Friday, December 30, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I somehow ran out of Christmas cards this year, so I hope those of you who didn't receive one will accept this in its place; you were not forgotten! I hope your Christmas was a very blessed one. I know ours was; I will share photos and details soon. Much love to you this Christmas and always.

"For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and His Name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his Kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with Judgment and with Justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perfom this" -Isaiah 9:6-7

Thursday, December 08, 2011


I guess all that reading has paid off; Thomas participated in the school spelling bee today, after succeeding through the first two rounds of competition and making it to the top of his class last week. Today's spelling bee was for fourth and fifth graders only (Thomas is in the fourth grade), but the winners will go on to compete with sixth, seventh, and eighth graders as well, and ultimately for a chance to win a trip to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, DC.

Thomas didn't make it past today's competition, but he did very well, making it through several rounds of words before misspelling "apron." He was one of 12 qualifying participants in today's spelling bee, out of a possible 111. I figure he'll be in a good position to try again next year. Way to go, Thomas!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Look who's 2!

Not to be lost amidst all the other happenings last month, my baby celebrated his second birthday. Plans changed a bit, so it was a quiet one at home with just us, but Logan sure had a blast, nonetheless.

Among my favorite memories have to be when he opened one of his presents from Grandma. He had been doing quite well with his potty training, and he and Gabe both love Toy Story (hence the shirt and toy pictured; he had just received both from Nana the day before), so she bought him some Toy Story underwear. He, however, had not yet tried underwear and didn't really get it. He opened up the present and was SO excited to see Buzz and Woody. He handed it to me and asked me to open it and read it. I chuckled and opened it, pulling out the underwear, and he looked at me with this sudden look of disappointment, as if to say, "Oh." Then he went for the next present. LOL. All was not lost, however. The next day we talked about it some more, and he once again became excited. He just didn't know quite what it was when he opened that package!

Happy Birthday, Little Buddy. I love you.

Current favorites: the toys from the Playmobil advent calendar, light-up musical Christmas tree with train, any book he can get his hands on, all the games on Gabe's shelf (Caribou, Candy Land, and many more), lego-style blocks (or anything that fits together, really), coloring, running EVERYWHERE, singing Jingle Bells, playing with the kitchen toys (especially with Gabe) bagels with cream cheese, fresh peppers, tomatoes, yogurt, apples, milk, and puzzles, for starters... Definitely puzzles. (He's disturbingly good at them.)

Oh yes, and for the record, he still pulls on/plays with his ears they way other children suck their thumbs. While he's doing it he makes little clicking sounds with his tongue, especially when he's tired. It's kind of cute. :)

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

This November

It's true what they say; time really does seem to go by so much faster with each passing year. I feel as if I was just posting about Halloween, yet here I am, and it's December. The tree is up, the first seven windows of our advent calendars have been opened, and I've started a small collection of Christmas cards on the kitchen counter. What happened to November? Actually, a lot. Maybe that's why it passed so quickly.

The most memorable event was yet another death in the family; my grandfather passed away just a couple of days before Logan's second birthday. As sad as it was to say goodbye, his passing was in a beautiful way, and while I couldn't be there with him in the hospital, I will be forever grateful for family who could and who shared with me what beautiful events passed during that time. Without going into detail, I just have to say that the Lord was with him, and with my entire family, helping all of us/them/him through the difficult time that it was/is, and I want to thank those of you who prayed for us. Your prayers were heard and answered, without a doubt.

We made a couple of trips to New Hampshire after it happened, first to spend some time with family, namely my father, and then again for the funeral, and I just have to say: Andy (my brother), you are amazing. -Andy has been an associate pastor at his church for a little while now, but living as far apart as we do, I have not been up to hear him preach. I knew he would be a natural, but it was still special to hear him deliver the service in such a personal, loving way. The Lord sure was with him through what had to be a very difficult job; not only was Andy leading the service for his own grandfather, but it was his first time leading any funeral service. I like to think God knew it would be a challenge but one that would strengthen and guide my awesome big brother onward in his journey to becoming a pastor. In any case, it was wonderful, memorable, personal... It really couldn't have been done any better.

I was blessed to be given the opportunity to create a slideshow for the reception, and oh, how I enjoyed looking back through the pages of Grandpa's life. When I was little I typically only saw him once or twice a year, as he lived a few hours away, and I cherished those few moments with him even then. I typically saw him on joyous occasions like holidays and weddings, so combined with my knowledge that it was special to see him in the first place, I always really looked forward to seeing him again, and I always held a certain fondness for him. I do always remember him smiling and keeping things light.

In the year leading up to this past November I happened to see Grandpa much more, and I couldn't be more thankful for that. It all really started last Thanksgiving when we were blessed with his presence in our home. I was so appreciative not only for my time with him, but for the memories he gave our boys; it was a very special, warm, happy Thanksgiving that was intended to be repeated this year. I may have felt a tear or two well up when I mentioned him in my words of thanks before our meal this year, but I hoped he would know it was only in honor of those happy memories.

I think I'll share the slideshow with you here; most of you reading have probably already seen it anyway, but if you're like me, you might like to see Grandpa's loving face again. You'll catch a glimpse into one of my personal favorite memories with one particular photo; my father had taken a drive down to visit, and I had tagged along, as I tended to do on road trips and visits. While I was young enough then that I don't remember every detail now, I do clearly remember coming away from it with that feeling of happiness and contentedness that follows a really nice day. The photo shows me in my bright pink jacket in the front, with my father and grandfather just behind me. We were enjoying a pleasant afternoon walk.

There is sound. To disable the blog background music, scroll to the bottom of this page, where you'll find the music player; click to pause.

Thanks be to God for Grandpa, for the happy times, and for the incredible legacy he left behind.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Halloween 2011

I thought about making up a rhyme in the style of Dr. Seuss for today's post, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Instead I think I'll just take you on a simple photo journey through the day.

First, the Cat in the Hat, all ready for school:

It was late, but I threw the Thing 1 and Thing 2 costumes on as quickly as I could, sans hat and mittens for Thing 2, and grabbed a super quick, albeit blurry, early morning picture.

It was a beautiful day for the outdoor costume parade at Thomas' school. Unfortunately it was also very cold, and we spent quite some time outside, waiting for the parade to start. Even with all the Thing 1 and Thing 2 jumping, running, and playing, we were getting pretty chilly and were ready to pick up Thomas and bring him home as soon as the parade was through.

Thankfully it was only a half day at school because we still had some very last-minute pumpkin carving to do.

After some cleanup and a quick trip out to deliver a pie, it was time for more pictures. Logan didn't want to wear the hat at first. Nor the mittens. He was not a happy camper.


...So we ran around the yard for a while and tried to get used to it. He left it on but still wasn't too sure...

...until it was time to bring out the pumpkins.

Then he started to get pretty excited, and when we went to visit our neighbor and she gave him a lollipop, he was just bubbling over with happiness. "Look Mommy! There's pop in mine punkin Mommy! Look!" All three of them were a pretty big hit, and from that point on instead of wanting his hat off Logan would only tell me if it needed to be fixed.

By the time we returned it was dark enough to light the jack-o-lanterns and grab one more picture for the memory books.

I really liked the one Thomas made. He designed and carved the face 100% on his own. I carved... a pumpkin... in my... pumpkin... because, well, when I asked Gabe what he wanted me to carve in his pumpkin, he said... a pumpkin.

Last but not least, we were in for another treat when some friends surprised us with a visit and joined us, along with our neighbors, for free cider and donuts from the fire department. I didn't get any pictures since they came after dark this year and I had my hands full, but it was pretty great. (Can you ever go wrong with apple cider and cider donuts?)

All in all, it was a pretty nice and really fun day, and by the end, I was beat! I hope you managed to have a little fun too. :)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

October at a Glance

I realize October is not over yet, but here is a quick look at what we've been up to this month so far. ...Well, semi-quick. Clearly I still take a gazillion pictures as these honestly are just a small sample; I took many more and had a very hard time choosing which ones to post here... I hope I haven't posted so many that you have trouble getting them to load!

(Click on any photo to enlarge. ...Except the first two. Blogger evidently doesn't like those... ;)

Friday, October 28, 2011

My Little Fiber World

Just when I might think my crafting cannot grow any more it seems to, and the great thing about crafting is that there is always more to explore and more to learn. Today I learned how to use iron on adhesive, and with some materials left over, I am anxious to do it again--but more on that later.

This year I've managed to make a number of things. There is a group on Ravelry called "111 in 2011." I joined some time around Easter as I was cranking out the projects right about then and thought I might have a chance. However, for several months after that I really didn't make much of anything, and now my chances of completing 111 projects before January are pretty slim. (The group's idea is that any craft can count, but I really wanted to focus on knit and crochet - and limit those still, to projects that I both started and finished this year.)

That said, I was curious, so I started making a list of all the things I had made this year, and I counted them up. I later realized that I had left a few things out and added more, so that list is now gone, but when Brian found it before and started reading it aloud, I just started laughing. I guess you had to be there. It went something like this, though the following is the updated version:

1 shoulder bag
1 seal
1 alligator
1 giraffe
1 walrus
1 monkey
3+ baby washcloths (probably several more)
3 headbands
1 clutch
1 card sock/phone thingie
1 owl
1 dragon
1 scrubbie
1 potholder (frogged; yarn re-purposed)
7+ newborn hats
1 preemie hat
3 eggs
1 bunny
1 bear
3 butterflies
3 coasters
1 ladybug
1 sheep
1 Yoda
1 Wicket
1 cupcake
3 gnome babies
2 lace dishcloths
1 pair of socks
1 pair of fingerless mitts
2 Halloween hats

50ish knit/crochet projects both started and completed in 2011 so far

Not included in the above:
1 pair of slippers (started in 2010, finished in 2011)
2 shawls (one done but not blocked and another in progress)
1 baby afghan (in progress/hibernating)
1 slouchy hat (frogged after I ran out of yarn just a few yards short of finishing - but I'd rather use that yarn for something else anyway)

...I still have a long way to go. That said, I can turn into a very busy bee when I see Christmas approaching, and that time is now. On the other hand, I've chosen some much bigger projects this year than are common for me, so it probably won't happen in 2011. Still, the basket of handmade goodies is overflowing, and I love it. Of course, most of them are gifts, so I can start all over again in 2012 if I like. All of the hats and washcloths, plus some things I made earlier, are for a charity organization, but I want to make enough to fill a nice-sized box before making the trip over with donations. I'm really looking forward to that, and I will explain why on another day.

If you want to see pictures of some of the things I have made both this year and in years past (you won't find everything, but there's plenty there), you can check out my Ravelry projects page. Also, I planned to share the cupcake pattern here but have somehow misplaced my notes. If I ever find them, you'll be the first to know!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fiber Fest

For at least a couple of years I have known of the existence of fiber festivals, namely Rhinebeck. (To me it is not a town. It is a fiber festival.) I've slowly come to learn a bit more about these festivals and finally made my way over to the Southern Adirondack Fiber Festival with my boys on Saturday. Even though I went with an essentially non-existent budget, it was pretty cool. It only cost $4 total to get in with a coupon, and as if it wasn't enough to drool over all the barns full of yarn, fiber, spindles, and such, there were enough activities to keep the boys happy too (museum, caboose, animals, sheep dog demo, etc.).

Now I can't help but look ahead to making a tradition of finding and attending as many fiber festivals as I can reasonably manage (probably 1-2 per year, depending on the year). I think, too, that even though it's not in the budget this year, Rhinebeck might just be a necessity in 2012. Hopefully I can save up a little cash the next time around; I just can't find that much variety in one store - at least, not anywhere near where I live, and I hate to pay shipping, so... If I plan well enough, I can surely buy a year's worth of fiber goodies there, at good prices, and not have to scramble to find something locally, as the need arises, throughout the year. (I don't really buy that much yarn each year anyway; at least not comparatively to so many others who share the same love for fiber.)

Or maybe I'm dreaming, but that's okay too, right?