24 December 2008

some christmas music for you!

hop on over to the sounds familyre blog to get some free original songs...including one today from me and chris! more to come tomorrow, too... enjoy your christmas eve!

15 December 2008

gifts.

so we've been on the heavy duty receiving end of gift-giving lately. without name dropping, i need to share these miracles.

you see, some things you keep to yourself. like, we are struggling financially in a serious way. mostly, it is just annoying to talk about. but sometimes, its embarrassing, or just not a thought. but i shared this little secret with a friend not too long ago, and the love, generosity and blessing that flowed forth were breath-taking.

i received a box. in it, was a bag of fresh coffee, a book for the family (the tale of despereaux) and a card. i called chris at work to share the message of the card. slid open then envelope, pulled out the card and found another envelope. different handwriting. different friends. two gift cards for trader joe's. in big amounts. i burst into tears. then i see the check. another big amount. very big. big enough to cover our bills this month. and buy the kids christmas gifts. and take us all out for breakfast. and buy our christmas tree. all of this was from a group of friends. people we don't speak with all the time. however, they are all folks who have carried this family through the past couple of years in prayer. and now in very generous gifts. i was so overwhelmed (as was chris). we cried in joy for hours. i shook as i stared at the handwriting. i couldn't move.

then i had to go to work. i don't share secrets often...if ever. but i couldn't hold it in. i shared this special story of god's providence with one of my violin students and his mother. as tears were in her eyes, she was overjoyed to hear of our blessings. she asked me what i wanted santa to bring me. i laughed. how could i even want for anything! all i wanted to do now was buy the kids their gifts. they both have been asking for bikes for a while...so that is what we were going to do. she begged me not to buy stella one - she had a hand-me-down in perfect shape...she'd drop it off on wednesday!

on wednesday, i went into my studio and found a gold box. i thought is was candy. you know, hershey's pot-of-gold or something. nope. i opened it to find a catalog for the local bike shop and a $200 gift certificate. signed, santa. (sorry rachel, but i'm now with francis! hee hee !) i again burst into tears...and went to tell the receptionist. something about this kind of news requires sharing. she was so happy and excited. all she kept asking is "what can i do?" in laughter, i said nothing! i went to the bathroom to clean up my runny eyes and returned to find a big gift basket from her. she had been to an auction that morning and won this in the raffle. two george and martha books and the stuffed animals to go along. now i had a gift for under the tree, she said.

so today, chris and i went to workman's bikes and got stella a "big girl" bike. brand new. schwinn, with a basket, streamers and sparkles. i cannot wait for christmas morning.

all this to say, it's not about the material stuff. AT ALL. in fact, we were fine not having a thing. we are happy to be together. to have god taking care of us all. but we realized that's not all god has for us. he has this body and it works. may we be able to bless others one day, the way our very dear friends have blessed us.

thank you all....from the depths of my heart (and chris' heart. and stella's heart. and eli's dear little heart, too.)

02 December 2008

let it snow!

well, it's not snowing here, but i thought this was pretty neat. create your own snowflake!

(and p.s. the new memory blocks site is up and active...order a block now!)

26 November 2008

give thanks

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." - 1 Chron. 16:34

so thankful today for my family...my husband, whose love overwhelms me; my kids, the sweetest kind of lovelies; wonderful parents, sisters, sisters-and-brothers-in-laws, nephews, and my dear mommom. (she is improving slowly and gaining strength...so thankful)

"Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done." - Psalm 105:1

God has blessed my family in such enormous ways this year. he spared us in many ways, protected, held us close through fierce storms. He continues to love and change us. thanks and praise, quite honestly.

"We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign." - Rev. 11:17

thankful for the kingdom...on earth as it is in heaven.

thankful for my friends, this little blogland here, who have shared with me and prayed for me and inspired me so often. may you have a blessed day, and know how much i love you all!

19 November 2008

update

mommom had more surgery to clean the infected area. upon closer look, the surgeon noticed that during the previous surgery, he had snipped a part of her spine and she was leaking spinal fluid! that is now closed, cleaned and supposedly o.k. the staph infection IS MRSA. she is on the proper antibiotics, and the doctor seems hopeful. i have trust issues with docs, so...i'm praying. i finally was able to talk to her, briefly. she sounded very good. big sigh.

cheryl, lura's mother-in-law, had a very hard morning. internal bleeding - but not sure from where, heart rate dropping too low, not waking up after being taken off sedation, respirators. and then...she woke up! praise God - SERIOUSLY!!! she was to have a cat scan to see where this bleeding is happening and to figure out what caused this. i'm so thankful that chris and lura were able to see her. she wasn't able to speak yet, but i'm hoping to hear more positive news later tonight. she is still very serious (icu), but truthfully...she woke up. that's what we needed to hear.

thank you for praying.

i realized today that while this feels intense, it is just regular life. thinking a certain way about ann krestene's post about christmas...and human nature...and our brokenness. this is what it is. sickness, hurting, finances, trust...and then God. redemption. he provides a way out so that we can stand up under it.

hopefully we'll have lots (more) to be thankful for this time next week. amen.

the times...

are tough...

i was telling rachel how it has been hard for me to post, because things seem too negative and rough to share. funny thing is, they haven't been awful. in fact, i'd say things are going well and getting better.

and then we have bumps in the road. or head on collisions.

i am hoping for some prayer from my blogging friends.
my grandmother had back surgery last week to free some tangled nerves that were debilitating her. after a successful surgery and pain free week in physical therapy, she woke up monday morning with a high fever and a diagnosed staph infection, which, the doctor's say, could be MRSA. she's been transferred to the hospital, of course, and is undergoing lots of tests to find out where the infection is (MRI, blood cultures, etc). please pray for her recovery...healing. she's 86. a widow.

then this morning my mom called me early. mommom is ok, mom is on the way to the hospital to see her and talk to her docs. but my sister, lura, called my mom in tears. her sister-in-law called her to say they found her mother-in-law in bed, unconscious. when the paramedics came, her heart stopped. she's at the hospital now, and i don't have any updates. chris, my brother-in-law, lost his father about 4-5 years ago. he was very young (55?). chris is very sweet and loving. please pray for chris, lura and jonas (their baby boy). please pray for cheryl, his mom, lura's mother-in-law. please pray for chris' brother and sister, his niece and nephews.

sometimes, you just don't know where to begin.

11 November 2008

ok...i'll try...

so i talked briefly with rachel on the phone the other day, then read this post, and said to myself, c'mon...write!

so, it may only be a sentence or two, and it may be mundane and not very inspiring, but i will try my hardest to post more. chris has the camera on tour, so there won't be any new photos, but maybe i'll pull out some old ones.

like this...our october consisted of a very special birthday...stella turning 6...


don't you love the red tutu over the t-shirt and jeans!?! she insisted...and i was thrilled! she wanted a "rainbow-cake-tea-party"...so i made up a rainbow cake!...very fun to mix and bake and play with all that color! all hidden under a real chocolate buttercream...mmmmmm.

then, of course, halloween. we thought we were having a princess leia and luke skywalker, but stella changed her mind the day before (yep) and i whipped up this costume thursday night before friday's trick-or-treat. again, she was SO happy...it is well worth it.
we were accompanied by lilly - the old fashioned lady, and ida - the girl beaver. good times!

so...maybe next time, i'll hit a bit of november...voting, tour, getting ready for the holiday season. see, there are always things to think on, right?

23 September 2008

so what's up??

so...it's tuesday, i know, but i'm getting there. thought i'd share some photos of recent stuff:

eli broke his pinky finger by slamming it in my studio door. of course, he was listening to me telling him to please stop playing peek-a-boo with the door...a sweet little, "ok, mama" was followed by a cry i've never heard out of him and the sight of a purple swollen little finger. a trip to the e.r. resulted in x-rays and a splint. the follow-up visit to the orthopedic doc resulted in this:
thankfully, he is so into spiderman right now, that he thinks he has webs in his cast and shoots them out at everyone. yep...check out the spidey cartoons on netflix...he loved them. wish you could hear him sing the song...every word of it.
we've been spending our saturday mornings (like half of america) on the soccer field. stella has wanted to play for a long time, so we did it.
she is having so much fun being a part of a team...
i love that these photos look like she's all over the ball...truth is, she'd rather share the ball, if you know what i mean!
my mama found this great china set at a yard sale. now we just need some guests for dinner...any takers?
and i'm about to get sewing on some new fall clothes for me and some christmas gifts for the rest out of these books. for those of you interested in japanese craft books, this website offers great help in translating your books and patterns...check it out!
so, in other news...i've been working on getting mickleton music going, but it doesn't seem to be happening. while it's a disappointment in some ways (lots of hard work promoting, marketing, etc.), part of me is relieved...life is busy enough! especially with the school year starting up...we are homeschooling stella this year (her kindergarten year). i think that deserves it's own post. i've realized that folks are either completely supportive or completely opposed to homeschooling. and that has been hard. still trying to find some supportive friends with kids stella's age. hoping our co-op will do that!

and for total randomness (and to entice the nyssen's to get there butts to the east coast), chris and i went to vietnam (restaurant, not country) on saturday and i got my usual, #41, with added crispy spring rolls. we were with megan and jed, and meg showed me a new way to eat the spring rolls...and holy cow!!! THAT good. wrapped the little delicious bites in a lettuce leaf with a sprig of mint, dipped into the sauce - heaven in my mouth. also, went to the bar first and had a french martini. crap. good. need to go again....(c'mon, rach!!!)

anyway...i'm back in a way. slowly, but surely!

18 September 2008

thinking of coming out of hiding

hey there folks. i keep looking at this old blog and the longer i look, the more intimidated i become. so...i am trying to break the ice. i'll be posting again soon. i'll grab some good photos to show off what's been happening in our lives lately, as well as what's inspiring me.

my goal: a good post before sunday!

i'm feeling the need of a challenge...anyone in for a crafty game of sorts? we could make it up as we go (i'm jealous of these virtual quilting bees and such...maybe something similar, but knit?)

anyway...hope to talk to y'all soon.

xoxox

02 August 2008

why i'm away

sorry it's been so long...and it's only gonna be longer.

i'm opening mickleton music, running demo classes and trying to drum up business.
we moved.
to a house.
we've been painting.
packing.
unpacking.
cleaning.
sorting.
organizing.
keeping the kids happy.
and watching an occasional "curb your enthusiasm" episode for down time.

phew.

so...hopefully in a week or so i'll be back in some way! i do keep checking in on all my friends blogs. refreshing!!! have a good week!

01 July 2008

walking towards our dreams

kinda crazy and kinda scary...we're inching our way towards the life we dream of...sometimes we walk, sometimes run straight ahead, other times creep on our knees...this feels like a big ol' jump. we'll see what comes of it...www.mickletonmusic.com

28 June 2008

hello!

wow. it has been a loooooong time, my friends, and, well...a lot has been going on. not all to be revealed quite yet, but soon!

i've been up to a bit of makin' lately. of course, i only have two photos of the same thing to share (tried to grab last minute shots but had a dead battery!) but, it is my favorite thing i've made lately...and wear quite a bit! it is mccall's pattern 5620 and the cover of said pattern is so incredibly cheesy...but i don't think this is at all. in fact, i've gotten more compliments (and inquiries to purchase!) than ever...here she is...


ugh...sorry about the wrinkles. you'd think i'd been wearing it all day...which i had! oh well. you see it in its true form. well loved.

i'll do my very best to get some other photos up asap of my two other favorites: a tunic and a top both made from the same oh-so-popular built by wendy pattern (3835). very comfy. but i do say, all of these make it with the fabric. the styles are way simple. so gotta love great prints. and free fabric. more on that next time (with the photo!)

today was our first day of our csa. i was so excited! we got: 3 pickle cucumbers, 2 bunches of scallions, bok choy, baby bok choy, purslane, green kale, red russian kale, 2 bunches of swiss chard, summer squash (3 zucchini, 1 yellow, 2 8-ball), 2 bunches of leaf lettuce, vegetable amaranth "calilou", a BIG bunch of basil, parsley and dill!!! i already made 2 cups of pesto (1 is frozen for later), an amazing tofu stir fry with the bok choy and scallions, some amazing lime-ginger-soy soup with the kale. planning on pickling all of the cucumbers for my week, enjoying a yummy salad in the next two days, sauteing some of that amaranth and chard (maybe add it to pasta sauce, too)...oh the fun! i get a little too excited, seriously. hope you don't mind the details...i plan on using this to keep track!

ah...so, chris is out with our friend kris k from seattle, so i'm home alone tonight with the kids asleep...i made some cherry crisp to take to our friends tomorrow, and now i think i'll sew. i'm loving new summer dresses.

here is to a fresh start on this summer and this blog! see you soon!

12 May 2008

thinking about the mamas

started mother's day at 5:45 am. chris ran in the race for the cure...
i hung out with my beauties...

called my mama, glad i could...saw too many of these...
wishing all of us mama's years of health, hope, and happiness.

05 May 2008

two years old

day spent at the strasburg railroad with friends and family


he blew out the candles with his girl, milja!
we had a great day...i can't believe he's 2. my boy!!!

23 April 2008

a picture for us...

jonas christopher bare...

lura just sent this out...he is so sweet!! and he nursed today! pray he can come home soon!

21 April 2008

baby bare is here!

at 7:01 am on april 20th, my sister lura gave a very speedy delivery to jonas christopher!

she had back pain for about 24 hours...but no "real" contractions...then she and her hubby go to the birth center (in reading) at 4:30am. 7.5cm dilated! two hours later, they need to head to the hospital...meconium in the waters (yuck...) baby boy delivered at 7:01!!! craaaaazy! i can't imagine things happening so fast!!!!

why no photos, you ask? well, our little guy is currently in nicu, so please pray. he is ok...just a "foggy" lung and in need of some oxygen and antibiotics. (he inhaled some of the yucky stuff) but i can't imagine not being able to hold my baby! hopefully, today chris and lura will get to hold their big boy (8lbs. 10oz! 21" long!!) and nurse the little guy!!! i am so happy for my sister...she is so caring and kind...and a woman after god's own heart! baby jonas is headed for a wonderful home!!!

congratulations, chris and lura! i love you so very much!

10 April 2008

10 x 10

{i'm hi-jacking the 10 on 10 project via ann-krestene and jen. enjoy!}


10am::


11am::


12pm::


1pm::


2pm::

3pm::


4pm::


5pm::


6pm::


7pm::

27 March 2008

happy belated easter

::eggs decorated::

::sugar rush hitting hard::

::fever hitting 102.5::

::cake hitting the freezer to be eaten this weekend, when we will actually celebrate easter...::

*photos taken on a trial run lumix....to be returned tomorrow to purchase the D80...woo hoo!

18 March 2008

camera craze

ohhhhh boy!

do not give me options. i will ponder and ponder and ponder...and then just sit and think about it....and then look more things up....and then compare....and then freak out....and then go back to the original plan....and then wonder if i did the wrong thing....and then look again....and then go back to the original plan again....and stick to it.

so...i originally wanted a nikon d80. but then chris showed me these leica's. reeeeaaaalllly nice, but pricey and not exactly what i want. to get a leica that does what i want (but at a way more professional level and price $5500!) i'd have to get the m8. and no way. so then i thought, oh forget it, just get another crappy point and shoot. but no! that's not what i want! so i searched and searched flickr. (you may not want to do this if you are at all indecisive like me!) so...after way too many long hours spent on this topic, last night i decided...i will get the d80. and maybe even this week! (don't hold me to it!) i got to play with my sisters d70x on sunday at her baby shower and loved it. (as does chris...some of his flickr photos are done on that exact camera). so...i'm so excited and can't wait to share!

on a different note, some craftiness has been happening in between camera obsession. i knit a variation of elizabeth zimmermann's february baby sweater from knitter's almanac for baby bare. it was done in koigu's kersti merino crepe. a variegated dk weight yarn that knit up looks like camo! two cute beads for buttons at the neck. photos to come (they are still on lura's d70x!) stella colored some cute bird pictures that we ironed on to onesies for the babe, too. VERY cute! (again, on the camera!) so...hopefully the blogging will resume shortly with some colorful additions.


we'll see. i just might change my mind again!

29 February 2008

thoughts

not much to write lately...so just things in my brain.


the path to wisdom is one of trial and error. and lots of prayer.

even my best effort requires repentance.

god is like a mother hen gathering her chicks...glad i'm a chick.

loving this verse:

Psalm 131:2 - But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me.

praying for a peaceful weekend for all of us.

xo

25 February 2008

the martha experience

wow. so it's been a loooooong time, heh?

well...let's just say things have been fun and wild here in nj. last wednesday was the taping of the handknits show on martha. what a fun day...here goes:

woke up early early and baked some trader joe's chocolate filled croissants. yum. these things are fabulous! you buy them frozen, leave them out overnight to proof (they get huge!) and bake for 25 minutes. pure heaven. and fun for a bus ride to nyc (accompanied by a very big latte).

so the bus trip was great...mom, loren and i had fun chatting the time away (a mere 1 hour 40 minutes...not so bad) and wondering why we don't do this more often!?! we arrived with plenty of time to spare, so we thought we'd walk the mile or so down to chelsea studios...the wind said no! it was fuh-reeeeeezing. so, we taxi-cabbed it. fun and cheap enough to do 2 more times that day! when we got in, our nerves were crazy. what the heck? this was supposed to be so fun and all of a sudden, there we were surrounded by handknitters/crocheters and feeling very strange. the producers were walking around checking out what we brought and it felt very judgey...some "uh-huh's" "nice" and "oh, that's cute" left you wondering what the heck are they thinking? a little girl next to me had handknit and designed the most adorable doll which barely got a blink. and who did they choose to sit in the front row and talk to martha??? this horrible sweater. sorry but seriously. the lady called it her tribute to sergeant pepper's...the three of us agreed...michael jackson, beat it! AWFUL. tacky. too big. ugly. and i'm not trying to be mean. we wondered if the producers were making fun of her and putting martha on the spot?? maybe. watch today and see!

all in all though, it was great. the set is so fun to see and the people working there seem to have fun. we got a free book! love it! and stella is so excited to make some toys!

we then taxied down to soho to go to purl and purl patchwork. yum. much love there. i could spend a small fortune at those stores. we then ate three delicious steaks to fill our aching bellies before heading home on the bus in the snow. we were zonked...and happy!

so...anyway, it was an experience...and overall, and enjoyable one.

in even more exciting news...a better blog is on it's way...say, this weekend? keep your eyes out for a more enjoyable view, if you know what i mean!!! (hmm hmm camera hmm hmm) yep...chris did some searching around and after viewing lots of camera options, i think we decided...but since it's not purchased yet, i'll wait on the reveal until it's in my hands! yippee!

then...i can show the finished hourglass sweater that is already getting too much wear! the camo baby sweater for baby bare! and more more more! can't wait...anyway, thanks for the blog patience...and hope to see you soon! xo

07 February 2008

catching my breath

wowzers.

we hibernated last week due to a nasty virus infestation. stella and eli had it bad, up all night for about 4 nights coughing like crazy. broke out the nebulizer again. i have a love hate relationship with that thing. freaks me out, but it works...so i don't know. we all camped in the living room...it was the only way we got any rest. stella had to sleep almost completely upright, so she was on the couch. i pulled her mattress onto the floor where i crashed and had eli by my side, all propped up on pillows. not fun. and quite exhausting. glad they are better now...

in the meantime, i had delusions of glorious hours of knitting as they napped away their illness, but no. i barely got anything done! but i'm back at it now. the hourglass body is finished and i'm halfway done sleeve #1. looking good (might still be a bit baggy, even with doing the smaller size!...oh well. it'll be cozy) i panicked about the bagginess one night and had to set it aside. so i cast on elizabeth zimmerman's february baby sweater. so cute and easy. i can't give details because the recipient reads this! wink wink lura. i got some hours to myself on sunday (thanks chris) so that i could hit the yarn store again (what a problem!)...they were having a great sale! 30% off ALL yarns. i got some nice merino for more baby items and some luscious malabrigo for a sweater for stella and an aran for me. i'm going to try to design it myself! this may not happen for a while...but the stash is now sufficiently overflowing with goodness. also got some great sock yarn...i still never knit socks! gotta try it.

so...my pay it forward friends, your gifts are now planned and hopefully will be completed by the end of the month. i'll keep you posted!

hope to be back into blogging mode now...see you soon!

31 January 2008

some photos

taking from rachel, but not so "artsy"...some phone-photos:
first, stella's self portraits...love those lips!




and hourglass progress...


***dangit...i don't know how to make them bigger. rachel? any advice?

28 January 2008

HOLY CRAP! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!


I AM GOING TO SEE MARTHA LIVE ON FEBRUARY 20TH!!!

oh my good gracious! i'm so excited! it is a live show all about handknits!

i'll be 35 two days later...and my momma (who's coming with me!) will be 60 four days later! i'll also be bringing my good friend loren (because we watch martha together AND craft together AND i love her!)

so watch martha on february 20th and maybe you'll see my ecstatic little face!!!

WOOHOO!!!

27 January 2008

links to really nice things

no thoughts, no photos to share...so go see some nice stuff:

simply breakfast via soulemama
great valentines idea via shim and sons
cute lavendar baby sachet tutorial at molly chicken
reallllllly good knitting
angry chicken's email order #8. yes, i bought mine, haven't done it. go on, buy your own and beat me to it. rachel...this is SO up your alley! go buy it here.
papercraftworld and these great japanese paper house pdfs found here
great secret message soap making idea (for kids) at whip up
my hubby's photos
ok...that's all for now. i just got distracted looking at all the hourglass sweater photos on flickr. lots. i'm finished the bottom hem (again). off to knit.

22 January 2008

knitting know-how

so...it's decided. i'm "frogging" (whatever...i keep reading this word and feel the need to incorporate it into my knitting vocab. means: to take the whole darn thing apart) what i've knit so far into my hourglass sweater to begin again in the 33" size. here's how i came to my conclusion.

1. comments from ann and jen helped a ton.
2. read a ton on ravelry (it's worth the waitlist if you knit/crochet...sign up!)
3. read in elizabeth zimmermann's book about how to figure the best fit. she says pick out your favorite sweater and measure it. ignore your own measurements. i did it. i got 34".
4. posted a comment on this blog post and got my definitive answer. Last Minute Knitted Gifts is written by Joelle Hoverson, owner of Purl, a great fabric/yarn store. she answered me directly and sid to go for the 33 unless i wanted a very roomy sweater. i don't. so a-frogging i will go and restart on the 33" size. meaning i will probably have some noro cash iroha left over...hmm. thinky thinky.

so thanks for all the help here...i'll be restarting today and will let you know of the progress.

oh, and i did request tickets for the martha stewart show on handknitting...fingers crossed, i'll go for my birthday wearing my hourglass sweater!!!

by the way, unrelated...did you see rachel's post on her tutorial for heat therapy bags for those who don't sew. genius and beautiful, written in rachel's signature, humorously honest way. go read it.

****edited to reflect ann-krestene's REAL blog address...oops! thanks, rachel!

19 January 2008

knitting nerves

so i cast on the hourglass sweater in my beautiful noro cash iroha (color 22: garnet!)on friday night. i can tell you i cast on about 5 times...to do a regular cast-on, or do provisional so as to have live stitches to knit the hem with? i tried and didn't like my gauge, so i went back to a basic cast on edge that i picked up later! i was amazed at how this yarn comes to life when knitted. i finished off my first hank this evening and joined #2. i'm very excited...and nervous. the pattern gives finished measurements...and the one we'll deal with is chest circumference. the given sizes are 33, 37, etc. (because those are the 2 i'm dealing with). problem: sorry if too personal ;), my "chest circumference is 33.5...so can't do the 33, right...but the 37 seems like a lot of ease. AND i read that the cash iroha grows with blocking. oh no...what to do. i am thinking that i may not do the full increases for the chest circumference and do a bit of an in-betweeny thing? anyone have any suggestions? i cast on the full amount of stitches for the 37 size, hemmed it as i went and it looks great. the silk/cashmere/wool blend is so amazing...little lumps of cashmere here and there with the shine of the silk...oooooh. i have only done two of the decrease rows so far and have one more to go (so really, time to think before increasing!) i'd love your thoughts!!! i love knitting and hate the guess work (that could easily be a general statement across the board for me!) i want things to go exactly as they should! so...to stick to the pattern or stray??? let me know...

15 January 2008

school day

while eli naps and the girls play with colorforms, i thought i'd drop a little note telling you of our day. i wish to GOD that i had a camera, because these girls are so DARLING! i mean, seriously now!

the day started with our "circle" if you can call it that. eli knows the start of a school day means we sit together in the living room and sing...twinkle, twinkle little star (eli and ida's favorite) and today stella added her twist from her violin group class. a kind-of pre-solfege thing...sing and touch head to toe (or toe to head, actually):

toes toes (twinkle) head head (twinkle) air air (little) head (star)
shoulder shoulder (how i) waist waist (wonder) knees knees (what you) toes (are)

i think you can figure the rest. absolutely hilarious and fun for some reason.

next we had our "lesson" which i though was going to be a bit too tricky...and i DID underestimate these kiddos! i decided to talk about vowels and how they are a special family of letters that we need to spell all words. so i wrote them out
Aa Ee Ii Oo Uu
we made all the sounds...more fun...
then we wrote them in our books...
then we wrote our "spelling words" i thought...yeah right! they totally read each word with no problem!!!
Cat
Pen
Sit
Hot
Fun
they wrote each word five times in their books. loved it, too!
then i wrote the words out again on a paper with their names and they had to circle the vowels...perfect!
onto lunch...quickly scarfed down so we could go outside for a walk. it is freezing cold (not as cold as seattle!) bu cold enough for flurries. we walked the block and then hit their favorite backyard tree to build another beaver dam. after an hour of this (yeah, i know! i was freezing!) we went in for hot chocolate. eli crashed and now colorforms. we might read some stories before the end of our day...but all in all...a fun and educational day. for all of us!

12 January 2008

what's knitting

well finally!

i went to my local yarn store and usedup my gift certificate!! i'll be knitting myself a sweater! yippee!! i'm doing the hourglass sweater from last minute knitted gifts. its nice and simple, good for everyday kind of stuff. i actually bought the exact yarn called for (in a different shade though...)i never do that. i ALWAYS substitute and rearrange stuff...not this time! i'm so excited! hope to wind some of those hanks today on my nifty new ball winder! i'll keep you posted - i have two "deadlines" in mind for myself...the first one being two weeks away (recitals at my school), but i think that might be pushing it...so the back up deadline is my birthday! i think that is TOTALLY feasible.

more knitterly news...i also recently got a copy of elizabeth zimmerman's knitter's almanac: projects for each month of the year...love this lady's writing! and she is all about figuring out your own knitting with really helpful construction "rules". i'm planning some things for the year out of there, but must focus on my hourglass sweater first! i did really want to share a segment of e.z.'s writing with you though. i know christmas is over, but this sums up some of my feelings on it. found on the december project's writing, page 129:

Is an exciting new improved Christmas every year really necessary? Is it in the spirit of the Solstice? The human heart hankers after stability and tradition. The feeling and atmosphere of Christmases past, the anticipation of those to come, and the magic presence of Christmas now should all blend and blur, to give the distraught soul something to hang on to in a year bedevilled by new improved machines, soaps, music, spectator sports and recipes, many of which will prove to be dull, destructive, and sometimes downright damnable. Let us try to keep at least Christmas the way it has been for generations, and infiltrate novelty delicately and with caution. As a good start why not try to abide by the comforting tradition of handmade and homemade presents?

smart woman. great knitter. maybe it will rub off on me!!

here's to good knitting this weekend!

p.s. i also bought yarn for a secret project...hmmmm wonder what it is???

09 January 2008

oh boy

this post was meant to go up on monday and didn't. then last night i was just too tired...so here it is, wednesday. you are due 2 posts...i'll try for tomorrow and friday(i have ideas, just no time in front of this dang computer! just things like what i'm working on (knitting projects) and figuring out womanhood/feminism/christianity/life... not bad or very big deals, eh? yeah, we'll see how this week goes)


anyway...my boy...loves trucks. bulldozers. trains. busses. things that go. he also loves animals. like baas, moos, oof-oofs, mows, errrrs, hisssses, vvvrrrmmmphs, you know (translation: sheep, cows, dogs, cats, lions, snakes, elephants) he also loves to be crazy...run fast, bang into things (like the chairs or my legs) and jump into the air and land flat on his bottom. it HAS to hurt, even in a diaper. he pile-drives his stuffed toys, or tackles his dada, whoever is available. and all of this, i'm told, is "what boys do." i'm ok with it, i think.

my problem lies in encouraging rough-housing, funny-like-violence, and the like. i may sound dramatic, or may be acting in such a way, but my boy will not be a wild, roughneck. he can be all boy while being sensitive to others, careful about his and others bodies, respectful to his and others belongings, etc...you know?? i'm just trying to figure out how you balance this stuff. so many folks we see around think his "wild child" behaviour is funny (which, i gotta say, it is!) and that he really IS sweet (no mean intentions, not trying purposefully to hurt anyone or anything). i just want to be sure to encourage the right things. and i think i WILL figure it out, or i AM. he is so loving...

i had to work tonight, so when i got home, the kids were asleep. but i had to slip eli's jammies on and he woke up briefly. as soon as he opened his eyes he smiled and said "mama!" then excitedly told me about his evening with dada..."mamie! boppa! eya! dada!" i ask, did you see grammy and boppa with stella and dada? he says, "uh-huh!" with a big nod. did you have fun? "uh-huh!" did you go outside? "uh-huh! mamie! boppa!" do you love your grammy and boppa? "uh-huh! nigh-nigh, mama!" do you want to nurse and go nigh-nights with mama? "uh-huh!" and his head hit the pillow. he nursed briefly and was sound asleep. my boy...

05 January 2008

woops...its not friday

so i had one of those things happen where a day comes and goes without me noticing. i had no idea yesterday was friday! until bedtime that is...but still a whole day without that realization? geez! i did do some things...picked up a small project (out of my stash no less!)
i'm just about done a small neck-kerchief thingy from the last minute knitted gifts book in o-wool's balance (color: brick).

lovin' it. and i'm loving that i have two official signer uppers for the pay it forward thing. so erin and jen, please email me your home addresses! yahoo!

oh...so today IS saturday and i am going in a few hours with stella and nana to see disney's high school musical: the ice tour. stella is so stinkin' excited (singing those songs constantly) and i'm...ok about it. i have mixed feeling on the movie. i think it is over stella's head and she shouldn't be watching it, but it is also so sugary and benign...what the heck. it'll fade out eventually too, right??

so...backk to the neckerchief. i want to wear it today! maybe mom will have her camera with her and i can grab a snappy of it! i hope you all have a great weekend!

p.s. there is still room for one more to pay it forward!

02 January 2008

resolutions

i normally don't make new year's resolutions, but a midnight promise to a friend has sent me thinkin'...and now to a-doin'! thanks, jon! his may not be a crafty blog and i may not understand half (or more) of what is written, but we've decided we need to do this more, take advantage of what is available to us. so we are going to try to blog on mondays, wednesdays and fridays. that way it happens...and maybe i'll be a bit more organized! ha!

so here it is, wednesday...and uh, not sure what to say! i'm out of practice and tired of feeling all glum about the new year! i have to say, the comments i received from my sad new year's post really gave me some warmth and love! thank you thank you! especially the strangers i've never met or new were reading! how wonderful to get such encouragement!

i am thinking for this new endeavor to kind of blog thematically (maybe)...like mondays will be family, wednesdays: craftiness, fridays: free-for-all. we'll see.
i'm hoping to acquire a new camera, but it may need to wait until my birthday (february!), so pics may be few and far between...but hang in there! (i know it's a bit boring without them!)

so, for craftiness...i already purchased some sale christmas fabrics from superbuzzy for next years gifts...i'm going to TRY to get some done WAY ahead of time. i also ordered a book (from a giftcard!) that i plan on using ALOT! i'm going to get the new yarn for said project this week (with another giftcard to my favorite local shop!) so the new year's looking full of making and doing. some for me and more for others!

speaking of others... remember that post a while back about paying it forward??? well none of you signed up!!! i won't call you lame-o's for not wanting to do it (wink wink) but want to offer it up again. i may even have to say, i'll just do the paying it forward, and you can decide for yourselves to do or not to do...but then i'd be breaking the rules!!! so c'mon!!! let's pay it forward a bit. i'm ready to send some great goodies to 3 signer-uppers.

alrighty...thanks for the support and friendship. back to work today girls...

xoxo see you friday!