Friday, July 29, 2011

{This Moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. via SouleMama

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


My parents have several medium bush blueberries and they are ripe and ready. My parents have been picking half a gallon every two days and freezing them. 
  Since we are staying at their house for a week while they are on vacation we will be doing the picking and the freezing.
I am looking forward to blueberry pancakes and blueberries on my waffles this winter with some sweet maple syrup that my Dad and sister boiled this spring.
Also at my parents are some very old pear trees. I have no idea what type of pears they are. One tree becomes riper first so maybe there are two types? Either way they are so yummy! I can no longer eat a pear from the store anymore, none can compare to the pears off these trees. This fall we will be making pear-sauce and freezing peeled and quartered pears for winter. Last year there was a late spring frost just as the blossoms bloomed and so we had no pear sauce! This year we will make the best of what God gives us!
At home, in our own garden, we have harvested peas twice. Jason is headed home tomorrow to do some garden tending, mostly picking. There are summer squash and zucchinis growing and growing in the garden and will be ready very soon. There is a lot of green tomatoes too. I hope they aren't all red by the time I get home next week, I need to make some green tomato relish for my cousin.  

Yarn Along

Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading. This is what I am knitting and reading this week. Pop on over to Small Things to find some other people who knit and read too!

I have been knitting two things while I work at the daycare. Something mindless and something that takes my full attention. I promised my sister gauntlets and I actually started them! I am about 20 rows in. I think I goofed once, but you can't tell so I didn't rip out any stitches to try and fix it (I only frog when it's absolutely necessary). These gauntlets command my full attention (note aforementioned ripping) and I find I cannot knit when Stomper is awake so I am also knitting a Winnie Doll. I am knitting the doll so that I can work on some prototype clothing for her. I was going to go ahead and just knit clothing for the doll, but I can't be sure of my sizing if I have nothing to measure properly. 

This is what I have been reading over the past few days. A huge pile of magazines from the mid 80's.
These are just a few of the "gems" I found. I did find some actual patterns that I liked and would knit, but these few made me laugh.
The tenacity it must have took taken The time spend on these two blows my mind. I have done some color work but the stripes! I just stared and gawked at the zebra one. I don't think I have the stick-to-it-tive-ness to complete those stripes correctly. The chart for it was intense. 

This is the other thing I don't understand about this era of knitting. A knitted cardigan over a knitted sweater, sweater vest, or knitted shirt. Really? Who needs to wear all that knittedness all at once? It must have been so hot and heavy! 
Lastly the colors, big, bold, beautiful primary colors.
Most of the things in the magazine were knitted sweaters (which is why I don't buy magazines). I did see some cables and lace that I liked and if I was organized enough I might take out the stitch patterns that I liked, but I'm not that organized.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Wedding Knits

More Pictures

While I have been "away" from the internet I have been knitting for the upcoming wedding of my sister-in-law. I promised her that I'd knit some cozy's for the sparkling cider bottles she is having at the head table. I am only doing two, but I had to design them myself.

One is a wedding dress and the other a tuxedo. While I was visiting a friend I finished the tux, I had previously finished the dress, I just need to sew up the back and show it to her. I thought the dress was completed, but the other day while I was proudly showing her that I had completed it she remarked, "You decided to not use any sparkly yarn?" To which I replied, "Um, I forgot I was going to do that."

While we were out shopping this week I picked up some embroidery yarn that is silver and sparkly. I am going to be a genius with it and add some sparkle, with any luck she will like it. I am not the genius I wanted to be with the sparkly yarn. However, my sister-in-law had some ribbon that I used and it came out quite nice.

The vest I knit (I apparently deleted the photos I took) while I was House Mothering I gave away recently. The Mom, when she saw the gift was from me said: "I am so excited to open this, I see all the wonderful things you knit on-line!" Then I worried a bit because it wasn't like anything I had knit before and I didn't know what she was expecting. I worried for nothing, which is what usually happens, she loved it. Then, unknown to me, the Grandmother had purchased some hats from me several months ago and gave them to the Mom. It was really neat to see my work appreciated. I also finished this crown for the bridal shower during the time I was a House Mother.

I have several doll clothes planned for August. I don't think I will have time to knit prototypes before my deadline of August 20th for the stores re-opening. Not unless my husband gives me another knitting day like he did this past week. I am swiftly finishing up the tux so that I can get it out of the way in order to work on my shop.

Also looming over my head is the gauntlets I have just begun to start. I'm hoping to get some done while we are at the family reunion this Saturday.

Monday, July 25, 2011

DEW Animal Kingdom

This past month Stomper had an "Auntie Day" while we had a "Weed the Garden Day". I think Stomper had more fun then we did although we got a lot done in the garden (not that you can tell now).
When we were done in the garden we all went to DEW Animal Kingdom.

At first Stomper wasn't too sure about the animals. He soon felt a little safer and began laughing at them. He had a good time overall, even though he was very sleepy towards the end of our visit.

The zoo is run by a local man and supported by ticket sales and generous donations from the community.The animals look really well cared for. I have been to a few zoo's over the past few years where the animals look sickly, bored, and underfed. That is not the case here at DEW. The animals look really well cared for. They all responded positively when the owner came out to give a tour. It is easy to tell by watching the owner that the animals trust and follow him. If you get a chance to go then I suggest you go towards the end of the day so that you can get a tour with the owner.

More Pictures
I hope to go again before they close for the winter. Maybe you should come with us next time!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

House Work

I am by nature a neat messy person. I like order in my disorder. I think it's a symptom of perfectionism, one I struggle with on a daily basis. If it can't be perfect, then it is to be messy. When I do have “fits” of organization I loose things, most recently my husbands gun cleaning kit, because I put them “away” but then fail to remember where “away” is. I am getting better, organizing things more logically. It's a work in progress.

Part of this progress is in recognizing that I can't do everything every day and adjusting my expectations of myself. I have to stop and remind myself that I'm allowed to have short comings; that it's all right if my house is less than perfect; that the clean laundry left in the basket doesn't mean that I'm a bad mother or wife. I have a friend with four girls spaced, on average, fourteen months apart. At her house there is laundry in various stages, clutter on the counter, and dishes in the sink, but that is not what I notice when I go there. What I notice is that her daughters are balanced, loved, listened to, cared for, and play together cohesively (as much as four sisters can). My friend is gentle, conscientious, kind, and giving towards her daughters and towards my son and me while we are there.
I think the key is balance. I need to arrange my life, my plans, my thoughts, so that I do what absolutely needs to be done. Not everything that needs to be done, because I would never achieve the completion of that list, but just what will keep the mess from overwhelming us.

With balance in mind I made the conscious decision that I do house work 8-Noon (with a shower and some eating tossed in there for good measure) and then the rest of the day we take it slow. I may do some dishes or fold some laundry, but what I will do is take time for me and time to play with Stomper. In the evening I do a bit of dishes, mostly the pots I need to make supper, and then Stomper and I make dinner together (unless Jason is home, then he cooks). After the remains of dinner are put away I sit and I relax. I don't do chores, I don't do dishes, I don't fold or climb the laundry mountain, or take the dogs outside, I breathe, I knit, I snuggle with the hubby, and I enjoy the life that we have created....mess and all. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Nine Months

New Tricks and Feats:

  • Cruising along furniture and the wall.
  • Pulls himself up using anything including but not limited to: Mama's legs, Aunties shorts, and the dogs head.
  • In the process of cutting his top molars. I'm assuming the bottom ones aren't too far behind.
  • Took his first super long car ride to NY to meet some cousins!
  • Climbs stairs.  Eek!
  • Responds to: "No."
  • No longer eats strained baby food or that flaky oatmeal stuff.
  • Loves strong flavors. Ate a sliver of onion with out making a face and loves to eat dill pickles.
  • Swam in a lake, a pool, and a river.
  • Ate 3/4 of an ice cream cone. 
  • Eats apples like a "big boy" including the skins. (My Mom told the daycare kids: "If Delia's baby can eat them, so can you.")

In the car during our NY trip

Friday, July 15, 2011

Missing Sister

Today I am missing my little sister. Wednesday I went to Portland with my SIL to purchase wedding things and I found her a bookmark that I thought she'd like. Today I am at my Mom's "working" at the daycare so I wrote her a silly little note.

Can't wait to see you again little sis!
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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Porter Lake

 When it is hot, this is how we get cooled off. 

Of course, when we get hungry we eat sticks.

And when we get bored we tackle an auntie!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

House Mothering

Recently I was a “House Mother”. Jason's uncle and aunt went away for a week and left their 3 young adult sons. Two of the boys have Autism/Asberegers Spectrum Disorder. When she first asked my initial thought was, “No, I can't do that!” and then I got to thinking and praying and I came to the conclusion that Yes, I could do that. However, foolish niece that I am, I forgot to tell her that we could and stay at their house for a week and I figured that since she hadn't called that she had it all figured out.

Two weeks before they were to head out we learned that the person(s) who said they would do it, no longer could. I had Jason give his aunt a call immediately and told her that we would help.
I worried and fretted. I had heard stories, haven't we all, and seen kids with autism on TV, but these were grown men! What if one of them became violent, what would I do?

I prayed and prayed and realized, after talking it out with my MIL and my Mom, that the brothers would be fine. Their Mom had done a really good job of raising them and helping them to manage their disorder. Everything would be fine.

The Saturday before they left we went over, Jason, Stomper and I, for a visit. The Mom gave us a short “manual” for the most challenging of the three. There was nothing in it that I couldn't handle.

On Wednesday we arrived and began settling in.

I didn't leave the house until Sunday. I think that was a mistake. Saturday we were all pretty stressed out. The brothers were tired from staying up and watching movies with us (that was our fault) and tired of Stomper fussing every time I left the room. I think someone said, “I can't think when you're crying!” to Stomper once, to which I replied “I can't either. I'm coming to get him just hang on a minute.” I was worn from being someplace that wasn't home, from not having anyone to talk to (Jason worked all week-end), and from sleeping on a strange bed and I think that was why we had our one and only brother to brother upset. One person was bending the rules and not giving another some space which resulted in hurt feelings. And I, not knowing exactly what rule was being bent (I could see guilt on a brothers face but wasn't certain where the guilt was coming from), didn't step in soon enough. A call to Mom was made by one brother and I had a short chat with all the brothers. Something along the lines of: “Give each other some space.” Thankfully, brothers forgive quickly, and they were friends again by the end of the day.

Interestingly, the one brother who I was worried the most about was the easiest. He did his own thing, sometimes lost in his own world, and was pleasant to be around. He taught me a new apple crisp recipe which I will share with you later. Stomper got a little too close to him a couple times and he declared “He's dangerous!” and I apologized profusely for letting Stomper get so close. My favorite quote from him was “I'm not gonna get married, don't like that hugging and holding hands. I'm gonna go live on my own in a tree house!” and I didn't hear this one directly but he also said, “I don't think they celebrate Halloween in Heaven.”

I was talking with a friend at VBS, who works in the public school system helping children with developmental delays, about the brothers and she said: “Sounds like this Mom is right on top of things.” I couldn't agree more. Caring for the brothers reminded me of babysitting the neighbors as a teen. I was just there to make sure that the brothers didn't kill each other, and to keep the kitchen clean. I had nearly no work to do. They cleaned up after themselves, did their own laundry, cooked their own food, reminded me to give them their meds, did their chores without being reminded, and put themselves to bed at a decent hour (once I stopped watching interesting movies at night).

All in all I enjoyed myself.
Other Cousins came to visit us while we were there

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Bridal Shower

                              Star Light, Star Bright
Jenna has found her Mr. Right
Join us in celebrating 
the upcoming marriage
Jenna and Zack

This June in addition to everything else going on (see this post, and this one) we put on a shower for my sister in law Jenna. The theme was: Star for the Day and the colors pink and orange. The garage was transformed with well placed white sheets and dangling stars. Tables were arranged and heavy laden with food, presents, games, and cake. 

We played games: Guess How Many Tide Booster Packs in the Vase, How Well Do You Know the Bride, Guess the Items in the Pillowcase, and the infamous "Can Game".

Let me tell you a bit about this "Can Game". Jenna is the party predator planner. For both of her Sister-In-Laws she and her mother bought some of the most grossest canned food they could find and placed them on the table a little like centerpieces. On the bottom of each can was a number. The number represented a question she had asked her brother about himself or his bride-to-be. On the party day she asked the bride-to-be the questions too. If the bride got it right she got to keep the can in tact, if she got it wrong the label got ripped off.

Let's just say my cupboard looked a little silver when I filled it with the cans from the party. Not because I had gotten the questions wrong, but Jason did! Jenna's other sister-in-law and I had a lot of fun playing this game. We were nicer to her though than she had been to us, we had people bring a canned good with them, so they had nice food like Spaghetti O's and tuna with missing labels not collard greens and pickled beets.

We ate a lot of yummy food, ate too much cake, and oohed and ahhed over some lovely presents. I think the bride-to-be had a lot of fun too! For more photo's check out my Facebook Album (you can view it without having an account)

(I made the dangling stars with my Cricket)

NY Week-end

This past week-end we took a trip with Grandma and Auntie Teeny to visit Aunt Nina, Uncle Stan, and some cousins. We left after Grandma got out of work and drove all through the night. Only Stomper slept. There was quite a bit of silliness in the car. Thankfully it only took us 9.5 hours and Stomper didn't seem to mind the trip. 
Click for more photos
 We spent some time doing one of our favorite things: play games. Amy introdcued us to Quelf which if you have never played you need to get a bunch of friends together and play this game! It is a riot. Is it not possible to play this game and not pee your pants from laughing! You get to act like a kid and a fool and do it with friends! We also played Scatagories and Phase 10, but mostly Quelf.

Click for more photos

On Satruday we did a little site seeing. First we went and checked out a lighthouse and had a picnic lunch. Amy had a hard time trying to send a text to her sister in AZ (we missed you AZ cousins!!) and I took some awful pictures of Stomper's cousins. When I looked back on my pictures I realized that I had been a little biased in who I photographed. That is I took pictures mostly of Stomper. Next time we all get together I need to remember to expand my photo taking horizon!

After the lighthouse we went to Alex Bay to play in the water, dip our toes in the St. Lawrence River, and look out over the Thousand Islands. The little cousins had a good time running around on the playground and Stomper got a kick out of watching them from the Ergo. The silly boy didn't sit straight though, he perfered to lean out over my shoulder to get a good view. Even when I turned sideways so that he could see them. 

In town Grandma bought Stomper a hat to keep the sun out of his eyes and off his noggin (no photos of it yet) and a small ice cream. No surprise here, but he loves ice cream! There is a really cute video of him eating the cone that I hope to put up in the next few days/weeks.

Click for more Photos
Finally, after switching vehciles around, we headed to a wind farm to check it out. In the dark on the way in we had seen a few but we wanted to see them up close. Uncle Stan took us on a little cross country ride to Maple Valley Wind Farm. It is spectacular. Contrary to what we have been told, they aren't loud. They do hum rythmically, but I imagine that it would fade into the background. No less annoying than the fan on my PC, the AC unit in a window, or the furnace kicking on.

Click for more Photos
Tupper Lake, Ausable Chasm, the ferry, and mountains

On the way home we hit a little bit of a snag. We were intending on taking the ferry in Essex, NY over to Charolette, VT. Somewhere after Lake Placid, NY we took a wrong turn and wound up in Plattsburg, NY instead. Thankfully there was a ferry there and we took that one across over to VT. Because of our misshap we got to see Ausable Chasm which is awesome. It is this super deep ravine and has awesome waterfalls. Unfortunately it cost money to get in and we were crunched for time. Owen had a major meltdown just as we crossed into Littleton, NH and we stopped at a quiet rest stop for some crawling and mulch (don't worry he didn't eat that much of it).

We are happy to be home and are settling back into our rythm!

Make sure you check out all the links to see the awesome photos!

These next photos are my favorites!

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