Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Mmmm Pork Pie!

It is a Canadian French tradition to make pork (meat) pies at New Years. Holding true to my French roots, today I made my pies. The recipe comes from my father's great Aunt Sylvia Bousquet. (Correct me if I'm wrong mom.)

I can remember as a kid my mother would make, what seemed like a dozen of these pies and on a Sunday afternoon we would get in the car and deliver them to various family members. What a cool memory.

This isn't Mike's favorite of my recipes so, I only make 2 and only once a year.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Slow Progress

After posting the photo of my yarn stash Mom wanted to know what I had planned to do with the turquoise yarn. (Do you think she was eyeing it for next year's Christmas gift?) There may be enough left over mom after I finish the sweater I'm making for Haley.

With all the time I've spent playing with the kids over the past few days I haven't gotten very far on the sweater, but here is a photo of my progress.

The pattern is the February Lady Sweater, I got it as a free Ravelry download. The sweater is worked top down on circular needles, my favorite, and should work up fast. The yarn is Cascade 220. Which actually was a gift from a friend in Connecticut, Paula.

Monday, December 29, 2008

No Greater Words and Hat Not Good Enough

To a yarn addict there are no better words in the English language than, "End of Year Sale". Like music isn't it? The yarn shop in Connecticut is having just that and I couldn't help myself. Now that I have the cedar chest I've cleared space on the floor in my closet. (hee hee) After looking through a few pattern books and magazines I decided the new house needed a new afghan. The wool is now on its way to me from Connecticut. Woo Hoo!!

Here is a picture of the finished Jacques Cousteau hat I made. Intended for it to be a gift, but decided it just wasn't good enough. It looks pretty good on Jake though. (Looks like I need to fix the date on my camera. Whoops!)

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A lovely gift.

My wonderful husband knows that I'm a knitting/fiber addict. I've been able to keep it under pretty good wraps. Or so I thought. As a Christmas gift, Mike gave me a beautiful cedar chest. The cedar chest was big enough to put all my stash in, so I guess I hadn't kept it as well hidden as I thought.

There are two layers of yarn you can't even see in this photo. To an addict, it is a beautiful thing!!

The two drawers in the bottom pull out to reveal velvet lined jewelry boxes. It is an incredible gift. Thank you Mike!! Thank you also for enabling my addiction. I love you for it.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

We need to change this next year!

Not sure how the ritual started or when, but the day after Christmas has always been the day we take down our tree, and yesterday held true to form. Our tree is down and put away, and when you get on the roll of cleaning up, any sign of Christmas has been picked up and put away until next year. Other than having new toys to play with you would never know that Christmas was just 2 days ago at our house.

Don't get me wrong my A-type personality really loves having things back in order, but it feels a little sad too. At dinner last night Haley made the comment, "It feels like Christmas was a long time ago." This morning I'm feeling the same way.

This may need to be one routine we change for next year. Will someone remind me of this then, please?

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Day After!

Mom and Dad got their sweaters and they both fit beautifully if I do say so myself.

This makes me feel better about the items I made for Haley's god parents. Which will not make it to the recipients because they really aren't as good as we would have hoped for, Haley has decided on something different for them.

What a terrifice first Christmas in Virginia we had. The weather was lovely and spending time at home playing with new toys is always wonderful. We all woke this morning a little sore from playing Wii sports games, but no regrets and we are right back at it today!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Some things just can't be given away!

Well back to the ole drawing board. The reusable bag that was intended to be a Christmas gift has been completed. Haley and I are not too happy with the results and have decided it just won't do as a gift. When we filled it and picked it up it hung so low it was really awkward.

Haley has chosen an entirely new project that she intends to make all on her own.

Jacob however, has decided the original bag makes for a great Jamaican hat! So in the long run it is still a recycle/reuse item.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Knitting Feverishly!

Well maybe I shouldn't have taken the time to knit Jacob a sweater in November when all my Christmas gift ideas hadn't been knit yet. But, he kept after me to make him a new sweater that fit. (Yes, he outgrew last year's already!)

Now I'm spending every chance I get trying to knit and complete a couple more gifts. Gifts that need to get into the mail besides. Oh well! I love to knit and I'm really not complaining. However, these gifts will surely not make it until after Christmas now.

My sister-in-law Susan is Haley's god mother and we decided to make her a knitted re-usable bag. Susan is extra consciences about re-use and re-cycling Haley thought it would be an appropriate gift and I agreed. Haley has even done several rows of knitting herself. Here is a picture of it I took a few days ago, but you will get the idea.

Then for my brother Joe, (the one who protected me from biting Santa) Haley's god father, we decided on a warm winter hat. They live in Massachusetts and he should get plenty of use from it.

So, I'm off to do a little house work, help kids with school, and get back to knitting feverishly. Okay, maybe this isn't any different from most days for me!!

(I'm pretty sure Joe and Sue don't regularly read my blog so, I don't think I've ruined anything.)

Friday, December 19, 2008

A Long Standing Tradition

Every year, since Jacob was our only, we have had the tradition of making Christmas cookies. Okay, so do most people I know.
Today we followed through on that tradition again. Haley took these pictures of her masterpieces.
It is a lot of fun, and now that the mess has been cleaned up the memory is even better!! LOL

Thursday, December 18, 2008

You Can Taste the Sunshine

Mom and Dad retired to sunny Florida about 8 years ago. Over the past several years they have sent us a package of oranges for Christmas. The oranges are always so appreciated, but I would have to say that this year's box was the best one yet!

As you can see the girls and I couldn't wait to dig into them while the men were out hunting. The box had 6 each, tangerines, red navels, navels and tangelos. They all taste soooo good!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Santa Bites?

I woke up this morning with a childhood memory. When I was most likely pretty young, I was afraid of Santa. Yeah, no big deal there, but I was afraid that Santa was going to bite my fingers. Crazy, or what? Who knows where little kid's fears come from, but I remember that fear so vividly!! My fear was so real that I even recall sleeping in my big brother Joe's bed one Christmas Eve because I was so afraid Santa would come in my room and bite my fingers. What a wonderful big brother to allow and put up with that!

So, Joe if you should happen to read this blog post, Thank You! I'm thinking of you!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Another Sweater Made

The other night I finished the sweater for Jacob. I'm so thrilled. I love it when I complete such a big project. I have been trying every winter to knit each of us a sweater and this is the first for the family this winter. I'm going to work on a few small Christmas projects and then I'll get back to the family knitting.

He plans to wear it to church tonight, and that makes me feel real good.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Our First Christmas in Virginia

In the pouring rain yesterday, we ventured out to get our Christmas tree. Cutting our own tree has been a tradition since before we had kids. This is a project Mike has always taken very seriously. My dear husband is very easy going and not an A type personality like myself. Until it comes to picking out a Christmas tree. In fact I could tell you a story about one year he had me hiking all over a certain tree farm with over 10,000 trees and none of them were good enough. After an hour of this I threatened to leave him there. I can't recall if we ever got a tree that day.

Anyway, one thing that really surprised us was how hard it was to find a tree farm to cut our own tree here in Virginia. We did prevail and found a very kind man who isn't usually available during the week, but was willing to meet us to get our tree. It certainly isn't as big as we usually get, but it will serve us well I'm sure.
This morning the girls were chomping at the bit to get the decorating started. They've gotten their dad to put the lights on and are now working on getting their brother out of bed to join their fun. Our first Christmas in Virginia, is going well!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Trying to Find the Spirit of Christmas Again

Not sure why it is I always struggle with the Advent/Christmas season. And this year is no exception. I have been playing the music, which always helps. Went to the town parade, had a great time there. Made the gingerbread house with the girls, it was fun. Have ordered our cards and expect to get them into the mail this week. All my shopping is pretty much finished, only have a couple of small knitting projects to complete as gifts. So, why is it I don't have that warm, fuzzy Christmas spirit feeling all the time? Is it normal?

Is it because this year I have mud to fight? Maybe I should take out our decorations from the move? Maybe we should go buy and decorate a tree? Is it because it is a new house in a new state?

I'm really not a scrooge, I just sometimes feel like one, and every year find myself trying to figure out why that is.

Friday, December 5, 2008

A Sweet Treat

I just couldn't resist a ginger bread house kit when I was shopping yesterday, and the girls couldn't wait to get it made when I got it home. While the men were out hunting yesterday afternoon the girls got to work. Here it is:

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Full Day Out and About

Busy day today! The kids and I are taking "Maggie" to the airport this morning. Then I have a doctor's appointment with a new doctor for my annual check up this afternoon. So, since we will be in Lynchburg for the airport anyway the kids want to kill time between that and my appointment shopping and get lunch out. This should be fun! Think I can find some yarn for sale? May just have to replenish my supplies! Hee-hee-hee!

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Life of a Hunter's Wife

So, I get woken up this morning by Jacob telling me I needed to drive the truck to pick up Mike. He had shot a deer and needed me to go get him. I'll let you read Mike's blog to fill in all the missing points to this story. But, the short of it is, Mike was about a mile around the block on the other side of the property where he hunts all really within walking distance from the house. Jacob however with his 13 year old early morning mind told me he was only down the road maybe 200 feet from the house. Now, shame on me for not getting on the walkie talkie myself to ask him.

I proceed going down the road where I think I'm going to meet Mike coming out of the woods and attempt to turn the truck around. Yes, you guessed it probably, the mud strikes me again!! I get the truck stuck!!!!!!!!!! CRAP!!! Only to realize here comes Jake running down the road, walkie talkie in hand saying this isn't where dad is. No? Really?

Mike in his sweet loving husband voice tells me, "Relax, come get me in the car and I'll go back and take care of the truck." Which of course he does, with the four wheeler I'm always telling him was a waste of money to buy.

All is now well, and we have another deer to fill the freezer and I've taken a vow to never say anything negative about that WONDERFUL 4 wheeler he bought.

I am enjoying Virginia very much, but man I HATE THE MUD!!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Less than 48 Hours!

In just 48 hours my mother-in-law will be waking up here at our new house in Virginia. Mike and I are actually nervous. It has been some time since she has stayed with us over night and we want to be sure she in comfortable and enjoys herself.

The kids are excited and anxious. They really enjoy spending time with her and don't get to do it very often. Even when we lived 30 minutes away! Margaret (Maggie! She claims to hate it when I call her that!), doesn't drive and has trouble getting around because her knees aren't that good.

The bonus with "Maggie" visiting is that she doesn't have a critical eye. I'm not feeling too much pressure that everything has to be gleaming clean, or that my kids have to be in top form. She is a terrific mother-in-law!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Warm Hearth, Warm Heart

It has been unseasonally cold here in Virginia for November. Well, at least that is what they tell me, it being my first one here. So, maybe that is why I decided to spend the day cooking. A warm oven always warms the house and a heart.

I made: baked beans, apple muffins, 2 pumpkin pies, clam chowder and chocolate chip cookies are finishing as I write. (Everything from scratch.)

Mike and Jake have been out hunting, on and off for the past 4 days, but still only one deer is in the freezer. Those New England bred boys can handle the cold!

I expect to end the day in front of the fireplace, knitting and seeing my family restful with their full bellies. Maybe the boys will bring home another deer to make their day complete.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Warm and Cozy

We had our first fire in the fireplace last night. It was warm and cozy in our new house, log cabin, on a mountain, in the woods. Sound nice? It was and is.

And what can make this picturesque moment even better? Knitting needles and yarn, of course!

I finished this sweet blanket and hat for a woman mom works with. I'll send it to mom so she can give it as a gift.
I think I'll start a sweater next, for Jacob. Will keep you posted.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Just Another Day!

It is warm today, but expected to get very cold this week. Maybe the mud will freeze and I'll have a reprieve from dealing with that!!

Even though I've had to spend a lot of time fighting the mud, I've had time to finish another knitting project.

Mike works with someone whose wife had a baby. I've also started making another baby blanket for mom to give to someone she works with expecting in January. I have the yarn in stash and any excuse to knit works for me.

Jacob shot a doe on Thursday afternoon, that is a whole story in itself I'll leave him to talk about on his blog. But, I'm very proud of him and thrilled to have meat expected to fill my freezer.

God continues to bless me here in Virginia.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Little Vent!

I don't want this post to sound like complaining, because really it isn't. It is more a sharing of my frustration and venting.

Here in Virginia we have red dirt. Well, when it rains this dirt becomes more like potter's clay. Put into this equation a dog, a cat, a non-landscaped yard, and an A type personality (me) equals ARGH!!!! Oh my gosh! I'm going nuts. Washing the floor, vacuuming, and laundry have taken on a life of their own in this house when it rains. (Remember: I'm not complaining just venting.) I do so love it when it rains, but right now it is a little frustrating.

On a positive note: I've still had time to knit and finished dad's Christmas present and just about finished a baby gift for someone Mike works with. Life in Virginia is goooood!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Nearly Finished and Settling In

So, my dad doesn't usually read my blog, but if you do today Dad please stop reading!

With the move into the new house I haven't had as much time to knit, as I would like, but I have found time to nearly finish Dad's Christmas present. Here it is:

All I need to do is put the neck band and arm bands. I'm really pleased with it. Because he lives in Florida he doesn't have too much of a need for wool sweaters, but he is 76 and tends to get colder than most. That is why I decided on a vest. I used Heirloom 100% wool, machine washable. It knits up beautifully, and I have bought more for my stash.

As for the new house: We are settling in and getting into a routine. There is still a lot of boxes to unpack, however we need to get them from the rental into the new house. We've been doing a little at a time, so it isn't too overwhelming.

Mike got his new shed on Friday,

As you can see we live on the side of a mountain. Having to jack up one end of the shed isn't uncommon in these parts! LOL

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

There is No Place Like Home

So, things are progressing with the move in. However, I'm exhausted!! The only down side to the move is I haven't been able to knit as much as I would like. Dad's Christmas gift is progressing, but I should be done.

We have all been really busy here at the new house. Mike spent the day cutting trees with an older gentleman friend we made, Cecile Foster. Not sure how old he is, but let me tell you that man has the stamina of a man half his age.

Faith spent the day playing in water and dirt in the yard. Then a long bath before dinner. Haley was Mike's shadow, as usual. Except for when she was riding her bike up and down the traffic less road. Jacob went hunting both this morning and this evening and otherwise played his guitar and piano.

Guess you could call this home!

Monday, November 3, 2008

We Are Here!

Well, we are here, and today we got the Internet. We ended up getting HughesNet. A little slower than DSL, but surely faster than dial up!

We have slept in the house 3 nights and it is beginning to become familiar. I'm sure it will take us a while to figure out what all the switches do. I'll probably be spending a few months moving things around and learning what works, but it is fun . This is the first weekend since moving that I haven't missed our old house. It feels real good. Now I just need to have some company.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Countdown Begins!

Well this is it our last day and night living and sleeping in a house that isn't our own. Yippee!! It will feel really good to be in our own home again. I'm especially excited because this house is brand new, and the house we owned before was over 50 years old. It was a nice house, but everything was old. Made that way by someone else. This one will be all ours. Kind of like when you buy a new car vs. a used one.

I'm not feeling too much pressure to pack because we'll still be renting this house for a while, so everything can stay until I get around to bringing it to the new house. Movers are coming Sunday to get the big items for us, and Mike will do our beds.

Not sure how I'll sleep tonight. It's better than Christmas Eve!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Nature Photographer in the Making

You may recall in another post that we bought Haley a camera. She loves to spend time outdoors and so we thought it would give her an opportunity to capture some great moments doing what she loves. Here is a picture she took recently that I thought it was excellent and I just couldn't resist sharing it.

What do you think?

Good News to Brighten My Day

I received a call this afternoon from my mother-in-law, she has decided to take us up on our invite to come and visit for Thanksgiving!! My mother-in-law is over 75 and has to walk with a cane so, she doesn't like to go too far. We are all thrilled to death she has decided to visit!! I'm beside myself with excitement.

This was just the good news I needed today. We heard back from our landlord, and they won't let us out of the lease. Therefore, Mike and I will need to continue paying it while we live in our new house. Which will really stink, but we are too excited about our new house, and know that we made the best choice.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Life is Good

We have phone lines to the new house! Yippee!! However, the big draw back to living out in the sticks is going to be the lack of high speed Internet. The only Internet available is dial up. I know! Dial up still exists? It is amazing how we have come to rely on high speed Internet so much. We will have to find a way around this, but if this is our only real difficulty, life ain't so bad.

Last night was pot luck at our church. Remember I mentioned they do this every month or so and they had one again to celebrate Halloween. The kids played games, wore costumes, and got these incredible grocery bags full of loot!

It was great to be able to tell everyone that we would be moving in to the house officially, and people even offered help. What a wonderful community we have found. We are truly blessed.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Officially Homeowners Again!

We have our date to close on the house!!! Yippee!!! October 31, we will be proud home owners once again. I'm thrilled, but also very overwhelmed with the little details. But, that's me!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Marie-Therese Gown GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!

Marie-Therese Gown GIVEAWAY !!!!!!!
Check out the link!

What a talented woman!! Faith would absolutely love this dress. She would most likely never take it off. Wish I could sew like that.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Oh how good it feels!

My sister Laura got her knitted wrap I made her for her birthday and she was thrilled!! She loved everything about it, and said she intended to get plenty of use out of it.

It makes me feel so good to know she loves it as much as I loved making it for her.

Now....who to make something for? This is fun giving away knitted items to those you love, especially when appreciated.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

What a trip!

Image may be disturbing to some viewers!

What a great trip we had!! We enjoy cousin Larry and his family's company so much. Mike especially enjoys being with Larry. They share a lot of the same interests and same ideas. I especially enjoy seeing Mike so relaxed and at peace when we visit them.

He was even able to do a little hunting. Although, he was hunting for deer he was able to shoot a turkey. He used his cross bow to shoot it. Can you see the pride in his face?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Let's Just Get Away

With all the anxiety of buying the house, Mike and I have decided to take the kids and get away for a couple of days. It should do us all well.

We are heading down to Southern Virginia to visit cousin Larry and his family. They live on an absolutely beautiful piece of property, Larry is a tree farmer. Mike and Jake will do a little hunting, the girls will enjoy the pool (yes, still open and nice enough to swim in October) and of course I'll do some knitting.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Homeschooling is Too Awesome!

The kids and I just finished up an awesome History Lesson. They happen to both be working on United States Government. Granted Jacob's is a little more intense than Haley's, but we were able to have an open discussion about the three branches of government. Something I LOVE to discuss. Why is that? I don't ever remember being so entranced with it when I was in 8th grade.

It just makes me sit in awe at what those men, back in 1787, accomplished. Our Constitution! Imagine the heated debates! Would of loved to have been a fly on the wall.

Gosh, have I ever said how I love homeschooling my kids?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Now I've Done It!

Laura, don't read this post!

Among knitters we have this term, "Process Knitting". Which essentially means you teach yourself a new technique each time you take on a project. Or try a new style of knitting. It is all process knitting. I've never really been a process knitter myself, but I do sometimes convince myself I'm ready to try something new.

If you know anything about me, it is that I'm not a lacy, frilly kind of gal. I'm more cotton and denim. So, I've never really considered doing a lace knitted project. Although, I must say I do appreciate the work and the look of something that is lace knitted.

When I decided to take on a knitted lace project, I was both nervous and excited. The biggest challenge was that my first lace knitted item was to be a gift. A gift for my sister Laura's 50th birthday. I'm really pleased with the results and am looking forward to doing something like it again.

Here it is:

Guess being an addict can sometimes be a good thing. Tell me what you think.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Oh the turmoil!

Wow, it has been 3 days since I had anything to write in my blog! Does that mean I live a boring life? Well, maybe.

I've been doing school work (with the kids), house work, laundry and of course plenty of knitting. I'll finish Laura's wrap for her 50th birthday today, and should even have time to block it. Maybe I'll post a picture tomorrow.

When a knitter is in the process of finishing one project she/he spends almost as much time figuring out what will be worked on next. Or at least I do. So yesterday morning I spent a lot of time figuring out what I wanted to make my dad for Christmas and then discovering I didn't have anything in my stash (yarn in waiting to those of you who don't knit) that would work for the project I decided on.

Which can only mean I had to place a call to my favorite yarn shop back in Connecticut!! My good friends Sue and Paula, found exactly what I needed, and it was all in the bargain bin for 50% off!! No kidding!! So, since I saved all that money I then put them to work to fill the box, that was already now coming to Virginia anyway, with a some more yarn for the stash. Woooooo Hoooooo!!

Now I need to find something to work on until the box arrives! Oh the woes of a knitter!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Counting our Chickens

Okay, so maybe we are counting our chickens before they've hatched, but Mike and I just couldn't help ourselves. We went shopping today for the new house. We knew we wanted to get a kitchen island and Mike really wanted a new table.

We went to a couple of big warehouse furniture stores, but hated what we saw. It was all the same old, same old run of the mill stuff.
We ended up looking up hand crafted furniture stores in the yellow pages, and found an awesome store in Forest, VA, Henderson's Furniture. Over a lot of deliberation and discussion we ended up purchasing items made by Borkholder Amish-Crafted Furniture.
Now I'm more excited than ever to get into the house! Although, it will be another 10-12 weeks before the furniture is made and delivered.
Although the colors we chose are a little different than these pictures, you get the idea. There are 4 chairs that we chose to go with the table also.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Just Everyday Stuff

Not much happening around here.

We had to renegotiate the contract on the house because the appraisal came in lower than buying price. Which is good for us. One more hurdle to hop over that is all. Because it is a new construction there are a lot of forms that need to be completed that we have to wait on. But, we still expect to close before the end of October.

As for knitting, I'm still working on Laura's 50th birthday gift. Almost finished there and formulating the next project. Thinking Dad will get something knitted for Christmas.

Today we all go to mass at 1:00, and then we will do some shopping. Haley is in need of warmer clothes. Then off to Liberty University for Jacob's piano lesson.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

VP Debate

Not only am I a knitting addict. I am a bit of a news addict.

In fact I really need to limit how much I watch because I get obsessed. Although I am extremely tired of the election coverage, I can't help but be watching. So, I am extremely excited about the debate tonight. Maybe because it is the only one scheduled between the two VP candidates.

I'll be allowing Jacob to stay up and watch. Consider it a lesson for school.
Will you be watching?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Knitted Gifts

Mom & Laura, Do not read this post!

Here it is the sweater I made my mother for Christmas.

I bought the pattern and yarn back in April. Stored them, packed them, and then moved them to Virginia. Strated it September 10 and finished it yesterday. Hopefully she will get some use out of it in Florida!! Now that she is 70, she is cold more often than not! LOL

Now that I'm on a role with knitting and giving it away. I decided to make my sister Laura something for her 50th birthday coming in November. She apprciated her purse so much. I started this wrap last night out of a beautiful alpaca yarn. She should get plenty of use out of it in Utah!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Discovering Wildlife

Part of the advantage and joy of home schooling is it allows the kids more time and opportunity to pursue their real interests. One of the things Haley enjoys doing is investigating and observing wild life.

Today she found this turtle wandering the woods in the back yard.

We did some research on the Internet and we believe it to be an Eastern Box Turtle. She wanted to keep as a pet. (Of course!) However, I believe I've convinced her it would be better off left in the wild. (At least she didn't want to have it stuffed!)

Never a dull moment!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Doesn't everyone have one in their yard?

As I've mentioned, we are working on buying a house here in Virginia. There have been a couple of times now that we have been up to the house/property for one reason or another. On a few of these occasions we have found this one animal wandering around, aimlessly.

Today was another time we found this animal. When the kids and I decided to take a walk down the road, this is what we saw:

Believe me when you see this thing a few feet off it can easily be mistaken for a very large bear! The kids and I had such fun laughing about scenarios of how cows being in our yard may be a normal routine. Some of them went something like this:

"Kids before you go out to play be sure you have your cow beating sticks with you."

Dad when he comes home from work would say, "What is for dinner tonight?" Mom's reply, "Steak. One of the cows walked in front of car when we were pulling into the driveway today."

Such adventures we are in for!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

What would we do without technology?! Gotta love it! My sister Laura and I were able to chat last night over a glass of wine. How you ask, with Laura in Utah and you in Virginia? Well... by web cam.

It took Laura a lot of effort trying to get her computer up and running. After a lot of laughing by both of us and her old clunker of a computer never catching up to the live feed, her daughter Leah came to the rescue and set her mother up on her computer. Then we sipped wine, chuckled some more and chatted.

My kids were thrilled to see Aunt Laura. Jacob played his guitar for her. Faith got to sing one of her favorite songs by Laura's son TJ. And Haley enjoyed listening to her mother and aunt giggle with each other. Haley was also thrilled to catch a glimpse of her cousin Leah. The two of them converse through emails.

Actually, mom, dad and I have been doing web calls with eachother for the past several weeks. It has become nearly a daily event for us to visit over the Internet. The kids love being able to to see "Mem" and "Pep" so often.

Looking forward to many more web conversations over a glass of wine!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Package to a Soldier

My nephew Jimmy, Mike's older sister's son, is stationed in Baghdad. This is his second tour of duty there. He was among those who went in the very beginning of the war, his wife also went at that time. They had to leave their new baby girl behind. It was a difficult time for them both, I'm sure. Now he is there again. Thankfully his wife is at home this time with their 2 little girls.

On this tour, for Jimmy, I've been putting together care packages. However, with the move and all I haven't sent one in some time. Today the kids and I went shopping and put this package together. (there is a layer you can't see in the photo) I'll get it to the post office tomorrow.
He is always so good to email when he receives it and tells me how his soldiers divide up the goods, after he's hidden a few of the best items for himself. Then with some prodding by me he thinks of things that I can include in the next package. He's always humble enough not to ask for too much.

Imagine the sacrifices our men and women in uniform make every day, just so we can continue to go about our regular daily routine. It makes one stop and think, doesn't it?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Church for Us

There are 2 Catholic Churches in the city of Lynchburg. So, when we first got here we tried them both out. We really like the priest at St. Thomas More so that became the church we affiliated ourselves with. However, after a couple of weeks of going there, something was bothering me.

I couldn't quite figure out what it was, but something didn't feel right. Then it hit me, or the Holy Spirit whispered in my ear. It wasn't traditional enough. The church is pretty, but it feels secular. Can you imagine a Catholic Church that feels secular? It also dawned on me that the other church in town was the same way. No tabernacle in the church, it is in the back behind the scene. No holy water when you walk in to bless yourself with, and there are no kneelers. You find yourself wondering, "Did I go to the right church?" (And believe me around here there are churches on every corner so you very well could.)

St. Thomas More Church is pretty enough. Then the final test came yesterday, we went to church in Amherst. Only 10 minutes from the house we are buying. As soon as we walked in Jacob's comment was, "There is a tabernacle." Check one! Holy water was at the entrance. Check two! Four different people introduced themselves to us. They were actually able to tell we were new.
Finally, we've found our church.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A New Home

One of the things our family discussed on our ride to and from the zoo yesterday, was what house did we like the best. So, after we weighed all our options and the pros and cons of everything we signed papers and put an offer in this morning on this house.

Offer was accepted, and if all goes according to plan we should be in before Thanksgiving.

It Was a Good Day

If there is anything that is positive about moving to a new state, it would be the opportunities of discovering and visiting new places. Between looking at houses, Mike working, and school work we have been making time to do some sight seeing. Today we took a ride to the zoo.

It proved to be a good day, and the ride gave us time for good family conversation. (And of course knitting!)

Here are some photos from our day:

We stopped on the ride to enjoy the views.

Mike had to wrestle with a "gator".

Faith loves the giraffes, but was too afraid to feed them when they came close enough.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Start Again Tomorrow

Ever have a day that you said to yourself, "Just go back to bed and start again tomorrow." ? Well, today was that day for me.

Took a shower and got out thinking, "That was fast, what did I forget?" Proceeded to get dressed and put on make up, and when I went to blow dry my hair and realized I hadn't washed it. Now if you know me, I'm not one of those pretty girls who has lots of thick hair and can go a day without washing it. So, I went to the kitchen sink to wash it there.

First I had to clean up the sink from breakfast. When I ran the garbage disposal it began to smoke and smell. Great! Opened windows, turned on the fan, sprayed some room deodorizer to get rid of that terrible stink, so I could continue and wash my hair.

Hair all washed, went back to my bathroom to dry it and guess what. The hair dryer began to smoke and grind. That is now in the trash.

So, here I sit just waiting for something else to go wrong and thinking, "Just go back to bed and start again tomorrow." Maybe I'll try knitting, I'll let you know if I poke my eye out.

Monday, September 15, 2008

"Ooops, I Did it Again"

On Saturday I called Woolworks in Putnam, and my good friends Jen and Paula were both working. I just couldn't resist, I have another package on the way from the shop! Included with the awesome yarn that is coming, they chose 7 pewter buttons to go on mom's sweater, intended to be a Christmas gift, that I should have completed by next week.

I knew Jen had made it way too easy for me to have her ship a box to me! I blame Mike also for this because he gave me a Visa gift card he had received and told me to spend it however I wanted.

See I told you I was an addict, one true sign is to blame everyone else for your habit!!! Does Betty Ford have a clinic for my addiction?

Saturday, September 13, 2008


I must admit that before John McCain chose Sarah Palin I knew nothing about her. Although I knew I would vote for him, I'm not a huge fan of John McCain. The VP choice was very important to me. So, when I heard that John McCain hadn't chose Mitt Romney I was really upset. I shut the tv off! However, once I cooled off and learned more about Sarah, I'm crazy about her. Not sure why she appeals to me, we haven't much in common.

I truly believe that our country will be better off if Mr. Obama isn't in the white house. I pray that voters that were on the fence about who to vote for, are now lead to vote the McCain/Palin ticket.

God Bless America!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Counting My Blessings

Being in a new state and a new house, isn't easy. Trying to find and make new friends can be difficult. It can really bring a person down.

Then you wake up on September 11, and realize how much you have to be thankful about.

God Bless the souls of the lives lost 7 years ago, and the families they left behind.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Just Love It

My sister sent me an email this morning, with this..

Powerful Women's Motto:


Love it!!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Yippee, It Arrived Today!

My box of stuff from, Woolworks Yarn Shop in Putnam, CT arrived today.

Look at the beautiful sock yarn. Alpaca Sox in a gray heather, Ultra Alpaca Fine in a dark brown, Reynolds Soft Seawool in black, and the Araucania hand dyed wool in a great purple colorway.
All the Jil Eaton Minnow Merino yarn, in a precious periwinckle, I need to make that cute cardigan (Minnowknits Garter Cardi #168)for Faith and the perfectly matched buttons that Jen and Paula (my friend from the shop) chose.
The magnetic clasps, that only Jen has, to put on the surprises I made for my sisters and their daughters, oh and some gorgeous pewter buttons for the finishing touches on their gifts.
Better get knitting on mom's Christmas gift so I can delve into this stuff. PURE HEAVEN!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Awaiting the Package

Okay, so I've mentioned that I have a fiber, knitting addiction. I've even stood up and confessed it here on the blog. I've shared with you the realization I had after moving, that the yarn shop in Connecticut was my knitting muse.

Well, I've been staying in touch with my friends back at the yarn shop through Ravelry and the store's blog The store owner Jen, is having a couple of off the wall, crazy sales. She is offering 30% off ALL (yes! all!) sock yarn, and then another incentive to purchase yarn is 20% off $60.+ purchase or 25% off $120.+ purchase. (Footnote: Jen must carry 20 or more different brands of sock yarn.)

So, what am I to do here in Virginia when the shop is all the way back in Connecticut? Jen came to the rescue. She put all the items I wanted into a box, gave me a great sale price, mailed it priority to me here in Virginia, and charged my credit card. She has made it so easy I'm afraid of the habit this may form. (I'll bet Mike is fearful also.)

Now I sit, awaiting the anticipated package. Will post pictures as soon as it arrives, because I'm sure you are all curious to see what I got.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Why not give a gift?

(Sisters please do not read this post, it is about a surprise for you!!)

So, if you didn't know it already, I love to knit, and on occasion I've been known to crochet.

{standing up like at an AA meeting she raises her right hand and says}
My name is Michelle, and I have a fiber fetish and am addicted to knitting.

The only problem I sometimes have is finding someone to knit for, and then having the courage to give it away. Anyone who knows the work and love that goes into a knitted item can understand the difficulty.

Recently I decided to knit and felt some purses for my sisters and their daughters. I truly believe they will appreciate them, and it has given me purpose. Since Saturday, I've finished knitting 2 and am close to finishing #3 pictured below. They work up really fast and then I'll felt them and send them on their way.

It is motivating to have someone in mind when you are working on a project.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Teaching Pre-K

When we started to home school, Haley had gone to pre-school, and we started her in kindergarten. This year Faith is 4 and is ready for pre-school, so this is my first attempt at teaching a child so young. Wow!! What a challenge!

Like we did for Haley and kindergarten, we bought some great books at the book store, and we are up and running. She is very enthused and that is half the battle.

Monday, September 1, 2008

It's all mine!

I finally went into the yarn shops! My favorite shop in this area is Backstitches. It is bright, airy, and very busy. They don't carry a lot of the yarns I'm familiar with, (no one carries as much yarn as Jen at Woolworks in Putnam), but what they have is nice.

What really made my trip to the store worth wild, was my new swift and ball winder!

(Haley took this photo with her new camera.)

I've always wanted my own swift and ball winder or "ballizer" as my friend Emily from Woolworks likes to call the set up. There is just something about taking a hank of yarn, putting it on the swift and winding it into an organized ball of yarn. Maybe it is just a knitter's thrill?

Thank you Mike for the early Christmas present! Now I can say, "It's all mine!"

Friday, August 29, 2008

Community Market

This morning I met up with a new knitting friend, Lara, and she took me to the Lynchburg Community Market. It was nice to spend time getting to know her, browse the vendors that were there and learn a little of the downtown area.

Next time I'll take Mike and the kids.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

And...We're back!

As you can see I got my knitting groove back...

Pattern: Wisteria Sleeveless Dress; Yarn: Plymouth Jeannee

Finished it last night while watching the Sox. Finally got to see a game here in Virginia, that doesn't happen often enough. : (

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Love it When it Rains

I must have been born on a rainy day, because I LOVE it when it rains. I even love it when it rains consecutively for a week! I know, people always look at me like I'm crazy. Most people love sunny blue sky days, as do I. But, there is just something about the rain that I love even more.

It is finally raining here in Virginia!! They say it hasn't rained in this part of Virginia since June. Everything is brown and shriveled. It is probably too late for anything to turn green again, but I feel rejuvenated by it. As I sit at the computer, I'm listening to the rain hit the leaves on the trees, and the birds are going crazy in song. They must be feeling rejuvenated too.

The rain was just the excuse I needed to give myself to stay in, do a couple loads of laundry and oh yeah of course I'll knit!! I cleaned the house yesterday so it will even be guilt free knitting! Nothing like it!

What would you do on such a beautiful day?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Knitting Muse

Since moving to Virginia I haven't been knitting too much. Yikes! I know! To my knitting friends who may read this post, this is a drastic thing for me. However, last week I ventured to my first Virginia Knitting Group and that helped, but only a little. You may be thinking, "Well Michelle there is a lot to do when you move." But, that isn't it either.

It occurred to me the other day that it is quite possible that the reason my knitting has taken a back burner is because the yarn shop in Putnam Connecticut was my knitting muse. Now that I'm not visiting there I haven't felt inspired to knit like I had been.

Then on Saturday, I received a note from Jen (miagi on ravelry) the shop owner telling me all about the sales she has going on this week. After reading her note I felt a small glimmer of inspiration to pick up my needles. That was it! My connection to the Woolworks shop in Putnam, CT had found me in Virginia. Inspiration hit!!!

After we went to early mass on Sunday morning, breakfast out with the kids, and a few house drive bys we came home. I couldn't wait to sit in my rocking chair and knit. I spent about 3 hours sitting and knitting and watching old movies.

Then I actually posted my new project on Ravelry with photos this morning. I think I may just be recovering from the drought. (Ironically Virginia is in an actual drought, but I mean the knitting drought.)

Here are photos of the current project, for those of you not on Ravelry:

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Time with Mom and Dad

Mom and dad share a birthday of September 13th. Although mom is quick to tell everyone dad is 6 years her elder. Because we won't be with them for their birthday we decided to celebrate it with them on Thursday 8/21.

Because they seemed to have some trouble with their Mapquest directions in finding sister Suzanne in Charleston, SC and then getting to us here in Lynchburg. Mike insisted we get them a Garmin. Dad proudly named her Josephine.

They used her today, 8/23 to get to cousin Larry's house in Ararat Virginia, and there were no wrong turns or arguments. I would say it was money well spent.

On their last day here we went for lunch at the Golden Corral, a favorite of moms. We all left stuffed to the gills. Since we already had everyone in the car we went to the D-Day Memorial in Bedford Virginia. We walked through and around the grounds and learned a little history. After the huge lunch this walk was welcomed. We all got something from the gift shop and headed home. (Sorry to say it was a last minute idea to go so no one knew to have their camera.)

In the evening the kids decided to pull out their kareoke machine and everyone took a turn at the mic.

We had a great 4 days with "Mem and Pep". Looking forward to our next visit.