Sunday, April 24, 2011

This Easter

All in all, it was a good weekend.  Yesterday we watched the three little kids hunt for Easter eggs-in the snow of course!

The kids got to sit in the fire truck and ambulance after the hunt, and got to pet a chicken at the petting zoo set up in the park.

Thanks very much to the 4H groups, the Manhattan American Legion, and the Manhattan volunteer fire department.  They have really made this a huge success for many years!  There are bigger hunts in Bozeman-a megachurch holds one on the university campus with 50,000 eggs, but can you imagine the traffic problems?  We could have walked to the one in Manhattan if we wanted to.

It actually turned out to be a fairly warm day.  The sun came out and melted away the snow.  Today was even more beautiful and it got all the way up to 60F.  The first day of the year (except when I was in Mazatlan) that I never put a coat on all day.

Today we had a wonderful church service, then went to our oldest son's house for ham dinner.  It was a relaxing day with the guys gathered in the living room talking, the little kids playing outside, and the daughter-in-law and I chatting in the kitchen.  At one point, Isaac decided to try to get some little rubber darts out of the patio door-they had gotten stuck there yesterday-and all the men jumped up and started hunting up tools and things to fish the darts out with.  Steve finally got them out, but DIL and I decided that the testosterone level in the room went up 20 points when the guys realized there was something to tinker with!

There were a few misty moments thinking of Gram and missing other family members, but God was faithful in keeping us going on a good/tough day.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

It's a Rule!!

In Montana it's the rule that you must have snow on Easter.  It doesn't matter if Easter is early or late, there will be snow and bone-chilling temperatures.

Everybody is getting a little crabby around here.  Thursday night we were hit with ANOTHER blizzard.  People are talking about moving somewhere warmer.  Our racks of summer clothes at the store are still full and look mighty lonely.  They even moved them closer to the restrooms so people could see them as they pass by, but when you have to slog through six inches of freezing slush, shorts and cute little tops are the last thing on your mind.  I am totally convinced that if Easter were in July, it would still snow!

It does make for a pretty sunrise picture, but I could do with a summer type of sunrise.

We've had a bunch of stressful things hit our family lately-some I can talk about, some I can't.  But all the stressors make me want to fly away to Mazatlan and forget about everything!

Anyway, have a blessed Easter, and remember that He loved us enough to die for us.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Knitted Easter Egg Pattern

Okay, here is my creation.  I think it turned out pretty well-it's been fun cranking them out.

Easter Egg Pattern

Materials:  Bits of leftover knitting worsted, about an ounce.  The variegated is the most fun, especially the self-striping yarns.

Set of double pointed knitting needles size 6 US.
 Large darning needle

Cast on 8 stitches, divide on 3 needles (3 stitches, 2 stitches, and 3 stitches).
Row 1:  Knit around.
Row 2:  Knit 1, (inc. in stitch below next stitch, K 2) around, K1 (See increase instructions at the end of this post.)  (11 sts)
Row 3:  Knit around.
Row 4:  K 1 (inc. 1, K 2) around.  (16 sts)
Row 5:  Knit around.
Row 6:  K 1 (inc. 1, K 3) around.  (21 sts)
Row 7:  Knit around.
Row 8:  K 1 (inc. 1, K 4) around.  (26 sts)
Row 9:  Knit around.
Row 10:  K 2 (inc. 1, K 4) around.  (32 sts)

Rows 11-24:  Knit around.

Row 25:  K 2 (K 2 tog, K 4) around.  (27 sts)
Rows 26-28:  Knit around.

Row 29:  K 2 (K 2 tog, K4) around, K 1. (23 sts)
Rows 30-32:  Knit around.

Row 33:  K2 (K 2 tog, K 4) around, K 2 tog, K 1  (19 sts)
Rows 34-36:  Knit around.

Row 37:  K 1, (K 2 tog) around.  (10 sts)
Row 38:  K 2 tog around.

Cut yarn, leaving about 8", thread yarn needle and run through remaining stitches on needles.  Pull tightly, run needle through the end carefully so you don't see the threads on the outside, bury thread tail and cut.

Bury thread at the bottom end, but leave egg open if you are going to fill it.  You could stuff it with cotton or fiberfill and sew up the end if you wanted to, but I filled mine with Robin Eggs and those little wrapped chocolate eggs.

Increase Instructions

Insert needle into the stitch BELOW the next stitch.

 Then yarn over and pull through that stitch.  You now have a new stitch on your right needle.

Knit the next stitch as usual.  That would count as the next stitch in the sequence.

I'm trying to get 10 done-I'm on 8 1/2 as of today, so I have to keep moving on them.  All my kids-big and little are getting these for Easter.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Catching Up

Well, what a week!  We said our final goodbyes to Gram on Thursday and it was a great service with lots of hugs and expressions of love from friends and family.  Stan sang three songs, and they were all amazing.  The neighbor, who we didn't even realize had been at the service, came over yesterday and told Stan what a wonderful voice he had.  All the songs were ones that Gram had held dear-"How Great Thou Art," "In the Garden," and "There's a New Name Written Down in Glory."

Afterward we asked the people at the senior center if we could do an impromptu dinner for the extended family and they said an enthusiastic yes.  We loaded up on Costco rotisserie chickens and a bunch of salads and gathered there to honor the great lady one more time.  She would have loved watching all the commotion, especially the noisy great-grandchildren that were everywhere!

We made sure that the two uncles that are left were invited, as well as a couple of cousins.  There was an empty place at the table, but I am sure glad we made that connection with each other.

Stan's two sisters with Uncle Bert, Gram's youngest brother.  This has been really hard on him, he and Gram were very close.

Now on with regular life, and all it has for me to deal with.  Gotta pick up our taxes today, had the dogs to the vet this morning for their yearly, and am leaving to get an oil change in an hour or so.  I have an eye appointment in two weeks, and have to schedule a physical soon as well.  My sis and I had a long talk last night.  She is on SSI and Medicaid and I have been managing a special needs trust for her from money our mom left us.  She has a hard time grasping things and loves to spend money, so I had the job of explaining to her that if she continued this way for much longer there wouldn't be anything left for her old age.  The broker had to transfer some money to cover her "purchases," and now wants to know where to go from here.  She could just spend it all down, it's not a fortune, but if she did she would be right back to square one with only her disability for income.  It was hard for her to take, she needs to think on it for a while.  I need to arrange to get power of attorney soon, because I fear she won't be able to make some of these decisions for herself before long.

She has TWO storage units loaded with stuff she has bought and probably will never need.  She is definitely a hoarder and needs my direction.  She got the second unit when I threatened to drive over and clean out her house.  She lives 60 miles from here so sometimes it's hard to keep tabs on her.  I think there will still be a major clean-out with a massive garage sale-what the heck does a single person who doesn't even drive need with two storage units?  All stuff I will have to deal with soon.  Didn't sign on to be my sister's caretaker, but I think that's the way things are going to be.

Okay, hopefully tomorrow I will have a pattern ready to publish.  I designed a knitted Easter egg, one you could stuff with Robin Eggs or little chocolate ones.  If I stay on track I might have that ready!  Then back to the trip.  I need a walk down memory lane to keep the trip fresh in my mind.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Rest in Peace, Sweet Gramma

Gramma Liz joined her husband in that beautiful place called Heaven today.  She fought the hard fight and is now basking in Jesus' love.  Can't help but think there was a huge celebration up there this morning.  When Millie told Gracie that Gramma Liz had passed, Gracie excitedly said, "Oh goodie, now she can tell Gramma Pat all about me!"

We'll miss ya, girl, but I know you're no longer frail, blind or depressed.  Have a blast dancing with the angels!  I have an image in my mind, that just like in Henry Van Dyk's poem, just as you left our sight, someone on the other side shouted, "Here she comes!"