Sunday, December 31, 2006


is for Zest for life ...
my kids are so excited just to be here each and every day. It's amazing ... and it's contagious!
So for the new year, I hope that they keep their zest for life, well that they keep it always, and that 2007 is full of wonderment, merriment, joy and love - for them, for my entire family, and also for all of you!

Happy New Year! =)

Thursday, December 28, 2006

I'm not allowed ...

to spend any money.
Oh. Yeah.
That is very hard for me to do, especially seeing as I'm starting this new quilt project and only want to use civil war reproduction fabrics.
But dh told me tonight, no money aside from essentials can be spent until we close on our house, move into the house, see what furniture we need to buy, and then see where the money situation falls into place.
We were wishing and hoping the side business he has would have sold by now, but it has not. Which means we will have enough to put down what we had planned, but not a whole lot extra.
And the furniture we need is stacking up -

  • couch for family room

  • hopefully 2 chairs for family room

  • Couch/sofa bed/day bed kind of thing for basement

  • dresser for mine and dh's room

  • Computer desk

  • misc. lamps/lighting

  • Bedding for teh bed we have in storage (it's a king sized bed ... our current bedding is for a queen ... we can stretch the comforter but not the sheets!)

  • Bedding for the girls room

  • lighting in the house

  • TV for family room

  • love seat for sitting area

  • TV and stand for sitting area

  • Bathroom things for all three bathrooms

  • hopefully a bookshelf in the girls bedroom

  • and probably even more that I won't know until we are in and see what is missing.

  • And oh yeah, I forgot one tiny thing. We will most likely replace the furnace, you know, so we can be warm and all that this winter. Their furnace supposedly works, but it's 20 year old 9(at it's lifespan) and has a hairline crack in it. One heater guy says as long as it's small it's okay, another says any crack, no matter how tiny makes the unit unusable. Lovely. Although, if it's the only work we have to do to move in, that's still very great in my mind!

    Now, I'm all for furniture in my house - trust me, I am. It's just that, well, I've not lived so budgetedy in a several years (although we haven't had tons of money, there has been spare). The hardest part won't be not spending the money. It will be getting into the frame of mind to not spend the money. But I will do it. I will try to finish all UFO's. I will work from stash. I will not buy any more yarn or fabric, or stickers, or paper, or thread, or patterns. Nope, I will not. Well, okay, I will, but only if it costs less than the gift cards I am currently holding onto. But aside from groceries, gas, and a few things we need to bring to a party in a few weeks, this momma is going into savings mode. Right. Now.

    Wish me luck. I will need it.
    I will also probably blog more. Everytime I want to spend money, I will write instead. Everytime I want to bid on e-bay, I will write instead. Everytime I want to buy something new, I will pack up a box of things in this house. I will eliminate the items we have accomulated but no longer need (and I have a few baby things to take to a resale shop AND two items for e-bay that I believe will be well worth listing them). And I will use that money for new furniture! And it will be good!


    is for my younger days ...

    These are all me - from random points in life ...
    Starting at 2, moving to around 4ish maybe, then to 5 or 6 (the white dress is one of my favorites!), then off to jr. high - maybe 8th grade?, then on my 16th birthday, New Year's Eve in 97 (so Dec. 31, 1997), my wedding in June of 99, the birth of my first dd in Oct. 99, then college graduation May 03!
    I admit these are all photos of photos so the quality might not be the best. But I have to say, it was fun to go through the photos and pull some out! The pictures of me from birth to the start of college fill up roughly one album, and then there is an explosion of pictures! It seemed once I started taking the pictures, there were a ton of them!
    Maybe that's why I photograph my children so much ... I have so very few of me, especially really little - I think I have about 20 pictures total of me from newborn to age 5? Pictures were just few and far between then ... now with the digital age, I can take too many! Now watch, my kids will be so sick of pictures that when they have children, they'll take the fewest amount possible LOL!


    x is for my
    XL-6000 Embroidery/Sewing machine that was a Christmas present! And I love it!! =)

    Dear Jane



    Phew ...

    Okay, as you can see, I added large amounts of posts lately - mostly the 25 Days of Christmas Project and the ABC Along!

    I have to say, despite mass postings right at the end here, I really enjoyed doing both of them and would love to do them both again in 2007!
    The ABC Along was a great way to just have a few posts each month even if there was nothing else to show, and the 25 Days of Christmas was fun as I love the holidays. Christmas next year will be even more fabulous since we will be in our very own home! I can not wait to get there (1-2 months to go until then!) and to decorate and celebrate with the kids in some ways that I dream of celebrating but have been unable to in this house.

    Anyway, speaking of Christmas, this year was the best one ever - declared so by my 7 and 4 year old! I think so as well. The holidays brought me several more opportunities to make things ... I recieved a breadmaker from my darling dh.

    Now, I've been asking for one for, oh, roughly, forever! As we speak I have a 2 pound loaf of wheat bread baking - well, it's probably in the rising stage, but none-the-less, it's there, it's working, and I LOVE it! We have made 2 loaves on it already - so I'm going for one a day apparently!
    I did a 1 pound wheat bread first and yesterday we did a 2 pound cheesey bread. Oh, I must say I am in love with this machine =) I can also do jams in it, so I think later today I am going to try a rasberry jam. Yum. Fresh jam for my fresh bread, does it get any better?

    I also recieved the Dear Jane book for Christmas.


    I have already bought some fabric for it - not enough to finish it, but enough to get started!
    And last night I cut pieces to make my first block. Hopefully there will be a picture to show sooner, rather than later! I'm excited to start this project ... it will take me a long time for sure (at just 2 blocks a week, and then 2 triangles a week, I figure I will finish it in roughly 3-4 years.) But I am up for the challenge and can't wait to tackle it!


    Wall of artwork (and other misc. items in there) all done by my children.
    This is in our basement. I love hanging things up there ...
    somewhere in the new house I will have to recreate this ... not sure where though. Kind of bummed about losing this spot!

    Wednesday, December 27, 2006

    3, 2, 1: Words only!

    I never did pictures for the 25 things for Christmas did I?
    I wanted to show you how I displayed all the cards we recieved (on ribbon around a door way) except the kids kept pulling the ribbon down. That would have been number 3. It really did look pretty the entire 2 minutes I could get it to stay up at a time! I suppose next year I will have to find a different way to display them ... because I think this ribbon will fail again if I try it. I shouldn't try that one again until babyboy is about 10! LOL!

    I participated in a cookie excahnge and brought home many yummy cookies. I wish I had taken a picture of all the great cookies I had, but they were eaten much too quickly (mostly by me!) But trust me, they looked pretty and tasted great!

    I wish I had a family picture - not just a picture of the kids ... as family is really important to me - that is my number 1 .... my family is just too precious for me! I love them with all my heart. It's just amazing how much love I feel towards these people! I'm so blessed to have them in my life and I love them soo much! =)


    is for Very Tiny Cake ... made by my darling 7 year old with her brand new Easy Bake Oven!
    She is in love with her oven =) and has made several very tiny treats in it! =)
    Maybe she'll be a grand chef one day!


    This is my brand new, just for Christmas, Ultimate Plus Breadmaker by Breadman!
    I am in love with it. I have already made 2 loaves of bread ... with one planned for tomorrow morning and some homemade jam in it tomorrow afternoon! Yummmy!

    4: Babyboy!

    My darling son - on Christmas morning.
    He was a riot. He didn't really get Christmas at all. Didn't really understand opening the presents, but he did enjoy getting into all the things around the house that morning! LOL!
    He was his normal happy self, laughing and making us laugh too!
    And his two older sisters had fun opening most of his presents for him ;-)

    5: M

    And dd number 2. The poor middle child.
    We certainly have had our ups and downs with her, but the ups are more frequent and pretty high. She is such a sweet child, so loving and caring, but she is our "quirky" child. I wouldn't trade her in for the world though - there is such an innocence about her - the world is all unicorns, butterflies and rainbows. Life is good and wonderful most of the time. It's like she lives in her own little dreamworld and she shares that with us some of the time.
    So sweet and cuddly. I love her to death. =)
    She also loved Christmas this year. This is the first year she really kind of got Christmas and Santa and asking for presents. So cute to watch this.

    6: A

    My darling dd A on Christmas morning! What can I say about her other than I love her, even though she can be very stubburn sometimes. She has this wisdom, that makes you think she is 7 going on 70 ... she can be so wise and thoughtful one moment and then throw a normal 7 year old fit the next minute!
    But she LOVED her Christmas this year. She told me it was the best ever =)

    7: At Grandma's

    Each year we spend Christmas day with my parents. This year was no different .. here are the girls there opening presents.
    Of course, these were 2 of the only 3 pictures we took there. I just never thought of pulling out the camera!

    Monday, December 25, 2006

    8: Christmas Carols!

    We love Christmas Carols in this house!
    We turn them on around Thanksgiving and have them playing all over - the computer, the radio, in the car, upstairs, downstairs!
    We love our music ....
    So from my girls, just for you;

    9: The Tree

    Our Christmas Tree, after Santa's visit, but before the kids ;-)

    10: Christmas Eve at Aunt Laura's!

    Here we are at Aunt Laura's house on Christmas Eve.
    This is my dh's side of the family .... the last two years we have hosted Christmas here. It was nice to go elsewhere this year, but I did miss having it here a bit! I like throwing parties, just maybe not all the cleaning before and after LOL!

    11: Pajamas!

    Every year on Christmas Eve the girls are allowed to open one package from mom and dad - it's always a pair of pajamas!
    The funny thing happens to be that neither of them has figured out that each year they open up pajamas! So they are always so excited to see them!

    I love it ... it's something my mom did when I was growing up and now I am doing it for my kiddos (and FTR, we have a pair for babyboy, he just happened to fall asleep on the way home nad is now peacefully sleeping in his regular clothes!)

    The picture Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

    Wednesday, December 20, 2006

    12: Christmas Card Picture

    We try to send a card and picture out to 100 of our closest friends and family members - okay, so obviously we send them to more than just our closest friends LOL! But it's nice to send them, and we always end up with a lot in return =)
    Anyway, this is the picture this year .... which let me tell you something - it's hard enough to get a one year old to cooperate, let alone a 1 year old, 4 year old and 7 year old.
    It may not be the *best picture of all three of them, but no one is 1)crying 2)looking down 3)falling over or 4)blocking another sibling's face. So, it wins! LOL!

    13: Cookies

    What would a holiday be without making cookies? Well, probably a holiday in which you buy cookies or are given some, but this year we managed to make a few around here.
    I used to make lots and lots and lots, dozens of dozens. And then I had kids.
    I was excited that we managed to make 2 batches of just one kind of cookies this year.
    And mostly it was due to that teenager in the picture - who helped a ton and let us have time to whip these cookies up! LOL

    14: Santa

    My kids love going to see Santa. If we didn't do it, I think they would complain a lot! So every year we head to the mall and hang out with him for a few minutes. Long enough to make one or two requests, get a few pictures, and then go home! LOL!

    15: Party

    Every year my husband's company throws a holiday party smack in the middle of December, mostly during an extremely busy time!
    But without fail, my dh has gone all 8 years he has worked there, and I have accompanied him - except last year when I stayed home with our 6 day old child!
    It always is fun, and we enjoy going, but it is terribly hard to find a sitter for it. This year we only had to ask 6 people before one of them said yes LOL!

    16: Craft time

    Painting ornaments to hang on the tree ... I try very hard to make at least one ornament with the kids each year. This year we painted the glass ornaments while at a Christmas party we threw at our house for our mom's club.
    It was a lot of fun!

    Thursday, December 14, 2006

    17: Decorating the tree

    It's all done ... I think it looks terrific this year =)
    The girls had a blast putting the ornaments on and even babyboy wanted to be a part of it.
    I admit, that I spent about 3 minutes rearranging some of the ornaments - not too many of them, but mostly ones that were hung on the light string instead of the tree or ones that were about to fall off. And then there were several spots that had about 3 ornaments hanging from the same spot!
    But overall, it looks good and it was a good way to spend an evening!


    Some embroidery I did for a friend.
    Please note: ALL I did was the name ... I did not do the fairy or the animals! She bought them like that and I added the name for her =)

    Again ... I just did the name =)
    I haven't used my machine nearly as much as I had dreamed of doing. To think I have almost owned it for one year ... I hope that during the next year I can get a lot more embroidery done. I really do enjoy using the machine and I am getting pretty darn good at hooping!

    Wednesday, December 13, 2006

    18: Picking out the Tree

    This is a big deal to us ... each holiday season, we bundle up, go to my parent's farm and get a tree from them. We walk the lot and decide which will be our tree for the year.
    In year's past, I have mostly picked the tree. This year however, dh and the girls picked it.
    I like it, they like it, we're all happy and we got some warm apple cider to drink!

    This year my dad's business is picking up, which is good. For the last several years his business has been steadily dropping as more people switch to fake trees. Of course, we would never ever have a fake tree - aside from the really little one we put on the dresser of the kids room - because then my dad might disown us. But even if he wasn't the tree seller, I'd still have a real tree any day. Yes, I have to water it and vacuum the needles each day - but it smells so good, and looks lovely and I wouldn't have it any other way!

    Tuesday, December 12, 2006

    19: Christmas Stocking

    I thought this might be a fun addition to my 25 days of Christmas! =)
    Xmas Stocking
    leave a gift for Brandie

    your username:
    your gift: (30 characters or less)

    get your stocking
    dating website

    20: Christmas Cards

    Cards that I made to give away this year at Christmas! =)
    I still have a few more to make - I am really enjoying making them too!

    Saturday, December 09, 2006

    21: It

    Two gifts made tonight ... I am going to be participating in 2 grab bag gift exchanges. I love exchanges but yet they are hard to buy for because you aren't quite sure who exactly is getting your gift so it's hard to personalize it.
    I was trying to figure out what to give ... gift certificates seem to be the best idea because most people can find some use for them. I joked with dh that it was too bad they didn't make e-bay ones, and lo and behold, paypal does give gift certificates! So that clinched it - I'm giving "it" for Christmas this year and a 25 dollar gift certificate to help pay for whatever "it" is! =)

    Friday, December 08, 2006

    22: Advent Calendar

    Our advent calendar.
    I wish I could say I had made it - we saw it in the store and I wanted to make something similar - I love that it's all magnetic. But my mom heard the kids say they wanted that one so she got it for them! They are thankful but I do hope in the next several years to make an advent calendar for us to use along with this one =)

    23: A door!

    This is a special door - behind this door all of the presents are hiding!
    Good thing we don't use this room ever and the humidifier is in front of the door so I don't have to worry about the kids getting in there, but when we move I'll have to scope out the house for a new hiding spot =)

    24: Presents

    For the 25 Days of Christmas:

    Wrapped and ready to go!

    I am usually not ahead of the game for the Christmas season. This year, however, was different. I ordered many gifts off of the internet and for the last week or so packages have been coming to my house.
    And last night, while the girls were out I started the wrapping. I have almost all the non-santa gifts wrapped. And it's not even December 20! Woo-hoo! =)

    25: A simple snowflake

    I joined the 25 Days of Christmas and so here begins my journey through the 25 days.

    It may look like a simple snowflake, but it has a story. But our story doesn't begin with this snowflake. It ends with it ...

    Noel comes first in this story ...
    2 years ago we had just moved into this house with my husband's grandparents. They were in Florida - being the snowbirds they are - and we were left to have the family Christmas party here. Mostly by choice, but also under the pressure that Christmas was always at this house!
    The house we moved from didn't have much furniture in it. We were poor, broke and barely able to make it through the month so we didn't buy much and most of our holiday decorations were hand me downs or small, inexpensive things.
    And then we moved in here - with lots of surfaces to decorate, but more importantly, a mantel! I had always wanted to decorate a mantel. This was my dream come true. I promptly went out and bought decorations for it - and most importantly stocking holders. I hemmed and hawed and hawed and hemmed about what to get. Noel caught my eye - they were simple, looked nice, and I thought it would be cute to have the word spelled. And I thought it would be perfect for my family of four. We didn't plan on expanding the family anytime soon. We didn't rule out another baby, but figured it was several years away! So with great excitement I bought my NOEL stocking holders and decorated.
    Fast forward just a mere 4 months later. And what to my wondering eyes should appear? But a "You're pregnant" on my digital pregnancy test. I was shocked, surprised, and yet excited. With great joy I went for my first ob appointment, figuring I was due around December 1, to find out the due date was December 12. I had gone late with my first and second and so I reasoned this baby would be late as well. I also assumed with my luck, my water would break during the annual christmas party, once again at our house. So I didn't really plan on baby being here before Christmas with all honesty. We had one present just in case.
    Of course, this baby, came one day early on December 11. By that time it was too late to really shop and frankly malls and stores with an infant weren't high on my priority list.
    But this year, this year, I knew we needed another stocking holder. And I worried. Would I find something that matched? Would I find something so crazy I would really need to get everyone a new holder? [Yes, I know, I overthink these issues] So off to the store I went and saw this one and knew it was the right one. A simple snowflake for my darling babyboy - who came out so much like his sisters, yet so different as well - a perfect snowflake in our family - very similar, but yet unique as well.

    Here is the mantel today. With 5 stocking holders, that although don't match perfectly, I can't wait to hang up 5 stockings and fill them all up!
    And I'm glad that although dh and I thought we would remain a NOEL family for a few more years, someone else knew better and turned us into a snowflake NOEL family!

    BIG announcement

    I mentioned earlier that I was busy house hunting. Well soon I will be busy packing!
    We are under contract for a house. We should close January 31 barring any complications.

    I can't even begin to explain just how excited I am right now! Beyond excited!!!! =)

    Thursday, December 07, 2006

    More Reading ...

    I suppose I am on this reading kick now, and hopefully these reading challenges will keep me going.
    It helps that I can now read before bed and I have managed to learn to knit and read at the same time - provided I am doing non-complicated knitting!
    So I am going to join another reading challenge! This one is to read a book a month from the "To Be Read" list ... which of course, mine is quite lengthy!!

    So here are my choices for the TBR Challenge:
    1. Devil in the White City
    2. The Day the World Came to Town
    3. One Thousand White Women
    4. Riding the Bus With My Sister: A True Life Journey
    5. Size 12 is Not Fat - Meg Cabot
    6. The Dogs of Babel
    7. The Historian
    8. The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig
    9. What Comes After Crazy: A Novel
    10. The Nazi’s Officer Wife
    11. Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers
    12. Crewel World by Monica Ferris

    Some bonus choices:
    Amanda Bright @ Home
    Lucia, Lucia
    Teacher Man
    The Handmaid’s Tail by Margaret Atwood
    The Widow's War
    These is My Words

    Wednesday, December 06, 2006

    Diverging from knitting ...

    Because again, secret knitting is taking place and well, not much to say (although the person who is getting it either isn't visiting here - which is extremely likely - or hasn't made the connection)

    I have decided to join the 2007 Winter Classics Challenge. Here are my 5 choices:

    1. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
    2. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
    3. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
    4. A Room With a View by E. M. Forster
    5. A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway

    So we'll see where these books take me ...

    2007 Winter Classics Challenge

    Tuesday, December 05, 2006

    More on Secret Knitting ...

    Well, I guess secret knitting is sort of boring to talk about on a blog, because well, I can't say much or show much.
    I do have two pictures I can show you though. I finally managed to finished the back and so now onto the front it will be. Let's hope the front goes quickly and the sleeves follow as well .... I am pretty nervous these days with the house hunting, making offers, waiting for counter-offers, and knitting is sort of relaxing to me. So it's good I have something to do during this time of waiting ....

    The front piece of secret knitting has been started ...

    The yarn I am using for secret knitting ...

    Sunday, December 03, 2006

    Not much knitting ...

    Aside from some knitting Friday, the day in which we stayed home due to the snowstorm, I have not been knitting a lot lately. I suppose this is an issue since I still have to knit several Christmas presents, but for the moment that is neither here nor there - I will make up the time now that babyboy seems to be on a semi-regular sleep schedule and I can get an hour - an entire hour - without any distractions prior to 1 am -
    But I have not been knitting as dh and I have been house hunting.
    I don't know how this will end. I of course have my dream house, but my budget is slightly lower than my dream house costs - okay, my budget is about a third of what my dream house costs, but I like to kid myself into thinking I could at least buy half of it.
    One of the houses I don't particularly want, but dh likes, he tried to bribe me into - the sub-basement is unfinished. He said "We could finish it in a few years, and you know, make it a craft room for you."
    Now, I don't really think it will happen - when a few years comes and we go to refinish it, we will probably be turning it into an office or a place for the kids to go hang out with their friends, or about 2 million other uses.
    But if we do end up buying that house, before I agree, I'm getting his statement in writing. And I'm saving it. And when he goes to theoretically finish it one day, I'm pulling out that piece of paper!

    Friday, December 01, 2006

    How much snow?

    Wondering how much snow fell around here last night through noon today?
    Well, it was knee high on my little guy.
    Knee high is also known as 8 inches. Yes indeed, it's a good day to stay in, curl up under a blanket and knit as much as the kids will let me!