Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Miscellany

I have a head cold. My thoughts are fuzzy.

It rained yesterday and it's misty today. The weather matches my mood.

New posts over at The Bookshelf. I'm putting pictures up there too. Let me know what you think.

Yesterday, Samuel wanted to play a video game while I was making dinner.
Me: "I can't play with you, understand?"
Samuel: "Yes, Mom. I can do it myself."
Me: "You won't ask me for help? You swear?"
Samuel: "Mom, I'm not going to ask you for help, and I'm not allowed to swear."

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Conversations With The Kids

Samuel: "Mommy, I'm ready to say shorry 'bout jumping off my chair."
Mom: "Ok." (bends down to look three year old straight in the face)
Samuel: "Shorry Mom."
Mom: "I forgive you. Why does Mommy not want you to jump off the chairs?"
Samuel: "Because you're mean."
Mom: (shocked silence)
Sally: "Yeah, Mom, you are a little mean to us."

Monday, January 29, 2007

Monday

Yep, it's Monday. Between trying to get my house back in order, keeping the three year old's fingers out of the cream cheese (bagels and cream cheese for breakfast, major holes poked in the cream cheese when I wasn't looking), doing some work on an upcoming project (more on that later), I managed to check my email and take a few pictures of the knitting progress.

Here's the sweater:










Here's the second sock:










That's about all I have time for today. Need to fold some clothes, clean a bathroom, and go to the library (the I Spy and Where's Waldo books are due today).

Friday, January 26, 2007

Random Friday

Those Charles Schwab ads with the people who are half real and half cartoons freak me out.

I don't like it when singers "christianize" pop songs. Example: The Broken Road is a great song when Rascal Flatts (my boys :) ) sing it, but I don't like it when that girl sings it on the christian station.

I generally do not like it when boys sing a song that is a girl song (like when guys sing a Celine Dion song for an American Idol audition) or when girls sing a song that is a boy song.

It still bugs me when I can't tell if a person is a boy or a girl.

~Grey's Anatomy spoiler!~
I cannot believe there were two marriage proposals last night! Any guesses as to the answer? For the record, my guess is that Christina will say yes, but not until the end of next episode, and that Callie will say no, although I don't know why I think that. If they end up having a double wedding, I won't like it. That's too cheesy for the show.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Three Things Thursday

~ Books I Could Read Over And Over Again ~

(1) Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger - one of my favorite books

(2) All the Harry Potter Books by J. K. Rowling - these are pure magic

(3) Cheaper by the Dozen by Gilbreth and Carey - love the beach house where their Dad writes all over the walls with black paint - SO clever

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Knit Bit: Yoga Bag

I finished this yoga mat bag on Monday for my yoga partner (hi Steph!) and now I'm making one for me. I'm pretty happy with it. I made up the pattern myself and I used Bernat's Handicrafter Cotton that I found at Walmart - a huge huge skein for $5 that I could not resist buying. I think I'll have enough for both yoga bags and a few washcloths. It's really a lot of yarn. I knit it as a rectangle then sewed up the side seam. Then I picked up stitches around the bottom and knit in the round for the bottom. The strap is knit with two strands of yarn. (I do most of my self-portraits in my bedroom because I like the color of that wall and our dresser is the perfect height. FYI.)

I was very motivated to finish the bag so I could cast on for my sweater. I'm making a top-down v-neck cardigan, and I'm a little scared because (a) I purchased lots of yarn and it represents lots of knitting, and (b) I've never knit a fitted garmet for me before and even though I knit several swatches to test stitch patterns and gauge, and I checked my math several times, lots could go wrong. But I love the yarn I picked, and it's wool, so if things go very wrong, I could (a) felt it (shrink it) to fit me, or (b) give it to Sally, or (c) felt it and give it to Sally. (Yarn is KnitPicks Wool of the Andes in Amber Heather. Excellent for relaxing knitting.)

Now I have to go eat some playdough cookies with playdough frosting. I have six of them. Samuel has counted them several times for me. He is pretending to be Alton Brown.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Not As Fun As Knitting . . .

Hey kids, guess what I did today?

OK, I'll tell you. Remember way back when I tried to clean up our hallway by painting the stained spots and ended up using all the wrong paints and never found the right color?

Well, it looked like this:


So today, I did this:
And now, it looks like this:

Nice, huh? It's Behr #730C-3 "Castle Path" and the other walls in the family room are #730C-2 "Sandstone Cove". It looks really nice with the white baseboards. Here are some things I've learned while painting: I need to clean doorjambs and the tops of baseboards. I do not like spiders. We have lots of busy spiders around our house. I cannot paint and NOT get paint on my hands and clothes. I CAN paint and not spill on the floor. Painting in January is not so bad. Painting in July is pretty awful, especially if you are painting a bathroom and decide to paint the ceiling too.

That's all for now. Be good.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Sleeping With Bread Monday

~Parental Joy and Sadness ~

Parental Sadness ~ Today was a typical morning. We all got up, I got the kids cereal and myself some coffee, and we all kissed Daddy goodbye. Sally asked me to pick out her clothes, and I said I would. I picked out an outfit for her and she liked it (it's hit or miss with her) and we all got ready for school. On the way to school, it all fell apart. Sally's pants kept slipping to her hips, and she kept yanking them up to her waist. Of course, she felt it was my fault that she didn't put on a belt since I didn't put one with the outfit. I came back with the fact that she's old enought to know if she needs a belt, and I don't keep track of what pants need belts and which ones do not. She brewed up her anger and stormed into school and didn't say goodbye to me. No hug. No kiss. No hug or kiss for Samuel. We stood at the gate and watched her speed walk to the playground, not looking back once. (Did I mention she's only 7? I think we are going to need more prayer for this one.)

Parental Joy ~ Samuel is all hugs and kisses and "I wuv you, Mommy" lately. It's pure honey to my soul.

And A Little Knitting ~ I got a shipment of yarn on Saturday (!!!) so I'll be casting on for my first ever sweater for myself this week! I also finished one sock and I'll be starting the second one, and I made a yoga bag and a baby hat. A very productive knitting week. Pictures coming soon!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Favorite Foto Friday


Thanks, Shirley, for the hats!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Three Things Thursday

Three Books That Changed My Life

(1) The Bible - I thought about making this an exception, since it's an obvious choice, but then I decided that it really needed to be number one. The one thing that amazes me about the Bible is that it seems to change, but I know it doesn't - my understanding changes, I change, and then when I read it, I discover new things that I didn't notice before. If you have never read the bible, I suggest that you start with Luke, Romans, or a story-type book like Ruth or Jonah. If you like poetry, try Psalms.

(2) Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster - I read this first in college, and then I re-read it last year with our small group from church. It is a practical, mystical book that really clicked with me.

(3) Life of Pi by Yann Martel - One of my favorite fiction books, Life of Pi is amazing. If I were still in school, I would do an excellent project on this book. It has layers and layers of meaning, and it has symbolism that blows me away. If you have read it and don't see how wonderful it is, please email me and I'll fill you in.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Advice

The new season of American Idol started last night, and I'm still amazed that this many people think they can sing. Seriously people. 10,000 people showed up and they picked 17 to go to Hollywood. That's less than 0.2%!!! Here's some friendly advice to people who think they should audition:

(1) Think again. Make sure you can handle it. When they tell you your voice is awful, are you going to cry? If yes, then don't audition.

(2) No props. No juggling, no dancing, no posters of a map of Oz. Just sing.

(3) No funny or clever costumes. Wear normal, nice clothes that fit you.

(4) Pay someone that you do not know and are not related to to hear you sing and tell you if you have talent. This someone should have training in vocal music. This person should NOT want to audition for Americal Idol.

Of course, if you want to be in the group of people that make it on the air so that America can ridicule you, then feel free to disregard all of this advice. The network will bleep out your profanity and we'll all feel bad when we watch you cry. Good times.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Errands

Today I did not get a substitute teaching job. I spent the morning alone, and it was great. I went to Walmart, and I'm sorry to tell you that I looked at other mommies with their kids crying for candy and toys and a mean little lady inside my head jumped up and down and yelled, "Ha ha ha! My kids are at school!" Of course, I felt guilty that I was so happy to be alone, so I made small-talk with a toddler in the checkout line while her mom tried to stop her brother from picking his nose (unsuccessfully, I'm sorry to tell you) and pay at the same time.

I also went bible shopping. We have several bibles around our house, but most of them are large. Large and heavy. I have decided to try and read through the bible this year. (There. I've said it out loud and you all heard me. Even if it takes me a year and a half, I'm really going to finish.) The smallest bible I own is a King James Version. I can't read through the bible in a year if it's the King James. I just read it too slow. So I really want the NIV (which, bible snob that I am, I think is the version any serious Christian should read) but my NIV is a heavy study bible version that I cannot carry around and that I cannot read in bed. (Two things I need if I plan to finish. When I sit at the table and read, someone short comes up and starts to talk to me.) Since Walmart didn't have any good small NIV bibles, I went to the Christian Book Store. My goodness, there are quite a lot of bibles to choose from! I was overwhelmed, and I've done this before! I can't imagine being a new Christian and trying to choose a bible. It's really staggering to me. I ended up with a student bible because (a) the "adult" small bibles were all leather bound and I didn't want to pay that much and (b) I found one that is small, under $20, and pink. Hot pink. Isn't that cool? And by the way, they have little bibles with metal cases that are ultra-cool, but not NIV. (I told you I was a snob about it.)

Then I went to the library. Ooooh but I love the library. If there was a Starbucks within walking distance of our library, I would be over the moon happy. Anyway, after returing the stuff I read and the movie that the kids didn't watch, I found two books that I've been wanting to read and a knitting book. The library is a really great place to learn about anything for free. Really, it is. Anyway, I found Sally Melville's The Knitting Experience Book 1. I've been meaning to check out her books because I saw her on TV and also I read that she is one of the best knitters out there. She's amazing. I just glanced through the book - glanced - and she's amazing.

I did a few other errands, but they were boring so I'll skip it. Now I have about twenty things that I want to do before the kids come home. I'll actually finish about ten of them because it's quiet over here and I can actully think. Finish my thoughts. What a concept!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Holiday

Years back, I wrote on my calendar "MLK day" for today's holiday, Martin Luther King Jr's Observed Birthday. One of my students saw it and asked me what was "Milk Day" all about. She was a real cutie. Memories like that one make me miss teaching.

Today the kids and I made my mom's homemade donuts. They are quite tasty and always remind me of lazy mornings spent in jammies. Mornings like today make me thankful that I am blessed to stay home and take care of my darlings. (Even when they are fighting over coloring pages and cartoon choices. Even then.)

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Three Things Thursday

Three Favorite Read-Aloud Children's Books

(1) Goodnight Moon - of course this is my favorite. What mother with kids younger than five doesn't have it memorized? Here's what gets me - there is a scary older rabbit who knows how to knit sitting in a chair, and a mouse is running all around the room, and it seems like the nicest, most comfortable room to fall asleep in. (I don't know why . . . .) I like how the pictures go from color to black and white, and how the moon rises in the sky, and how the clock hands move from page to page.

(2) The Going To Bed Book - I like all of Sandra Boynton books (and I think we have them all) but this is my favorite. I like the animals brushing their teeth at the same time and getting their pajamas all mixed up. It makes Sally laugh out loud sometimes.

(3) Green Eggs and Ham - This is my favorite Dr. Seuss to read aloud. I like the story of Horton Hears a Who, but it's long. Go Dogs Go puts me right to sleep, especially when Sally reads it out loud. Green Eggs and Ham is great to read, though, because it has excellent rythmn and rhymes and I can pick up speed as the picky eater gets more and more frustrated.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Samuel's Song Lyrics

Jingle bells
Jingle bells
Robin laid an egg
Oh what fun it is to ride
In a one more open flague

Mother's note: I really don't know how he comes up with this stuff, but that commercial with the two guys arguing about the lyric being "rock the cat box" or "rock the cash box" is not helping the situation improve. Also, I'd like you to know that while he butchers the lyrics, his rhythmn and pitch are excellent.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Random Tuesday

It is actually Monday as I type this, but I am posting it early on Tuesday. I am scheduled to substitute tomorrow so I thought I would plan ahead. Sherry, it is going well. The district I work for is very very large, so the sub call line is all automated. I can call in and change my availability, change my phone number, anything. So far I've been subbing for teachers going to meetings so I've been able to schedule it several days in advance. Makes planning much easier. Sally is still young enough that having me at her school is "cool", so that makes it nice.

We watched Living With Ed this weekend. It's so funny! I loved it. It's about Ed Begley, Jr, and his wife, Rachelle Carson. Ed is a big environmentalist, and he's got solar panels on the roof and energy-saving devices all over the house, and his passion for saving the environment drives Rachelle a little nutty. If you get HGTV, check it out.

We also watched The Lake House. I also loved it. I love the sad love story genre, and this one was perfect. Almost as good as Love Actually, which is one of my favorite movies.

While my parents were here, we played several games of Set. Go check out the site - they have a daily game! (However, I found the game cheaper at Amazon.) It's a fantastic game and I am very proud to say that Sally is excellent at it. If you are a future houseguest here, and you are asked to play a game, pick Set and not SpongeBob Life. You'll thank me for that advice.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Happy Monday

Back to school! I am so happy. I need the routine of school to help me plan my day. I need the girl gone for awhile so the boy can be quiet and there can be long periods of no fighting. I made lists and ate breakfast and I feel like I can conquer the world. Good thing I only have to conquer the grocery store.

My dog is driving me crazy. I think he is getting old. He keeps waking up in the night and barking for me to (a) let him out of his kennel to go outside to pee or (b) let him out of his kennel to go outside to chase imaginary possums he hears outside or (c) let him out of his kennel because he's awake and bored and wants to play. This is totally unfair. My kids finally sleep like the dead and now my dog is waking up like a newborn. It's further unfair because I am the only one who can wake up when he barks - the other three people in the house sleep right through it.

I've been working on my sock. I have to say, I feel like I'm a real Knitter now that I am knitting a sock. I don't know what about knitting a sock is such a milestone for me, but there it is. I also finished this little shrug thing that I really love. It is like the one I made for my mom, but different colors. Of course, now that I have a new knitted thing to wear to keep warm when it's cold, it's unusually warm here. Figures. (And yes, this is the best picture that I have because my photographer is three years old.)

Friday, January 05, 2007

Three Things Thursday

Sorry for the day late post, everyone. After my last post, Samuel was horsing around and fell and hit his head on the table (this is a pretty regular event, but it always disrupts everything anyway) so I couldn't post another thing and went straight to bed with the kids. Anyway, here are my three favorite books of 2006:

(1) The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

(2) Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague by Geraldine Brooks

(3) The Birth of Venus by Sarah Dunant

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Updates

We've been busy busy over here. My folks came for a visit and we've been playing cards, watching movies, taking trips to the craft store, eating chocolates, and playing with Christmas gifts. Yes, it's been fun. They just left about thirty minutes ago. The kids are good, but they are getting a little stir crazy. I think I'll take them to the park tomorrow. They are also ready to go back to school and play with kids their own age. But that is one of the great things about Christmas break - getting really sick of your siblings so school is fun again.

Monday, January 01, 2007

2007

Happy New Year, People!