Friday, October 30, 2009

Pictures from Our Trip to St. Louis

As I promised earlier, here are some pictures from our trip to St. Louis this past weekend.

Here is Sarah Beth playing with Uncle Bob while Aunt Charlene watches. We're not exactly sure what the relationship is between our children and John's father's cousins, so we just simplified things by calling them "aunt" and "uncle."

Daniel got Uncle Ray to read to him while Sarah Beth played with Aunt Charlene.

Here is another picture of Daniel and Uncle Ray. In the background you can see the mess we brought to St. Louis with us. Do your children do that, too?

There was a park near Charlene and Bob's house that we played at one morning.

Do you see those leaves on the ground behind Daniel? We saw some beautiful fall foliage on our trip. That may not be a big deal to some of you, but we are so far south that we mostly have pine trees which don't change color. There are very few trees in our area that actually change color so our fall doesn't look very fall-ish.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Early, Easy Christmas Presents

If you are looking for some easy, thoughtful Christmas presents, I have a couple of suggestions for you.

My good, blogging friend Marva sells a variety of mixes at this time of year. I ordered a few last year, and they were absolutely delicious. I just placed my order for this year, but I ordered more because we enjoyed them so much last year. You can check them out at Marva's Marvelous Mixes. Meals and desserts just don't get much easier than when they come from mixes.

Another of my blogging friends Sasha sews handbags, purses, and aprons. I have ordered a couple of things from her as well, and I have been delighted with them. She has her own etsy shop which you can find at Sasha Sews. You need to check her things out because there are some really cute ones there.

On a totally different note, did you notice that I now only have 99 days left until my due date? I'm in the double digits now! And I bet the time will fly by with the holidays coming up.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

WIP Wednesday

While we were on our trip to St. Louis this past weekend, I took this blanket to work on. I was able to get a lot done while we were driving and while Daniel was napping back at the hotel. I don't really need to have it done until "Baby Sister" is born, but I would like to finish it early because I have found another pattern (or two) that I would like to start. Isn't that the way it always is?

I did not take this project with me, as it is just too complicated. The pattern itself is fairly simple (not easy, just simple) especially since the motifs "join as you go." But each motif starts with wrapping the thread around a pencil ten times, and then you have to figure out where to join each one. I thought it would be just a little too much for working on in the car. I am ready now to start adding the points onto the star which should be fun.

What projects are you working on now?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

There's No Place Like Home, There's No Place Like Home...

Did you hear me tapping my ruby red shoes together while you read that? No? That's because I needed my special shoes yesterday when we left St. Louis, but of course, I forgot them at home. So we spent eleven hours in the car yesterday to get home. If only....

I'm sorry that I didn't tell you that we were going out of town, but I took some advice from Kim Komando. She says that you shouldn't publish information like that on the internet because would-be thieves might be reading your blog, too, and that would let them know you were out of town.

We left Thursday morning early to travel to St. Louis where John has some family. (Are you paying attention because how he's related is a little complicated?) John's father's cousin Charlene lives just outside of St. Louis, and her brother Ray (also John's father's cousin) flew in from Phoenix, so it was a sort of family reunion. Charlene is the Smith* family historian, and Daniel is the last Smith*, so we wanted to gather what information we could so it could be passed down with the family name. John brought home a lot of copies of old photographs, and he now has information going back as far as his great-great grandfather.

We had a great time visiting with family that I had never met and that John hadn't seen in years. John hadn't seen Charlene and her husband since 15 years ago, and he hadn't seen Ray since he was seven years old. There was a lot of catching up to do. We also met some of Charlene's children which was nice. Since the purpose of our visit was spending time with relatives, that's what we did. We didn't sightsee at all, and I did not take that picture I posted yesterday. (I shamelessly borrowed it from some other site on the internet.) John did take some family pictures, and hopefully I can upload some of those later this week after he downloads them from the camera.

We drove back yesterday and arrived home about 7:30. We ate supper and tossed Sarah Beth and Daniel in bed. They travelled great; they really couldn't have been better. Even with the interruptions of their schedules, they were just as sweet as they could be. I am so glad that we're not traveling back today because it is raining cats and dogs now.

How was your weekend? Did I miss anything?

*Smith is not our real family name.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

Kackleberry Farm

Today some friends and I took our children to a local farm called Kackleberry Farm. I don't know if it is actually a true working farm or not, but they open it up in the fall with all kinds of fun activities for children. We had a great time until they kicked us out because they were closing. I took some pictures for you so you can join the fun...kind of.

Sarah Beth had a great time on their go-carts. I don't know if you can see it or not, but she had to pedal this four-wheeler around the track. Look at that smile paired with determination!

Daniel enjoyed being an obstacle on the go-cart track. Thankfully, he never got run over.

There were lots of animals the children could pet and hold. Unfortunately, I did not get a picture of Sarah Beth holding the chick, but I was very proud of her for it. I was also proud of Daniel practicing being gentle for when his baby sister comes.

Daniel was very adventurous with petting the animals. Whenever the kids (the baby goats, not the children) would "baa," Daniel would respond with his own "baa." It was very cute.

Sarah Beth tends to be a little timid, so I was surprised when I saw her feeding the kids. I'm sure it helped that they are smaller than she is.

Do you have something like this close to you? I hope so because it sure was fun!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Book Review -- Hooked for Life

I don't think any of my readers crochet, but I enjoyed Hooked for Life, Adventures of a Crochet Zealot by Mary Beth Temple so much that I felt that I should review it, you know, just in case. This is not a book of patterns, and actually it only has two or three in it. This book contains a collection of trials and tribulations, anecdotes, foibles, etc. that are unique to those of us who crochet. I'm not exactly sure how else to describe it, but if you like to crochet, I really think you will enjoy this book. As a matter of fact, I enjoyed it so much that I just had to tell you about it even though you don't crochet (as far as I know). However, if you do read my blog and you do crochet, please, please leave a comment so that I know that I am not alone. As far as I know, I only know one other person who crochets, and it's a little lonely. Do you have a hobby like that, one where you don't know anyone else who participates?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

WIP Wednesday

I finally finished this blanket for "Baby Sister," as we are calling our new baby right now. I have to admit that I really enjoy working with pink. John was opposed to having anything pink for Sarah Beth, although some did sneak into the house. He has since relaxed a little bit since it's obvious that Sarah Beth's favorite color is pink, like it or not. Because of that, the only pink blanket I have for her is one that I knitted, and it didn't turn out well (because I don't knit well!).

Since it seems like I always have to be working on some baby blanket or other, I started this one last week. I've also been waiting (not so patiently) to work with this new yarn. It's very nice and will make a lovely, soft blanket for Baby Sister. It's not very big yet because I'm not working on it very much. I figure I have until the first of February to complete it. Meanwhile, I'm working on this centerpiece.

Please don't look too closely because I made a huge mistake. Honestly, I'm not sure where this thing went wrong, but there is an obvious "fix." There will be a couple of other rounds, plus two more similar but smaller patterns on top of this one, so the mistake won't show. Whew! Oh, this centerpiece will be a green star on top of a red star on top of this white one. Obviously, it is for Christmas, so I'm working hard to get it done in time. I tried to find a picture on line, but I was not successful.

What are you working on? Head over to the Place of H to join the fun!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Do Your Children Know Mother Goose?

I remember reading somewhere lately that children these days do not know traditional songs and poetry. I also remember thinking that was a shame. The other day, while I watched Sarah Beth look through a Mother Goose book, I realized that I am not teaching these poems to my children. If I don't do it, who will? Of course, I realize that Scripture and Catechism are much, much more important than Mother Goose, but Mother Goose is such a great way to teach rhymes. And then there are the songs that I learned as a child. My father used to sing a song about donuts; do you know it? "I ran around the corner, I ran around the block. I ran right into the bakery shop." I don't know the rest except, "He said, 'There's a hole in the nickel, and it's all the way through.' 'Aye, there's a hole in the donut, too.' Thanks for the donut, so much!"

To begin to rectify the situation, I taught Sarah Beth a song about rain this morning. I'm sure you know this one: "It's raining, it's pouring. The old man is snoring. He went to bed and bumped his head, and he couldn't get up in the morning." Nonsensical, I know. But it's fun to sing when it's raining outside like it is today. And I plan to get Dad to write down the rest of the words to the Donut Song next time I see him. That one really has fond memories for me.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Do You Have Something Like This?

I think this is the first picture I have ever taken of my alarm clock. I think about it often, especially since I'm not sleeping well these days. What is so special about this old thing? That right there is the reason that it is special: it's over twenty years old. My parents gave it to me for Christmas when I was a child, and I have used it ever since. It went with me when I went to college, had my own apartment, changed jobs and towns, moved back in with my parents, moved in with John (after we got married, of course!), and then it moved with us every time we moved. This thing even took a couple of trips with me. Can you tell that I have a special place in my heart for my alarm clock? (Granted, these days I don't have to set it because my children don't let me oversleep.) Do you see what else is so special about it? It can play tapes! I don't think I've seen another one do that.

As I thought about my very special alarm clock, I was wondering if you have anything like it in your house. Do you have something that is fairly old, not worth much, but too special to get rid of or to replace? Is it something that you continue to use even though it doesn't look as nice as it used to? If so, leave a comment. I'd love to know that I'm not the only one!

Friday, October 2, 2009

September Review of New Year's Goals

It's time for me to review my goals for the year again. Whew! I didn't think this would get so tedious.
  1. Crochet one baby blanket a month. I've done well with this goal so far this year, even with crocheting making me feel sick. I have not finished my September blanket yet because I needed to wait and see the gender of this baby. I may or may not get blankets done the rest of the months of this year; there is too much I want to get done for Christmas.
  2. Teach Sarah Beth her letters. This goal has taken a backseat for too long. I need to buckle down and get to work on accomplishing this one.
  3. Exercise. I have a walking DVD I need to pull out. I think that's the only way I will get any exercise other than my normal seventy thousand trips up and down the stairs each day.
  4. Getting up early. Since I'm feeling better now, I'm trying to get up just a few minutes earlier each day. It's nice to have those few minutes before the children wake up.
  5. Hospitality. Working on it.
  6. Writing letters. I forget about this goal until I do my review. Ugh!
How are you doing with your New Year's goals? Do you even remember what they are? I think I only remember because I review them every month!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Pink or Blue?

Well, I guess you can tell from the picture above what we're having. Thankfully, the baby cooperated, and we were able to tell that she is a girl. I say "we," but I really mean the ultrasound technician because I couldn't see a thing (which maybe was the point). Sarah Beth is excited that there will be another little girl in the house wearing pink, but not her pink, and I think John just resigned himself to that fact. Daniel, well, he's pretty clueless to the fact that there's another baby coming. Poor thing.

I guess in a couple of weeks I will have John go into the attic to pull down all of Sarah Beth's old clothes so I can get them ready for this baby. Well, maybe not. We don't have a dresser for her yet, so there's nowhere to put them. In the meantime, I can start a blanket with that lovely yarn (pictured above) I bought a few weeks ago. It's been calling my name!