Thursday, January 28, 2010

Here Kitty Kitty

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You've heard it said that a dog is a man's best friend? Well, I suppose that you could also say then that a cat is a woman's best friend. Or something like that.

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There is no denying that those two have some sort of secret friendship going on. Twillerbee acts skittish around me and hardly allows me the honor of petting her. Chloe, on the other hand, can do whatever she wishes to Twillerbee and Twillerbee likes it. How do I know this? She purrs. Weird cat.

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But I am not a bit jealous. Not a single bit. Do you know why? Because of that beautiful boy sitting on the back of that couch. My little fat cat. My cuddly fat Bumblebee. You see, he started purring when I pointed the camera at him for longer than 3 seconds. Yes, he did. He was actually purring in that picture. (And I didn't even pet him first. I just looked in his direction and his motor started revving.) He loves me. He absolutely love me.

If you thought 3 kitties too many, well, I added 7 more to the household this week.

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Okay. That's only 6. Number 7 refused to be photographed properly. She blurred every time I snapped the picture. (Although that could possibly be the cameras fault since the camera is on the fritz.)

Now I must knit that second sock for Chloe. The poor dear wore one lime green sock yesterday and her other foot remained bare. I really must finish the other sock. She's desperate. And I am desperate to begin the birthday sewing.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Time to Party!

Okay. Not quite. But a girl can sure get excited this time of year. What time of year is that you ask? I am glad you did. Why Chloe's birthday of course. If one were to ask me what my favorite time of year is, I would promptly and dutifully reply with Christmas. But in all honesty, I must say that I do believe Chloe's birthday brings about much excitement in my heart. I just love it. The planning. The creating. I designing. The party itself. Nothing can quite compare to a birthday party. Its the one time of year when its all about YOU!

Now many of you already know that Chloe's birthday takes place in March. And those of you who know me well also know that I usually have her next birthday planned out the night of her previous birthday. But I am able to hold myself in check. I could go nuts in August for this March birthday, but I don't. I am a very good girl. I force myself to wait until after Christmas. That's my rule. I am not allowed to begin the actual planning until January. The idea sits inside my head for a good solid year and once January hits, I scour the internet for ideas and type them up into my word document. I give myself 6 weeks to get everything done. I create a second word document with each week listed and the tasks I aim to complete during those weeks. This holds me in check. Because, quite literally, I could go purchase all the supplies today and have the party set up by this weekend. I don't allow myself that pleasure. I force myself to wait patiently. Its hard, but I can do it.

So, today I bought the supplies for THE DRESS! All my long time readers know what I am talking about. We have a special birthday dress every year. Its her one completely fancy dress. And its usually pink. This year is no different. I did, however, coerce Chloe into picking a pretty pink sheer fabric with glittery swirls on it to be the overskirt of the dress. Otherwise it would look almost identical to her dress from last year. And we can't have that now can we? Absolutely not.

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So, I have a hankering to keep you all in suspense with regards to the "theme" of our party this year. I like that idea. I think I shall keep you guessing. So, here is some fabric I purchased today. Hint...Think costumes.

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And here is some red felt I also purchased today. 2 yards of the stuff. Hint... Walkway.

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I must be off now to get something done. What? I don't know yet. But I feel that today must be made useful in some way. Maybe I will fold some laundry. Maybe embroider some kitties. Who knows. I'll chat at you all later.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

"When Daddy Gets Home

we're gonna......"

I hear those exact words approximately 83 times a day, give or take, followed by whatever it is my daughter has decided we are going to do when James arrives home. Many items on her dream list were promised to her by Daddy himself (although he struggles to remember most of those promises and says I planted ideas in her head, which is absolutely NOT true, mind you) and she has not forgotten them in several months.

I sometimes wonder at her excitement regarding James return. She somehow knows his return is soon. Maybe from my excitement? Maybe she actually gets the concept of the paper chain we made the night before he left? I don't know. But my days are filled with stories of what we will be doing when he arrives. (honestly, the girl will never marry because the rest of her life will be filled with all these things she plans to do with Daddy) Here are some of those items she spouts off most regularly.

"When Daddy gets home we're gonna go the store with the bears and he's gonna help me build a little bear who will be my friend forever."

"When Daddy gets home we're gonna go camping. I love camping."

"When Daddy gets home we're gonna go the store with the number H on it."
(translation: Holiday Inn)

"When Daddy gets home, he's gonna build a little cave for my little lamb and its gonna have a door with a little lock and he's gonna make me a little key so I can lock up my little lamb and its gonna have walls so my little lamb has to sleep inside and its gonna have a floor with some hay so my little lamb can have a bed." (That one she made up. He didn't promise that one before he left. He did, however, tell her on the phone the other day he would help her make the cave. She, of course, has since added all the other criteria to her cave.)

"When Daddy gets home I am gonna show him ALL my toys and he's gonna play with me."

"When Daddy gets home he will play Lego Star Wars with me."


Periodically, Chloe will calmly walk up to me with a sweet smile on her face and say demurely, "Daddy's coming home, Mama." Pause. "And I'm so e-x-c-i-t-e-d!!!" at which point she starts shivering and jumping around.

The tear jerker came tonight though when she announced, "When Daddy gets home I'm gonna lock the door so he can stay with us for forever and never leave again."

I have to say, this is one little girl who loves her Daddy very much. Whether she shows it to anyone else or not that she misses him terribly is a different matter altogether. But I can say, she misses her Daddy 100% and is quite excited that his return is soon. I am quite excited myself, for that matter. And when James gets home...well...we are gonna be busy. ;)

One Lime Green Sock

What happens when you finish one lime green sock? You feel so excited you start dancing up and down on the couch amidst shrieks of laughter from your dear child who probably figures you've lost your head completely but its okay since its quite fun to dance around the room dangling a lime green sock from your fingers and shouting Wooo Hooo! Slowly, the realization dawns on that you that while, yes, you have completed the sock and you have mastered domination of the dpn's in the process...your project yet remains half finished. You must knit the second sock.

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Even darling Chloe had a hard time comprehending the fact that she could not wear this sock yesterday after I tried it on her for the photograph. Try as I might to explain to her that it was only ONE sock, she still thought it possible to wear it, coupled with her regular bobby sock. "But it won't match", I reasoned. Finally, I pulled the sock from her foot and thought about knitting the second sock. Then I dug into the bottom drawer of my sewing table and pulled out a totally new project instead. Embroidery.

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The second lime green sock must wait. I hear a calling for some pink-ribboned kitties in my kitchen. Aren't they just adorable? I think I shall embroider them in a dark charcoal gray color and give them a bright pink bow. Accessories shall be in shades of blue with a hint of brown now and then. Maybe I will tackle that lime green sock next week. (They were meant for a pregnant friend but since the sock somehow ended up fitting Chloe...wonder how that happened...I think they will become my "trial" pair and I will knit new ones in a pretty baby blue shade for the baby.) I am off now to make a large group of gray kitties very happy.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Surprise!

Who doesn't love a little surprise in their mailbox?



Its hard being separated from your spouse for an extended period of time. One of the ways we cope with this separation is by sending each other letters and small packages. This really helps Chloe to understand her Daddy still thinks about her and loves her very much.

Thank you James for thinking of us. We love and miss you.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Day Off?

I realize now that I should not take a day off. I wish I had realized this fact a little bit sooner because it finally dawned on me at about 5:30 pm last night what my issue with myself was. I saw everyone around me with days off from work and I desperately wanted one too. Now they work "out of the house" jobs, mind you, but still...I longed for a day off. And it didn't help matters that I woke up with a sick headache. (You know...the kind that include your stomach? The ones that sort of make you feel like you've been rocking on a ship for months on end? Yup. That kind.) So, I gave myself the day off.

BIG NO NO!!!

The day ended with a castle in my living room (complete with the comforter from my bed and the couch rearranged) and a squabble with the little over whether or not she possessed the capability of picking up her toys which were strewn from one end of the main floor to the other.

I found myself praying, "Lord, You said Your mercies are new every morning, but if its at all possible, could I get an extra portion of those mercies tonight?"

He came through for me and I found my joy later in the evening. All was not lost though. Quite the contrary. My goal for this week shall be to declutter my sewing table drawers. Check out this mess.

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Yesterday I tackled the first drawer (what you see above). You would be quite amazed at what I found buried inside this drawer. I sure was.

- MIA Christmas cds (I searched for 2 hours for these suckers before Christmas)
- leaf shaped cookie cutter
- double sided lip gloss (which I almost swear I have never seen in my life)
- video camera battery charger for our old video camera
- Mr Potato Man scarf
- a couple of my wedding pictures (don't really understand why they were in there, let alone how they got in there)
- and a few WIP sewing projects I completely forgot about. I went ahead and knocked those out. Why I left a half finished doll pajama in the drawer I will never know.

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And now, the redeeming factor of my otherwise disastrous day.

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With one drawer done and two more to go, I needed a knitting break. I pulled out some lime green baby yarn, a baby sock pattern book and some size 3 dpn's and set to work.

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(for all you non-sock knitters out there...that sock is inside out. It will look much nicer with the right side facing out.) I am off now to finish the sock pictured above and will talk more in detail regarding the knitting of said sock tomorrow.

(Oh! And for the record...today I am feeling incredibly happy and alive. God is good and His mercies are indeed "new every morning." We spent a lovely hour walking in the park this morning after we finished school for the day.)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Weekend Wonders

Will wonders never cease? That thought kept roaming through my head this weekend as project after project saw completion. The speed in which they were completed both shocked and amazed me.

The first shock came when I sat down to sew together a quilt top for the Blankets of Love ministry at our church. We house homeless men from the community in our church for one week a year and during that time we gift them each with a handmade quilt. I am honored to be a part of the group this year. (Although I am a little late in the joining and my contributions are minimal.) I brought home the squares to make a quilt top and lo and behold, the entire thing only took me about 2 hours total to sew together. I fully expected it to take me at least two weeks, if not longer and my deadline of Feb 6th seemed not far off. Well, I finished it, took it to a craft day at church Saturday and brought home more squares for a second quilt top. Here is a picture of the first one.

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After arriving home Saturday afternoon with the new squares in tow, I sat down and cut out three bloomers for Chloe. Oh boy...these did not work up as quickly as I supposed they would (another wonder...although not a good wonder yet a wonder none-the-less). I was glad when two of them were completed and folded and put away into Chloe's bloomer drawer. The third? It found its way into the garbage can, never to see the light of day again (unless I feel completely sorry for it before garbage day, which is highly unlikely). I learned a valuable lesson Saturday. I do NOT like sewing elastic to cuffs. You know...the stretching technique? Nope. Not for me. Absolutely not for me. I can NEVER get the elastic stretched all the way across the cuff and when I try, I either break my needle or pull the elastic so hard it yanks the fabric right out from underneath the presser foot and the seam ends up through the middle of the leg (or arm). Definitely not the method I prefer. Frustration mounted and when it arrived at its peak, the poor, dear pink bloomers found themselves wadded up in the garbage bag.

The two that survived had casings sewn on to encase the elastic. I much prefer this method of elasticizing cuffs. Sew on the single fold bias tape on both edges and insert the elastic inside. The only trouble I can possibly see is that instead of one seam on the outside of your garment, you now have two...but oh, so much better than an extra wide leg cuff because you doubled the elastic length required so you could stretch it long enough.

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I have been meaning to sew these bloomers for about a year now. Its a good thing I finally got around to it, because they barely fit her. They have about another 3 days before she grows out of them. (just kidding...but maybe not...)

How to explain this next project. Let me see. Saturday evening, I decided it high time to knit. I felt compelled to grab that sampler afghan and work on it. I found the basket with my completed squares but the pattern book was not sitting with it like I distinctly remembered. For the next hour and a half I searched my house, top and bottom, to no avail. The pattern booklet vanished off the face of this earth. Where? How? Who? I do not know. But I cannot find it. Of course, all this searching for the pattern made this this ONLY project I desired to work on.

Sunday afternoon approached and I needed a knitting project and quick. A girlfriend was due to come over to knit and I couldn't very well crochet while she sat knitting. Not when my heart was set on knitting. So, I grabbed a book she loaned me a few weeks back and picked two projects from it. I stopped by the LYS and picked out the yarn. I allowed Chloe to pick her own color for a hat for her.

The amazing wonder of the entire situation is that once I got over the fact that I couldn't knit my afghan, I got busy and finished the hat in one evening. And a darling little hat it turned out to be too.

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I learned how to knit an I-Cord. Wooo Hooo! I thought it would be difficult and so badly wanted to knit that afghan instead but once I started it, it flew out of my fingers.

Now I just need to decide what to tackle in my 50% declutterment goal. The fabric scrap tote? The yarn dresser? Maybe the drawers of my sewing desk. (You don't even WANT to see the inside of those. Especially if you thought the sewing room looked bad last week.) Have a fantastically sunshiny day...all day long.

Friday, January 15, 2010

We Match!

I laid a new dress for Chloe on her toy box last night while she slept and put this dolly dress on top. You may recall seeing this dress before. I finished it a couple of months ago. The dolly dress I cut out yesterday and finished sewing at 9:00 last night.

When Chloe woke up this morning, I sent her back into her room with the instructions to "look on your toybox."

I heard this exclamation a few moments later, "Ohhhh! We Match!" and she bounded back into my room, both dresses in her hands, proclaiming, "Look Mama! It's a match!"

I love it that my little girl loves matching her dollies. There is almost nothing more precious than seeing a little girl, carrying her baby doll around in her arms, with matching dresses on. Just try to walk past such a sight and not say, "Awwww, how sweet!". Pretty hard to do, isn't it? Especially when she also carries a matching bag/purse...

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Now tomorrow I shall have a fun little (or big depending on how you look at it) project to show and tell you about. I am quite excited about this particular project but I must first get a little bit more accomplished on it first. I shall be ready first thing in the morning for you to sneak a glimpse at it. Have a wonderful evening and weekend.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Progress

Whew! I am alive! I made it out on the other side of the grand mess alive! Woo Hoo. *wiping sweat from brow*

Ready for some mid transformation pictures? I ironed. I cleaned. I organized. I sewed. And after 5 hours combined yesterday this is what my room now looks like...

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I can WALK into my room! Yippee! But there is much left to do. I have nowhere to put the rest of the items still piled on the floor. This means I have much work left to do and projects to finish and get out of my drawer space so the clutter...er...supplies on the floor have somewhere to live.

Part of my problem lies in the fact that I strongly dislike finishing work. You know...weaving in ends. Sewing in zippers. Hemming. Blindstitching. Well, I accomplished all of that yesterday and Chloe now owns 3 new dresses. I showed you these dresses before (in their unfinished state) but they are now wearable. Chloe posed in one of them yesterday.

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My goal for the day is to continue clearing off that bed. I see a skirt that needs altered (because I flubbed that one up royally), a dolly dress and purse that need cut out to match a dress for Chloe, a bloomer pattern that needs cut and sewn. You can also see in one of those pictures a blue something or other in the middle of being sewn. I need to figure out why I quit sewing it and work on finishing it.

Right now I am off to an early session of school and then the little and I are headed to the jumping castle place and then the grocery store. Busy day. Hope you all are as blessed and joyful as I am today. Take joy in the Lord. He is pure delight!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Funk Finally Ends!

It's over. The funk is over! I can officially say it. I am done funking. I guess one could suppose it was that good ole depression sneaking up on me, but I prefer to call it a funk. Seems a little less grim that way.

First on the post-funk agenda was to finish this sweater I started before I left for my holiday excursion. I purchased the book Positively Crochet solely for the sweater on the cover. I just HAD to have it. I chose red yarn because...well...I don't really know why except for the fact that I maybe wanted this to be a Christmas sweater? Now without further ado, I present to you...the finished red sweater.

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I must say that the puckering on the yoke did indeed disappear when I donned the sweater. And do you wanna know something totally cool? Mary Jane herself commented on my blog post regarding the puckering. Oh, how humbling. A lonesome tear escaped the confines of my eyeball and trickled down my cheek as I realized exactly who it was leaving the comment. (at first I thought...Mary Jane Butters? What is she doing on my blog?) How exciting to have the designer herself stop by and leave a helpful tip regarding her sweater! How exciting and humbling! Thank you Miss Mary Jane.

Now I must be off to start on goal number 2 for the week. To unbury the sewing machine. I am ashamed to show you the state of my craft/sewing room, but in order for you all to understand the after, you must first see the before.

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Yes...*cough cough*...ummmm... *choke*...errr...

That is MY sewing room, completely buried in who knows what. Better get on it ASAP. Hopefully an avalanche of fabric doesn't fall on me and bury me alive. I would love to be alive tomorrow to show you all something I created (or finished) today. Wish me luck as I ascend to the chaos above. Good day to you all!

The Gift of Submission

I overhead some dear ladies talking at church the other night about this topic. The dreaded topic of submission. The word alone sends sparks of rebellion flashing through my heart. Oh...how I dread hearing that word.

Or at least I used to. One lady mentioned her thought that maybe submission is a gift from God and not something to dread? My sentiments exactly. I tried to listen further as she began to explain this to a group of baffled ladies. Submission a gift? I didn't catch the rest of the conversation so I am unsure as to how she explained this gift to the group, but I offer my own thoughts here.

I truly believe submitting to our husbands is a gift to women from God. Why? Simple. God has given our husbands the huge task of leading our families. Do you realize how monstrous this task is? They must stand before God someday (before the Almighty God) and answer for every decision they made for our families. Did they follow the Lord as He required? Did they walk in the center of His Will? Did they lead us along in that center?

Let me put it in terms a little easier to understand.

We could move this year if my dearest decides to push for orders. He would love to move to Germany. While I don't mind Germany and can see many advantages to living there, to be honest, I would much rather stay put where I am. I have made that opinion known a few times too. Well, the final decision is James, as leader of our family. He will be the one to stand before God someday and answer for that decision. Did he seek God's will? Did he follow the Lord's direction? Big decision. Huge responsibility.

Another example. Do you all recall when our car broke her engine a few months back? Poor James, having to handle these decisions from halfway around the world. My first impulse was to rush out and purchase a new car and have the clunker towed to a junk yard. I figured all the finances so we could afford it and everything. My husband said, "Wait!" Huh? Why? The car doesn't run and I need a car!!!

"Wait!"

Sure enough, after waiting a few days, we found our car still under the factory warranty for the engine and now she sits in my back drive with a brand spanking new engine. Had I not submitted to my husband, we would have been out about $8,000 for a car we didn't need.

So, where is the gift? Well, I don't have to stand before God and give an account for these decisions and where they took our family. (That is, unless I take matters into my own hands and choose NOT to submit.) No. Do you want to know what God will look at when I stand before Him?

Did I submit to my husband?

The weight of the decisions are not my burden to carry. So you see ladies...we got the easy portion of the assignment. Submission. I would much rather be responsible for submitting than to be responsible for all the leadership of the family.

Okay. I am off now to empty the kitty litter, plan the weeks menu and then photograph a very finished red sweater. I will blog at you all later.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tackling it...One Sleeve at a Time

One down...one to go. This sweater probably won't make it in time for Christmas (seeing as how Christmas has come and gone already) but I am bound and determined it SHALL be finished THIS WEEK!

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Truth be told, the yarn for this sweater was purchased two Christmases ago. Yes, it holds a slight dusty scent to it which I hope washes out. The yarn? Oh boy oh boy. Let me describe this yarn to you. First, let me tell you what its name is.

Berroco Softwist.

This soft yarn is very soft and...um...twisty? No. I wouldn't classify it as "twisty". More like...stretchy. It has a wonderful stretch to it so that while my sweater looks sort of boxy while laying flat on my kitchen floor, it is, in all actuality, quite form fitting. A must for someone with my particular build. I can barely contain my excitement with the end of the sweater in sight. I wonder if I shall sleep a wink tonight if this sweater doesn't see completion by the end of the day. I suppose I shan't even attempt. It MUST be finished tonight!

In other news...I suffered a moment of weakness this afternoon. I mentioned naptime and Chloe promptly headed over the couch and when I arose from my crocheting, I saw this...

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...and couldn't say no. How could I when she looked so peaceful in her fake sleep?

I am off to conquer sleeve number two. Have a fantastically chilly day. (The perfect kind for cuddling up under a cozy blanket with a warm cup of tea and some crochet. And don't forget those fluffy socks.)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Smallerized Goals

Large goals should be smallerized if you wish to tackle them without burning out. Trust me on this one. Remember the large goal for the year I set the other day? (well...I did set a number of them, so you have no idea which one I am talking about, do you? Sorry about that.) Okay. Let me rephrase.

Remember the goal of reducing my craft/sewing by half I set for myself a couple of days ago? Well, that particular goal seems immeasurably hefty. Colossal. Monumental. Immense. Unless, of course, I break it down into smaller helpings...digestible amounts.

Instead of focusing my attentions on the end goal,I will instead focus on this smallerized portion this week.

This weeks goals:
1. Finish all the projects lying around on the floor or the bed.
2. Clean up the clutter of supplies from the area (these too are lying on the floor and bed)
3. Finish my red sweater.

Speaking of red sweater...let me show that lovely to you. I worked on it for a couple of hours yesterday and am quite excited with the outcome.

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The kitties decided to help showcase the sweater while I photographed it.

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This pattern hails from the book Positively Crochet by Mary Jane Hall. I am not so happy with the puckering at the yoke. I decreased according to the instructions but when I lay the sweater flat, it puckers. I can only hope this fixes itself when I put the sweater on or when I add the collar.

Well, I am anxious to start the sleeves of this sweater but first things first. The floor needs mopped, the kitty litter emptied and the clothes washed. Yep...its time for my weekly home blessing. Have a fabulous day and remember to smile. (I smiled at the rays of sunshine streaming through my dining room window this morning.)

Friday, January 08, 2010

Alarm Clock Utilization

Alarm clocks alarm me. I've not found a need for the use of this sleep depriving instrument for years. Recently though, my daughter's internal alarm clock which wakens us both up at precisely 7:30 am failed. With the new year opening up on us, I realized a need to start my mornings earlier than 9:30. For one thing, church begins at 9:30. I need to be up by 7:30 to arrive at church on time. For another thing, I cannot seem to keep up with my chores in the evenings. I accomplish so much more during the morning part of the day. The only trouble is, I hate waking up. Give me a comfy bed and some cozy blankets and I stay there as long as I possibly can.

So, I wiped the dust off the alarm clock and set the time for 7:30. No more waking up late. Woooo Hoooo! Go me! (I say "go me" because this was extremely difficult for me to do. Who would have thought that setting an alarm could be so trying on my system?)

Bigger fans of New Year's Resolutions can be found elsewhere than myself, but I do enjoy making a few "goals" at the start of a new year. Nothing like a fresh clean slate to write on, eh? With that in mind, I wrote out a few "goals" I would like for the New Year. Here are some...

1. Read my Bible every day
2. Meet and converse with 5 "new" people every month (more on this in another post)
3. Pay off debt
4. Declutter sewing/craft room by half (this includes getting rid of stuff or just making projects)
5. finish 6 major projects this year (like that ever elusive tablecloth maybe???)
6. write letters and cards every month (Christmas thank you's would be a wonderful place to start)
7. lose 20 pounds before James arrives home (he has already lost more than that and I aim to keep up with him)

While I understand myself completely and realize that I probably won't ever get all this done, I do think goals are a great thing to have. We must start somewhere, and if we don't make goals, how can we attain anything? So, I am off to school with Chloe and then possibly play in the inch of snow outside and then who knows what. Maybe I will bathe the kitties today. Maybe I will crochet on a sweater, or finish that knitted sweater. I don't know. We will see what happens with this clean slate of mine and the extra two hours my alarm clock gave me.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Potato Peelers

What better way to peel potatoes than with a foot soak included? Ahhhh...pure indulgent luxury.

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Chloe grew so much during our visit with my brother and his wife. She learned how to eat veggies throughout the day for snacks. If any of you have ever tried to feed my kid, then you understand what a feat...no...sheer miracle this truly is. Whatever baby Mikenna did, Chloe wanted to participate in as well.

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Not only did Chloe grow in her skills, abilities and attitude but she also grew in stature. Those carrots and green beans added at least an inch to her height.

I am off now to finish putting away the Christmas decorations and wash a load or two of laundry. I am also hoping to put in some crochet time this afternoon. Have a fabulous day everyone.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

New Cousin

The main purpose of our Christmas trip to Arizona was not solely to celebrate Christmas, as one might suppose. No. I packed ulterior motives. My brother and family are in the process of adopting a baby girl and I desperately longed to meet her before they head back to the mission field this spring. So, off we went on an adventure to meet darling little Mikenna.

And what a bundle of delight this little girl presents. I enjoyed many slobbery kisses and even snuck in a few cuddles and tummy tickles. Chloe also adores her new cousin. She longs for a little sister or brother and the past two weeks allowed me a glimpse of just how much she desires a little playmate.

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We found that these two girls have a common interest too. Movies. They both love watching movies.

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One day during our vacation, the entire family headed to Papago Park to climb the rocks, feed the ducks in the pond and eat lunch. I captured some very cute pictures of the girls on this outing.

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And here is a picture of Chloe with her cousin Mikenna and Mikenna's big sister Mikayla (my neice).

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And last but not least, a darling picture of Chloe with my brother Jonathan.

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I trust you all enjoyed a wonderful Christmas holiday. We sure did. Now its time to take down the Christmas tree and settle back into life. Hopefully I can get a second post up today which will include some of my New Year's Goals (better to have goals than resolutions, in my very humble opinion). I hope you all have a blessed day all day long.