Thursday, March 24, 2011

Christmas 2

Alright, a few more Christmas gifts.

First up another shawl I made for a friend. Which I also loved. And would totally take one for myself ;-) It comes from a pattern available on Ravelry.

(Again I say, don't I have awesome models!) And she says it's nice and cozy ;-)
The curling on the edges I debated blocking out or not, but you know, I kind of like them honestly. Of course, I hope my friend liked it like that (and if she didn't, I know she knows how to block LOL!)

I made another friend of mine a knitting bag. No pattern just from my head. I do like the bag and the design and all of that, but I already know some ways to improve it. I've joked that I will give her the improved model for her birthday LOL!

 This detail is my favorite! I just knitted a little swatch and sewed it in! =)

Not much, but that's about all I did this year. I wish I had done more, truly, but on the other hand, we had so many other memories we made during the month of December, so in  the end, it all turned out alright! But this year, I hope to get everything done before December so I can have the best of both worlds! =)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Christmas 1

Yes, this is in fact long over due, but alas, I did manage to make a few things for Christmas this past year.

The truth is I didn't finish all that I wanted to finish. And just a bit into December it dawned on me that I needed to just stop. Accept that what was finished was finished and what wasn't, well, it would have to wait to a further date. Which was hard to accept. I can't lie. There were tears (on my part). December is a long and busy month. And I want to spend it with my family, not holed up in my craft room trying to finish everything that I feel is required to have a "perfect" holiday.

That said, I did finish some things, and well, I have to show them off, don't I?! =)

First up I made my father-in-law socks (again! Which made me think of a song we used to play at my house called Didn't I This Last Year to the tune of Do You Hear What I Hear! LOL!) Anyway, socks it was again this year. But I did make very different ones! The Pattern is from the book Favorite Socks.

I really liked the detail on the socks.

And a shawl for my mother-in-law. The pattern is a free one from Lion Brand. I've been eying this pattern for several years and just never had a chance to knit it up, so I used the holidays as an excuse! I love how it turned out, how easy it was to knit, and I am in love with the color (which I should note my 5yo picked out and at first was afraid it would be to strong, but as I knit, I loved it more and more!)

{Seriously, do I have a great model or what? ;-) }

I am in love with that shawl. In fact, I'm toying with making myself one. But there are so many good patterns out there, it's so hard to pick! Good thing there is no shortage of people to knit for so I can try each one out!

Monday, March 21, 2011


Just an FYI, if you set posts to auto-post for the 4th month of the year, they will post in April and not March.
So, don't do that! Otherwise you will visit your blog and wonder where the last several posts have gone.
That is all.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Wicked Fun!

Several years ago the husband and I decided that one of our Christmas gifts to our children would be an "experience" or an outing. So tickets to a movie, pottery place, one year it was a trip to Florida. Because as much as they will love things, the truth is they get so many things it can be a bit overwhelming.

This year for Christmas we gifted the girls tickets to go see Wicked. Now, I saw it for the first time in 2006 with my mom. I've often played the soundtrack and they all know the songs and music. When commercials came on announcing it was coming back to Chicago they talked about how they would like to go. So they thrilled to be going .

So my sister generously offered to watch the 5yo. {He's just too young to sit that long}. And the husband, 11yo, 8yo and I headed downtown!


We took the train because it is seriously our favorite way to travel! And then had dinner across the street from the theater. And then crossed the street!


It was so, so wonderful!! Everyone had a good time. The kids and husband thought it was even better than they had pictured in their head from the CD. I think they especially loved Glinda's bubble and the song Defying Gravity. Just awesome! Even more exciting, this was my girls' first trip to a big show downtown. I love that I was able to share that with them.

I know Wicked is not in Chicago now, but if it's by you, or if it comes back, and you haven't seen you, you absolutely must. I insist! I would buy your ticket if I could because I feel that strongly you should go! LOL! =) We all give it 2 thumbs up, 5 stars, A+, well - you get the picture! Just an amazing time!

As a bonus, thanks to the lovely train ride to and from, I was able to knit up this TARDIS washcloth. I had originally made it for me, but when the 5yo saw it, he claimed it. And since he didn't get to go with, it's now his! LOL!


The pattern is here. And if you are wondering what a TARDIS is, then you need to watch some Dr. Who! =)

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Playing Catch-Up!

I'm going to be taking the next couple of posts to play catch-up and talk about all the things I should have been posting on a regular basis around here! And hopefully I can back into the habit of posting several times a week! =)

Turtle Island

A few weeks ago, my daughter's Sparks Club hosted Turtle Island. This is the second year they've done this, and it really is a great time!

Basically they decorate the gym so it looks like someplace warm and sunny and full of beaches and whatnot. They turn the heat up. Make yummy food. And invite everyone to show up and pretend it's summer. And in Chicago in February, that is absolutely a welcome little break from winter. In addition to that, all the kids can purchase a wooden turtle (a few weeks before the event for a very minimal fee) to take home and decorate. They bring them to Turtle Island and race them.

This year my 8yo made a ballerina turtle. I did help some, but she did most of it her self (the tu-tu we did a no-sew method!)


It's hard to see in that photo, but on the turtle's head is a hole. To race the turtle, you take a string, with one end tied to the back of hte chair, thread it through the turtle's head.
(turtles at the start line)

The child sits near the finish line and pulls the string.


As the string is pulled and released, the turtle will "hop" along the floor. It sounds easy, but if you pull too hard, your turtle will completely flip over. If you pull too softly it won't hop.

(a turtle hopping down the track!)

The first turtle to cross the finish line is the winner. The way our club runs it is there is the first round. All teh winners move to the next, then the next, then the last round. That winner goes on to the "final" race. Then all of that is repeated two more times, so that there are a total of 3 turtles in the final - and those are the ones who will win first, second, third place for speed. In addition to getting a trophy for speed, they also have a design contest. There are three adults who are the judges and they pick a first, second, and third place for design. And there is also the people's choice award. Anyone there can vote by paying a penny. So if you give a dollar, you have 100 votes to give. The person who earns the most votes, wins people's choice. {Also, the money used to vote goes to support Awana clubs around the world, so it's also a fund-raiser of sorts!}

You can imagine how excited this is - 40ish kids aged 5-9 racing their turtles! It's so fun and exciting! And if I can have a mommy brag for a moment, my 8yo won first place. First place!

She was beyond thrilled. And as her mom, I was so proud - not because she won though (that was just the icing on the cake). She stood by all her friends and cheered for them when it was their turn to race. It was actually a group of 5 girls who all cheered each other on. It was so sweet and fun to watch. I loved it. She also brought some of her own money and voted for her friends' turtles {and yes, she also voted for herself which I didn't object to since her priority was her friends!}.

But that's not all. My darling 8yo also won 2nd place in design. And People's Choice (mostly due to my youngest sister buying lots of votes for her!). My 8yo came home with 3 trophies that night. And the biggest smile ever.

And can I just tell you? It warmed my heart. Aside from participation ribbons/trophies, my 8yo has never won anything. I don't know how much I've shared before, but at one point we were told she probably had low functioning autism and would never lead a normal life. We know now it's not autism {We did get a dx eventually of sensory processing disorder and she has unspecified learning disorders. The neurologist has said she has "autism-like symptoms" but is not autistic. And no, I'm not quite sure what that means.}. She has been through intense therapy, lots of blood tests, eeg, ekg, and other tests. She's seen several specialists. From 2-4 it was a rough road for all of us. She struggles with so much. Which kills me, because honestly she has the biggest heart ever. Her spirit rocks. And I hate seeing her struggle. I hate watching her try and try and try and try again to do things that seem so natural to other kids. And as she gets older we do see less of it. But we do see it. And we are blessed, you probably wouldn't notice anything if you spent the afternoon with us. And I'm thankful for that. But, to get to the point of all my blubbering, for this one night - my little girl was on top of the world! She won some trophies! She did it! It wasn't a struggle for her. And I loved it.

I know, I'm mom, and I'm coming at this from quite the emotional angle. And my emotions tend to run very strong, so I wondered if you know, I was putting too much into this, making too big of a deal. But after we got home and everyone had settled down and celebrated, my 11 year old said she was so proud of her sister for winning the trophies. And it was so nice because she had never won something before. And she deserved it. My heart grew even twice as big.