December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy New Year!
What a year this has been! And, it's one year I am glad to put behind us. I always hope for the best for the new year and hopefully this year will bring better things for all of us.
This is the first New Year since RL and I have been married that we aren't together. It feels really odd. He felt the need to go to Florida to see his parents, so he and L are there. His Dad was given bad news from the oncologist and chemo has been stopped. Hospice was called in and the time has been made to face the facts. Somehow we will all have to be positive to get through this.
I did not want to make this post all 'gloom and doom' but it seems our year has been that way. My Dad's brother passed away a few days ago and my parents are headed to Tennessee tomorrow. Tomorrow is also their 48th anniversary. So, in spite of the sadness, Happy Anniversary Mom and Daddy!
On the upnote, Christmas decorations are down! The tree is outside and almost all the boxes are in the attic. The house feels so much bigger! We needed that extra space...the kids got a Wii for Christmas. What a great game system! We are all sore beyond belief, but it feels great to get some exercise and work out some of that frustration we've all been feeling.
I'm off to test a pattern that R created. Wish me luck!
Have a great New Year and I hope it's happy, healthy and safe for everyone!

December 26, 2008

Christmas Goodies

In the past, Christmas around here has been, well, pretty gluttonous. Rack up those credit cards, wipe out the savings account, forget the bills - just buy, buy, buy!!! This year we just couldn't do it. Nobody knows what tomorrow holds and we don't want to be paying for this year's Christmas in 2015! So we told the kids to be very specific about what they wanted. If they wanted to buy someone something, they had to be sure it was a gift that would be appreciated and/or used. If they could make the gift - well, that was even better. And, still better yet, if they could make the gift out of stuff around here - yarn and fabric stashes - that would be wonderful. They took the message to heart and worked their fingers to the bones. The picture above is our living room on Christmas morning. You can actually see the floor and the furniture! That's a first! RL and I set $$ limits on each other and stuck to them. R was the appointed elf who kept us both on track - letting us know when the other was a little ahead and we needed to step it up!

This is what Santa brought to me! A Fine Fleece, which is a beautiful book. I can't wait to try my hand at some of the sock patterns. Of course, Santa brought the sock knitting book by Ann Budd - looks like a great book and my annual calendar by Susan Branch.
The yarn is the beautiful kettle dyed sock collection from Knit Picks. Isn't it great? It came with six toe up patterns, so I guess I'm going to have to suck it up and learn how to knit toe up socks!

The other big surprise was the circular interchangeable needles from Knit Picks and the beautiful wooden cable needles. Santa totally surprised me this year!

R is making this beautiful linen towel for me. She went through the fabric stash and found all the fabric and set to work. She is making a second one too and I will be sure to post pictures when she's finished. She took a small break to help her brother work on a project for me. She was disappointed that she didn't finish, but how on earth could I be upset with her when she gave of herself so willingly to help L create something?

What was it? Hmmm, looks like some sort of pouch....

It has the date embroidered on it...
It has numbers of dpns embroidered on each little pouch and a pocket for stitch markers.
R told me that L wanted to make something so they went through the fabric stash and found the black fabric and ladybug fabric. L drew a picture of what he wanted to make and she took the pattern one step further with all the details. She had him do all the embroidery himself! She taught him how to use the sewing machine and off they went! Now how many 18 year old boys do you know who are willing to spend three evenings with their older sister sewing on a machine and by hand for their mother? I don't know any. This is truly a gift that will be special to me forever because L wanted to make something for me and because R gave of herself freely and put her own gift making on hold to help L.

Here's a goodie I found stuffed in the bottom of my stocking! More beautiful sock yarn from Knit Picks. It's Imagination Hand Painted Sock Yarn in Wicked Witch. I was informed that the name was not a reflection upon myself. Hmmm, wonder if I should believe that? Some days it's a dead on reflection, I'm sure!

December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Can you see Ginger hiding in her little hidey hole under the Christmas tree? I think she is the smartest one of us all! I would like to be tucked in there too. The past few days have been filled with last minute trips to town...even one to the mall which I swore I would never do this close to Christmas! Mom sounded a wee bit needy, so I sucked it up and went. Consider it a BIG Christmas present, Mom! BIG, BIG, BIG PRESENT! A couple of trips to the grocery store thrown in for good measure and we are as ready for Christmas as we can be. Like everyone else we have seriously cut back on our spending. I hope the kids will be pleased with what Santa is bringing them.
It's been a wee bit depressing around here lately. The holidays always have a touch of depression in them for me. Don't know quite why. This year has had its fair share of real, honest to goodness depression. As for little Logan - his Dad opted to have him be an organ donor. I was so happy that something wonderful could come out of his death. Logan's mom passed away today and is also an organ donor. When I found out and was upset, RL reminded me that they are now together and we should be happy. I truly am grateful for that, but I am so sad for Logan's dad and grandparents. But then I think of all the people who have been waiting for a donor and now their Christmas will be wonderful. Also I have to remember the great things that have happened at Christmas time. Both R and L asked me to baptize them on Christmas Eve three years ago. That always makes my heart smile.
So, look for the good in whatever your situation is this year.
Merry Christmas!

December 20, 2008

Please Pray....

We have an urgent pray request. Last night this precious little boy was involved in a car accident. The car went over an embankment and hit a tree. He passed away this morning. His mom is in a trauma center in critical condition. Dad is the only one who is 'physically' okay. Please pray for him too as he was the driver. Thank you.

December 18, 2008

The Snowman and his Minions

Monday was RLs Christmas party at work. He volunteered to bring a cake. R set her brain in motion and made her Christmas special - the melting snowman.

Of course when you have left over cake batter, you can't waste it! So, the minions were made. The cake is normally a big hit. The only problem we've ever had with it is nobody wants to cut into it! RL said he had to take the plunge at work or it would have sat there all day in one piece!

Tomorrow is RLs last day at work for the holidays! Can't wait to have him around here for a couple of weeks!

December 14, 2008

Sheep in the City

Today was our town's parade. When we moved here ten years ago, we were in for a rude awakening. Having lived in a city, we had numerous high school bands, big floats, shriners in little cars and a stunning lack of tractors. However, when we moved here - we were exposed to a stunning amount of tractors! We thought, "What have we gotten ourselves into?" After ten years, we have adjusted. We have grown to accept the one or two high school bands, fire engines from every neighboring small town, belly dancers, country line dancers and the two sheriffs who make up our town's 'squad'.
This was the first year for the pink tractor. Where else are you going to see a pink tractor?
Sheep! We had sheep on the main drag in town! The knitters among us were very excited!
We had to be held back.

Just how could we get them to follow us home? How on earth could sheep be topped?These babies topped the sheep! Forget all the 'big city stuff' - we have fibery goodness in our parade!

Oh - for the menfolk among us, we have little beauties like this. See, a little bit of something for everybody!
The thing we noticed more than anything else were the floats that had a Christian theme. One had Jesus from the manger to the cross and several had natitity scenes. Everybody was saying 'Merry Christmas' instead of 'Seasons Greetings' or 'Happy Holidays'. Maybe it's because we live in a small town that we can get away with being 'politically incorrect'. I'm not sure exactly what it is, but I do know that I like it and we need more of it.

December 12, 2008


I've been putting this blog post off because I wanted it to be spectacular! I wanted to have a give-away. I wanted to share fabulous Christmas news. I wanted a lot. I've been waiting for all those wonderful things to come together before I posted #200.
It's not going to happen.
L came home from a get together with his friends who have been off at college. A day later he was sick with a cold which turned into a sinus infection. Four days later, R got sick with the cold. Four days later, I got sick with the cold. RL is doing his best to stay well. Needless to say, all the fun Christmas shopping and other holiday outings have been cancelled. Today was the first time we actually ventured out into the world. It felt....liberating!
On Monday RLs Dad started his second round of chemotherapy and has been gradually getting weaker. He has two weeks off, so we are hoping he can regain some of that lost strength.
RLs youngest uncle had surgery on an aneurysm. It was supposed to go very well since it was a small one. No surprises. Guess what? There were surprises. Another aneurysm was found and during that time something went terribly wrong. As a result of all that, his bowels died. Surgery was required for that, but he was too weak. During the surgery it was found to be much worse than they had ever thought and he passed away.
The kids are trying hard to feel better, but think this cold is never going to end. They are also trying to find some cheer this season when they know their grandfather is probably not going to get 100% well and now he has lost his little brother. It's a hard lesson to learn, but one we all have to learn sooner or later.
Sorry post #200 was not the spectacular post I had hoped for. There's always hope for #300!

December 4, 2008

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas!!!

We bought our tree the day after Thanksgiving and Miss Ginger had to check it out. Last year she hissed at the tree. This year she just sniffed. She must approve!
We don't have any good pictures, yet, of the tree completely decorated. R was playing with some special glasses a friend gave to us. You look at the lights through them and you can see different designs. I didn't think she would be able to get an accurate picture of what it looks like, but somehow she managed!
I think the one above is a starburst pattern. You can tell that the one below is a snowman.

Christmas crafting is stepping up a little more. Hopefully it will be finished in time. I don't know if I'm trying to convince all of you or just me! The kids have terrible colds, so that is forcing us to stay home and I'm able to do a few things as a result. I just hope they will be better soon. It's no fun for them to be sick when they want to be busy with holiday activities!

We have a prayer request. RLs Dad has been battling lung cancer all year. He started having problems breathing and the doctors thought it must be scar tissue from the radiation treatments. Turns out it was the cancer again. Either it never went away or it has come back. They suggested he start chemo treatments again and he would possibly have 6 to 9 months. If he didn't get treatments, he would only have 3 to 6 months. Our prayers were answered when he agreed to the treatments. Our prayer now is that the treatments will work this time. Maybe we are being selfish, but we just aren't ready to let him go just yet! Thank you for your prayers.

December 2, 2008

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Today is Daddy's 76th birthday. I have no idea when he is going to start acting his age. I hope never. I love the above picture of his family. If you look real close at the little fella on the right in front of his father, you can tell that his father has a pretty firm grip on his shoulders. That little fella would be my dad! Maybe Pa knew at that time the type of grip he would have to use for the when Daddy got his pilot's license and then bought his first plane and then crashed it. I guess there were times when his grip wasn't as tight because it didn't need to be. Like when he let Daddy go to Nashville on a bus, all by himself, to pick up some photography equipment, when he was 12! Can you imagine letting a 12 year old do that in this day and age? Daddy's always been a bit of a free spirit. There's the story of when he got tired of winter and decided to show up at school in white shoes. That earned him the name "Summer Time Sam". There were lots of fancy cars - don't even ask me about long trips in the back of a 'bubble back' Corvette. It's a wonder my sister and I don't have humps on our backs from that one! There were motorcycles. My sister rode with Daddy and I rode with Mom. I even managed to find a way to fall asleep on the gas tank. Through it all, he's been an excellent provider for our family, an open minded person to talk to, a Christian example and one great Daddy! Thanks Daddy and Happy Birthday!