Friday, July 15, 2011

So much has happened!

Wow!  It has been ages since I posted a report for you.  I am very sorry for that...

It was an extremely busy summer last year; between the weddings my husband either performed or helped with, the normal summer activities, and working around having one vehicle when he has to be gone so much for work... it was rather hectic.  William made it safely through Basic Training, and we went to Fort Knox to watch him graduate... returned home and he pretty much promptly spent all the money he had earned all summer.  I'm not exactly sure (nor is he) how he managed to do that...

School started up again, full swing.  I was a bit concerned because the 1st grade teachers had to do some "reorganizing" which meant there were now 2 First Grade classrooms as opposed to 3.  Each teacher had around 30 kids in her room, with a high school student part of the time as a helper.  (Not cool, at least not to me.)  The third 1st grade teacher is there for anyone that needs that little "extra" bit of help, she takes the kids and gives them more one-on-one attention.  I am very disappointed in the State of Michigan that so much of the school budget had to be trimmed.  I understand the idea of living within your means, and I don't even pretend to know what was cut back and what wasn't, but the fact that our school system has already been making deep cuts for the last several years - and is still making those deep cuts in employees - really bothers me.  So far, my kids have done okay (Michael is pulling in straight A's) but I don't feel they are getting the one-on-one teacher time that they deserve.  The bad thing is it looks like it's going to get worse before it gets better, so the idea of homeschooling has once again been crossing my mind for the next school year.  I'll just have to wait and see how it is in the fall, I suppose...

My mom bought a house here in town in July of 2010, and then sold the house she had been living in for the last 25 or so years in August of 2010.  Her "new" house was getting some work done to it by my brothers (and a little tiny bit by me) and we were all looking forward to when she would be moved in and settled.  She had planned on being moved by the first of November... unfortunately, it was taking longer than expected to get the "new" house ready for her to move in...  Luckily, the people she sold her house to were in no big hurry for her to leave, so she was able to stay until her new place was ready.  And then, all of the sudden, she was gone.  She died on January 6th, 2011.  Needless to say, life has been in quite the uproar since!  Lucky for me, my 3 siblings and I get along very well, so there hasn't been too much in the way of sibling rivalry or anything between us.  We've gotten closer, I think, which is awesome.  I miss Mom - and I'm sure she's smiling down on all of us from a much better place.  It would have been nice to have coffee with her in her new house, but I'll just have to be patient and enjoy some with her when I go to the next plane of existence!  And THAT new house will be even more awesome!!!

I'd also like to mention here, that on January 5th, 2011, a good friend and classmate of my eldest son, William, took his own life.  Brandon Lamb left behind a stunned Senior class, and he will be greatly missed.  I'm sure January was very rough for William, as he lost a good friend and his Mimi so close together...

I shouldn't let so much time elapse between posts; I feel like I'm bouncing back and forth from last year to this year and I hope you're not getting lost...  From here on out, I'm talking about this year (2011).

Things on the home front have been staying on a pretty even keel.  William graduated from High School the end of May 2011 and left for Advanced Infantry Training yesterday (usually, soldiers do that immediately following Basic Training, but William did his Basic over summer "vacation" between his Junior and Senior year, came back to finish high school, and has now set out to finish his initial Army training...)  He's going to Fort Jackson in South Carolina, which I've heard is absolutely beautiful, and I hope he enjoys the change of scenery and the training he's going to be receiving... I'm quite proud of his decision to go into the Armed Services!  I hope he learns a lot from them, and takes advantage of the benefits he's being offered.  I also hope he matures and grows into a fine young man - I believe he's on his way, but there is always some tweaking that can take place in all of us, right??

Michael has been spending most of his summer with his Dad.  He doesn't get to spend much time over there during the school year, because he keeps himself very busy with school activities.  This past school year, he was in Color Guard with the Marching Band, he's in Orchestral Band anyway, and he was in the Quiz Bowl, the Arena (a gaming club after school), the Chess Club, Drama Club, he went to Regional Solo & Ensemble and got a "1" rating on both his clarinet solo and his duet, then went on to State Solo & Ensemble and received a "2" rating on both - plus he managed to get straight A's on his report card.  (He wasn't taking the "easy" classes, either... Algebra II, Chemistry, Spanish, English 10, Band, World History, and the seventh class was split between Multi Media the first half and Grammar the second half of the school year.  He wears me out just THINKING of all the stuff he does!!

Arielle and Dmitri are in the Summer Reading Program at the library.  They seem to really enjoy that!  We also seem to always have something going on, whether it's getting together with friends or just getting the grocery shopping out of the way!  I do plan to get a zoo membership so we can start visiting some area zoos, and at some point in time I'd like to take them to a picnic at a beach... just have to wait for my hubby to get his vehicle here so I can have full-access to mine!  Otherwise, he's gone to work and then when he's home I'm gone running errands and taking the kids to stuff, and we rarely see each other!

Some of the fun crochet projects I've been working on lately... I made a purse ...

Dirndl Bag
AND LINED IT!  First time ever, and it turned out better than I could have expected... The pattern came from the Crochet 2011 Calendar - May 30th & 31st... it's called a Dirndl Bag.

Lining of Dirndl Bag

I also made a big beach bag type tote,

Inga's Crocheted Bag

tested a trio of dishcloth patterns,

Basketweave Beauty

Concentric Squares
Waffle Cloth

made a pinwheel sweater for my daughter,

pinwheel sweater front

pinwheel sweater back

button closure
and a Stash Buster Tote.  Those are the "big" projects that I've done lately.

Stash Buster Tote - flattened

Stash Buster Tote - filled

Thank you so much for stopping by, and I wish you good health and much happiness!!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Book!!

I just found out that my cousin has self-published a book!  Personally, I find this to be super-cool... my cousin is only a little bit older than my eldest son which just makes it that much cooler to me.  Anyhow - if you feel like checking out his work, his book is available for purchase at LuLu.  I just want to do my little part for him, to market his book.  Oh, and Happy Mothers Day to all of you wonderful Moms out there!!!

Thanks for checking in today - I hope you have a wonderful day, week, month, year and life!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Plastic Bags

I just read about this on another blog, and had to share. Now, I am not as passionate about not taking plastic bags from the stores as others, but I do have a few canvas bags and I do use them. Love them actually! They hold a lot, the handles don't cut into your hand, and so far I haven't paid for any of them! I even entered a contest and designed a bag - you can go vote for my bag by clicking here. Every vote is truly appreciated! Anyhow - back to the original post; apparently, Washington, D.C. has instituted a plastic bag tax (five cents per bag) and thus has reduced the number of plastic bags going to landfills by 19.5 million per month. Yes, you read that right - NINETEEN AND A HALF MILLION PER MONTH! (They also raised $150,000.00 in the process, which is awesome but not as awesome, In My Humble Opinion, as the number of bags they DIDN'T use!) Personally, I had no idea that many bags could be used in 6 months, let alone a single month, and this was just for Washington, D.C.! I have never investigated how many plastic bags are used by people, so I do not have a frame of reference. I can tell you that I don't throw away plastic bags - I save them for re-use. I do have plans for making welcome mats and grocery totes with some of my bags, and maybe someday I won't ever get them from the store again! Oh, and you can bet that I'll be picking up some of those mesh bags from the Dollar Tree next time I'm there (as mentioned on the above-linked blog). Yes, this post is rather short, but sweet - and I just had to share my amazement with all of you!

Thanks so much for stopping by, and I hope you have a wonderful day, week, month, year and life!!

Saturday, March 27, 2010


I'm posting today! I know you all must be very excited! There are so many things going on all the time, I have a hard time keeping up with everything. I very often wonder how I ever managed when I worked full-time, since I am a stay at home Mom now and run out of time to get things done. I do appreciate all of you that visit my little spot here in blog land, and those of you that follow (even though there isn't much going on most of the time!) - so thank you all very much!

I do have several crochet projects I'm working on, mostly squares I'm making for swaps. Once I get some of the "cooler" things I'm working on finished up, I'll be sure to post pictures of them. I did sew up an outfit for my daughter a couple of weeks ago - she loved it! It was a fun little project, and I was glad to pull my sewing machine out - even if it was just for a little while.


I also received the most AWESOME package from a dear friend last month! Robin, thank you very much! She sent me all sorts of really cool stuff... here, check it out!

Thanks for stopping by today, it was great to have you visit!

I hope you have a wonderful day, week, month year and life!!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Another Proud Mom Moment!

Yes, it's true! I have another Proud Mom moment!!

This time, the honoree is my second-born, his name is Michael and he is 15 years old. He has been trying to learn the art of crochet off and on for the last few years. A few months ago, his interest was sparked yet again, and he asked me to show him some basic stitches. I chained a few, I showed him the double crochet, and off he went! It only took two rows (very short rows, I think about 22 dc's is all) before he was ready to start a scarf!

He picked out some colors from my stash, and I showed him how to change colors. He finished it up the other night, and he is so proud of his accomplishment! (I'm proud, too!)

He got all the repeats done he wanted to do, he figured out how to do a button-hole all by himself, picked out a button and everything!

I showed him the basics of the half-double crochet stitch, and how to go along the side of the rows, he did up a quick border, put the button on there, and viola!! His scarf is all done!

He did 99.9% of the work; I did an occasional stitch in the very beginning to show him how to do a double crochet, then I did a stitch to show him the half-double crochet, but he did all the rest himself. Don't you think he did a great job???

Saturday, February 20, 2010

What an Honor!!

I just want to say THANK YOU so much to Ghost for this award! She has awarded me with the "Sunshine Blog Award" - WOW!! I don't even post very often - seems like life just gets in the way so much for me, I never ever expected to win an award!! Especially for inspiring people... since I very rarely even manage to put a post up, I can't imagine the posts are all that inspiring when I do - so the idea that someone finds me inspirational is just amazing to me! I do believe I'm blushing!! One of the things I enjoy about Ghost's blog is her ??Fact of the Moment?? - which today was "From the age of thirty, humans gradually begin to shrink in size." - I read that and thought "WHAT?? You mean I'm seven years into shrinkage already???" Sure doesn't seem like it, with my seemingly endless battle of the bulge! Shouldn't I be able to actually see some shrinkage by now??? Ah, well - maybe someday I'll win this war! Thank you again for this award, I do so very much appreciate it... and now, to follow the rules of acceptance, I need to name 12 blogs where I find inspiration - shouldn't be too difficult, except for the "only" 12 part! Oh, and before I forget - here are the rules...

1. Put the logo on your blog or within your post.

2. Pass the award to 12 bloggers.

3. Link the nominees within your post.

4. Let them know they received this award by commenting on their blog.

5. Share the love and link to the person from whom you received this award.

Okay, so here goes - my personal dozen "diamonds"... (these are in alphabetical order)

1. Lucy at Attic24
2. Tina at Beansie Babbles
3. I hope I'm allowed to pick a winner that was in Ghosts' list, too... Tammy at Coffee n' Crafts
4. April over at Dishcloth Diaries
5. Lora the Eclectic Nana
6. Tea from the Foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains
7. Paulissa at Knotty Musings
8. Chase from Oh! The Cuteness
9. Liz of Rose Vignettes
10. Caroline, the Kansas Hooker
11. The Laughing Willow of the Laughing Willow
12. Amber, the Yarn Pixie

Of course, Ghost is another one of my favorites!! I also read Wormie over at Hooked on Crochet... I guess the choosing of "just 12" isn't as easy as I thought it might be!

Thanks again, Ghost!! What an honor and a fun little thing to be a part of!

I hope everyone has a wonderful day, week, month, year and life!!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Stick it to the Man!

Just a very brief post for you today - I would love it if you would check this blog out, and this blog post specifically!! Any chance you get to create this lovely little darling, go for it!


This is just the cutest darn thing, I'm sure you'll enjoy! Looks easy enough to make, too, that I might just try it myself... the story behind it is way cool, too.

Okay, that's it for me right now! Take care all -

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great day, week, month, year and life!!!