Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Knit Bit: Progress

Here's the latest pics of the sweater.
I am past the arm area (finally!) and almost to the second buttonhole.

Also, did you notice that the yarn I picked is almost the exact color of my hair?

Musings on Pride

I've been thinking about pride for awhile. It's a tricky topic. We all know that pride comes before a fall, and the bible is full of stories of the proud man (who is bad) and the humble man (who is good). Yet I want to make my parents proud of me, and I am proud of my kids, and that kind of pride must be a good thing. I feel like I need some clarity on pride.

I do what any geeky computer-loving blogger would do: I head on over to for a definition.

Pride (noun) 1 : the quality or state of being proud: as a : inordinate self-esteem : CONCEIT b : a reasonable or justifiable self-respect c : delight or elation arising from some act, possession, or relationship (parental) 2 : proud or disdainful behavior or treatment : DISDAIN 3 a : ostentatious display b : highest pitch : PRIME 4 : a source of pride : the best in a group or class 5 : a company of lions 6 : a showy or impressive group

Aha! Now it makes more sense. Not all pride is the same. I am sure the "bad" pride that we are warned about in the bible, the kind that comes before a fall, is the conceitful or disdainful kind. Certainly it is not the company of lions. It seems to me that the bible would not warn us against having a reasonable self-respect. This is the definition that was eluding me.

I think some people, especially Christians, feel a need for a false modesty, or even the need to down-play their achievements, because of how many warnings the bible gives us about being prideful. It seems to me that there is a bad kind of pride and a good kind of pride. I wish I knew greek and hebrew so that I could look at the original word and see if there is a distinction between the two types of pride. Reasonable self-respect, delight, and elation all seem to be to be good things. We should not be apprehensive or feel guilty that we are this kind of proud.

But not prejudiced.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Conversations with Samuel

Samuel: "Can I play outside?"
Me: "Yes, but don't play in the mud."
Samuel: "But I'm NOT!"
Me: "What are you going to do with that cup of water?"
Samuel: "I'm not making mud pies."
Me: (thinking: Yeah right. I wasn't born yesterday!)
Samuel: "I'm making stuff for the pokeman."
Me: "Oh yeah?"
Samuel: "Yeah. And they don't like mud pies. They like chocolate toast."

Monday, February 26, 2007

Sleeping With Bread Monday

Good morning, internet. Once again, the bad stuff in my week is unbloggable. I can say this: it's unbloggable because it is not my issues, but things going on in others lives are affecting me. And it's not in a good way.

However, there is always a silver lining, even if you have to sit outside for a few hours and wait for it. Here are the good things of the week:
  • The drama around us has resulted in some very good conversations between me and my husband, and I am very thankful for him. He is kind, wise, and compassionate.

  • Samuel laughed in his sleep last night. Several times.

  • Sally and Samuel have been playing together. Sibling fighting is down this week.

  • It is warm enough outside for the kids to play in the backyard in the afternoons. We have high walls around our backyard and a small dog who hates strangers. It's a good system.

  • We are all healthy.

  • The microwave is fixed (thanks, Flo!) and the other major appliances are in working order.

  • I like my new doctor. (Technically, I saw a Physician's Assistant, but she's great.)

  • The knitting craze continues. Seriously, this is the longest I've been addicted to one craft. I think it may be a lifetime obsession. My sweater is coming along - I have the sleeves on scrap yarn and now I'm just knitting back and forth straight down. I'm on the third ball (it's almost gone) and I've done one button hole. Pictures later this week.

That's it for now. Today feels like I'm juggling several balls in the air, and I hope nothing breaks. Blessings upon your week!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Favorite Fotos Friday

This week, the kids played outside and made me a cake.

Complete with stick candles that I had to blow out.
My birthday isn't until June.

Still, it was so sweet.

P.S. I'm so glad that Meredith didn't die last night on Grey's Anatomy. I mean, seriously, she was dead for two weeks! We'll miss her mom, but I have a feeling we'll be seeing her again, too.

Math = Fun

I got this email from Auntie Di and had to share. It's so funny. Thanks, A.Di!

A public school teacher was arrested today at John F. Kennedy International Airport as he attempted to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a set square, a slide rule, and a calculator.

At a morning press conference, Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez said he believes the man is a member of the notorious Al-gebra movement. He did not identify the man, who has been charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math instruction. "Al-gebra is a problem for us," Gonzalez said. "They desire solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in a search of absolute value. They use secret code names like 'x' and 'y' and refer to themselves as 'unknowns,' but we have determined they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country. As the Greek philanderer Isosceles used to say, 'There are 3 sides to every triangle.'
'When asked to comment on the arrest, President Bush said, "If God had wanted us to have better Weapons of Math Instruction, He would have given us more fingers and toes." White House aides told reporters they could not recall a more profound statement ever made by the president.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Three Things Thursday

~ Three Favorite Songs ~

(1) "How To Save A Life" - Yes, I probably like it because I first heard it on Grey's Anatomy, but now I like it for it's own merit. (Link has the video)

(2) "Invisible" - Clay Aiken is my favorite American Idol :) (Yes, I'm aware of how badly this makes me look.)

(3) "I Can Only Imagine" by MercyMe. Powerful. Puts my mind in the right place. There is another version (here: "I Can Only Imagine") that has some great images and all the lyrics.

I have to say, though, my favorite songs change often. These are just a few of my favorites right now. I love how the right song can change your mood instantly. Anyway, hope you listen to one of these today and it makes your day brighter. Be good, people.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Old School

During the auction lunch (attended by mostly retired Marines and their spouses):
Sally: (whispers in my ear) "There sure are a lot of old people here today!"
Me: (dying on the inside) "Yes, now eat your lunch."

During breakfast:
(Samuel is trying to close the pancake syrup lid and is having some trouble)
Sally: "Samuel! Be careful with that! It looks old and Grandma and Grandpa like old stuff! Don't break it!"
Samuel: "Oh - OK."
Grandma: (trying not to laugh out loud at the cuteness) "That's ok honey, he won't hurt it."

Out with the old popcorn ceilings, in with the new! Not the whole house, just the living room/entryway/family room/kitchen part of the house that blends into one big ceiling. It's all pretty - waiting for primer and paint. Guess what we are doing on Saturday? Want to come help?


Before: kitchen light and notice the line between the kitchen and the family room:
New kitchen ceiling! No big light frame and no ugly line!
Before: Old crown molding that I ripped down & popcorn ceilings:
After! No crown molding and prettier ceiling! And the room feels so much bigger, too.
And this is what I did in the car to and from my parent's house. They are knitted washclothes (or dishclothes, but I prefer a scrubby sponge in the kitchen, so these are for the bathrooms). The blue/green is for the main bath, and the blue/cream is for the master bath.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Third Place

On Saturday, we went with my parents to a fundraiser event. There was lunch, a small playground, several drawings, and an auction. Oh yes, and a pig calling contest. Despite the fact that it was free to enter, my dad was the only one of us brave enough to do it. He won third place!
I think Sally was the proudest of all. She clapped very loud for him!
During the auction, I mentioned that I was interested in some tiki lights for our backyard. Wouldn't you know that I had to take the girl to the bathroom when they were up? Well, my dad got them for me! So nice. :) So, when the basket of chocolates and liquor came up, I was feeling generous. And when the auctioneer asked for $10 more, a higher bid, Sally shouted out, "Come on people - it's only $10 more!" I couldn't let her down. I bid on it, was outbid, bid again, and won! People, that basket was so heavy that I could barely lift it! When we got it home, we found that it contained about ten bottles of assorted drinks, four wine glasses, two beer steins, and lots of chocolate goodies. And a stuffed animal. Sally quickly called the toy, my parents and I split up the bottles, and we played cards for the last few bottles of wine. Very fun. We aren't too big with the alcohol over here, but when we have friends over, I like a glass of wine with dinner. Stuart likes to cook with different alcohols, too. Anyways, we're set for the next six months or so! My mom was very amused that I would bid and win a huge basket of booze. I told her that sometimes I'm complicated.
(PS - I'm having occasional trouble with the internet over here, so I'll try and post every day this week, but I don't know if I'll be able to.)

Monday, February 19, 2007

Weekend Recap

Happy Chinese New Year!

Happy President's Day!

We had a great weekend hanging out with my parents in Arizona. The highlight was fishing on the lake. Although my dad was the only one who had any luck with the fish, he was nice and let the kids reel some of them in.
My dad, Samuel, and Stuart

Sally and my mom
You know, the worst day fishing is always better than the best day working!

More to come ~ we went to an auction/fundraiser while we were there and you'll never guess what I bid on and won, and what my dad got a third place ribbon for!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Favorite Fotos Friday

These are from our Valentine's Day dinner. Samuel has chocolate on his face from a huge chocolate kiss that he and Sally got from their Daddy. I did share my big cookie with everyone :)

Knit Bit: UFOs

UFO = an unfinished object; a work in progress

I have several projects going right now, but I have photographic evidence of only two. The first is the sweater. I'm waiting for new needles because the ones I am using now are on the short side and they are getting full. It's making me a little nervous that some of the stitches might fall off. The line of increases that slants to the left and ends at the stitch marker is the raglan seam that will fall across my right shoulder.

This is a skinny cable scarf that I'm working on. It's my first time with cables. It's going to take me a long long time to finish it, but it's a very portable project. I like to knit this one in public. I worked on it at Starbucks earlier this week.
Other projects include a black and silver scarf, a washcloth, and a scarf for Sally. The one for Sally is not an enjoyable project as the yarn she picked out has two small strands of yarn and one of them is very thin and hairy. It's a bit of a pain to knit. I'll be glad when it's finished!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Three Things Thursday

~ Three Things I Love About My Sweetie* ~

(1) He laughs out loud at funny things on TV. This cheers me up and makes me forget what I'm mad about faster than anything else.

(2) He uses small children as pillows and blankets, and they love it.

(3) He gave me a big cookie yesterday because he knew I would get such a kick out of it, and I did. I love it. It's a big chocolate chip cookie with frosting on it. It's so cool.

I love you, honey!

*that are suitable for sharing on the internet

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Knit Bit: Fun with LOVE

Here's a little trivia game for you. Vickie Howell has a new line of yarn out, and the silk/bamboo version is called LOVE. Each color is named after a famous movie couple. Cleverness! Yarn + movie trivia = Valentine's day fun! See if you can get them all!

1) Lloyd & Diane #243
2) Gale & Dewey #244
3) Peter & Mary Jane #245
4) Sarah & Maurice #246
5) Napoleon & Deb #247
6) Jack & Sally #248
7) Andi & Blane #249
8) Mulder & Scully #250
9) Harold & Maude #251
10)Ennis & Jack #252
11)Shelby & Jackson #253
12)Buttercup & Wesley #254
13)June & Johnny #255
14)Joel & Clementine #256

Winners get gold stars!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Valentine's Day, 2004
(Sally was 4 & Samuel was 8 months)

Greetings everyone! Hope you have a great day and feel loved and special. Thanks to evereyone who sent Valentine's love our way - to Grandma Tina and Grandpa Ken, to Auntie Di and Uncle Clem, to Auntie Jen and Uncle David - the kids loved getting mail from you :) (If you sent something that isn't here yet, check out this post later and I'll add a ps thanks) I looked for a recent picture of the kids for today, but I found this one and couldn't resist posting it. They are so cute and little!
We are celebrating with a special dinner tonight. Usually I make heart-shaped meatloaves, pink mashed potatoes, and heart-shaped carrot slices. Well, we had meatloaf last night (Mom, the potato chips totally worked - it was really good and Sally ate two helpings!) and Sally has vetoed the pink potatoes. So I am changing the menu to steak and steak fries (my sweetheart's favorite) and some other stuff I haven't decided on yet.
Just for the record, I am totally against knitted Valentine's Day thongs. I have two knitting calendars (a pattern a day one and a s&b one) and BOTH of them have knitted thong patterns for this week. You know, I love the knitting, but some things really should not be knit.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Random Tuesday

(and possibly non-pc, too, so look out! you've been warned)

So I'm using the new blogger now. I had to switch or else I couldn't log in. So I hope all the bugs are worked out and that this new blogger is indeed better, because I've been busy figuring out my new phone (internet phone line with internet features - very cool) and I don't think I have any spare brain cells left.

I've started to receive junk knitting mail. I'm thrilled about it.

I saw a young man sitting on the sidewalk in our neighborhood and said hi to him. As I got in my car, I saw that he had a big suitcase labeled Kirby. My thought (and I swear this was my very first reactional thought) was, Huh. I wonder what's worse - a Kirby salesman or those Morman missionaries? (Non-pc. I warned you.) I have decided that I am against all door-to-door sales. With the exception of kids that I know that are selling candy or cookie dough. Everyone else, be warned: I am currently working on a lengthy prepaired statement on why I am against door-to-door sales which I will recite in full when you knock on my door.

My daughter grew out of her jeans this morning. I swear that they fit yesterday. She is now in a size bigger than her age. I found the cutest jeans on the sale rack - they have a belt that is part scarf/part pearls, and are ripped and "fixed" with sequin patches. They are great. She'll probably hate them. I bought her three different pairs in hopes she'll like one of them. We shall see.

I finished knitting a second yoga mat bag. The sweater is going well - on the second ball of yarn already - and I finished a pair of mittens for Sally. I also lined a bag that I knit last year with a pillowcase - pretty proud of my recycling efforts there. Pictures later this week.

Well, that's about it. I have to go work on the pool now. It's overdue for a cleaning. Not looking forward to this, since the water is darn cold and I'll probably have to touch it a few times. Be good, people :)

P.S. Found two dead lizards floating in the skimmer. No wonder the filter was sluggish! Water is 59 degrees. Anyone want to go for a swim?

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Ready for some fun?

I had a bit of a blog-a-thon tonight and found this gem:
Go. Look. Laugh.
Talk about math being funny!
And you thought that wasn't possible.
(Shame on you.)

Home Project #208MB

The master bathroom has needed a new floor for quite a while.
Aaah, much better! :)

The Process

Blogger never lets me put more than three photos per post. I don't know why this is, but I do not have the energy or time to figure it out or to fight it. Here are some pictures of the work in process of our bathroom floor.
Cleaning the floor with super-powered cleaner.

Must line each square up perfectly . . . .

Every girl needs a favorite hammer.

I have to go ice down my hand. It's a little sore from using the razor blade cutter while cutting the tiles. I think I held on too tight to avoid mistakes - to the tiles and to me. Hey Mom - I managed to not cut myself! :) Also, from these photos, you could wrongly assume that I did all the work. Stuart took the toilet out, re-built the workings inside (I don't understand all that goes on inside the tank of the toilet, and I don't want to), and put it back with new bolts and new plastic cap things that are shiny and clean and new. Also he brought me drinks and took several lovely pictures of me. Thanks Hub! You're great!

Friday, February 09, 2007

Favorite Fotos Friday

As promised, Samuel's photo shoot. trash can
mommy knitting

PS ~ New post over at Sheila's Bookshelf :)

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Three Things Thursday

~ Three Favorite Smells ~

(1) Coffee. Hot delicious goodness.

(2) Vanilla. We always pause and smell it before we add it to cookies or cakes. Sally calls it her "secret ingredient" for smoothies. I have been wearing vanilla scented perfume for years.

(3) Bread. I made homade dough yesterday (recipe below) and then topped it with butter, seasame and poppy seeds, and cheese (my mom's cheesy bread) and baked it up. The whole house smelled great. In case you were wondering, we ate it with soup and salad for dinner. It was good.

Focaccia Pizza Dough

I got this recipe from my good friend Vivien. It is so good, and so worth the time to make it.

For sponge:
Mix 1 package dry yeast, 2/3 cup warm water, and 1 cup flour. Sprinkle yeast over water and stir in flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for about 30 minutes. It will turn spongy and bubbly.

For dough:
In a large bowl, mix ½ cup water, 1/3 cup dry white wine, and 1/3 cup olive oil. Add sponge. Whisk in 1 cup flour and 1 teaspoon sea salt. Add enough flour to make a sticky dough (about 1 cup more). Knead dough on a lightly floured board until silky and shiny, but not sticky. Add flour if needed. Let rise for one hour in a oiled bowl, covered with a clean towel. After the dough has doubled, press into a pizza pan. This will make 2 thin 15” rounds or 1 thick 10 ½ by 15 ½ crust. Let dough relax, covered, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 425. Add toppings and bake for 30 minutes or until crust is golden.

(Total time from starting sponge to taking it out of the oven is about 3 hours (more if you knead the dough for a long time) so plan ahead!)

From the recipe box of Sheila Chew from Musings of a Mommy

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

The Boy

Samuel is learning so much at preschool, and his new knowledge comes out at the most surprising times. Yesterday he had a firefighter visit his class. We asked him several questions, most of them answered with a "yeah" or a "I don't know". Later, he looked at me in all seriousness and told me, "Mom, if your house is on fire, you have to call 'mergency." He didn't remember the number, but he did know that it had two ones in it.

Today, we were walking home from taking Sally to school and he pointed out the flag and told me that it was like the one he pledged "leee-gence" to at his school. We then recited the entire pledge of allegiance, and he knew quite a bit of it.

He has also started to love to sing the song from the Wizard of Oz: "We're off to see the wizard . . ." I have no idea where this came from as we haven't watched that movie in months. He pronounces "wonderful" more like "wunnerrul". It kills me.

He can sing the abc's, but he still thinks "l m n o p" is one word.

He can count to 12, and then it all falls apart. "12, 18, 19, 14, . . . . " Hey, at least they are all in the teens, right?

He woke up with his sister at 6:00 am this morning - before both of his parents - and by 7:05, he had eaten breakfast, dressed himself, gone to the bathroom, brushed his teeth, and was out in the backyard fishing. Fishing is the new fun game. They both have fishing poles with rubber fish tied to the end (no hooks!) and they stand on one side of the pool fence and cast to the cover of the pool or to the other side of the pool and then reel in and pretend to catch pokemon things. I don't really understand what they catch, but if you forget to take your "catch" off the "hook", Sally will yell at you. They will play for at least an hour each afternoon. They love it. I love it too.

Later this week, I'll show you his unsupervised photo shoot. He's just great.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Tales from school

I was able to sub today, so I'm really tired right now. I was in a third/fourth combo class and it was a ball. I got to teach some math and see some lights "go on" and that's always a thrill.

The highlight, though, was when I was bending down to help a kid with his division and a little girl tapped me on the shoulder and told me my caboose was showing.

I'm still laughing about it.

(PS ~ She was talking about my underwear, not my, um, well, you know. The band of my underwear was showing. She was sure I'd be mortified. What a darling.)

Monday, February 05, 2007

Sleeping With Bread Monday

Remembering the good things,
Lifting them up to the light;
Putting the memory into words
So that I do not forget to remember
To be thankful
And to thank you.

Yesterday a really cool thing happened to me. Something that I have been thinking about for quite a while just came out of my mouth, articulating exactly what I was thinking and was not able to put a finger on quite what it was. I was sitting and chatting with some friends and one of my friends has an adorable one year old baby and he was grabbing things and throwing them on the ground - you know, that game that all babies love to play - and my other friend asked me if I missed the baby stage. She was being funny, because we both have school age kids and are pretty happy to be past the baby stage, so we giggled together and I said that I finally feel like I've found me again. Yes, that is it. I finally feel like I am Sheila again, that I can spend time with just me and not be overcome with guilt or worry. In fact, just that morning in church I noticed that my usual worry weight was gone! My daughter was in her class and I was not worried about her. My son was at home with my husband (the boy had a little head cold - he's into the coughing stage now) and I wasn't worried about either one of them. I felt light. I hadn't realized that this worry/guilt thing was with me all the time, ever since Sally was born. If I wasn't worried about her, I was feeling guilty that I wasn't worried about her. Or I was with her and taking care of her and responsible for her. Let me tell you, when those words came out of my mouth, inside my head I was jumping around yelling, "YES! That's totally IT! I've been in the background somewhere and now I'm back!" I think I've realized this over the past six months or so, but just yesterday I was able to put it into words.

Sunrise today was at 6:47 am. We get up around here between 6:30 and 7:00. It is such a joy to wake up with the sunrise. I was walking to the kitchen for coffee (for me) and cereal (for the kids) and I was distracted by the light. The rays of sun pouring through our front windows were spectacular. I love this. I know it won't last - daylight savings will come next month and then we'll be getting up in the dark again, but for now, it is so lovely to wake up with the sun.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Three Things Thursday

"These are a few of my favorite things . . . ."

Three Favorite Colors

(1) Favorite color to wear: black. I love to wear black clothes, and almost all of my accessories are black microfiber (an easy-to-clean synthetic). I also love pink and black together.

(2) Favorite color in my home: earth tones. Shades of browns and off-white, with a little blue and a little green here and there.

(3) Favorite color overall: blue. My bathroom and bedroom are painted light blue and dark blue and I love it. I love blue marbles, the blue of the sky, the blue striped shower curtain I found at Target. (One exception: I do not like blue food.)