Monday, December 31, 2007

Catching Up From Christmas and Into The New Year

BEWARE: LONG POST AHEAD!!!!! Grab a cup of whatever you prefer tea, coffee, or hot cocoa - I do all. I do apologize for not posting in so long. I am hostess of the coffee swap and require people to post but to be quiet honest I just haven't felt like it.

So, where I left off at last year until today. Here is the picture we used for the family Christmas cards. I had intended on sending them out to all of my knitting friends but I got mine out to my family the week before Christmas and was doing good to get that done. I usually don't wait until the last minute to get the boys Christmas bought for. This year no excuse I did wait and paid severly for it. They got all that they wanted and was good for them. I might usually have one thing to pick up late but not their whole Christmas. So, the weekend of the 15th, I went shopping and finished their Christmas. I bought groceries for Christmas the 22nd with my MIL. So, I was out in all that shopping mess and stress so, bad I could not think what I needed to go get next.

The week before Christmas I attended the boys Christmas parties. For my youngest sons party it was made easy for me, thank goodness. I had to bring icing to ice the kids cookies. Cameron of course was so good. He packed himself in both the boys school bags, so he would be ready to go to the Christmas party and see his friends from the North Pole. I think I counted 5 elves in my youngest sons class. However, my youngest was sick. His teacher would have sent him home, but new he looked forward to his party. He cough his head off for that 1 hour of partying.

Here is my oldest son's party Don't you love his shirt. It says tough guys where pink - love it and so does he. Ok, I am willing to do anything a room mother agrees to do for a class, but filling stockings and everyone bringing something to fill a stocking, I think is ridiculous. They had fun, but my oldest wanted lip gloss and nail polish for the 8 girls and something cool for the boys. Can you say expensive. We settled on just lip gloss for the girls and miniture skate boards for the boys. I still came out paying about $37 for their gifts. Cameron likes to party when it comes to Christmas.

Speaking of good old Cameron, he stayed busy every night after the boys were in bed. He made reindeer food for the boys to throw out on the lawn for the reindeers. He left Christmas books for the boys, Rudolph and Frosty. He hung garland and lights inside instead of outside. He decorated the den with red and green streamers as you can see in the picture. Then Santa picked him up when he brought the kids presents.

My sister came home the 21st. She got in at 10:50pm. I didn't make it to the airport, but I met her at the in laws at 11:30pm well, to tell her glad she made it, give her a hug and to pick up her 10 gold chenille squares that I would need to start slip stiching together with my red. She had 6. I began that night and worked until about 2a.m. Got up the next morning and had to get the meal ready. I had invited my sister, her husband, my brother, my dad and his girlfriend over for a late lunch. The meal was great. As soon as everyone left, well I went back to slip stitching squares together. Oh, I forgot the squares was for my mom on Chistmas Eve. It was making a throw blanket. 44" x 55".

I got my 1st gift from my friend and Cohost Anne. She sent me some Sugar's and Cream yarn and some of Sharon's yummy soap that I love. There was a canister of chocolates that I assure you are gone from Me and my boys. There was a ornament that went on the tree of a Christmas knitted sweater that had a snow flake on it. Thank you so much Anne. You are a sweetheart. I am glad you are home now.

Christmas Eve, eve -23rd we have a Christmas party for the girls in our family. My grandmother, my mom and her sister (aunt), her girls and then my sister and me. We choose a location the year before and a gift theme. I was so excited about it this year, it was a basket theme. I got my stuff last year on clearance and it was a snowman basket. It turned out really cute and my sister got my basket. We play dirty Santa with the gifts. So, you don't always end up with the basket you pick at first. It can get taken away from you. After 1 other basket I ended up with my mom's basket. It had 4 of the cutest, big Christmas mugs filled with Cocoa, coffee, Chocolate sticks, biscotti, a coffee measuring scoop, 1lb bag of Nutcracker coffee and a bag of Chocolate cover Marshmallows. Aside from our dirty santa gift, we all bring a little something for each of us. We brought little gifts of a tea towels, peppermint bark, jeweled cross ornament, I made bags with recipes for Fireside Coffee.

Christmas Eve, was at my moms. It was lots of fun. We really enjoyed it and so did the kids. I didn't finish the throw and I am putting the double crochet border around it as we speak. It is so warm, soft and really a gorgeous throw. I will post when it is finished.

My sister and I always gift eachother, on Christmas morning at the wee hours of 12am. That is what time we get back from the 10:30 service at my dads church where he sings. When she saw that I could Knit and Crochet she made the suggestion that for our gifts to eachother, we would have something hand made and a book. Well, she went way beyond the suggestion. I also saved a very special present for her. She got her Coffee Swap package as her first gift on Christmas. Anne was sneaky enough to send it to my house.

My sister forgot this great gift in my Christmas gift, it is a antique tea canister. If anyone can tell me where I can find a Flour and Sugar to match it, for my kitchen we are remodeling, I will send you some yarn goodies in the mail.

This was all in a basket from my sister. Some Classic Elite Berrocco yarn, Sugars and Cream, Stitchmarkers she made, a guage measure, row counter, tea strainer, some Chai tea latte mix that I love and makes great Chai tea Latte cookies and for the book that is not pictured I got the sign copy that she stood 3 1/2 hours in line for of Christmas With Paula Dean. My sister is the best. I just got her the Stitch n Bitch Calendar and I didn't finish her present. I couldn't figure out what to make her cause she could do everything. I started her a advent calendar that I pulled the sewing machine out for, for my 1st time. It isn't perfect, but she knows when it is finish she will love it. We had one growing up that we loved and I am making it similar to the one of our childhood memories.

Here is what the boys gave me. A Coffee/Espresso machine. Mine of 3 1/2 years quit frothing milk this year. Everyone knew that I like mugs, coffee, tea and cocoa because I got a whole lot of it.

The boys had a good Christmas, both got skate boards, youngest got his Nintendo DS and oldest got X-Box 360. My oldest changed his mind 2 days before Christmas and said he wanted a Drum set. I told him Cameron was done making toys, because he was down here living with us. Maybe next year you can let him know sooner than two days before Christmas when Santa is already packing his sleigh to make his trip around the world.

I know if everything was good for Christmas, where have I been? Well, the part I left out was Thursday December 20th, I went into work and was talking to one of my coworkers and she tells me of this tragic story. The father/husband is one of our most dearest residents that everyone loves. It changed the whole atmosphere at work, everyone just walked around so in a daze, like this didn't just happen to him. I am one of the research nurses for our Ortho/Trauma and we go to morning report to hear what comes in. All the shootings and horrible car wrecks but it isn't someone you know and at this time of year. He is a great guy, and so kind. He wrote the obituary, which is here. Well, we went on into Christmas and to be honest it just wasn't the same as Christmas's before. The stress of finishing a project, pulling off meals, staying up late and getting up early. Left me tired and exausted. I spent the day after Christmas shopping with my sister and my mom. Hit the LYS sale. Went home and crashed. I know my sister was here but we always had to be somewhere and I couldn't just sit down, put in a movie and knit with her. I went back to work on the 27th and by then I was just depressed. I thought did Christmas really happen. I have a tree here without any presents under it but what happen to the joy of Christmas, I usually have. I am a kid when the Day after Thanksgiving gets here and this year, the spirit wasn't there. I tried, I did the elf and decorated but it all caught up with me. The day I went back to work I went to the Memorial Service of Dr. Bankston's wife and son. It was heart wrenching and literally went home and cried until I went to bed. As I went into the weekend, which I was on call. I had to be at work for morning report at 7 a.m.. Got back home Saturday morning, got in my bed and stayed until I went to bed. Sunday, I went to church and did the same. Things started to get a little better, by Sunday. The Christmas blues have subsided. That is where I disappeared to for 2 1/2weeks.
Here is a good point to refill your cup and get a snack.
As for the New Year a little reflection on the old :
The Christmas before I had recieved from my sister a Stitch n Bitch Knitting book and from my husband how to Crochet kit. So, from January til about June I toiled aound with both gifts and taught myself to do basics in knitting and crocheting. While checking my sisters blog out and seeing all the swaps she was in, I decided to start my own blog and found my first swap. So, we will start with June.

June: Registered for the Dog Days of Summer swap.

July: My spoiler for the swap was Karen and I spoiled Mommie of Drew. Chan was my hostess along with Anne. Karen sent me a great package. I made my first set of Stitch Markers. I entered a contest and knitted up a Mandy's Candy bag pattern writer NH Knitting Mama, which I have enjoyed visiting her blog and her etsy store full of gorgeous, soft yarns.
August: Got signed up for the Knit 1 Tea 2 Swap, and the Fall Into Autumn Swap. Won, my 1st contest from the Dog Days of Summer and got some goodies and yarn for my stash. Chan nominated me Rockin Girl Blogger. Crochet my 1st pair of premature baby booties and a hat for a fellow coworker's premature son, who is growing by leaps and bounds. I got paired up with Sharon for the Color of The Month Swap, which was pink. She showered me with some non-animal pink goodies. Noone signed up for my Pay It Forward, so I don't have any goodies to go to anyone. I guess I can pay it too some charity knitting this year.

September: Started my son's blanket. Made my tea cozy without a pattern to fit a tea for one for my pal Jasmine.
October: I got my wonderful tea package from whom I enjoyed chatting with from Devon, the hostess was spoiling me from the tea swap. She is just a cool person to get to know and if you have the chance you should pop in and visit her. Was very saddened by the loss of Chan's baby, Fred. Got to working on becoming a host with the great Anne for the Winter Wonderland Coffee Swap. Used DPN's for a dishcloth for the first time. Worked on a Angel Package for JoAnn and the Fall Dishcloth Package for Kathy. While working on all these swaps and being harassed by my sister, I was working on her Crochet market bag for her birthday which I surprised her and flew all the way across the U.S. and showed up at her neighbors house 4 days before her birthday. You know I love you sis.

November: Came home for 3 days from Washington and went to Baltimore for a meeting for work. Got a great Fall Dishcloth Package from David and For October color of the month got a great yellow package with some yummy yarns from Ranee, which I could have delivered her package to her door when I was visiting my sister. The Coffee Swap I was hosting was well under way.

December: Started a scarf for my niece. Finished 1 Fingerless glove, have the thumb left on the 2nd. Made my mom a throw blanket, and used my sewing machine for the 1st time for my sisters Advent Calendar. Cameron came back to live with us until Christmas. Spoiled Michelle for the Coffee Swap. Was spoiled more by reading her blog, chatting with her and her sharing all her fun crafty ideas.
With this year, I met alot of new friends, Jessi, Mary and the ones mentioned above which I have grown to cherish. Had fun in some swaps. I believe in eating black eyed peas - for good luck, greens- to be wealthy and - pork for prosperity for New Years. I got a new job, which I love and brought me more money to support this bad yarn habit I have taken up. Last year I manage to keep my resolution of losing weight and keeping it off.
As I start the new year, I have already signed up on a sock class, I would like to do a lace project and I am starting Christmas ahead this year, so there will not be any Christmas blues next year.

I would like to find time to meet with the close knitters around me, like the Knit Nights.

I hope this makes up for the not posting. See you all this year. Happy New Year my friends and family!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Cameron Update

Mr. Cameron has been busy at our house. He has played hide & seek in the tree with all rudolph friends. Dad (aka Roman) had a talk with him the next morning that he could not be playing in the tree. He has brought snow, that I bragged about. Its a royal pain. The boys forgot to sprinkle him last night and feed him, so he was starving. He decided to use his magic and he came back with "The Golden Arches" McDonalds. He sure eats alot to be a little guy.
My oldest wrote him a letter asking him all kinds of questions. Cameron writes his letters backwards, so the kids read them up to the light on the other side. My son wrote his letter of questions backwards so he could read it. It asked what school he went to and I put Elf Magic University. I will keep you posted on the little guy.

The Love Of A Child

This week at school was the Santa Shop. You know where you give the kid a $20 and they come back with something that maybe cost $1 or $2 at the store times 3 family members and a friend. You catch my drift. The boys were overly ecstatic about this, they could not wait to buy something for mom and dad. My youngest son went on Tuesday and got his present. He called and called me from his papa's to come get him, he got me something I was going to love. He got home, he said that one year he broke one of my Santas, if he did I never knew it. So, he said he bought me one to replace it. Then my oldest went the next day. He called and called at work, when are you going to be home, I told him since I had been out for the last two days (with a kidney stone) that I had to work. I promise I would be home before he went to bed. I drove into the garage and he opened the door to hand me a little black box. I opened it and it was a ring. He said mom I got you a diamond ring. It is real and it cost $6. I gasped and told him it was beautiful and I loved it.
We got upstairs and got settled, it was close to bedtime. I asked the boys, "Could you not wait til Christmas to give us our presents?" His reply was, "No mom, because I couldn't wait to see you smile."

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A Visitor

It's that time of year. I have two boys and two Christmas's ago, my son in his letter to Santa asked for a elf. So, two nights ago our visitor came to visit for the month of December until Christmas Eve, when Santa will pick him up and take him back to the North Pole to start on next years toys. He is a little late this year, well Cameron is his name made a surprise visit in the middle of Summer. So, he was a little behind in the toy making. You can find others like Cameron here. It is great for kids imagination. My boys love their elf. You have to sprinkle the elf at night time with the magic snow flakes (comes with the elf). Leave him some crackers and water out to eat. The snow makes him come alive after the kids go to bed. Elves sleep during the
day. The crackers are like the crunching of you walking in the snow and the water is the melted snow. Cameron is a mess. He makes messes and the kids know they have to clean it up. He is very mischievious and gets into everything. I will have to leave some post up on what he is getting into. He got caught up on his sleep last night, the night he came he brought them a elf ornament for the tree. Tonight he decorated with themes the boys Christmas trees in their room. Austin's is John Deere Tractors and Dylan's is Sponge Bob. He helps me finish decorating the house for Christmas some nights, he brings presents tomorrow night he will bring Candy canes for the trees with the story of the candy cane and for one of his big surprise closer to Christmas (since we don't see snow in Alabama) he is going to cover the hall floor in snow. So, when I mention what Cameron has done, you will know who we are talking about. He is our tradition now, and for a month a edition to the family.

Now for the knitting news. I am trying to get a hat out for Suzie. I casted on tonight with some soft Blue Sky dyed cotton. It will be so soft.

Well, that will be it for now.

Monday, December 3, 2007

A Swap and A Contest

I found this contest and swap at my friend Anne and Mary's blog. What a easy contest and the swap sounds really great. When it is cold in the middle of winter that Hot Cocoa can warm you and make you feel all toasty inside. Here's the details on the contest and swap.

Spread the word to your knitting friends... that's what this contest is all about.We're hosting a cocoa , beat the winter blahs swap... from January 1- February 28. For an entry into this contest, post about the swap on your blog and then leave a comment on the swap blog letting us know you've done your part in spreading the word.You'll receive one additional entry for each person who tells us YOU sent them here.So hop to it folks... spread the word!This contest runs from December 1- December 15, our signups begin on December 16!!!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Some Christmas Knitting,Only To Get Side Tracked and Back On Course

This is 3 1/2 squares to a throw that is for a Christmas present. I will have 6 left to go after tonight. The other 10 my sister is bringing. When it is all finished, we will take pictures. It's the Lion Brand Chenille. I would get alot more done, if I didn't pet it every row.

So, I took a break from doing squares and decided to make the Noro Fingerless gloves from here. She has some great patterns. I had some Noro, but I thought they would be to itchy. So, I used my soft SWS . They are real stringy and I kept getting yarn in my eye and irritating it. I like the striping it made. Lets just hope it doesn't end up in the washer machine. Chan, has told me how quick it felts. I haven't made the other one yet. Maybe after Christmas.
Thanksgiving I was at the IL's and just knitting away on those squares. Well my 3 nieces suckered me into doing them scarves. We draw names and I sure didn't get theirs, but because I am just that sweet of a Aunt and don't have it in me to tell anyone no. I will get them done. The girls picked colors, well they are getting all the same so they don't argue and it covers every color they asked for pink, blue, turquoise, and bright green. They even got some orange and yellow. It is bound to match some of their clothes.
I had a sick child this weekend with the throw up virus, I pray we don't get it. He is feeling much better. We went to the neighboring communities parade last night. My oldest son lost a tooth tonight. He worked so hard on getting it out. It was a busy weekend. Well, off to finish my square.
Yes Lacey, I know you are probably doubting my abilities to make you something too for Christmas and get it on time. Yours is a very special present and you aren't going to be let down. After Christmas, I am going to go ahead and start on your next years because I know what I am going to do. You are going to love both.