Wednesday, December 26, 2012

My Very Crafty Christmas

1. A Few of My Favorite Things, 2. Sweater Girls, 3. Washclothes, 4. Torin's Hat, 5. Olivia's Wallaby (2), 6. Nadine's Scarf, 7. Mom's Pillow Cases, 8. Michael's Scarf (2), 9. Lisa's Hat (2), 10. Kendrick's Hat (2), 11. Dish Clothes (2), 12. Crocheted Necklace, 13. Colin's Hat (2), 14. Baby Wallabies (2), 15. Recycled, 16. Giggling Sweater Girls

 For the second year in a row, I made almost all of my Christmas gifts.  I started early in the year, and added to my collection as the year went on.  I learned a lot this year about knitting, in fact I took several knitting classes.  I really improved as the year went on.  I am proud to say that I got everything finished and shipped in time for Christmas, though it was touch and go for a while there.  I did not finish Olivia's sweater until 10:00 on Christmas morning.  It was so much fun to see Olivia and Juliette wearing the sweaters I made for them.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Lookout Mountain 50 Miler

flickr imgp9461
Originally uploaded by Rock/Creek

I did not take this photo. I found it in the Rock Creek Flickr photo stream. That is my daughter, Lisa. Yesterday, she completed the Lookout Mountain 50 Mile Race in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It took 14 hours, and it is the most amazing feat.

Technology made it possible for Lisa to call Colin along the way and at the end of the race. It made it possible for him to text me to keep me informed, and it made it possible for me to actually "see" her along the way. I was also able to talk to her shortly after she finished her fifty mile run. She is tired and sore, but happy.

You are awesome Lisa! I am so impressed and proud of you.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


The tree is up and decorated, and I awoke today to a snowy morning.  It was the perfect day to stay in and knit. It might be a good time to grade all those papers I brought home, too, but so far I haven't touched them.

I did spend time in my craft room where I made these festive pillow cases.  I actually bought this fabric eight to ten years ago, and I made it into a table for a family holiday dinner.  That was about the only time I ever used it, so last year I took the table cloth apart and recycled part of it into a pillow case for Michael.  This weekend I used the rest of it to make a pair of pillow cases for me.

The colors don't go with anything else in my bedroom, but the bright colors and prints make me happy.  They also make a great backdrop for a Christmas Dog.

Beautiful Girl

This is my beautiful Corgi girl, Winnie.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Finished Projects

Today was a successful day for knitting.  I finished two projects.  The first was easy.  That was this hat which is a pattern called "Regular Guy Beanie".  It was a free pattern that I found on Ravelry.

Then, I spent the afternoon hanging out at Knitting Next Door where I learned how to do the Kitchener Stitch to finish this little sweater.  The pattern is called the Wallaby.  I have been working on it since August when I took a class.  It is the first sweater that I ever knitted.  It's a little small for me, however.

Tea and Knitting

After a wonderful trip to Minneapolis, it is nice to have some time to relax back at home.  I am sipping my new tea, Roasted Chestnut, which I got at the Tea Source, out of my new mug, which I bought when we went to Dunn Brothers Coffee on Thanksgiving Day.  I won't be drinking coffee out of it, but I like to collect mugs to drink my tea out of.  We always like to spend time at coffee and tea shops.  I think this is an especially good cup to have, because Colin's last name is Dunn.  I have been spending the morning knitting, journaling, and sipping this delicious tea.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Tea Friday

The day after Thanksgiving is known as a great shopping day.  We started out the day by going out to breakfast to the Birchwood Cafe, buying studded tires for Lisa and Colin's bikes, and Going to the TeaSource for Black Tea Friday.

Just Hanging Out at Lisa and Colin's House

Winnie went with me to Minneapolis.  She loved the extra attention from Lisa.  In fact she insisted upon

Happy Thanksgiving

On Thanksgiving morning we all went walking along Summit Drive along the Mississippi River.  It was mid fifties in the morning and the scenery was beautiful.  By evening the temperature had dropped thirty degrees and it began snowing. 

The Night Before Thanksgiving

We did things a little differently this Thanksgiving.  The day before Thanksgiving, Mom and Jacci headed for Arizona.  So instead of our usual Thanksgiving Day meal, we had our Thanksgiving dinner together  on the Saturday before.  For Thanksgiving Day I drove to Minneapolis to spend the time with Lisa and Colin and to meet Colin's Mom and her partner, Nancy.

The temperature on Wednesday was an incredible 58 degrees.  Winnie and I even stopped at a rest area and had a little picnic along the way.  That night we all went down to the Stone Arch Bridge to walk.  The weather was beautiful and so were the lights of downtown Minneapolis.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Homemade Applesauce

When I visited my friend Nancy a week ago, she told me how to make homemade applesauce in my crockpot. As soon as I got back, I gave it a try.  It was so delicious, that yesterday I made another even bigger batch.  The applesauce you buy at the grocery store cannot hold a candle to homemade, and it's so easy to do.  Nancy makes hers without any sweetener or spices, but I am a big cinnamon lover.  I found this recipe in Make It Fast, Cook It Slow, by Stephanie O'Dea.  I modified it to suit my taste. Here is my recipe.

Applesauce in the Crockpot

Peel, core and slice apples.  I filled my crockpot to the top.  For every 4 apples add:

1 Tablespoon of lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 Tablespoon brown sugar (I used 1/2 T brown sugar, 1/2 T Splenda)

Combine in the crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 4 - 6 hours.  When the apples are soft, use a potato masher or fork to mash them.  Voila!  Applesauce!

It is delicious warm or cold. I placed mine in individual containers and froze about half of them. What a treat!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Election Day

Today was Election Day at Phillips.  This was made possible by two of our teachers who set up this amazing day.  They thought of every detail.  All of our kids registered to vote a few weeks ago.  The polling place was set up with everything from voting booths to a table to check in and pick up your ballot.  The fifth graders were our poll workers.  Students even received an "I Voted!" sticker after casting their ballots.  It was amazing.

The results were compiled on a chart.  We even had an Electoral College.  By the way, Obama won!

Before voting, my kids watched this fun video which explains the whole election process.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Dog Tired

Winnie is totally worn out from her weekend in the country.

Nancy's Farm

Winnie and I spent the weekend at Nancy's farm.  Nancy lives a few miles outside of Pulaska.  If you don't know where that is, it's nine miles east of Bloomfield, Iowa.  We had beautiful crisp cool weather.  It was a great place to go for a walk early in the morning.

The Dutchman's Store

I spent the weekend visiting Nancy at her farm near Pulaska, Iowa.  Our only outing was to go to the Dutchman's in Cantril, Iowa.  I love going to this place.

Fall is a great time to go.  The porch is loaded with colorful pumpkins and goards.

I came as a tourist, but Nancy came to do her shopping.

They sell everything here, from food, to boots, to toys to fabric.

The Dutchman's Store is a Mennonite store, and they sell an amazing variety of things.

Food items are sold in bulk.  You will find items here that you will never find at Hy Vee.

They have a large selection of tea, but I wasn't brave enough to try any of it.

As you can see, it is a busy place on a Saturday.

Finally, it was time to check out.

Knitting Projects

I haven't photographed and posted any of my knitting projects in a while, but I am still knitting.  In fact, I have about four projects going on right now.  I always like to have some dishcloths or washcloths going.  It's an easy knit and I don't have to concentrate when I work on one of these.

I am starting to panic a little because I have two of these little sweaters that I'm trying to knit for Christmas. This one is for Juliette.  It's finally beginning to look like a sweater.

I'm almost finished with this scarf for Michael.

Too Much Homework

I take this cart back and forth to school each day.  I have been bringing home too much homework lately.