Tuesday, November 30, 2010

create:: will you knit me a scarf?

There has been lots of knitting going on, and I promise sometime soon to show it all to the world.  A night or two ago, I realized that I had not knit anything for...Pippa the cat! She let me know in the "subtle" way of cats that perhaps the current scarf in progress might be for her?? 

(this photo was not posed in any way...she crawled right under the scarf in my lap just as you see her!)

More crafting to come this week, stay tuned...

Monday, November 29, 2010


Rejoining you after a wonderful few days of family, friends, good food, and relaxing times. One of my favorite moments was creating the thanksgiving dinner place cards with my lovely girl, while watching the Macy's parade on TV and while pies were baking in the oven.

We then traveled to my Aunt and Uncle's  home for a fun evening with family,  turkey and all the traditional trimmings, and we especially enjoyed connecting with cousins.  Molly and Sam were there, from wherever the Navy has them (in transit from Hawaii to California, currently).  All of my Aunts and Uncles from my mom's side were there.  And my cousin John, and his wife, and their girls are 6 and 9. To see them building true friendship with my little girl (who is 5) was terrific. In fact, it was so much fun that we had them to our house much of the day Saturday while they were still here from Connecticut.  I love how our kids have allowed me to connect with my cousin and his wife in a new way, and I am so thankful for that.  I pray that the kids, especially the three girls, but my little guy too, will continue to be friends and stay close as family as they grow up.
I thank God for you, my family, my friends. 
You make my world richer just to have you in it.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

dinosaurs, butterflies, and....giant crocheted coral reefs! oh my!

The kids and I spent the day at the Smithsonian Natural History museum of my favorite places.  We always spend quite a bit of time with the dinosaurs, and I seem to always take the same photos over and over, but here is one from today that I loved:
We could title it, "Conversation with a stegosaurus".  Although we spent most of our time in the prehistoric today, we also wandered around quite a bit.  The butterfly display was a special treat, we usually pass as you have to pay to go in, but turns out it is free on Tuesdays! I took way too many pictures, here are some: 

Lastly, but certainly not least, was an exhibit that was crazy and beautiful and amazing and a little bit ridiculous.  It is an exhibit titled "The Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef":  it is an entire life sized coral reef filling a large room, and it is entirely made out of YARN!  I am a knitter and not a crochet expert by any means but this was truly incredible. It was art, and yet craft,  biology, and math (making all those crazy hyperbolic curves) and so it appealed to so many sides of my personality that it was almost sensory overload. If I hadn't been with a 5 year old and a 2 year old, I probably would have spent a very long time looking at the details.  Here are some of them, and remember...ALL of it is crocheted by hand.  Many hands went into its creation.
it only looks like a giant messy pile of yarn from a distance...

...then you start to notice details....
and it becomes wonderful and beautiful!

Not just granny's crocheted doilies and toilet paper covers, is it?
 What a wonderful day we had.  Hope you enjoyed it, too!

Monday, November 22, 2010

vanity and gratitude and teeth

Almost three weeks ago, my little guy, who is 2 1/2, fell hard on his two front teeth while playing a little too roughly.  It was a genetically predetermined accident, as both myself and my mother have done much damage to our own front teeth in similar falls.  But back to the boy...the gums bled briefly, and the teeth were a bit loose for about a week, then all seemed fine....until the teeth started darkening.  And now my little guy who is about the smiliest little fellow you ever saw, has a smile that is marred by these two teeth, one brownish, one still darkening to an almost purple-grey color. 

Vanity has me so very sad to see this smile change, has me wishing we had stopped the play just a little sooner, has me frustrated that the dentist says nothing cosmetic can be done about it, and that unless a miracle occurs, the teeth will stay discolored until he loses them in another 3 years. 

Gratitude has me so glad that the teeth stayed in his head, that he didn't hurt himself worse, that no stitches or emergency room visits were needed.  That my little guy is just as smiley as ever, and that he doesn't realize that his smile is any different than it ever was.

I pray for a miracle and that the color of the teeth would lighten, even just a bit. I pray that no infection will occur that would require the teeth to be pulled (or at least not until he is 4 and close to that age anyway!). I pray that he will never know ridicule, teasing, or poor self-image when he gets to be school aged.  And I pray that I will learn quickly to look beyond the changed smile to the heart of the boy who is just as happy and loving as he ever was.  I love him so.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

the reconstructed quilt...and other weekend projects

So about a month ago (!) I started "re-making" a quilt I had bought for my little guy's big boy bedroom. It was perfect...bright and all about things that GO...just the thing for my boy.  Perfect the consignment store, bundled with a bunch of car and truck Pottery barn sheets.  Perfect...except, it was TOO BIG.  It was a full/queen size, and just too big for the little guy's twin bed. cut apart (gasp!) and reconstruct. 

It took longer than expected (this really should be no surprise) but came out great!  Making that first cut was oh-so-scary.  And then there were the long hours of matching seams, doing what could be done on the machine, and then lots and lots of hand-sewing:  the batting had to be basted together, and the seams on the back and along the binding all had to be done by hand.  But I am so very pleased with the result... and I hope to show you what I did with the remnants in the next few days.

So without further are the photos:

this was the scary part!


Also finished this weekend... baby sweater #2.  It had been done for quite a while, but needed the ends woven in and the button sewn on.  All ready to go to its new owner, little baby Luke.  It will fly across the ocean with Grandma and Grandpa as they travel to Naples later this week. (I'll post photos once I know it has arrived!).

Hopefully with the holiday week, I'll be back to posting more frequently!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

signs of fall

My lovely girl painted this yesterday.  She was so proud of mixing the colors herself, starting with just red, blue, yellow and brown.  The smock was mine, made by my wonderful and so-talented Mom-mom.

I kept thinking we'd get out to a park or somewhere to get really beautiful fall colors photos this week.  It just didn't happen.  But these of our house and our gorgeous poplars in their yellow glory do the season proud.   If you look closely though, to the left of the front door all my white petunias are still (still!) in bloom. It's November, for pete's sake! I never even bought any mums this fall since they keep blooming and blooming. 

Below was my humorous find when I went outside to take the above photos.  Smiling for the camera from the bay window were Pippa the cat, and one of our hobby-horses, which had been left there to supervise the neighborhood by my little guy. Love it!

Friday, November 12, 2010

{lesson of the week}

Not a new lesson, and not original, but a good one nonetheless:  Favorite books truly are like old friends, where the friendship picks right up when you meet again, no matter if days or years have gone by since you last met. 

This week I've been renewing my friendship with Emily of New Moon, by L. M. Montgomery (of Anne of Green Gables fame).  It remains a favorite year after year, and as I get older, I find more depth and meaning in it than I did as a child.  I feel a true kinship with little Emily Byrd Starr, and am so thankful for Ms. Montgomery's talent and words. What books are like old friends to you?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

baby love

My gorgeous nephew was born today, in Naples, Italy.  And I am rejoicing with his wonderful mommy and daddy and big brother.  I love the internet for the ability to see these pictures of him so new to this world.  And yet all day it seems that my arms have felt oh-so-empty.  For I want to cuddle this little guy so badly, to hold his brand new little body in my arms.  I remember the feel of my own two little ones when they were just this small, how they felt and that new baby smell, and their warm heavy bodies.  I am sad that with such distance between us, I won't hold this little one until he is much much bigger.  For I love him already.  I pray my brother and his wife will tell him over and over how much his family on this side of the ocean is loving him.  Welcome to the world, baby boy!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

good neighbors

The house next door to us is for sale.  It has been vacant since the summer, and it is exciting to have the for sale sign finally up this week.  And today, just this afternoon, there have been at least 3 different folks there looking at it.  I feel like a spy, peering out the front window, praying for a good family.  I have seen 2 women with a little girl about 4 years old, and I have seen a young man in a military uniform (Navy, I think?). Didn't catch the third...just saw the car.  We have been praying for a wonderful neighbor family, for good kids to be friends with ours, for good parents to be friends with us!  I pray for silly things like not too noisy, and no mean dogs.  I pray for serious things, like the chance to be a good neighbor to them, for Christ's love to shine through our family.  And I pray for a quick sale, since the family selling the house is supporting it's owner who is now in assisted living.

I pray for the kind of neighbors I had growing up...families who let the kids run back and forth from house to house all summer long, who looked out for one another and loved each other as only good neighbors can. 

I pray for good neighbors, and I pray to be a good neighbor.

Friday, November 5, 2010

{lesson of the week}

I am reminded that how good or bad a day turns out to be has more to do with my attitude and less to do with my circumstances.  Yesterday started off terribly with my daughter in hysterics at the bus stop over being accidentally splashed with mud, and continued on with one unpleasant moment after another, until mid-morning, when I posted on Facebook, "Today will get better from this moment on!"  And it did.  Of course cooking some comfort food (pumpkin dessert cake, and chicken tetrazini), cuddling on the sofa with my boy and his books, and an evening with friends at homegroup  all helped. 

Choose to be happy!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

garden dreams

As a child, I did everything I could to get out of having much to do with our small vegetable patch at home. I did not want to hoe, dig, weed, or maintain.  I think I may have helped with watering, when coerced.  And probably helped with harvesting, since the reward at that stage was great.  In fact, I can almost hear my mom laughing as she reads this post about my dream for a garden.  I have never been one to have a particularly green thumb.  But more and more I find myself wishing that I did.  And now I'm planning, and dreaming for the future.  There is a lovely area in the back yard, where a shed currently sits, that will hopefully in the next 6 months become a empty spot of earth ready to create a garden in.  So I have been dreaming and pondering as I page through Garden Anywhere, by Alys Fowler, and Grow Great Grub, by Gayla Trail.  Sadly, these books are both mine only temporarily, from inter-library loan.  Maybe they can go on my Christmas wish list... 

I'm dreaming of raised beds, and lots of tomatoes for the kids to eat raw and for sauce making, of zucchini, and carrots, beans, and lots of herbs.  I'm dreaming of blueberry bushes.  Lots of lettuces.  I realize I'm going a little crazy when I start to picture dwarf apple trees along the fence line.  I'm also dreaming of eating our own produce, of making preserves and of a freezer full of garden goodness waiting to be eaten through the winter.   This year's applesauce making, I hope, is only the start.

We'll have to see what materializes. How fast that shed really disappears. And whether my thumb of black starts to show any signs of green.  I will need good friends who don't mind helping me friend Patty had a fabulous garden this year.  I will need good books, and some good luck, and good weather.  

I love these cooler autumn days.  I love the beauty of fall, and pumpkins and leaves on the sidewalks, and seeing the winter birds in the back yard for the first time this season just this morning-- juncos, chickadees, cardinals, and even a squawking blue jay.  But today, I am dreaming of next summer, and of green.