Sunday, September 30, 2007

Bark! Bark! Bark!

No, we did not acquire a dog this weekend! 4 out of 5 L's have been surveyed and they have croup! Lucky Daddy is not sick and is enjoying a great men's retreat in the redwoods with a trip yesterday to the coast. We can't wait to see him when he comes home today! :-)

And I also received the saddest of all kinds of news this weekend. I have written before about my good friend Laura who died last September. Her son and his girlfriend were expecting twin boys in a couple weeks. The Mom was further along than I was when I delivered my twins; she had cramping and went in and they sent her home. She had more pain the next day and they discovered that both boys had smothered to death because of something wrong with the placenta. A C-section was performed to remove them. Losing a child at any time, for any reason is really the hardest of all griefs, or so I am told by those who know. Little Hayden and Spencer were bringing joy and hope into a grieving family that was still reeling from one loss and now a year later they have two more. My heart is broken for them. Please pray for this family, especially that they will draw close to Him. Thank you.

For all of you that I owe email replies to, I'm sorry I am so behind. I'm trying to catch up.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

S.O.S. = Sick Of Slippers!

The last pair is done! I am officially Sick Of Slippers! LOL This is D's pair and he has waited patiently, or not so patiently for them to be done. They are DONE! I will not knit with this yarn again.
I've had a couple questions in email about the slippers and I will post sometime soon how I adapted the pattern to work for kids. To my knowledge this type of slipper pattern is NOT copyrighted. If anyone knows differently, please let me know as I don't want to break the law posting it. :o)
I'm getting better but really wiped. My Hubby is off to men's retreat this weekend. Part of me is dreading it. I LOVE the kids, but physically I am so wiped and aching that I am not looking forward to it. BUT, I am so glad that my Hubby is getting this break. He needs this time away from us to exhale and try to relax. And I know he will enjoy the spiritual nourishment and even though he is extremely shy, he'll like the fellowship too. The lucky bum will be in the Redwoods and he will probably be going to the ocean on Saturday with some of the guys that like to go on a photo hunt. If you think of us all, please say a prayer for us this weekend...that the kids and I do fine, that the Lord will speak to Hubby and that we will all be safe in our comings and goings! Thanks!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

More Slippers!

The girls are thrilled with their slippers! A has been wearing hers all day and J has been bugging me to finish hers. So this afternoon I finished and they put their feet together to look at their pompoms (have I mentioned I hate making pompoms?! LOL) and I had to take a snap.
These are J's slippers. They are dark purple and dusky purple in Vanna's Choice acrylic. I'm not thrilled with the yarn. It's soft but not durable...probably good for crocheted afghans but not for durable wear. A's look scruffy after one day. I should have just ordered some wool. I could not get the colors to come out right. They are not this dark.
And I snuck in this knitting in progress pic to show my first needles I got in kindergarten! :o)


In spite of being a "fiber snob", there are sometimes when acrylic works fine...little kids' slippers is one of those times. My Mom made me slippers like this when I was a kid and this was one of my first "real" knitting projects. In the winter our place gets pretty cold due to lack of insulation. The kids are always playing with their socks and I thought it would be a good time to knit some slippers. So we took a trip to Michael's and we got these duo-tone pink yarns for A, dark and light purple for J and dark and light blue for D. They are sooooooo EXCITED! Sunday night I was knitting on A's first slipper and Monday morning the first thing she wanted to know was whether or not her slippers were finished. Yesterday I put the pom poms on and finished them. I took them with me to Joyous Crafters at church last should have seen her big crocodile tears when she learned that I was taking them with me! :o)
This picture shows D and J feeling the pom poms. They were fasicnated with them. The pattern is not exactly the same as the one my Mom and Grandma and I used, but it is close. I used my little apple green plastic Boye first pair that Grandma Hopkins gave me in the winter of 1971-1972 when she taught me how to knit! :o)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

FOs, Colds and Other Knitting Activities

Well, I have been busy doing what I call "mindless knitting". I love the Spiral Rib Hat from Ann Norling. The pattern is great because it's basic, easy, comes in ALL sizes, for all weights yarn and it looks just a little nicer than a regular stocking cap. Of course you can't really see here because I had to take the photo in doors and the silk in the scarf wants to have all the camera's attention and it focuses there. It is the same colorway of Chasing Rainbow's Dyeworks, Hydrangea, but in a homespun wool instead of wool/silk. I made it long enough to pull down over my ears, cheeks and part of my neck because too much wind on those areas when I am at the beach can sometimes trigger one of my spinal migraines.

Speaking of which, thank you to anyone who read and prayed for me. This spinal migraine is finally gone! That is the good news. The bad news is that I woke up really sick on Friday morning. I wanted to try the Zicam, but didn't want to pay $10 for some medicine that may not stay *in* my nose which was runny like crazy. So I decided to buy generic lozenges for $3 containing the same active ingredient, 13.3 mg Zinc Gluconate Glycine. This has been a nasty sinus virus and I always am concerned that it will hit my lungs, but these lozenges work! It doesn't make your cold go away but this is the third day (that's all you take) of them and my symptoms are beginning to subside and act more like 7-10 days into a virus than 3. This is considered "homeopathic" so I am going to look at the natural foods co-op next time I am there to see if I can find the same ingredient without having to get all the extra chemicals in it. I can't give you medical advise, but I know we are going to have some of these on hand for the next time a virus hits. I did miss church today, which was disappointing but I am still contagious and feeling physically weak. I didn't think anyone would appreciate me sharing this with them!

Please pray that my kiddos will stay healthy because I am leading Bible study on Wednesday and I have yet to get to my Thursday Bible study (secondary to migraine and A being sick earlier in the week). Also, please pray for my insomnia to take a hike! It is not good for my migraines but may also be caused by them. It's a vicious circle.

So, while I have been trying to rest, I have been knitting and reading about knitting and playing on Ravelry. If you are on there too, I am StitchesofGrace...visit me! Wow, I have found lots of free patterns on there and more ideas than I could probably ever knit up. One cool one I wanted to share with you is for duct feet from Vivyan (a blog I have never visited before, but she is a knitter and designer with free patterns). It is like making a body form for sewing with duct tape only it is for your feet. I think I will put my Mom and some other friends through this...would make long distance knitting for surprise, much easier! :o) It would also work well for my own socks and for hubby's feet too. Hmmm...where would I store all these "feet"?! LOL If you saw how small and packed in like sardines we are, you'd laugh at this one too!

I hope everyone else had a more exciting weekend than I did!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sherri tagged me for this meme which I have done before, but will do again because it's just fun to play with friends! :o) Most of the bloggers I know have done this, so I will let you choose if you want to play too!

The rules:
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself: some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
4. Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.

1. I learned to knit from Grandma Hopkins when I was in Kindergarten, but found crocheting easier as a child. However, in the 1980s, the beautiful wool and mohair sweaters and vests and Lopi sweaters knit for my German friend Jutta, by her mother Renate intrigued me. Remember the 80s were all about big sweaters and Mohair was really "in". This got me started thinking about knitting again and I did dabble. However, I really got into knitting about 1990 when I moved to Bellingham, WA and didn't know too many people. I found Knitting Around by EZ and was enchanted by her old photographs, art and knitting designs and cunning. Then there was no going back! :o)

2. The first time I went to Germany I took too much Pepto Bismol for my travel sickness as I adjusted to the time change and I got scary brown fuzz growing on my tongue...harmless but scary! I have never taken it since! LOL

3. In the mid 1980s I went to every Christian concert I could when they came to the Seattle area and have happy memories of Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith and others when they were just getting started. Some of the singers and groups were really awesome but if you mentioned their names now, most people would say, "WHO?"

4. The worst pizza I have ever eaten was in Italy!

5. I have a hard time relaxing to read many non-fiction books because I want to have the highlighter out and make notes! (Yes, I know I am a nerd!)

6. When I was a Girl Scout I was in a Totem Girl Scout Council cookie sale ad (ca 1976) that aired on local Seattle television stations.

7. When I was in Kindergarten I decided that I did not want to be girly so I would not like anything pink. Blue became my favorite color in childhood. Now I like pinks and burgandies as well as blues but purple is my favorite color.

See, I'm kind of boring. I couldn't think of anything that I hadn't already written! Go check out my friend Sherri's blog. Not only is she a neat person, she "co-starred" with John Wayne! LOL

My So Called Life...

Well, we are having a sick day. The kids are so crabby. It rained! I have not seen rain like this in September since I have lived here. I am not complaining...better than triple digit and will help clean the SMOGGY air! It was disappointing that we are missing our first Bible study day for my Precepts class in Daniel. It is a really interesting study so far with both confusing prophecy and practical application. In between whining and complaining the kids have been playing and this is a picture of their traffic jam!

And here is a picture of my latest finished object. It is My So Called Scarf which is done in a gorgeous merino/tussah silk single yarn from Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks in Willits, CA. The colorway is Hydrangea and the photo does not do it justice. The colors are dark olive, light olive, teal and purpley royal blue. This will go with my teal parka. I have some of the same colorway in their homespun wool to make a thick and warm hat. And in the future I hope to also make some fingerless gloves out of some teal Alpaca yarn I have to go with them all. It's a really fun stitch that almost looks like weaving. I enjoyed the break from my size 000 needles for socks that I am working on because I used 10.5 bamboo needles! With the weather the way it is, maybe I will get to wear this sooner rather than later! :o)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Titus 2 and the Value of a God-Given Husband

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. (Titus 2:3-5, NIV)

We had a unique "Mug and Muffin" presentation for the women on Saturday. I think it was the most significant one I have attended. There was a panel of four Godly women who answered some questions about their experiences and what they have learned in their roles as women, wives and mothers. One was a widowed nurse who is a mother of twins and a grandmother of twins, one was a woman who came to know Jesus as an adult and whose husband did not join her in faith until later years, one is a pastor's wife and the fourth a wife, mother and missionary to China for 50 years! I'll do my best to sum up their wisdom for you:

1. What would you do differently?
In spiritual life, one wished she had been more thankful and in her family life she wished she had been less serious and more fun, allowing herself to enjoy family time more. Another wished she had continued prayer and devotions with her children all through school, not just when they were little children. A third felt that it was important to have more deep discussions with your children and to know them and their signals for when they need to talk. Her children had different ways to could talk only in private and the other only in a public place, like windowshipping. She reminded us too that our grandchildren are a mission field too and that our responsibility does not stop when our children leave the nest. They are a fertile mission field...pray for them, be available, listen and pray with them. The fourth encouraged us to share Jesus with our children from a small age. Don't wait until we think they are old enough to understand!

2.What do you know now that you wish you knew then?
Not surprisingly, one of the widows shared about how important it is to cherish every day you have with your spouse and kids. When she shared this, I cried, because I do understand what it is like to have your life shattered in a split second. Noone plans to lose their family. Cherish every moment and make sure to tell them that you love them. Another that really struck home with me, is that love is more important than law. Law is important and has its place and we cannot over look sin, but don't forget to love and to love the sinner. Obey God's law of love. The woman who had come to know the Lord later in life wished that she had known earlier, not only to know about Him but to have a personal relationship with as her friend and Creator. Another lady shared from the floor how important it is for young Moms to remember to use gentle answers and not just yelling. She wished she had known that when her children were little. OUCH! That one struck home! :o)

3. Is there anything you'd do different in your marriage?
The consensus was COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE! The missionary advised that we talk to our husbands when little things bother us and not to let them go. Otherwise we find ourselves years down the road with so many layers of hurt that many people cannot get through them. If you have a husband who will not talk, seek counseling...even if you have to go on your own. Don't lord it over him, and most imortantly, when he won't talk, remember to go to the Lord! Another sage piece of advice was to carve out even little pieces of time to spend with your spouse alone, even if it is just a quick walk in the neighborhood or a cup of coffee together. Do this as frequently as you can!

This spurred some conversation on communication and family time in general. It was recommended that it is highly important to spend time with each of your children as individuals, not only as a group. All of the women stressed the importance of family dinner time. Ask your children questions that cannot be answered by "fine", "nothing" and "I don't know"! Instead say "Share two things that happened to you today." or "What funny thing happened to you today?" All of the ladies also stressed the importance of family vacations so that you could spend time all together. Most of them were restricted financially and took their children camping or other inexpensive adventures like that. And finally make sure that your children know that they are loved by Jesus, feel that they are loved enough and know that they are loved unconditionally!

4. What personal decision are you most proud of?
There was a consensus among the women that they did not like the wording of the question... How can you be proud of what God calls us all to do, obedience to Him? The most important decisions in our lives are not always ones that have anything to do with personal pride but do have the greatest impact. They answered in that vein.

The missionary felt that following God's Call and seeking His will was the most important thing she had done personally. The pastor's wife felt that giving her whole life over to God, to do what He wanted, not just what she wanted, was the most significant decision she had made. The woman who came to know God later in life felt that choosing Him was the most important because her example brought her children and eventually her husband to Jesus and personal relationships with Him. And the other widow lady talked about how she had wanted to be a missionary nurse but God drew her to marriage and her dream which she felt had been given by Him, seemed to be lost. But, He is faith and she reminded us that good things come in His timing. Later in life she was able to go on short term missions to Africa with her husband and more recently to the middle east with a team from our church. What she learned was that even if your timeline is delayed, WAIT! You can trust Him.

I learned so much from these ladies. Some things I had heard before, but it is so different to hear it from ladies you see and know, rather than reading it in books or hearing it in the media. There is a reason that God gave a charge to older women to teach the's because in the midst of everything He SEES our needs and He gives us strength, instruction, love and care. The quote on our note taking paper was "Mentoring is getting the wisdom without the pain." I hope we do something like this again some time. It was really meaningful to me.

And now for the rest of the post title. I am so thankful for the husband God gave me. Yes, God gave me my husband and I have no doubt about it! The last week I have been in a lot of pain with nausea I haven't known since pregnancy (it's not!), some vertigo and tinnitus. My spinal migraines have been acting up. I may have been fighting a virus too. On top of his week at work, my husband did all the laundry, took care of the kids as soon as he got home, got the kids out of the house for stretches of time Saturday and Sunday so I could have silence and never once complained about not having a meal (or having to go out to get one for us on Saturday) and he prayed for me more than once for healing. He more often than not has to give more than "50%" because of my chronic pain. Most men would not. I'm gradually getting better. "Better" being a relative term! LOL I'm so thankful that God gave me you and that you love me unconditionally! The things I heard and learned on Saturday made me want to love you better and more! I love you Hon!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I'm Still Missing You

Daniel Eugene Johnson
September 13, 1945 - September 24, 2000
I love you Daddy!
Photo on 1st birthday 1946

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Floods of Joy Fill My Soul...

...Like the sea billows roll, since Jesus came into my heart!

Today I had the great privelege to pray with my daughter J to ask Jesus into her heart! On Sunday we overheard our son D sharing the Gospel with the girls and praying with A to ask Jesus into her heart. J did not want to do it then. Today we were reading a story about Jesus during the devotional time of school and she started talking about loving Jesus and A started talking about having Jesus in her heart and one thing led to another and J asked to pray and have Jesus in her heart too! Precious seeds have been planted. And my heart was filled to bursting with Joy, and that old hymn came to my lips. The girls tried to sing along with the chorus.

Since Jesus Came Into My Heart

What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought
Since Jesus came into my heart!
I have light in my soul for which long I had sought,
Since Jesus came into my heart!

Since Jesus came into my heart,
Since Jesus came into my heart,
Floods of joy o’er my soul
Like the sea billows roll,
Since Jesus came into my heart.

I have ceased from my wandering and going astray,
Since Jesus came into my heart!
And my sins, which were many, are all washed away,
Since Jesus came into my heart!


I’m possessed of a hope that is steadfast and sure,
Since Jesus came into my heart!
And no dark clouds of doubt now my pathway obscure,
Since Jesus came into my heart!


There’s a light in the valley of death now for me,
Since Jesus came into my heart!
And the gates of the City beyond I can see,
Since Jesus came into my heart!


I shall go there to dwell in that City, I know,
Since Jesus came into my heart!
And I’m happy, so happy, as onward I go,
Since Jesus came into my heart!


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

In Memory...

I'm sure that most of us can remember where we were or what we were doing 6 years ago today. I know it's hard for those who survived or those who lost to believe that life goes on for the rest of us. That's the way that grief is. What they probably don't realize is that even if you lost your loved one in a "normal" way, you would have that same feeling! I know I do. Sometimes it is hard for me to talk to other friends that Laura and I shared and not see their hearts wrenched by her absence. Don't they remember? Don't they miss her? Of course they do, but life seems to march on. We should not forget. But we should also not dwell on death. We look at death as the end. But, for believers in Christ, it is really on a beginning, or a transition into our true life, into the life for which we were created. I love this quote from the late Dr. D. James Kennedy, who went Home to the Lord last week:

“Now, I know that someday I am going to come to what some people will say is the end of this life. They will probably put me in a box and roll me right down here in front of the church, and some people will gather around, and a few people will cry. But I have told them not to do that because I don’t want them to cry. I want them to begin the service with the Doxology and end with the Hallelujah chorus, because I am not going to be there, and I am not going to be dead. I will be more alive than I have ever been in my life, and I will be looking down upon you poor people who are still in the land of dying and have not yet joined me in the land of the living. And I will be alive forevermore, in greater health and vitality and joy than ever, ever, I or anyone has known before.” --Dr. D. James Kennedy, 1930-2007

So, if you pray, please say a prayer for those who are on a grief journey from this tragic disaster or other losses. Please also pray for the family of Amy Wilhoite, a beautiful young Mom who lost her battle with Leukemia yesterday. She leaves behind a husband and a young toddler son and many others who love her. Today she lives and walks in Ultimate Healing with her Creator!

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Forgotten Sock

Here is my sock photo which I forgot to post yesterday. This is some Trekking XXL that I bought in Mendocino on my 40th birthday last year. It was a "Happy Birthday to Me" present! :o) It looks like it's solid but is actually a bit heathery looking. I am a loose knitter so I am knitting with Addi Turbo 000s! Yikes! I'm liking what I am getting so far though. I like having a sock going so that I have something "mindless" to do while I'm waiting for the kids while they are working on their school work. Plain stockinette socks are good for that becuase it doesn't take my attention entirely away and it keeps me from being bored while I am waiting for something to be completed before I correct it or continue teaching.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

He Restoreth My Soul II

This past week was a really difficult one. When it was Friday, it was definitely TGIF! LOL We had planned to go to the SF Zoo on Saturday, but changed our minds at the last minute. My asthma has been bad all week because of a forest fire whose smokes are being blown into the valley. Then I learned about a fire south of San Francisco and so we decided to go AGAIN to Goat Rock Beach on the Sonoma Coast. The day began quite gray and almost dismal looking, but we definitely made the right choice to go to the beach! (I made an error in posting photos and they posted smaller. If you click on photos you can see them a big bigger. I recommend that for any you may want to see with more detail.)

This and the previous picture are taken along the roadside before arriving at our favorite beach. The lighting wasn't great, but surf was crashing everywhere. I am not sure why, but the surf was quite different than it usually is and I am wondering if it has something to do with the recent full moon we had.

September is my favorite time to be at the ocean. It is usually glorious with blue skies and sunshine but not too warm and not too much fog. But Saturday there was quite a bit of fog. So we took our time at Whole Foods Market getting goodies for our picnic and stopping along the way for pics because usually the fog burns off mid day.

Here is the Arched Rock that you see on the beach adjacent to Goat Rock Beach. My friend Laura's ashes are spread here and so I have been trying to get a 'perfect' picture of it to share with her daughter. Haven't gotten it yet, but I'm having fun trying. There was a lot of pampas grass growing and when J saw it she cried "Bulrushes!" The girls have been studying about Baby Moses in Sunday School! :o)

Looking down on the drive that winds down to Goat Rock Beach. There are always a lot of people on this beach, sometimes surfing. The way the surf comes in on this beach is much safer than on Goat Rock Beach so there are usually more people there...which is fine with us! In California it is difficult to get off by yourself unless you are a mountain goat, so we are always looking for places that are less crowded!

The first half hour we were on the beach I just stood watching the surf crash in. The pictures do not look as dramatic as it was in person. The pounding spray would go up high as a house. Look at that gorgeous color in the water too!

Sometimes there was so much going on, I didn't know which way to point my camera and I just had to stand in awe and watch. I felt like God was saying to me, "I'm still here and I'm watching. I know what you are going through and you are NOT alone!"

Can you believe the color of the water? It was so beautiful and it was "striped" just like we saw it at Lake Tahoe a couple weeks ago. I have never seen the Pacific in these colors. I didn't know cold water got this color.

Last time I posted pics from Goat Rock Beach, someone asked about "sleeper waves". It happens only on certain beaches and the sign below shows...there is a deep trough right where surf pounds the beach and so a wave can start up, seemingly out of nowhere in that trough and crash over the top of an existing wave which has been rolling in from further off shore. It is highly dangerous because a person thinks the water is only a few feet deep but they can be pulled into that trough!

In spite of this danger there are a lot of people who think "Oh that would only happen to stupid people, I know better!" There is a life guard there which is fortunate because a lot of those people who think they know better, don't! We saw some of them in action yesterday.

It's hard to tell in this photo but here, some small sleeper waves are trying crash over the top of this previous wave that has already rolled. Sometimes there are several and it looks as if they are racing over the top of each other to get to the shore first!

It was so beautiful I just kept snapping away...the joy of having a digital camera. I would have used a lot of film and it would have been really expensive.

This photo shows the surf pounding. Like I said, the picture doesn't show how dramatic it is. The surf was literally pounding with a boom that was quite loud as it hit and then bounced up ten+ feet in the air.

Sometimes the water in the waves was very dark from the gravel and sand it picked up from the trough, but the waves that built up from the surface of the water were beautiful with this bottle glass green color.

Here some sleeper waves are coming over the top of others. This was about 6' or more in height. It was like the water was building a wall and these went the stretch of the beach, a good 100 yards or more. Awe is the only word that describes it.

Here is a close up shot of the waves. The brown is the first wave which has rolled and the spray at the top is the second "sleeper" wave coming over the top.

God gave us quite a show. I just stood there in amazement. I have been visiting the Pacific Ocean in three states and one Canadian province, my entire life and I have never seen a display quite like this one. It was like watching amazing fireworks, only better!

The troops were hungry, so while I took pics, they started lunch. J, D, A and our usual spot.

Here's J, all happy with her Ritz crackers! :o) This is one processed food we have not been able to give up yet. Working on it.

And this photo is not so amazing until you know that I took the photo 3" from the subject! This is with my new closeup lens! It came Tuesday and since we had such a horrible heat spell the last week or so before that, there was not a single flower alive to take pics of! So, I had to be resourceful to at least try it out. I have to learn how to manipulate the depth of field (how much of the photo is in focus), which is different in a close focus lens. I'm sure it will come in time. This photo is 1:1 life size and unretouched. Actually none of the ocean pics are retouched on this post...just so you know I did not "photoshop" the color of the water! LOL

The kids had a blast! They had more fun this time than when we went two weeks ago. Here's A...they always have to find these big rocks to show me how strong they are!

And this is what I saw on the way to make a pitstop! I don't know if you can see on this small version but there is a wave crashing through the Arched Rock...still working on getting a perfect shot of it.

Here's A, filling up her pockets with rocks to bring home! :o) In case you wonder if we ever change our childrens' clothes...yes we do. It's just that we don't have many long pants and warm clothes because we live in this hot place. So, when we go to the beach we end up wearing the same clothes. They do get washed in between! LOL

Here is Mr. D and Mommy. I had Hubby take some pics of me with the kids since almost all the pics are of him and them. I hate having my pics taken but if something happened to me, I would want them to know that I loved them heart and soul! Besides, when my Hubby married me and "carted" me off to California, my Mom made him promise to get me in the pics sometimes! LOL

Here is me and the Diva! Would you look at Miss A's face there!?!

She nearly knocked me out with the stick but it was the favored "toy" of the day! The pics with J didn't turn out but that was okay because we got one last time.

It was hard to stop taking pics...look at those waves!!! It reminded me of some of that Japanese art where they paint the waves. I have some quilting fabric with it. The Japanese must have "sleeper" waves too! LOL

Here is Miss A with her "flying dragon"! LOL They recently watched a princess story with a dragon so she must have had that in her mind. It could fly because of the seagull feathers on the end of it! :o)

And no, my children do NOT lack an imagination! Here they are bringing a "birthday cake" to Daddy. And since I usually sing "And many more" at the end of the birthday song, A sang "Happy Birthday to you...and More!" They filled the frisbee up with gravel and put a stick in it for a candle. Clever. A on left, J on right. In some other pics I did not post the girls looked so much alike. It is so strange for me to see that in pics because in person, I know they look alike but they don't look alike...they each look so different to me!

They were so tuckered out from their long day! This is A sleeping at 6:20PM! LOL We were stopped to top off the gas tank when I took this picture. We went to IHOP for dinner and I was really surprised...this is our third time in a row that we went to dinner as a family with no fits, no disasters, no screaming, no crying...WEIRD! Let me tell you, when you have 3 under 2, then 3, then 4, then 5....well, you just don't do restaurants, unless they have a drive through! LOL So this is just amazing to us. Not that we want to eat in restaurants that often, but WOW! afterall we have gone through with our little tribe, this was something to mark down on the calendar.

Believe it or not, I actually missed getting a picture up here...the one with actual knitting content. I'll have to post my latest sock tomorrow! And if you were wondering if I would ever get back to knitting and fibery goodness on my blog...don't despair, summer is nearly over and I will be back to indoor sports...knitting, spinning, sewing, quilting! :o)

Friday, September 07, 2007

Nice Matters

My friend Debra chose me to receive a "Nice Matters Award". THANK YOU Debra! I have been seeing these all throughout blog land and I don't know who to thank or give credit to for starting this.

“This award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world. Once you’ve been awarded please pass it on to 7 others who you feel are deserving of this award."

Some of the people Debra chose, would have been on my list and some of the others I would chose have already been chosen by others, so it was hard to choose. If I left you out, it's because I could only choose 7! All of my blogging friends deserve a "Nice Matters Award"! (Why would I read not-nice blogs?! LOL)

Stuck On Grace is my friend Lynette at church who is an awesome Christian Education Director. I am also enjoying getting to know her as a friend and she has been very encouraging to me!

Fruitful Words is my friend Susan, also from our church. She heads up Women's Ministry and the small groups as well as works on her degree at seminary. Besides being an all around wonderful and encouraging woman, she often has helpful or thought provoking blog posts and I have found some interesting blogs on her blog roll (which I believe is not up at the moment).

Journaling Back To Joy can not be left off the list! Amy is the one who started me blogging in the first place after we met in quilting class. She sat at a different table and I "just knew" that she was a Christian and hoped that we would connect. She journals openly and honestly about her grieving process which is healthy and helps many of us who have felt like we need to grieve in a closet where others can't see us. She is also a homeschool Mama who works for The Old Schoolhouse magazine and she is a knitter. She also blogs at KnitnMom.

Chrysalis Knits is a young Mom who knits and spins, sews and designs. She is always ready with a kind word and encouragement and often leaves comments on my blog with helpful hints and answers to my fibery problems.

Deborah's Doings Deborah has really made a difference in my online experience. Many of you probably have heard me mention the Christian Artisans list (tag/link at right side) and Deborah started this group at Yahoogroups. These women have really made a difference in my life through prayer and fellowship. Thanks Deborah! Her blog has a fantastic story of her family's recovery from hurricane loss and her homeschooling, weaving, spinning, knitting and homesteading adventures.

Perennial Grace is my friend Eve in New York. She also has Simply Divine Fibers blog and shop. I chose her because she is always helping people learn to knit and spin and gives of herself in many ways. She knits, spins, dyes, gardens and is a wonderful Mom and Grandma.

Last, but not least, is my best friend Shelley, the newest blogger I know who is blogging at Meadow Meanderings. Shelley has been a faithful friend the last 15 years. We became roommates when I broke off my engagement in 1992 and she was my Maid of Honor when I married my One True Love. She has been through thick and thin with me and she is one of the most giving people I know. Her blog holds promise...her lovely photography and adventures and her funny adventures with three Pug dogs!

Thursday, September 06, 2007


I never cease to be amazed when God sends me exactly what I need, exactly when I need it. It has been a really rough day, where the spiritual battle has been tangible. Today Charlotte emailed me and sent me this link to God Tube for a song by Third Day. It is sung to the tune of Amazing Grace. Charlotte didn't know this but that song is a part of my salvation experience (the day after I was saved at family camp, there was a talent show and I played Amazing Grace on my flute) and whenever I hear it I cry. I cry because in those moments I am reminded again how it is only His Grace that has saved me and how powerful that is. It's not a "I'm a lowly worm, pathetic doormat" kind of way that the world often thinks. It is a truthful, honest assessment of who I am in relation to Him and seeing again, the real need I have and not sinking in despair but raising my eyes and hands and heart to Him, recognizing that He Alone has made me Whole.

The song is worth a listen. Thank you Charlotte for sharing. I took a little worship break and feel nourished after listening, praising and reading the scripture (Psalm 50:1-15) that she shared. I want to pass it on to any of my readers who may also need that lift of encouragement today too.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Socks That Whooped Me!

Way back last September I joined a little swap called Feet To Prayers. It was the midst of a really crazy time in my life when Laura had just died and my Hubby scared us with Atrial Fibrillation secondary to his newly diagnosed Graves' Disease. I thought it would be a good idea to focus on someone else and give of my time in prayer and encouragement. Knitting a sock was part of the requirement. We knit one sock for our partner and sent it on for them to knit the second sock, that way we had knit something "together". How hard could a sock be? I knit lace. I knit Fair Isle. I knit Aran. I have worked on custom fitting for myself. One little sock could not be that big of a deal! Famous last words!

The sock you see cavorting here at the Pacific Ocean before being mailed on to lovely, but sadly blog-less Charlotte, is not the sock I began with. Nor the second sock I knit. Nor even the third. This sock is actually the 4th. First I began with some lovely Schaeffer Anne. It was a little splurge but so beautiful...burgandy, forest green, deep purple, sunshiny fern just looked like autumn and the changing of season to me. I knit it up in the infamous Jaywalker pattern. It was so beautiful. It striped, alternating burgandy/purple with the greens. It looked divine. But the pattern is so tight and many people I know have given up on trying to get a good fit. Much to my husband's shock I frogged the whole had been almost done!

The next sock was a modified Jaywalker after I had found a version made for larger feet. I had the sock 3/4 of the way done and saw that while it would have fit the foot, it would not have gone well over the heel. Heartbroken and frustrated, I frogged again. I was exhausted and overwhelmed by a sock, of all things! But, I wasn't going to let a sock get the better of me. So I tried another pattern and it just didn't do the lovely Anne sock yarn justice. So ripped again.

So, what does any self-respecting knitter doing when the going gets tough? I went to my local yarn store to seek fresh inspiration. And I asked Charlotte's forgiveness. Her secret pal package was sent of, sock-less! Yes, I am ashamed to admit it! I became "one of those" exchange pals! :o( So, I found some lovely Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport yarn in the Vera colourway. I liked it because it didn't look just like every other sock yarn out there, it was somewhat autumnal in coloring and it just seemed fitting that the colourway was named after Lorna's mother since Charlotte and I had conversed regarding the influences of our mothers and grandmothers. So, I waited until after Christmas to begin Sock Attempt #4. I thought I should follow the KISS formula, given my previous failures. And that sock was like a brick wall to me. But finally I finished it...toe up with a round heel and a 2x2 rib! I kept it simple and let the colourway form the pattern. The last week of August I mailed it to Charlotte...8 months LATE! And, I waited on pins and needles to know whether it would fit.

Ta Da! It fits! That's Charlotte's foot in the sock! Now...Please say extra knitting prayers that she will be able to come up with a matching sock for her other foot! Hopefully she will have an easier go at it than I did. It was the craziest knitting journey I have ever embarked upon, but the perseverence was worth it because Charlotte has been a blessing in my life! May God Bless you Charlotte and keep you warm! :o)

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Still Missing You...

One year ago today, Laura flew to Jesus. I cannot wish her back to pain, to earthly sorrow and away from the Savior she served with all her heart and mind and soul and strength. I am at peace. I rejoice in my son's salvation, which grew from seeds she planted. And, I thank God for her presence in our lives. She is a gift and is indelibly written on our hearts. Our lives march on without you Laura dear. We are learning and growing and playing. Little by little the wound of your absence becomes less tender. I know you can't read these words, but I write them for my own grief. I love you and I miss you and I thank you. I rejoice with you because there is victory in Jesus and no earthly cares, nor the enemy, nor even Cancer can steal that JOY from you! We all miss you!