Sunday, November 30, 2008

Recital Frock GIVEAWAY!!!!

My girls would love this dress! It's an American Girl lover's dream. It looks like it's right out of Kit's movie! Recital Frock GIVEAWAY!!!!

7 things

I was tagged by Lauria, Laux and Diana! I've got a head cold, so I'm going to stick with the 7.

The Rules
1) Link to your tagger and list all these rules in your blog.
2) Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3) Tag 7 people at the end of your post by including links to their blogs
4) Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog

1. I'm terrified of the dark.
2. I've got a green belt blue tip in Tae Kwon Do.
3. I cannot say the word "Clinton" properly.
4. I'm a very good target shooter.
5. I've been crocheting and knitting garter stitch since I was 4 and sewing since I was 7, but I just learned how to purl about 1 year ago.
6. I LOVE everything Star Wars.
7. My favorite soup is Campbell's Condensed Meatball Soup, and I dearly miss it and wish they would bring it back! I even went so far as to email them about it.

I tagged Jeannie I was going to tag more people, but they were all already tagged!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Yes Melodie, there is a Santa Claus.....

Yes Melodie, there is a Santa Claus.....
So, we have quite the dilemma this year. Melodie is in her 3rd/4th gifted class. She is the youngest one in her class. She is with some kids who are 10 or exceptionally close to it all day long. Should we, or should we not, tell her about Santa?

When I was a little girl, I believed until I was in 5th grade. I was relentlessly made fun of, but I believed with all my heart. I even knew I saw him one year. Apparently, when my dad was about 5 or 6, one of his older cousins outed the man in red, and my dad was devastated, and he didn't want that to happen to me. So, they let me get picked on. I don't want Melodie to be picked on. She has enough going for the being picked on thing on her own, regardless of believing in a fat guy in a red suit who brings presents to millions of kids in 12 hours.

Dan's afraid she'll ruin it for the little kids. Stealth and discretion are not Melodie's strong points. I don't want her to get made fun of. I say we at least get her through this Christmas. Next year, I'm on the fence. She'll be the fourth grader. I'm very tempted to let it slide then, too. In 5th grade, she'll go to middle school, and I'm thinking we should wait until then to tell her. I'm sure Ari will have figured it out by then. (She's already started with the questions....her and her little analytical mind.) And, I know they wouldn't want to make the boys sad, so I think they might be able to keep it a secret by then.

So, who got all their Christmas shopping done yesterday? I stayed home. I'm doing pretty good getting stuff, or I at least know what I want to get. It's all a matter of having the $$$ or not.

And, for all of you wondering about me being pagan and the Christmas references, we celebrate both. As I said, Melodie has enough going against her fitting in as it is. (We do encourage our kids to be free thinkers and individuals, and they are, but there's that fine line being an individual and being an outcast, and we try to pull her back from the edge!!) Anyway, we celebrate Winter Solstice as more of a religious day, and Christmas as more of an eat cookies, open presents, play games, and watch movies family fun kind of day, purely secular.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Back to the old grind

Well, we had a nice day yesterday. It took FOR-EV-ER to bake a 20 pound turkey, but god was it good! Dan outdid himself. Poor little Ari had the stomach flu. What a crappy day for the stomach flu! She's doing better today, though. Charlie had a blast. He now apparently loves sweet potatoes, especially mixed with marshmallows, brown sugar, and cinnamon. He also had some turkey, mashed potatoes, candied carrots, and green bean casserole!

Dan battled the crowds for me this morning and picked up a few of the kids presents. (He has to get up at 4 AM every day for work anyway...this kept him on schedule!) He got Ari's Easy Bake Oven, which I am SO excited about. She said she wants to be a chef when she grows up. She helped me saute the veggies for my stuffing yesterday. She's a good helper in the kitchen.

Well, that's about all for me for today. I'm still trying to work. Tomorrow, we're going to bake cookies with my mom!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Well, today is obviously Thanksgiving. I've got to work, but we're still going to have a big, traditional Thanksgiving dinner! Dan is a HUGE help on holidays. He takes care of alot of the cooking, or at least the watching. I get everything together, and he tends it. He also does all turkey washing and tending, and ham marinating on Christmas and Easter!!

Today is also my grandma's birthday! I'm going to hopefully get her a cake baked. My grandpa never remembers her birthday, and even when he does, I'm sure he doesn't get her a cake! So, I'm going to have the kids help make her one.

This evening, we will watch Christmas movies and put together a gingerbread house! (Our Thanksgiving tradition!)

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Brownie Cookies Recipe

Yesterday was really fun. The girls had a blast. Charlie munched some pancakes. One of the head mothers of the PTA group gave Atley a big plate of sausage links to bring home. He was so excited! The girls were excited to take in the pilgrim hat cookies we made Monday night to share with their classes.

Today, we're going to Mcdonald's with my grandparents. Thank goodness work is slow holiday weeks. (Even though it sucks because this work week will be on my last check we get before Christmas because my checks are held.) :0(

Here is the recipe for the Peanut Butter Brownie Cookies I made the other night: (even one of the little boys in Melodie's class asked for the recipe!)

Peanut Butter Brownie Cookies

• 1 (19.5 oz.) package Pillsbury® Classic Traditional Fudge Brownie
• 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
• 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
• 1 large egg
• 1 cup powdered sugar
• 1 cup Jif® Creamy Peanut Butter
• 1/2 can Pillsbury® Chocolate Fudge Frosting

1. HEAT oven to 350°F. Beat brownie mix, melted butter, cream cheese and egg in medium bowl 50 strokes with spoon until well blended (dough will be sticky).
2. DROP dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheets to make 24 cookies; smooth edge of each to form round cookie.
3. MIX powdered sugar and peanut butter in small bowl with spoon until mixture forms a ball. With hands, roll rounded teaspoonfuls peanut butter mixture into 24 balls. Lightly press 1 ball into center of each ball of dough.
4. BAKE 10 to 14 minutes or until edges are set. Cool on cookie sheets at least 30 minutes.
5. SPREAD thin layer of frosting over peanut butter portion of each cooled cookie.
High Altitude (above 3500 ft.):
1. FLATTEN cookies slightly before baking. Bake at 350° F for 11 to 15 minutes.
Yield: 24 cookies

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Pancake Breakfast

Today is the school's annual pancake breakfast. I always sign up to help for it, because it is one of the few activities scheduled on my day off. I helped Melodie's kindergarten year, but last year I had to call off because I was recovering from my gallstone attack. I had even missed conferences from it.

Tomorrow, if it's slightly nice, we're going to go out to lunch and to the park with grandma and grandpa. They won't do things without the girls because they don't want to hurt their feelings, so any day off they have, we try to do something with grandma and grandpa.

Monday, November 24, 2008

There's no place like home for the holidays

We stay home for the holidays. It's too hard to get (now) 4 kids to go anywhere and be away all day, especially with a baby. For the last 5 or 6 years or so, we've been staying home for all of the holidays. If people want to see us, they are more than welcome to stop over, but other than that, we stay at home. (Well, for Easter we usually try to go to a park or somewhere like that.) Thanksgiving, we will be eating at home, but it's my grandma's birthday, so we'll go see her in the evening. Plus, I usually have to work on holidays. That's the crappy thing about working at home. If it's not a Tuesday or Saturday, I usually have to work it. We went shopping yesterday for our Thanksgiving groceries (before my mom brought the kids home.) I've got a couple of things to pick up at the store down the street, and I'm still hoping to take Charlie to get his picture taken tomorrow, but sadly the vest will not be done. And, I'm probably going to take a picture at home of everyone and get prints made, so I don't have to worry about send out picture time at Walmart.

We're just homebodies, and besides, what kid wants to go all over hell all day long? I'm an only child, and my BIL and SIL have no kids, so it's not like they have cousins to play with. My dad said how horrible my mom's family was for always having get togethers on the holidays and how it was disrespectful to him (he's got issues, and thank god they're divorced now, so I only have to put up with his crap when I feel like it.) I was never so glad to get that email from him, though. See, he always gives me grief because we don't go over there for holiday dinners. When he emailed that, I said exactly, that's why we don't go anywhere. We want the kids to have fun. It's supposed to be special and fun for THEM. He let it drop then. (Sorry about the dad rant, but I'm probably going to have to see him Thursday at my grandma's....grrrr)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cold, Cold, Cold

It's still SO cold outside! Last night was fun. Only one of my friends came back, and she kind of had to because we rode together and Dan and her husband went out together, so we had alot of cookies to eat! (I made brownie cookies.) Charlie had his first French fries. He LOVED them! Other people in the restaurant went out of their way to walk over and see the baby.

The kids had fun at my mom's. She took them out to Bob Evans for dinner, and they went to see "Bolt." They are off the wall right now. I just made them all sit down for silent reading time.

I am so tired. I was up way too late last night, and I have to get up extra early Tuesday to go in for the girls' pancake breakfast at school. Why do I volunteer for these things!?!

Awesome Give Away for Black Friday!!

Just click the title, and it will take you to a blog where you can enter for a chance to win a prize once an hour Black Friday...November 28th. Some AWESOME prizes will be given away!! Go check it out!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Parade Day!

Today is the annual Holiday Parade for our small town. We're going with my mom, and we will sit in Wendy's and eat yummy food and drink warm hot chocolate (the only day of the year they serve it.) Then, the children will beg, now that they're old enough to realize what's going on, and we will go outside to watch the end of the parade and get useless trinkets and unnecessary candy. This year, I will know that the children will want to go outside, and they (and I) will have warm coats, gloves, hats, and scarves so we will not freeze like we did last year. Oh, and bags. I'm still digging candy out of my coat pockets!

After the parade, my mom will take the big children to her house. She will do arts and crafts with them and make them whatever food they want because she is their personal short order cook (or hates to cook.)

Then, I will go to my Girls Night Out!!!!!!!!!! Charlie will come, but I will bring him food and toys, and he will sit and eat and play and be happy, and I will be out of the house for a few hours! I may even invite the girls back to my place afterwards, if I can banish Dan to the garage and get the house cleaned in time. Maybe, I will even make a pan of brownies for us to eat.

Friday, November 21, 2008

One more day down....

And only one more to go to my Girl's Night Out! Yay!

Conferences went good yesterday. Melodie got bright, shining reviews. She's reading Emily Dickinson with 2 other little girls, and they're exploring imagery and will be starting on rhyme and rhythm after break! Her teacher also asked me last night if it was okay to start her on some pre-algebra stuff. Two of the 4th grade boys are doing it, and she thought Melodie may enjoy it, too.

Ari is doing good. Her teacher said she's really opened up, which we were worried about. She said her speech is doing better, and she can understand her all the time. She's behaving well in class. (She only got her first yellow the other day. She went outside with no coat on! Her teacher's aide told her twice to get her coat before she went she got her gloves and went without the coat. To her defense, she is always hot and has always hated coats.) She needs to work on her handwriting. And, we need to work on memorizing our address and phone number. I've tried and tried, but she always tells me she knows it, and she doesn't have to say it. Gotta love my stubborn, independent little girl!

We actually got an inch or 2 of snow last night. Apparently, the city Dan works in is supposed to get up to a foot today. (It's about half an hour away.) It's supposed to snow some tomorrow, too. Must dress warm for parade!

My grandparents stopped by yesterday. My grandpa said the word "eat" when asking if we were still able to go out to eat for lunch next Wednesday when the girls are off school, and Charlie freaked out. He started squirming and turning around to look at me! That boy loves his food! When they left, my grandpa waved "bye-bye" at him, and he waved back! That was his first wave!

I didn't get anymore done on my vest yesterday. I was beat after conferences and the ensuing crying when Ari didn't get 15 pens at $3 a pop.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Annie's Attic Pattern of the Day - Snowman Cookie Jars!

OMG, these are cute beyond words! I had to blog about this and share the crocheted cuteness around! My mom loves snowman stuff. She is so getting one of these for Christmas! (I don't drink coffee, or I'd do both...I've only got 1 can of coffee for feeding my rhododendrons!)

It's still snowing

It's coming down again. We really haven't gotten more than a dusting here. It keeps falling and melting. Just about an hour north of us, they've got a foot in some places. Gotta love Ohio! We always say, if you don't like the weather, wait 15 minutes, it'll change.

Today is wear a shirt with words to read on it. (They're doing special days for book fair week.) Ari is wearing her Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix shirt! For any of you who don't know, Ari is a HUGE HP fan. She prefers to be called Hermione. Since she was about 3 1/2, she has been all about Harry. We are very sad we don't get to go to a movie opening night at midnight tonight! (Yes, I was going to take her and keep her out of school the next day. I know, I'm a bad mom.) Alas, we have to wait until July. :0( At least we get to go for our birthdays again. (For the OOTP, Dan and I shipped the other kids off to my mom's and took Ari out for a nice dinner and to see OOTP with just us. Her birthday is about a week and a half after mine, so we went as a combined treat for the 2 of us.) Plus, I've been trying to read her the books to get her caught up on everything, and to prepare her for sad things that happen at the end of #6. (I almost wrote the spoiler, but then it dawned on me that some people, if it's really possible, might not have read HP and the HBP. Oh, the blasphemy!)

I got a little more done on the vest last night. Small steps. I'm hoping to have it done by Tuesday so I can at least take Charlie for first Christmas pictures.

Today is also conference day at school. Of course, I wrote down the times of the conferences on my calendar....but not whose teacher was at what time! Ah well, you live, you learn. So, it looks like I have to call the secretary today. This is my first year for having to go to 2 conferences. Next year, I'll know better for 3!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

It is DONE!!!

I did it! I FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY did it!! The train sweater is done. 100% complete. C'est fini! I finished it last night. Without any further ado, here it is! (Sorry for the crappy pictures, but it was 10:00 at night and my new camera's batteries died on me, so I had to use the old crappy one.)

Yesterday was a very productive day. We got groceries, then Charlie had his shots. :0( He did great, though! The first one, he didn't even cry, and only for about 5 seconds on the other one! He was a little sore in the afternoon because it was the DTap, but he seems to have slept it off and be his happy self this morning! Atley and I made fudge. We also made Dan his sweet potato pie he's been wanting, and we made Charlie some baby food. We did peas yesterday. Atley fell. He was standing on his stool watching me, and it slipped out from under him and he bumped his chin on the counter. I've always hated having the stools in the kitchen for that reason and the fact that I trip over them all.the.time! So, we now have a strict no stool rule, and if they want to help, they can use my little step stool because it has nonskid feet. (Yes, I'm short, and I need a stool to get most things out of my cabinets. I have seriously thought about getting one of those stools from Little People, Big World!)

I also started on Charlie's Christmas vest last night. I asked Dan what he thought, and he was like wow, that looks awesome. What's it going to be? So I told him. No, absolutely not, it's too girly. I thought you were making my mom's hat or something. grrr Oh well, if I get it done, he's wearing it! Dan never goes with me to get the pictures taken, so neener neener to him. He can't stop me! ;0)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Grandparent's Day

Today is Grandparent's Day at school. My mom will be joining the girls for snacks, crafts, begging for books from the book fair, and lunch at school. Then, instead of being able to take them home after lunch and a small program, she will have to drop them off at school, and they will be required to learn for 2 more hours. This new principal sure is no-nonsense! What kid is going to be able to concentrate after they've just played with grandma and / or grandpa for 2 hours?

Charlie will get his 6 month shots today, too. They've got him on a slightly different schedule because since we do homebirth, he doesn't get the first hepatitis B right at birth. I usually wait a couple weeks to take them in for that, and that throws other things off, so they rearrange his schedule where he can do the combined shots more since the hep B throws things off. If only they could have done this for Ari and Atley, too. Those poor kids got so many needles. I know the nurse isn't happy with me because I decline the hepatitis A (Sorry, a new shot? Not trying it out on my baby, thanks!) or the Rotavirus (I'm well aware of the signs of dehydration, none of my other kids have ever had rotavirus, and I work at home so he's not around hordes of other children to get it from, plus it's given by mouth. I don't want chemicals or dead or live viruses or whatever it is going down my baby's throat!)

I'm proud to say that Melodie is the only child that has ever had antibiotics, and that was for 1 ear infection and 2 UTI's. My other children have had no other medications except Motrin and/or Tylenol, other than a few homeopathics and herbal remedies we have tried. Plus, it is really hard to find medicines without red dye for Ari.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Picture Day

Yup, it's picture day, again. Today is holiday picture day. The girls dutifully donned their Christmas sweaters. Of course, the great big huge bright blue basket of hair implements is gone, so no one got any bows. Don't ask me where the basket went! We also had a slightly easier time of getting ready this morning. Everyone's hair was washed....with actual shampoo....this time! Melodie was still not happy, though. Apparently, she had no hot water, and was very unhappy. We got to school right on time, though!

Last time I had been outside, Dan hadn't put the seats back up in the Blazer after he got the mattress. I went outside this morning, cranky, because I just knew I had to put everything back....and to my surprise, not only were the seats up, but this time all the seat belts were properly through, and he even put the baby seat back in! Isn't it funny, how after kids, the dumbest things make your husband seem like the sexiest man alive? To me, that was more romantic than just about anything else. (The single, long stem red rose and half pound of my favorite chocolates he picked up 2 Fridays ago and surprised me with also melted my heart. I asked him why, and he said because I deserved it, and he felt bad because we didn't do anything for Sweetest Day!)

I actually, finally, am almost done with the sweater sleeve! I've got 1/2 an inch to do in st st, then I'll start the raglan shaping, then I can attach it, and I'll be done! Hopefully, tonight. I think I'm going to crochet the boys' vests. It will go so much quicker, and I found a cute sweater pattern in an old pamphlet I dug out, so I think I'm going to make that without the sleeves, and call it a day.

Here is a picture of our snow today. It's not much, but it's our first sticking snow of the year!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It's Snowing Again!

Yup, again. And, it's supposed to do it most of the week! It's even starting to stick a little bit!! The kids were so excited this morning. I love seeing the world through my kids' eyes. It really helps put things in perspective for me and to take a step back and look and see, maybe things aren't really as bad as I always make them out to be.

Atley was very excited this morning. He got a big boy bed last night. Charlie has been sleeping in a port-a-crib since he outgrew the bassinet. He was only about 4 inches off the floor, and with him being sick, I was getting worried. Atley had a little toddler's bed, which had the crib mattress in it, which is why we didn't want to get another crib mattress. For just a little more, we could have a regular mattress. Well, my mom bought Atley a mattress set yesterday. She had gotten the girls their bunk beds, too. So, last night we set up his bed. It's just a frame with a mattress set right now because we eventually plan on getting the boys bunk beds, too, but he was so happy! I picked him up a set of Spiderman sheets. Tuesday, we're going to get him a big boy pillow, because he has always used toddler pillows before. Then, Dan put the crib together last night. We were missing 4 locking nuts. So, he improvised, made it even more secure than it was, and Charlie got himself a new bed, too! He seemed so excited. He was laying on our bed watching so I could help Dan, and he smiled and kicked and cooed looking at it the whole time. He was nice and warm and seemed to sleep better, too. I'll get pictures up of the both of them later.

I FINALLY made some progress on the sleeve! Not much, mind you, but some. I decided Atley is small enough, he won't recognize a knit sleeve still OTN as part of his finished sweater, so I got it out yesterday afternoon while the kids were playing and Dan was fetching mattresses. It's about half way done. If I can get some good work done today, I'm hoping to be able to work on the sleeve tonight and finish it up!

The mattress purchasing was a trip in itself. I had seen advertised that this one place had twin mattresses for $39 a piece. So, I sent Dan, with the intention of just getting the mattress since you can't use box springs on bunk beds for whenever we get those. Well, it was $39 a piece...if you bought the mattress, box springs, and bed frame, but you couldn't buy them separately at all. Then, I called around some more. Sears had a 50% off mattress sale. With the 50% off, their cheapest mattress (not box springs too, just mattress) was $169!!! So, I finally got ahold of a different mattress store, who said they had the mattress and box spring set for $99, and I asked how late they were open, the whole schpiel. (By this time, after Dan understood my intentions with the just the mattress thing, he informed me the box springs were necessary.) So, he went to the much closer mattress store, and they told him they only had 1 in stock and it was reserved!!!!! Well, he gave them our sob story about the baby being sick and cold on the floor, etc., and apparently the lady felt so bad, she sold it to him!! For once, luck was finally on our side. (Though I do feel bad if the other people ever showed up last night to get it, though he did go about 2 hours before close.)

We also went to a couple of craft shows yesterday. The one especially was really crappy. The other was nice. There were some cute crocheted ponchos. The lady tried to sell them to me. I really just wanted to go to price how much people were selling things for. They also had a little rummage sale there, and I bought Atley a little tikes gas pump for his cozy coupe. He was so excited. I also got each of the kids a chocolate sucker. I LOVE those things. They all worked hard raking leaves Friday after school, so that was their treat. I'll try to post pictures of that later, too. I got a good one of Ari and Atley mid air while jumping into a pile of leaves with Ari's hair flying!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Girls Night Out

One week until the Girls Night Out! I can't wait!! I'm not even going to be completely child free. Charlie will be joining us girls, because where "the girls" go, Charlie has to be. (He doesn't do overly well on bottles, and my mom is a bit reluctant to do all 4 for any length of time, let alone he can't stay overnight.) Hopefully my friend that just had the baby will still be able to make it, and she'll bring him, so Charlie will have a friend.

Melodie had a rough day at school the other day. She got in the car and burst into tears. Apparently, her little boyfriend yelled across the class during a lull in the noise while they were packing up to head home, "I'm glad I broke up with you Melodie, because a hottie moved in across the street!" She said she was so embarrassed and sad and angry. Poor thing. I told her boys can be stinky like that. I joked with Dan after she was in bed...she did get custody of the Bakugan and a few Pokemon cards from the settlement, though. ;0) Ah, the trials and tribulations of young love. But, what 3rd grader refers to a girl as a "hottie?" Am I just that much of a fuddy duddy that I think that's way out of line?

Friday, November 14, 2008


I'm so done with this week. Still, no progress on the sweater! I fell asleep, again. My mom and I are hoping to hit 2 craft shows tomorrow. I'm hoping that will give me the extra little umph I need to get motivated again!

Charlie woke up from his nap yesterday running a fever. :0( Poor little guy. He had one very early this morning, but has been fever free since I got him up this morning to get ready to take the girls to school!

We went to my great aunt's funeral today. Atley was perfectly behaved, although I'm willing to bet it was due to the promise of a Happy Meal for good behavior. What? I'm not above bribing my kids!! Charlie didn't want to sit. We walked the foyer and ate Cheerios while Atley sat with my grandma and grandpa and got fed candy and given quarters. (Grandma and grandpa always have candy in their pockets.) It was a nice service. I didn't see my dad. My step mom came up and said hi and gave me a hug, but I never saw my dad. I also didn't see her on our way out. She was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, and she was supposed to be starting radiation. I wonder if they had to leave because she wasn't feeling good? I saw some cousins I haven't seen in a few years. We're going to get all of our kids together for a playgroup! (One of them has twins about Melodie's age and a baby a little older than Charlie. The other has a little girl a year or so younger than Atley.)

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Full Moon

Well, I just saw on the calendar that tonight is a full moon. I wonder if that's why Melodie has been in prime form again lately? Ari said she got a tardy slip yesterday. I don't know whether to believe her or not. She did walk all the way to the back door, but her class had gotten inside before she got there, and the door was locked, so she had to go all the way back to the front. I saw her when I was walking Melodie across. Melodie said she didn't get one, and I don't see how Ari could have and Melodie not. I'm going to talk to the teacher about it at conferences next week, because poor little Ari was definitely on time. She came home with a hole in her tights. This is the second pair this week!

Well, I am NEVER going to get my sweater or vests done, and I'm at a loss of what to do. I fell asleep on the couch AGAIN last night! This time, I didn't even get Atley in bed first. He fell asleep on my legs. So, another night of no progress on anything yarn related!

Charlie LOVED the squash baby food. I didn't get the peas done last night. He gobbled up the squash, though! I was so proud of myself. I always wanted to make the other kids' baby food, but never did it.

Last night my grandma called me in the evening. My heart dropped because of the tone of her voice and the fact she was calling after 6. (After 4 is considered late to my grandparents. Calls after 5 are never for good reasons.) I was afraid she was calling to tell me something happened to my grandpa. He's got heart problems and last year he was diagnosed with skin cancer, but overall considering his age (he turned 80 this year), he's doing pretty good, but he's still no Jack Lalanne. Anyway, apparently his sister passed away yesterday. It was very unexpected. She is his younger sister. Also, she was in very good health. Her husband hasn't been doing well. He was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's, but she was going strong. They think it was a brain aneurysm. I knew her very well because she lived right up the street from my grandparents growing up, but I wouldn't say we were close. We shared many differences of opinion, even as a small child. (She insulted my mom a few times to her face about being a working mother.) But, I'm still sad to hear of her passing. I guess my dad's cousin is just taking it horribly. Not only did his mother unexpectedly die, but he had to put his dad in a nursing home because he and his wife still work and can't take care of him, and he can't take care of himself. So, it looks like I'm going to have to try to get the boys to a funeral tomorrow, which I'm a little nervous about because Atley is funny about stuff like that. I mean, he is 4 after all, but you never know how certain things will affect him.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Not much to say

Well, of course I blew it big time this week for NaBloPoMo. I missed Monday and Tuesday! I was so busy with work Monday, I didn't have time to post, or get a post set up for yesterday. :0( Well, I guess I didn't really have much to put anyway. Same old, same old around here. I have not finished that sweater yet! As soon as the kids are in bed, I fall asleep on the couch before I can even grab the yarnin' bag. I need to get moving! I also realized I wanted to do 2 vests for the boys for their holiday pictures, which I need to get taken soon or won't have them in time to send out for cards! Tonight, I am going to finish that sweater!! If I can get some work done today, I will hopefully get started on one of the boys' vests this afternoon. I don't care if they see those before hand.

Yesterday when Atley and I were doing our grocery shopping, we stopped in the Christmas section and got a Ralphie ornament! It's got him with the soap in his mouth. Atley picked it out. I think it's because he has a bad habit of spitting, and when he does it, I warn him if there is a second offense (that day) he will get to eat soap like Ralphie! I'm torn on what to do with our tree this year. I usually put it up the Tuesday after Thanksgiving (my day off.) But this year, I really wanted to get a real tree again. We haven't had one for quite a few years. I don't know, we might have to wait for next year. Things have still been pretty tight. I just wanted it to be extra special for Charlie's first Christmas/Yule. I'm pretty sure all of the other kids had real trees for their first. My Charlie is getting so big. He will be 8 months old on Christmas Eve.

One of my friends had her baby Sunday! (The one I designed the Garter Ridge Mittens to go with the sweater and hat for.) Yay, a new friend for Charlie! I made my first batch of baby food yesterday! I've been buying a jar or so at a time to see what he likes (everything but peaches) so I don't make big batches of stuff he won't eat. Yesterday, I roasted a butternut squash, pureed it, and froze it in ice cube trays. Squash is his favorite. The next batch I'm going to do will be peas. I've got a bag of frozen sweet peas to boil up. I think next week I'll get some green beans and carrots.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Progress Made

So, I started a train sweater for Altey months ago. I was so excited. Then, I got to the neck shaping....and bombed! I had no clue what the pattern meant. I asked KnittedSister, who set me on the right "track" (haha, I made a train-funny) and I stopped. I haven't worked on it in forever. I just completley lacked motivation, though I really want to see the look on Atley's face when he opens this! I must say, I don't think I'll ever make a raglan sweater again. Being a left handed knitter, it's just too confusing for me, at least for now. Maybe if I can find a lefty raglan sweater, I'll give it a go, because I do really like the cables. I may even make him the matching hat, but that's an if-I-have time kind of thing right now. Last night, I made great progress, though! I finished that neck shaping, finished the sleeve I had started while I was waiting for instruction on the neck shaping, and got the sleeve attached and seam sewn on one side. I'm hoping to knock out a good chunk of sleeve tonight, and will hopefully have it done in the next couple days. All other projects are on hold right now, until I get this sweater done!

Here is an old picture of the train pattern. I didn't get a picture with the sleeve on last night. Beetle 012

Saturday, November 8, 2008

New Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince Trailer!!

Check it out! At least we can dream about what we have to wait an extra 8 months to see that we should be seeing in freaking 2 weeks!!!

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Friday, November 7, 2008 Grand Opening & Giftcard Giveaway!!!!!!!!

The Grosgrain store to purchase those beautiful girls' skirts is now open! Here is the blog post for it: Grand Opening & Giftcard Giveaway!!!!!!!!

And, here is a link to check out the store, itself: Grosgrain Store

Nip / Tuck

It's finally coming back!!! I've been waiting,and waiting, and waiting, and I finally saw the commercials last night for the new season of Nip / Tuck starting January 6th! I can't wait! Yes, it's a smut show, but I love it. I got hooked on it when they had a marathon a couple years ago Christmas Eve when I was up all night finishing the kids gifts. Now, I'm hooked, and I was completely bummed when it didn't start back in September like it was supposed. A good President elected and Nip / Tuck coming back all in one week. My god, could my luck actually, possibly be starting to change for once? (I know, I just jinxed myself, right?)

Last night, I didn't work on the Puppet Pals. I did get some good work done on Ari's sock, though. I got the leg part done, and I'm starting to work the heel. I'm not quite sure I fully understand the directions, so I'm hoping they work out okay. It looks awful big, though. If it fits, I'm going to keep it for myself....well, when I finish the other one! After I finish this one, I'm going to cast on Ari's Golden Snitch socks from Charmed Knits. I need it for my HP House Cup homework, and if I have a snowball's chance in hell of getting them done before the holidays, I'm going to have to bust my butt!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thursday Morning

Well, I'm still on a happy high from Tuesday's victory for the country! I am, however, exhausted. Dan has been working crazy over time hours the last couple weeks, and I am on child overload. I have a Girls Night Out coming up on the 22nd, and I can't wait! I don't think the big kids have seen Dan more than in passing since Sunday or Monday night. Charlie has seen him a few times since he still nurses every 2-3 hours, with about a 5-6 hour stretch at night.

I finished Charlie's VW hat! It looks SO cute. I also finished up the first of my Potter Puppet Pals....Harry! I'm hoping to finish up Ron and maybe even Hermione tonight. One more thing to mark off the Yule list!

I was very sad to hear today of the death of Michael Crichton. He is one of my favorite authors. Apparently, he lost a battle he had been privately fighting against cancer. I think I'll have to watch Jurassic Park with Atley tomorrow to pay him homage. He's a medical doctor, in case ya didn't know. One of my favorite books of his was written under a pseudonym back when he had finished med school, I believe. It's called "A Case of Need." Of course, we can't forget about ER, either. Mr. Crichton, you will be missed!

Grosgrain Grand Opening !!!!

Check out this new store with BEAUTIFUL, stylish, classic girls clothing!

Grosgrain Grand Opening !!!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Hip Hip Hooray!!!

I can't believe it. The era of war, poverty, and overall Republican crappiness is over, and a new leaf is turned! I cannot wait for January! Yay for Obama!! I finally feel proud to be an American again!! I fell asleep crocheting on the couch last night, waiting for the election results to come in....and I awoke to McCain giving his concession speech! I was so excited I wanted to run outside screaming, but I figured all of the old people McCain supporters in my neighborhood might have stoned me. ;0)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Babies, babies everywhere

I currently know 6 people...yes 6!!...who are pregnant!!! Imagine the knitting I get to do!!! Dan will be happy, though, that everyone is pregnant now, while Charlie is still a baby. I'm a sucker for "new baby smell" and it always gets my hormones a-flowin' when I smell that sweetness, and all I've got is puppy. (And yes, I mean my kids, not the muttley!!) Dan doesn't want any more kids. He knows if we had a bigger house in the country, I'd be all for it! (We've got 2 extra seats in the wagon when he gets it done. I told him that was a bad idea! lol We had an extra seat in our Blazer, so I rationalized Charlie would be good to have because he'd fit!)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Tropical Tree Frog Costume GIVEAWAY!!!!

Tropical Tree Frog Costume GIVEAWAY!!!!

My favorite day of the year.

Today is my favorite day of the year.....the day Daylight Savings Time ends. An extra hour of sleep without losing any time....who doesn't love that!?!?

Friday was very hectic. Nothing got done the way it was supposed to. Melodie had a wonderful time, though. I just realized this morning I forgot to give out ice cream with the cake. Oh well. More ice cream for me! She got everything she wanted. We went out on our special day yesterday. (And no, we're not trying to be like Jon & Kate. We've been doing special days for the kids birthdays long before they have.) First we picked up grandma. We went to grandma's work to get a Webkinz from the gift shop. (My mom works in a hospital.) Then, we went to lunch at Friendly's and gorged ourselves on unhealthy foods and ice cream. She got to play the claw game when we were leaving, and she won an orange Halloween gorilla! My mom had told her how my aunt Dorothy who passed away had been really good at those games, and she asked Dorothy to help her win. Low and behold, she got it! She's never won from one of those things before. Did she perhaps have a little help? Then, we went to the mall to use the birthday Build-A-Bear certificate she got in the mail, and she got a Christmas dress for her critters. THEN (yeah, I know) we went to Toys R Us to use a gift card she had left from last Christmas and the birthday gift card she got from them. She got a Pokemon art kit and a pack of blendy pens. My mom got quite a bit of the kids' Christmas shopping done. Apparently yesterday kicked off the Christmas shopping season because all Christmas crap was out in full force! I'm well on my way to getting the kids stuff done. I need to get yarnin' though! We dropped grandma off, picked up some Big Bufords from Rally's for Daddy. (His prize for holding down the fort with the other heathens at home.) Then, I crashed for the rest of the night because I think I had WAY too much sugar yesterday and got really dizzy. I'm looking forward to Tuesday so I can rest!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Harry Potter Crochet Design Contest

Hi there everyone! Does anyone out there have some great ideas for Harry Potter crochet patterns? I'm a member of the Harry's Happy Hookers group on Ravelry, and our fearless leader, pretywitch, has designed a contest to get us some good CAL material! Anyone that has an original HP design, whether it's inspired by the movies/books or something directly described or shown in the movies/books, you're welcome to enter! I hear there will be prizes. The rules are listed on the Harry's Happy Hookers page, and you can contact pretywitch on Ravelry if you're interested. If you're not on Ravelry and still want to give it a go, contact me at my link to the left there for purchasing the patterns, and I can get you in contact with pretywitch some way or another. (But really, someone doing the yarnin' that's not on Ravelry? That can't be true, can it!?!)