Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from our family to yours.

*Let it be noted that I am wearing surprisingly comfortable 5" heels that I only fell off of once all night. Xavier is actually the same height I am, while Gabriel is 7" taller.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Ways You Can Help a Deployed Soldier's Family

I know there are a lot of you out there who want to help a deployed soldier. While sending the soldiers letters, goody boxes, coffee, etc. are all wonderful ways to help and show you support, and I certainly don't want you to stop, I've thought of another way you can help. You can help those soldiers' families. One of the main concerns for a deployed soldier is his family. So, if we can help reduce some of that strain for him as well as for the family, we can say thank you to the soldier and his family.

a note:While I know that there are women/mothers/wives deployed, I am coming from the viewpoint of the wife, so that is the context I will use. Of course these suggestions can be used for men as well.

For people who live close by you: First, understand that no matter where you live, there is probably a family with a deployed soldier living near you. You may have to do some detective work to find them, but it can be done.

So, for the things you can do:
1.Tell them what a great wife and mother they are.
2. Tell them that you appreciate their sacrifice for their country.
3. When you go to the grocery store, call and ask if they need you to pick anything up for them. Then, let them pay you for their groceries. (One of the reasons people tell you they don't need anything is because people frequently refuse to let them pay for whatever it is they picked up, say milk.)
4. Do their grocery shopping for them.
5. Babysit.
6. Babysit overnight.
7. Have you son/daughter's youth group organize a Mom's Night Out for the local deployment spouses.  Do it for free as a community service project.
8. Take them a full meal. You know, a salad, spaghetti, corn, bread sticks, and banana pudding. Mom can provide water for the drinks.
9. Ask them if there is anything that needs to be done around the house.
10. Mow their lawn.
11. Rake their leaves.
12. Shovel their snow.
13. Call to chat.
14. Have them come over for a cup of tea.
15. Understand that some of them may be in denial that their husbands are in a war zone and not want to talk about the war.
16. Respect the fact that they may not want their children hearing about all the soldiers dying.
17. Give them a hug. When you're far from "home", you may not get a lot of adult human contact when your husband is gone.
18. Do their dishes.
19. Order them pizza.
20. Give them a big stack of paper plates, cups, etc.
21. Invite them to dinner, especially for the holidays.
22. Hang up or take down their Christmas lights.
23. Take their kids gift shopping, be it for a holiday, a birthday, or just because.
24. Take them out for coffee.

For those far away from your loved ones while their spouse is deployed:

1. Call them regularly.
2. Write.
3. Send flowers.
4. Visit.
5. If you can, have the kids visit you, alone.
6. Send them gift cards to their favorite places to eat.
7. Set up a grocery delivery service for them.

If anyone else has suggestions, please, post them. Remember, you can't wait for the spouse to ask you do something. She won't. She's strong. She's stubborn. Just call and ask if you can do one of these things, or anything else you can think of.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas Gifts

I finished Cadence's and James' Little Oaks. I really like this pattern. It's quick when it's for such a little guy, too! If they still fit next year, I may make another one for the new baby coming then.

I also finished all the Dragon Hats I needed to make. They each took about 1 day to make. I think they came out really well. I sure do hope the recipients enjoy wearing them!

I have finished other Christmas gifts that I can't post because they're for people who read my blog. I can't give away secrets! I just have *ahem* two more Christmas gifts to knit. I'm pretty sure I'll be giving a skein of yarn with a promise to knit in the days after Christmas to one of them.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Shifting Focus

This blog started out as a way to share things about our immediate family, specifically our children, with our greater family, all of whom live distant from us. Our children are getting older, and with that age and maturity comes a greater need for privacy. I have always endeavored not to post things that would potentially embarrass my children. Now, however, they have started to request that I not even post pictures of them on my blog. This means that the focus of my blog, if the blog is to continue, must shift completely.

I think that many people, including bloggers, forget that blogs are in fact very personal endeavors. As our family's focus shifts, so shall my blog. I will still include pictures of my children occasionally, with their permission. I will still include stories of their struggles and triumphs, with their permission. The focus will no longer be on them. It will, most likely, be more of a crafting blog, as that is what it has slowly become.

I hope you will join me on this new journey.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Turn Down the Radio

A few weeks ago, Gary and I were on our way to the grocery store. As we pulled into the parking lot, his phone rang. Gary answered it and kept driving.

Now, this parking lot is a bit convoluted as most parking lots in Kentucky are. As we turned the corner, a bunch of people decided to amble across the street. Gary was going slow, but they were going slower.

I said to him, "Don't run over those people because you're talking on the phone."

Gary reached over and turned down the radio.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The View Outside My Window in the Morning

Joining in with Soule Mama this morning.
 {this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A First Sewing Project

 Dominic wanted to be Carter Kane for Halloween. Most people have never heard of Carter Kane, let alone started making costumes for him. This was definitely going to be a do it yourself costume. 

Everyone needs fuel for working.

The first step was a stop at our fabric store. Dominic chose the fabric, which had to be linen, and pattern. He took the fabric to the cutting counter and had it cut.

Dominic's first pattern piece to cut out.
Once we got home, we got busy cutting out the pattern pieces.

And pinning, with a little help from a friend.

Finally, the sewing. Dominic did about 50% of the sewing. He did all the straight edges except the hemming. He was so proud of his work. I am too!

By the way, in case you didn't guess the costumes from our Halloween post, Dominic was Carter Kane. Xavier was Mr. Monopoly. Gabriel was the hitchhiker from "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." Gary and I were the Green Hornet and Kato respectively.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Happening at Our House

Xavier's been playing with using my phone.

Election art

Dressing up for school

The first hard frost on the only day of the week we have to leave the house early

A day spent at the University of Louisville


More Laughter


Stephan Pastis

Friday, November 9, 2012

Finished Object Friday

Two down, three to go!

Stephan Pastis

Thanks to the hot tip of a friend, we made it to a book signing of one of our favorite authors. It was wonderful and the boys had a blast! Also, he was great with the boys. Thanks, Stephan!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Christmas Gifts

I have not made it to the yarn store to get new needles, so James' sweater is still in pieces. In the meantime, I've been working on Christmas gifts for my niece and nephews. They are all getting dragon hats knit from a pattern by Morehead Farms. This is a great pattern, and a fast knit. I'm thoroughly enjoying making these hats.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Did You Vote?

In our house, we had a hotly contested race for President of the United States of Pigeon. As you can see, Pigeon was running. He (she?) was running as both Republican and Democrat. Pigeon is for the pigeon people, no matter your leanings. He wears collars in support of everyone. Pigeon even took the time to vote today. Did you?

Note: The Pigeon books are favorites at our house. Most occasions warrant a pigeon joke or two, including today's elections. After I came home from voting, Xavier said something about Pigeon wanting to be President. Dominic and Xavier immediately broke out the art supplies to illustrate Pigeon's run for President. If you have not read any of the Pigeon books by Mo Willems, run out and find them today. They are exquisitely funny, and children love them. In fact, we love all Mo Willems' series. These illustrations are only meant as fan art, and are not meant to encroach on any copywriter by Mo Willems.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Evolution of a Blankey

A few weeks ago, Gary and the boys carpooled with some dear friends of ours to a tournament in Kansas City. When they got home and cleaned out the van, Gary found this bit of our friend's blanket. I decided it was time for him to have a new one.

Measuring the warp threads


All Warped




The end

Ready to be removed from the loom

Washed and ready to go

Sunday, November 4, 2012

That's My Boy

During a Mom/Dominic day, we went to look at RVs. The first time Dominic saw a storage area like this, he said, in all seriousness, "That's the beer holder."

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Dominic and a friend (costumes not coordinated)




Can you guess what we were for Halloween? Gabriel and Dominic were from two different books. Xavier is from a board game. Gary and I are from a movie.


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