Monday, August 30, 2010

Quick Easy Simple Gift

Made these chap stick/lip balm holders for Haley and Faith's friends. Just because I wanted them to have a trinket when Haley went to visit yesterday. And although I am a one project at the time kind of gal (shocking to some of my knitting/blogging friends out there {clears throat} Shelly!) I do like to change the pace sometimes with something quick and easy.

They are crocheted and not knitted!! Double shocker!
Footnote: I didn't put the lanyard because on the ones that I have previously I didn't like it.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Working to Keep It Natural - Idiom?

When Mike and I chose to put in a front walk that was intended to look natural and not concrete poured, we (ok I) had no idea what kind of work was involved to keep it looking "natural".

Maybe because last summer just to get grass to grow anywhere in our yard was a phenomena, I didn't know it could be a lot of work.

This summer grass is growing and without even realizing it, it began to cover the stones of the walk. The other day Mike mentioned how wet his feet were from the dew as he walked over the walk way. He complained and said he was thinking of putting in a concrete path.

NO! I really want to keep it more "natural" looking!

Yesterday was a beautiful day, warm but not too humid so I got out on my hands and knees and went to work. I actually found some stones that were completely covered with grass! I didn't get to finish, sweat began to run into my eyes, still have about 6 more stones to work on (as you can see). Will try to get to that today.
It certainly looks better than it did!

Friday, August 27, 2010

I Finished!!

I finished the sweater for my sister! She was wearing it this morning when she left. 64 degrees out calls for a good sweater!
She is a nurse and always wears a sweater to work. In Charleston, SC they keep the air conditioning kind of cool I guess in the hospital so she needs it. Made the sleeves 3/4 length, didn't want them getting in her way while she worked.

Really like the buttons too! She wears navy blue scrubs for work and I think the color of the buttons will co-ordinate nicely.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Small Successes


It’s important for moms to recognize that all the small successes in our days can add up to one big triumph. So on Thursday of each week, we do exactly that.
  1. Actually got the bibs I knitted for my great niece into the mail. Only a day after finishing them!
  2. Got a lot of work done on the sweater I'm knitting for my sister Suzanne. Although she is here visiting until tomorrow, I'm not sure if it will be finished by the time she leaves. With the visit I'm not able to sit and knit. Would rather be more like Mary than Martha on this one.
  3. Took the time to "spring" clean my son's room. I try to make my kids responsible for their own rooms. Not only is it good for them, but it relieves some housework burden for me. (More time to knit! LOL) But, it is important for me to make time to do a thorough cleaning myself on occassion. Especially when it involves a 15 yo boy!! Tah hee hee!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Is it contagious?

Guess my knitting addiction is starting to spread!! Woo hoo!

Sister Suzanne working on her knitting.
Mom working on her knitting.
Only thing wrong with these pictures.... I'm holding a camera and not my knitting needles!!

Typical Morning Here in the Boonies

I've mentioned before how rural our lives here in central Virginia are, and this morning proved it. When my sister, who is visiting with mom for a couple of days on their return trip from Massachusetts to S.C., went out for a walk with my girls she came across this in the front yard.
We called the farmer neighbor who owns the cows to come and coral her back into the field.
Free entertainment and manure for the lawn all in one morning!! Who could ask for anything more?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Summons

As I mentioned in previous posts, my niece got married yesterday. She lives in Massachusetts, and although we were all invited to attend we just couldn't make the trip. But, for the past few days it is all I've been able to think about. All my family together to celebrate, and I couldn't be part of it. Yesterday was especially difficult and they were all I thought of most of the day.

While sitting in church last night and having my thoughts once again drift to my niece and my family the choir sang the song "The Summons". Some of the lyrics: Will you come and follow me If I just call your name?... The song really struck a chord for me.

When Mike and I offered up in prayer the opportunity for God to take a hand in our decision to move away He did. He sold our house, gave Mike a job and provided us with a new home. It all happened so quickly, and in a declining economy, there was no doubt God had control. We weren't sure why at that time, but I do know now it was to be here for my father to live and die in peace last year. I am confident still that our lives here are for a reason no matter how great or small.

God asks us to follow a path sometimes that pull us away from the ones we love. Much like when he asked the disciples, "Put down your nets and come follow me." He wasn't just talking about leaving their possessions He wanted them to leave their families too.

Although I don't believe I have a huge purpose like that of the disciples, I find solace in knowing that although I can't always be with my family I'm here in Virginia because that is where God needs me to be.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Bunch of Bibs

My brother's daughter (my niece) had a baby girl on 8/6. Not sure why it happened that I had nothing knitted to send her for this little doll of a baby, but I went out Saturday and bought some cotton, and got right to work Sunday. I made her 5 bibs. Now to get them into the mail!

Some plain, some decorated.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Small Successes


It’s important for moms to recognize that all the small successes in our days can add up to one big triumph. So on Thursday of each week, we do exactly that.
  1. I finally shipped off the afghan I made for my niece who is getting married Saturday (8/21). I've had this made since May, but thought it best to mail closer to the wedding date. Nothing like waiting until the last minute!!
  2. I LOVE to sleep however, I've found with age and my bladder waking me at night getting back to sleep isn't as easy as it once was. Because we don't have to rush out the door to get any where (most mornings) I sleep until I wake. This week I've started setting my alarm and have been forcing myself up regardless of how I slept the night before. I'm thinking this new routine will allow me to sleep more easily regardless of waking up. So far, not too bad, but I'm going to continue.
  3. Another niece had a baby on 8/6. Not sure why I had nothing knitted to send her, but this week I've nearly finished 5 bibs, that will be in the mail tomorrow!
I'm pleased with my week! Thank you God for another wonderful week to be a stay-at-home wife and mother! I've got the best job in the world!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

At Least Another Year

A few months ago I briefly mentioned that our son Jacob (15) was seriously considering going to the public high school. He will be starting 10th grade and has made a lot friends that go there. The high school covers the entire county and has over 1400 students. They have plenty of extracurricular activities for the students which includes an incredible performing arts program. This was the biggest draw for Jacob. The opportunity to showcase his musical talents and expand those horizons.

Mike and I have always told the kids that if they ever wanted to go back to school and stop home schooling we would support them. So when Jacob told us this was his desire we did what we could to support his decision. Even if my support came reluctantly and with lots of prayers in the process.

School started yesterday in the county and Jacob has been sleeping late each of the last 2 days. Guess he decided he had it better at home? I can tell he is lonely for the friends he had available to him all day every day this past summer that are now off to school, but I'm confident he made the right choice.

Being a home schooling mom I sometimes feel like I'm also a cruise ship director. I'm required to always keep everyone entertained or on time for the next port of call. Most every day I get asked, "What are we doing today?" And if I fall short in this job there may be a mutiny. Was that the reason for him wanting to go to public school? I fell short? Am I the only one who sometimes feels this way?

For now I'll just cherish another year of homeschooling with my son, and pray that what may come next school year will be the best choice for him and his future.

But just look at the mascot differences!!! Oh Lord, I've got my work cut out for me!! LOL

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Too Confident in My Child's Faith?

In Virginia the largest religious denomination is Baptist at 14% compared to the 7% of Catholics living in Virginia. We knew these number when we moved here and it really didn't weigh on our decision. Why should it?

With this difference in numbers it would be obvious that our children would and will be making friends with lots of children and families that aren't Catholic. Again, we are okay with that. Why wouldn't we be?

We are giving our children a completely Catholic education with them being completely enrolled in Seton Home Study School. Plus Mike and I work really hard to keep a devote Catholic home. We think they are getting the foundation of their Catholic faith and if when they grow up to make their own decisions on their faith they will stay firmly based in it. Time will tell I won't make any assumptions I'll just be confident I've done all I could.

Our Jacob has made a lot of friends who are active in a local Baptist church. He often goes with his friends on a Wednesday night to "hang" out and socialize at the church's youth social hall. The church provides snacks, drinks, a pool table, ping-pong table and other wholesome activities. In order to participate in the fun the kids are required to sit through a little bit of preaching. Jacob feels this is a small sacrifice for getting to "hang" with some good kids.

Mike and I have thought and talked this over several times and we still don't see a problem with it. So, this morning when Jacob called from a friends house to ask if he could go to services with a friend at the same church before coming home, I said okay if he really wanted to. His answer was, "I just want to see all my friends one last time before they start school tomorrow."

I'm still not seeing any problem with any of this. Am I being blind? Am I too confident in my child's faith in his own church? He went to mass with us at our church last night if he really wants to sit through some more preaching, does it really matter? Any thoughts or input is welcomed...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Small Successes


It’s important for moms to recognize that all the small successes in our days can add up to one big triumph. So on Thursday of each week, we do exactly that.

  1. I was able to hang every load (except towels) on the clothes line this week. I'm confident this helps keep the electric bill in check.
  2. Cleaned the girls closet with their help. Also took the bag of hand-me-down clothes to a family we go to church with who has 2 little girls. This is a huge accomplishment!! Usually the bag will sit in my car for several months and it was only there for a day or two.
  3. Took my urine sample the doctor wanted me to drop off for analysis. Remember I was sick a few weeks ago? She wanted to be sure everything had cleared up. I am not good about following up with extra doctor orders like this!! So I am counting this as an accomplishment. Probably good that I did because I need to do it again in a couple more weeks. Now the question remains will I be good again about it?
Thank you Lord for a wonderful week! I had a few moments of feeling low, but I tried to remain focused that what I do brings glory to you even if it doesn't contribute to our finances. Also had some blue moments of missing dad, but prayers again got me through.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

I know it is suppose to be a Wordless Wednesday, but I have trouble keeping my mouth shut sometimes. (Yeah right just sometimes?)

My brother Bill and his grand-daughter Olivia born August 6th, 2010.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Needles and Shovels

I'm up way too early today so I figured it would be a good time to do some blogging and catch you up on my knitting and the garden's harvest...

Finished one of the socks that I've been knitting in the Hedera pattern by Cookie A. I've made these socks before and they are super easy and pretty. This yarn was some the shop in CT chose and mailed to me and it is super pretty.
I may be giving this pair away.... we'll see.

Here is my Top Down Scoop Neck Cardigan by Janet Soucy. I made the smaller size in this pattern and it seems smaller than expected. Made mom the medium and it fits her perfectly. Was thinking of someone in particular for this, but it may not work now. We'll have to see once it is finished and off the needles, sometimes it just looks small before it is done. Yes, I'm pushing forward!

This time I didn't forget to take a photo of the potatoes Mike dug. Again, the garden is only in its' first year of harvest and this Virginia clay, excuse me soil, takes A LOT of doctoring before it will produce a plentiful crop. We are still surprisingly pleased with it!
Notice the peppers, which have grown beautifully, and the acorn squash which is only 1 of about 5 we have!

Can't help but look at our 6+, 5 of which is wooded and on the side of a mountain ridge, and think where can we expand our garden to for next year? However, Mike quickly reminds me it is him that does the majority of the work (okay 95% of it is a pretty big majority) and he isn't as excited to expand as I am. But gosh do I LOVE the rewards of having a garden!!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Birthday #12! Thank you God!

Twelve years ago today was one of the most joyous days of mine and Mike's married life, but it was also one of the scariest. I gave birth by c-section to our first daughter, Haley. She was full term and gave a good cry when they pulled her from me. But just moments later things became really hectic around her. They discovered something wasn't quite right, but couldn't tell us more than that until "after they ran some tests". Mike held her briefly so I could see her and they whisked her off to the NICU.

And so it began, our scary journey to a child born with a birth defect, and our education on medical terms we never thought we'd have to learn. Here I am holding her for the very first time, just moments before her intubation for her first surgery, she isn't even 24 hours old.

The medical term for her defect was Tracheoesophageal fistula, and we would learn later that she actually had 2. Type A and an H-type. Her esophagus never attached to her stomach and in her throat the esophagus attached to the trachea. She had 2 surgeries by the time she was 3 weeks old and we were finally able to bring her home at 4 weeks.

She required 2 further surgeries when she was 2 and several tests, and doctors appointment to monitor her growth and etc. for the first 5 years of life. We were truly blessed however!! Most babies born with this abnormality typically have heart, kidney or limb anomalies, she had none. She has 3 permanent scars from the surgery as well as a paralyzed vocal chord, none of which have lasting effects.

My Haley is a beautiful 12 year old girl who came into this world having to fight and be strong. I thank God every day for blessing us with her, but especially on this her birthday!! Love you Haley, your strength still inspires me today!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Small Successes


It’s important for moms to recognize that all the small successes in our days can add up to one big triumph. So on Thursday of each week, we do exactly that.

My small successes this week:
  1. I got Mike back off to work after 3 weeks of recovery from his elbow surgery. Joint surgery can lead to a serious infection very easily. I bandaged him and took great care of his incision so this is one of my small triumphs. (I suppose Mike can relish in this success too! LOL)
  2. We have been able to make time all week to play scrabble as a family. And the kids are asking to play and enjoying it very much! Even though Faith is too young to play she isn't too far away and enjoys watching.
  3. My nephew called me on Sunday, and unexpectedly dropped in with a friend for dinner. I never once felt overwhelmed by this last minute visit. Because I'm an A type personality, and expect everything to be in perfect order before a guest comes through my doors I feel really good about this. I feel like I may just be turning a corner on my OCD issues!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A Little Crushed!

A few weeks ago when I was really sick and could barely get out of bed, it was necessary for us to buy a few loaves of bread. A week or so after my illness, even when I was up and around again, we still bought a few more loaves as well as hamburger buns.

Last Friday, I got back on to my bread baking schedule. Even made hamburger buns again for burger dinner this past Monday. I have to say they tasted sooo much better!!

Now today, I should be baking bread again, but I've since learned Mike prefers the bought bread!! When I asked him if he wanted to buy a loaf of bread when he went to town today, instead of the response I was hoping to get, "I would prefer it if you baked a loaf, sweetie!" I got, "Sure will!!"

I'm confident he'll say something like, "I just don't like making more work for you." But I know this is his kind way of saying, "I much prefer store bought bread." Remember we've been married 23+ years and I can read the man like a book!

**Sigh!!** Not sure what to do with this new information... feeling a little crushed!

Monday, August 2, 2010

I Have Succeeded

For as long as I can remember my parents always had people over their house to visit. Friday nights, especially during lent, my parents would cook fish'n chips, and Sunday afternoon would be steaks on the grill.

There would be entertainment too! My father even had his own little group for a while. He would sing, there were a couple of guitarist, and my mom and aunt were the back up singers. And everyone was allowed to bring their talents and join in the fun and do their own performance. It was kind of like an open mic night in the back yard or basement. Sometimes I think my husband fell more in love with all that before he even fell for me!!

My parents didn't have a huge home, and they weren't overly wealthy, but they ALWAYS shared everything they had and did it with gusto!!

Maybe that is why I've always felt the need to be a good hostess? We don't have gatherings the way my parents did, but when we do have people over the house I try to give it my all. Even when it is just my kids friends, I try to make sure everyone feels comfortable and welcomed!

Yesterday my nephew called out of the blue. Him and friend were in the area and he asked, "If we stop in would you be able to hook us up with some home cooked food?" This phone call and visit has made my entire week!!
I feel like my entire existence has been justified and I've succeeded in making my loved ones feel welcome!! Not only did my nephew know he could call me unexpectadly, and bring a friend to my home, but he also knew I would have "home cooked" food!!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

What in God's name is that sound?

Where I grew up was in no way urban. At night you could hear bull frogs down on the pond, and crickets chirping, nothing too exotic.

Now living where we do I've heard some crazy noises at night. Thankfully my outdoors-men husband has been able to educate me on the noises. The past few nights we have been able to sleep with all the windows open allowing for all those sounds to trickle in along with the fresh air.

The newest one being an Easter Screech-Owl. Check out the link and give a listen. And by the way... it isn't as eerie a sound on this web site as it is at 4:00 am in the dark while you are attempting to fall back to sleep. SPOOKY would be the best way to describe it.