January 23, 2010

I Am Getting Better!

I have been practicing my knitting, and I wanted to show pictures of the 2nd Mug Mat I made.  The pattern was slightly different, but not enough to matter.
Here is what my first Mug Mat looked like:

Here is my 2nd Mug Mat:

Here is a close up of the stitches:

Here they are side by side.  They are both positioned the same way with the cast on row on top and the bind off row on the bottom.  Can't you see how much better I have gotten in just one day?! I am so excited about it!
I still don't think I am good enough to make a hat or a piece of clothing yet, because I haven't figured out the gauge. On the mug mats 17 stitches is supposed to equal 4", but on mine 19 stitches equals 4", so I am still off on that.  It would make a big difference when making a hat, so I will just be practicing more!  I think I will make a scarf soon though!

January 22, 2010

I Taught Myself To Knit

As we are getting our house ready to show, I have had to pack up my sewing machine and all related materials since there was not really a "place" for them. I was using the kitchen table for my sewing machine and that just doesn't look nice when showing a home.  Because I have had to pack that up while there were still numerous ideas floating around in my head of things I could make and possible sell on my Etsy shop, I decided to learn something new that wouldn't take a lot of room but could give me something to do when I am feeling crafty.  I decided to learn how to knit!  My mom has always crocheted, and she tried to teach me when I was a teenager, but my fingers, the hook and the yarn didn't get along too well.  For Christmas Annalisa got some knitting looms and has made a hat and is working on a second one. Jacob is also making a hat, and I knitted a pinwheel on one of the looms. After making the pinwheel I decided I wanted to learn how to knit with knitting needles, so I went to YouTube.  You can find almost everything you want --or don't want--on YouTube (just to prove my point I will let you know that while I was watching a video on knitting for beginners, one of the "related" videos on the right hand side of the page was "Pole Dancing For Beginners").  So, I watched video after video on how to knit, and once I thought I understood what to do, I went to Hobby Lobby with my 40% OFF Coupon and bought an "I Taught Myself to Knit" kit for around $6.00.  I used the purple yarn Annalisa got for Christmas to make my first project which is a Mug Mat (similar to a coaster).

As you can see, it isn't perfectly square--it is my FIRST project!  On a couple of rows I had more stitches than I was supposed to have and I think it is because I forgot to let the stitch off the needle.  The more I did it, the better I got, though and I am excited about making more projects!!  It really is pretty fun!

January 16, 2010

I Have My Limits

In the process of putting our house on the market, our real estate agent sent out a "Stager" to take pictures of our house and put together a list of things we can do to help our house show better and hopefully sell faster.  You have probably seen these people on TV, and as you watched them you said to yourself, "Really?  They want them [sellers] to do that to their house?"  Well, it is true.  Those people exist and they DO want you to do THAT to your house. In all, the list of things that were "recommended" we do to our house would take about $5000.00 and 3-4 months.....neither of which I have.  I did learn that (according to my real estate agent) only 10% of people can "see past paint", meaning they can understand that when they buy the house they can repaint and they can even possibly visualize what the room would look like in a different color.  This means that the other 90% of people looking at houses are, in my mind, stupid.  By the way I don't really think that 90% of people are stupid which is my point.  I mean if you can't walk into a room that is bright pink and understand that you have the ability to repaint it brown or green or bright yellow or whatever color you choose then you are, should I say, narrow minded. After being irritated and complaining alot last night, I called my MIL to complain this morning.  She is always willing to listen if I need to vent ,and she always has good advice to follow up with. I went through my tirade of things I am NOT going to do (remove 2 chairs from my dining room table making it possibly SHOW better but leaving one of my children chairless during meals--how does this even make sense to a sane person?--, repainting almost every room in my house, and my favorite---removing "most" of the books from my bookshelf.  What does that mean exactly, and WHY would I REMOVE books from a bookshelf?), then I listed the things I will think about doing (taking down posters and pictures from the walls in my kids' bedrooms--once again possibly making it show better but leaving my kids feeling out of place in their own rooms, rearranging some of the portraits on our walls, building a shelving system in the master bath), and finally made it to the things I will do (pack up some unnecessary objects that make the house look cluttered, clean everything, paint the handrail to the staircase and buy tiebacks for the curtains in the front room).  WOW! I feel even better having written it all down for you to read as well! There were a LOT more things that were recommended for us to do that also cost a LOT more money, but I won't list them all.  It just boggles my mind that some people spend so much money on their house just to sell it. The reason I am selling it is because I don't have any money! HELLO!
So, when I was finished talking Annalisa asked me if she could talk to Nana. She loves any phone conversations, especially with Nana!  I could hear her telling Nana all kinds of stuff, and I could barely hear Nana talking on the other end.  At one point Annalisa was telling her that she was knitting a hat and that she had made her daddy a pair of pajama pants. She clarified that she had made them, "with a tiny bit of help from my mom."  I think I heard Nana say something like, "Your mom is smart. She can do anything."  To which Annalisa promptly replied, "She can't walk on water.  She can't walk on a ceiling or jump up and touch the sky."  I was trying so hard not to die laughing because she was so serious and it had taken her no time at all to list the things I CAN'T do!  So, I do have my limits and even my kids know that!!

January 5, 2010

Say What?

Yesterday I was shopping in Wal-Mart for some boxes to mail Christmas ornaments that were ordered, and in accordance with my nature I went to the craft section. For some reason I can't stand to leave Wal-Mart without having at least LOOKED at the craft section. I know that they never have anything new, but I HOPE that they do, or that they will have some awesome clearance price on an item I have been wanting for a while. Alas, I generally walk away from the craft section empty handed, but today I knew I needed tacky tape and glue dots (Cole used all of my glue dots making a paper model of the earth--couldn't use double sided tape--Oh No! That might not work! Had to use the expensive glue dots....I digress....).  As I was deciding which glue dots would be best for me, another lady came down the same aisle and started a conversation with me, "I just can't help but come down this aisle every time I am here."
Ok, so she sounds a lot like me.  I laughed and nodded my head in agreement.  She then looked at Benjamin and said, "You are good to be getting started so early."  I had to think about what she meant and I came to the conclusion that she thought I was starting to make a scrapbook for him AND she thought he was my first child.  I laughed again and said, "Oh, he is number 4!  My first child has a 3 inch thick scrapbook, but the other 3 are lacking!"  She looked at me strangely and said, "OH! Number 4? Wow.....you will be 92 before you get his done!"
Personally I am thinking that if I don't get him one made by the time he graduates high school, it isn't happening! And by the way, I will be a LOT younger than 92 when he graduates!

January 2, 2010

The "G" Word

It is well known around our house that there are some words we just don't say. For example, we don't say "stupid" or "shut-up", and those are both referred to as the "s" words. Sometimes, for clarification, I might hear them as the "s-t" word or the "s-up" word. We also don't allow name calling. Well, Ben has allowed one name to be used if the kids really feel that they need to call their sibling a name--Nincompoop. Needless to say, we hear, "Jacob, you are a Nincompoop." Or "Annalisa is being a Nincompoop" quite often. And the #1 thing we don't allow is taking the Lord's name in vain. It is very important to understand that we don't just hold the kids to these rules....Ben and I follow them too. If there is a word or phrase we don't want to hear the kids using, they won't hear us using it either. How are we to be an example to our children if we don't practice what we preach? I know that as parents there are things we tell our kids they can't do, but we do all the time--like drink soda, or eat junk food--but it is very important to us to hold ourselves to the standard of speaking (or not speaking) only things that we would want our kids to imitate. After all, we are the ones they hear the most and we are the ones they are most likely to imitate.
So, one of the funny moments for me on New Year's Eve was when Annalisa came running in the kitchen gasping, "MOM! Cole said the 'G' word!!" This moment was not funny because of what was said, but because 0f how it was referred to by Annalisa...."the 'G' word". I must say that at first I was totally shocked thinking Cole had in some way used God's name in a non-honoring way, which is not at all like Cole. Actually it is very unlike any of my kids. They even get upset when they hear people on TV say, "Oh my God!" or anything like that.
Before I got onto Cole, I gently asked Annalisa, "The 'G' word? What word is that?"
She leaned over to my ear--we all know that when a bad word is going to be repeated it HAS to be whispered--and whispered, "Jerk!"
This goes into a whole separate blog about the English language! Why does giraffe sound like jerk but one starts with a "g" and the other starts with a "j"? We really need to get this all cleared up so our kids can know what letters the bad words start with!

P.S. For the longest time my kids thought Jesus started with a "g" because of the way you say it! Sort of like my name must be spelled K.C.

January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!!

My oldest son told me last night, "Mom, you are OLD!" when I went to bed at 10:30 and slept through the midnight ball drop to welcome in 2010. I slept through any fireworks that may have been shot in our neighborhood--Ben said he woke up because of some--but I was awakened at 1:00 and again at 2:00 by my 4 month old who apparently wanted to welcome in the new year!
By this time every other year I have mailed out Christmas photos and letters, but I have not done that yet! Having a baby changes things alot....especially when it is #4!
We enjoyed Christmas but missed family. Thanks to webcams and Skype we were able to talk to family on Christmas day and the day after. Christmas day was mostly us just relaxing in our pj's until about 5:30 when we decided to keep with tradition and take the kids to the movies. We went to see Old Dogs, and I must say it was much funnier than I anticipated. I thought for sure that
Benjamin would sleep through the movie, but I was WRONG! He was wide awake and very talkative the entire movie!! Ben had to take him out a couple of times because he was so noisy (not crying--just talking!).

The kids didn't get a lot of presents this year, but they were very happy with what they did get. I am so thankful for kids that really do understand that Christmas is not about what you get.....it is about Jesus coming to earth as a baby, growing up to be a man, living a sinless life, and dying a sinner's death on the cross in order to be a perfect sacrifice for you and me. He then was raised from the dead and ascended into heaven where He sits at God's right hand. He is our High Priest whom we go through when we approach the throne of God. Christmas is about a prophecy being fulfilled, a promise being kept, and love being shown.
I hope that everyone had a great Christmas and will enjoy a wonderful New Year!