Friday, March 28, 2008

Quick Update...

Just so that nobody thinks I've fallen off the planet - I am SICK! Tuesday morning I left work early, stopped at the doctor, then came home and slept the entire day, only getting up when Keith brought me chicken noodle soup in bed. Went to the doctor again yesterday and am still home from work today. What an incredible waste of vacation days!!!

Oh well - I should just be thankful I have the days to use.

Now back to bed for me.....

:)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter

She is just so beautiful! Of course we had a wonderful, blessed Easter. The service at church was so good and I looked down at Brooklyn in my lap at one point and tears welled up just from being so happy. Keith saw that, gave me a little smile and squeezed my hand. Ah....life is so good.

There was a little boy sitting in the pew behind us that apparently was pretty funny. Brooklyn was looking, then would break into a huge grin, stop for a minute, then grin real big again. Little flirt. :)

She was also very entranced by the high ceilings, stained glass, organs and handbells at this church. The first part of the service she just sat very still and only her eyes moved. Then we sang and she thought grandma's singing was funny!

I know the lighting is off on the second picture, but I so love her grin. Life is just so much fun for this little girl - she grins and laughs and kicks all the time. After church we went back to the kids' house and spent the better part of the day and this baby is just so fun to be around.

It did end up being too cold outside to have a picnic (the temperature was great, but the wind was cold), so we ended up spreading the blankets in the middle of James' living room and having our picnic inside. It was fun and very different from our original plan, but we are a "roll with flow" type of family and it just didn't matter.

After we ate we played a game of Disney Scene It and that was so much fun! There were four
teams - Keith and James were on "Team Uninterested" because they were outvoted on what we were going to play - and it ended up that they won!!! And I got teased quite a bit because for most of the game I sat on the start square. I've always prided myself on my Disney knowledge (!), but I am just not nearly as fast as the kids are - LOL!

I do so love the holidays. Good times....

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Eve

Brooklyn's Bunny is finished! Just in time to give it to her before church in the morning. The yarn is alpaca, so it's very soft and squishy. She stands about 7 inches tall, so is the perfect size for my 8 month old granddaughter.

Recipe: Pattern is the Luxury Lop-Eared Bunny from the January Creative Knitting Magazine; knit from Bernat Alpaca Natural Blend yarn.

I'm very pleased with how this turned out, especially since it's my first knitted toy!

--<>--

Today while out running my errands I picked up some photos that I'd had printed at Walmart. We have a new Walmart near us that I just love (sounds strange doesn't it?) and one of the bonus parts of shopping there is the Dunkin Donuts on the way out. I treat myself to a Mocha Swirl Iced Latte Lite most trips and today splurged and got 3 chocolate donut holes. Finished my errands, got home, brought in all my bags and could not find my pictures anywhere. Chalked it up to one of those things and figured the pictures would turn up eventually. Well.....tonight while cooking parts of our Easter dinner the phone rings and a young man asks if this is "Mrs. XXXX". Yes it is, I said. "Were you in Dunkin Donuts earlier today?" And do y'all know that the first thing that went through my mind at that point was that it was my conscience calling to make me feel guilty about those donut holes? LOL! He went on to tell me that I had left my photos there, so I hung up, relayed the story to Keith, laughing all the while, then went and picked them up. Never let it be said that a conscience is a quiet thing!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Happy First Day of Spring!

And a beautiful day it was!

After dinner tonight Keith and I took Joe for a walk and saw many different kinds of flowers blooming. Tulips happen to be one of my favorites and one day I'm going to remember to plant bulbs in time to enjoy them in my own yard! I was taking a friend home from work yesterday and the center median by her house was filled with jaunty tulip blooms. I didn't see an easy way to take a picture without putting my life at risk on the road, but they sure were lovely. These tulips were in a neighbor's yard.


And really, nothing says spring around my house like dandelions! Say what you will about these dastardly weeds, but you have to admit that the flower looks somewhat like a sun. The intense yellow is quite beautiful and as long as you block out the rest of the plant you can almost convince yourself that they are a wonderful addition to your landscaping. ;)

We watched the weather forecast this morning and it's supposed to be gorgeous spring-like weather tomorrow and Saturday. And then....Easter Sunday will be cooler by about 20 degrees and rainy. :( Because of this we are currently working on a Plan B for our family afternoon. Originally we were headed to the Arboretum after church for a picnic and picture taking of Little Bit amongst the pretty flowers. It could possibly still happen if the rains hold off for just a few hours longer.

And honestly, does it really matter? Our family will have a grand time together on Easter Sunday regardless of what we are doing. The most important thing is remembering that Christ died for us. Enough said.

"But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our sins; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him." - Isaiah 53:5

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

March Stamp Club Night

We just had Stamp Club Night and again it was a highlight of my month.

This first "card" started life as an envelope before we cut the tops off and added the hemp handle (you can barely see it in the photo). There is a little cellophane bag of candy and crimped paper Easter grass inside as well. At the end of the evening I had thought I would add this to Brooklyn's Easter basket, but now I'm no sure I'll do a whole basket since she's still so little. There can be no candy, etc. when you are only 8 months old (her birthday is today)!



I really, really love this card. I think one of the things I like best about it is the color choice and how upbeat and happy it looks. Cherries just seem to always be perky!
The inside of the card has a flap that holds a recipe for Cherry Cheesecake. Totally cute! The stamp on the other side says:

Life is not a matter
of counting years,
It's a matter of
making years count.


The highlight of the evening was right as we left the demonstrator's house. Helen and I got in her car and Jeanie and Shelley got in Shelley's car and off we went to IHOP for dinner. Except that Helen and I were chatting so much that we missed our turn and the other girls were chatting so much they didn't realize we missed and kept following us. Jeanie called me and the four of us got to laughing so hard that our sides were so sore - literally. ;) The other car found IHOP before we did, but that afforded us the opportunity to call them and say "It's 10:00, do you know where your friends are???" When we finally arrived I did point out that really by getting lost we added a whole new dimension of fun to the evening. Good times. :)

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Shopping Cart Adventure

Yesterday I started my post with a sorta quote from Titanic. For the life of me I can't think of one today that goes with this post and I really thought that would've been cute! *shrug*
Today Loni and I took Brooklyn shopping for her Easter dress. We found one that is darling - and believe it or not it's not PINK! - and I just can't wait to have pictures of her in it! Of course I had to get her a girly headband and bow and a pair of socks with lace. Adorable!
While out shopping we stopped in at World Market to see about getting some Salsa Lizano to use in my gallo pinto (struck out there). We put Little Bit in the shopping cart and then Loni realized that this is the first time Brooklyn had ever been in one. When she said that I had to whip out my trusty camera and start taking pictures. See how Brooklyn's checking the whole thing out? And to put everybody's mind at ease about cart cooties - we didn't have the shopping cart cover with us, but I always carry spray sanitizer in my purse. The two of us doused the cart before we put the precious babe in.
Our first stop in the store was back in the corner where they had things marked 75% off. There were some of the cutest rubber duckies ever - colored to look like Santa ducks, gingerbread ducks, etc. Brooklyn liked the gingerbread duck the best, so of course Grandma had to get it for her. And at only .74 cents it was cheap entertainment for her for the rest of the day. And it was a seriously fun day. :)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Dinner On The Lake

"I'm Queen of the World!"

OK, perhaps that line is a bit overused. But I can't help that it popped in my head this evening while sitting at the front of the boat. Keith and I had a very low key, lazy day and at the last minute decided to run out to the lake. I ran in and made sandwiches, filled the cooler, grabbed the dog and off we went.

This time I actually drove!!! A most amazing feat indeed as I haven't driven in the city pulling the boat yet. I'm always ok doing this sort of thing at the lake, but Dallas traffic can be a little dicey at the best of times....even without pulling a boat. I did have a little trouble on the ramp this time and I totally attribute that to getting a little cocky about how good I've been doing lately. Daddy would've been quite proud of me. :)

We found an out of the way spot, turned off the boat and I fixed our plates. James and Loni had gotten Keith a great backpack for Father's Day one year that is filled with metal dishes, silverware, a cutting board and these napkins. What fun we had eating our sandwiches and potato salad on these dishes while bobbing along in the boat!

Joe looked mighty indeed as he sat in the back and kept on the lookout for things that he might need to bark at. There were quite a few ducks flying about, which I found vastly interesting, but apparently they are boring to dogs.




He finally decided that the whole things was boring and found a place to lay down. Minutes later he was sound asleep.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Cat in the Lap

When I get home from work I love to take a little time to sit and knit and make the mental transition from work to home. Usually when I do this the cat sits nearby and the dog sits at my feet.

But this time the cat wanted to curl up on my lap while I was knitting. For most cat owners this probably is no big deal, but Meeko is now 13 years old and actually quite a curmudgeon. He will allow himself to be pet as long as it's on his schedule only. So to have him voluntarily jump into my lap was quite a surprise!

I'm still working on the homeless scarf in this picture and will probably have it and one other thing completed this weekend. The girls at work are starting to learn to knit socks and that has me wanting to pull mine out again! :)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Brooklyn's Jumparoo

video

This jumparoo is one of Brooklyn's absolute favorite things to play on. She jumps and laughs and jumps and talks....until I bring the camera out! She does make me laugh though. :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Costa Rica Food

I am still missing the food from Costa Rica! One of the supervisors brought in some Manzana de agua for us to try one day. The best translation they could come up with was water apple and they are the red fruits in the picture. It was a crisp fruit and reminded me more of a pear than an apple. The picture was taken in the market and I swear most of the fruit there was new to me. I would love to have tried it all!

One of the days for lunch they took us to a nearby shopping mall to eat in the food court. I wasn't excited about eating at Subway, Quizno's McD, etc. and asked which place might have more traditional Costa Rican foods and they led me to a restaurant that I can't remember the name. This plate is what I ended up with, along with a Pepsi Light. I can't remember what any of these dishes are called, but it was all so delicious.

Two of the CR managers got a combo #1 from Taco Bell and while the grilled stuffed burrito was just like home, the side order of nachos was not. They serve the meat, cheese, sour cream, etc. on top of french fries (and yes I did get some later in the week and can confirm that it was wonderful!!!). Even with eating one fast food meal I still managed to lose weight last week because of all the walking and the predominance of fresh fruits, veggies and seafood.

Oh and every breakfast we had gallo pinto (essentially black beans, rice and cilantro) with our eggs and coffee. They serve it with sour cream and tortillas and I've been craving it enough that I finally have some recipes printed to try it on my own. I grew up eating pinto beans and rice, but really I think I like the black beans better. And a nice benefit of gallo pinto in the mornings is that I stayed full until lunchtime. I loved the gallo pinto so much that when we were at the airport on the morning of our departure we had breakfast in the food court there. I chose Burger King purely because they had a BK Pinto on the menu - gallo pinto, sour cream and corn tortillas - for only $3.00. My last chance to eat it in Costa Rica and I wasn't about to let it slip away! :)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Costa Rica Experience

Finally getting some Costa Rica pictures posted!

This first picture is the view looking out the front door of our office. San Jose is in Central Valley and there were mountains everywhere we looked. Unfortunately I was not able to take advantage of the tours to the volcanoes, rain forests or beaches this trip, so maybe next time.

One of the days during lunch the facility manager took us downtown for lunch and to walk around. This picture was taken inside the market where there were booths selling every sort of food - meats, produce and grains. It was really magnificent and one interesting thing to me was that I was unable to identify a large percentage of the fruits! I thoroughly enjoyed trying the different tropical fruits though and will miss them now that I'm back home.
The crowded streets of downtown. Unreal to me just how many people were walking. Between the fresh fruits and vegetables and all the walking they surely must be a healthy country!
It was during our walking that we went into a VERY small shop that sold baby clothes. I bought three items for Miss Brooklyn there and enjoyed it immenselly!

We visited this church, built in the 1700's. It was beautiful and so serene inside.
Honestly - I'm not sure that I would call the trip "fun" since we were not in the touristy or more natural areas. But it was a very interesting trip and I'm glad I went.

Monday, March 10, 2008

One Happy Grandma

I really do have pictures and stories from Costa Rica, but way more important than that is the time I spent with Brooklyn and my family yesterday. See the big smile on my happy face?

We all went out geocaching together and while the rest of the family did some searching Brooklyn and I sat on this little wooden bridge and watched the water rushing by below us (only inches below, she was not in any danger!). Again, I got the best end of the deal since I got to play with her.

I love this picture even though I know that technically it is not a good picture. You can see her little arm reaching for the camera here and it makes me smile. She's almost 8 months old now and is in the reaching and grabbing stage.

Believe it or not she keeps her sunglasses and hat on too! Never messes with them at all. Such an easygoing baby.

Saturday night all the girls (Loni, Lynne', Brooklyn and I) went to a wedding reception. G specifically invited Brooklyn and sure enough she was the belle of the ball!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Hola From Costa Rica!

I arrived late Sunday night and am just able to post. Amazingly beautiful country and oh what an experience. I've taken a lot of pictures, but no way to upload them yet so that will have to wait for my return.

And I'm sure it's no surprise to anybody, but the only souvenir that has been purchased is for Brooklyn!

Catch y'all later - I have a baby shower to attend in the breakroom now. I saw today that no matter where you are in the world, all women love to pat pregnant bellies. :)

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Saturday Sky and Stuff

Such an absolutely stunning day today!

I started the day early this morning sitting in the spare room knitting with my friend Lise. OK, not really, but it kind of felt like it. Lise has the best knitting podcast and talks just like you're sitting there with her and knitting together.

Then because the weather was so nice I grabbed the leash and the dog and we went for a walk, where unfortunately I proceeded to "break" my dog. I didn't think we went that far, but he is so sore this evening and I feel so terrible about it. I guess it's been a long, lazy winter for the poor thing and I need to take it a little more slowly with him.

The rest of the day has been a hodge podge of activity. Lots of yard work just to be outside. And since I have a large dog there is some time spent each week out there cleaning his mess. It never fails to tickle me though to realize what activity I'm doing and singing praise songs at the same time. I was plugging in the ipod and ready to go outside when Keith asked what I was going to do. I told him that I was going to be outside praising Jesus and picking up dog poop! Now really, I do know it might sound bad to say that, but honestly if you could just see me out there singing and dancing to The Twenty First Time with a pooper scooper in my hand you'd see the humor here! :)

I did take a few breaks though just to sit outside and knit. The weather was so perfect and just begged to be taken advantage of. This is the beginning of a scarf I'm making. One of the girls I work with has a project at her church each Christmas where they fill backpacks for the homeless people in our city. She pledged to the church that she and her fellow knitters would donate a handknit scarf and/or hat for each backpack. I figure I better get started! :) I'm loving how this one is turning out and it's probably the softest thing in the world.