Thursday, December 31, 2009
Been sewing-coffee cozies, orders for a couple of coffee shops.
Purging and inventorying my yarn.
I spent all day yesterday winding partial skeins of yarn with my winder.
I tried to separate the partials by color and type and put them in Ziplocks. Originally all that yarn was stuffed into a couple of big trash cans, so at least now I can see what I have, and when I buy new yarn I can put it into the shelves right away.
And....started the first of next years' Christmas gifts. Now if I can resist giving it sooner!
The beauty of the cleaning session is that I found out I don't have a particular color for a pair of promised mittens, so I have to go yarn shopping!
Saturday, December 26, 2009
From left to right-bottoms for Isaac and Chris, a Barbie print for Gracie, "88" Dale Earnhart Jr. for Sydney, and a car print to match Sam's hair color.
I had these cute car buttons in my stash and they worked nicely for Sam's pajamas.
Sam's mom said he had remarked this morning that he hoped Gramma had made him a new set of pajamas, so he was out of his mind when he opened them.
We had our gift exchange with our kids today, complete with pizza and beer for lunch. It was a fun way to do it. Jim and Millie wanted to try staying home for Christmas day, so we did the gift thing a day later. They loved being home, so I think this will be a permanent arrangement. We had one son and his family for dinner yesterday, plus my brother and his two daughters. We still had a lot of fun, even though it was a bit quieter and everybody had gone home by 6:00. It was OK, I don't know if I would have been able to stay coherent much after that.
Tomorrow we'll do the get-together with Stan's family. There will be about 30 people-a lot but not all of them-and we'll eat, play games, and open a few presents. Most of the presents will be homemade-I crocheted Swiffer covers for each couple and Stan made applesauce and crabapple jelly to go with it.
I told our kids today that we should revamp how we do gifts. My suggestion was something homemade, a voucher for chores, or food gifts. We're all pretty much set for "stuff" and making gifts seems more loving and sacrificial to me. So far my favorite gift is one Millie made-a calendar with pictures of all their kids. It looks like those slick calendars you see in the mall kiosks, but much more personal and something that won't ever get tossed.
Hubs gave me the Rosetta Stone, Spanish edition. Now maybe when I go to Mexico I won't look like an idiot.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
This last candle represents the birth of Christ. Let's always remember why He came to Earth.
" 8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14'Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.'"Luke 2:8-14
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16
MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!
Monday, December 21, 2009
The header picture I was using was from two years ago. Sam was 2, Grace 3, Isaac and Chris 12. Now Isaac has grown a mile, Chris is bigger than Santa and the wee ones have turned into school-aged kids. Boy, I feel old! Santa doesn't look like he's changed, has he?
Sunday, December 20, 2009
"1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.
3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
6There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. 7He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. 8He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.
10He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.
14The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:1-14
Sooo-check back soon and see what I've decided to put up for a prize. Anybody have a request from the pictures of some of my stuff?
Saturday, December 19, 2009
That was Jimmy's way of dealing with things that go wrong. Well, he's right-it all worked out in the end. He's up in heaven harassing my mom and his mom, teasing them about how much they talk. When Mom died, he told me, "Well now the two crows are sitting on the porch, knitting, drinking coffee, and talking a mile a minute!"
Now he's on the porch, too.
Friday, December 18, 2009
In my mom's family we had 11 cousins, two are gone now-my brother in 1977, and now Jimmy, both in auto accidents. We lost Mom that way too-I think our family should stay out of cars-my youngest had a bad accident, too, but he miraculously recovered.
I'll always love ya, Jimmy!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
She's a broad-shouldered kid, Sam is too. She really fills out the shoulders of the dress. I couldn't have made the dress fit any better. Whew!
Monday, December 14, 2009
Gracie picked out the fabrics herself-I think she did a great job.
The top is red crushed panne' velour, the skirt is plaid taffeta. It kind of came out pinkish, but it's really Christmas red.
The pattern didn't call for the ties or the band around the bodice, but I thought they added a nice finish to the dress. The picture kind of looks more adult sized but believe me it's only a 5. I did add a little length to the skirt, Gracie is growing like a bad weed and it would be nice if she could wear it more than a couple of times. The skirt is also a lot fuller than it looks in the picture. I had to gather a bunch of that ravelly taffeta! Because it was velour, I didn't want to put a zipper or keyhole in the neck, so I made the neck a bit lower and bound it. I also made the waist larger and zigzagged a bit of elastic, just in the back waist seam. I might get a picture of the dress with the girl in it-if I do I'll post it.
She has pretty fine hair, so last year I covered a plastic headband and hot glued a flower on it. That way Mommy wouldn't have to fuss with the hair too much. We decided this year could be the same, so this is what I came up with:
I found an already-covered headband in just the right color at Kmart. All I had to do was hot glue the fabric flower on.
Sydney's Kindergarten program was this morning. Oh how cute those little tykes are! I don't think it's Christmas without a kids' program. When our three youngest outgrow the program age, I don't know what I'll do!
Saturday, December 12, 2009
"The people that walked in darkness, have seen a great light: to them that dwelt in the region of the shadow of death, light is risen.
For a CHILD IS BORN to us, and a son is given to us, and the government is upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace. His empire shall be multiplied, and there shall be no end of peace: he shall sit upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom; to establish it and strengthen it with judgment and with justice, from henceforth and for ever: the zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.
The voice of one crying in the desert: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the wilderness the paths of our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough ways plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh together shall see, that the mouth of the Lord hath spoken.
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, and that preacheth peace: of him that sheweth forth good, that preacheth salvation, that saith to Sion: Thy God shall reign!
Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel. He shall eat butter and honey, that he may know to refuse the evil, and to choose the good." Isaiah 9:2, 6-7, 40:3-5, 52:7, 7:14-15
Friday, December 11, 2009
He started at the local school library right after school let out, and at 5:00 he was escorted downtown to the local bank by the fire department. There the kids lined up for pictures with the big guy and to give him their requests. Every year the bank takes the pictures, prints them right there, puts them in a nice framed card, and gives them to the families free. What a nice service to the community!
The planners were happy with the turnout since the daily lows were -25 F up until last night when it warmed up to +4. I figure people were tired of being cooped up so they bundled up and came out. This is always a nice way to start the Christmas countdown.
Any guesses on who Santa was?
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Jim was a teaser, a jokester, a lively guy full of fun. He was too young-not even 65 years old. I think the thing that bothers me the most is that the way he died must have been so cold and lonely-his last hours were not surrounded by his loved ones, but on the ground with his house in view. No one even knew he was out there.
Pray for Jim's wife Jan and his kids: Jenny, Robert, Eric, and John; as well as a bunch of grandkids.
Jimmy, you'll be missed.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
"1 A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
2 The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of power,
the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD -
3 and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;
4 but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
5 Righteousness will be his belt
and faithfulness the sash around his waist.
6 The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling [a] together;
and a little child will lead them.
7 The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8 The infant will play near the hole of the cobra,
and the young child put his hand into the viper's nest.
9 They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD
as the waters cover the sea.
10 In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious. 11 In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the remnant that is left of his people from Assyria, from Lower Egypt, from Upper Egypt, [b] from Cush, [c] from Elam, from Babylonia, [d] from Hamath and from the islands of the sea." Isaiah 11: 1-10
My hubby the Real Santa Claus, has started his yearly visits. From now until Christmas Eve, he will make numerous visits, some to day cares and schools, some to church groups, some just to individual houses. His favorite is the house visits. Nothing compares to walking into a house and seeing the astonished faces and hearing the cries of glee that, "Santa thinks I'm special enough to get an early visit!" He takes every child on his lap, listens to their list, and gives them a bag of candy, then disappears into the night.
Some of his visits are heart-breaking. He's visited child cancer victims, victims of house fires, children with nothing. Usually, if he comes across a needy family, he connects them with a group that can give them a leg up. We've been known to dig in our own pockets sometimes, just so some kids can have Christmas. A quick trip to the discount store can turn into happiness for a child that might not have a Christmas. It doesn't take much.
He doesn't discriminate-some families are poor, some are wealthy. Santa loves them all (just like Jesus). I'll never forget the year we got an anonymous $100 gift certificate to a swanky restaurant. We never did find out for sure who did that, but that was the year he went to the home of a couple who were both physicians, so we kind of think that's where it came from. The Manhattan Fire Department always gives us a check to help cover expenses, but most of it comes out of our own pockets. Usually, the people who can afford it give Santa a bit of money and the businesses pay him, of course, so we always come out even if not a bit ahead. He never asks for payment, but says that whatever they want to give to cover expenses is just fine, if they can afford it. Usually we reap the benefits of his visits in the form of a steakhouse gift certificate or two and that's enough-it adds just the right amount of specialness to an already special time.
His treat bag consists of peanuts, gummy bears, M & M's, a candy cane and an apple. The first thing the kids usually eat is the apple, believe it or not!
He's been asked several times to be a Santa at the local mall, but turns that down. He wants his visits to be special and tries to limit the number of "commercial" visits he does. He is such a perfect Santa that people urge him to go to New York to be a Santa at someplace like Macy's, but he just says, "No, I'd miss my 'kids' too much."
He's on his second suit-I've made both of them. I made the last one last year-what a messy job with all that fur!
He's been doing this since about 1986, when someone asked him to be Santa for the Belgrade Christmas stroll, since he had "the look." Back then he had to spray white coloring on his beard, but age took care of that, and he is totally natural now.
I'm so proud of what he does-isn't this what Christmas is really all about?
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Today is the first Sunday in advent. We light the first candle, the candle of Hope. We are waiting and hoping for Christ's appearance.
"In the beginning was the Word: and the Word was with God: and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him: and without him was made nothing that was made. In him was life: and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness: and the darkness did not comprehend it. " John 1:1-5
Come quickly Lord Jesus.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Cousins laughed and played UNO.
I brought the requisite "Marty" Roca.
My sister-in-law brought her candy popcorn, neither one of us were allowed in without these traditional treats.
And "bestest" cousins ate and played board games.
When asked what the best part of Thanksgiving was, Sam (on the right) said, "The banana pie!"
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
The past couple of days I've been thinking about how I've been blessed and all the things I'm thankful for, so I decided to share my list. It's far from complete, but some of the things that have been on my mind lately.
First, I'm grateful for modern medicine. My father-in-law had a bad back, bad heart, and colon cancer that contributed to his early demise. He had his first heart attack at the age of 39 and was never in really good health after that. Stan has inherited all those traits. But-we have wonderful cardiologists that can insert a stent in minutes or totally rebuild a heart in a matter of hours. There are superb back surgeons (we have one of Montana's best right here in Bozeman) that can relieve a person of much of the debilitating numbness and pain from bad discs. We also have that diagnostic tool-the colonoscopy-that can see cancers and even little polyps BEFORE they become cancers. So I am grateful that there are ways to keep my hubby healthy and strong way longer than his ancestors ever dreamed.
I am grateful for my kids and my grandkids. They keep me grounded, they challenge me, teach me things like patience and what's hip, and they've even gotten me interested in football. I'm especially grateful that Gracie is healthy and strong, and that even though we weren't sure she would even survive the first weeks of her life, she is a perfectly normal, smart kid.
I am grateful for my relatives and in-laws, even though the word "dysfunction" can come into play once in a while. Even while we bicker and tease, we love each other and love BEING together.
I am grateful that my mother-in-law is healthy at the age of 93. I am grateful that she can still spoil her great-grandkids just like she spoiled her grandkids. She wonders sometimes while she's still on this earth, but I can't imagine life without her.
I am grateful for all my Internet friends. I have regular contact with people all over the world-what a blessing. I love that we are all alike, even though we are different.
I am grateful for my local friends, especially Diane and Jan. We all seem to have a sixth sense about when we are needed, and will be at the coffee shop waiting when someone feels it necessary to talk. We can also be apart if that is what's needed at the time.
I am grateful for the women who make my sons' lives complete. Three sons with different needs and different personalites, with partners who fit those needs. I appreciate the fun times we have as "the girls."
I am grateful for what I have materially, and that I have more than I will ever need. We're not rich, but we have been provided for and are abundantly wealthy with God's love and blessings.
I am, most of all, grateful that we have a loving God, and no matter how rebellious we are, or how bad things get, He's always there loving us, enough to give His Son for us.
Have a blessed Thanksgiving-I hope all of you have a wonderful day and live lives of gratitude in whatever circumstances He has placed you.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Anyway it will feel weird, but it'll be nice anyway. Maybe there will be a change in how we do Christmas day, too. We are getting older, and at some point the center of the celebration is bound to shift. One other son will be here, and possibly our good friends Wayne and Connie. My sister for sure, and who knows who else will be here-my door is open. Our house isn't that huge, so maybe we can all fit around one table. We'll still miss them but life just has to change sometimes.
We have never spent Christmas day with Stan's family, because back then I had to give equal time to my family. My mom's gone now, and I'm the old person so I foresee that soon we will be the ones packing up the pumpkin pies and taking them to someone else's house. Not yet-there are others in the family that still count on coming here, but there will come a day.
In the meantime, we have Thanksgiving, and that is an affair to remember! We rent a local Senior Center, show up around noon, mash our potatoes, make our gravy, and carve the turkey. The rest show up, usually between 25 and 50, and we dive into the biggest feeding frenzy you have ever seen! Anyone is invited-we have in-laws and outlaws and the occasional stranger at our door, who usually come back the next years simply because it was such a memorable celebration.
There are traditions involved. I have to bring my homemade Almond Roca. I am not allowed into the building without it! My sister-in-law has to make her heavenly popcorn balls, which she started making the first year she was married and couldn't afford a lot of fancy ingredients for fancy desserts. Stan usually makes the rolls-we're probably neck in neck as to who makes the best ones. Understand that most of these people are fabulous cooks, and many of them have made their living doing that.
After dinner and clean-up, we bring out the games and snacks, including the candy and popcorn balls. Along about 6:00 my mother-in-law will wonder if anyone is hungry. Of course not, but we get food anyway. We heat up the gravy and cut the turkey up into it. We serve it over the rolls, with a big slice of onion, a term commonly known in Stan's family as "turkey buns." THEN we eat the pie we were too full to eat earlier, and look over all the Black Friday ads to decide if we will be alert enough to go shopping the next day. I am cooking a 23 pound turkey, and my sister-in-law is doing the same, and my mother-in-law was worrrying that there wouldn't be enough food. I HAD to say it, "Gram, when have we EVER run out of food?"
I love to cook, so I do look forward to the holidays, stocking up on fancy candies and other treats. It's nice to have a plateful of goodies to give to someone at the last minute. It's also nice to be appreciated for what I do. Well, the holidays are almost here, so away we go!!!!!!!
Thursday, November 12, 2009
We got our snow today-in some areas of the county they got three feet. Here in Manhattan, we get much less-probably about 5". It was beautiful, but what a headache. My daughter-in-law works at the University. It took her 45 minutes to park this morning, after getting stuck three times. She was in a 2 hour zone, so she went out to move her car after 2 hours and got stuck again. She went into her office, got her work and went home to work for the day. That was on top of having a bad cold!
I have been sewing, just not blogging about it much. I'm making a black cardigan out of a nice interlock-kind of a wardrobe stretcher, and I have all the grandkids' PJs cut out:
Now to work through that pile.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
I kind of got off the subject. Here are the two garments I just finished:
The pants that were the reason for the meltdown only had the flowers on one leg, but I'm the kind of person that likes symmetry, so the new pants got it in both legs:
The desgn I put on the jumper-in the center, of course:
I also finished Sam's hat and mittens. I used a camo colored knitting worsted with a sport weight yarn as the second thread. They went together nicely. I'm working on Isaac's mittens right now, then will do Sydney's. I'm getting a little tired of mittens, but all the grandkids will have warm hands this winter.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
So off to Jo-Ann's we go. I found the tan corduroy, but I also found another piece that Gracie liked. This one is a soft gray with tiny purple and burgundy flowers already embroidered on it. It came home with me too-I took what what left on the bolt. That meant that I could cut out a jumper for the girl as well.
I spent a bit of time looking for a burgundy or purple turtleneck with coordinating tights, but gave up and just gave them to her. I made a point of telling her that the pants and jumper were not made to wear together! She is really into layers and Mom has to monitor what she wears to school.
I also made her a pair of mittens and a hat. She got a new winter coat and snowpants that are chocolate brown and pink, so I made the hat and mittens to match.
I'm working on the other kids' hats and mittens, and I have Gracies pants embroidered, so hopefully soon I can blog about the rest of my current projects.
Update: Mommy just took this mobile picture of the girl in her jumper. Gotta love technology!
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Steve has always had a bunch of friends. In fact, the kids he went to school with are still really good friends. When one of their group lost his wife recently, Steve was right there to give Jody comfort and keeps showing up just to make sure he's OK.
He's a super dad, not only to his son, but to his stepson Danny.
He's always been kind of stubborn, but it has actually served him well all these years. He likes to have fun, but didn't go beyond a certain point in that fun. He didn't do anything he didn't want to do. That list may have been more comprehensive than Mom would have liked, but he came out fine on the other end. He's always been the one that tested us, and stretched our ideas and beliefs. The phrase, "unconditional love" came into our minds many times during the teen years.
Steve, we're so glad we didn't stop at two kids, even if we were trying for a girl. Not a bit sorry that you're a boy now.
Happy birthday son!
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Stan took some of his boys fishing today. Those boys took three of their boys-Isaac, Sam and Sydney. Sydney caught his first fish-a real nice trout, about 2 1/2 or 3 pounds. That trout is almost as big as Syd is. There's fish for dinner at their house tomorrow!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Hope to see you again soon, Jenn, maybe you could teach Millie and me how to scrapbook. Or just get together for a gab fest.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Materials & equipment:
4-ply acrylic yarn-about three or four ounces. Use the bargain bin cheap stuff-static is a good thing with these dusters. This is a great stash buster. You can use one color or have a different color for the loopy part and the base part.
Size H crochet hook (gauge isn't important)
For base, chain 21.
Round 1. Do 3 sc in 2nd chain from hook. Sc across to last chain, 3 sc in last chain. Do not turn.
Rotate work and do 3 sc in the other side of the last chain. Sc down second side and 3 sc in the other side of the first chain you did the 3 sc in. Join to the first chain with a slip stitch.
Round 2. Chain 2 and start dc around, making dc ONLY in the back loop of the stitch, and making 3 dc's in the center sc in the 3 sc in the previous row. This forms the corner. Dc down side to next 3 sc, 3 dc in middle sc. Dc around to next corner, 3 dc in center sc of the 3 sc. Dc to fourth corner and make 3 dc in center sc. Dc across end to ch 2 and join with a slip stitch, making sure that both ends have an equal number of double crochets.
Round 3 & 4. Dc around in the same manner as Round 2, being sure to only catch the back loop of the previous round and that your ends have an equal number of stitches.
Get your Swiffer out and lay your base on it. Mine is the Pledge brand and I don't know if there's a size difference, but if there's a big difference in size, just do one more dc round. It should be somewhat smaller than the Swiffer.
Round 5 . Ch 1, sc around in back loop of previous round. This is forming the sides, so you don't have to turn the corners from here on. Join with sl st to ch 1.
Round 6. Ch 1, sc around in BOTH loops, join with a sl st to ch 1.
Round 7, 8, 9. Ch 1, sc 4, dec. in next two stitches. Repeat around-if your single crochet count is off, its okay, we're just making kind of a sleeve that stays on the Swiffer base. Cut yarn and pull through loop.
It kind of looks like a funky slipper.
Now here's the fun part. Make a slip knot and starting in the center, insert your hook into any of the loop we left when we single crocheted the first round. Attach it with a slip stitch. Chain 4, slip stitch in the next loop. Continue around, and slip stitch in the first loop.
Chain 4, move to the next round and slip stitch in a loop. It doesn't matter which one, just be sure to start in the center round and move out-much easier to keep track of. Where you joined your base rounds with a slip stitch won't have a clear loop, so just pick up any thread-this is for the floor after all, and you can't see it when you're done.
Continue all the way to the last row that has exposed loops. You should have 4 rounds of ch 4 loops.
Cut yarn, pull thread through. With yarn needle bury threads.
Ta daa! You could use this either wet or dry, so far I've only used mine dry and LOVE it!
Note: I have changed the pattern a bit. Check out row 6-there are no decreases. This will be much easier to put on and off the Swiffer.
If you have found my pattern here and have tried it, I would LOVE to have you leave a comment so I can see how it worked for you.