Thursday, December 31, 2009

Clue

My parents were able to come for a visit at Christmas, and as always, we had fun and I forgot to take lots of pictures. (Sadly, Stuart remembered to take lots of pics on Christmas morning, which are up on his facebook page. Enjoy.) I did remember to take some on the first day, when they were playing Clue with the kids.If you get the chance to play Clue with kids, you should. At least once. It's a riot - almost impossible to NOT cheat since they are not that savvy with the clue sheets.Oh, and here is our new work space. Sam's Christmas gift from us was his own computer to use. We got Sally hers when she learned to read, and so Sam has been holding us to the same deal for him. We decided that there is no way we would let him have it in his room, though, so this was a great solution. Cabinets from Lowes, countertop from Ikea, and everybody is happy.

Sam's First Lost Tooth

Sam finally lost his first tooth. It's been loose for several weeks, so we are all happy that it finally fell out. Actually, it didn't fall out. He wiggled it and then pulled it himself. He was relieved that it was over. Can you tell?

the green sweater

Here's how I knit a sweater. It starts for me with the pattern. Sometimes it starts with the yarn, but usually it's a pattern. This time, my mom was making a red sweater and I was helping her read the pattern and figure out what to do. The pattern, Sitcom Chic, is interesting because it's knit from the bottom up and it's almost seamless. So I decided to make it myself. That's when the yarn quest begins. Usually I spend a few months obsessing over yarn type and color, but I found this new yarn from Michaels, and it was green and on sale so I went for it. I got bored in the middle and it sat for a few weeks, but still, I finished in three months.

That's not entirely true. I wasn't only bored. Before I start a project like a sweater, I measure myself, then I measure a sweater that fits me, then I do a swatch, then I do another swatch with different needles, then I do some math, then some more math, then I go on Ravelry and look at what other people have knit, then I start. I am fairly confident when I start that I will make a sweater that will fit me. Then in the middle, I get a rush of doubt and am sure I am making a sweater that will either look like a tent or fit my daughter. So I stop for awhile. But, I picked it up again and ignored the doubts.

Anyways, yesterday I knit the button bands over breakfast:
Yep, that's my new netbook next to it. (Thanks again, Stu!) I was listening to a podcast while I worked. It was great. The button is made from recycled plastic, but it looks like wood. I like that.
And guess what? Despite my obsessive doubting, math has prevailed. It fits!

Pattern: Sitcom Chic

Yarn: Loops & Threads Impeccable in Forest (4 skeins)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Day After Christmas

Yesterday was Christmas. We had a nice day, celebrating by opening presents with my parents, having a big breakfast, and then playing and lounging around the rest of the day. We went to our church's program, Imagine Christmas. Really an amazing show - if you live in the area, you should come next year. It's very cool. My parents took the kids to the movies on Christmas Eve, then out to look at Christmas lights. Fun stuff.

I have a few knitted things to post, but I can't right now because I'm posting this from my new netbook, and all the pictures are on the home computer. Eventually I'll have access to them from this machine, but I don't know how to hook it up yet. I do have the printer working, which delights me to no end. Thanks, Stu, for such a cool gift :)

Speaking of Stu, he cooked a huge Christmas dinner - prime rib with "the sauce" that Sam loves, sweet potatoes, aspearagus, and green beans. Yummy.

I'm almost finished knitting a green sweater, and trolling around for yarn to knit the next sweater. The cool green & purple gloves are stalled for now. I'm also doing some consignment knitting, which is super fun and makes me feel like my hobby could become my career someday.

That's about all. The dog is being a brat, so I'm signing off. Enjoy the music.

Monday, December 14, 2009

imagine

This is our church's Christmas program. Location and times are here. It's really amazing.

Monday, December 07, 2009

gymnastics meet

This Saturday was Sam's first gymnastics class competition. It was really fun! Sam competed in rings, floor, vault (sort of vault - landing on a big foam mat - it's like intro to vault), parallel bars, and trampoline. He got fourth place! (out of ten - not bad for the first time)

Here's Sam with his medal:
and here's Sam with his coach:

On the gymnastics academy website, there is a video of his coach competing on the parallel bars. He won a gold medal at the 1998 World Cup.

While Sam was doing his thing, I was knitting more coasters:
and Sally learned how to knit i-cord:

We should probably teach Stu how to knit, because when he wasn't watching Sam, he was bugging Sally. They amuse me. We couldn't take flash photography during the competition, so we only have blurry pictures of Sam warming up.

Today it is (finally) raining. We had breakfast in the living room by the fireplace - very cozy and warm. I'm going to put some dinner in the crock pot so when we all come home this afternoon the whole house will smell yummy.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Mashed Sweet Potato Casserole Topped with Caramelized Bananas

This was the new recipe Stuart made for our Thanksgiving meal, and it was yummy. The bananas go really well with the sweet potatoes, and carmalized? Yes please! You can find the recipe here at the food network website. Enjoy!

new gigs

Lots going on over here - I guess that is December for you. Stuart is using my car today - his is getting an estimate on some repairs - so I'm at home. I needed a day like today - home alone, getting the last of the Christmas decorations up, working on some gifts (got a hat going for the boy that's a super secret), and doing some baking. We are going to go to Biola University's Christmas Tree Lighting tonight - both of us went there, and although we have always lived in the area, we have never taken our kids. I'm looking forward to tonight so much.

I've started taking my knitting more seriously. I've designed some patterns before, but in August I wrote and submitted my first pattern for publication. Although I didn't get accepted, I have self-published (the gloves below) and have gotten lots and lots of feedback from the knitters on Ravelry (thanks, Ravelers!) I'm considering designing more gloves, and I'm also considering opening a shop on Etsy and selling them. My sister and I are working together on a line of greeting cards with knitted embellishments. If anything comes of either thing, I'll be posting lots of links here.

I have subbed a handful of days this year, and I'm not really surprised that the phone isn't ringing off the hook. What has surprised me is that a new opportunity has dropped into my lap! My friend recommended me as a teacher for Independent Study (for students out of school due to medical reasons) and I started working with students this week. I already have three kids that I am working with, and I am really enjoying it. The hours are flexible, I am paid hourly and for mileage, and I'm teaching one of them geometry (my favorite). It's really the perfect job for me now, and I'm so thankful that my friend thought of me (thanks, Cindi!).

The kids are well. The flu/cold virus continues to move through our school, hitting whole families for 1-2 weeks at a time. I'm kind of glad we got ours early.

I'm off to bake some cookies and write a letter to put in the Christmas cards. Hope you are enjoying the Christmas music (I take requests!)

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

it's december!

Welcome December! I've put up Christmas music to celebrate!

Turn up the volume and enjoy the holiday season.

(ps - tree is up, lights are on, but that's about it. we're easing into the holidays over here.)