Sunday, August 31, 2008

China Family Reunion #3

I always look forward to our China Family Reunion and this year was no different. So far we've never had all of the families show up on the same day, but this time was pretty cool because only 2 families couldn't make it. These are the people we spent 2 weeks with in China and let me tell you, after that you get a pretty good sense of who they are. We're a hodge podge mix of people as I think most families are, but somehow it works and let me tell you the kids get on so well it's unbelievable. As you can see, Buttons had a right good time as a fish in the water.
Well, I'm off to make some food for a potluck today. I'm going to miss summer.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Mirthful Menagerie

Yes I'm a bad blogger. Between enjoying the summer and succumbing to Facebook I've been a busy beaver. I do need to post about our China family reunion (it rocked) and give you the latest on knitting and parenting (also rockin') but for now I give you a chance to read a blog by Gina, a friend (IRL).

Gina has her 2nd bloggiversary coming up and she has a contest. Let me tell you, if you win, Gina gives the best gifts, so I'm sure her prizes will be fabulous. The only thing you have to do is comment her bloggiversary post and let her know which of her posts you enjoyed most. This will not be hard to do since Gina is very funny. So take a few minutes and stop by her blog, The Mirthful Menagerie. This post does get me an extra entry, but I promise you won't be sorry you visited. If you want a place to start reading, try here. Go quickly! The contest ends August 31st at 8pm EST.

Labels: ,

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Magic of Ikea?

Do you think if I go to Ikea, purchase their wonderful products and set them in our home that they will magically make my house organized and lovely?

Yeah. Ok then. Time to hoe out some more stuff.

Any tips?

Would anyone like to join my hoe-down?

Yeah, I don't even want to do it.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Happy 11th Birthday B!

One of the members of our Belgian family has a birthday today. Unfortunately, it's too late to Skype, so we'll just have to tell the world and hope it gets back to him.
(We'll also call him tomorrow.)
Have I mentioned how much we miss our Belgian family?
What do y'all do to celebrate the birthdays of those who live far away?

Labels: ,

Wordless Wednesday


Monday, August 11, 2008

Summer Days

Once again we had a lovely weekend that included this place, sprinkler fun, thunder storms and Buttons' first movie. Does life get any better? I hardly think so.
(BTW, if you click on the picture, you can see the pretty cool effect the water gives this picture.)

Labels: ,

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Numbnut Secret Pal

While in Belgium, I signed up to do Secret Pal 12. I've participated 3 times before and I've met many nice people because of it. I don't fancy myself as the best "SP" but in the past I've done pretty well keeping up with people and sending out snail mail along with e-mails. However, life was so much busier this summer than planned and I haven't been the SP I had hope to be this time. So, apologies go out to my upstream pal (who I don't know yet) and my downstream pal (who doesn't know me yet).

Luckily, it's not over yet and I can try to make it up to both of them during this last stretch. Over the past several weeks participants were encouraged to answer questions on their blogs and I've been very lax about that. I kept thinking I'd get back to it and post more about knitting and it didn't happen. So to my very sweet upstream pal (who has a busy life of her own) I will finally answer the questions. (SP: I know you're getting my package ready or have already mailed it, so this is only information to get to know me better.)

What is your favorite summertime drink??
I like to make a variety of ice teas in the summer, but I must say I think the perfect summer drink is a gin and tonic.

As a kid, what did you look forward to most about summer vacation/break/holiday?
Camping. My family would take our camper somewhere for 2 weeks and it would be great to have all that time together without TV and phones. Hmmm, it's different now with cell phones and i-Pods isn't it? I've recently asked some family members to conider camping equipment when they feel an urge to buy us gifts. It's about the only time I like to be dirty.

What would you consider the perfect amount of stash?
One large plastic tub full. That's it. Is that what I have? Uh no. I have about three times that much.

What yarn (that you don’t have/haven’t used) would make your stash “complete”?
Sometimes I run across a pattern that calls for a specific yarn that I'd love to try, but nothing comes to mind right now.

What yarn do you never want to be without?
All my knitting buds know the answer to this question.
Dishcloth cotton.
And you know what? That's not so bad. It's inexpensive, easy to find, utilitarian but also comes in a great variety of colors. (Peaches & Cream is my favorite.)

Where is your favorite place to go for vacation/holiday?
Golly, I loved Belgium and San Diego, California. I lived in both of these places for a short time (2 months and 2 years respectively) and I think part of the appeal is being familiar enough with them that it's easy to get around. Of course, they're also both quite beautiful and we have friends/family to visit in both places. However, we went to Vermont last year to a fairly remote cabin on a swim-able pond and I loved it. We were also with very good friends and that seems to kick it up a notch.

Where is one place you’d like to go?
Are you kidding? One place? Ireland, Italy, Norway, the Grand Canyon, the Northwest, Costa Rica, Africa, various parts of China and thousands more that escape me for now.

What is your favorite type of project to take along on holiday/vacation?
If I were better at them, I'd say socks since they are so portable, but really something easy that doesn't require too much concentration. I almost always have a ball-band dishcloth on some needles but a fairly simple scarf or hat works well. Clothes for kids are good because they're small and often times just require a stockinette stitch. So, basically something portable and easy.

Tell us about a time that you packed too much knitting or were stranded without knitting.
I almost always pack too much knitting so on the trip to Belgium I was very conscientious about packing only enough. I didn't get it all done, but I was satisfied with the amount. Plus my knitting buds sent me even more yarn just in case. I'm rarely stranded without knitting.

What is(are) your favorite place(s) to knit?
I don't like to miss out on knitting opportunities, so every place is my favorite.I once took my knitting to Disneyland while Hubby was at a conference and I went by myself. You can imagine the looks I received from people standing in line! I knit in church, at the movies, during Buttons' swim lessons, waiting for various appointments, at playgroup, in the car (passenger only) and many more spots. So, "Knit in Public" day is pretty much any day for me. However, my usual places are in front of the tube or with my knitting buds at the local bookstore/coffee seller.

What supplies (besides yarn & needles) make the setting perfect for knitting?
Knitting buds (or a good movie), coffee or tea, a comfy chair and good lighting.

What is your favorite supper for a hot summer evening?
Something I can order in an air-conditioned restaurant. I'm not fond of the heat. There are two restaurants (one near here and one in my hometown) that serve chicken salad with pecans in the middle of delicious seasonal fruit with a poppyseed dressing. It's a wonderful summer dinner.

Have you ever entered your knitting (or anything else) in the fair?

Would you ever consider it?
Never say never, but I doubt it. I always want knitting to be pure enjoyment and I think I would worry too much about it if it was entered in a competition. I'm not the best knitter and I'm okay with that most of the time, but I know it would stress me to truly be judged. I've toyed around with selling stuff, but I think that wouldn't work well for the reasons above combined with the fact that I'm not a very fast knitter either.

now you know a little bit more about me, Secret Pal. Can't wait to hear more about you!

Labels: ,

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Recipe for a Family Weekend

Knitting Portion:

I kicked off the weekend by (mostly) finishing the Later Gator mittens from "Stitch n Bitch Nation" for Buttons and she loves them. Yay! I'm going to add googly eyes and then attach some i-cord so they can run through her winter coat.

Food Portion:

My friend Marsha turned us on to mango lassis and Buttons loves them, so I decided to make something special for her this weekend. I don't have a set recipe, but basically it's frozen mango, yogurt (plain or vanilla), sugar and milk in a blender. The girl goes gaga for it.

Family Outings Portion:

Yesterday, Hubby, Buttons and I went into Philadelphia to a gallery where Hubby's brother had a print shown. This was the first time we were able to see his work exhibited and we were all excited. Buttons absolutely loved the city. She went crazy for the skyline, enjoyed the people watching, wanted to hug a building and decided that we should "move there tomorrow". We're planning on go to NYC this fall and I can't imagine the joy she'll have then.

This morning we were contemplating our plans for the day when Buttons told us how much she loves going to church, so we decided to quickly get to the church on time (well we were 7 minutes late). During the summers there aren't any programs for kids, so we all sat together. Making sure Buttons has enough to do during the service (coloring, reading, cutting) doesn't usually make it easy for me to pay attention, but it was nice being together.

Afterwards, we all went to the grocery store and worked on stocking our fridge with food to go with the yummy fruits and veggies from our CSA. Then, after some sustenance, I took Buttons to her first show at our local community theater. After each vignette, she would turn to me and ask "is there more Mama?" Yeah, she loved it and I'm so glad.

Now, I know there are many mommy blogs out there and many of them only talk about how great things are and we all know that's not real life (not all the time anyway). The thing is, it's been a bit crazy since we returned from Belgium, went away for a long weekend with friends, and then took a week long trip to Michigan. We've been going through a rough patch getting back into our groove, so this weekend felt like a series of warm hugs.

No one could have prepared me for mamahood. Sometimes I feel like all I do is say no, give time-outs, prepare food and run from activity to activity. On Saturday the three of us sat together for an afternoon snack in a bar in Philly when "New Soul" came on the radio. Buttons and I became excited and we started singing the words we knew. I watched the joy in her face when it was time to sing the "la la" part of the song and I melted. In that moment, I thought about the time before Buttons and I felt myself step aside to let the me from long ago experience the joy that was happening in my life now. In the rush of daily life I really need to remember to take time to sing the "la la's" with my family. I waited so long for these moments and I want to cherish all of them.

Labels: , , ,