Tuesday, December 29, 2009

More Christmas

Another Post today? Check me out! I guess I have a little more time to blog since my hubby's home this week and he's really lightening my load so I can enjoy our Christmas week.

So, in today's earlier post I mentioned that we were going to take the kids to see the Jim Carrey A Christmas Carol. Well, we did, but I didn't get to see the whole movie. Most people would think I'm crazy to take a one-year old to a movie and they would be right. We usually sit in the farthest row back and I snuggle and nurse the baby and no one knows there's a baby in the theater. Well, I learned today that Tessie is too old to take to the movies anymore. So, what I saw of A Christmas Carol looked really good, but a little intense for the smaller crowd. I mean, Marley's ghost scared even me. Anyway, I removed myself and Tess from the movie. I got a refund for my ticket and I drove over to Borders to wait for Paul and the boys. I was okay with the change of plans. I picked up another discounted Christmas picture book that I didn't find at Barnes & Noble. I bought O. Henry's The Gift of the Magi which has lovely illustrations, atmospheric and sepia-toned and it's just such a good story. I was happy that Borders was still playing Christmas music as well. So, no more movies for Tess for a long long time!

I finished knitting the scarf on the car ride to and from the theater and when we got home, I made spicy turkey soup, but didn't use turkey. I cheated and used a rotisserie chicken instead and it was delicious! Our week is flying by and I'm starting to think about the new year and well, a new decade. More on that later... Enjoy the rest of 2009!

More Cozy Christmas around here

We're having another lazy day around here. It's overcast, but
the sun is peeking through. We're taking the kids to see A
Christmas Carol today. It is so awesome to have Paul around every day this week! I hear there is one scary scene and I'm hopeful that it won't scare Sammy or I will be able to anticipate it and cover his eyes! I have Jim Dale's A Christmas Carol on the MP3 player, but I haven't started listening to it yet, but I know I will be totally sucked in just by listening to Jim Dale's great narrating voice.

I'm still in my PJs and I just ordered yarn here. Yay!! I have
been spoiled by good yarn! So, I'm thinking about the projects I need to finish and the ones I want to begin in the new year. I'm almost done with a stocking and this scarf. I've already made this scarf for Paul and now, I'm making this one in Spud&Chloe Ice Cream for a friend. I'm finally getting close to the end of the second hank. I'm will most likely cast off while watching A Christmas Carol today! Yes, I bring a knitting project everywhere these days.

I hope your'e having lazy, cozy restful Christmas celebration at your home. Keep celebrating Christmas. It's not over yet!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas books

I've thought about going to bed for the last hour or so since
I've been staying up so late these days. It's becoming rare
that I'm in bed before 11. I'm usually up enjoying
the quiet and knitting or reading and tonight's no
exception. The last few nights I've enjoyed getting to stay up late with Paul since he's on
vacation and we've been having a LOST marathon. We've been watching Season 5 and if you're a fan of LOST, there's more questions than answers on the mysterious island. Well, tonight, Paul is out with my brother-in-law. They went to see The Road. They both read and loved the book. So, I'm up thinking about Christmas and New Year's. I have to admit that I am a fan of shopping the day after Christmas especially at Barnes & Noble. I usually try to pick up a couple of picture books at 50% off to add to our holiday collection. This year, I bought a beautifully illustrated A Christmas Carol despite having at least three other editions at home and well, the new Interweave Knits! So, it's been a busy month despite my best efforts to keep things a little more low-key and we haven't been sitting down leisurely to read through our big collection of picture books, but tonight, I sat down and read to the boys. We read The Nutcracker illustrated by Susan Jeffers and The Mitten by Jan Brett and Woodland Christmas illustrated by Frances Tyrell. This book is really just the lyrics to the Twelve Days of Christmas, but it has the most enchanting pictures. Who doesn't love a bear on skates? It's the kind of book that makes me want to learn how to draw like that. I remember buying this book used last year at the end of the Christmas season and packing it away for this year. I'm so glad that I brought it out today. I'm not ready to stop celebrating Christmas yet. I went to Jo-Ann the other day to buy some yarn for a hat for Paul and I was saddened to see the Christmas shelves cleared off making room for St. Patrick's decorations. Why the rush?? Did they skip over Valentine's day? Anyway, I digress...Okay, that's enough rambling tonight. Paul's home now and it's time for another episode of LOST and some more knitting. Goodnight!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Knitting Woes

Two knitting woes to report:

1. I've learned that knitting blankets are a little on the boring side. After knitting for weeks on a blanket that I just didn't really even like after several rows, I perservered and kept going if only to use up all the yarn (yarn, I might add that I liked less and less with each row). Last Saturday, I decided to knit away on the blanket even though there were more exciting projects calling to me and after about an hour's worth of knitting, I discovered a huge error that would have required a lot of un-knitting. I just couldn't do it. I refused to un-knit. I finished up the garter edge and bound off. I still have one more skein of yarn just sitting there mocking me! Ugh! I still have to weave in the ends and then what? Well, I've learned that I won't be starting anymore blanket projects anytime soon.

2. Tonight, I went out to enjoy an evening to hear travel writer Rick Steves speak and of course, I brought along some knitting as I always do these days. I hastily shoved some yarn into my purse and off I went. So, I'm walking in the parking lot carrying my purse in one hand and Tess in the other when I hear a little snap. Somehow, I lost my ball of yarn that was attached to my Hat! I would only realize after the event that my yarn ball had fallen out of my purse, caught on the tow-ball on the back of my car and by the time I reached the auditorium, the yarn snapped away from my project. I must have been trailing yarn for a long time before the unfortunate separation of yarn from project. I do have more yarn to join to my hat, but I just could not believe my bad luck. Not only could I not knit, I lost yarn in such a horrible way. When I discovered what happened, I had to get scissors out my purse to cut the tangled yarn away from the back of my car. If it had been the blanket yarn, I might not consider this a knitting woe!

Scenes from a Busy Weekend

Here we are chopping down trees with friends and family and celebrating Tess's first birthday!

Wrapping up the 2009 4x10 Reading Challenge

Okay, it's time to wrap up the 2009 4x10 Reading Challenge. I've had the link on my sidebar since the beginning of the year and yes, I know, technically, I still have a few weeks to complete it, but I already know it's not gonna happen and guess what? I'm so okay with that. I realized that I started this challenge shortly after having Tess and I was a lot busier this year with a new baby in the house.

1. I have no problem reading 40 or more books a year and most years I read more, but I cannot stick to a list no matter how much I try! As soon as I wrote up the list of books to read in the ten subject areas, I started to revise it. It's because I'm constantly finding new books that interest me and I must have some kind of book ADD or something. Anyway, as I was listening to The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a quote (also on my sidebar) jumped out at me and totally described my reading habits:
That's what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you onto another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book. It's geometrically progressive- all with no end in sight, and for no other reason than sheer enjoyment.

2. I really took off with my knitting this year. I spent a lot of time reading knitting books and this wasn't a category on my list. I also spent more time knitting and when I'm knitting, I usually can't also hold a book.

3. While knitting, I listened to books on my MP3 player. I've long debated with myself whether or not this counts as having read a book. I'm still not sure. Listening is a different skill than reading. I still don't know.

4. Sometimes, less is more.

Here's the final list:

I. Children's Lit ages 6-10
In Grandma's Attic-Arleta Richardson
Betsy-Tacy- Maud Hart Lovelace
The Milly-Molly-Mandy Storybook- Joyce Lankester Brisley
Ballet Shoes - Noel Streatfeild
II. Children's Lit ages 10-14 (or older- YA)
Twilight- Stephenie Meyer
Princess Academy - Shannon Hale
Princess of the Midnight Ball -Jessica Day George
Journey to the River Sea - Eva Ibbotson
City of Ember- Jeanne DuPrau
The Hunger Games- Suzanne Colllins
Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins
Gone-Away Lake - Elizabeth Enright
Enthusiasm - Polly Shulman
A Door Near Here- Heather Quarles
Bloomability - Sharon Creech
I'd Tell You I Love You, but then I'd Have to Kill You - Ally Carter
Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy - Ally Carter
Don't Judge a Girl by her Cover - Ally Carter
Waiting For You- Susane Colasanti
The Luxe - Anna Godbersen
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J. K. Rowling
III. Adult Fiction
The Ten Year Nap - Meg Wolitzer
Revolutionary Road - Richard Yates
The Actor and the Housewife - Shannon Hale
Confessions of Jane Austen Addict -Laurie Viera Rigler
Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict - Laurie Viera Rigler
Dream When You're Feeling Blue- Elizabeth Berg
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Jillian Dare: A Novel - Melanie M. Jeschke
The School of Essential Ingredients - Erica Bauermeister
IV. Classic Lit
Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen
V. Parenting/Family
The Duggars: 20 and Counting! - Jim Bob Duggar and Michelle Duggar
Hungry Monkey: A Food-Loving Father's Quest to Raise an Adventurous Eater - Matthew Amster-Burton
Real Food for Mother and Baby: The Fertility Diet, Eating for Two, and Baby's First Foods - Nina Planck
VI. Education
Christian Uncshooling - Teri J. Brown
VII. Biography/Autobiography
Priestblock 25487: A Memoir of Dachau- Jean Bernard
A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table- Molly Wizenberg
VIII. Politics, Current Events and Religion
The Mirror Effect - Drew Pinsky and S. Mark Young
IX. Self-Improvement
The End of Overeating- David Kessler
Living Simply: Choosing Less in a World of More - Joanne Heim
X. Science/Nature

It looks like I read a lot of fiction this year especially YA literature. Where will I go next year?? I guess I'll just keep on reading and keep on learning! That's the whole point anyway, right?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I'm finally sitting down after a really busy day. I managed to get to everything but one item on my day-before-Thanksgiving-schedule accomplished. I have two yummy looking bundt cakes for tomorrow. I'm about to put Tessie down for the night and then, I'll begin knitting. Yay! I'm so ready to relax.

I spent quite a bit of time in the kitchen today. I have to admit that the kitchen was a complete disaster and I'm about to run the dishwasher for the third time today. The other day Sammy told me that he wanted a dog that did dishes. Sammy saw Snoopy washing dishes and thought that we could get a dog like that. After today, I want a dog that washes dishes! Anyway, I'm so thankful that the bundts turned out nicely. Now, I just need to make the glazes for the cakes.

I'm thankful for so many blessings in my life. It's a good life! Happy Thanksgiving!!!

The day before Thanksgiving Schedule

  • Oatmeal for breakfast
  • Balance Checkbook
  • Renew books online...hopefully, they're not already overdue
  • Clean kitchen
  • Bake both a pumpkin and a chocolate bundt for tomorrow
  • Cast on for custom knit ruffle hat for a little girl
  • Read the Thanksgiving picture books to the boys
  • Throw in some laundry
  • Plan birthday getaway for my hubby and me
  • Re-schedule dental appointment
  • Go to the grocery store if missing some ingredients, but hopefully, we won't have to go.

Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone!

      Saturday, November 21, 2009

      My reluctant model

      She really doesn't want to wear this hat that I knit this week. I admit I am trying to use up a lot of my yarn stash right now and I had a lot of Lion Brand Cotton-Ease. It makes me so happy to get to the end of a skein beause it means that, well, I can buy new yarn! Okay, Tessie, you can take the hat off now!

      Saturday, November 14, 2009

      Thinking about Advent, Christmas and what I'll knit

      It's a cozy winter-ish Saturday afternoon and I'm multi-tasking. I'm rolling a skein of sock yarn into a ball while I type this post and I'm also downloading some books from the library for my son onto the MP3 player. So far, I've downloaded A Christmas Carol, Around the World in 80 Days (both narrated by the very talented Jim Dale) (thanks Jenn) and the audio drama, The Fellowship of the Ring.

      We're expecting probably a foot of snow later today. I've made my peace with the snow, well, at least for today. Right now, we have just a dusting of snow. It's perfect knitting weather and that leads me to thinking about Christmas. I have several projects on the needles right now that are Christmas gifts. Suddenly, I realized that it's mid-November already. I truly want to have all my gift shopping done before Advent begins. I want an unhurried and calm Advent and that means getting all the shopping done early. I just don't want to be distracted with shopping during December. This is usually my goal, but I never quite make it, but I truly desire some peace in the Advent and Christmas season and knocking out the shopping is key. I really do enjoy gift-giving, but I don't want it to dominate my thoughts when I should be preparing for Christmas. I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. Well, I'm mostly done with the shopping and I'm not too worried about the knitting projects because well, knitting isn't shopping. It's usually relaxing. In fact, I find that knitting is the one activity that gives me a real sense of calm. I'm working on a cabled scarf for Paul in Spud&Chloe Sweater yarn in the colorway Rootbeer which I mentioned in an earlier post. I'm also working on some baby and toddler hats hoping to use up some of my small stash. I have to admit that I do get overwhelmed with too much yarn! I have plans to make this for Tess. I know it's a Spring Garden tee, but I bought yarn in a deep garnet color and I thought she could wear it this winter with a long-sleeved white t-shirt underneath. I'm feeling pretty inpsired right now. Currently, quilting projects are on hiatus until the new year. I had plans to make her cupcake quilt and have it ready for Christmas, but it will keep.

      Well, back to winding the sock yarn into a ball and possibly baking a pumpkin bundt. I'm going to be busy busy the next couple of weeks! I hope you will all have calm and cozy Decembers as well.

      Monday, November 9, 2009

      He still holds my hand

      Recently, I realized that I didn't have to lean over anymore to hold my older son's hand. He's grown so much over the last year and I've known for a while that he won't hold my hand forever. In fact, I know those days are numbered, but I'm joyful every time he grabs my hand and we walk hand-in-hand. Every time he does, I try to cherish it because I know it might be the last time that he does. I try not to act like it might be the last time, but inside, I know it's coming and it breaks my heart just a little bit. I don't know of many 10 year-olds who still want to hold hands with mommy and daddy. I hope he doesn't think he's too old any time soon.

      Wednesday, November 4, 2009

      Settling in to the rest of the year

      I'm a little late getting the Halloween pics posted, but here's our little flower.

      Batman and the Landshark

      Land shark

      "I'm just a dolphin."

      Jack O' Lanterns!

      Somehow, Paul and I get stuck with all the dirty work when carving pumpkins.

      I knew we'd find a use for this hat.

      The deck after our recent snow storm.

      Snowed in with a good book
      More snow

      The pumpkin patch

      posing with pumpkins

      riding in the Ergo while wearing a very cute pumpkin hat (I might add)
      I've got the cutest pumpkin.

      Now onto November and the rest of Fall...