Sunday, December 31, 2006

Treasures



We had such a nice day today with a wonderful message at church that really spoke to my heart. Since we had missed last Sunday, D gave us his ornament he made in Sunday School today. Please forgive all the blurry photos as my camera was not cooperating....but Grandma's like to see blurry grandsons too! :-) The photo is inside and he painted the reinderr on the outside. PRICELESS! Our kids have really awesome teachers.

Tonight we are going to watch One Night With The King on TBN. It was recently in the theaters and I didn't get to see it. It is the story of Queen Esther. It is based on the Bible story of course and also this book which I have not read, but may depending on how I like the movie. I'm looking forward to this. Two are asleep and one to go...it will be *almost* like a date! LOL

Yesterday I wrote about going through storage. I didn't mention that I sorted through lots of pillowcases and linens from my Grandmas Hopkins and Johnson. When I get my new camera this spring I want to photograph and document everything. We are not really in a situation where I want to use them in every day life, but I may in the future. My Grandma Hopkins was excellent with crochet. She crocheted in filet crochet, the spinstress above. You can see it is stained, it was on the back of a chair, used as an anti-maccassar...I couldn't find that in Wikipedia for you, but maccassar was a hair oil used in the 19th/early 20th centuries which left a stain. People made crocheted, sewn or other hand-crafted "doily-like" items to place where the head hit the chair, to protect the upholstery. It was much easier to replace an anti-maccassar than upholstery!

Anyway, it was used all my life and maybe my Mom will give some input as to how old it might be. It is very fine and evenly crocheted and I am not 100% certain Grandma crocheted it. If it was not her it was her mother. Grandma graphed out the pattern for me. It's in a huge format of graph paper and I need to get it down to size a bit. I want to share it with my friend Melissa and I want to make it for myself. But in the meantime, I would like to know what the best way to clean this is. I would like to clean it and then I was thinking of mounting it on a piece of burgandy velvet that is left over from Shelley's maid of honor dress (in my wedding) and frame it so that I can look at it all the time and it won't get further damaged. I am not sure how to do this either. I would love to have any suggestions if anyone has experience in preserving antique linens and handwork. This is a treasure I do not want to lose!

Happy New Year Everyone! See you in Blog Land in 2007!

Last Meme/Test/Blog Thing of 2006

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Progress!





Well, once again, Blogger has not loaded my photos in the same order I did, but I will describe them and you can figure it out. The last two days we have organized the closet in our kids room which has been storage mainly and then as the girls started having more clothes that needed to hang, I put up a shower rod to use as a curtain rod since the bar had broken out of the closet. In addition to needing more space for the kids' clothes, we felt it would look better when we go to sell if there is some kind of "real" closet apparatus in the closet.

Friday we spent the day mostly sorting through storage while the kids watched Cars and Gideon, Tuba Warrior (their new Veggie Tales movie). It felt good to sort through, throw away, donate and reorganize the stuff. I tell you, Banker's Boxes are my friend! LOL They are uniform size, stack well and hold a lot. When all was said and done I had 26 Banker's Boxes in the closet in addition to the kids' clothes. The only two boxes that were in there before but aren't now, are my wedding gown which is in its archival storage box and the Nativity set which has a manger slightly larger than a Banker's Box. :-)

In between sorting I painted the inside of the closet with a can of "Oops!" paint which I got for a few bucks and it is a light green. We purchased an inexpensive ClosetMaid organizer and started putting it together only to find that one piece was missing. So, hubby went to Lowe's and exchanged it and we were going to try to keep going but realized that we needed Toggle Bolts so we waited until after hubby's men's Bible study today and when he got home we started again. It's not so difficult...just all the measuring. That took the longest. Once it was done, everything went quickly. I like the results and I am excited to paint the rest of their room on New Year's Day and get it rearranged. I got some more "oops!" paint in a creamy yellow for $3. Of course the existing paint needs priming to cover the years of play and Mr. D. coloring on the wall while in his crib when he was little! So it will still be some work and before we sell the place we will also put in some flooring. It has carpet that is in fairly good condition but the girls colored on it! I could have spit. I know from experience that it takes a petroleum product to get crayon out and I am not willing to fill their room up with something icky like that.

So, the first photo is D looking at the closet. He dressed himself this morning...shorts and long sleeves! The second photo is for my Mom so she can see my 2x2 (2 wide, 2 deep) stack of Banker's Boxes. I learned a lot of my organizing from my Mom and from her Mom, my Grandma Hopkins. Third is J and A inspecting the closet. A is pointing saying, "I want my pink dress!" The fourth picture is the pitiful "before" and the fifth is my smiling hubby...who puts up with my projects even though he is not a "process" person...he's always relieved when they are done! We always chuckle because I get these hair brained ideas and he thinks I'm nuts, but then when it is done he actually likes it and is glad we did it! During the middle phase he is usually "Eeyore" ("it'll never work")! LOL

Well, I even managed to knit a couple more rows on hubby's sweater today and after I finish ironing for church tomorrow, I think I'll sit down and watch tv with hubby and relax a bit.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Happy Anniversary With Pre-Schoolers!




Well, I can't say we ever imagined we would be spending our anniversaries this way, but since we can't afford a babysitter, we get creative. We started the day off trying to teach 5yo DS how to use Daddy's camera. Some of the pictures actually have our heads in them! LOL The big white blob is little sister J saying, "Take a picture of my kitty!" right as DS snaps another headless wonder shot! :-) The second picture is not good of either of us...both laughing and saying something to DS...but it has us centered and we still have our heads about us...something we didn't feel we had by the end of the day!

We had some gift cards so we got some things for some home improvement projects including two princess beds from Walmart. I have to admit, I stifled a little tear as we took down the cribs in their room. We are not getting them regular beds because 1) with three in the room, there is no room and 2) less to move when we eventually move out of state in a couple years. A is in the first picture and she is sleeping the opposite direction of her bed. And J is just as happy to sleep with Buzz Lightyear as she is with Ariel, Aurora, Cinderella and Snow White!

In between all our shopping, we used the money that was given to us for a date to take our whole family out for lunch at Red Robin and it was very yummy! We were much later than the kids usually eat lunch so they all sat down and ate every single bite without a complaint! We were in shock because they usually pick at stuff and we end up feeling frustrated that we paid for food they don't eat...not this time!

We are taking advantage of hubby being home from school break to get some projects done. We will be doing more in the kids room, including painting and curtains that are more neutral in preparation to sell next year and a closet organizer shelf system. We have some painting and other projects in our room/close/vanity area too but that will take more time and we may wait to do that as it is dependent on having more $ to finish complete some of it. It does feel good to get some done as currently we have what the Fly Lady calls CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome)!

Today I took a break in the rain systems to get my roses cut back...yes, late I know...and I never got my bulbs planted in the fall because of all we went through with hubby's health and they are starting to grow already. I know from experience that they will still come up anyway. While outside I made a list of things we need to do before selling. Some of the things you would normally do with a house when you are selling we won't do because with a 1972 mobile home you just don't get that investment return! However, there are things we can do to make our stand out from the several others that are in the park for sale. We are not sure when we will put it up for sale but we do want to sell BEFORE hubby finds a job elsewhere because we can't afford to pay lot rent and mortgage here and a rent or mortgage out of state, not to mention the complications of long distance selling. I do get a little stressed thinking about it. But it was good to take stock because our spring is all too short and we need to get stuff done in the spring before the triple digit heat hits.

As for knitting...I did knit a row or two on hubby's sweater. And I have been LONGING to spin, but am being good and sticking to my priorities at the moment. Gee, it's hard to be a responsible adult some times! :o)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

You're Still The One


Eight years ago today I did the second best thing ever in my life (the first was accepting Christ as my Savior)...I married my soul mate. He was not the first person I was engaged to, or the first person I had loved. I was 32 years old and many had given up on me, thinking me to be an "Old Maid". What they didn't realize is that "God's thoughts are not as our thoughts" and just because His plan for my life was not as others expected, it didn't mean that it wasn't wonderful.
You might have noticed that I relate a lot to music...one of the theme songs of my life is Garth Brooks' "I thank God For Unanswered Prayers"...because if God had given me what I asked for at times (or deserved) I would be pretty miserable. I am so thankful for Tim in my life and that gratitude has certainly been renewed this year as I lay my head and hand on his heart and prayed that God would keep it beating, that God would heal him and not take him away from us.
Eight years ago when I married a man that I had (GASP!) met on the Internet, people thought I was crazy, emotional and some of them worried I was going off the deep end. (Now they love him as I do) Shania Twain's "You're Still The One" was hot on the airwaves at the time and we just knew it would be true of us. And yes, today, eight years later, our lives are crazy at times with three little people, life stresses and financial difficulties. But, our lives are also enriched and deeper and stronger because of our love which has been nurtured by the Father. He promised me through song on our wedding day that he would always be here and he truly is "still the one" for me! I love you Honey! Thank you for everything, especially for always "being here"! (No matter how I type up this post, Blogger changes the formatting when I publish it...sorry for the songs being squished together at the end and the paragraphs being removed!)

You're Still The One"
From Shania Twain's Come On Over Album

(When I first saw you, I saw love.
And the first time you touched me, I felt love.
And afterall this time, you're still the one I love.)

Looks like we made it
Look how far we've come my baby
We mighta took the long way
We knew we'd get there someday

They said, "I bet they'll never make it"
But just look at us holding on
We're still together still going strong

(You're still the one)
You're still the one I run to
The one that I belong to
You're still the one I want for life
(You're still the one)
You're still the one that I love
The only one I dream of
You're still the one I kiss good night

Ain't nothin' better
We beat the odds together
I'm glad we didn't listen
Look at what we would be missin'
They said, "I bet they'll never make it"
But just look at us holding on
We're still together still going strong

(You're still the one)
You're still the one I run to
The one that I belong to
You're still the one I want for life
(You're still the one)
You're still the one that I love
The only one I dream of
You're still the one I kiss good night

(You're still the one)
You're still the one I run to
The one that I belong to
You're still the one I want for life
(You're still the one)
You're still the one that I love
The only one I dream of
You're still the one I kiss good night
I Will Be Here by
Tomorrow morning if you wake up
And the sun does not appear,
I will be here.
If in the dark we lose sight of love,
Hold my hand and have no fear,
‘Cause I will be here.
I will be here when you feel like being quiet;
When you need to speak your mind, I will listen.
And I will be here when the laughter turns to crying;
Through the winning, losing, and trying, we’ll be together,
‘Cause I will be here.
Tomorrow morning if you wake up
And the future is unclear,
I will be here.
As sure as seasons are made for change,
Our lifetimes are made for years,
So I will be here.
I will be here, so you can cry on my shoulder;
When the mirror tells us we’re older, I will hold you.
And I will be here to watch you grow in beauty,
And tell you all the things you are to me;
I will be here.
I will be true to the promise I have made,
To you and to the One who gave you to me.
As sure as seasons are made for change,
Our lifetimes are made for years,
So I, I will be here.
We'll be together and I will be here.
Our Wedding Hymn

I was sinking deep in sin, far from the peaceful shore,
Very deeply stained within, sinking to rise no more,
But the Master of the sea, heard my despairing cry,
From the waters lifted me, now safe am I.

Refrain
Love lifted me! Love lifted me!
When nothing else could helpLove lifted me!

All my heart to Him I give, ever to Him I’ll cling
In His bless├Ęd presence live, ever His praises sing,
Love so mighty and so true, merits my soul’s best songs,
Faithful, loving service too, to Him belongs.

Refrain

Souls in danger look above, Jesus completely saves,
He will lift you by His love, out of the angry waves.
He’s the Master of the sea, billows His will obey,
He your Savior wants to be, be saved today.

Refrain
And what a surprise when I looked through the Mary Maxim catalog! I found this Aran afghan, which is quite similar to the trees on our wedding program. We had a poem on the front which we wrote ourselves using the symbolism of two trees which grow stronger as their roots and branches grow together over time. Unfortunately you can only order it in a kit, but I will order it and give the acrylic yarn to our afghan ministry at church and I will use some lovely wool I bought in York, England in 1994! I think this will be a nice reminder of our marriage vows to keep in our home and will look even more beautiful in natural Aran weight wool! Well, blogger is being a stinker and will not allow me to post the picture but you can search for it at Mary Maxim, it is called Twin Trees Afghan. I will probably try to post a picture later. Hey! If you made it this far...thanks! :-)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Pixie Perfect

This is Pixie, the sweet Sheltie girl we pet sat the last 24 hours. It was really fun, although living in a mobile home park without our own yard, we are glad we don't have a dog anymore because we can't just open the door and let her out to go do her job. When Pixie arrived on Christmas afternoon, our whole family went for a walk. I must have been quite a site for any of the neighbors looking out their windows as I let Pixie run me for a while. We had a nice walk all around the park and then we went to a common area by the pool which is enclosed with fence/gate to play and let Pixie off the leash. There was a basketball and hoop there so our little family had our own pick up game! LOL What a site to see! Pixie has strong herding instincts and would probably be happy out in a field with sheep (just like me!). Whenever a car came and parked outside the fence, she stood in watch between us and the car. She would also follow any of our kids who drifted a little too far. It's obvious that she is a woman's dog because she stayed right by me most of the time both inside and out. I would be looking for her saying "Where's Pixie?" and she would be so close to my feet that I just couldn't see her!

Our whole family enjoyed the time with Pixie except for Abbie. Well, I knew our Abbie kitty would not be happy, but that was the understatement of the millenium! Sounds came out of that cat that were literally "inhuman"! She was not afraid of Pixie but rushed at her to scare her away. Pixie was good and did not attack. (She is a very obedient and well behaved dog) The cat got so agitated that not only was her tail a bristle brush but she started drooling and then foam came out of her mouth! I had never seen her like that. We were honestly shocked because we had a dog when we got Abbie and Abbie loved her, but the dog has been gone since ds was an infant. Abbie seems to have quickly forgiven us, but she sure wasn't happy about the whole situation.

My friend Sonia came to pick up Pixie this afternoon while the kids were in their bedroom for "nap" (HA! If they only slept!) and so she was gone when they came out. A said, "I miss Pixie." A couple seconds later she said "And I miss Pixie's bed too!" She had been fascinated with Pixie's bed (in the picture) which was just the right size for a preschooler to curl up in!

I'm being good and picked up a UFO to work on, a color stranded project I'm making for DH. I will write more about it next week probably.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas Everyone!

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6 NIV from CrossWalk


As a parent, two modern Christmas songs have really spoken to me. One is from Mary's perspective and the other from Joseph's. I'll share the lyrics here with you today. Mary Did You Know? is written by Mark Lowry, an energetic, ADHD, Christian comedian who is a talented writer and sings as well. Many people know him from the Gaither music specials. I have Mary's song on a Christmas CD from Kathy Mattea.

Mary, did you know
That your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Did you know
That your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know
That your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you've delivered
Will soon deliver you?

Mary, did you know
That your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Did you know
That your baby boy will calm a storm with His hand?
Did you know
That your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little baby
You've kissed the face of God?

The blind will see
The deaf will hear
And the dead will live again
The lame will leap
The dumb will speak
The praises of the Lamb!

Mary, did you know
That your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Did you know
That your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
Did you know
That your baby boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you're holding
Is the great I am?



Joseph's Song by Michael Card also seems simple and powerful to me. Michael card is an incredible student of God's word and writer and musician. His music is so peaceful, convicting and edifying...all at once. I have seen him a few times in concern and he is so "real", I highly recommend the experience. It does not surprise me at all that Joseph's Song would come from his pen.

Chorus 1
How could it be this baby in my arms
Sleeping now, so peacefully
The Son of God, the angel said
How could it be
Lord I know He's not my own
Not of my flesh, not of my bone
Still Father let this baby be
The son of my love

Chorus 2
Father show me where I fit into this plan of yours
How can a man be father to the Son of God
Lord for all my life I've been a simple carpenter
How can I raise a king, How can I raise a king
He looks so small, His face and hands so fair
And when He cries the sun just seems to disappear
But when He laughs it shines again
How could it be

Both of these songs remind me that it's hard to be a parent, but God is always there to guide! My own children are going crazy this morning as most will do after opening presents and stockings! As my son reminds me though, "I like getting presents! But Christmas isn't just about presents Mom, it's about learning about God too!" Whatever celebrations and earthly traditions we all celebrate today, I hope we will not allow them to crowd out the little One who came to earth, probably not at Christmas, but still came to earth to give us the ultimate sacrifice of Love. I love you Internet Friends. You are a special part of my life. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Stockings Were Hung By The Chimney With Care!





Hubby and I just got done filling the stockings. The kids are going to have a blast tomorrow morning. This will be the first year that they really understand what it is all about. If Blogger keeps the pictures in the order I see them now, Hubby's stocking is first. I chose his fabrics because he loves the outdoors and fly fishing. Mine is next. The burgandy moire taffeta is a scrap from making the bridesmaid dress my cousin Wendy wore in my wedding. I love snowflakes and we also had Poinsettias decorating our wedding which was burgandy and forest green. DD A is next. The angel fabric in hers and her sister's stockings came from my stash and I have had them a long time waiting for the right project. As a child I was always given angels at Christmas so I had initially thought mine would be made from it, but it seemed more suiting for my identical twin daughters to have something that was the same but different! :-) The next is DS' stocking and we purchased that snowman fabric when he was baby along with the fabric that looks white but is a white and light blue on white snowflake fabric. There is also Star of David fabric because we believe that Christ's birth fulfills part of the Messianic prophecies. The last is DD J's and again has the angel fabric in a different color snowflakes and the Stars of David. It feels good to have them all done. I am now officially retiring my special Angel stocking from childhood which my Mom made me from felt and sequins. It's beautiful and probably I will use it as decoration in the future but do not want to ruin it by continuing to use it for presents.

The best gift was this AM when the girls climbed in bed with us, "Merry Christmas Mommy!" "Merry Christmas Daddy!" :-) They snuggled with us a while and it brought back memories of when they were teeny tiny and occasionally we had them both in bed with us...those sleepless nights. When they were 5# they didn't take up that much room as they do now! Later their brother joined us and then it turned into a giggle fest and too many arms and legs and then the magical moment had passed. But it is moments like these that make the hard work of parenting seem not so bad! Well, I'm off to bed for the night. Just taking advantage of the only quiet moments of the day!

Christmas Eve





Well, Blogger never puts the photos in the order that you load them, so I'm sorry that they are mixed up. I'm just getting ready to have a little nap, but wanted to post these. This morning the kids were too sick to be in Sunday School (contagious) but not sick enough to be confined, so we went to the Sacramento Zoo as is our tradition on Christmas Eve...free admission! A Christmas gift to parents! :-) It was foggy and COLD! We had a grumpy J girl and a whiny D boy, but A managed to have fun anyway. She's the one that is usually high maintenance...go figure! LOL We rode the zoo train and looked at some of the animals and then we went to lunch at Perko's Restaurant and everyone was actually pretty good. We came home and opened presents. We do not focus on the gift thing for Christmas so we just had a few from Grandma and Grandpa and Aunt Shelley. They have been so excited about it that we decided to let them get that out of the way and then it might be easier to have a family devotion time tonight, focusing on Jesus. Tomorrow we will open our Christmas stockings and by noon our Sheltie friend Pixie will be here for pet sitting. That could be interesting.

I hope you are all out doing something more fun than reading my blog! LOL Merry Christmas to all of you who celebrate. I hope you are all enjoying wonderful family time.

Now, for the pictures...the flamingo picture is naturally from the zoo. The fabric picture is some fabric that my friend Shelley got me. It was the official Quilt Shop Hop fabric last June for western Washington. I don't know who designs it or I would give credit. It's wonderful with pictures from all over my homestate! Then there is A in her new hair do...this is so Grandma can see. Somehow this just fits A's personality to a T! The one of the three is L to R, J, A and D. Oh you don't know how hard it is to get one of the three of them together! This is like a masterpiece compared to most I have of all three. Naturally they will pose nice together AFTER the Christmas letters/pictures have all gone out! The last picture is a Camelia...Sacramento is supposed to be the "Camelia Capitol of the World" and they bloom everywhere but in my yard. I planted two bushes 7.5 years ago and that's all they are...bushes! They are the Charlie Brown Christmas tree equivalent of Camelia bushes! Sigh...

We received some difficult news yesterday. My Uncle Dick was diagnosed with aggressive Leukemia. He was admitted straight from his doctor's office to the hospital and is already doing chemotherapy treatments. If any of you out there pray, please pray that his Leukemia would be healed!

Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 22, 2006

On The Home Stretch...

I'm exhausted and my body actually hurts after all the knitting I've been doing the last week or so. Today I'm heading on the homestretch and if I had just one more day I would be on time! But, my SIL, a quilter for whom I'm making the Tote 'Em bag from the recent Knitters, is coming tomorrow to exchange gifts! I have the knitting done and tonight I was able to felt it, but I doubt it will be dry, not to mention that I have not knit the 12 feet of I-cord, knit in 2 foot strips, which are braided for the handles! I ended up doing the I-cord bind off and starting the handles in the red, even though it is supposed to be in the oatmeal color, because I ran out, even though I used the recommended yarn and amount. It seems like everything I have knit the last two months has had some kind of stress attached to it! I hope I start a new trend for the new year! :-)

I also made sugar cookies today from my Betty Crocker Cooky Book which I love. The link is for a reprint, mine is the 1963 edition, therefore older than me. It was my Aunt Grace's and she gave it to Mom and Mom gave it to me several years ago. I cheated on some other things...I used Krusteaz mix for lemon bars and pumpkin bread and a kit for Magic Cookie Bars. I gave myself permission to do that this year since I was on this knitting deadline. I also made our family favorite, White Chocolate Popcorn (2 bags of light microwave popcorn, kernels removed and 1 bag melted white chocolate chips, thoroughly stirred in...it sounds weird, but it's addictive!) and was going to make fudge but ran out of time. Tomorrow I need to put them together in containers and distribute them to our neighbors.

We are not sure what we are doing for Christmas completely. For several years we have had a tradition of going to the Sacramento Zoo, but this year it is on a Sunday and so we have not decided how we are juggling everything. If we have three sick kiddos, it may be a mute point. However, on Christmas Day we do know we will be puppy sitting Pixie, a wonderful Sheltie belonging to my friend Sonia. All of us except for Abbie (our gray tabby) are looking forward to that! :-) Pixie will think she died and went to heaven if we let her out under the table when the kids are eating! LOL

Well, if there is anyone out in blogland reading you must be done with your knitting, shopping, baking...or just taking a brain break like me!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Stockings Arrived Safely

The stockings I made my Mom and Jack arrived safely tonight at 7PM via UPS and here they are all "hung with care"! It's nice to see your handmade gifts used, appreciated and enjoyed! :-) Of course my Mom is always supportive of my artistic/creative endeavours.

Another One Bites The Dust!

And another one's done! And another one's done! And another one bites the dust! LOL Sorry I couldn't resist! I'm a cornball who was a teen in the late 70s/early 80s. I'm so excited to have another one marked off the list! These are the Son-In-Law Fingerless Gloves by Judie Wise. My wonderful SP7 pal gave me the pattern earlier this year along with some Debbie Bliss Cashmerino which is really yummy! I have large hands, short fingers. Most ladies accesories do not fit me. I have figured out some things on this that I could adjust for myself. I am also going to read further through the Big Girl Knits glove pattern and see if that will work too. It doesn't give directions for fingerless, but I could easily use the same technique that was used here. The yarn is here is really nice. It's Wool of the Andes from Knit Picks Arctic Pool Heather. I have yet to have the color on the monitor be the color in person so I definitely recommend buying the color cards. This heather is much prettier than the photo. It's a medium, denim-ish blue but it has hints of reddish/lavender in it. It's the kind where you look first and see blue, then look further and see more colors. The yarn is surprisingly really soft and I think Hubby is going to love these when he finds them at the bottom of his stocking! :o) I am going to try and make a pair in the Amethyst Heather to match the scarf and hat I previously posted too. Hubby, my best friend Shelley and I are all photographers and so that is why we wanted the fingerless gloves. These will be nice on windy beach exploration days!

Sunday, December 17, 2006


Well, today was our big day! It was the kids' first Christmas performance and we survived. My camera, as I have lamented here before, is on its last legs so please forgive the poor quality photos. This is the best we could get of the three of them...it's still a major challenge. L to R are A, D and J. Posted by Picasa

Here is J on the left and A on the right. They are the same height, but J is leaning. When we looked at this, I can still tell who is who, but I can see more why people can't tell them apart. They were so happy to have their 'pretty dresses' as they love to dress up. I had a hard time to find nice Christmas dresses for them that were under $50 and suitable for little girls that you don't want to look like pop star wannabes! I thought these dresses were pretty and they looked like they could have been flower girls in our wedding! Posted by Picasa

D looked pretty snazzy (as my Dad would have said) in his new outfit...Pastor Mike had on almost the same outfit today! They were both stylin! LOL Posted by Picasa

Closeup of D Posted by Picasa

The Girls' Choir Experience



I had been a bit nervous about this day and had asked my Christian Artisans friends and family to pray for me and the kids. Even though the girls are 3 3/4 years old they have always been a little behind developmentally and when it comes to social development J more so than A. Some of it is a premie thing and some of it is an identical twin thing. It is very difficult as a parent at times to know when to gently push them and when to let them be. They don't know they are "twins" as we don't talk about it and don't understand that concept. We treat them as individuals, however they definitely have that innate connection that other siblings do not and sometimes that leads to parents who are frustrated, exhausted, out of ideas for discipline and a whole list of other adjectives! They are VERY curious so it would not have surprised me if they got up and looked at the big Christmas tree on stage, talked loudly in their own conversation or went to check out the piano!

During the first service J did not want to have anything to do with it all. She got overwhelmed and had a melt down so DH got her and she refused to let him use his arms or move away from her, so for the benefit of the common good he continued to hold her and our video is mostly of the people listening and not the people singing! Oh Well! At least there was second service and a "Take Two"! LOL

My camera is just limping along so none of the pictures today are very good. But on the left in the top picture you can see A, sitting with one of her teachers. (We are so blessed with wonderful people working with the kids and an awesome children's director!) They sang one song, Away In A Manger, and they all did so well, it was precious!

J did decide to join in the second service. She didn't sing and she did lift up her dress for inspection, but without missing a beat, the choir director gently reached over and put her dress down and she stopped! She had to top it off with picking her nose, but she made it through it all without melting down!

In the second picture is A signing "baby" and she seemed to enjoy it. The third picture is the whole group again and J is on the left and A on the right, the only two in matching dresses so I am sure you can find them!

Phew! We survived our first childrens' performance! :-)

I should mention too that I have discussed a couple of the negative things here mainly because several who read my blog were praying about it. To the children, we encourage them and we are delighted that they have this opportunity! The choir director is a choir director in one of the local school districts and has done a very nice job with the kids. All three of our kids have loved music since in utero! Hopefully they will grow up praising the Lord!

Inbetween Services...

our girls discovered this little tree at the Women's Ministry table. Since trees are not part of our Christmas celebration, they are very curious about them and loved the little lights. A is on the left and J on the right. This picture is for Grandma! :-)

D's Choir Experience



Well, during the first service D did so well. The only little snicker he caused was when I went into the front of the aisle and kneeled down to take pics, he came foreward to me. Everyone laughed. :-) We have done quite a bit of sign language at home using Signing Time videos (which we highly recommend and have a good eBay seller if you are interested) and so I wasn't surprised that he enjoyed the song they sang with signing. In the second picture he is signing "baby" and in the third "wonderful".

During second service, he was a little clown. I guess all his abilities to be still were used up for the day! LOL When the music started he was swinging around and swaying...all to the beat of his own drummer, I might add! Then he wandered from his place and put his mouth up to the microphone...making a joyful noise unto the Lord! The choir director discreetly settled him toward the front (which also gave me opportunity to take pictures) and then he proceeded with his wiggliness and the worst was when he picked his nose! Why didn't that happen when he was in the back and too short to be seen?! He is only five so I am proud of him for doing so well.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Fetching

Well, I'm sure everyone out in blogland has seen Fetching. I had a dickens of a time trying to photograph this and this is the best I could get. It actually looks much nicer in person and you can actually see the cables. This is another birthday gift for my cousin Brenda. Most of my extended family have birthdays in December!

Woven Sunflowers




This set is for my best friend Shelley, who I believe is too busy to be online at all, let alone looking at blogs! It was my intention to also knit her a pair of fingerless gloves, but those will have to wait until after Christmas! The hat is the Sunflower Tam from Nora Gaughan's Knitting Nature. I found this book really inspirational even if I would not knit all the designs. Still there were several that I liked. Basically she has looked at nature and taken the mathematical principles from that and incorporated it into knitting design. It really illustrates to me how incredibly complex God created our beautiful planet! I'd really like to do the Hexagon Coat, but as a jacket, not a long coat, so I am going to have to do some reading and see how to shorten that.

The scarf, I showed one end of before. It has about 4.5 feet of ribbing, so that was a good project to work on when I wanted to concentrate on something else while knitting. It is the Woven Cable Scarf from Miriam Felton. I plan on knitting this again in the future. I would love to do one in the recommended cashmere, but it would be pretty hard on my budget. There is a beautiful wrap using the cable pattern repeatedly and that would be wonderful for winter time dramatic fashion wear!

The yarn used is Knit Pick's Wool of the Andes in "Amethyst Heather". For the cap, the wool was not quite heavy enough so I ran along a strand of Knit Pick's Shadow in the color "Grape Jelly". I was worried that the yarn would not be soft enough but this wool was softer than Paton's Classic Merino, so I was pleased with the outcome and would not hesitate to used it again. My only complaint was that one skein (out of ten) had several sections that were as if the yarn had gotten shredded in the machinery. Since it was only one skein and the rest did not even have knots in them, I am not complaining. Likely that was just a fluke (I am hoping!).

Well, now I better get back to packing so DH can take them to the UPS store and ship them off!

Irish Hiking Scarf

This is Hello Yarn's Irish Hiking Scarf which was another EASY knit! The pattern is free too at the aforementioned link. I've had this done for ages, but needed to block and finish the ends...weaving ends is my least favorite job! There is a story as to why this is in two colors. My step Dad Jack has a Dutch wool felt cap the color of the gray. He also loves dark green. He asked about using two colors. I said no...ick! Striped Cables! Yuck! We ended up picking the gray because it matched the cap. Then lo and behold I ran out of yarn. So this is a half gray, half green scarf. I have more of the green and so I am going to make him some type of watch cap with cables out of that.

Meet Edgar!

This is Edgar made with two skeins of Noro Silk Garden in what I think is Color 226, if my memory serves me right. I bought one skein at my LYS in Sacramento and found the second in a store in Bellingham, oddly enough, in the same dye lot! This was a really fun knit. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I was able to work on this while watching the kids play in the yard at my Mom's. Noro yarns are not the softest/nicest. But their dye jobs are incredible. I did find that this softened considerably after a good wash. This is intended as a birthday present for my cousin Wendy who turns 30-something today! Happy Birthday Wendy...hopefully this will be sent soon!


These are the Christmas stockigns that I made for my Mom and Jack. I made them for my immediate family too. Actually, they were mostly made last year for Christmas, but didn't get finished until now, putting on the cuff at the top and the hanging braid. The top photo shows the one for Jack, my step Dad. He loves to feed and watch the birds, thus the bird fabric, he likes to fish and also he is known at church for his bear hugs, so that is why there is teddybear fabric. My Mom's has poinsettias and a fabric with Christmas carolers because my home church always carols at nursing homes on Christmas morning. It is actually my favorite tradition and one I really miss! I'm getting these ready to send today, so they have some goodies inside. I will have to take pictures of the rest of the stockings too, all of which are quite different fabric and colorwise, from these. These really were a lot of fun to make.