Thursday, April 30, 2009

My Garden



I have wanted to have a garden for several years now.  It just hasn't been the right time.  I was either pregnant or had a newborn.  We even had the perfect place when we lived on our farm because there was all of that land.  Now we live in town with a yard, and finally I have a garden.  I'm so excited!

My brother and a couple of his friends started a company putting in this type of garden.  It is organic, supposedly weed-free, and low maintenance.  According to the literature, all I need to do is keep the garden watered until it is time to harvest the fruits of my "labor."  We shall see.  

Since the season is so late, I was only able to plant some corn, Roma beans, and squash.  We decided to start small this year, but if I enjoy it (which I really think I will), I plan to expand next year.  Already I think I may plant this entire bed with strawberries this fall, and use my new one next year for other fruits and vegetables.  Of course, I need to see how this year goes.

I know that several of my readers have gardens and won't be too impressed with my little, ole thing, but I cannot wait to pick some fresh squash for supper.  Won't that be fun?!   (And yummy!)

By the way, my brother told me what he had been told about the tomatoes these types of garden produce.  The cage is five feet tall and three feet around.  He was told to expect 150 pounds of tomatoes per plant in a bad year!  In a good year, one plant should produce 250 pounds.  Wow!  John and I don't eat tomatoes so I did not plant any this year.  However, my mom did, and if what Ben was told is true, I will post pictures of her plants.  If it's true, I will plant my own tomatoes for next year and try my hand at making tomato sauce.  In the meantime, here is a picture of a tomato plant from their website.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

WIP Wednesday


I have been feverishly working on this project to get it done quickly.  And I will give an extra entry in my giveaway to the first person who tells me what it is (or rather, what it will be).

My other projects are on hold temporarily, although I really do need to get that pot holder done for my mom since her birthday is Friday.  And the baby shower for which this blanket is the gift is next Saturday.  Sometimes, I work better under pressure even though I don't like it at all!

For other works in progress or to add your own, head over to the Place of H.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Spring Giveaway -- Dishcloths



Since I haven't had a giveaway in a while, I thought it would be fun to join in with Laura with her Springtime Carnival Giveaway.  I actually found Laura through my real life friend Amanda who happens to be giving away a sling, in case any of my readers are pregnant and want one. 

I decided to make a couple of dishcloths to give away.  Here is one of them.  I actually finished it this morning, and I haven't even started the second one.  But I plan to as soon as I get off the computer today.  And I promise to have it done by Friday at 8:00 p.m. when I will have John (or maybe Sarah Beth) draw a name out of a hat.  I will announce the winner Saturday morning.   


This contest is open to anyone in the United States and Australia because those are the only places I know from which people read my blog.  

To enter, just leave a comment.  You will get a second entry if you post about my giveaway on your blog and leave another comment stating that.

Monday, April 27, 2009

More of Daniel's Doings

This morning  Daniel started getting fussy, so I put him up in his room to play for a few minutes while I got some things done.  A little while later, Sarah Beth told me that I needed to get him, but I knew I didn't because he wasn't crying or anything.  I finished making lunch and went upstairs to get Daniel.  Lo and behold, this is what I found!


Do you see him there in the middle of his room?  Surrounded by toys with the blinds open and the light on?  Do you think he was sleepy?

I even crawled over the baby gate to take this picture.  He didn't move a muscle when I took it.  Aren't they cute when they sleep like this?   

Friday, April 24, 2009

Daniel's Doings

Last night while we were eating supper, Daniel started fussing.  He had already had several bites of supper but didn't want anymore, and he did not want his milk.  We could not figure out what was wrong.  We tried giving him some more chicken, and we tried his milk again.  That wasn't it.  This is very unusual for Daniel because he loves to eat.  Finally, I cut up his piece of asparagus and offered it to him.  You wouldn't think a child would fuss for asparagus, would you?  Apparently, that is what Daniel wanted.  He ate his asparagus spear and helped his daddy finish his.  Crazy!  Have your children ever fussed for green vegetables?  It was a first in our house.

A couple of days ago, we went outside to play in the backyard.  I brought the camera and took a few pictures.  Daniel is really doing well with his walking.  He walks in farther and farther stretches everyday.  Soon he will be running, and I do not look forward to that!

We have a great backyard, but where did the children end up?  Wanting back in the house!  

Daniel has another black eye.  Can you see it?  It's his right eye.  He did not have it when he went to bed last night, but he had it this morning when I got him up.  I don't know what he dreamed, but I hate to see what the other guy looks like!

I could not leave out my sweet Sarah Beth.  It is hard to take her picture these days because she is a little self-conscious about it.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

WIP Wednesday


My mother's birthday is coming up, and she usually asks for absolutely nothing.  When I saw this potholder, I thought it was pretty and might make a nice gift.  Can you see the problem with using it as a potholder?  Do you see all those holes?  Ugh!  I think I will try to crochet just a round back for it so that it can be used for its intended purpose.


As you can see, I have gotten a good bit done on this blanket.  By the way, this blanket is the one for May, so when I am done, I don't need to work on another one until June!!  I look forward to working on some fun things, things for me next month.  After this blanket, I don't have to have another one done until September for Angela!  

For more works in progress, head over to the Place of H.  It's also her birthday, so be sure to wish her a happy one!

Monday, April 20, 2009

New Goal

Saturday night, I was inspired to create another goal for me.  It's too late to be a New Year's goal, but I plan to add it to that list.  

My parents hosted an informal discussion with a learned man, and I realized how ignorant I am.  This man knew so much about our history, our country, the history of Christianity, etc. that I was in awe.  I was not even able to come up with an intelligent question to ask him!  I realized that I have become complacent in my limited knowledge just as most of the United States has, but I want to do something about it.  What? 

I decided to start reading more, but the problem became, when can I fit it into my schedule?  These types of books are not conducive to being read while watching one's children because they require too much concentration.  These books do not make good bedtime reading; well, they actually do, if you just want to be put to sleep.  Nap time is not a good fit for me because I am already so busy during that time.  I decided to get up just a few minutes earlier each day and to add ten to fifteen minutes of thought-provoking reading to my devotional time.  

I started this morning with How the Irish Saved Civilization by Thomas Cahill.  My dad recommended this book and loaned it to me, and I just haven't gotten around to reading it yet.  Well, here goes.  I read the introduction this morning, and I think I will find this book very interesting.  I will review it for you when I finish.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Check this Out!

I don't know if you have heard of Susan Boyle or not, but she appeared on the tv show Britain's Got Talent.  When you see her, you don't think much of her, but just wait until you hear her sing!  You can see it here.  You really ought to check out this video because her voice is amazing!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Award!

I just received this award from Marva yesterday.  Thank you very much!  I feel truly honored to have been given this award.  Now I think I am supposed to pass it on, so here goes.
  1. Laura.  She has five little ones and somehow manages to find time to blog.
  2. Ivy.  She lives in two worlds, literally.  She lives most of the time in Poland, but she visits us here in the States for a couple of months a couple of times a year.  Because of this, she gives a neat perspective on life.
  3. Angela.  She is expecting her first baby, and we cannot wait to see what she is having!  Her posts are often fun and witty.
Thanks, again, Marva!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

WIP Wednesday


As you can see, I have gotten a good bit done of this blanket since last week.  I am getting the hang of this "join as you go" system, and I like it.  Since I am in a little bit of a hurry to get this blanket done, I haven't worked on anything else this week.  

Do you have a work in progress?  If so, head over to the Place of H, and join the fun!

Birthday Recap

I had a great day yesterday.  I haven't had such a nice birthday in a while, and I savored every minute.  (Well, maybe not every minute since Daniel woke up with a present for me.  Ugh!)

First of all, my children slept a little later than usual which gave me some "me" time in the morning.  After breakfast, we played for a little while.  Then I turned on Guys and Dolls.  I had forgotten how much I enjoy that movie.  I really like the songs.  I could watch it again today, if it were my birthday again, that is.

I finished Guys and Dolls during nap time while I got a lot of crocheting done because I did not have any clothes to fold since I didn't wash any.  I tried not to do any chores yesterday, and I succeeded fairly well.  When I told Mom this and that I hadn't even swept the kitchen floor, she looked at me funny and said that she rarely sweeps the floor.  I replied that she doesn't have little children who through food on the floor!

After nap time, I met John at Sticky Fingers for supper with Sarah Beth and Daniel.  My free half-slab of ribs was very good, and I ate all of it.  I would have shared with Daniel, but he didn't want any.  Silly boy!  

When we got home, my parents came over for some cake.  I had made Lethal Chocolate Peppermint Cake for my birthday, and it was delicious!  Oh, my!  It was so good!  As a matter of fact, I took Dayna's advice, and I ate a second piece before I went to bed.  The peppermint layer was especially good.  I got this recipe from The Cake Mix Doctor by Anne Byrn which is now out of print.  If you can get your hands on a copy, I would highly recommend it.

Sarah Beth "helped" with the cake.  Do you think she enjoyed licking the beater?

Here is what she ended up looking like.

And just to tease you, here is a piece of my cake.

I almost forgot!  Presents!  I love receiving gifts, so I always make John wrap mine which he hates to do!  This year, he gave me these DVD's which I asked for.  He also got me eye and ear protection to go with the shooting lessons he is giving me.  Yes, I want to learn how to shoot a gun correctly!  Actually, I just really want to get comfortable doing it, just in case.  You know, just in case.

There you have it; I had a slow, relaxing birthday, and it was lovely!  And thank you for all of your good wishes for my day.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Birthday!

Today is my birthday.  Officially, I am 29 (again), but in actuality I am still closer to 30 than to 40, but not for long.

I am not sure what I will do this morning.  I am tempted to pull out my DVD of Guys and Dolls which I love because of the music, and watch that this morning.  We don't watch much tv when the children are around, so I am still undecided.  I do know, however, that I will not be doing any chores today.  It's my birthday!

For supper tonight, we plan to eat at Sticky Fingers since they sent me a coupon for a free half-slab of ribs for my birthday.  After that, my parents are coming to our house for cake.  As my mother said, it is kind of strange to have people over for my birthday.  The thing is, I have been wanting to make a cake for a while now, and I finally have an excuse.  I made the cake last night, and I must say that the individual parts are delicious.  I'll let you know tomorrow how the whole is.

I don't have too many plans for the day, but I enjoy that.  As you may recall from last year's post, before children I would take the day off from work and crochet and read.  That made a wonderful birthday for me.  Now I have children, and I wouldn't trade them for anything!

What do you like to do for your birthday?  Nothing like me, or do you like to make big plans?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Pictures!

I received a box in the mail today.  Do you remember the giveaway I told you about a while ago, the one that Marva did?  Well, I won, and the package came today.  Sarah Beth and I had a great time looking through all of our new goodies.  Sarah Beth was so excited that she pulled a chair over to the counter so she could paw through all my stuff.  She has already claimed the blank book as her own.  (Why?  I don't know.  It's blank!)

Last week, we were able to go play in the backyard.  It it the first time I have been able to take them back there to play, and we enjoyed being back there.  It was great to walk (or crawl) around barefooted!  


I took these next two pictures yesterday before church.  Daniel was spending some time in his room, and we found him like this, standing on the plastic tub looking out the window.  He is also wearing the new outfit his daddy bought him.


Here is Sarah Beth in her new Easter dress which my mother made.  She loves to smock and make dresses for little girls.


Springtime

Yes, I know that spring is already here and that it officially arrived in March.  For me, however, it does not really feel like spring until this week, this second week in April.  Why this week?  It just seems that the lovely spring weather finally gets here to stay about now.  We have had some already, but now it's here for good.

I have plans this week to change out my children's wardrobes from winter to summer clothes.  Of course, there is a whole lot more to it than that.  I have to sort the clothes:  the ones to keep, the ones to sell at the consignment sale in the fall; the clothes they will never wear again (isn't that a sad thought?) and the ones they may be able to wear again next year.  While I am at it, I plan to go through their closets, too, and de-clutter.  After all of that, I need to tackle my closet.  There are clothes in there I haven't worn in years, and it is time to bite the bullet and get rid of them.

I know what Mrs. Darling says about spring cleaning, but I don't think this applies because I cannot do this before the weather changes.  Besides, I am not really cleaning anything!

What about you?  When does spring arrive in actuality for you?  What activities wait until it really and truly feels like spring?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Mommy and Son Day

Today Daniel and I ran errands, just the two of us.  Where was Sarah Beth?  She enjoys playing alone in her room, so we left her home by herself.  She is almost three and very responsible for her age.  I'm just teasing!  Sarah Beth went to the zoo with her Grammy, two of her aunts, and at least five of her cousins.  Why didn't Daniel and I go?  John and I took our children on Saturday.  Daniel was a trooper and did not complain the whole time we were there, but he still is a little young to enjoy the zoo.  Besides, he needs a nap.  At the same age, Sarah Beth would be just as sweet as ever without a nap.  Not Daniel!  He turns into a pumpkin!  And I had no idea how long everyone would be, and I didn't want to chance it.

I dropped Sarah Beth off with my mom, and Daniel and I started our errands.  First, we went to WalMart because I needed to sign my evaluation.  Hopefully, my raise will come through soon.  My boss was actually there this morning, and it was nice to talk to her in person.  Since I only work one weekend a month, I don't see the full-time pharmacists unless I drop by the store during the week.  While we were there, I picked up some cake pans.  Would you believe that I have never made a layer cake?  My birthday is next week, and I have decided that I will make a cake for it.  (More about this later.  If I remember, I will take a picture.)

After WalMart, we got our hair cut.  Yes, it was Daniel's very first haircut.  He was such a brave boy sitting on Mommy's lap, and he looks like a little man now.  Well, not quite, but he doesn't look like a baby anymore.  No, I did not save a lock of his hair.  What would I do with it?  Stick it in my jewelry box until he turns 30?

Here is the before picture.  I took it right after breakfast.  Yes, that is one of those grungy bibs I told you about in a much earlier post.  You can kind of see the long hair on the left side of the picture in front of his ear.  You know it needs to be cut when you can, and need to, tuck his hair behind his ear.


Here is the after picture.  Maybe you cannot tell much difference, but I can.  I should have taken pictures of the back of his head, too, because we had most of the curls cut off.  Am I sad?  No.  But I can't tuck his hair behind his ears anymore.  His daddy will be happy.

I couldn't neglect to show you a picture of Sarah Beth.  She is growing up too fast!  She needs a haircut, too, but it just didn't work out this time.  Her daddy will be so happy since he wants it long.  I like it short because there is so much of it, and it hurts her little head when I brush it.

I don't have a picture of my haircut because it is the same, just an inch shorter.

After haircuts, we went to Target because I wanted to get my $10 gift card for transferring my prescription.  I also picked up a few puzzles that were on sale; I even found a couple of games on clearance that I think Sarah Beth will enjoy now, although I may wait until her birthday in May.

Then we went to the shoe store to buy Daniel a pair of sandals for the summer.  After that, we went to Red Robin for lunch because they sent me a coupon for a free hamburger for my birthday.  Daniel and I split the burger and fries.  I splurged and ordered a Coke.  I always drink water when we eat out, so I really enjoyed my Coke (and two refills!).  It's nice to be able to enjoy a drink with caffeine in it.  I nursed Daniel so long that I missed it, and I certainly did not want him to have any because he had a hard enough time sleeping as it was.

After lunch, we came home.  Daniel is napping, and I have no idea when Sarah Beth will be  home.  I do know that she is having a great time.  Other than Daniel, she is the youngest cousin, and they all fawn on her.  If she hadn't gone, they would have been so disappointed.  

I enjoyed spending this morning with Daniel, and I think he enjoyed having Mommy all to himself for a little while.  Do you get out much with just one child?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

WIP Wednesday


I finished this blanket last night which is a good thing.  John heard that his friend's wife (they do not live in our town) has been admitted to the hospital because her water broke.  I think this means the twins could come any day now, but they are not actually due until June.  If you think about it, please pray for this family.  They also have a four year old son.  


I started this blanket last week but put it on hold until I could get both blankets done for the twins.  I have a good friend who is due in July.  We have been friends for a long, long time since we met in the third grade.  That is almost 25 years ago.  Wow!  I am trying something new with this blanket; the motifs are "join as you go" which means I don't have to sew seams.  Yea!!  It is also fun to try new things instead of continuing with the same old, same old.  

I have a favor to ask, too.  I saw these labels in a magazine, and I thought they might be a nice touch to add to the blankets I make.  Since most of my readers have received, or will receive, a baby blanket from me, would you like one of these labels on it?  Honestly.  If you wouldn't, please let me know so I don't waste my money on them.  I am sure that you remember that I made the blanket so you don't really need the reminder.

For other works in progress, head over to the Place of H.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Suggestions?

I have no idea what to write about today.  Do you have any suggestions?  Oh!  I just thought of a question for you:  do you know what phyllo dough is?  I have seen it in a couple of recipes that I would like to try, but I don't know what it is, or more importantly, where to find it.  Do you know?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Spring Break

Spring Break has arrived in our city.  We are a little different than most in that the timing of our Spring Break is determined by a golf tournament.  During the first week in April, all the locals leave town, and there is an unbelievable influx of tourists.  Well, not all the locals leave town.  We are still here.  

Anyway, it feels a little surreal to me.  I am home doing my normal Monday routine while the rest of the city is on Spring Break.  I have cleaned the bathrooms, vacuumed, swept, etc. while my husband is watching the practice rounds at the tournament.  My children don't know that it is Spring Break, and what does it matter anyway?  Break from what?  School?  We aren't doing that yet.  I feel caught in the Twilight Zone while the rest of the world keeps going.  Oh, well.  In a few years, we will be able to leave the Twilight Zone and join the rest of the world in Spring Break, once that is, we have something to break from.

What about you?  What are you doing (or what did you do) for Spring Break?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

New Year's Goals March Review

I wonder how I did in March with keeping my New Year's goals.  Let's see.
  1. I did get a baby blanket crocheted this month.  At the rate my friends are having babies, I may need to increase this goal to two a month!
  2. Sarah Beth is doing great learning her letters.  Her problem is his mother.  I don't have any set time to sit down with her, so it doesn't happen very often.  But she loves pointing out the letters she knows, in books, on the computer.  It's cute!
  3. Daniel is taking a few steps at a time all by himself.  I know it won't be long until he stops walking and starts running!
  4. Exercise.  I decided to wait until I can start taking walks again.  I would this week, but it has been rainy.
  5. I have been working on being more disciplined at getting out of bed in the morning so I can spend some time with the Lord before Daniel and Sarah Beth wake up.
  6. Hospitality.  I'm still working on that.  I have issued a couple of invitations, and I'm waiting to hear back on one of them.  The other one, well, I had to back out of it at the last minute because John did not go out of town.  Sorry, Laura!
  7. Facebook.  Done!
  8. Writing letters.  (This is a new one.  Who says you can only make goals at the beginning of the year?)  I wrote two last month and received a reply to one of them, so now I have another letter to write!  Maybe I can think of someone else who could use a letter.
How are you doing with your New Year's goals?  

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

WIP Wednesday

Does this blanket look familiar?  It should since I just finished one exactly like it, except that the other one is pink.  Ah, twins!  Can you see how that last row at the top isn't finished?  Why not?  As I got to the end of the row, guess what I found -- a knot in the yarn.  That is so aggravating.  Now I have to take the whole row out, cut out the knot, and recrochet the row because it is always better to change yarn at the end of a row.  I really hate it when yarn companies do this!!


I have not gotten much done on this doily, but I thought I would post a picture anyway.  The edges are curling up, so I think I will need to block it when I am done.  (I don't usually block things; actually, I have never blocked anything.)


This pile of laundry is my other work in progress.  Since our washer died last week, I have been able to do three loads at my parents' house.  Today is catch up day because our new washer came this morning.  I really like it, and I can fit almost twice as many clothes in one load, but it sure does take a lot longer than my old washer.  Thankfully, my ten year old dryer can dry the same amount of clothes the washer can wash.  The pile doesn't look as big in the picture for some reason.

For more works in progress, or to add your own, head on over to the Place of H.