I'm cooking supper and trying to keep the boys from eating. We then sit down together and eat. I try again to have them tell me about their day. Usually they are still not very forthcoming and the table time is spent with me observing boys being very silly. Lots of giggling and silliness.
6 pm - You all may laugh at me now: this is the time I usually get comfy and put my pjs on. If it's bath night, we start that now, because it will take us all evening to accomplish this.
7 pm - depending on the night we either watch TV or a movie and/or play games.
8 pm - the boys get their jammies on (notice this is 2 hours after mommy....hehe). Some nights there are frantic homework sessions as they realize that simply looking at the page did not make the homework miraculously appear. Once everyone is settled we read our nightly Bible chapter and story chapter.
9 pm - the boys are being tucked into bed, where nightly a miracle occurs. They suddenly both remember every detail of what went on during the day and need to tell me everything.
10 pm - I'm usually in bed by now surrounded by my books, magazines, crossword puzzles, knitting and watching Law & Order. Must try to do them all.
11 pm - If I'm not sleeping, I'm very close to it.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

lots of stuff

Seems like lots of stuff are going on around here. And with Christmas around the corner, here are the few things that I can talk about...
A sad little thing happened this past week:

The new screen door my Dad just installed got a beating during the storm. While this is very insignificant considering what others are going through, it still made me feel bad for my Dad. He had such a time installing this door, from no directions in the box to a disgreement with, ummm, me about which way it should open. (He won). So this pic is meant to invoke sympathy for him.
Then the couple projects I can talk about now:

A new washcloth made out of Reynolds Saucy. I made 2 out of euroflax that I love, but since that yarn is a bit pricy I thought I'd give this yarn a try. The pattern is from Knitters Stash. I love that book. I'm not sure why the pattern doesn't center the columns though. If I had realized it before I was almost half-way through, I would have changed it. But then again, it's just a dishrag, hence the non-blocking.
Then FO #2 (this one may surprise you...hehe):

Socks for M, made from Plymouth Encore. The picture was taken during one of the few moments he was sitting still, so excuse the off-center pose.
To answer April (go check out her great instructions for knitting 2 socks on 2 circs!): the sock pattern I use for most of my socks is mine. I use the short-row toe (with provisional cast-on), the foot is ribbing (either 3x1 or 2x1, depending on the number of stitches I have), a short-row heal, then ribbing until 1 inch before I want to cast off, at that point I switch to 2x2, then do a sewn bind-off (from Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitting without tears). Simple enough to knit while I read, play games with the boys, or am falling asleep (hehe).
Then the last pic is of the pile of clothes that M has outgrown in the past 2 months:

The pile has been growing on top of my dryer as I try to weed them from his closet. M never things anything is too small, which in turns means he never wants to give anything away. But as Q's outgrown clothes are slowly finding their way to M's closet, it's time to put these clothes away for my nephew. Why the picture? Because as M continues to grow, my heart is equally having fun watching every new thing he learns and does and breaking at the thought of my baby getting so big. I do hope to someday have more babies, but that may not happen. (Which is why I keep asking my brother and Z to hurry up and have babies...hehe).

Saturday, November 05, 2005


After a busy week with both boys getting sick (the same week we were going to get the flu shot) and Q pulling a muscle in his neck and therefore finding himself barely able to move, we are finally starting to return to normal. And that means I finally got pictures of this pair of socks:

I love this yarn (Lang-Jawoll). This pair and M's orange socks were the first I've knit with it. I like the little surprise reinforcement thread hidden in the belly of each of the skeins. I realized too late that I forgot to add this thread to the 2nd heel, then decided it will be a good way to see how much this thread helps. (Considering I rarely wear shoes with backs, it probably won't make a difference...hehe). This pair knit up ridiculous quick, thanks to the magic-loop way of knitting and the fact that I can knit at work.
(knit with size 1 Addi's; 3x1 ribbing; short-row toes and heels; toe-up).
See those socks hiding? The blue and gray ones? I knit these a couple years ago for Q and M wears them now. They are knit with LB Magic Stripes. Upon finishing my socks, I noticed they look very similar. M loves this and likes to wear our "matching' socks. Although when asked to take a picture of our feet together, he stated "Mom, I'm too busy for that". It seems 7 year olds have so much to do these days. There are so many legos that must be built, songs to be made up, pictures to be drawn and colored, wooden dinosaurs to be put together, and let's not forget the most important agenda of the day: bug the brother as much as possible. Thank goodness he still has time to tell his Mommy all about his adventures every night.