Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hooray for Nap Time!

My just barely turned three (on Dec. 22nd) granddaughter is a wonderful napper. She goes down easily every day right after lunch and sleeps 2-4 hours. That is my lifesaver, because the rest of the time she is full-throttle! I can regroup, maybe read a blog or two and possibly knit a couple of rows. I should clean up the house, but have found that is a lost cause so I just do a little laundry, cook something simple and get the dishes done (maybe). Having a three year old is not for the weak or weak of heart - it is a full time job, and could possibly kill you (especially at my age - it didn't seem nearly as hard 30 years ago!) However, she is also the sweetest, funniest, cutest kid and that makes it all worthwhile!

The parents left Saturday afternoon and DH and I are keeping the 12 and 3 year old granddaughters until Thursday, when we will take them back home. The 12 year old is absolutely no trouble. She is in fact a big help, especially with her sister. I love having them here, but definitely need my vitamins during that time!

We had a great Christmas. The snow was still on the ground and the kids got to play a little in it, build a snowman, and sled down our hilly yard and driveway. Even the the weather got a little warmer during the day, it got cold every night so we still have snow in places.

Yesterday we took the kids to the movies to see "The Princess and the Frog". It was N's first movie and we were prepared for the worst, but she loved it and was wonderful. She was amazed at the whole thing and did just great. She moved from her seat to my lap to Dh's lap, but happily munched popcorn and watched the movie. I worried that a few parts (the voodoo) were a little scary for her, but I don't think she actually caught on to what that was about, so she didn't seem scared. I was proud of her.

On the 22nd we had a small family birthday party, but plan a bigger party later.

She and her daddy with her cake.

For Christmas her aunt Amy gave her this fairy outfit.  She has worn it almost every day since.  One day we didn't go anywhere and she wore it and her pajama top all day.  I have already washed it twice.  I think it was a hit.

Why wear one outfit when two are available?  The tu-tu came with a pair of pajamas, but went over her head like a cape!

N and B

DH got the outside decorations down this morning, but I don't even dare start inside with all this help.  Maybe Friday!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

We have snow!

Since we moved to Virginia 17 years ago, we have had several big snows, but they mostly happened in the 90's.  In the last few years, a lot of snow has been predicted, but often it is more prediction than reality.  Often, what little we get is gone by 10:00 am.

When they started predicting this winter blizzard earlier this week I was very skeptical, but for once they were right and I was wrong!  Hard to believe I know!

This was the view from from office window yesterday afternoon about 2:30.

And this was the view from my front door early this morning.

We got about a foot of snow and it has snowed some more during the day, but I think it is mostly over.  DH has a 4-wheel drive jeep and he was itching to try it out so he went out this morning to the store and I sent the camera with him.  These are shots he took of our street, driveway, our house and yard, and neighbor's house. 

Another view from the front door.


Our street.

Street from our driveway.

Front of our house

Our driveway

Back yard

All my life my mother was a person who did everything ahead of time.  I heard a million times, "You never know what might happen and I want to be ready."  She bought birthday cards way ahead of time and had them ready to mail months early, prepared early for every holiday, etc.  I used to laugh at her, but I guess some of it rubbed off on me in spite of everything because I feel stressed if I leave anything till the last minute.  Sometimes it actually pays off - like now.  I had finished my shopping, wrapping, and cards last weekend and thank goodness I did.  This weekend I would have freaked out if I had it all to do in this weather!

Today I cleaned and am making soup and plan later to knit! Of course I'm still thinking of things I would like to buy, but if I don't get out, nobody will know the difference.   

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Cookie Exchange

One of my favorite things of the holiday season is a brunch and cookie exchange with some of my favorite friends.  This was our 5th year and Doris again was the gracious hostess.
The food was delicious!

Our group.

The presents for our  Dirty Santa game which we always say we are going to be aggressive and cutthroat, but hardly ever do!    We always like what we get so well we rarely ever change.


Jill opening her gift, which I think she did give up later!

Judy sharing her gift.


Doris and cute snowman, which ended up with Jill!


Kathy with a K

Cathy with a C

Peggy loving her snowman!


Then it was time for the cookie exchange.  We had a great, delicious assortment and all came home with a good selection.

We had a wonderful time, great food, good fun and wonderful friendship. 

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Catch Up Weekend

Friday night we had our work Christmas dinner at a historic little restaurant in a nearby small town, Azariah's Olde Storehouse. The food was delicious and we had a great time.  I didn't take many pictures, but had to get pictures of the HUGE desserts.

The brownie sundae.

  The chocolate cake.

Saturday was a terrible day - rainy with even a little snow in some areas and very cold.  We stayed in all day and I didn't get out of my sweats or put on any makeup.  I cleaned and decorated most of the day.  I love Christmas decorations but didn't get them all out this year.  When the kids and grandkids come and bring their things, and then after we open gifts the house gets so cluttered and even though I try hard to stay calm and tell myself I can pick it all up after they leave, I sometimes feel the panic attacks just right on the edge, so decided this year to scale down a little. (Could I get a longer more run-on sentence than that!)

Here are a few of my decorations, some really old, some I've added through the years.

Back in the fall I bought these figurines at a yard sale and knew I would find a use for them.  This arrangement had candles last year, but I decided the elk/gazelle/deer (whatever) would fit.



I love Santa figurines, these are a few I have.

This was my daughter's rocking chair and both granddaughters have loved it.  The dolls and bears are old or favorites.

Years ago I did a lot of cross stitching.  I made each of my children a  stocking, then my daughter-in-law, then granddaughters.  When my youngest granddaughter was born and I started one for her, I hadn't cross stitched in ten years, and realized why!  You need really good eyes!  I don't have a fireplace, so the staircase has to do.

A little (and I mean little) knitting progress.  

My two at a time toe up socks.  I LOVE doing these.  Once I got started and got past the learning curve of how to cast one, how to manage the yarn, what to do next, they are great to do.  I'm anxious to see how they turn out.

And B's afghan is growing too.


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Santa was a no-go

Everyone was here for Thanksgiving.  We had a great dinner, turkey and all the fixings, and we are very blessed to be able to be together, but, does anyone else feel that there is a lot of work involved in a meal that is eaten in 30 minutes or less!  I cooked and cleaned in several mini-sessions at night prior to Thursday and then finished it up Thursday.  Then after it was over it took another good hour to clean it all up.  I hope it was worth it!

Friday dh and son went shopping the sales.  Our daughter said she felt we women kind of let our gender down!  We did wait till after lunch and the little one was down for her nap and we left her with her dad and granddad and daughter, DIL, granddaughter and I did hit the mall for a little shopping.  I'm just not one to get up at 4:30 and go shopping.  It would have to be a wonderful sale to attract me that early!

Friday night we went out to eat pizza (a little change from turkey) and tried the mall again to see if N would see Santa for a picture.  We have pictures of B with Santa every year and none with N.  We thought it was going to work.  She loved seeing all the Christmas decorations while we were in line and was happy and seemingly not worried at all.  However, when we were next in line she watched the little boy in front of us get in Santa's lap and that is when reality set in and she realized what was in store.  She was having none of it!  A major meltdown occurred and she was out of there!  We didn't push it and I just snapped a couple of pictures of her by the tree.  On the way home in the car she wanted to look at the pictures and before I could grab the camera she erased the best picture!  I was so disappointed, but my son said I should learn to not let her hold the camera!

This is as close as she would get - and the only picture I had left!

B got a cute new haircut!

They all left today to go home, but Christmas will be here before we know it. 

This has been such a busy week that knitting has suffered, but the 2 socks at a time are still going well and I've done a little work on the afghan - pictures later.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A New Project

The sun was such a welcome site this weekend!  We had a terrible week of rain - over 5 inches here with lots of wind.  It was pretty miserable so we were very appreciative for a beautiful weekend.  The leaves really fell too, but it has been way too wet to deal with them.  I kind of like the look of the leaves on the ground anyway, makes it look like fall!

Magic enjoyed the sun too.  He is usually a scaredy cat and won't go out during the day, but will follow me around if I'm out with him.  So funny - if I leave the door open so that he has a quick way back into the house he loves to lie on the deck.  If I close the door - he wants back in pronto, and has torn the weatherstripping off the door several times.  Something apparently has scared him at some point and he is always sure to look for a fast way back in.  After dark - he will go out - cats are nothing if not finicky!

I have started a new project - one that is a learning experience for me so I thought I would document it as I go.  I've made several pairs of socks - on double pointed needles and circulars using the magic loop method, but never two at a time and never toe up.  That's what I'm attempting this time.  I will probably be crazy(ier) before this is over.

First step - divide the skein into two equal balls with the same starting places as far as the color variations.  I made one ball - just estimating at it being equal.

I should have done this first, but realized after I had made one ball I should have weighed the skein. It really didn't matter - 4 oz.

Then I weighed the ball - 2 oz!  Pretty good estimation.

Just to be sure - I also weighed the rest of the skein - 2 oz.  So far this is going well! (Turns out I was a little premature in my optimism)

Next step - cast on using the figure 8 method.

A closer look.

After this the fun began.  Keeping two balls of yarn separate is not for the faint of heart.  More than once I have to admit I had to rip out and start over.  Even though I have worked magic loop before, keeping two going at times got really confusing and I think at one time I must have knitted backwards, because I had one sock going in the wrong direction!


They are coming along. I'm beginning to see the toe shaping and am getting the rhythm of working two at a time.  It is definitely a work in progress though - will keep you updated.

Just to leave you with a treat -  last week Coldstone Creamery called and asked if they could bring us some cakes at work to share with the staff.  They were delicious!  Good advertising!


The chocolate had thick chocolate icing and snickers inside and was everyone's favorite!