Friday, March 30, 2007

Favorite Foto Friday

This is Samuel with his new scarf. There is a story behind it: Sally has soccer practice at night, and it is always pretty cold. This week, I played in the parent scrimmage, so I took off my fuzzy pink scarf and wrapped it around Samuel. Of course, this did not make the assistant coach - his dad - very happy. So, a blue scarf was born. It is all cotton and matches his hat, which was in the car for this picture. Also, notice the brightly sunny day (always when I finish a warm knitted thing it's bright and sunny) and the nice clean pool (yeah! clean pool!).

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Three Things Thursday

Favorite Food & Book Pairings*

(1) Elizabeth Peter's mysteries and cucumber sandwiches and mint tea

(2) Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series with donuts and coffee
or pizza and beer or pineapple upsidedown cake

(3) Anything by Jane Austen with scones and jam and tea

*Some books have a food theme, and I find that reading these books while eating the featured food is highly enjoyable. It's fun, too. (and we are all about fun over here chez chew)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Quoteable Children

Upon receiving a photo birth announcement, the boy says,

"Hey look - that baby is naked!"

and the girl says,

"It's a good thing his, you know . . . . , is covered."

Congratulations, A & B! Baby C is adorable.
(yes, those are their real initials. i can't make this stuff up.)

Monday, March 26, 2007

Sleeping With Bread Monday

The Bad Stuff ~ Night Terrors. Really, there should be more information out there to new parents about night terrors and some things to do. Sally has been having them all week, but the bad thing is that they were mixed up with nights of actual sickness, so it was a bit confusing for me. Her night terrors consist of her waking up and breathing very shallow short breaths and pointing to her throat like either (a) she cannot breathe well or (b) she is about to throw up. It is all in her mind, though, because after a few minutes it is obvious that she is totally asleep. The thing that has consistently worked the best is to take her to the bathroom and make her go while talking to her and asking her to tell me her name. She usually just looks straight through me and doesn't say much, but after she goes potty she wakes up enough to answer questions. When she was sick, though, she was actually going to throw up, and luckily I had walked her into the bathroom so there wasn't a big mess. Still, I had a few bad nights where I didn't sleep very well at all. Last night was much better - her terrors were over by 10:00 pm and I was able to get a full night of sleep.

The Good Stuff - Sleep, to start. I have a new empathy for Mary-LUE and her sleep apnea. I can't imagine weeks upon weeks of not enough sleep. The other good stuff is Leslie's Pool & Spa and the woman who works here who knows her pool chemicals. She knew right away what was wrong with our pool, and after arming me with a bucket of pool conditioner (which is actually granular cyanuric acid) and a box of Fresh 'n Clear (which I love and highly recommend if you have a pool - it's a shock treatment that oxidizes the bad stuff in your pool water and makes it, well, fresh and clear) and a list of instructions, I came home with a plan. (What follows is a detailed description of what was wrong with the pool, so feel free to skip it if this doesn't interest you.) It seems that our pool had no cyanuric acid left in the water, which is very important because without it, the sun's UV kills all the chlorine. Basically, our pool was making chlorine, and the sun was killing it right away so that there was never enough chlorine, so that algae was starting to grow. Our filter was so busy cleaning up the algae that it wasn't cleaning the dirt that had gathered on the floor of the pool. What I did was take the creepy crawly vaccum thing out of the pool, hose it off (because it had algae on it), and then I turned the suction to the drain of the pool and brushed all the dirt to the drain. Then I cleaned the filter and started putting the conditioner (acid) in and letting it mix up. Then I switched the pool to super chlorinate. Man, it looks so much better! I'm going to let it run for another day before I put the vaccum back in. So, thank you Leslie's Pool Store! I am one loyal customer, for you have saved my pool.

Friday, March 23, 2007


So the girl got sick this week and I had to cancel a bunch of plans. I haven't done this in a long time, since the kids are remarkably healthy. It is very frustrating at first. I'm not a cancel-the-plans kind of girl. And at the last minute? Not me. But when the girl has a fever of 102, you just can't leave the house. (I told her this was a rule. Fever over 101 and vomiting in the last 24 hours is a no-leave-the-house kind of illness.) However, after I got over myself, it was ok to be housebound. I should have done some work. I should have painted the ceiling (oh mercy, don't get me started about the ceiling), or paid the bills, or maybe cleared off a table (again, best not to talk about this). But no. Instead, I felt strangly attached to the couch. Instead, I did this:Swatched for a new knitting project, because the brown sweater is getting the best of me. After knitting several rounds on the arm, I realized that my knitting stockenette in the round does not look the same as knitting stockenette flat, and since the sweater was knit flat, I must knit the arms flat. (#*&%) So I ripped out what I knit and started over. But in the middle, I was so upset that I decided the best thing to do would be to start a new project. You can't have too many projects going. Your hands need the variety, you know? Right now, I have the sweater, the sock, the baby girl blanket, a dishcloth, and now the Knitty Fetching fingerless gloves. I also finished this bias knit scarf:

Oh yeah, and I cleaned the pool. Again. Something is not quite right about the pool filter. I've put a call in to our pool company, but they haven't called me back yet. However, I did take the cover off*, clean it*, and cleaned off the patio. We'll be ready for swimming in a few weeks. Yeah! Swimming!

*Taking the cover off and cleaning it is a back-breaking swear-word-inducing job that took me over two hours and got every piece of clothing I was wearing completely dirty. No wonder I didn't have the strength do tackle anything else yesterday.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I Can't Resist . . .

Mary-LUE has tagged me for this meme, and it's very cool.

1. Go to Wikipedia and type in your Birthday Month and day only.

OK. For the sake of protecting my identity, I won't tell you what it is. (But most of you could figure it out. And Julia, shhh! (We share a birthday!))

2. List 3 Events that occurred that day.

1631 - Mumtaz Mahal died during childbirth. Her husband, Mughal emperor Shah Jahan I, then spent more than 20 years to build her tomb, the Taj Mahal.

1885 - The Statue of Liberty arrives in New York Harbor.

1994 - Following a televised low-speed highway chase and a failed attempt at suicide, O.J. Simpson is arrested for the murders of his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend Ronald Goldman.

3. List 2 important Birth days. (besides mine, right?)

1898 - M.C. Escher, Dutch artist (d. 1972)

1943 - Barry Manilow, American musician

4. List 1 Death.

1981 - Zerna Sharp, American writer and educator (Dick and Jane) (b. 1889)

5. List a Holiday or Observance.

Liturgical feast of Saint Hervé patron of the blind

6. Tag 5 other bloggers.

I won't tag anyone else, but if you do this after reading this, please let me know in the comments so others can follow the fun. Thanks, Mary! I learned something new today!

Three Things Thursday

We've been dealing with some kind of bug over here (flu maybe, but we're not sure) and Sally's had some rough nights. In her honor, I give you
Our Favorite Comfort Foods
(1) Soup. Last night it was chicken rice veggie soup.
(2) Pringles. (Keebler Club Stick crackers are good too)
(3) Sprite. (The kids get more comfort from the teeny half cans)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Library Books

We went to the library yesterday and I found some good stuff.

The Library
by Sarah Stewart
illustrated by David Small
Elizabeth Brown loves to read more than anything else in the world.

(I love this book. Elizabeth Brown has red hair and glasses and is surrounded by books.)

Mr. Nick's Knitting
by Margaret Wild
illustrated by Dee Huxley
Mr. Nick makes a gift for his knitting friend who is in the hospital.

(This touching story brought Sally to tears and I had to make up a sequel where Mrs. Jolley gets better and leaves the hospital.)

Books and knitting. Let the brainwashing begin.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Knit Bit: Brown Sweater

The brown sweater is coming along very nicely. I tried it on this weekend, and then I knit like mad on Sunday and cast off the main body. Now I'm on one of the arms, and I'm obsessing about it, to tell you the truth. Here's my problem: first off, I have "mom arms". My upper arms are well developed due to carrying around a half ton of random crap like a pack mule. (Seriously. At soccer practice, I was carrying my purse, my knitting bag, my chair, Samuel's chair, and Samuel's backpack full of junk to distract him while Sally practices. When Sally asked me to carry her water I gave her The Look. Seriously.) So I don't want the sweater arms to fit too tight. I can't decide where to put in the decreases. Also, I am hopelessly determined to have the sleeves match perfectly, so I'm trying to figure out how to make the decreases at exactly the same places. I could be stuck here for a few days, unable to decide.

Good thing I have this blanket to work on. It's a girl baby blanket, and I broke my own rule of not using acrylic for baby knitting because this blanket will be totally machine washable AND dryable, which is a big plus for baby knitting. Also, it's not a garmet, which makes the acrylic rule more of a guideline. It's Lion's Favorite Blanket pattern, except that I used different colors because I couldn't find the colors they recommend, and it's regular stripes, because I felt like knitting it that way. It's just plain garter stitch (knit every row) so I'm knitting this one at the soccer practices and games (first game was Saturday - Sally's team lost, but they played beautifully and had fun). The only down side to this project is that Lion's Baby Soft yarn comes in a huge skein, and since I have two of them plus two of their Microspun skeins, it's a little cumbersome. The good thing is that the colors attract lots of attention, especially from young girls who love the pink and red together.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Favorite Foto Friday

Today, I give you cute handknits.

Actually, I call it The Cutest Thing I've Ever Knit

It's a wee baby sweater for a precious niece (or nephew) to be born in August.

Buttons will be added after baby arrives and will reflect gender and will be chosen by the cousin of the same gender (Sally is really pulling for a girl because she wants to look for flower buttons)

For the knitters:

Pattern is Lion's One-Stitch Baby Sweater (rated beginner)

Yarn is Crystal Palace's "Bunny Hop" in Misty Green

I have to tell you, this baby knitting is fantastic. I can finish a whole sweater in a couple of weeks! I've already started a blanket in girl colors for another baby, and I'm looking for some girly yarn (that means pink)to do another one of these sweaters.

Here's a close up of the button holes. I'm pretty jazzed about them because, see that first one? I missed putting it in when I started the front, and I tinked back those two stitches about six rows, put the button hole in, and slowly knit them back up. Had to do it about four times before I got it right, but I did it!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Three Things Thursday

~Foods I Don't Like~

(1) Liver and onions - ew. This was one of my parents favorite ways to torture us when we were younger. They would threaten to have it for dinner on a night when we were all out of other foods and my sister and I would be forced to eat it.

(2) Sardines - My sister and my dad love them, but luckily for my my mom doesn't and she saved me from mandatory sardine consumption.

(3) Corned beef and cabbage - never liked the stuff, but I will be making some in the next few days because my hubby loves it and I didn't make it last year for him.

The Ultimate Insult

While Uncle Jon was with the kids, lots of stuff happened. It's funny how the memory of a child filters out all of their own disobedience and consequences and only remembers the good things. Or that child only chooses to disclose the good things. In any case, Stuart, Sally, Samuel, and Uncle Jon all come away with different impressions of the weekend, and any leading questions on my part (to try and get the kids to talk about their bad behavior) are futile. So, I'll leave you with these little funny memories: (and the people who have internet access and computer skills can leave comments at their own discretion)

~ Said by Samuel about the dog poop: "Uncle Jon picked it up with a bag, and he put his hand in the bag and scooped up the poop. I did not like that." (Note: This is exactly the way I scoop up the poop. I don't understand what the big deal is.)

~ Said by Sally when she asked Uncle Jon how old he was and he asked her how old she thought he was: "Um, I don't know, maybe sixteen or seventeen?" (To those who know Uncle Jon, you'll get it. To those who don't, he's closer to my age.)

~ Said by Uncle Jon about the kids: "They looked at me funny when I tried to put strawberries on their cereal." (Note to self: Buy more fruit.)

~ Said by Samuel when asked about the water: "I wasn't playing with the water; I was helping you by filling stuff up." (By the way, nobody bought that.) (Note from UJ: I think it's important (and hilarious) to note that he was standing in a puddle reaching for the tap when he first denied that he was playing with the water.) (Note from me: Samuel didn't tell me that part.)

~ Said to Uncle Jon by Sally: "I thought you were my uncle, not my mother!" (Ouch.)

~ And a final funny story from Uncle Jon: The other story that I've been telling about the weekend was when Sally was showing me how fast she can count in the car on the way to the Japanese restaurant.
Sally: "Uncle Jon, remember how I showed you I can count really fast?"
Me [not having a clue]: "Yes!"
Sally: "Onetwothreefourfi-si-seveightninetezzuhzzuhzuzzuhtwenty! Wanna hear me do it again?"
Me: "Okay."
Sally: "Onetwothreefourfi-si-seveightninetezzuhzzuhzuzzuhtwenty!"
Me: "Oh, that was pretty good, but I think you missed one."
Sally: "??"
Me: "Nineteen."
Sally: "Okay." [deep breath] "Onetwothreefourfivesixse'eneightninetenzzuhzzuhzzuhzzuheighteennineteenTWENTY!"
Stu and me: "Oh much better. That was excellent, etc."
Samuel [not to be left out]: "I tooted!"

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

An Unlikely Princess

At our retreat, we have a Saturday night theme night. Last retreat it was a formal night and we dressed up. This time, it was Princess night and we got a sash to incorporate into our outfit in any way we wanted. There were fancy princesses using the material as a sash or a shawl, there were crafty princesses who made it into a shirt, a hat, and even legwarmers. And then there are the crazy people who made theirs into a cape: Princess Super Sheila
She can do all things through Christ
Philippians 4:13

Monday, March 12, 2007

New post over at Sheila's Bookshelf today.


I dropped a big hint back in August about a new direction I felt that God was leading me, and today I can tell you I took a big step in that direction. I went to our women's retreat this past weekend, and I was one of the speakers. Way back in August, I was doing some mundane work around the house (I think I was folding clothes or cleaning my room) and all of a sudden I had this thought that God was going to start me in a speaking ministry. This thought excited and scared me at the same time. I remember that I sat down and looked back at my life, the years I was on the speech team in high school, the years I spent teaching, my seemingly trivial dedication to this blog, and my lifelong dream of writing a book. I looked at those things and all at once they all fit together. I talked to Stuart about this and, like I said, he wasn't surprised at all. He said something like, "Yeah, that sounds right. About time you figured that out."

Still, even if you are prepaired for something like this, seeing it all play out is very exciting and scary and humbling. I felt very unworthy as I realized the other two women who were on the teaching team were older, wiser, and had done this before. I started asking people to pray for me, because I knew I would need it. I had a car full of women to drive up with because I knew I needed the distraction. (Thanks to J, S, E, and L - you ladies were such a blessing to me!)

It was a fantastic weekend. Our theme was Daughters of the King, and we did the princess stuff. Most of us there did not see ourselves as the princess type, but we all got tiaras on Friday night and wore them all weekend. We learned that our position as His princess is something that we were born into (just like a real princess!) and is a part of who we are. The best part of the retreat for me was seeing how everything fit together. The three of us did not know what the other two were talking about, except a general topic and a direction. Yet all of the things we said built upon each other, and it couldn't have been better if we had tried to plan it that way. It was very clear to us that God was organizing the whole thing, and we were just following Him. Saturday night was very powerful, and I think everyone was moved to tears. I know every time I opened my mouth to say something I started to tear up and could barely talk. (Good thing my teaching was on Friday night.)

I couldn't have gone this weekend if not for my great husband, who never had a doubt that I should go and listened to me rattle on for hours about everything that happened. Also, big shout out to Uncle Jon, who came for the weekend and took over for me on Friday afternoon so that I could leave early enough to get to the camp before the traffic set in.

So, where do I go from here? Was everything leading up to this weekend? If so, I'm content. It was great. It was a great honor and pleasure to be a part of the team. Or is this just the beginning for me? I have no idea. I'll go where He leads.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Favorite Fotos Friday

Uncle Jon is here for the weekend. We made pizza last night. It's our thing - when he's here, we always make pizza. (We have decided that this is a very good thing to have be our thing, and we will continue it as long as possible!)

The kids and Uncle Jon played a rousing game of Spongebob Life.

And I knit. This is a little sweater for a baby that will be born in August.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Quoteable Samuel

"Hey guys, I think I'm going to need some help with this puzzle, cuz, like, it has one hundred babillion babillion pieces."

Three Things Thursday

~ My favorite foods to make ~

(1) Muffins. Hands down the best thing for breakfast is a still-warm muffin and coffee. I love the way it makes the house smell good, too. Now that I have fantastic magic rubber muffin pans & a scoop the right size, clean up isn't too awful.

(2) Chicken & Dumplings. Sally calls this "heaven in a bowl". Now that my friend, Kitchen Goddess Stephenee, has me converted to homemade chicken stock, I like making this even better. Best comfort food there is.

(3) Cookies. Any kind of cookies. Chocolate chip, peanut butter, spritz, sugar - they are all good. I like watching the kids stir. I like fighting with them over who gets the spoon when we lick the bowl. The smell (again with the smells!) of chocolate chip cookies in the oven reminds me of my mom, who made cookies for us at least once a week and always wanted us to bring home friends to help us eat them. I guess that's why I like making them - it makes me feel like I'm a good mom, like my mom.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

For the Knitters

Oh total crafty happiness: there is a new Knitty up today.

Also new this month: MagKnits

And to my favorite knitter: Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you!

On The Radio

Finally ~ a new country radio station.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Some Stuff

I don't feel too much like blogging this week. It's more of the same around here. Samuel had a little meltdown this morning - he's now fully potty trained, but he's still a three year old boy and needs to learn to follow the house rules. One of the house rules is that you go potty in the morning before you go to school. That's just good common sense, isn't it? Anyway, he regularly fights me on this. Today, Sally was quite the helper, setting a good example for him and then wiping his little tears of frustration after he was finished. She even did some little goofy thing that made him laugh and forget that his mommy is such a monster. I pulled her aside and told her that she is a kind sister and I was so pleased with her. I had to run some errands this morning, but now I'm home and enjoying the quiet here. Later, I'll be helping Sally with her biography of a famous person. I went to the library and picked up several books for her: Jane Goodall (my idea), Mia Hamm (her dad's idea), and Coretta Scott King (her idea - "didn't Martin Luther King Jr have a wife? I could write about her!"). I wonder which one she will pick.

Posting may be a little sketchy this week, but next week will be better. I promise.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Favorite Fotos Friday

I painted the primer on the ceilings this week. Saturday we will do the paint, and this phase will be done. I am not functioning on full because so much of the house is out of place, but it can't go back until the ceiling is painted, and this is somehow making me think that it is ok to leave other messes in other places. I don't know - all I can figure is that my work area is all disrupted, and it's spilling over into other areas in the house, and I am powerless to contain it. (Or I'm using the ceiling project as an excuse to ignore other duties, but that doesn't sound like me, does it?) Painting the ceiling is not such a bad job, as long as you take frequent breaks and the kids are in school. But on Wednesday, Samuel was home with me, and he primered the dickens out of this wall:That is one of the walls that we have deemed "hallway wall" and needs to be painted the darkest shade of tan. Our colors: dark tan for the hall, medium tan for the family room and living room, light tan for the baseboards, and pure white for the ceiling. (The only reason for the pure white is because I wanted to use actual ceiling paint because it is thicker, and it comes in pure white and we didn't want to wait around to get it any other color. Besides, I like white ceilings.) Here's a self portrait:
So have a fun weekend, and if you're bored on Saturday, come on over!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Three Things Thursday

~ Favorite Food Month! ~

This week: three of my favorite restaurants

(1) Islands - the passion fruit iced tea and cheese fries are yummy. (Mom and Dad - Sally won a free kid's meal at Islands from school and wants to save it for when you come for a visit, because she knows you love that place.)

(2) Amy's Wok - a little takeout chinese food place we used to go to all the time. Order the two item combo with orange chicken and green beans - it's the best.

(3) Tony Romas - I like their BBQ sauce and whoever came up with the idea of a loaf of onion rings should be given some kind of food medal.