21. Get out your knitting needles. An afternoon of knitting can burn more than 500 calories (at a rate of about 100 an hour).
31 December 2009
21. Get out your knitting needles. An afternoon of knitting can burn more than 500 calories (at a rate of about 100 an hour).
29 December 2009
21 December 2009
While cruising Live a Colorful Life, I found this awesome half eaten gingerbread ornament that I plan to start right after Christmas (gotta finish the Christmas gift knitting) and besides, then I'll have time to do it for the tree for next year.
And while looking on Etsy this week, I found several people who are making Button Letters...I'm totally planning mine (since I can't see spending that much money on something I can make). Instead of a pillow, I'm making mine a wall hanging!
This one's by Letter Perfect Designs
15 December 2009
14 December 2009
This weekend Tyler, Mom and I had the opportunity to go to Petunia's Place (an awesome bookstore at Bullard/West) to listen to Santa read stories to the kids while the parent shopped--clever sales ploy which I totally fell for! Now, in years past, Tyler has wanted nothing, and I mean absolutely nothing, to do with Santa. He didn't want to talk to him, he didn't want his candy, and he for sure did not want to sit on his lap. So, I knew going in that this was going to be a "distance learning" experience. As we were walking in to the bookstore, Tyler asked me, "Mom, will this be the Santa in a costume, or will this be the Santa who really brings presents to our house?" Hmm...Now, what an insightful question. Anyways, Santa read Jan Brett's Night Before Christmas and then asked if any of the kids wanted to sit on his lap. No go...Then he read Chris Van Allsburg's Polar Express and asked again. Tyler completely surprised me and said YES! So, at age 4, Tyler has his first Pictures with Santa.He started off standing...then made his way up onto Santa's lap...wheeew...we did it!
13 December 2009
Now that Tyler and I are living in our own place, there was one more tree to put up. Bright and early Sunday morning, Mom, Dad, Tyler and I gathered at our house with a tree, some decorations, hot chocolate/coffee and LOTS of energy! Although, I have to say, I think most of the energy was coming from Tyler...We were able to set up our brand new Christmas tree (gotta love the three section, flip down limbed, prelit trees!) and then Ty set to work putting up the decorations. In years past, Tyler has been more about undressing the tree than dressing the tree, so it was a lot of fun to see him get into the festivities. My heart warmed when he requested his very own nativity and diligently set it up exactly as it was shown on the box.
It really helps me remember that JESUS is the reason we celebrate this thing we call Christmas; presents, food, etc. are just bonus, but would be nothing if it weren't for Jesus.
We were aparently gluttons for punishment, because later that same day, we headed over to Mom and Dad's house to do up their tree in a similarly festive manner. It was great to see Tyler practicing his management skills; it was common to hear, "Now, Mom, you put this one on that top branch, and I will put this ornament on this branch over here. No, Grandma, not that branch, THIS branch." Kim, Tyler, Mom and I had the opportunity to put together a gingerbread house...from 2007...needless to say, this one's just for looks! Later (the following weekend) we decided to to a gingerbread Christmas tree that could be eaten, because that's most of the fun!
While we were decorating at Mom and Dad's, Tyler somehow managed to convince Dad that it was a good idea to set up the train set. (Trust me, it was NOT that hard a sell...)
01 December 2009
I have a new(ish) house. I actually moved in the beginning of August, but have been a terrible blog updater. So, it's new to my blog readers (if I have any left after such a long period of no activity). I LOVE my new house and am so excited to be able to picture my life many years down the road in the same house. Maybe I'll be one of those people who stays in the same house for 30 years? Hmmm...Ok...maybe not.
I live in Pinedale, California, which is kind of fun to say because many people say, "Where's Pinedale?" and I get to explain that it's a very small county island right near River Park shopping center. But depending on who I talk to, I might tell them I live in Fresno. When I asked the clerk at the post office what they want my mail addressed to, Fresno or Pinedale, they said it doesn't matter since it's technically both as long as the zip code is correct. Why would I avoid telling people that I lived in Pinedale? Because there are some stigmas surrounding the community. Even I was a little uncertain when I started looking at buying this home because it was in Pinedale. Some things people say about it are--it's a trashy place where there are gang bangers all over and people have to wear bullet proof vests to sit in their living room to keep safe during all the drive bys. Well, after moving here, I realized that parts of that stereotype are true and parts are wildly false. There are some houses/yards that are trashy...but that can be said of just about any neighborhood. The people on my street take great pride in their homes and their yards and I'm probably the one they look at and say, "Wow, what an ugly yard!" (Right now my yard is mostly weeds and since I do not yet have a lawn mower, I'm not super motivated to get my grass to grow quickly.) There are probably someareas of Pinedale where it would be unwise to walk alone outside at night...but the same can be said of just about anywhere in the world right now. My street is very much a community in which everyone looks out for everyone else. Neighborhood gossip puts the guys in the houses on either side of me as ex-gang members with a ton of street cred that they are still able to swing around to keep our street very low key. Apparently a few years ago there were some kids who were walking through and causing problems with some of the neighbors and these guys "talked" to the kids and nobody walked down my street for at least a year. I live on a cul-de-sac but there is a walking outlet that a lot of people travel through. Once, when I was first moving in, I received a call from my lovely neighbor, Lydia, that there was a strange guy in my yard who was looking at the door frame. I felt so safe!!! And when I told her that it was my dad and he was planning to install a security door for me, she laughed and said that she didn't think I'd need it since everyone here was so nosy.
My house has 6 bedrooms. I know!! Really, what does anyone need with 6 bedrooms unless they have 12 kids? There are 2 people living in the house, so I guess that's 3 rooms per person? Actually, It's been kind of nice because Tyler has his room, I have my room, Tyler has his playroom, I have my playroom (sewing/yarn), I have a guest bedroom (where I have actually now had 3 overnight guests stay!!) and I have an office...I also have 2 bathrooms, which seems like overkill for 2 people.
My observations on home ownership--Oh wow!! There is a LOT to do. I have been so fortunate to have a mom, dad, sister, grandma and ex-husband who are all handy in some way. Mom is a whiz at cleaning and organizing, Kim and Grandma are amazing at decorating and finding places for everything, Dad and Doug are wildly talented in just about every area of home fix-it and maintenance. I also have been very lucky to have a neighbor across the street who does yard maintenance and he (or his guys) have been very helpful in periodically cutting my weeds/lawn.
Things that have happened in the last 6 months:
1. I made an offer on several condos, and a house
2. My offers were rejected on several condos
3. My offer was ACCEPTED on a house (it was a short sale, which anyone who has done anything with real estate knows means it could be a loooong sale)
4. I spent 2 weeks at Lakeview Cottages at Huntington Lake helping my mom (and dad) manage the camp. I was in charge of the "man" jobs like boats, handyman/supply restocking, raking, etc. while my dad had to be at home keeping the business in hand.
5. In July I closed escrow on a lovely little house in Pinedale
6. In August, I moved into my new house and have spent quite a few evenings and weekends getting things set up to my liking.
7. In September, I started back to school with subbing and then was also offered a position as an English Language Intervention teacher. I had this same job last year, but they weren't sure they would have the funding for it this year.
8. In late September and early October, we spent most weekends at Lakeview.
9. The first weekend in October (well, Thursday-Sunday) was QUILT CAMP! at Camp Keola.
10. The Friday of Quilt Camp I received a call that Tyler had Chicken Pox.
11. Middle of October we went to DISNEYLAND for our last trip using our Annual Passes. We had a great time there, but Tyler is at the age where he is a little nervous (translation: terrified) about going on some of the rides. He really likes to see them, but mostly from afar. Dumbo goes too fast, but he likes to watch others on it. Buzz is one of his favorite characters, but the Buzz ride is too scary...you get the idea.
12. In November, Grandma Darlene came to visit from Idaho. We had a great time hanging out and visiting. She also helped me to decorate my house in a much better way.
13. Now it's December and we'll see what happens.
So...there's the flash update. If you thought it was boring to read, you can tell yourself that it's only going to get better because now I'll be able to start writing with more detail...I might even go back and throw in some pictures here and there :-)
03 August 2009
for a change. I have repeatedly seen thebreakdown of the cost of raising a child, but this is the first time I have seen the rewards listed this way. It's nice.
The government recently calculated the cost of raising a child from birth to 18 and came up with $160,140.00 for a middle income family. Talk about price shock! That doesn't even touch college tuition.
But $160,140.00 isn't so bad if you break it down. It translates into:
* $8,896.66 a year,
* $741.38 a month,
* $171.08 a week.
* A mere $24.24 a day!
* Just over a dollar an hour.
Still, you might think the best financial advice is: don't have children if you want to be 'rich.' Actually, it is just the opposite.
What do you get for your $160,140.00?
* Naming rights. First, middle, and last!
* Glimpses of God every day.
* Giggles under the covers every night.
* More love than your heart can hold.
* Butterfly kisses and Velcro hugs.
* Endless wonder over rocks, ants, clouds, and warm cookies.
* A hand to hold usually covered with jelly or chocolate.
* A partner for blowing bubbles and flying kites.
* Someone to laugh yourself silly with, no matter what the boss said or how your stocks performed that day.
For $160,140.00, you never have to grow up. You get to:
* carve pumpkins,
* play hide-and-seek,
* catch lightning bugs,
* never stop believing in Santa Claus.
You have an excuse to:
* keep reading the Adventures of Piglet and Pooh,
* watch Saturday morning cartoons,
* go to Disney movies, and
* wish on stars.
You get to frame rainbows, hearts, and flowers under refrigerator magnets and collect spray painted noodlewreaths for Christmas, hand prints set in clay for Mother's Day, and cards with backward letters for Father's Day.
For a mere $24.24 a day, there is no greater bang for your buck. You get to be a hero just for:
* retrieving a Frisbee off the garage roof,
* taking the training wheels off a bike,
* removing a splinter,
* filling a wading pool,
* coaxing a wad of gum out of bangs, and
* coaching a baseball team that never wins but always gets treated to ice cream regardless.
You get a front row seat in history to witness the:
* First step,
* First word,
* First bra,
* First date,
* First time behind the wheel.
You get to be immortal. You get another branch added to your family tree, and if you're lucky, a long list of limbs in your obituary called grandchildren and great-grandchildren. You get an education in psychology, nursing, criminal justice, communications, and human sexuality that no college can match..
In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there under God. You have all the power to heal a boo-boo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them without limits, so one day they will, like you, love without counting the cost. That is quite a deal for the
Love & enjoy your children & grandchildren & great-grandchildren!!!!!!!
It's the best investment you'll ever make!!!!!!!!!
17 April 2009
Black Envelopes!!! Some may be asking, "Umm...what's so exciting about black envelopes?" And it's not just the envelope that's special, it's that it is written to my from my book boyfriend (who is quite different from my Starbucks boyfriend, my many movie boyfriends and my other various boyfriends) Jacob Black!
And the other great part about the envelope? It was postmarked in FORKS, WA which is where the majority of the Twilight novels take place...Oops...for those who missed the Jacob Black reference, this envelope is Twilight embodied...
Now, if I was this excited about the envelope, how about the awesome inside?
I had a picture of the inside too, but it has someone elses address on it with their name and I'm not sure how they feel about having it posted. BUT if you are interested in seeing more about the creation of these works of art and teaser for a super fun party, see Jessie's post here.
The invitation to the party says that we're going to be taking book cover photos and recommends that we wear black with red accents...I have tons of black, not so much red....Time to go shopping!
09 April 2009
Ummm...Yeah, a computer hardware company has a slogan that says "Rock Solid, Heart Touching"...Can anyone tell me how a piece of network equipmant can be heart touching? It's as if the company was sitting around their conference room table brainstorming ideas for they new catch phrase and they wanted to make sure to include their whole audience so chose something that would appeal to me AND women...so...the next time you need your heart touched, think of Asus!
26 February 2009
You know those books that you always say you're going to read? The classics that you were probably assigned to read in school and either bought the Cliff's Notes or b.s.'d your way through the test? Yeah....me too...
March is apparently the time to take care of all those little details. In 2005, Kiera Knightly played in the movie "Pride and Prejudice", which I watched, and loved...so I was inspired to read the book...sort of. (I listened to it on CD while driving around in my car.) A GREAT book! Then, we neflixed the movie "The Jane Austen Book Club"...a good movie about a group of 6 people who get together to read and discuss Jane Austen's 6 main works in 6 months. Again I was inspired! I am now listening to "Mansfield Park" on CD. So, I have gotten a jump start on my March Reading...What about you? What would you like to read???
12 February 2009
Take the Quiz and Share Your Results!
I found out by taking this quiz that I am an Esme. Although, I think it was a close competition between Alice and Esme because whenever I found myself wavering between two answers, they were the Alice and Esme answers (I know they are supposed to be secret, but come on...everyone knows)...Harumph....I wanna be Alice! Honestly, Esme is such an underdeveloped background character that you don't even meet her until a good chunk of the way into the story. She seems so "just there" as a space holder or something. Alice is fun and perky and all the things I like to see myself as...Oh well...
09 February 2009
Again...a HUGE hit!
I receive a daily joke email from guy on the internet named Pastor Tim and included in each of these is a daily illustration. Sometimes these are funny, sometimes more thought provoking. Last Thursday (2/5/09) he sent this one:
"A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, got together to visit their old university professor. The conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in work and life. Offering his guests coffee, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of coffee and an assortment of cups - porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain-looking, some expensive, and some exquisite - telling them to help themselves to the coffee.
After all the students had a cup of coffee in hand, the professor said: "If you noticed, all the nice looking expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is but normal for you to want only the best for yourselves that is the source of your problems and stress. Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the coffee. In most cases, it's just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was coffee, not the cup, but you consciously went for the best cups and then began eyeing each other's cups."
Now consider this: Life is the coffee, and the jobs, houses, cars, things, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain life, and the type of cup we have does not define nor change the quality of life we live. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the coffee.
Enjoy your coffee. Being happy doesn't mean everything's perfect. It means you've decided to see beyond the imperfections."
To me this hit home on two different levels. Anyone who knows me is aware of the fact that I love tea and frou frou coffee. Every day I'm at work (at the office anyway, not so much when I'm teaching) I have a huge mug of tea on my desk that is constantly refilled throughout the day. The design of the cup has long been a source of joy for me. Color, shape, weight, size--these are all elements of the design that I look at when purchasing a new cup for tea. I prefer large size cups (because then I don't have to refill them so often) but the color, shape and weight are very subjective. The color/design has to make me happy every time I see it, the shape and weight have to feel right.
On another level, as I move through life and reach each different stage (or situation) I learn something new (Good news, right??) and lately I am learning that happiness doesn't mean that there aren't bad things in life, it just means that I am able to be happy/content in spite of the different things that aren't "just so".
I like this illustration set forth by Pastor Tim (note: not Tim Neufeld) because it reminds me not to focus so hard on the cup that I forget to enjoy the coffee...so, although my blog is currently titled "Living the Life I love" it could also be called "Working every day to Enjoy the coffee"...
08 February 2009
His other thing that is rather odd for a 3 year old is his desire to have a face mask (or scarf) when he's falling asleep....
04 February 2009
26 January 2009
" "If you knit in public, then all sorts of people will come up to you and ask you questions about what you're doing. Sometimes this is a good opportunity to spread the word of knit, and I have been known to carry extra yarn and needles just so I can seize the moment and teach a stranger how to do it. Other times, especially if someone approaches me while I'm counting or working on lace, I really wish they would stay away. This is even more the case if ther person asks what seem to be very stupid questions. That's when some days when someone comes up to me and says, 'Wow! That's so cool. Are you knitting?' I have been known to simply say, 'No.'" "
I love to knit in public! (mostly because at home I have Tyler climbing on my lap saying, "Mom, can I help you knit?" which is great because I love that he's interested, but severely limits my productivity) I love how people do a double take when they see me sitting there knitting away (usually at Starbucks) and almost always people will smile (to themselves or to me) and many people will strike up a conversation. They ask about the project I'm working on, they tell me how wonderful it is that the art of knitting (or crochet) is not going to be lost since they see that I am obviously well below the average age of knitters, and many times this segues into other topics of general conversation. Mostly I like to knit in public because it makes me laugh to think of what other people think of what I like to call my "game face"...when I knit (or sew or cook or ....( you fill in the activity that requires concentration) I tend to make a face that looks slightly odd...my mouth hangs open, sometimes my tongue comes out and I generally look quite goofy. To me, I don't care if people see me making this face and it gives me such joy to speculate on what other people think when they see it. Totally worth looking like a goober!
Knitting in public with Jessica and Kim is even more fun because inevitably, we run into other knitters who are also knitting in public (obviously) and we are then able to discuss knitterly things like yarn and patterns and the best yarn stores around...I once read an article that stated that knitters are one of the most friendly groups of people because they are so relaxed from all their knitting. Hmmm...does anyone want to take up knitting yoga?
23 January 2009
On a side (and totally unrelated note) We went the other day to look for a new company car for Doug since we sold the van and Tyler had to knock every single car that he passed by:
I'm not sure where he learned that you have to turn your hand over (palm up) and knock with one crooked finger, but that is what he did to EVERY car so I'm sure he had a reason. When I asked him, he just said, "Because that is how you have to do it." Can't argue with that logic!
22 January 2009
Ok, this is totally for Cindy because I can't resist a challenge!
1. My favorite ice cream is Thrifty's brand Chocolate Malted Crunch
2. I cannot stand the yellow yolk part of a fried egg to be even the slightest bit runny...eeew...
3. I am the most outgoing, yet intensly private person I know
4. I have never flown in a helocopter but I used to dream of piloting them.
5. I almost went into the military, but can't stand having people tell me what to do.
6. I go through "hair cycles"...I cut it super short, then grow it super long, then cut it, then grow it...vicious I tell you!
7. My son is my world
8. I watched the reality show "Farmer Wants a Wife" because it cracked me up!
9. I love smoked Gouda Cheese, but hate "un"-smoked Gouda Cheese
10. I would love to have a long haired dog, but only because I would love to spin its fur into yarn
11. I really love my Philosophy of Education statement that I wrote to include in my resume packet
12...Dang, are we there yet? I don't miss my "party" years of college, but sometimes I miss the freedom from responsibility that I had back then...
13. I tan super easily, but don't burn much
14. I was a bando in high school and I loved it!
15. I use my "mennonite-ness" as an excuse to not dance...because I suck!
16. I love to slow dance
17. I had over 1500 text messages in my last cell phone billing cycle...someone may need to stage an intervention...
18. I am not ashamed to have listened to country music my whole life
19. I love yellow roses
20. I learned how to knit on my 28th B-Day from my cousin Jessica
21. My fiirst job was at Camelot Park...we had to answer the phone "Hi, we're having fun at Camelot Park, this is Tanya, how can I help you?" Umm...why did people always feel the need to ask me if I was really having fun?
22. I love the smell and feel of line dried sheets
23. I would rather walk around a casino looking for loose change that people have dropped than to gamble away my hard earned money
24. If I ever had a daughter, her name would be Michaela Grace...even if someone else in my family had the same name...I have no problem "sharing" a name with someone else...
25. I prefer not to wear dresses.
Whew...I did it! Cindy Walking, I did this for you, but since I took the time, I'm going to share it with the world :-)
Yesterday Tyler and I were on the trampoline jumping our hearts out and I asked him (as I often do...) "Tyler, have I told you today how much I love you?"
Tyler: "No Mom. You didn't, but I already know...you love me this much" (said while holding his thumb and finger about a half an inch apart).
Me: "No, I love you this much" (said while holding my arms out as far as I could reach of course)..."and I think you're something special!"
Tyler: "Mom...are you going to keep me? or sell me??"
Umm...now, this comment, while TOTALLY cracking me up, requires a bit of back story before someone calls CPS...(tangent: is CPS still called CPS anymore???)
Whenever I tell Tyler that I think he's pretty special I also tell him that I think I'll keep him...but sometimes I tease him and tell him that I'm going to sell him...
Apparently he really does listen to me when I talk! Who knew???
19 January 2009
Yeah, see how tall that ladder is? It broke...and he fell...oops! Dad was trying to give us a hard time because he fell 6 feet out of the tree, but Mom's 'sympathy' line was, "You didn't call us to tell us you had fallen and couldn't get up..."
Tyler has been practicing his tree climbing skills (which he apparently discovered while he was at his dad's house....(thanks Doug!))...He's actually quite good, but have you ever been inside and orange tree? There are some wicked sharp twigs in there and he kept scratching his face...
top to bottom:
Me, Tyler, Dad, Mom, Kim...
How close were you?
13 January 2009
02 January 2009
If I were one to make New Year's Resolutions, mine would probably go something like "I resolve to get gas BEFORE I am coasting on fumes at least 65% of the time." But since I'm not one for resolutions, I think I'll just make sure my AAA membership is paid up so that if I do run out of gas, the friendly AAA man will bring me my 5 gallons.