Sunday, December 31, 2006

I knew I was sick when I was home for two days, and didn't even pick up a crochet hook! I did finish another doily - I'm not sure about the colors, but the pattern turned out pretty! The thread is variegated, and next time (if there is a next time) I will do this in a solid color so you can see the build up of the pattern.
Well, I survived Christmas just fine, and then went down with a major cold that has sucked all the energy right out of me!

Christmas was fun - Mom and Dad were here Sunday afternoon through Tuesday morning, so we had a fuller house than normal. Mom and I went to Christmas Eve services at my church, and then home for dinner (Chicken enchiladas!) AJ and I took Jasper for a walk after dinner to look at the Christmas lights, and he ran ahead with Jasper (who did not want to walk as slowly as Mom was walking) and then lost me when I took a right (even though I told him my route before we started!) He brought Jasper back so he could look for me alone, and panicked his dad, so they set out in the truck looking for me. Since Ralph panicked, he didn't take his cell phone, so when I came home a few minutes after he left, I couldn't call him to tell him to unwind a little bit. He was a little over-stressed on Christmas Eve! (It is a small neighborhood - 4 streets by about 6 streets, but they are large blocks. It is about 3/4 mile from one end of the neighborhood to the other. It would be tough to get lost in!)

Christmas morning was calmer than it used to be - since AJ is almost 14, there isn't the same "shock and awe" that Santa came, nor the immediate hurry to open presents. Don't get me wrong, he is still very anxious to open presents, but he can at least wait until everyone is up now, and not go and wake them up! Dad even got up early (for him) for Christmas, so AJ didn't have to go and get him.

AJ's big present this year was an I-Pod Nano - and he was severely disappointed when he couldn't immediately download songs - I-tunes was so impacted from everyone trying to download songs, he couldn't get on until late in the afternoon. I finally had him load a couple of my CD's he liked, and then he was OK! Jasper got her favorite toy - a big green spider! She loves this toy, and even after she tears it up, we have spider legs hanging about for months (still good for tug-a-wars!). I try to get her one every six months or so, because she just loves this guy!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I think I am pretty much ready for Christmas now. I delivered the Christmas Tea, cookies, gloves and snowflakes to Alli's school today, and they seemed to go over well. Alli wanted to go home as soon as she saw me, and was such a little pill I didn't get to stay long and talk to everyone. I did the last (I hope!) of my shopping today - picking up a spider toy for Jasper, and extra wrapping paper. I wrapped everything today, so the only things left on my to-do list are to finish up the ornaments for Ralph's office (put the strings on for hangers on the snowflakes) and make Alli a Pikacho blanket. (That, and clean up everything I have ignored this week while I finished everything else.) I baked the last of my cookies today too, and Ralph delivered two batches to the neighbors today, with one more left to deliver. I still have some cookies left for us!

Both kids finished school today, so I won't have to run in to town as much to fetch kids back and forth. I think I did four trips yesterday because basketball practice changed at the last minute. AJ will be bothering me tomorrow for something to do, as both of the neighborhood kids he plays with have something going on, and can't play with him. I think I will put him to work cleaning house! That probably won't last too long - it isn't too bad, it just needs a little "freshening up". The kitchen is a mess, mainly from all the baking I did the last two days - including the sugar cookies - decorating sugar is all over the floor. I swept it up, but it needs to be mopped!

I finished a couple of projects - one that has been hanging out for a while, and one brand new one! I started this doily around Thanksgiving, but put it aside to finish up Christmas projects. I only had a few rows to do, so I took a break from snowflakes to finish it up!

The second project is for a Christmas present, and it turned out ever so cute! It is a doll cradle purse, and is for a 3 year old that I know. (Cindy if you are reading this, don't show Rachelle yet!)

The inside of the purse is a cradle that folds up to become a purse, and it will just fit Baby Lily, I think. It turned out better than I thought it would, and I hope it gets lots of use!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Back to Normal? I am on vacation next week, so maybe life will be "back to normal" for a while. I have Monday - through Wednesday to finish all my shopping, wrapping, and most of my baking etc. For Christmas, while the kids are in school. They are out Thursday and Friday, so we can have some fun with them too! Even Ralph is on vacation!

I survived the Bank's Christmas Party! One thing led to another, and I ended up in charge of a lot more than I want to be in charge of! I made the invitations, name tags, table tent cards, ordered the food, was the go-between for the facility, band, photographer and carollers (high school group came in during dinner and sang carols for us) assisted with decorating and the entertainment (and ended up being part of the entertainment - NOT what I signed up for!) Next year, I want to just sit back and relax! That probably won't happen either, but maybe I won't get such a big chunk! Actually, it would be easier next year, and I learned a lot this year!

AJ ended up being our "babysitter" for Alli this year. Her day care provider usually watches her, but they were out of town, so I volunteered AJ to watch her. He volunteered his friend down the street to help him, and I think everything went all right! As soon as Ralph got home, they both went back to Dallas' house for a sleep-over. I will have to catch up with him today to see how it went!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

We got vandalized Friday night! Nothing too major, but three teenagers hit the neighborhood and trashed between 15 and 30 lawns. (The number of lawns varies between reports) One of the kids lives just up the street from us, and the kids were caught at the scene of the crime! We had one of the neighbors handing out information sheets in the morning, and three very sorry teenagers at our door in the afternoon. One neighbor said that the estimates were around $60,000.00 for all the lawns. I think that is a little high, but...what do I know? The kids offered either to fix it themselves, of if we wanted, we could have it fixed by someone. Ralph told them he would get some estimates, and get back to them. We both think the kids need to fix the lawn themselves (nothing like manual labor to drive in a point), and since we didn't have a lot of damage, shouldn't be too much for them to handle. For us, they just need to throw out a couple of handfuls of seeds, and the lawn will probably look better! Some of the lawns were trashed a lot worse. They took out a fence and broke a waterpipe at one house the next street over from us. One good thing, we met a lot of new (to us) neighbors! If Ralph was outside, everyone that drove by stopped to talk!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Christmas Season is underway! I had my annual kid's party (cookie decorating & ornament making party) last weekend, Ralph's company party was last weekend, and Alli had her Christmas party put on by the Board of Realtors for special needs kids - let the whirlwind begin! I had 6 extra kids here for the cookie party - three girls and three boys, for a total of 8 kids at my house! Add to that 3 extra adults, and you get a very busy house!

I decided (at the last minute of course) that Alli needed a new Christmas shirt for her party, so I got a red sweatshirt and painted a Christmas Tree on it, and glued sequins that I had on the tree to decorate it. My original plan called for me to sew the sequins on, but, as usual, I ran out of time. I will sew them on this weekend, as when she wore the shirt, some of the sequins came off, and I am sure more will come off when I wash the shirt!

To add to my "busyness", AJ made the basketball team for U-Prep, and on Tuesday and Wednesday had practices at 6:45 a.m. and again at 7:00 p.m. We are only doing p.m. practices now, but the time changes almost everyday. Monday and Wednesday, it is at 7:00 p.m and Tuesday it is at 7:30 p.m. and on Thursdays it is at 5:00 p.m., and that is just next week - the week after that is different. I may not survive basketball! Luckily, one of the neighbor kids also made the team, so we can carpool for practices (we already carpool for school)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Since I have the day off, I may catch up on a few things - like this blog! As you can see from my projects, I have been busy - just not talking about it! The Turkey Butt pin is from Thanksgiving, and I haven't typed anything since then!

I think the Turkey Butt pin turned out very cute, but next year I may try to turn it into a turkey front!

I am making the Angel Pins for co-workers - if I get them all done! Each one by itself doesn't take long, but to make 9 or 10 of them, along with everything else, I had better get to work! They are about 3 1/2 inches high, so would work well for a pin. I have also been thinking about putting a "tail" on it and making a bookmark out of it.

These gloves are for the teacher's gifts this year. AJ has two teachers he would like them for, and Alli has one teacher, but about 8 aides in her class! I also will make one set for her morning bus driver (the afternoon is a man - probably wouldn't use them!) They work up very quickly, and use up a lot of my left over specialty yarns, so I may make more to give out too - just depends on my time. Since these take less time than my snowflakes, I may use them instead of snowflakes for some people. (not everyone - too many people count on a new snowflake each year!)

Monday, November 20, 2006

WooHoo! Finished at last! I didn't know if I would ever get this one done! I turned out 24 inches across! I did it in cream thread, and it turned out very nice! (Even if I say so myself!)

I also did a quick little penguin ornament - he's only about 3 inches high, and is so cute! I think I may make several of these for Christmas gifts! They work up very quickly, and have a whole lot of personality for such a little thing! I also only need to make about another 15-20 snowflakes, so I am actually pretty good for my basic Christmas plan. I have lots of ideas of things to do if I have time!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Since Alli decided to be an early bird this morning, I thought I would update my blog. Alli woke up around 3:30 or so this morning, and never went back to sleep. At 4:45 she finally just got up (and I let her stay up). Before this, she was laughing and playing in her room. Since we run a monitor on her at night, she was keeping me awake too! More coffee!

Well, my pumpkins didn't win anything at work. Technically, the snake tied for third, but...the person running the contest didn't have two gift certificates, so being the good person I am (and being the one to count the votes, and it not being my home office, etc.) I conceded third to someone else. No big deal, but AJ was hoping we won. My department didn't win for dress up either. Since I am temporarily working at the Placer Street Office, I just decorated my desk, but everyone else dressed up big time! My department dressed up as heroes - astronaut, police office, fire fighter, nurse, solder and school teacher. We were beat out by the circus (Payroll Department) and the Information Services department (Good Girls Gone Bad - dressed in black and white striped prisoner's outfits, and they paraded through the bank in ball and chains - way too cute!) Too much competition this year.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I finished another doily - To the Point. I am not thrilled with this one - not my style! This is for one of my Yahoo Groups. I think it will make a very nice Christmas present for someone though!

I also took stock on my snowflake inventory. I have 35 done, (31 already stiffened). Let's see, I need at least 80, and there are how many days till Christmas? I think I will have to concentrate on snowflakes for a while and ignore the doilies! One of AJ's friends would like a pair of the fingerless gloves I made out of the camouflage yarn, so I can work on that in between snowflakes - just to break up the same-old, same-old.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Halloween is almost here! I am pretty much ready for it - not ever as much as I like though! I made pumpkin jars and filled them with candy for my co-worker's desks. They turned out really cute, and pretty quick to make!

I also made a "BOO" bookmark. I started to make one for my co-workers too, but....just didn't get that far, so AJ gets the one that I finished. Maybe next year!

The bank has a pumpkin decorating contest, and my parents brought me down some gourds that they grew (I have never seen this type before!), so....we have a "snake and mouse" grouping for the contest. They grew the pumpkins too. It may be hard to see the snake part, but it is cute. I will also do a "regular" carved pumpkin for the contest too. The competition gets tough sometimes, as the first prize is a day off with pay! Since the customers get to vote on the best pumpkin, you never know who is going to win. The bank also has a costume contest, and my "group" are dressing as "unsung heroes". I am out of the office that day (training at other office) but my desk will be decorated as a school, with books, an apple, a dunce cap, and a chalkboard. If I remember to get chalk today at lunch, I am planning on writing "out to recess" on the board.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Golden Goose Doily finished at last! I didn't think I would ever get this one done. I used a partial ball of thread (because I had just bought it a couple of weeks before) and when I needed a new ball, guess what - no thread! I eventually bought another brand and the colors are close enough you can't tell. I could tell working with the thread it was different - not quite the same feel. This one just might be a Christmas present for Alli's daycare provider!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Horse Therapy

Here is Alli's last day of horse therapy (until Spring). Her last session was on a Saturday, so I went along with Ralph and took pictures. We have to stay in the shadows of the barn so Alli doesn't see us, so the pictures are not as good as I would have liked.

The ramp

Alli on the ramp

The horse arrives

Getting Alli on

Loving the horse

Round and round we go


More loving

The crew (the lady in burgandy T-shirt is the therapist. The others are all volunteers!)

All Done!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Here is the "newspaper boy's cap" I made for a co-worker. It is not quite my style, especially in the camouflage yarn, but it is cute. Jasper was "helping" me for the picture too!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Here are the ribbons I have been working on (not very hard!) The one in front is supposed to represent the Autism Awareness ribbon, which has a puzzle piece pattern.

Replacement Poncho Finished

I finished the "replacement" poncho for Alli last night! I think it looks better in red! I have a request from the CFO of the bank to make a poncho for her granddaughter, so now I need to see what color she wants it. This poncho did not take long to make - I started it Friday night (barely started - just a couple of rows) and finished it Sunday night. Because the Homespun yarn frays so badly, I knotted each fringe - which seemed to take as long as making the rest of the poncho!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

New Yarn! I found camouflage yarn the other day, and picked up a couple of skeins. The next problem, what to make? I found a pattern for fingerless gloves, and AJ OK'ed making them, and.....he likes them! I finished the first one Sunday, and the second one at his soccer game last night. I also got a request for a hat in the same yarn from a co-worker. I didn't know the yarn would be that big a hit. It worked up very nicely! I have also started a scarf for AJ from the yarn, using the Knifty Knitter loom. That is definitely a "work at home" project. The weather is turning - rain is forecast for today - so we are feeling the cooler temps. We were in the 90's last week, and now - the 60's! I think we are all glad it is cooler, it just takes a little while for our bodies to adjust! Hopefully the rain will put out the fires that have burning for a month, and the air will clear up. The last picture is AJ and his cat, playing fetch with his dog (wearing his gloves!)

Monday, October 02, 2006

Well, I finished Alli's poncho, but now it isn't Alli's poncho! It is a little too big for her, so rather than frog it, I am just going to make another for her, and give this one away to someone. It was very quick to make, and I really like it, it just is a little more "poncho" than Alli needs.

Last weekend I took AJ out to the local Pumpkin Patch with the Boy

Scouts. The scouts work a weekend at the Patch, and get funds donated to them, and this year, the owners of the Patch asked all the groups to come in and put in some "sweat equity". The boy's job was to repaint some signs that the Patch had. They turned out better than I thought they would. I spent 4 hours trying to keep five 10-13 year old boys (armed with paint) from getting too wild. They don't like the Moms to go with the scouts for the most part - because we do try to make them behave. Dads seem to be a little more easy going - boys will be boys type of thing. The other two dads that were there didn't seem to be at all concerned about the boys - paint and all! I'm just glad the signs turned out. They are placed out in the field, so you don't get too close to them (which is a good thing - none of us are artists!) AJ is on the far right in the picture - painting Donald Duck.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Here is my newest project - almost complete! I have a poncho for Alli almost done - just needs "finishing"! The pattern calls for a fringe, and I haven't decided if I am going to put one on or not. I like it the way it is, and it will probably be less fuss this way, but....a fringe may be cute too! I may have to fringe part of it to see how it looks! As you can tell, Alli is thrilled to be posing at 6:00 a.m. for me! I took some better shots that this one, but this is all the "saved" to my camera. I have had a few problems with it lately! I also have a "bad" picture of AJ and the latest Court of Honor for Boy Scouts. It came out a little dark, and a little out of focus - not too bad for being taken in the gym at one of the local schools! He is getting to be quite tall!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

I have got to get back into the habit of writing again! The new school schedule is finally getting to be "normal", so now I need to get back to updating the blog daily, too! I did finish a couple of doilies lately - as you can see. My current project is a poncho for Alli. It is very simple - just double crochet around and around. I am using Homespun in light yellow, and on row 6 (out of 20!) It is a good TV project - not much thinking! My lists of Works in Progress (WIP's) and Works in Mind (WIM's) are growing! I need to get started on Holiday bookmarks for my "usual" Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas gifts. I got started on my snowflakes, but haven't worked on them for a while, and I started making thread angels for gifts, and have two done (well one done, and one in pieces waiting to be put together. Between the Doctor's office, Boy Scouts and other "waiting places" I got a couple of washcloths and potholders done lately too!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

WooHoo! Another birthday come and gone! Funny, I don't feel any older (and don't say "funny - you look it!") I did manage to meet one of my goals this year - I lost 10 pounds before my birthday! Now I just have to keep them off, and firm up what is left! I do have a plan for that, but I haven't started yet. Alli's bus is coming at 6:10 this year, so I have been thinking that I will take a walk right after the bus comes, and then shower, and get ready for work. We will have to give it a try here, once the bus schedule settles down.

Alli has started her horse therapy classes, and seems to be enjoying them. She is riding for about 25 minutes once a week. I haven't been out to see what they are having her do. Ralph takes her and said that a lot of the work is on building her strength and balance. This last session, they had Ralph move out of Alli's sight, and said she seemed to work better if she didn't have eye contact with Dad ("Save me Daddy - they are making me work!") She worked a little longer, and wasn't as adamant about stopping when she saw Dad. (We had the same issue when we did bike riding classes. Every time she made the loop, she wanted to stop by me. That one we fixed by giving her a piece of candy for each loop she made. Probably not going to work in the horse arena!)

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Wow! Life got busy on me! I really meant to post more often, but....time just got away from me. The kids have both started school. AJ is going to the same school as the last two years (and should for the rest this and the next four years). Alli switched schools this year - not by choice but because the school districts "repositioned" themselves about their special ed kids.

I haven't been to Alli's class yet. I spoke with the teacher before school started, and she has a fairly small classroom, with 12 kids - grades K-8! What a range! Alli is right in the middle in grade 4, but will probably match even any of the 8th grade kid for size. Eight of the kids have their own one-on-one aide, so the class will be full of people!

AJ is getting back into the swing of things at his school. Soccer try-outs are next week, and he will probably make the team. They rarely have to cut kids because the school is so small, but he is a good player anyway, and enjoys playing. Boy Scouts will start ramping up too. They are dark during August, but he is off on a "Fall Fellowship" for Order of the Arrow this week-end, which means a drive down and past Chico for me! I hope to stop by Paradise on Sunday after picking him up and visit a friend there, so it should be fun.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Spending my vacation in Susanville means picking potatoes for my Dad. This year, he got more help than just my kids. My girlfriend Cindy and her little girl came to visit, and got put to work too! Good thing they weren't picking tomatoes! We came home with a big bag of red potatoes fresh from the garden.

Here is my first DAL (Doily-a-long) that I have ever finished. I got instructions a few rounds at a time, and a surprise at the end! (No picture up front) This turned out quite nice, but I have no idea where I can use a square doily. I guess I need to find a new home for this one!

More finished projects! I did get more done on vacation than I thought I would. I (finally!) finished my "Rose Delight" doily. I made some major mistakes in it and thought I would never get it to look right. Thanks to Mom for her suggestions! It is quite large - 18" X 22". Now I just have to figure out what to do with it. It needs to find a new home - and to someone who doesn't mind a few errors in a doily!