Where am I?

July 7, 2009 at 9:21 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

I don’t plan to close my blog- I do want to get back to blogging someday.    But I only have so much time and I can usually be found on Facebook.  I would love to see you there if we’re not friends there already!

I have been keeping the list of books I’ve read this year updated (for the most part) under the 2009 Books Read tab if you’re interested in that.  I’ve read some excellent books this year.  I’ve been knitting like crazy!  Some day I’d like to share more about that again.  But for now, this is all you get. :-)

Hope you’re having a great 2009!

Books

February 14, 2009 at 10:04 am | Posted in Reading | 4 Comments

Thanks to everyone who commented on my last post!  I did read some really good books since I wrote that.   Responding to the comments:

Robin:  I haven’t read Silent Tears yet but a friend of mine has the book and is going to loan it to me when she gets it back from the last person she lent it to.

Keri:  No problem about the Christmas cards!  Every year I debate whether I should just skip it that year and save myself the stress.  I did skip the year we brought Allison home and nothing bad happened. LOL   Strep twice?  Yikes!  Lindsey had strep/scarlet fever last month, and now she is sick again with a bad cough and fever (although the fever is finally gone this morning, the cough remains).   I haven’t read the books you mentioned – Beverly Lewis is not really my style and The Shack doesn’t appeal to me either.  But thanks anyway!

Chris:  Thanks again for the award!

Michelle:  I did read the Twilight series last year.  I really liked the first book in the series but liked each subsequent book less and less and then didn’t even finish the final book!  I think I just got tired of the whole storyline.  These are not typically my type of books at all – I have read a few fantasy or sci-fi books that I have liked, but for the most part I don’t like that genre at all, and after the last sci-fi I tried to read for a book club (Auralia’s Colors by Jeffery Overstreet) I decided I’m done with that genre totally.   But thanks for the suggestions!

Kristen:  I heard such good things about those books but I tried the first one and couldn’t get into it.  I was disappointed because so many reviewers loved the books.

Books I have read and loved since that post:

Time of My Life by Allison Winn Scotch 5/5

Love the One You’re With by Emily Giffin 5/5

Where Do I Go? by Neta Jackson – author of the Yada Yada books, first in a new series, loved it 5/5

The Year of Fog by Michelle Richmond 4.5/5

Testimony by Anita Shreve 4/5

And 2 books I read but didn’t care for too much:

The Doctor’s Wife by Elizabeth Brundage 2/5

Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult 3/5

I just started The Diplomat’s Wife by Pam Jenoff and it’s really good so far.  I read her first book, The Kommandant’s Girl last year and really enjoyed that one.   I’m going to the libary later today, yea! :-)

Have a great weekend everyone!

I Need a Good Book to Read!!!

January 13, 2009 at 9:28 am | Posted in Reading | 6 Comments

It’s a new year, 2009, almost halfway through January already and I have only finished ONE book – and I didn’t even like it very much!  I am in a reading slump.  I have tried to get into at least 5 books since finishing the one, and I didn’t like any of them.   HELP!

The book I did manage to finish this month is Nice to Come Home To by Rebecca Flowers.  At about 1/3 of the way into it, I almost put it down. It was okay but nothing special.  But then it started to interest me more so I kept going.  But then again at about the 2/3 point, it went back to being just okay, but I wasn’t going to put it down with only 1/3 left.  I rated it a 3/5.

I just started The Widow’s War by Sally Gunning.   I’m on Chapter 5 – I can’t tell yet if I like this book or not.  I will give it a little more time.

In my TBR stack next to my bed (all library books of course!) I have:

Two for the Dough by Stephanie Evanovich – I read the first book in the series last month – felt it was good enough to continue with the series for now but this book is not calling out to me to be read right now.

The Doctor’s Wife by Elizabeth Brundage

Broken Angel by Sigmund Brouwer

Tiki:  My Life in the Game and Beyond by Tiki Barber – saw this one on the new books shelf and just decided to grab it

I’m headed to the library this morning (in the cold, brrrr!) to pick up these 2 books that are in from on hold:

Prints Charming by Rebecca Seitz

Time of My Life byAllison Winn Scotch

And this one is in transit, not sure if it will be at the library yet when I get there this morning:

You Had Me at Goodbye by Tracey Bateman – I loved her “Claire” series but wasn’t as crazy about the first book in this one, the Drama Queen Series  (Catch a Rising Star) – I liked it enough to read the whole thing, but it wasn’t as good as the Claire books.

I also have 2 non-fiction books in from on hold that I will be picking up:  Two at a Time Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes and Lick the Sugar Habit by Nancy Appleton.

I read 88 books last year and I was hoping to top that total this year, but at the rate I’m going to so far, it’s not going to happen!  I hate not having a great book in progress!!!!

2009 Knitting Resolutions

January 2, 2009 at 7:18 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Last year I made some knitting resolutions.  They were:

  1. Make 4 pair of socks.
  2. Learn to cable in the first half of 2008.
  3. Learn to do either intarsia or fair isle, sometime in the second half of 2008.
  4. Knit at least one item for charity.
  5. Learn to use dpns, at least do one project with them.
  6. Knit 5 times a week (would love to knit every day but I think that’s impossible).
The results:
  1. I made 2 complete pairs and one sock that I have no intention of doing the second one.    Goal accomplished?  2/4
  2. I made a mini-messenger bag with cables on the flap of the bag, nothing complicated.   I enjoyed it and am looking forward to doing another cable project at some point.  Goal accomplished?  Yes!
  3. Have done nothing toward meeting this goal as of yet.  Goal accomplished? No!
  4. I started a wheelchair blanket (it’s smaller than a typical blanket and buttons around the person so it stays on them and doesn’t get caught in the wheels).  I plan to donate it to the nursing home where my dad lived his last 2 months.  Goal accomplished?  In progress
  5. I had to use DPNs on the felted gift bags I made for my sisters for Christmas, just for the last 4 or 5 round  when thy got too small to work with the circular.  Goal accomplished?   Sort of, I did use double points but my intention was to make a whole project with them.  From the little bit I used them I don’t think I like using them very much!  So whether or not I ever fully accomplish this goal is up in the air.
  6. I did fairly well with this goal for the first 3 or 4 months of the year but then my dad got sick and passed away and immediately after that summer hit and then the holidays and I’m just too busy or tired many days.    The past month I’ve knit once a week or less.  MUST.CHANGE.THAT.  Goal accomplished?  No, sigh.

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So now for this year’s goals.  They are taken directly from my 101 Things List.  I am listing them as they are written for that list – I don’t have to finish everything on that list until May of 2011, so I won’t totally complete most of these goals.  But my goal IS to at least make some decent progress on all of them.  They are:

  1. Learn 2 color knitting.
  2. Knit 10 pair of socks.
  3. Knit 3 items for charity.
  4. Take a how to knit a sweater class and finish one sweater.
  5. Knit something from each of the 5 knitting books I owned when I initially made my 101 Things list.
  6. Knit 10 projects from my 2008 Knitting Pattern a Day calendar.
  7. Teach someone to knit.
  8. Organize my knitting patterns binder.

November/December 101 Things Update

December 31, 2008 at 12:14 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
Due to the holidays and not feeling well the past few weeks, I haven’t been able to focus on the list much.  I hope to remedy that in the new year.  I *was* going to pick one or two things to focus on in November and it didn’t happen.  Here’s my little bit of progress:
#4 Knit 10 pair of socks. - I’m working on a pair of socks for Lindsey using Cascade Fixation.  Cute little sock!  I also bought myself 2 skeins of sock yarn, but I probably won’t start a pair for myself for awhile.

#5 Knit 3 items for charity. I started on the wheelchair afghan for maybe 20 minutes at Knit Night one time.  LOL

#9 Try 5 new recipes. Made some awesome broccoli soup.

#10 Save $100 in change.I think I actually added more than a few bucks. :-)

#16 Print pictures from 2nd China trip and put in an album. - I bought a tub to put the pictures in as I print them.  Maybe this will get me motivated to start getting them printed!  I think I have the first 2 days of our 14 day trip printed so far.  (The reason I don’t print them all at once is $$$$$.)  We’ve been home over 2 years!!!

#32 Completely declutter bedroom and make it more warm and inviting.
What do you know, I decluttered it!  Okay so most of it is now just cluttering up the basement, but our room sure looks better (and bigger!)  As far as making it more warm and inviting, well decluttering helped with that some, but we won’t be repainting and/or decorating it anytime soon.  We hate the wall color and the quilt and…..the whole look of it.   But for now it is somewhat better.

In process of cleaning up:

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After:

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#42 Declutter:  Sell or give away 101 material items I own. - I’m sure I got rid of a few things I’m forgetting but yesterday morning I found a tub of cross-stitching and stenciling supplies in the closet.  We’ve lived in this house almost 13 years and I’ve never touched this!  I stenciled a few rooms in our last house but never did any here and have no intentions of ever doing it. :-)  I also have no intention to ever cross stitch again (would much rather KNIT of course!)  I packed up everything in the tub to go to Goodwill.  I am going to count this at 2 items, the stenciling stuff (paint, brushes, stencils) as one item and the cross-stitching stuff (needles, floss, patterns, etc.) as one item.

#47 Photograph girls on the 30th of each month.

November:

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December:

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#54 Knit something from each knitting book I own as of date of the start of this project.
I made each of my 3 sisters a gift bag for Christmas using the Felted Gift Bag pattern from One Skein Wonders – 101 Yarn Shop Favorites.

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The socks I am making Lindsey are from my Getting Started Knitting Socks book by Ann Budd.  (no pic at the moment)

#64 Send 10 cards in the mail “just because”. My SIL is pregnant with her 6th child and has been sick most of the whole pregnancy so far.  She didn’t make it to our Thanksgiving gathering here at my house because she was sick.   I sent her a card letting her know she was missed.   So I didn’t sent it totally “just because” but on the other hand it wasn’t her birthday or anniversary or anything like that.

#65 Buy something for a child from the WalMart tree every Christmas. – They didn’t have a tree to buy from this year!  I did put together a shoebox for Operation Christmas Child to donate through our church so I’m going to count this.

#83 Subscribe to a knitting magazine. - I got a subscription to Interweave Knits from my brother-in-law Steve for Christmas!  Woo hoo!  Thanks Steve!

#99 Finish reading through The Message Bible. - I just finished Ecclesiastes.

Fall Into Reading Wrap-up

December 22, 2008 at 7:25 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Popping back in quickly to post my wrap-up – then back to getting ready for Christmas!!!

Here are my answers to  Katrina’s suggested questions about the books for the wrap-up:

  • Did you finish reading all the books on your fall reading list? If not, why not? - I read or at least tried to read every book on my list except A Midwife’s Story by Penny Armstrong.  I always check to make sure my library has a book before I put it on my To-Be-Read list, but I guess from the time I put it on my list until the time I wanted to check it out, they got rid of the book.
  • Did you stick to your original goals or did you change your list as you went along? I didn’t change any of the books on my list.
  • What was your favorite book that you read this fall? Least favorite? Why? Favorite fiction (I read 3/5 on my list) is a toss-up between Winter Haven and Summer Snow – I think I would give the edge to Summer Snow.  My favorite non-fiction (only read 2/5) is definitely The Non-Runners Marathon Guide for Women by Dawn Dais.
  • Did you discover a new author or genre this fall? Dawn Dais is an author I didn’t know about.  I never read a book about running a marathon. Did you love them? YES! She is so funny.
  • Did you learn something new because of the Fall Into Reading challenge — something about reading, or yourself, or a topic you read about? - I learned a lot about how to prepare to run a marathon and how to laugh about it. :-)
  • What was your favorite thing about the Fall Into Reading challenge? – Probably getting myself to read a few books from my 2007 TBR list.
  • Would you like to participate in another challenge here this spring? - YES!

The books I finished:

Winter Haven by Athol Dickson 5/5

Summer Snow by Nicole Baart 5/5

Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult 4.5/5

The Non-Runner’s Marathon Guide for Women by Dawn Dais 5/5

The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman 4/5

The ones I couldn’t get into:

The Tenth Gift by Jane Johnson

A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall (sorry Jane! I don’t know if I wasn’t in the right mood or what, but it was just so slow and didn’t grab me – I’m sure it’s a wonderful book!)

The Year of Living Biblically by A.M. Jacobs

The one my library didn’t have:

A Midwife’s Storyby Penny Armstrong

Hiatus

December 10, 2008 at 9:03 am | Posted in 101 Things, Allison, Holidays, Lindsey | 5 Comments

Not that I post all that much anyway, but I’m going to take a break from the blog (and the computer as much as possible) until after the new year.   I am so far behind on holiday preparations – in fact I have hardly done anything so far – and I’m also so far behind on the regular things of life – I AM STARTING TO PANIC!   It doesn’t help that 4/5 of us (all but Ben) have colds and the kids have been up at night a lot and I don’t feel well.  Time to cut out as much “fluff” as possible and buckle down and do the things I need to do.

I had a draft of a 101 Things Update post started but I will save that until next year too.  I haven’t made that much progress on it anyway :-) and have to focus on other things right now.  I did take the monthly picture of the girls so I will leave you with that.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  See you on the flip side!

11/30/08

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I Went to the Packer Game!!!!

December 8, 2008 at 5:40 pm | Posted in Football, Uncategorized | 2 Comments
(but they lost, sigh)

However I had a great time!!!  Ben got tickets from his boss and he paid for mine as my Christmas present!   He only found out about the tickets Saturday afternoon so I found out I was going on short notice.  I had to run out to Fleet Farm that night to get some warm boots (I needed them anyway).  This is the third time I’ve gone to a Packer game (the other two were in the mid-90’s and they won both of those games).  I think the other two times I found out  I was going at the last minute also!  One of them for sure, I think I found out about 10 p.m. the night before (refresh my horrible memory Ginny!)

It was so much fun and we had pretty good seats.  We were in the corner of the south end zone above the tunnel where the Packer players run out onto the field.   We were about halfway up – the other two times I went I was almost to the very top in the end zone.  I think the temperature at kickoff was 5 degrees!  Yes FIVE.  But I wasn’t all that cold, and I didn’t even wear a coat!  I did have 6 layers of clothing on top though. :-)  I had an undershirt, then a long sleeved shirt, then another long sleeved shirt, then a turtleneck, then a hooded Packer sweatshirt, then another Packer sweatshirt over the top of it all!  I had 2 pair of long johns and jeans, wool socks and boots on the bottom.  I think that was better, more comfortable, than less layers with a coat.

Things didn’t start out too good but then the Packers somewhat pulled it together, tied it up and we were hopeful.  But the defense was horrible and they gave away the game at the end, a field goal for the Texans to win it by 3 with no time remaining.   That kick was in the opposite end zone from us – all of the Packers scoring was in our end zone!  In fact they were first and goal at the opposite end zone for their last score, but then they switched sides for the start of the fourth quarter and scored on our side on the very next play.  They also downed the ball on the 3 yard line in our end zone for the Texans last possession but then if you know anything about the game they took it all the way down to the other end for the winning score.   DANG!

It was a blast anyway and you know how I feel about being at Lambeau Field! I couldn’t wipe the big fat grin off my face for awhile after we first sat down!  Love it, love it, love it!  THANKS BEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mosaic Me

December 5, 2008 at 10:54 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Thanks a lot, Jane! :-) When I should have been cleaning the house/playing with the girls/doing laundry/working on my Christmas letter, or a zillion other things, I did this instead:

1. Type your answers to each of the questions below into the Flickr search engine (www.flickr.com)
2. Pick an image from the first page only.
3. Copy and Paste the URLs for each image into Mosaic Maker (http://bighugelabs.com/flickr/mosaic.php)
4. Save your mosaic to your computer and upload it into your own post.
5. Don’t forget to credit the photographers!

QUESTIONS:
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. What is your favorite drink?
7. What is your dream vacation?
8. What is your favorite dessert?
9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. What is one word to describe you?
12. What is your flickr name?

Here’s mine:

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Photographers:
1. Eileen Donan evening light, 2. 365 Project – day 65, 3. Menasha, Wis., 4. Rosy Button ~ Page in my Happy Quilt Journal ~ for no particular reason other than I can, 5. Girasoles acariciados por el viento …/ Sunflowers kissed the wind … (Dedicada a mis 7500 visitantes/Dedicated to my 7500 visitors), 6. coffee & the city, 7. Gingerbread House – Princes Street Gardens, Edinburgh, 8. Blueberry Cheesecake, 9. Tender Love and Care, 10. A True Smile, 11. a chronicle of obsessions, 12. Kunstman

Haircuts

December 4, 2008 at 9:43 am | Posted in Allison, Lindsey | 1 Comment

The girls both had their hair cut yesterday.   I forgot to take “before” pictures this time!  But here are a few during and after pics.

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