Monday, December 2, 2013

Thankful Hoorays!

The fine print****I recently found out that folks are using my pics elsewhere… that is awesome..but please ask permission first and link back here..thanks***

The whole point of this blog was to slow down and in the process find a thankful heart, leave a written life behind for my little ones to peak into and to help me heal. I am thankful that I have been able to do just that. But, lately not so much so.
Once we got back from the island, Puerto Rico, life attacked us. At one point my little girl had 4 activities scheduled for the same day! I now know what it means to be a soccer mom… and my kids don't even play soccer!
I am thankful for these few minutes I have to slow down and reflect on summer and fall, on new and old.
1) Thankful for new traditions. After 11 years, my husband has finally made a football fan out of me. Monday night football is a family activity now. I made this ripple in honor of his favorite Chicago Bears. Our little family is now full blown football fans and I wonder what we will do once the season is over.

2) I am thankful for old traditions. My mother crocheted me a white blanket -that I still use- when I was born. It was an honor to create one for my new niece and nephew. My little brother had twins!  This one was created rather quickly and in the process I was able to teach my little girl to create a granny square. Hooray for traditions. 
 3) I am thankful for a core group of women who have taught me the fine art of crochet. Gwen-aka- the Crochet Kween- always has something new and interesting to teach me and her latest book has left me wanting more. Can you believe that little lady crocheting is made out of crochet! She is a Gwen original. Her book is full of fun examples on how crochet is more than just a hobby. My favorite is information on one particular gentleman that crochets. His art is fabulous! But, I won't give it away here. Click on the book link below to take a look and get more information. Hooray for Crochet!
Find out more here
4) I am thankful for perfect fall nites that lend themselves to warm breezes in the sun room and more crochet time. These little bottoms are for the new twins. I had never made garments (I stick to the easier stuff), but really these were super easy and the web is full of free patterns for this stuff. They were easy enough that the light of the moon was enough light to complete them. Hooray for new challenges.
5) I am thankful for a summer that brings about all sorts of gardening goodies that can be used for crochet. This is a twine holder but works perfect for my yarn. Hooray for new uses for old things.

 6) I am thankful for a family vacation---finally. The beauty of the island is unsurpassed. Every time I visit, it feels like the first time. The buildings in the capital city are from the Spanish era but are kept bright with colorful paints. I pray that God continues to hold that little island in the palms of His mighty hands.

Feeling rather spoiled now that I look over these pics. 
How fortunate I am to have a great family, to be able to get away and witness the majesty of the Puerto Rico, to learn from amazing women the traditions of crochet and to be able to pass it on. 
Feeling oh so spoiled and oh so thankful! 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Visiting the Court of the Crochet Kween.

Its been some time since I've blogged on here. The start of the school year, work, after school activities and vacations have left me in a busy whirlwind. When Gwen, the Crochet Kween, and I met about month ago, she asked me to be a guest blogger. I cannot tell you how honored I was to be asked. Here I am a forever crochet newbie and the Crochet Kween herself is asking me to be a guest blogger on her site!! I'm still blushing….gosh ;)
Below is a link to Gwen's blog and what I describe as the royal court of crochet. Experts in crochet stop by her blog and Gwen gives a plethora of crochet information as well. Once you stop by, you will be "hooked" on her blog.

And don't forget to check back with me in a few weeks when I review Gwen's latest book,The Fine Art of Crochet.

Without any further ado, click here for my guest post.

If you want to check out Gwen's book, get a look at it here: 


Friday, August 23, 2013

Where did summer go?

Where did it go? I have a gazillion pictures in my camera and laptop and  I look there for clues. It went to…

  • making ice cream late at night
  • many trips to the zoo
  • gardening
  • picnics
  • play dates
  • nature walks
  • crochet (finally finished that ripple blanket!)
  • reading, lots of reading
  • making forts
  • bird watching
  • sleep overs
  • the hubster's scary fireworks 
  • late mornings in pj's
  • eating wild black berries 
  • spoiling Buttercup 
  • carnivals and more carnivals
  • car shows
  • long bike rides
  • napping and daydreaming under trees
  • homemade raspberry lemonade
  • spoiling two little kids as much as I possibly could
Although summer isn't over, I think I am ready for my favorite time of year, Autumn. The pumpkin flavorings in everything, the crunchy leaves underfoot, the delicate breeze that upsets the rays of that too hot sun and the beautiful trees that dance in the wind, make up for the hustle and bustle of another busy school year. 

You can go now summer, 
not that you were that bad. 
You were soft, breezy and not too hot, 
and I do appreciate that. 
But I would like for fall 
to come a bit early this year, please. 
So move over summer 
and make room for autumn leaves. 


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

"Ahhh" moments...

Our party desserts. There are addictive swedish fish inside the jello.
The kids got to make their own little  islands in a cup. 
No matter what my day has been, I try to find a "ahh" moment in it daily. I have done this since I was a tween and its just the medicine I need.
 I strongly believe that God talks to us in the ordinary things, and those are my ahh moments. Ahh moments let me know that I am loved, that there is more beauty than not in life, and they let me know that a higher power is at work. No matter what my life is like, God is in control.
Sometimes I find the moment in the cardinals song outside my window, or seeing the wind play with the tree tops on my drive to work, or sometimes the moments are found in odd ways and odd things. Just last week I was having an internal conversation with myself about all of the things I had to accomplish. Ok, maybe not so much a conversation as it was a complaining rant.  I was cleaning our home after a serious impromptu birthday party -right in the middle of our new floor installation. I was wondering when I would have time to get my to do list done and if my house would ever look normal again.  I absentmindedly continued to stuff things into the garbage can and didn't realize that the bag was overstuffed. When I pulled the bag out it exploded on the floor, well at least that's what it looked like.  A large hole on the bottom let everything I had just put in, out. It was my fault, I overstuffed it. I stood there looking at the mess in the middle of my kitchen. Half eaten cakes, pizza, jello, ice-cream, candies, birthday wrappers, toy wrappings, balloons, etc. It looked like a party threw up on the kitchen floor. That's when my ahh moment came…. yes in all of that garbage. I realized that I helped create childhood memories.  And, while perhaps the children that visited us that day will one day move away, grow apart and perhaps forget, I won't. I won't forget the smile and relief on A's face when her friends arrived and the mischievous smirk on G's face when his pals arrived. I won't forget the laughter roaring from the top floor and and the secret smiles and giggles shared between little girls. And, that's what matters. I won't remember the anxiety over having to change the party venue because of bad weather, arguing with the hubster over which pizza place to order from, the anxiety of the jello treats not setting on time or the anxiety that folks will notice that our floor is half carpeted and half wood. I won't remember those things. I will remember my ahh moment in the garbage. I helped create those memories and I will hold fast to them.

Today's ahh moment was in having a serious conversation with my 5 yr old boy about make-up. He was waiting for me in my bathroom and noticed my make-up case and was in awe of the many exciting things in it. He brought them out and asked about them. I don't like to wear makeup and rarely do but because he was interested I showed him what each item did for my face. He listened intently and got really close to my face and said "mom, you look the same". I responded with an "I do?". Then he put his little hand on my face and said "Yeah, you always look pretty mom but that fat little marker makes your lips redder, that's all". Ahhhh. I smiled, wiped the makeup from my face and thanked God for that little man of mine. 

I hope you get time each day for an "ahh" moment. They help you grow and make you smile so be sure to get your daily serving.
When I come to quiet, I find many "Ahh" moments right here at home. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

On Not Slowing Down….

One of momma's creations as a single woman. I have often wondered how she came up with these patterns and what on earth did she wear under it. I am blessed to have inherited it when she moved. As a child I played with it often (pretended it was a fishing net and never thought to put it on). 
One of the many bags my mother made from me out of plarn. The bags were part of our city's recycling movement. The program was canceled and we were left with tons of blue bags. Mom made them into plarn and made this large tote for me. It keeps cold foods cold and hot foods hot!

Sweet Mother of Abraham Lincoln! What has time been doing to me?! Here we are just days from Summer and I have not been keeping my promise of slowing down. Instead the schedules of life and the joy killer have been keeping me busy. I do snap thousands of pictures. They live in my SD card and I don't take the time to slow down, print and enjoy them. I cut out thousands of recipes and I never take the time to read through and make them. I gather magazines but never peruse the pages. I bookmark many blogs or add them to the little glasses icon thingy on my mac, but I never go back. And be still my heart, I have not been creating (or does weeding the garden count as being creative?)

As a means of resolving this problem I am taking Fridays off during the Summer. I WILL create, crochet, make unhealthy sweet treats, let them stay up late, go to the movies, go on dates with the hubster, explore my world, read and for once in my life be unscheduled (atleast I am scheduling this for Fridays). Yes, I plan to make memories!

I will also dream of visiting my parents this September. Because my family deserves a little vacation and because I miss my mom and dad terribly, this visit is a must. Ok... Ok… its a secret mission to convince my parents to move back to the lovely midwest.  I will do my best to convince them that moving back to live in the midwest is the best thing that they can do. Afterall, why would they want to live near a beach in a tropical paradise, eating organic homegrown, surrounded by a garden that blooms year round and speaking their primary language, when they can be here with me breathing toxic air and worrying about utility rates during the gray and cold winter months?!

I do miss my parents though….. and I wish , oh how I wish, I had spent more time with them before they retired to the island.  Because nothing reminds me more of God's love than family. Nothing rejuvenates me more than hearing the roaring laughter of family around one of mom's awesome dinners. Nothing makes me question God more too than my parents (LOL) and this in itself has caused me to continuously be in conversation with God. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Bunny and Crochet

As you know, I have been spending my free time on the joykiller (treadmill). Can I tell you how strange it fields to be jogging to no where. The kindle and phone help with music. I tend to close my eyes and pretend I am away in nature, walking down a beautiful pathway, on my way to by log cabin lined with all sorts of flowers. Then I open my eyes and stare at a dull wall.. sigh. When a friend ordered one of my flower scarfs, I was thrilled to be able to crochet again. I used to sell them online but with little time on my hands, I have not been able to keep Etsy up. I am hoping to post a pattern here since they are super easy. As a matter of fact, it is the old and well known, Irish Flower pattern that I like to teach at the center to crochet newbies. Its a perfect scarf for spring. This scarf will be auctioned off and the bidding has already started for it without me even completing it. Proceeds will go to a non-for-profit community center where I keep an office.

This is what a finished scarf looks like. Easy. 

Something else is in my head today:
Today I got to go on a date and I am so thrilled about this. The hubster and I agreed that we are most agreeable when we have time for one another. We planned for simply, cheap dates at least once a month. We made March's date and almost forgot April. Because he is in terrible pain (cortisone shot on the elbow will hopefully do the trick) he stayed home. I was able to stay home with him and b/c G and A are in school, we got ourselves to an early movie. After the movie we got up to leave and noticed an elderly couple was sitting not too far from us. She  got up very slowly and was slowly making her way down the long aisle and we patiently walked behind her. I saw how she moved stiffly and it just looked painful. He held her hand to keep her from falling. At the end of the aisle, he put his arm around her and she lowered her head to his chest as he gave us permission to by pass them. I smiled and saw her face. I saw shame- embarrassment. My face went red and hot. Can I tell you horrible I felt? "No". I wanted to say "no, we need to learn to respect and be patient with our seniors. You go right on even if it takes a bit longer. Don't stop and wait for me to pass you by, you go right on leading".

We go by in life at all sorts of speeds, we the makers and movers and shakers. We have no time for hello's and goodbye's. We have things to do and people to see. I stopped today and looked into the face of someone who once was like me. A mover. A shaker. Today, she can barely walk. And, while I don't know her story completely, I saw shame and sadness in those eyes. No. I won't pass you by. Nope, I won't move you out of the way. Its ok if it takes you longer. No one will die if I am a few seconds late. I know you once were a mover and a shaker and today have to take the back seat. But not for me. You see, I know that despite the sadness and shame in those eyes, there is wisdom there. Wisdom that only comes from years of experience. So, I won't ask you to move because I am faster. I will walk by your side, chit chat a bit and see if a smile comes up; because one day I know I will be you. And because in slowing down, I will learn to appreciate life around me a bit more.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

A Little Baby in the House

I've had baby on the brain for a while. I think its just what 30 something mom's think about after their 30th birthday for the 7th time. I think it highly unlikely that another bundle of joy will join our family given my medical history. And, I am very pleased with the two wonderful kiddos that God has given us. They bring us exactly what their names mean: strength and joy!  With these two around, 2 part-time jobs, and every free time on the joy killer (treadmill) and a home to tend to, who has time for another baby? We do! A bunny baby that is.

After nearly 6 months of intense research and worries (bad memories from having to put my dearest Bella to sleep), hands on tests (had to make sure no one was allergic) and using the kids as ambassadors for a shared cause (they made little bunny rabbit pictures and placed them everywhere dad could find), we went for it!

We originally wanted to adopt but were weary when the rabbits we saw all indicated that the adoptive home had to be an experienced rabbit home. This is our first rabbit and hopefully we will be able to adopt one in the future. So, we bought our little bundle of rabbitness from a local pet store. We originally saw her about a month before but she was extremely skittish and not socialized. Most rabbits were sold but she was still left behind. We did our research on her breed and found that she was perfect for us. She is an American Chocolate Polish, three months old and bred specifically for size so that she won't weigh more than 3.8lbs. She has been with us for 5 days, is being litter trained and is no longer as skittish when we go into her play pen with her. I can't tell you how cute it is to see my family surround her with love.  We let her play around the house supervised and she is doing very well at potty training. We want her to be a house rabbit so we hope that she gets the litter box training down well.

Now to try and squeeze some crochet time into all of this. There are some bunny rabbit patterns and ripple blanket that need attention.
Hope things by you all are hopping nicely!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Happy Easter

Yay! I saw snowdrops this morning! We've had some flurries but I mean I saw color in my front yard! Yes! Bright yellow sticking up from under the frozen dirt and snow. This makes me happy ;) Usually my daffodils are grown and they open up right on Easter morning. I don't expect that to happen this year and my back yard is looking rather dreary. The snowdrops are a welcomed site. Inside, we are all ready for Easter and hoping that the bounty of color drives those gray skies away.

 Thank you for the snow: It was  tons of fun but now we need sun!

On another note, I have neglected my crochet for the treadmill. Its bitter sweet really. I don't crochet as much because I am on the treadmill reading about crochet on the Kindle. I miss crochet but atleast I know that I am torturing myself for a very good reason: me! I am, however, coming up with an ingenious plan to incorporate crochet into treadmill time without killing myself. It involves hanging a teapot since this will make sure my yarn stays put above me and not underfoot.  Now to convince the hubster.

Wishing you a blessed Easter and remembering that because of His sacrifice I have new life and second chances with time to complain about treadmills. 


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

A Simple Birthday

It was my birthday on Feb. 28th. I am 30 for the 7th year in a row! I am seriously thankful for the One who knows the beginning from the end and carries me in between with care. Thank you God for one more year of life. Two years ago I pictured myself blind and in a wheelchair. Today I believe in God's miracles more than ever because I am healthy and happy.

I don't expect much on my birthdays. I am just glad to be alive and not paralyzed or blind. I was the middle child of many many children. At times I was forgotten. Don't get me wrong, my mother and father rock! I love them dearly and they were devoted to us. But because there were so many of us I got used to hearing my mother respond to my appearance with an "Oh my, I forgot you existed". There were a few forgotten birthdays but it was ok with me.  I was the quiet one- always with my nose in a book. If I had a book, I was happy. When you don't make a ton of noise, people tend to forget you are there and reading books is very quiet isn't it? So it is that I learned not to make a fuss about  my birthday but cannot help but make a fuss about those I love. Even after marriage and motherhood, I lay low about it. I have but one rule: I DO NOT work on my birthday. I stay home and do what I want. Nap, read, crochet and of course clean because I am  hopeless in this aspect. But this year, I did work. And it was a very pleasant surprise after the initial heart attack. 

I opened the door to my office and saw something shiny come at me. My heart skipped several beats until I realized that it was a well placed helium balloon and not a deranged person with a knife coming at me. I could read the newspaper heading now "Mental Health Professional Dies on Her 30th for the Seventh Time Birthday Due to a Work Prank".

It took me a couple of minutes before I dared enter my office. On the corner table were happy daisies and other bulb plants, a couple of my favorite mags, a new book to read, a cute flower platter, a wonderful chocolate cupcake cake, Indian bracelets and a bottle of red wine. Chocolate, flowers, wine, books and jewelry! All I needed was yarn and hook and I happen to carry one almost everywhere.  I wanted then and there to just sit by the cozy window, drink wine and read those magazines but I think patients may view it as inappropriate and I am not much of a drinker either (let me point out again that I am not an alcoholic nor are my coworkers. lol).  My coworkers know me all too well and I am very grateful for the work family that God has given me. Somehow the word got out that I was working on my birthday and the calls kept pouring in from patients, colleagues, family and friends. I barely got any work done. I left work with a warm fuzzy feeling in my tummy. At first I thought it was the tons of chocolate but instead its the feeling you get when someone tells you that you have been instrumental in helping them find their way. I think I shall work on my birthdays from now on ;-). To know that you have helped someone during their darkest days is the best payment I could ever receive. 

The surprise continued at home. The husbter is an amazing man and darn cute too. For my birthday, I asked him to bring the treadmill back into the family room since the mess room makes me sneeze and wheeze (despite all of the cleaning there is something about a mess room that is just … messy).  I was psyched about having dinner with him sans kids over the weekend and getting back on the treadmill. I did not expect anything else. I am a simple one really when it comes to gifts.  Well lets just say that the hubster  gave me another heart attack. I opened a little gift and it was a Kindle charger. I was starting a cold and was clearly running a fever and thought that perhaps this was a mistake or a hallucination. Then I felt it in my hands… my NEW Kindle Fire! Oh yeah!  For a while I have been wanting a tablet but I lack the time and energy to weigh the pros and cons of the many different ones out there. I kept using the excuse that they are way too expensive, difficult to program, that I heart my Macbook pro and the feel of book pages in my fingers. I didn't need a tablet. Well less than a week later and I wonder how I lived my life without it! I can look up a recipe, clip it on my Evernote app and not have to haul my laptop to the kitchen. It slips right into my bag easily so that I can read War and Peace in a very thin version. It links my Mac calendar with my Google and Kindle calendar. I just finished Water for Elephants in 4 days because the text type lets me read in bed without the light or me hiding under covers like many of us do. My neighbor Jaimie came over and helped me a ton with a mini tour of what Kindle can do. I even use if for little G to practice his penmanship and sight words. That dear sweet man somehow got it delivered without my knowledge and had spent the week programming my favorite apps from my Mac onto the Kindle and charging it. How he did it without my finding it, is beyond me! I spent the weekend playing with the Kindle and finishing up a Bill Bryson book. It was weird to have a Kindle next to a "real book" and I felt as if I was being unfaithful to the world of real life books.  I still heart books and will continue to take my little ones to the library to take books out even if I can do it from my kindle. There is something about the feel of books that says warmth and adventure at the same time. My parents owned a bookstore and my love affair with books was born when I was 5 and received my first library card on my birthday. Plus, I have to go back to the library to see if I can find those little crochet ladies again and wiggle my way into their conversation. LOL. 

I am in search of another great book. If you know of one, please let me know. One can never read too many books! 

What a great birthday! Thank you God for these material blessings that make life a little bit more fun and a bit more easier. Thank you for a man that has stood with me when I could not stand. Thank you for a work family that appreciates the talent you have given me. Thank you for giving me the right words at the right time for those that I see in need. Thank you for making this my 30th birthday for the 7th time wonderful. I promise I won't get spoiled and will continue to be an instrument of you honor.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Time Flies When you Need "Me Time"

I find myself praying for moments of me time. You know those wonderful little fleeting minutes of time where you can do whatever you want to do. I dream of them and what I would do.
I would get a cup of tea or hot chocolate, a book if not my hook and yarn, my warm blanket, sit in my favorite spot by the window, soak in what sun rays we've had lately and read or crochet until I fall into a light nap.  
Or, I would sneak into the family room, light some candles and with the volume and lights low, crochet as I catch up on t.v. The dishes would be done, the laundry put away, the house swept and dusted, every room immaculate, every work detail completed and a pie in the oven for dessert would make the whole house smell yummy. Everyone else would be napping. 
But alas, when I do get those fleeting moments of time, I spend them doing laundry, cleaning, organizing, etc. so that I finally can sit and relax only to find out that it is way past my bed time….sigh. The hubster says to just sit and do it, but I find it hard to relax knowing that there is a pile of laundry waiting to be put away. Housework and responsibilities always win my battle over minutes of me time. I admire, no I envy, him for being able to relax wherever and in whatever state the house is in.
And so, I find myself crocheting as I sit and wait for my daughter to finish her hour of gymnastics. This is what I consider my crochet time right now.  I am glad that my little A likes gymnastics since it gives me a chance to sit and crochet. I hope I didn't  push her into it just so that I could have me time.  I pray she asks for another  round of it when this period is over. 

The other day on a library run my heart skipped a beat as a saw a trail of yarn on the floor. It led me to a quiet little table full of granny squares and WP's. Hooks caught the bright sunlight and danced around the yarn in a pair of old and experienced beautiful hands. A CROCHET group in MY LIBRARY! Whoa!  Three older ladies discussed mercerized yarn enthusiastically as if arguing over politics and crocheted away in between. I got closer, my eyes wide and excited. I stopped at the table and saw beautiful thin yarn shimmering with specks of gold. I  said hello as I held on tightly to the Curvy Girl Crochet Book I was going to check out and swallowed embarrassingly and rather loudly. The three ladies stopped what they were doing, looked at me and asked if they were too loud in a broken English.  I smiled and said no but that I admired their work. They looked at each other lost. They didn't understand me very well but I showed them the book I was about to check out and they understood that I was a fellow "hooker" (yarn hooker that is). They just stared and smiled politely. On the table were what looked like newspapers but with pictures of crochet items and what must have been patterns in their native tongue. But, I didn't want to intrude on their "me time" and the awkward silence coupled with my drooling over the patterns made it clear that they were waiting for me to go away. Obviously these ladies knew a thing or a two or a thousand about crochet and I was a mere newbie passing by. I walked away glancing back to see their hands move swiftly; their heads moving excitedly but never really looking at the project in hand- they worked as if by memory. They picked up their discussion with as much enthusiasm as before. I wanted to tell them that crochet knows no language, that I could use some tips, that I loved crochet too, that I was helping others learn it as a means of therapy. I wanted to ask about the patterns in the newspapers. Where did they come from? Where did they get the shimmery yarn that is rolled differently. So many questions…. But alas,  I was not to be part of their group. I walked away with a bitter sweet feeling. Others were crocheting at my local library but for right now I would not be a part of that group. I would be the lone library crocheter. But for sure I will stalk them again next week if I find some "me time". Now if I could just remember at what time they were there and if it was by the 600's or the 900's.

Note to self:
Remember, its all about slowing down
There is no guilt in me time
If me time is to help you out

It helps you rejuvenate
It helps you to relax
So please take some me time
And don't you hesitate 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Cozy apples, spring and chocolate!

Cozy apples : My sweet apple cozy was in my possession for a whole day before it was given a new home in my sister's lunch bag. Because I eat an apple a day- seriously I do- I needed another. I made another with a yarn I disliked. It turned out more like an apple bag thingy. This one was swiped before I even finished it, by my  little girl. Sigh…. At least I am saving apples  from bruises. I have to do another one for myself soon and actually find a pattern to do it properly. 

Spring: Speaking of patterns. Jaime over at More Than I'd Hope For sent me an awesome link for an awesome and super easy and super fast Spring scarf. You can find it at by number 19. I got a bit stuck when it says to repeat rows 2 and 3 as before since repeating it would mean skipping 4 and you don't really skip 4 again just the first time. You'll know what I mean if you decide to make it. The diagram is perfect and very easy to follow. Thanks Jaime and Birgit for this. I love it and don't mind the addiction of making more!

Chocolate: My husband and I celebrate two anniversaries. I was a college student when I was engaged to married and diagnosed with some ovarian problems. I didn't have insurance at the time but needed to get rid of a growing tumor/cyst thing.  We were to be married in September but it was January and  my tumor/cyst thingy wouldn't stop growing. We ended up speeding things up and getting married at the local courthouse. I got insurance, got surgery and kept planning our wedding. We continued to live apart as if still engaged to be married (he in the burbs and I in the city) and really didn't feel married at all until we were married properly in a church. I think it was sweet, patient and simply awesome of him to respect my wishes of staying apart until our church wedding. He is a real gentleman and a handsome one if I may say so. So we have our civil anniversary in January and our "real" anniversary in September. While we don't make a fuss about it, chocolate must be eaten on our January anniversary. I found an awesome chocolate cake at Chow. I added a couple of tablespoons of OJ and teaspoons of orange rind. It was delicious and super easy. You will find it under Nyleve's entry "Stupidly Easy Chocolate Cake". Oh so good. The red thing in the middle is supposed to resemble a rose made from those fruit roll up things kids like (ok, ok, I bought them for myself and not the kids). 

An apple a day, keeps the doctor away
Apple in the morning, Doctor's warning
                              Roast apple at night, 

starves the doctor outright
Eat an apple going to bed, 
knock the doctor on the head
Three each day, seven days a week,  
ruddy apple, ruddy cheek!
I don't know about you but this apple thing doesn't seem to be working. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Crochet Granny Square Blanket n More

When the ladies at work decided to make blankets for babies whose mother's are involved in our programs, I was overjoyed. I don't need a reason to crochet but if you give me one then I can explain to my husband all of the yarn around the house. Naturally, I had to make something simple and fast and I fell in love all over again with the granny square.

I also got to finish this little gift for my sister in law. I love the purple plum color on this. At first I attached it with a pin and then decided to sew it on and add a black button to the center. Ever make a gift you don't want to give away? This one was it for me but now I am way too much into my ripple blanket to give in to making one for myself.
I also finished all of my other projects on time (ouch wrists) and I love the look on Uncle P's face when he wears it. I like it so much that I used some cheap black yarn to make myself one too. They actually keep your nose very very warm.

I am hoping to finish this baby soon so that I can continue work on hubster's wave blanket. Hopefully I will be done by next Christmas;)

Happy New Year Everyone! I hope you find time to play with yarn and hooks!



Sunday, January 6, 2013

The final days of Christmas: Day 16 to 25 and Epiphany

Whew! Its here finally… Epiphany or Three Kings Day or the Final True 12th Day of Christmas. The Christmas decor is slowly disappearing and the Three Wise Men visited us last night and left goodies for the kiddos. As usual, they made a bit of a mess (you know the camels like to eat my plants and tend to look into things they shouldn't) but they brought what the kiddos needed and some goodies too. I got the new Mumford and Son CD (yay) from the hubster in my stocking (we open these on the 12th day of Christmas- today). And all and all it has been a blessed Christmas with much less uncertainty than last year.

I am excited to see what the new year brings and truly glad that I don't have to come up with more fun ideas for the kiddos to do on a daily basis. Instead, I let them play and do as they want and get some crochet time in too. Right now I am working on a ripple blanket that was started over 6 months ago, pulled apart and re-inspired thanks to Jaime at More Than I'd Hope For. Thanks for the inspiration Jaime! I am glad we are finally getting to know each other after our simple hi and by from last year;-). Its amazing how many great blessings we miss out on because we live life in a rush. We pass the same person by everyday and never say more than a hello. But if we stop and say more, we open a whole new world of laughter and more- especially if that person likes to crochet!

Back to Christmas stuff :As promised to a reader, here are the last of our Christmas activities and I am overjoyed that we got to do so much in such a simple way.
Day 16th: We enjoyed a bit of Christmas cheer as the little children of the local church we visit sang their little hearts out. I was surprised to see my little girl front and center. I couldn't help laughing as I noticed that she didn't know all of the words to the songs but lip sang something and made it seem like she knew what she was doing. Smart girl.
Day 17th: I don't enjoy cleaning and cooking up much on those days when work is a hectic whirl so a picnic downstairs as we watch Prancer was in order to go with our pizza. They were psyched about this since I never let them eat dinner while they watch TV.
Day 18th: When momma is too busy to think of a craft, Little A comes to the rescue with glow in the dark Christmas trees. I am so proud of her!
Day 19th:I am a bit confused as to what we did this day. Did we go and see more holiday lights as demanded? Was this the day that we donated our toys to the local Salvation Army? I learned a lesson: Facebook it or write it down especially during the hectic Christmas season.
Day 20:We baked our first pie together…not bad.
Day 21: Dad is a lot of fun during snowflake making time and I love to see little ones concentrate on their cutting. We filled our sunroom with their lovely snowflakes and it helps to lighten the gray skies we have been under.
Day 22: The receptionist at my chiropractor's office knew I had my hand full as I tried to sit calmly through acupuncture with a 4 and 8 yr old by my side. She was so sweet and kept them busy and calm. Then she gave them a  little Christmas wreath activity to do at home "so that mommy can have some mommy time".  I appreciate it when another mom can read the tired look on your face and does something to help you out. I call it the secret language of moms.
Day 23: Casa de Luz. We enjoyed a great Christmas play and service via Casa de Luz, the Spanish Willow Creek church near our town.
Day 24: Posole! Soup if you can call it that. The posole was made at my mother in laws house where we open presents at midnight. We played games and sang songs. The best gift I received was singing "Baby its Cold Outside" with my husband who has a wonderful voice but refuses to sing loudly.

Day 25 came and went slowly. In the past it was always a whirlwind of activity. But this year, I decided against large dinner parties and simply let guest drop in. We enjoyed the company of those closest to us and in the end it was a wonderful silent night. I am still overwhelmed and my chest has that filled up with love feeling for the wonderful Christmas we had- not because of the gifts or the food but because of the love we all share. And, it has been all made possible through the birth of the Babe. Thank you Jesus!