Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Spot On!

Your Christmas is Most Like: A Very Brady Christmas
For you, it's all about sharing times with family. Even if you all get a bit cheesy at times.

The Family That Knits Together....

My mother has been knitting for as long as I can remember. So it came as no surprise to me to read on Regina's blog that my mom is considered the knitting guru of their stitchers group at church. And also is the reason Lynne' and I brought a couple of knitting problem projects with us at Thanksgiving!

Saturday several of the family met for breakfast (and really I think that breakfast is my favorite meal to eat out), then Keith, Lynne' and I went over to mom's house for the afternoon. While Keith did some boring boy stuff around the house mom helped Lynne' and I with our knitting. First she helped Lynne' remember how to cast on. Lynne' took needles and yarn and got to knitting on a scarf as a donation to breast cancer next October.

Next I pulled out the baby blanket I've been working on. Somehow I got the pattern all turned around and on one side the border ended up with about 6 rows of stockinette stitch instead of garter stitch. My way of fixing it would've been to take it all out one stitch at a time, which would've been about 700 stitches. Mom's way was to get out a crochet hook and turn the purls into knits! Then it turned out she didn't like the way she'd done one row, so she ripped out a couple of rows and magically got them back on the needles. There is that I would try that on my own!

We then got a little impromptu fashion show when mom went and got out a vest she had knit umpteen years ago and modeled it for us. I'm sure the picture doesn't show it very well, but the vest is covered in cables and so very timeless. Beautiful!

Mom got out the baby blanket she's currently knitting, which amazingly is the same yarn and same color I was using (what are the odds???) and the three of us sat on the couch to knit while we waited for a pizza to be delivered.

Again my heart was filled by the moment. It was such a satisfying feeling to share a hobby with my mother and daughter and to just relax and enjoy the moment together. Mom and I have shared moments like this before, but it was the first time the three of us have gotten to knit together. What a blessing it was!

Of course I realized this was a Kodak moment, so I asked Keith to get the camera and take a couple of pictures. One thing about Keith - he doesn't do anything halfway. I do realize this is definitely one of those you would've had to have been there moments, but he got us to laughing so hard we had tears running down our cheeks! He set the camera to just continue taking pictures and I'll bet I have 20 or so pictures of this special moment in time, with all three of us in various phases of laughing. Good times..... :)

The last project I had mom's help with was a hat that should've been quite simple. I made it once and ended up with the first point in the center of the head, so I frogged it and started over (mom's method of fixing knitting mistakes is quite a bit more efficient than mine!). This time around it went much better, but I still ended up with a hole in the center that required my mother's help.

We went over to James and Loni's house on Sunday and Brooklyn wasn't nearly as impressed with the hat that grandma made as grandma was impressed with her wearing it!

Look Away...

...if you are still waiting on a Thank You card from me!
Finally I started getting these done and I'm very happy with them. They are kind of a hybrid card because the pattern paper and the sentiment are both printed from a digital kit from Nichole Heady. Nichole is my absolute favorite designer right now and when I saw this I knew it was the answer to those Thank You's that I'm behind on.
I also used one of my new Giga punches, a birthday gift from some of my friends, and the ribbon is Stampin Up.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Story of the Rose - and Christmas Lights!

Before we embarked on our trip home my MIL made a pot of her fabulous chicken noodle soup so we wouldn't have to hit a drive-thru for dinner. The five of us sat and ate dinner and talked for a bit and it was so serene. Eating and talking - really...can it get any better than that? Then MIL wanted us to come outside to see her garden and this rose is what we saw. The little bush was covered in buds and one blossom was just blooming its little heart out. There really was no explanation for a rose blooming in 35 degree weather. MIL said she thinks it's a sign from her sister and it brought her much comfort. We never really know on this sort of thing, but I did love to see her smile. And I also know that a flower bush that my parents had for a few years and never bloomed did bloom shortly after my father passed away - in fact it was covered in blooms. Maybe this really is something that God sends to comfort us. I for one am going to ask Him about it when I see Him. :)
Our trip home was actually quite a bit of fun. Lynne' and I had heard about a website called Free Rice and the three of us played it for hours. It's a vocabulary game and each word you get correct ten grains of rice are donated to the United Nations. I will warn you though that if you like word games it becomes addicting quite fast!

Before we knew it we were in Ardmore and saw the drive thru lights. We see this every year as we zoom down I-35 and this year we actually had the time to stop and do it. It is a one and a half mile drive through a city park with very large Christmas light displays, each one sponsored by an area business. We tuned the radio to a Christmas music station and we sang as we drove through the park. Great fun and I highly recommend it if you are in the Ardmore area. It's free, though they do take a free will offering at the end.

Monday, November 26, 2007

5 Generations and Cousins with Grandkids

Of course when we all get together I bring out the camera.....a lot. Everybody moans and groans, but they do like to see the pictures afterwards. ;) We also had the golden opportunity to take a picture with five generations.

(From the left - Mom, Grandma, Me, Brooklyn, James in front)
On Friday we all ran over to Grandma's house because my cousin Melinda was in town from Little Rock. This picture is Melinda holding her grandson Max (he's ten months old) and me holding my granddaughter Brooklyn (she's four months old). These are our first grandkids and we are just loving them up!
The few hours we got to be together was so much fun. When Melinda and I get together it's like we were never apart and we talk and talk and talk. When we were younger we lived in the same city and our families got together fairly often. I remember packing my Barbies in their little carrying case and spreading out all the Barbie stuff in Melinda's bedroom. We would play Barbies for HOURS! So while we were sitting there holding our grandkids I turned to Melinda and said this was kind of like playing Barbies (and Ken!) only these Barbies were MUCH better than the ones we had before!!!

Geocaching and Weight Loss

After eating and getting the kitchen back together we brought out the gps to show everybody what geocaching was all about. We had already loaded it with some caches and were happily surprised to see that there was one just down the street. It was a blustery cold day, but we are a hearty group and off we went.

Everybody searched like troopers with frozen fingers and in the end Brad came up the winner! Another cache conquered.

Since this is more or less an exercise post it seems to be a good time to post about weight loss. Friday morning I went to a Weight Watchers meeting near MIL's house to weigh in. I shared with Keith on the drive over to the meeting that I wasn't excited about doing this, but really it is what it is and at least when I know what it is I can buckle down. Lo and behold I lost 1.4 pounds last week - Thanksgiving week even! Very surprised, but very happy of course.

Mom's Rolls

In every family there are certain foods that just "have to be there" when it's a holiday gathering. Topping the list in my family is my mother's rolls. They are legendary....truly.
She had them sitting out to raise early in the morning and the yeasty smell was very taunting. And notice how I managed to find a picture of the raising rolls that just happened to include Brooklyn! Her Great-Aunt Rhonda is holding her while her Great-Grandma Herman looks on.
This was a silly one. Loni heard the rolls were done and came in to sneak one before dinner! BUSTED!!! :)
(See Brooklyn's picture on Great-Grandma's refrigerator???)

Michele brought them out to the table, treating them with the reverance they deserved. We were humming a song of happiness as they descended into their rightful place at the table. ;)

Thanksgiving Day

Today I try and capture so many pictures and thoughts from the Thanksgiving weekend. It truly was picture perfect and I enjoyed every moment of our time.

This year our celebration was at the in-law's home. I am so blessed that the two families started celebrating together years ago. I was a little unsure about MIL doing it this year after her sister passed away just days ago. But it turned out that she was so happy that this had been planned because after getting back to town from the funeral she had this to prepare for and look forward to and it helped to distract.

We have the tradition of going around the table (and it was a big table indeed this year!) before eating to say what you are thankful for. Sooo many tears this year, especially with the passing of Vonna. My turn came and I was holding little miss Brooklyn, so naturally I started with my thankfulness of this happy, healthy baby. Then I teared up and couldn't say anything else! I was disappointed that it happened that way because there were so many things I wanted to say. I am abundantly blessed with my family and friends, my marriage, my health and really the only thing I could blubber out was how thankful I was for this grandbaby. :)

Speaking of Brooklyn, a fun time we had was watching her eat her first vegetable! It was so much fun to watch as she had a delightful time. She'd get a bite of carrots, then blow bubbles with it, grinning very big when we'd all laugh! So smart of her mama to think to just take her little dress off before starting because right after this picture her mama and her great aunt took her and gave her a bath.

Another fun moment - the turkey came out of the oven and a committee of five stood around giving advice on how best to carve it. From the left - mom, Michele (SIL), MIL, Keith, FIL. The turkey carving winner was Michele as she wowed us all with her knowledge from watching Food Network. And people say tv isn't educational... hehehehe!!!

A very special moment, which made a very precious photo. This is my grandmother holding Brooklyn, her great-great-granddaughter. So abundantly blessed.
There is so much to say when it is Thanksgiving and you really take the time to think of your blessings. Our gathering this year was my MIL, FIL, mom, grandmother, Gary (my brother), his wife Michele, Brad (Keith's brother), his wife Rhonda, Lynne', James, Loni, Brooklyn, Keith and I. We also had 4 dogs (MIL's granddogs) Joe and Xena and Brad and Rhonda's Shelties - Harmony and Brandywine. It was a busy, content, satisfying day.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Monday Musings

Sometimes there really just are not the words you need. Keith's Aunt Vonna has passed away. There are some people in life that are able to make you feel loved and welcome to their family and she definitely was one of those. She will be missed.

I love this picture. We went out geocaching yesterday and had, as always, a really good time. This one happened to be out at the lake and it was a little exciting. We had to walk into what I consider a forest, though I say that with the disclaimer that I'm quite a city girl and most would probably call it a couple of trees. Anyway, we walked along making crunchy sounds walking on the dried, fallen leaves when something scurried in front of me. Always ready with my walking stick to do a little kung fu I went looking. It was a lizard and he was pretty good sized. OK, no longer scarey and we resumed our walking. Again, something scurried, but this time Joe saw it and really, really wanted to take out after it. Turns out it was a bunny with a cute little cottontail. He finally did some leaps and bounds and left and oh did that dog ever want to run after it. At this point Joe got returned to the truck, where he did a grand version of doggy pouting. When Keith and I were finished and walking to the truck I thought Joe looked cute and snapped a picture with my phone. What I didn't realize is that Keith and I were reflected in the side of the truck. Even better, because of the shape of the truck (I'm assuming) we came out looking like Munchkins! Really tickled me.
I did get a chance to be creative a bit yesterday and worked on some cards. This was my desk when I got up to go to bed. I had to leave some things out so the Stickles could dry and I kind of liked the creative mess it all created.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it!
The knitted pixie hat for Brooklyn? So sad. I got my needles mixed up during the kitchener stitch and when I did the first point I ended up having the little curly-q right in the middle of the hat! I tried to un-kitchener and ended up losing stitches left and right, so finally just frogged the whole thing. I have it re-knit up to the point of the kitchener again, so hopefully it will work out better this time around.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Happy Feet

These were my happy feet at work yesterday. The weather had finally
cooled off enough that I was able to wear socks and clogs to work, it
being jeans day and all. But these weren't just any socks - these are
hand knit me even! They felt so good and my toes
practically danced under my desk every time I slipped my feet out of
my shoes. Unfortunately this is the only complete pair I have, which
means I better get to knitting. Obviously I do have a problem with
Second Sock Syndrome as I have several socks that just need mates.

Maybe by next year I'll be set.....


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Card for My Grandmother

Sometimes you need a card fast and that's what I'm finding lately. I have tons of thank you cards I need to get out, plus I want to send some cards to my grandmother as she convalesces at home. I found a beautiful card by Tangerine Dream on SCS and knew that would be perfect, especially as it seemed like I could get it done pretty fast.

And I would have....but my phone rang several times and, well, talking on the phone is really my favorite hobby. So what should have been a 15 - 20 minute card really took me a couple of hours. But it's all good, because the whole evening was doing something enjoyable. :)

Stamps - All I Have set by Stampin Up

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Meandering Thoughts

Those that know me well know my love for garage sales, flea markets, antique shops, etc. I was thrilled to discover that my daughter-in-law enjoys the same thing! And now what makes it even better is this little grandbaby. When I got there this weekend Brooklyn was asleep and of course grandma volunteered to go get her up. I went in her room and took pictures first, then softly called her name. She did those amazing baby stretches where they stretch and kind of roll and scrunch up their face. Then she finally opened her eyes, saw me and just got a smile that lit up her entire face! The grandma in me wants to believe that the smile was just for me, but really this little ray of sunshine is just such a happy baby I know she would be smiling to see any happy face over her. I told her she reminds me so much of her Aunt Lynne' when she was a baby. :)

We were riding around with her in the back seat and she started making the funniest little sounds, then would just grin real big. I think she's definitely figuring out her sounds and it really is cracking her up.

We had another older gentleman try to get her this weekend. He was walking out of a garage sale with his wife, saw me sitting on the driveway talking to Brooklyn and he said "That's what I've been looking for all day - how much for the baby?" I told him that being the grandma I just couldn't let this one go and he just chuckled and walked on. His wife turned to me and said "Being a grandma, I know just what you mean" and with a smile she joined her husband. Too cute!
I haven't mentioned Weight Watchers in a while, but it's time. Weigh in last Friday showed a 1.8 pound loss, for a total so far of 10.8 pounds! AND...Monday night I started an exercise class, can you believe it? A girl I work with is working to get her personal trainer certification, so she started a class after work. She thinks nothing of doing a 12 mile run before work, so I will admit to being a little worried. But Monday's class went very well and I'm so impressed with myself - LOL! And truthfully it's one of the most fun things I've done in a long time. As usual, laughter is what I do. Another girl and I got tickled part way through the class and just laughed and laughed. And then the instructor separated us. ~ sigh ~ I guess she expected us to be a little more serious about it. ;) We do it again tonight and I'm actually looking forward to it.

Back to the 10.8 pounds - while at Walmart this weekend Keith and I were actually in the exercise department to get some 5 pounds weights for this class. He picked up two of them, smiled real big and handed them to me, while pointing out that this is about how much weight I've lost. WOW! Big incentive to continue because they were heavy!
I finally this week started up with the cupcakes to work again (seems silly to post this after my WW post!). These are peanut butter cupcakes with a Reese's peanut butter cup in the middle. The recipe was one that some of the people at work found online and asked me to make for them (ironically, my personal trainer instructor was the one that asked!). I thought the flavor was very good, but they were a little bit dry. But the lack of frosting on them would make them very easy to transport somewhere.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Talimena Drive

What an amazing day we had! Keith, Joe and I headed up to Talimena Drive (a 54 mile stretch between Oklahoma and Arkansas) for a day of sightseeing and geocaching. There were times that a person could almost forget exactly where they were when standing in the awe and splendor of the Ouachita Mountains. God must surely have smiled when making this area.

Sometimes there are words that become overused and for the most part "breathtaking" is one of them. I'm going to claim that word for this area of the country though.

Driving along we just loved looking around. The trees were so much different than what we have around here and that made it enjoyable to look around. And there was still enough color in all the leaves that it was so beautiful to look at.

Joe had a grand time as well. We didn't see a lot of people the entire day, but at one geocache site there was a secluded field. We let him off leash and the three of us ran around and laughed and just enjoyed each other.

The last picture will be one of those memories that will be retold time and time again. On the way to our very first geocache of the day the GPS told us to turn right at CR-54938 (or whatever the county road number was). We did and this picture shows the road we followed. Now, the funniest part is that we followed this dirt and rock road for seven miles along sometimes the edge of a mountain. I wish I would've taken more pictures to show the vertical road and even more impressive the vertical drop had Keith not been such a good driver. But instead of picture taking I was busy being
the passenger driver and I was holding my invisible brake pedal down for all I was worth! I know that we had a bevy of angels helping me to hold that brake pedal down, you know, just in case Keith wasn't able to brake on his own.

We were on the road long enough that we started to get a little bit of a nervous chuckle between us. Keith turned to me and asked if I had told anybody where we were going, just in case. No honey, not a soul knows where we are, but I'm trusting in those angels to keep us on this road and DON'T STOP PLEASE cause it's a little creepy up here!

When all was said and done and we made it back amongst the civilized world we checked to see where we might've messed up. And we discovered that had we stayed on the highway we had been on we would've just followed the winding road about 20 miles around and ended at the same spot. But our trusty GPS wanted to save us about 13 miles, so it sent us off into the wilderness. We had blind faith that all would be well and of course it was. Following the road less traveled can sometimes be a lonely thing, but it will usually provide you with some deep insights.

And does anybody see the parable here? Blind faith in our GPS brought fear to our hearts. Being reminded of our faith in our Father and the angels surrounding us brought comfort. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!

"He changes times and seasons." - Daniel 2:21

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Brooklyn Hat Begins

Just a little post to show that I really do still knit! :)

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Weight Loss, Ice Cream Sundaes and Italian Food

Yesterday was weigh in day for Weight Watchers and I lost another 1.2 pounds! That brings my 5 week total to 9 pounds lost. VERY hard to believe still, but definitely in a good way.

We didn't stay for the meeting because we met a bunch of work people for lunch. I did really good at lunch because they had all been telling me about this dessert - the Mile High Sundae! Those are all ice cream layers people!!! Oh baby was it good - lol! But it's so huge that all 9 of us ate part of it and we still left some for Mr. Manners.

And yes I see the irony of talking about my weight loss while showing a picture of this ice cream dessert - LOL!

Tonight the family went out to eat and Brooklyn was in great form. I guess we all didn't realize just how funny italian restaurants can be! She sat with Aunt Lynne' for a good part of the meal and then on Grandma's lap, where she smiled at her Aunt Lynne' the entire time. Good times....

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Halloween Pictures!

So much fun last night! When we first got to the kids' house Brooklyn had on her little orange outfit that she wore to daycare that day. Darling little girl! She's holding onto a still wrapped Tootsie roll pop in the picture and I just think it's so neat to watch them add abilities. Hard to believe she's already able to grasp things! I did take it from her after a minute because Grandma does know that she's not old enough for suckers yet. :)

Loni is wearing most of her costume here that she wore to work. In addition to the ears and makeup she carried a feather duster around - she was a Dust Bunny!!!! She changed Brooklyn into her little monkey suit after a little bit.

I love the back view of our monkey - doesn't she have a cute tail???

Her blue eyes showed up well here, so of course this picture made the cut.

And Loni got out Cheeto's (the cat) costume from last year and he was a butterfly again. You can barely see it here, but he's got hold of the little feathery end of a cat toy on a string that's hooked on a stick. Loni can move this around and Cheeto does the most amazing jumps and flips. Olympic Cheeto!

We went out to eat a little later than normal because we wanted to see the Trick or Treaters that came to the house. When we got back I just enjoyed myself immensely having a conversation with Brooklyn while Loni got her ready for bed. I held her and loved on her while Keith was saying "Elizabeth we need to go home now. Elizabeth give Brooklyn back to Loni. Elizabeth put the baby down!" hehehehehehe......Sometimes that really is what it takes to get me to stop kissing on that little doll!!!

"Always kiss your children goodnight -- even if they're already asleep." - Loretta Lynn