Tuesday, July 31, 2007

San Diego Weekend

The kiddos are at my parent's house for Cousin's Camp. This is when my kids and their two cousins spend a week with my parents, getting spoiled and playing and having a blast. Sally misses us, but Samuel is just fine. So Stuart and I decided to go down to San Diego and check out the Dead Sea Scrolls. I don't have my new camera yet, but no matter - no cameras are allowed anywhere near the scrolls. It was a great exhibit, full of lots of history and the various theories about the site at Qumran. I didn't realize that there was a castle that they found near the caves that hid the scrolls, but this castle (at Qumran) is really interesting. We watched a presentation that showed what it probably looked like, and explained their complex water system - water from flash floods in the mountains was collected and flowed through the buildings, probably for drinking, bathing, making clay pots, and providing water for animals. The presentation also discussed the dining room, the pantry, and the room where people probably wrote the scrolls. If you are even a little bit interested in this stuff, you should go see the exhibit. But please - leave your kids at home. It is long and not appropriate for young kids.

At the end of the exhibit, there are several very old Bibles on display, most of them from a collection in Russia. Also there is on display some pages from The Saint John's Bible. This is the first handwritten Bible made in 500 years, and it is just beautiful. No words can describe to you how amazing this project is. Literally, it stunned me by the colors of the artwork and the precise neatness of the letters. Go check out the links and see for yourself - you can order notecards of some of the artwork, too. (This picture was at the museum and the colors are just so vivid and, seriously, I'm trying to describe something to you that I just can't find the words for.)

After about two hours reading and listening to the presentation, my brain was full and I couldn't take anymore. We went to dinner at The Fish Market, and you'll have to ask Stuart why this picture is so darn funny. He'll tell you a long story about a parking space and his ditsy wife, but in my defense let me say that I was hungry and I'm sure my blood sugars were pretty low. (For those of you that care, this is a statue called "Unconditional Surrender" and it is made from the famous WWII photograph taken in New York -- thanks to http://www.militarypilots.org/ for a beautiful picture!)

A fun day in San Diego - thanks, Mom and Dad, for taking good care of the kiddos. Now I'm off to find and dispose of about fifty happy meal toys - don't tell the kids!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Conversations with Samuel

(during breakfast)
Samuel: "Mom, you know what I love? I love those marshmallows with the chocolate and the graham crappers . . . "
Me: "The WHAT?"
Samuel: "Uuhhhh . . ."
Both kids: dissolve into giggles

Monday, July 23, 2007

Favorite Fotos (Monday)

They clean up nice, don't they? :)
The kids with their cousin at the family wedding that was in SanFrancisco earlier this month. Thanks to Andi for emailing me the pic.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Knit Bit: Preemie Hat

Yarn: Lion Organic Cotton in Almond; purple & pink embroidery floss

Finished Sizes: 9 inches around; 4.5 inches tall

Directions: This is the hat formula I used for making Caps for the Capital last year. I cast on 44 stitches using US5 needles and knit in K2P2 ribbing for one inch. I switched to US6 and stockenette and knit until the whole thing was just a smidge over 4 inches tall. I knit three rows of decreases, threaded the yarn through the remaining stitches, and sewed up the seam. (I knit little hats flat instead of in the round because I can knit that way so much faster.) This is for a darling little baby girl that was born this week (Pip is her in-utero nickname). Welcome to the world, sweet baby! Congratulations, Dad and Mom!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

HP7: Finished

Loved it. Great ending to a fantastic story.

HP7: Bookstore

I showed up at the bookstore at 10:30 last night, and I am so glad I waited in line that morning! I met one girl who had a number in the 500s - mine was 132. There were lots of people dressed up - much more than last time - and the sense of community was so great. I talked with a woman who was crocheting a blanket - we talked about The Eyre Affair and how tired we were - and I saw several people from my church there. I got my book at 12:59 am and was home by 1:15. I read until a little after 3:00 (on the couch, Alison - I couldn't read in the bed next to my sleeping husband, who will patiently wait until I am done with the book to read it himself - such a good man) and then fell asleep. I had a birthday party this morning (Happy Birthday, Mia!) and then an errand to run before I came home. It's now quiet time in our house, and the kids know that they need to leave me alone to read. Still, they keep asking me what chapter I am on, and since Ms. Rowling writes pretty short chapters, they are always impressed with me. I won't talk about the contents of the book here - check on the Bookshelf blog next week if you are interested in what I think about it. So far, I like it very much.

Friday, July 20, 2007

HP7: Wristband

I got to the bookstore when it opened at 9:00 am, and there was a line around the corner. I waited 1 1/2 hours to get my wristband for tonight. As I was explaining to Sally that I wasn't going to buy the book this morning - I was getting a number to buy the book tonight - it dawned on me that this whole business is pretty silly.

But this is the last book, and I'm going tonight. I'll watch the crazy people who will dress up and I'll get my book around 1:00 am and read for a few hours before going to bed.

There were some people there in a tent. They had spent the night last night to be in first. They aren't leaving so they can be first in tonight, too. One girl had a time turner necklace, and she played with it while reading book 6 and she was probably pretty happy because she was #1 and she got a seat in the shade.

Me? I'm pretty sure I got sunburned. More later.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Ta Da!

Because it's worth it, even when it doesn't feel like it.

(Feel free to copy me. Ribbons are a royal blue (1/4 inch) and light pink (1/8 inch) hot glued to a pin and then tied with a small piece of gold string. The verse is from Matthew 19:5-6, but there are several passages from the Bible supporting the sancity of marriage. All marriages need prayer. Pray for your friends.)

Knit Bit: Organic Cotton

Remember this yarn?
I have a project for it now. But, listen to this: I lost it. This is how bad it has gotten with me - I have actually lost yarn inside my own house. It wasn't in my project bags, it wasn't in my stash boxes, it wasn't shoved in my closet. I racked my brain trying to remember where I put it. I went into the garage, thinking, this is the only place I haven't looked, but it can't be here, because I would never put lovely yarn out in the garage. Yeah, I found it in the garage. I had stashed it in a bag that I wasn't using, and then I put the bag in a storage container for bags that I'm not using but not ready to give away yet. (Yes, it's a problem, but I'm working on it.) So today I cast on for a wee little project that should be done in a few days.

I love knitting.

Why I LOVE the fair!

Last night was a night to remember. Samuel had his first ferris wheel ride and pet the chicks, Sally went on the ferris wheel with a friend and won two stuffed animals, and I ate a Krispy Kreme sandwich. Oh yes, I ate it. Mine was a jelly filled donut, cut in half, with a fried chicken patty in the middle. I didn't put the honey on it (it really needed no extra sweetness at all) and it was good. I don't think I could eat it on a regular basis, but for fair food, it totally fit the bill. (For the record, we also had the fried veggies combo, the girl ate a hamburger, the boy ate a hot dog and half of his dad's giant corn dog, and then we shared some ice cream. Oh, and we shared a funnel cake. Later that night, I commented that I was glad that we only went to the fair once a year, because I don't think my system could handle that. I ate salad and fresh fruits today.) However, I am not at all interested in trying Deep Fried Coke. A girl has got to have some standards, after all.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Catching Up

"When is the last time that you've done something for the first time?"

I'm finally home from a long weekend that I made a little longer. The whole family drove up to San Francisco on Saturday morning for a family wedding (congratulations, G & J!). The drive went well and we only got into traffic once we hit the Bay Area, which I think has as much traffic as LA, but in a much smaller space. Anyway, the wedding was beautiful and was at City Hall, which is more like a museum than anything else. It's amazing. It got late and the boy wanted to go to bed, so we had to leave a bit early. Stuart and I went outside to wait for the cab that his mom called for us, but since the dispatcher said they were really busy and couldn't tell us when they would get there, I hailed my first cab. (I know, I'm a bit old for never having done this, but I just don't live in cities where I would need to use a cab. Every other time I've been in a cab I've either called for it or had someone else to hail one for me.)

We had brunch in the city, and then drove to Oakland Airport to drop off Stuart, who flew home to attend a meeting. The kids and I drove up to his mom and step-dad's house, north of Sacramento. We stayed there for a night, then I met my sister for lunch on Monday. Samuel had been a little sick (he threw up at brunch, and was running a fever) so she said I should spend the night at her house. It didn't take much to talk me into doing that, so we stayed. The kids played together and my sister and I had fun drinking wine and working on a puzzle (it's our thing).

I drove home on Tuesday. A very long drive when you are the only driver - it took me eight hours. I got to LA right about the time traffic picks up, so I was about half an hour longer than my TomTom's arrival time (TomTom is a navagation thing that is excellent for reduced stress when traveling). The kids were great and nobody threw up in the car, which means it was a good trip. We stopped at Wendy's and got another book on CD - the Arthur one - and I was too happy to get the kids meal because we have listened to the Magic Tree House CD about six times in the last four days. Samuel loves it.

Stuart and I saw the Harry Potter movie on Friday night (thanks, Beth, for watching the kiddos!) and it was really really great. It may be my favorite movie so far, but I am still partial to #3 (my favorite book is still #3). I'm reading book #6 in prepairation for book #7 THIS FRIDAY!!! Today, though, is emails and laundry and then we are off to the Fair!

Friday, July 13, 2007

On Marriage

First of all, apologies all around for the sad lack of photos. I'm working on it.

Second, I have been pretty quiet about some major situations unfolding around me because, sorry to be so blunt, internet, but it's really none of your business. (I said sorry. The truth does hurt sometimes.) I still choose to say very little, other than to say that marriages are taking a real hit. And that it is painful to walk down the road with a friend that is having maritial troubles. But I know that God has put me here to walk with some people, and I will walk with them and hold their hands and pray with them and for them and I won't be sorry that I am here, even though most days it's depressing and draining.

So, to help me - and anyone else out there who needs it - here are some truths about love. This is taken from our pastor's sermon on compassion this week (I hope he doesn't mind that I'm directly quoting him, but seriously good stuff):

"Whether we feel compassionate or not
we still should act compassionately.
It’s a lot like love and those of you that are married
will know this to be true:
that you are supposed to love
whether you feel it or not.

When it gets to the hard grind of marriage
that’s where you truly learn to love
and you are supposed to love
you are supposed to act in a loving way
whether you feel like it or not.

Because in the end
love is not an emotion that I feel;
love is a commitment that I make.
It is a commitment that I make to consistently act
in the best interests of the other person.
That is love."

(I think some people need to have that tattooed on their hands, sort of like a cheat sheet for life. Or maybe when you get married to have some sort of a tape that you listen to while you sleep, so that stuff really gets in your head while the emotions are high and while it is easy to keep your committment because you don't know all the really bad, ugly parts of your spouse yet.)

Also, last week Stuart and I were talking and he says to me that he wants to wear a ribbon that stands for marriage. He wants to wear a symbol that says to the world that he supports marriage and prays for people who are married, to have a healthy marriage and to stay married and work through the crappy hand that life sometimes deals you. (I'm paraphrasing here - I don't think he used the card analogy, but I like it.) So I've designed a little something. I am unveiling it next week. So, check back next week. Good things to look forward to! (I told you I needed something. It's small, but it helps me.)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Catching Up

It's been busy. My sister and her two boys were here, and my mom and dad decided to come over and join the fun. We went to the beach (Balboa, by the pier), to Chuck E Cheese, to the penny sale at Staples (twice), and swam more times than I can count. We made smores around our little fire bowl in the back yard, we painted picture frames and collected shells to glue on them, and the kids built a fort in the front living room. A fun full time.

We have a wedding this weekend, and I don't like any of my shoes. I have to pick one to settle for or find some sandals on sale.

Samuel gained two pounds in the last three weeks. Doesn't sound like much unless you consider that is almost 7% of his total weight. He's growing. He is getting really good at swimming - he can get a dive stick off of the bottom of the middle of the pool (4-5 feet deep) and can swim about half of the length. I still don't trust him - he lacks common sense and still has no fear.

Sally learned how to play my favorite rummy game last night. She's so cute when she plays cards, showing everything on her face. Last week she swam the length of the pool in one breath. She's a real fish. Both of the kids are into Pokeman cards, and Sally received a PeekAPooh last week and is completely smitten. I found a vending maching at a local restaurant, and now she wants to go there all of the time.

I'm almost finished with a bag that I am knitting up. I have two more side seams, and I started the handles this morning. I started with a garter stitch handle, which didn't seem right. Then I tried a stockenette stitch with a garter stitch border, and that was no good either. Finally I found a circlular needle in size US10, and I'm doing a five stitch i-cord. I think it's big enough for some cording to be threaded through the middle, which will make really strong handles. I'm working on some pictures (still have to find that cord for the older camera . . . .). Meantime, if you need to see some good knitting, go here. Beautiful baby sweater. For some great yarn, look here. I love her pictures.

Also, shouts out to Alison, who has a great post about marriage this week. My homeschooling (old earth creationist) friend has a great homeschool blog, but even if you aren't into homeschooling she's got lots of great information for parents. Good luck to my sister and her hubby who are running, swimming, and cycling in a triathlon this weekend.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Manic Monday

I've got cousins, grandparents, and my sister here. We are off to the beach to burn off some energy so we can come home and the kids will go to bed and us grownups can play cards.

Yeah right. Wish us luck.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Favorite Foto Friday

Alas, I have no new photos to share. My camera is broke. As in, "I'm sorry but we don't have any service centers and there are no repair options for your camera" broke. If I had broke it about six weeks ago, I could have sent it in and got a new one. But now, I can send it in and pay a large sum and get a new one. I think I'll use my old one for awhile and take some time to shop around for a new one. Anybody have a small digital camera that they really like? Brand and model numbers, please!

Meantime, here's a few pics to hold you over. These are from Samuel's birthday party:
And one knitting pic, just because it makes me happy:
These are some wee little baby booties that I knit up for a friend. (Lion free pattern from their website; Bernat cotton tots 100% cotton yarn)

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Celebrating the Fourth

Happy Fourth of July, people! We had a banner day over here - we went a few cities over to score some fireworks, and the kids had such a blast. We got sparklers - can you believe that they have never done sparklers before? A shame! - and a bunch of assorted popping white and pink and green fireworks. It was really fun.

Also, I want to promote Wendy's and a kid's meal toy that I can really be happy about - books on CD. We went there yesterday for lunch and the kids got The Magic Treehouse (book 1) on CD. They have four different stories, so you can bet that we will be going back. Also they have new menu choices for the kids meals, for those of you healthy parents out there (turkey and cheese sandwich & yogurt with granola). Plus, they have a new vanilla frosty float - yum.

Today we are off to the library and to the camera repair shop. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

The Countdown Continues

17 days until the last Harry Potter book is released. I read on the Borders website that "All the questions will be answered." I have to admit - I'm a little nervous to read the last book because what if all my questions aren't answered? I guess the three biggest ones - Is Harry a horcrux? Is Snape on Harry's side or Voldemort's? Who will die? - will be answered in the book. But I have others, like - What did Harry's parents do? Why were they so close to Dumbledore? How did they have so much money? And, of course, how will it all end? I guess that last one will be answered, too. The Leaky Cauldron has lots of fun stuff, including countdowns for the movie and for the book.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Sleeping With Bread Monday

Moldy Bread ~ Very little to report this week in the "things that caused me to despair" category. It's been a busy but pretty good week. I can think of a couple of little things: I filled up my bird feeder, only to see it totally empty two days later and seeing NO BIRDS eat from it. The culprit? Little field mice who delightfully steal all the bird seed all night long. Little buggers. Also, I really did break my camera. Makes me so upset. But my husband has found a shop that may be able to fix it, so that is a good thing. Meantime, I have knitting stuff to show you, and I don't know if I can find the computer cords for our old digital camera. (Old digital camera. That sounds like an oxymoron.) Also, I can't believe June is over. I love June. I want June to last for a few more weeks.

Freshly Baked Bread ~ Our little garden is growing very nicely. We planted tomatoes, basil, peppers (hot little green ones for the hubby), and cucumbers. We have some more seeds, but need to find a quiet morning to plant them. FamJam was a blast and the kids had such a great time. I don't think I mentioned it here, but we were one of the families that got to be on-stage for the worship portion of the week. Basically, we led hand motions to songs and tried to encourage clapping and dancing and general worship excitement. We were NOT given microphones, so that was good, because singing is not our strong suit. It was very very fun, though, and Sally loved being one of the "chosen ones" - other kids kept trying to get on the stage too. Samuel went up with us once or twice, which I think is pretty good for him. I'm working on a reall cool knitting project - a bag (close to a tote bag shape) made from cotton yarn (Sugar n' Cream) and Lion Microspun. The colors are fantastic. I'm making it to match the yoga mat bags that I made earlier this year, and then I'm going to make a yoga strap. Now, why didn't I think to knit up a yoga strap earlier? I have no idea. Basically, it's a 6-8 foot, 1-2 inch wide, strap of fabric that you use to help you stretch into a pose. A perfectly good and fast knitting project. AND it will match the yoga mat bag, which I love the matching thing. By the by, my friend and I have been doing yoga in the park. Yes, in public, outside, in front of total strangers, while our kids play. At the end of the workout (we do YogaZone dvd's), we lie on our backs and look at the trees and it is a great way to do yoga. Highly recommend it. One last thing - Sally has been doing finger knitting, and last night she taught her friend to do it and they both made little skinny scarves with Fun Fur yarn. How cool is that?