Saturday, December 31, 2011

One word

Last January, I was inspired by others in the blogiverse to choose one word to represent my goals for the year. I chose Create. This is what I wrote last January:

: A word I love. Similar to grow, but even more proactive. I like this one. I will be creating a new home this year. Creating new friendships. Creating a stronger bond with my children. Creating stronger children. Creating a healthier lifestyle. Creating a better me. Creating a ton of fun handknits. Hee hee. Out of challenges, I need to create opportunities. I like create. It puts the power into my hands versus giving the power to something outside of my control. I like that."

At the time, I thought we were moving, but the move never happened. I focused on my word for a month and then kind of forgot about it. In fact, I hadn't thought of my word in at least 6 months until my friend Audra mentioned it the other day. Oops.

Despite my lack of focus, I think I did okay with "creating" in 2011, but not as well as I would like.

Despite my lack of follow through, I'm thinking of choosing a new word this year--just for fun.

Current thought: Nurture.

Will blog more about my thoughts on Nurture in 2012.

Happy New Year's, everyone! Off to enjoy some bubbly with B. See you next year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Knitter's Christmas

Christmas was good to me this year!

I got four new knitting books.

Can't wait to start reading them and hopefully get inspired to design some new knits.

In the mean time, I also got lots of yummy yarn to knit with.

I got these four skeins of worsted weight yarn that I hope to knit into this lovely dolman sleeve pullover by Kirsten Johnstone. I really like this version that I saw on Ravelry.

I also got this yummy laceweight yarn that I hope to knit into this fun lace tunic by Melissa Wehrle.

Not sure what I'm going to knit with it, but I also got this delicious laceweight yarn from Sunrise Fiber Co. This is the same yarn, in a different colorway, that I used for my Lemongrass Island.

Other yarn waiting to be knit include my recent purchases.
To knit a sweater for N:

To knit a sweater for J:

For Paper Dolls or another colorwork pullover:
I'm currently knitting a Ripple Cardigan for my sister. It is a cream version of the one I knit during Ravelympics in 2010.

I have also mostly completed my Folded sweater which I have been slowly working on for the last several months. It's a little snug through the raglan and I am trying to decide if I need to frog and knit more or just block it hard. Will share once it is 100% complete.

So much knitting, so little time. The story of my life.

So did you have a good knitterly Christmas? What goodies did you get?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A new Christmas Eve tradition

On Christmas Eve, we hung out with two families of close friends in our neighborhood. It was a really fun night. One of the highlights was helping the children make gingerbread houses.

N had been eyeing the gingerbread house kits at JoAnn's and Michael's this year, but I had never slowed down long enough to buy one. Then I saw this great post on Pinterest about making gingerbread houses out of graham crackers and decided we had to make some. I bought and cut the graham crackers, bought chocolate bark, white icing and lots of candy. It is really easy to cut the graham crackers (see the link above to get the details). The other important tip I learned was to use melted chocolate bark to hold the houses together. It sets up in less than 10 minutes versus the 24 hours that some icings take.

As you can see, everyone had a lot of fun making their house unique.

J made his a "bird house"--thus all the toothpicks sticking out. Those are for the birds to sit on.

Anyway, if you are looking for a fun and easy way to make gingerbread houses, I highly recommend this tutorial.

I hope we will continue this new gingerbread house-making tradition for many Christmas Eve's to come.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

It's a little silly, but this was our Christmas card this year. The boys allowed me to take pictures of them for a total of about 5 minutes. These are the best from the bunch. One "Merry Christmas" picture with reindeer antlers, one "Happy New Year" picture with noisemakers, the girls, and one silly picture of the boys in their best super hero poses.

Hope your holidays were jolly (and a little silly)!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Was going to upload a picture of our Christmas card, but I am out of free photo storage on Blogger/Google--so I just purchased some. However it takes 24 hours to activate so I will try to remember to fix this tomorrow. At least my free storage was enough for my first 660+ posts :). Hope you all had a lovely Christmas!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

More Christmas fun

Reading Christmas stories:

Getting our Christmas tree at Lowe's (the boys loved watching the tree get trimmed and wrapped):

Driving home with our tree:
Our tree:
Riding the Christmas train with the boys while in Ohio:

Fun in the Snow

While we were in Ohio for a pre-Christmas visit with B's parents (Grandma and Grandpa), we were lucky enough to get a few inches of snow. Lots of fun ensued including lots of snowballs thrown by J and a "dinosaur snowman" built by B.

Christmas Craftiness

Thanks to Pinterest and all the lovely craftiness posted there, I have been in the crafty spirit this Christmas. I want to do more, but here are a few ornaments I've made this year.

I made a bunch of cookie cutter photo ornaments for my mom and my sister. This is a Martha Stewart craft that I've been doing for several years. They are so easy and so cute! Here are a few of the ones I made this year:I like to get the pictures printed in Sepia tone as they give it a warm antique look and can pull a variety of photos together into one unified bunch of ornaments. I use pretty scrapbook paper for the back and always make sure to note the year they were made.

Inspired by a pin on Pinterest, I made this felt bacon ornament for B:
This link will take you to a free tutorial, if you want your own bit of bacon-y awesomeness on your Christmas tree. I used the template there, but simplified mine a bit. I did not put the wire inside and feel that it looks plenty bacon-y without it.

I also got some Martha Stewart glitter (SO lovely) when it was half price at Michaels. This ornament for my godfather and a similar one for my godmother were made with the glitter. I put their names and their children's names and grandchildren's names on them.

Finally, I saw a pin with a little snowy scene inside a clear ornament--so I made this. It has a little Christmas tree and "snow" glitter inside and a cute little cardinal perched on the outside. I swirled the glitter around quite a bit so it looks like quite the little snowstorm in there.

And, of course, I wanted to let the boys do some crafting too. Another pin on Pinterest, inspired these:
The top one is one I helped N make. The bottom one is one that J made. As you can see, J got really into making the antlers. He also wrote 2011 and his name on the back which may be my favorite part :). I bought a dozen of these little balls at the dollar store. We gave a few of the finished ornaments to grandparents and kept the rest for our tree.

That's all the craftiness we've had time to complete, but we have lots more ideas so we may sneak in a little more before Christmas.

May your Christmas be crafty too!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

If I had a shiny, red nose like Rudolph...

J's recent writing assignment from school:

It says "If I had a shiny, red nose like Rudolph, I would... I would have a shiny nose. It would be red. I would light the way for Santa Claus."

And here is the picture he drew to go with it:Merry Christmas, everyone!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Thanksgiving Photos

Some highlights from Thanksgiving in Virginia!

J and his cousin Lizzie:
My parents' five grandsons playing Legos:
Mealtime! Table one:
Table two:

Table three:
Table four:
Overflow one, the island:

Overflow two, the porch:
Overflow three, in front of the TV :):
The dogs, Pepper, Payton and Rosebud:
Hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving. Ours was WONDERFUL! Loved seeing so many of my family members.

Two Dogs in a Car

For Thanksgiving, we drove 18 hours to spend the week with my family in Virgina. Pepper has always been horrible in the car--very nervous and unsettled and constantly climbing in your lap and panting. At forty pounds, she is too big to be in a lap. We had only had Payton for three weeks at that time so had no idea how she would do. Luckily, both dogs did great! We folded down and stowed one of the captain seats and put a dog bed there. We also put a pillow between the two front seats. Pepper still panted and Payton got a bit drooly, but they were pretty settled and generally happy. The two of them cracked us up with all the crazy positions they got in--so, of course, I had to share some pictures :).

Both dogs trying to be between the two front seats:

Payton got there first and laid down. Pepper just sat down anyway almost on her head. Butt to head:
Payton wasn't sure if she liked this position. Pepper sitting on Payton:
So Pepper weaseled her way into the spot and Payton half joined her. Head to head:
After I moved to the back to keep the boys company, the dogs decided to try out the dog bed. Side by side:

Next, Payton decided to see how this "sitting on your fellow dog" business worked. Payton sitting on Pepper:

Side by side looking like twins again:
Pepper makes a good pillow!:
Maybe head to tail is best:

The dogs weren't the only ones being silly: