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!"