Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Our Week and Birthdays Part Two

More birthday pictures today so Grandma and Grandpa can see (and the rest of you). Blogger is being weird and won't let me move the pictures around so I am sorry you will have to view them in the weird order they are in. If you click on them they should get bigger.

First of all we started off the week by me having a root canal. Those are never anything you do for fun, but I have had a couple before and was not worried. This one was done at an endodontist and for some reason I have had a lot of nausea afterwards and my jaw and gums feel like I got really beat up! Dh's sister came and watched the kids and brought their presents. Besides the coloring books and stuff, she got them Strawberry Shortcake Dolls. J has Lemon Meringue and A has Strawberry Shortcake herself. They love them. K was telling us that when she got them for her daughter (the first time around LOL) they were so smelly (fruit scented) that she had to put them in a bag and hang them outside overnight! LOL Well, these are pretty smelly but they love them. Dh says they are just like our girls...they have the body of a little girl and a big head! HA HA! Inside family joke. (After 46 hours of labor with ds...there's a reason a C-section was eventually performed because the big head would go no further down that birth canal! And when they get measured at well baby visits, we always get comments.) Anyway, they fell asleep with them Monday night and there is a picture below.

Monday night hubby stayed up late trying to work on fixing something on our old computer. Both the cat and I were perturbed. Abbie kitty kept going down to get him . When she wants to get his attention she cries loudly and throws herself on the ground as if displaying herself. Apparently she feels if she is appropriately displayed, he won't be able to deny her dazzling beauty! :o) So she did this and hubby noticed sizzling noises coming from the electrical outlet. This is not generally a good thing. It's really not a good thing when you are in a 1972 mobile home with aluminum wiring! While hubby looked for a flashlight (so we could turn off electricity), I watched with phone in hand waiting to call 911. We could smell burning and there was a golden light behind the outlet cover. I decided to call my Mom and Jack and ask them to pray. Jack also walked us through a few things. We found the right circuit breaker, turned off electricity and since we could not feel heat on the wall, hubby removed the plate and then dismantled the outlet, wrapping the ends well with electrical tape so no arcing or circuit connection could occur.

Thank you Lord for the little orphan kitty we adopted during the first months of our marriage. He used our Abbie to get our attention. We are praising God...what would have happened if we were all in bed? Or if we were gone for the weekend?! What a relief. I am always a little fearful being in an old trailer. I remember when I was 9 a little girl the same age at my Grandma's church died in a trailer fire. We were living in a trailer at the same time too and I remember planning out in my mind what I would do if we had a fire and how I would get out. I don't know if my Mom ever knew that or not, but I obsessed a bit about that. It does make an impact on you at a young age especially when the child is the same age.

So, dh took off work on Tuesday so that he could do some electrical work to make sure we were safe. We got materials to start rewiring all sockets, outlet, switches and pigtail them with copper wiring instead of aluminum. This will help. It was really nice to have him home on J and A's birthday. So next I will tell you more about that. We started the day off with a customary birthday call/singing from Grandma and Grandpa and then filled the rest of the day with fun!

Okay, my dear blogless best friend Shelley who has photographed our family in vain! Do you see this picture? All five of us in semi-normal positions and expressions in one photograph...and NO, it was NOT photoshopped! LOL We took the girls for lunch at Red Robin Restaurant in Folsom. J is in pink and A in yellow. You can see that in yesterday's picture. The girls picked those out themselves.
Remember these are out of order, so here we have D holding up his Cars movie backpack/suitcase that we got him for our trip to see Grandma and Grandpa. Also D proudly shows his diapering prowess...he helped both sisters diaper their babies. We got them little diaper bags for dolls and they each had a small diaper in it. I had to laugh though because those doll diapers are *bigger* than the premie diapers I used on the girls the first couple weeks of their lives!
This is A and she is saying "Oh-oh! My baby has stink-y poops!" LOL
They also got lots of underpants for their BD. We are half way through potty training. I could be done but I am not going to push it since we will be going on the trip soon. With all the rest areas and stuff it is just easier to have diapers and then concentrate on it when we get back. They love their panties which I got them for insentive. Obviously they don't have the idea of what you do with these things. This is J tonight.
Whenever the girls do something that makes us laugh, Mr. D. has to follow suit! Here he is modeling the latest in Ariel (Little Mermaid) fashion...later I heard J call them "underhats"! :o) We are adding this to the growing collection that we will keep to show his future bride one day! LOL

D was really more excited about the birthdays than they were! They had Dora the Explorer party hats and plates.
I thought I had included pics from the cake, but I guess not...this is the after picture...can you see the little finger prints? We sang Happy Birthday and after they blew out their candles, A states loudly, "I want to EAT it!" LOL We said okay. Then J took a little finger and tasted the frosting and then next A. It reminded me of J on their first birthday and also myself, where we daintily tasted with one finger. (A on the other hand went full force just like my brother Danny did on his, digging in and having fun!)
This is A getting presents out of the bottom of the big Strawberry Shortcake bag which was practically bigger than her!
Here is A again putting on her new sandles. She is going to be our clothes horse and she loves shoes!
Here is A feeding her baby. J was too excited and not sitting in one spot so less pics of her at this point, in case you were wondering why they are all A.

A again, sleeping with Strawberry Shortcake!

Here is J thoroughly enjoying her chocolate ice cream sundae at Red Robin's. They sing and give you a complimentary birthday Sundae.
A finished hers and is inspecting to see if J really is at the bottom of her Sundae.
And last but not least here is the picture that goes with the first one, of D intently diapering dolls...he will make a great Daddy one day! :o)
The kids have been so naps, going to sleep late! Mom and Dad are exhausted! What a week it's been and we're only half over!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Four Years Ago Today...

These lovely little ladies entered into our lives! What a gift of God they have been. It hasn't been easy, let me tell you...I have the gray hairs to prove it! But they have also been a joy. They were so tiny when they were born that we could put doll clothes on them, now they are big enough to pick out their own clothes, including these sweatshirts with embroidered butterflies and flowers. A is on the left and J on the right.

We had a nice family day together. Because of an almost electrical fire last night (more later), hubby was home today to take care of the electrical repairs. We took the girls to Red Robin for lunch and we spent the evening together opening presents and having birthday cake. I think big brother D was more excited about their bd than they were. He had a lot of fun "even though I know it's not my birthday and I probably am not going to get any presents!" :-)

Friday, March 16, 2007

In The Garden...A Tribute To Dale

I remember Dale telling us one time that she wanted to do a trans-Florida trip some day, starting off on the east coast with a sunrise and driving through the day and stopping in the evening on the west coast for a sunset! Wouldn't that be fun. Now she is in the company of the Risen Son who never sets.
She loved gardens. I never saw a picture of hers but I could see it in my mind when she wrote about it. I especially liked when she shared about her butterflies because butterflies are a symbol to me of how God has transformed my life. Dale had hoped that her bone marrow transplant would help her metamorphosize into a healthy body, instead she is now in a Heavenly Garden. There must be a garden in Heaven because He took such great care in creating the Garden of Eden. If there is a garden in Heaven, Dale is there, in the garden with the Lord and with the Saints who have gone on before her.
After the transplant she could not have flowers and plants because of the microorganisms they carry along with them. I remember her excitement at the thought of having them again one day and eating fresh fruits and vegetables without worrying what her earthly body would do! Today she has no worries about her body because she has been healed and made Whole. She can smell and touch the flowers and fruit. Likely she had to leave her knitting behind, but I'm sure she hasn't given it a second thought with all that she has to absorb there.
Dale is a member of our Christian Artisans group.
She did do a little spinning but was mainly a knitter. I remember she did some beautiful entrelac socks and I think she sold some of her hats and socks on eBay. When she found out that she was getting marrow donated from a young woman she knit a shawl from Margaret's beautiful yarn. That was like Dale, always giving of herself to others. In her comments and prayer requests she was always more concerned about how her condition affected other people than herself. She was concerned for her hubby Chris and the effect this process had on him, having already lost his first wife to cancer. And she loved her kids and prayed for them. I still remember how excited she was the day that she found out that her new little granddaughter would be given Dale for her middle name! She was so thrilled with that! That little girl has the name of an awesome, godly woman. And when my Uncle Dick was dying of Leukemia just two months ago, she comforted me with her caring and knowledge of blood diseases. Dale was gentle, kind, honest, humorous, creative and beautiful in everyway!

The other pictures have been for Dale. This picture is for those of us who are left behind, who have used up our Kleenex boxes this afternoon in our grief. We know that Dale now rejoices in the presence of Jesus, but we who have been left behind miss her presence in our lives. Even though I have never met Dale in person, she was very much a special part of my life. And many of you probably know that the Internet connects us in surprising ways. I rejoice in her homecoming and I weep for her family and for our list family. If you want to know about Dale you can read about her journey here as well as information on being a bone marrow donor. If you feel led to save a life, follow the links to find out how to become a donor.

The picture is because Cary reminded me today of one of my favorite hymns. It was written by a shipwreck survivor who had lost his little daughters at sea and yet because he was a child of God, he knew in all circumstances and under all sorrows it was still well with his soul because he belonged to the King:

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,When sorrows like sea billows roll;Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,It is well, with my soul,It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,Let this blest assurance control,That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,And hath shed His own blood for my soul.


My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!My sin, not in part but the whole,Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!


For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:If Jordan above me shall roll,No pang shall be mine, for in death as in lifeThou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.


But, Lord, ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,The sky, not the grave, is our goal;Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!Blessèd hope, blessèd rest of my soul!


And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,Even so, it is well with my soul.


Monday, March 12, 2007

New Tools

I take after my Grandma Hopkins when it comes to tools...I love to have the best tool for the job. It doesn't need to be costly but it can't be "cheap"! It needs to be well made, practical and efficient. If it's beautiful too...then it's all the better. Here are two new tools I purchased recently. I like to support small artisans when I can because I know it is hard to have your own business at times.

The spindle is for spinning lace. It comes from Running Moon Farm in Louisiana. She also sells on eBay where I got this. She paints spinning wheels and spins and her husband and BIL do wood working. They also raise a rare breed of sheep called Gulf Coast Native and sell the wool. Poke around her website and see lamb pictures and all her neat stuff. Back to the's cherry wood from Louisiana and a red agate stone. The spindle is small about 7" with the stone being about 1 3/4 inches. Running Moon Farm was hit strongly during Hurricane Rita which occurred right after Katrina and didn't get as much publicity, but certainly did alter peoples' lives.

The second is a purple heart nostepinne or nostepinde (depending on which Scandinavian language you read it in) which is used for winding balls of yarn. My friend Sharon of Ewe'n Me Country Crafts has a lot of wonderful stuff for sale on her website or her Etsy shop. Check out the sheep embroidered kitchen towels and the beautiful knitting bags. Her husband Fred is the wood artisan. He made my Nostepinne and the handles for all of Sharon's knitting bags.

Okay, now I'm shuffling back to cleaning, organizing and watching the kids!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Slowly Becoming Human Again...

Between my illness, my kids' illnesses and dental pain and visits and a touch of increased asthma from all the pollen floating around, I have been moving very slowly the last several weeks. But this week I did make it out to my Wednesday morning Bible study and that was nice.

And I made a baby blanket for my cousin...I'm the same age as my Aunt, her Mom, so I really feel more like her Aunt. But, anyway, my cousin is having a little boy and is due about March 31st. It's her first. My girls still love the fleece/fringe blankets that my cousin Wendy made them and drag them all over the house. They are good for little babies because they are soft on the floor and they can have some "tummy time" and play with the fringes! So I had two fleece pieces that were for my DS, now 5 1/2! I used those and I think it turned out cute. The pictures don't really do it justice.

I have been wanting to spin for quite awhile too and so today I pulled out my wheel and spun some of the Shetland roving that was gifted to me by Linda in the Life Overflowing Exchange (button lower right). Linda, if you're reading this, I've really enjoyed it! I feel like I am getting a bit more consistent in my spinning as far as the width of the created yarn. However, I think I am still getting parts over spun. I guess I won't know for sure until I ply it. I'm thinking this will be a DK weight when plied. It's very easy to spin. I think a nice Shetland roving would be good for a new spinner to learn with.

Well, maybe this weekend I will get a chance to go through the pics of Hubby's birthday last weekend when we went to the Folsom Zoo Sanctuary.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Prayers Please

Please pray for my SIL Linda and her family. Her sister Sandy died somewhat unexpectedly last week leaving a husband, a 12 yo son and 6 yo daughter as well as her Mom Mary and Bruce and Linda and family. She had been in the hospital a long time, recovered after being in a coma, came home and died the next day. She was battling Rheumatoid Arthritis in her lungs...I didn't even know you could get it there. Bruce, Linda and the girls are driving down to CA as I type, please pray for their safety and for the whole family as they grieve this huge loss.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Peacock Feathers Shawl

I mentioned yesterday that I am working on the Peacock Feathers Shawl for my Grandma Pfau. Pfau means peacock in German. I had in mind to do a shawl for her anyway, but this winter in a couple weeks time she lost her step-daughter Josie who she was very close to and her oldest son Dick. During this sam etime she also found out that one of her nephews had passed away. So I wanted to give her something to wrap up in and remind herself that she is loved. Grandma has a strong faith which sustains her, but grief is grief and it's never easy.

I'm sorry the picture isn't very good quality. I had a hard time capturing this and finally gave up on getting the color which is a heathered blue with bits of red in it which gives it a purpleish cast. The yarn I am using is Knit Picks Shadow in Jewels Heather. Because I want the shawl to be large enough I am doubling the yarn and using size six instead of size four needles. It's hard to tell from the know how lace is, a blob until it gets blocked...but I think it will be fine. It will not be quite as dainty and lacy as the original but it will be nice for its purpose. I am nearing the end of chart four but this pattern goes on for quite some time before doing the plumes at the end. Hopefully it won't get too boring. I'm finding it's an easy lace pattern to do because you can see in your knitting what should come next and you can watch the detail unfold before you. Hopefully that will help prevent errors since I am knitting while vegging with the kids as we recover from this yuck!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

World Book Day

And you thought this was a knitting blog! :o) Well, I have been doing a little knitting, a sock for Charlotte in our exchange and I started the Peacock Feathers Shawl from Fiddlesticks for my step Grandma in hopes of getting it done in time to deliver to her in person this spring when we visit our family in Washington. No pictures though. I've been too sick to do a whole lot and just not enough energy in the day. It's coming back, and hopefully quickly as hubby's birthday is Saturday and we are hoping to go to the San Francisco Zoo together as a family. We'll see. The kids are still sick too, but running around like crazy and not likely contagious. Is it spring yet?!

Anyway, Susan, who is our fabulous women's ministries director, posted about World Book Day, the first Thursday in March...a holiday I never knew existed! But I am definitely a bibliophile and it's a good thing that most of our books are in Banker's Boxes because if they were all in bookcases and an earthquake hit, we'd be gonners! LOL Anyway, Susan made a list of top ten books that you enjoy reading over and over. I'm leaving the Bible off because that is an obvious one for me and I have and do continue to read it over and over as I glean so much every time I read through it!

1. Anne of Green Gables series
2. Chronicles of Narnia series
3. Bodie Thoene's historical fiction series
4. Little Women, Rose in Bloom and all the other Louisa May Alcott novels.
5. The Secret Garden
6. Little House on the Prairie series
7. Knitting Around by Elizabeth Zimmermann
8. Rosamunde Pilcher books
9. Liz Curtis Higgs historical fiction set in Scotland and based on the stories of Rachel and Leah and Dinah
10. My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers

Now if I made a list of my ten favorite books that would probably be different, but when I think of books I would re-read, there are many that I really enjoyed reading the first time around but would not necessarily go out of my way to read again. The books I have listed above are ones I have either read several times or am planning to read again. I love a good story that draws you in and makes you feel like you are a part of the world, not that you are just reading about someone else's world. Inevitably I will think of some other books to post later that would have made the list "perfect", but I think I'll stop there! :o)