GOD's my island hideaway, keeps danger far from the shore,
throws garlands of hosannas around my neck.
(Psa 32:7 MSG)


Christmas 2008 memories

Christmas Eve was spent here at home and was very relaxing and enjoyable. it was such a beautiful and sunny, but cold winter day. the artist in me just couldn't resist taking a few photos of the trees in our backyard (through the window, of course!) i love how the shadows and snow contrast.

it was so nice to once again take the time and remember that it's the birth of our Savior that we celebrate at Christmas. God has given us the best gift ever in giving us His Son. i think that's one reason why we like to give each other gifts at Christmas. one of my favorite gifts this year is a very interesting knitting book from my dear hubby. oh and also the yarn & new knitting needles from bubba. ;-)

one of bubba's new books: The Tale of Despereaux. and he's not at all happy to get it. *wink*

cj enjoying all of his new books (hand-me-downs from his big bro!)

Christmas Day was celebrated with my parents (after stopping by T's sister's place for a quick "Merry Christmas" and to give T's folks their Christmas present.) as usual, my parents bought us all way too many gifts and the boys both made quite a haul. lots of new toys and some new clothes as well.

bubba and the ultimate movie gift this Christmas--Kung Fu Panda.
cj thoroughly enjoys this movie too. i believe he has discovered his inner tiger while watching this.
every time he's seen it, we've had to listen to him rawr (lots!) and we've had to take care for he will occasionally attempt his own style of kung fu move as well. thus far, he is just being playful.

mom's gift from me: a few of my favorite pics from 2008 nicely framed and matted

mom (and dad) knew i wanted more yarn, but didn't know quite what to get or where to get it, so they gave me a generous gift of money specifically to purchase yarn! i was so excited that i woke up friday morning at 5:30am! (if you know me, you know that's NOT normal!) i then spent most of the day friday shopping online! it was fun to look at the different yarns and imagine what it would look like as a pair of socks or whatever. it was especially fun to be able to buy yarns of a higher quality than i usually can afford! yippee! now if it would just hurry up and get here!!!!!

T was feeling awfully neglected that day, so after i finally decided what yarns i wanted and placed my order, i sat down and played a game of scrabble with him with our new super scrabble deluxe game.

me and the super scrabble deluxe game for mommy and daddy from daddy and mommy!

it made him feel better, i think. except i won. (whomped him, actually!) hehe. intensive shopping does that to me. we had a rematch on saturday and he beat me soundly. that's how scrabble goes, i guess! it really all depends on whether you get the right letters and can make your words fit on the board in just the right way to gain lots and lots of points...or not.

saturday was really snowy. we tried to capture a few pics of it as we four-wheeled it into town in the old pickup truck. it's kinda hard to tell in the picture just how much it was actually snowing though.

since then, i've been knitting and crocheting lots. i began working on a pair of fingerless mitts for myself. i finished the right one, then decided to start a pair of socks. since both projects require the same knitting needles, i can only work on one or the other at a time. i'm especially liking the sock that i'm making--i sort of even designed it myself--and am looking forward to being able to wear it.

brown sock #1--about 3/4 done

which means i'll have to make it's mate right away when it's done so i have a pair. that's one reason why i'm so excited about my new knitting book. it teaches you how to knit two socks at the same time...on 1 long circular needle! it's amazing! i never would have dreamed of knitting like this, but i'm so glad someone else has so i can learn how! it will be so nice to begin knitting that way (after my new yarn and knitting needles arrive). by knitting both socks at the same time, one doesn't ever have to worry about single sock syndrome! which can be a real problem. a knitter will finish one sock and then go on to something else. that poor little sockie hibernates until is rediscovered (months later) and the hapless knitter hasn't a clue what to do because they've forgotten how they made poor little sockie way back when...aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

thankfully, this has only happened to me once thus far in my personal knitting history and that was a baby sock that i didn't like! i can just imagine what it's like though. that's probably why i have made a concerted effort to finish off each pair of socks i've made, even if i'm bored to death with them by the time i'm done. socks aren't meant to be alone!

i also just finished yet another crocheted shawl...it's a gift, so i can't say any more about it right now. (but i can post a picture! i wouldn't want the recipient to know what they're getting before i give it! *grin*

isn't it pretty though?!!!

ugh. T just told me it's -24F. brrrrrrrrrrr! time to hibernate myself. g'night y'all!


Merry Christmas, everyone!

this is always a special week for our family.

first of all, of course, there is Christmas. it is such a wonderful thing to take time each year to remember the birth of our lord and savior, Jesus Christ.

we usually go to church for a Christmas Eve service. we were planning on it as usual, but we've changed our plans because it's at 5pm this year. this is a problem since T works until 4:30 and it takes us half an hour to get to church. we could probably get over there (just a few minutes late and really stressed), but then there's the fact that it's right at supper time. dealing with a crabby 2 year old is not my idea of an enjoyable service anytime. so, we're gonna stay home, relax, eat chili, have our own little Christmas service singing carols and reading the Christmas story, and then open our gifts to each other. i don't know about you, but that sounds a lot more fun than dressing up and stressing out!

another reason this week is special is that yesterday (the 23rd) was bubba's 9th birthday. 9 years ago on a cold and sunny Christmas day i brought my sweet baby boy home from the hospital. i remember being very tired and sore, and yet, thrilled to the core to be a mommy. and it's been an adventure in parenting ever since!

we haven't done much to celebrate bubba's b-day, yet, since we're having his party in january, but i decided to give him his new brainmonster hat (and cj got his too so they can match).

he likes it! and cj likes to play with the googly eyes.

aren't they funny hats? when i found the pattern online, bubba saw it and said "oh, cool!" so i asked him if he'd wear one. "yes!!!" so mommy made one for each of the boys.

i originally planned it to be a Christmas gift, but i thought he needed a present to open ON his b-day and since i'd already given him his tamagotchi (and the gift from daddy is being saved for when we have his party), i just had to give it to him as a b-day gift instead. speaking of his tamagotchi, here's what i've had to put up with for the past week and a half that he'd had it.

as you can see, he's totally engrossed in this new toy. and he loves to talk about his tama-family and what they're doing, what he's bought for them, etc. it's gonna get old...fast, but i'm glad he likes it!

as for myself, i've begun yet another knitting project. this time it's for me. i'm making a pair of fingerless mitts so my hands don't get so cold when i'm knitting or typing.

i just remembered...i never posted a pic of the prayer shawl i made. i'd best do that now!

i really like how this turned out. the colors and texture of the yarn makes this shawl super cozy. it's like a warm, fuzzy hug!
and since this prayer shawl was made for megan, i'll just add that we are so happy that she is home already!! (only 3 weeks since the accident!) we know her full recovery will still take some time, but it's amazing that she is home for Christmas! what a wonderful answer to our prayers!

God is Good, All the Time!

Have a very Merry Christmas!


creative gifts

i've been pretty busy the past few days. busy knitting, that is. i'm making hats for the boys. will post pics when i can. all i can say is just wait and see! they're hilarious! also, i've been attempting to read and knit at the same time. i think it's taking me twice as long for both, but i really don't care. i'm enjoying myself!

i'm also working on a few other miscellaneous Christmas projects/gifts. can't say too much about them though--wouldn't want the wrong person to read this and find out what they're getting! ha!

bubba's b-day is on the 23rd, and we were gonna have a party for him last sunday, but we had to postpone it due to unruly weather. he was a bit bummed, so we decided to let him open one of his gifts anyways. i did good. he LOVES his tamagotchi. this is his first virtual pet toy and it's kept him entertained all week. to the point that my new threat is that i'll take it away for a day if he doesn't behave! haha! he had a lanyard leftover from a VBS he attended 2 years ago that he now uses to hang it around his neck. it even matches. blue. cool.


pomegranate mind blogging

do you ever mind blog? by "mind blog" i'm referring to the process of composing blog posts in your head when away from one's computer (and usually when said computer is turned off). i only ask because i find myself doing this a lot and am curious if it's anomalous to myself or if there are others out there with this "problem." it's not much of a problem, really. except that, more often than not, it occurs as i'm attempting to fall asleep at night. i start thinking about my blog and what i'd love to write about here. i come up with all kinds of interesting topics and witty ways of writing about them. this can take a while, and i find that i'm not able to fall asleep as easily when my mind in in "blog mode." eventually i do fall asleep and promptly forget all the fun stuff i would like to write. ah well. leave me a comment and tell me i'm not the only one! *i hope!*

last night, bubba and i enjoyed munching on a few pomegranate seeds after supper. oh yeah, T had a few too. we tried to convince cj to try one, but he's at a stage where he refuses to try any new foods. including tonight's yummy dinner of homemade chicken noodle soup. i really wish he'd at least taste it! (if you look close, you can see bubba's hand in the picture too...waiting for me to hand over the seeds!)
pomegranates are so yummy. and nutritious too. almost every fall/early winter i try to buy at least one. at times, you find an especially good one. like this one. juicy ripeness that is tangy and tart with a hint of sweetness too! half of it's hanging out in the fridge now. i think i'll go eat a couple more pom seeds before i go to bed! the only drawback to eating them is the mess it makes of my fingers. they're still stained from the juices and peel, but i know that won't last long and the fruit is so worth the effort!


my baby can count!

okay, i have to brag a little. cj is only 2 years, 2 months, and 11 days old and he can count to 10! i must have two of the smartest kids around! (for those who don't already know, bubba was reading by age 3 1/2!)

so here's a little video. unfortunately, you'll have to take my word for it that he can go from 1 to 10 on his own. he was a bit distracted at the time i took this, but it's still really cute and he does pretty good anyways!


It's that time of year. Christmas is in the air and the new year is just around the corner. And I, for one, have already started thinking about my New Year's Resolution(s). Of course, there's the usual...I need to exercise regularly to get in shape and lose all the excess weight from around my middle that I've been ignoring for way too long.

But another area of my life that desperately needs a "makeover" is my devotional time. Or, more often than not, lack thereof. So after coming across this website today, I realize that I need to be more deliberate about spending time with God and His Word. And this might just be the tool to help get me back into "spiritual shape!"


100 Things

i've been feeling pretty yucky this week. probably have a sinus infection. at the very least it's a bad head cold. so instead of adding pics that i haven't taken yet, and posting a pattern i haven't written yet, here is a bolded list for your reading enjoyment!

Things I've Done (In Bold)

1. Started my own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band--i played clarinet in j.h.
4. Visited Hawaii--Maui in March was so much fun...i wanna go back!!!!!
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world--i've been to both!
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightening at sea
14. Taught myself an art from scratch--knitting counts, right?!
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort--lots of 'em when i was a kid
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset--both!
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community--there's an Amish community in WI that i drove past when going to and from college.
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied--our needs are met.
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing--once for real the summer i worked at camp. we also had a rock climbing wall that i successfully climbed.
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David--in pictures!
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted--by myself! (college painting class)
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling--snorkeling in the pacific (Maui trip)
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud--yes, as a kid. and also in college--making pottery!
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching--yet another thing we did on our Maui trip!
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma--once in college. i have bad veins so i can't do this anymore.
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check--completely by accident. i try to keep track of what i've spent!
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy--i still have my teddy bear!
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person --when i was little. i don't remember it much.
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper--engagement & wedding announcements
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox--when i was in 2nd grade
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake (I don't think so, but I know I've seen it!)
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Rode an elephant--at the circus in Baraboo, WI


an update

Megan has been through a lot this week--surgeries, a lot of pain, etc. but praise the Lord, she is doing much better than anticipated. The latest update is that she was able to sit in a chair today, but is mostly just resting. She's still in ICU for now, but will hopefully be moved to a regular room sometime in the next day or so.

As for me, I've been working on a special gift for Megan this week--a prayer shawl. I don't know when I'll be able to give it to her, but it was a way for me to do something for her while I was praying for her. This is the first time I've made a prayer shawl. I've seen a few prayer shawl patterns online and even have heard there is a prayer shawl ministry, but I'd never thought to make one for anyone before. When I decided to do this, I looked at a couple of those patterns, but I really wasn't impressed and decided to use a pattern I came up with on my own and have used before. It's based on a baby blanket pattern that I found a few years ago online and have used many times. With just a few simple alterations, it becomes a lovely triangular shawl. I found while making this shawl for Megan that it is especially cozy using Lion Brand Homespun yarn (which is not my favorite yarn, but I would use it again for another shawl like this).

Well, I'm out of time for today. Maybe next time I post I'll have a picture to show. I'd like to figure out how to "publish" my pattern too. I'm hoping that Ravelry may be able to help me with that.


please pray!

shana posted about 411God on her blog a few days ago. i found 411God on Facebook and have been reading the daily scriptures and thoughts when i can. it was especially good for me today.

i find God's timing to be impeccable. you see, a young woman, megan, whose family goes to our church (in fact, i'm pretty sure T taught her in his high school Sunday school class a few years back) was in a car accident last night. she was badly hurt, has already been through one surgery and probably needs more. please lift up megan and her family in prayer as they go through this. thanks!

Today's 411God
(copied from 411God on Facebook)

Having a bad day? Today, 411God has a little something to cheer you up.

God says: "I am the LORD, and I do not change." (Malachi 3:6)

Because of that, I can trust all God's promises. Promises like:

"I will never fail you." (Hebrews 13:5)

"I will guide you." (Psalm 32:8)

"My gracious favor is all you need." (2 Corinthians 12:9)

"[I] will supply all your needs." (Philippians 4:19)

Everything else in your life can be junk, but God and His promises never change. So, when life is crappy, keep this in mind. Jesus is in you and He promises to be there for you. Always. Unchanged.

isn't that a great reminder? i thought so too. and i really needed that today! thanks, God!