Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Books, A Comfort Item?

When I was pregnant with my first child, I listened to a literacy presentation. What stood out most was the idea that books can and do serve as comfort items for young children. I thought this was a great concept, but I have to say I was skeptical. Could a hard book with rough pages really comfort a child like a soft blanket with the scents of home? Would any toddler actually reach for a stack of cardboard over their favorite stuffed animal?

Regardless of my skepticism, I introduced books to both of my children at a very young age. I think I have been reading to them since before they were born. I have encouraged them to look at books, point to the pictures, and fill in blanks to their favorite nursery rhymes. I have to say, books do provide a great deal of comfort to both of my little guys. I find them racing to the bookshelves when I take them to an unfamiliar playroom or nursery. I can keep them content in the car for much longer if I bring just three or four of their favorite reads.

Today the theory was tested at a new level. I volunteered to watch my twin nephew’s for the day while my sister went to work. The spent a good bit of the morning calling for “mama” and looking at the assortment of toys as if they didn’t know what to do. Then, to my amazement one of them found a book that his parents had mentioned that he loved. I found him content, for the first time, in the corner reading his book, his brother looking on. I gave the other twin another book that was a known favorite. He smiled and the two sat, read their books, and then carried the books around with them for a good hour. It was so sweet.

Monday, January 28, 2008

A Busy Weekend Leaves Me With A Cold

I have serious issues with over-scheduling my weekends.  This past weekend was no different. It began with a play date....we had some crazy little boy's (and one girl) over and they had a blast dumping every toy on to the floor. ...we had to stop two different times to pick up because there was no room to even walk.

Friday night we went to my middle sister's house to celebrate my youngest sister's birthday.  

Saturday was a church meeting and our street's 4th annual Chili Cook-off.  This is a BIG event here in the hood.  I can't believe I didn't get any pictures, but I did steal a ballot.  We are serious about our chili.  This year we won 3rd Place....we have placed every year and never won. Next Year!

Finally, we went to Enid on Sunday to celebrate my Dad's Birthday. 

Now, I am behind on everything and I have a runny nose.  Never fear...I will feel better next weekend for more way too many events.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

A Day to Myself

Today I led my monthly mom's group "creative" activity. Last Thursday we hosted a party for some girls at a local alternative school. A good friend of mine had the brilliant idea to make these wonderful Valentine frames. They turned out awesome, so everyone requested that we do them too. I found the frames, ribbon and used the left-over paint. This is the result....well, my result anyway....I think it turned out pretty cute. I just need a picture of my little Valentine's to put in it.

Thursday's are the only day of the week that both little guys are at "school". Therefore, I have the day to myself....I love it. Especially, when I can keep my commitment to myself to have the day to myself. Today was a good day. I went to mom's group, had lunch with the hubby, and came home to read for our upcoming book club....about an hour before I picked up the kiddo's I decided to treat myself to a nap. AWESOME.

To make the day perfect, I came home to find a package from Knit Pick's on my porch. New knitting books. I received The Knitter's Book of Yarn, Ethnic Knitting and 100 Purses to Knit and Crochet. I have already flipped through them, but I am excited to get the chance to read them more in depth. They are all great. I have had a stirring inside to learn, or re-learn....I guess....to crochet, and this book of purses is just added motivation.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Friends and Photoshop

What a productive day....well, maybe productive is not the word...but I had a really great time. For the last year or so, I have been designing my boys invitations with Photoshop. A good friend does this for her kids, and I love the personalized invites. So, another friend is throwing her daughter her 4th/1st birthday party....a leap year little girl. She asked for a little help and I think I may have given her more than she asked for....I get a little obsessed. However, the end product is always worth it. The invitation looks awesome. I will ask for permission to post it tomorrow.....Permission Granted! :) Thanks Jessica for the challenge and the great company.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tuesday is Family Night

My sister Tracy and I are 18 months apart. We have always spent a lot of time together, but since we now have 4 boys under the age of 2 1/2 (between us), we have to be a lot more intentional about getting together. For the last couple of years we have Tuesday Family Night. One of us make dinner....sometimes our husbands come, always the babies and sometimes (depending on class schedules) my other sister comes. We eat, talk about our week, catch up....you get the point. Tonight was especially memorable....we all sat at the same table and ate at the same time. With this many little guys, this is a big deal. We finished up the night with play time in the play room. It doesn't get better....or dirtier than that.

Monday, January 21, 2008

7 Minute Lull

They say (who is they?  I don't know)....anyway, they say that there is a lull in conversation every seven minutes.  I am not sure why, but I don't think it is because there is nothing to say....it is more just a deep breath to collect thoughts.  Well, that is where I am with this blog.  There is a lot on my mind, but nothing seems to fit today.  

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Mission Accomplished

Have I mentioned that I love Birthday's?  I do, I do, I do.  So here is what happened....I told my husband that I wanted to take him out to dinner and just have a quiet dinner with the two of us. So, that is what we did.  My little sister babysat.  Little did he know that I had been planning a little 31st street get together for his 31st birthday.  I had martini's and the cake.  I had cleaned the house all day.....a little out of the ordinary, but he had no idea.  Just after dinner my sister called and said that the oldest was sick and we needed to come by the house.  When we arrived, all of our neighbors, siblings, and his parents were waiting.  I think he had a great time and I loved surprising him.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Happy Birthday Dillon

Today is Dillon's 31st Birthday and do I have some surprises. The oldest and I baked him a cake....from scratch. This might not seem like a big deal, but I have cake phobia. Actually, I have baking phobia. But, I did it and it turned out pretty good. It looks good anyway. The rest of the surprises are yet to come. I will let you know tomorrow.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Etsy Betsy Shopping

I LOVE Etsy....sorry for the cheesy title....but, I love it. It serves as inspiration for me as well as a place to go to find quality handmade items that I would or could not create on my own. I have had several people in the last few weeks ask what Etsy is. So here is my synopsis....it is a website where you can buy and/or sell homemade items, art and crafts. You can also find or sell supplies, although I do not know all of the guidelines regarding this. I love to get online and see what my friends are selling and what is inspiring them at the time. I also like the idea that someday I too might have the courage and the time to create art to sell.

Here are the Etsy Stores that I know the owners:

Please leave a comment with the link to your Etsy store or someone's that you know personally.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Give and You will Receive

I have always know this little biblical quip...is that a word?, quip....anyway....I have also always hoped that I would give without the promise of receiving. But, today I received the blessing. I am a part of o Mom's group that meets once a week. We decided to throw a party for Emerson school, an alternative high school for teenage mom's. We decided to make a homemade meal and do a craft. Since I lead the "creative" exercises once a month, I was nominated to help with the craft. I am NOT good at crafts...they always turn out to be a disaster. Anyway, I agreed. I ended up doing very little prep work, but because I knew the girls a little, I led the activity. It was a huge hit. We decorated wood frames for Valentine pictures of their kids. They loved it and the frames turned out great! Here is the prototype we used, but I will be sure to get pictures up as soon as I get them.

We received a thank you e-mail this afternoon saying it was their best party ever. I am thrilled that we were all able to connect the way we are with these mom's who face so many challenges.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Nothing gets your attention like a Punch

While cleaning out my parent's house, I found three volumes of Punch, the magazine. Here is what I have found out about it.

The first edition of Punch was publishe in July of 1841. Its founders, wood engraver Ebenezer Landells and writer Henry Mayhew, got the idea for the magazine from from a satirical French paper, Charivari. Landells insisted that Punch should be less bitter than other British comic publications and of higher literary standard. The name was hit upon at an early meeting -- someone remarked that the magazine should be like a good punch mixture -- nothing without Lemon (referring to Mark Lemon, the magazine's first editor), whereupon Mayhew shouted "A capital idea! Let us call the paper Punch!"

I have seen these books laying around my parents house forever. I always thought they had an interesting cover, but for some reason, I never opened it. Monday night I flipped one open and this was the page that caught my eye....yes, knitting.

The caption reads, "The Prime Minister has promised to receive a deputation on the subject of Female Suffrage after Easter."

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

This Old House

I am beat after another 24 hours of cleaning, packing, and organizing the house where I grew up. I found a lot of fun things. I can't wait to tell you about them, but that is for another time. Now I need some rest.

Monday, January 14, 2008

My Word

I was listening to the CMP this morning. Amy was talking about thinking of a word to focus on for the year. This idea came to her from Ali Edwards. She has a great post from last year regarding "the word". Amy also encouraged sharing our word. So, here is my word, for better or worse.


This is one of my favorite words ever. It evokes thoughts of promise even in light of dark and confusing times. So, "hope" is the word that I will think and write about this year.

"I have learned two lessons in my life: first, there are no sufficient literary, psychological, or historical answers to human tragedy, only moral ones. Second, just as despair can come to one another only from other human beings, hope, too, can be given to one only by other human beings." --Elie Wiesel

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.” --Albert Einstein

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Retro Sunday

Tonight I had a fairly relaxing evening (besides the oldest waking up every half hour and the dogs needing to be let in and out.)  There were no good games on TV so I watched a oldie but goodie, Yankee Doodle Dandy.  I use to love to watch this movie, recorded on VHS from the movie channel, at my grandparents house.  It has to be one of my all time favorites.  
I also browsed several retro design websites trying to get ideas for my cabin in New Mexico. Here is what I found:

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I *heart* knitting

Here is the start to my amended resolution.  The swatch that I am using to get gauge for the hat that I am making for a specific person...to size and with a pattern.  

This is the fun project basket my mom got for me from SWAK

Friday, January 11, 2008

What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas

Las Vegas Wall II
Originally uploaded by UpNAdam
Another busy Friday and more fond memories of my home away from home, Las Vegas, NM. I love the people and the charm. I spent an entire day taking pictures throughout the town last summer.....so many memories. There is a blogger who I love to read and catch up on things....she blogs at My Tiny Vegas and Birdie Jaworski....check them out.  If you do be sure to tell her Amy sent you.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Gift Finished

I worked and worked for the past several days trying to finish a gift for my MIL. Yesterday was her birthday and she was one of the few who didn't get a homemade gift from me for Christmas. So, I knit her up a ruffle scarf. I know, not very original, but I thought she would enjoy it. That is the LAST time I make something on a schedule....it took most of the fun out of making it. I knit all day....in the car, at stoplights, on the phone....you get the picture. I was still weaving in ends on the way to the restaurant. And, I forgot to take a picture. Hopefully, she will wear it and I can snap a picture soon.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008


What a day. I spent today helping to get the house I grew up in ready to sell. I didn't realize how sentimental I am toward my "home". (It is being sold for personal reasons that are not really very pleasant....so, this makes it even more difficult.) I sorted, organized, and cleaned. But, more than anything I reflected back on the memories. I loved my house, my neighborhood, and my life....most of the time. I found letters from my boyfriend, now husband and my wedding dress. I looked in all of my old hiding places to reassure myself that there would be nothing left behind. Finally, I got a wet rag and wiped down my old bedroom. This needed to be done because of dust left over from a ceiling repair. But, almost immediately after I began wiping down the walls it felt like some kind of cleansing ritual. I found myself talking to the walls and thanking them for keeping me safe for so many years. I hope that whoever ends up in that room and that house finds the same comfort I found for so long.

During the holidays my house was always decorated like Martha Stewart's home. Here are a couple of pictures.

Sorry for the sentimental post. This is just life...right?

One more thing.....as I cleaned I listened to a podcast produced by some kids from my home away from home, New Mexico. United World Radio is a class project that I became aware of several weeks ago, but I had not had the opportunity to listen. It brought so much perspective to my situation. The show itself is wonderfully put together and it does a great job shedding light on some BIG issues in the world. It made my personal struggle seem small. Thanks.

Monday, January 7, 2008

I had an Epiphany

Yesterday was Epiphany. January 6, the day we remember the wise men visiting Jesus. That’s it…."the holidays" are officially over. This is always a mixed blessing for most of us. A time of the year to reflect on the past and dream about the future. I spent the day with my family. We went to church and then out to lunch with friends. Just a normal Sunday…..other than there was something wrong with my husband. He didn’t look his normal dashing….not a hair out of place….self. A hole! As we were walking into church, I saw a huge moth hole in his sweater. I pointed it out, being the helpful wife I am, and we went on with our day.

Then, I had an epiphany. What is one person’s trash, is another person’s treasure, right? I will felt it and make something out of it. I am so excited, but I don’t even know where to start. Does anyone have any ideas?

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Favorites of 2007

Favorites of 2007
Originally uploaded by UpNAdam
Here are some of my favorite shots from 2007. What a colorful year. Apparently I like blue and green.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

What A Day

Weekends used to be a time to catch up and take a deep breath.......that was before two children.

However, I did get a project completed. I made some curtains for the dining room.
See?........I am so proud.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Dreaming of Casa de Maria

My Great Grandmother Mary (quite the character)

Every summer I spend several weeks a year out in New Mexico. My great grandmother discovered this little cabin in the mountains and we have all enjoyed time out there ever since. My great grandmother’s name was Mary, hence Casa de Maria. I cannot express in words how much I love this place.

New Year always gets me excited about “the cabin”. I don’t know why…….I guess it is because it is in January that I start planning my life around how many times I can get out to the mountains. One of the things I enjoy most about this place is that I can really tap into the creative part of me. Three generations of creative women led the way to a truly eclectic home away from home. Here are a few pictures from past and present to give you a mental image.

I have so many stories and plans….Friday may become the day of the week to talk about my other love (besides my family), Casa de Maria.



My Dad.....the tall boy in the cowboy hat.

My son.....playing by the same wall.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Resolution Addendum

A short blog tonight. My sweet husband is home and it has been a busy day. However, I need to make an addendum to my resolutions. After looking at my WIP’s, I have decided that when my current projects are off the needles, I will only knit things (in 2008) from a pattern. I have been knitting way too many scarves.

We will see how this goes, but I am anticipating a lot of frogging. Does anyone have the name of a simple lace shawl or caplet pattern?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

WIP Wednesday

Things are finally getting back to normal after the holidays. School has not yet begun. But, otherwise we are back on track. This morning I tried to make some homemade play dough for the older one. (Have I mentioned I am NOT a baker?) I had all of the ingredients except for the cream of tarter. (How important can this little teaspoon be?) Apparently, very important. It was all sticky and gooey…..luckily I had some store bought play-doh to substitute. Adam had a great time and I was sure to buy some cream of tarter at the store.

Tonight, Wednesday night, is my favorite evening of the week. It is knitting night. I have one group at the church at 6pm and then I go straight to Sauced for Stitch ‘n Bitch. Hopefully all of the regulars will be there tonight…..Erin, Amy, Susan, Doris, Courtney…..and maybe some new faces.

WIP Wednesday:
Today I am working on three knitting projects.

The first is a simple scarf for my MIL’s birthday next week. She is a big Oklahoma State fan, so I am doing it in Cowboy orange.

I am still working on the scarf for my sister’s boyfriend. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can…….I am really pleased with how it is turning out, but I really do not like knitting with this cheap yarn.

Finally, I started this scarf for myself…..hoping to get it finished by New Year’s. Obviously, that did not happen. I found this yarn at Windsor-Button in Boston….I really like it.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Connections

OU Scarf
Originally uploaded by UpNAdam
It is my first blog of this great new year. I am so excited.......I have already been mentioned on another blog, Sew, Mama Sew.......and it is an awesome blog. I made this scarf for my sister's boyfriend, Joel. He is just precious and a proud member of the Pride of Oklahoma, he plays the Tuba.  His scarf was not finished on Christmas, but I gave it to him anyway....on the needles. He loved it. Right now Joel is in Arizona at the Fiesta Bowl....... Boomer Sooner!