Tuesday, June 30, 2009

How Many Candles?!!!

There's been lots of excitement around here lately. I got to enjoy seeing my dear friend Diane from Kentucky last week for the first time in 2 years. We shopped, ate, talked, laughed, { ALL the girlie stuff!} and then had to say goodbye on friday morning. It was so much FUN!!!

~ Don't stay away so long this time Diane!

Phoebe and her Auntie Diane were fast friends. I had to make sure my little spotted baby was still here when the car was being loaded to head back to Kentucky!Sunday evening Scott and I went to dinner to celebrate my birthday. We actually used a gift certificate that some friends gave us for our 25th anniversary back in December. Scott had to have stomach surgery in November, so his tummy wasn't up to a nice dinner out just then. We sure had a great time on Sunday though. {What do ya think of my new dress? It's my $7.00 find from the second hand shop up the street from me!}.

Today was my birthday. And, well, we decided to skip the whole candle bit {45 candles might have been enough for a bonfire! And though I might look like a windbag, I didn't want to try to blow so many little flames out.}

Oh! Remember the new purse Bridget and Tinoy gave me? Jose really likes it too. I had to tell him pretty much the same thing I told my sister, "GET UP OFF MY BAG!".
Speaking of my sister, this is the first time I've spent a birthday without her. She called first thing this morning from Milwaukee and we had a bit of a cry together. I really miss her. We've never lived so far apart. We're used to being in and out of each others daily lives. But 4 hours isn't so far away. I'll be making a trip ASAP!

Hope you're all happy and healthy and enjoying some summer sunshine. As for me and Gabby ~
we're having a swinging good time!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Jewels of Innocence and Joy and Mirth

"For pansies are, I think, the little gleams
Of children's visions from a world of dreams,
Jewels of innocence and joy and mirth,
Alight with laughter as they fall to earth.
So tread not rashly, children, lest you crush
A part of childhood in a thoughtless rush.
Would you not treat them gently if you knew
Pansies are little bits of children too?"
Taken from the poem "Pansies"
By R.C. Lehmann

This afternoon my dad surprised me with this beautiful pansy covered porcelain teapot. It was made in England by Royal Caldone. Dad and I have always shared a love for the little smiling faces of these old fashioned flowers. I am so thrilled with this gift! It's my first piece of china with pansies. {Notice I said "my FIRST piece ~ Diane and I are going to scour the nearest antique mall all day tomorrow to see how much damage we can do. Guess what I'll be on a hunt for... maybe a pretty little pansy covered teacup!}
I love the line in the poem that refers to the flowers as "Jewels of innocence and joy and mirth".
Doesn't that apply to all flowers?! God gave us so much when He created the beauty of flowers. Nothing else quite compares...
Then again~ He one upped Himself when He created children and the whole essence of childhood. Just think about how flowers and children touch all of our senses like nothing else really can. Not only are they both glorious to look upon and watch unfold, but what else in the whole of creation smells as breathtakingly wonderful as a flower or a child?
Not long after Diane arrived Saturday night, she reached out and grabbed hold of Gabby as she was trotting past her, and breathed in that mystical aura that surrounds little ones, and said, "Mmm... she smells sooo good."
And why wouldn't she? She has the very breath of God in and around her. Children truly are our little "jewels of innocence and joy and mirth". They're fresh and brightly colored and as ever changing as a flower garden.

Monday, June 22, 2009

From Poochies to Purses

Aah ~ two of lifes best things ~ precious poochies and pretty purses!
A couple of weeks ago one of my dearest friends, Carey, came for an all day visit with her oldest daughter {Malory ~ like one of my own!}, 2 year old granddaughter {darling little Ivory} and an 8 week old Pug!
Lola {is that a cute furry baby name or what?!}, is Malory's new "baby". She's absolutely adorable. My 3 babies had quite the sniffing good time with her all day long, as you can imagine!
Besides playing all day with 2 year olds and poochies, we walked downtown for lunch, ordered pizza for supper and watched a chick flick. They were here from 10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

I hadn't seen Carey for several months. She's working hard as a nurse at OSF in the nuero intensive care unit and going back to school for her masters degree so she can be a nurse practitioner. I say, " You Go Girl!". I sure am proud of her!

Oh, and the Purse part~

Yesterday I had the whole family crew here again to celebrate Father's Day and a slew of birthdays. Yesterday was my nephew, Brendan's 14th birthday. Then my Dad and Mother-in-Law have birthdays on June 25th, mine comes on June 30th and then my Mom's is July 7th.
Since Bridget & Tinoy are living in Milwaukee {boys are joining them this weekend to move into their beautiful new house}, they needed to have one big shindig to celebrate everything.
Adding to the fun, my precious friend Diane and her son Ben are here from Owensboro, Kentucky for the week. We haven't been together for 2 years. {You'll see some pictures of them before the week is over!}. Diane is a nurse also. {I'm surrounded by nurses and doctors all the time!}

Oh, yea ~ The Purse Part {sorry~ my mind wanders~ I'll be 45 soon~ is that a good enough excuse~ or should I just fall back on the "blonde" factor?}

Bridget and Tinoy surprised me {or shall I say, took my breath away!} with an absolutely "FABOO" Dolce & Gabbana handbag! Bridget was afraid I wouldn't like it. Are you nuts, or what?!! Of course, Tinoy later told me she was "hoping" I wouldn't like it so she could keep it for herself! Sorry Little Sister!

I squealed like a stuck pig and danced all over the dining room with it the minute I pulled it out of the bag! Bridget figured out right away she wasn't going to touch MY BAG again. Diane laughed at me because I had to "wear" it off and on all afternoon. Diane's favorite saying for me has always been "small mind, small amusement". What can I say~ I am rather excitable.
~ Really guys, you shouldn't have~ but I sure am thrilled that you did!!!
What would life be without family and good friends?
May you all be abundantly blessed today!

Friday, June 19, 2009

A Quick Hello

Thought I should touch base with everyone. I'm sorry I've been silent for so long. Life has gotten hectic for me lately. Gabby and I spend as much time outside {roaming the streets of Morton} as we can in this nice weather. I'm going to keep this post short and sweet because I've been fighting some kind of flu virus all week. Chelsea had it earlier in the week and decided to share with me!

Thanks to all of you who have e-mailed me or even sent goodies in the mail. I'm so glad you haven't forgotton your old friend. {Special "hello" to my Aunt Nancy ~ I sure do miss you!!!}
I'll leave you with some random pictures and a promise to do more blogging soon.
Love you all!

Always nap like you mean it!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Books, Dandelions and Wild Violets

"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket." Chinese Proverb

Last Saturday Scott, Chelsea, Gabby and I piled into the car and headed for Peoria to shop at our favorite Christian bookstore. Sadly, due to the decline in our economy, this bookstore that has existed for all of my memory, is now closing its doors.

Although it's hard to see it go, we did enjoy a shopping spree we wouldn't have been able to afford without the fabulous discounted prices. Everything in the store was down to 90% off the original price. Can you believe it?!!! All music CD's were either 5o cents or $1.00.

We spent a blissful two hours there where I immersed myself in as many books as possible before they either threw us out or Scott dragged me to the car.

I am of the same mind as the late Groucho Marx who said, "I find television to be very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go in the other room and read a book."

Remember ~ I gave birth to and raised a librarian {Hilary}!

Gabby is also an avid book lover already and behaved remarkably well for a two year old with lots of energy spending such a span of time in a bookstore.

We came away with a total of 17 books { 2 of which were childrens books that Miss Gabby chose herself}, 2 CD's, and 9 greeting cards. Our grand total, tax included, BEFORE the discount would have been: $263.50. Never in my life have I been able to spend that amount of money at one time on books!
Grand total we spent AFTER the discount: $25.65 ~ PAID IN CASH!!!
That's the price that ONE of the books I chose would have been without anything else!

So~ here's my stash............... {Oh, the darling oversized teacup with flowers was a gift from Hilary.}

"Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book."
Author Unknown

Here's a picture of Phoebe enjoying her story time courtesy of Gabby in the kitchen floor. Notice she's "reading" from a Webster's book of quotations ~ NOT one of her new books! But I don't think Phoebe minded the lack of pretty pictures too much.

After story time, Gabby escaped {and I mean literally~ I have to keep the back storm door locked all of the time} to the backyard for her other favorite pastime of flower picking.

We should all be like little children ~escaping out the back door to laugh and dance in the sunshine and green grass amidst the dandelions and wild violets!
And remembering to settle into the life of a good book as often as possible.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Where Has April Gone?

I cannot believe April is nearly over with and I haven't done any blogging since the first few days of the month!!! It's been a whirlwind of a time around here lately. Gabby turned two on April 5th, then she got a new "big girl bed", and then there was Easter!

So... I do have a few selected pictures to show you.

This first one is of a Grammy and BaPa who couldn't be more in love with this little one {and each other as far as that goes!!!:)}

We, of course, had a birthday bash with all the family here. Gabby got a new bike from Pappy {that's my dad} and some sunglasses that she loves to wear indoors and out!

I had to include this picture of my youngest nephew, Brendan, so you would all think Jimmy Hendricks is still alive and well! { I mean ... why not?... if Elvis is still alive, why not Jimmy?} He's wearing Gabby's glasses and Chelsea's belt.

Also, just so you know all of the household dogs are still naughty as ever, this is a picture of Sophie scavenging for any cake crumbs on the table after I had cleared it and wiped it off. She may be a dog, but she still has the female sugar loving gene!

Gabby is now sleeping in her "big girl" bed upstairs where it belongs. When my dad first brought it over in his truck though, we parked it in the front room where she jumped right in and started dictating which movie she wanted put in the DVD player! We knew we better get that sucker upstairs before this became her version of a "man in a recliner with a couple of remotes"!!!

My dad always hides Easter eggs in my backyard for all the grandkids {YES~ my grown up daughters still run around searching frantically, giggling all the while, in hunt of their specific color of eggs!} After they were done Gabby had her own hunt {with a little help from Mommy and Aunt Hilary}.

In the midst of all these other activities, we're still working on the whole potty training thing. Some days are good and then some days .... WELL... let's just say Gabby is OFFICIALLY two years old and lavishly invokes her right to use the word "NO!!!" as often as she deems necessary. {Notice there is no toilet paper on the holder. I have to remove it, and the box of Kleenex from the back of the toilet, every time the princess takes her seat on the throne, or it ALL ends up in the toilet the second I turn my back!}

As for me, LIFE IS GOOD! I'm still knitting and crocheting up a storm {mostly for other people} and teaching my Monday night class at the coffee shop with its mixture of knitters and crocheters, plus a crochet class at my house on Tuesday nights. I love teaching so much that I'm actually getting ready to go through the program to get my teaching certification for both knitting and crocheting.

Oh! I do have to leave you with a couple more pictures so you can see I did manage to whip up something for Gabby over the weekend.

I've missed you all so very much! It feels good to be back again.
Happy knitting, crocheting, tea~sipping, or whatever else you are all into these days!

Though I've been taking a break from my computer lately, you have all been on my mind, in my heart and in my prayers. Thanks to those of you who have e-mailed or called me recently just to make sure I'm still amongst the living! May you all be blessed!

Friday, April 3, 2009

It's Been A Long Doggone Day!

Just have to wrap up today's doggie chronicles~
My mother got back from work around 3:30 this afternoon and after I gave her the full run down of the day, she and Gabby sat on the back steps to watch while I took the three weenies out again {chihuahua still hiding!}. While we were out on this particular excursion, Dougan had a nice, back scratching roll in some major STINK! So ~ you guessed it!!! ~ BATHTIME!

Therefore, about the time I should have been starting supper {yes~ I got my second wind and decided I would go ahead and COOK - no Pizza Hut tonight Kathy! :-) }, my mom and I were starting the bath routine. First Mr. Dougan, then Little Miss Phoebe. I kept Sophie outside and finally hunted down Jose' so he could go out too. I knew if they were in the house when the bath water started I would NEVER find them!
Notice the look of total indignation on Sophie's face. I am totally convinced that they actually prefer to STINK!

Within about a half hour we had four very clean, sweet smelling poochies! Gabby had an absolute ball with the whole process and we've finally had a peaceful evening, as all furry babies are exhausted! Dougan is used to apartment living and this was quite an exhilarating day in his life.

And not only did I actually cook supper, I even baked homemade oatmeal cookies right after we ate. Now the kitchen is all cleaned up, doggies are snoozing away, and Gabby, well... she took a
3 1/2 hour nap this afternoon, so... she's still up and at 'em. But she is cozied up in the recliner with her BaPa and the house is mostly quiet and peaceful...FINALLY!!! :-}

Nightie ~ Night everyone. May you all have sweet dreams until we meet again!

What A Zoo!

My sister, Bridget, and her two boys are in Milwaukee for a few days, so my mother came to spend the night with their dog. Dougan is a standard long haired dachshund and very, very sweet natured. He reminds me of Winnie the Pooh's friend Eeyore. If he could talk I'm sure he'd say, "Thanks for noticing me". He loves me because he is Bridget's baby and our voices are so similar that I think I remind him of her.

Mom had to leave my house at 6:00 this morning for work. Poor Dougan didn't know what to think. I, being NOT a morning person, was still sleeping away when I heard the poor pooch begin to cry and pace back and forth, which made a lovely clicking sound as he introduced his toenails to my hard wood floors!
At 6:05 a.m. Scott and I got up because, of course, our dogs were now stirred up as well. Sophie, my long haired dachshund, wanted out. When I opened the door to chain her up, Dougan made a mad dash, in search of my mom I'm sure. I caught him just in the nick of time and chained him too.

Well, the rest of my day has been quite the adventure!!!

~By 8 a.m. Gabby, who had just been bathed, took off on me, while still naked, and peed a puddle in the front room floor. By the time I discovered it, Dougan had stepped in it and dragged it across the room!

~By 8:30 a.m. Jose', my little chihuahua, was sitting in the basket of dog toys PUKING! His personal specialty. It's his way of saying, "I'm not digging this scene".

~By 9:00 a.m. Dougan was so unnerved he was having diarrhea on my KITCHEN floor!

~By 9:30 a.m. all the weenies were wanting to go out at the same time {the chihuahua was hiding on a pillow behind my bed!}.

Miss Phoebe, having to wait while I struggled to chain the other two up first, promptly wee~wee'd at the top of the steps.

Then, during the course of trying to get Phoebe's collar and leash on her {which she still HATES}, Little Miss Gabby escaped out the back door barefooted. {It's still pretty chilly here.} So... I had quite the time chasing her around the back yard while dragging a resistant puppy around by the neck! These weenies aren't to be trusted though and if I let loose of one of them they will be out in the middle of Main Street {on which I live} lickety split!!!

~ By 10:oo a.m. I was becoming HOMICIDAL and decided it was time for a nice cup of hot tea, which got cold before I could take a single sip due to more clean up on aisle... you name it ~ {Remember, little guy didn't want to join the weenies outside, so while I was having lots of laughs out back, he did his business in the dining room!} The whole episode took place with me in a pair of red flannel pajama pants covered in penguins that were topped off by a purple T-shirt that reads, "Lord give me Peace... Before I go to Pieces!"
Now how appropriate was that?!! My Father~In~Law, who is one of my best buddies in the whole wide world, is also my next door neighbor, therefore he gets a birds eye view on some of my days and, with great understanding and sympathy for me, bought me this T-shirt for Christmas!

~ By 10:30 a.m. I was nearly SUICIDAL and decided to take a bath, which involved Gabby hanging over the edge of the tub splashing water all over the bathroom. When I got out, my sister phoned from Milwaukee, where she was sauntering along, enjoying a morning shopping trip. She wanted to ask a question about a birthday present for Gabby. Plus, she wondered what I was doing!!!!!!! She didn't realize her doggie was here. After laughing at me she finished with,

"Well, feel free to enjoy my dog while I'm gone!" HA~HA~HA!!!!!
Thankfully, it is now 2:30 in the afternoon and all babies, including a certain little curly haired girl, are peacefully napping.

And all I've got to say is if anyone comes through that door this evening asking, "What's for dinner?", I'm gonna knock 'em out!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Waving Lace Socks

I did it! I actually FINISHED another "on the needles way too long" project!!! YIPPEE!!!!!

These rosewater pink beauties were all done by 5:00 yesterday evening. I don't know about the rest of you sock knitters, but I always have a real sense of deep satisfaction by the time I'm putting that last little bit of Kitchener stitch in the second sock! My family, of course, was forced to OOH & AAH over them. And Chelsea was really tickled pink because this pair is for her.

They were actually supposed to be for me, but when she saw me working on the first one she began to BEG! And, since she was pregnant at the time, I couldn't tell her no. Who can deny a pregnant mommy anything? Especially when they're carrying your first grandbaby!

She waited a long time for these socks and she's a little perturbed because I wouldn't let her wear them yet today. I told her she can take possession of them AFTER I show them to my Monday night knitting students. Tomorrow they're all hers.

I used Panda Wool yarn by Crystal Palace Yarns. It's a bamboo/wool/nylon blend. It's soft and nice to work with and has a subtle sheen. I like the watercolor effect the pink has. I have the same yarn in soft shades of blue to knit another pair for Hilary {eventually!}.

The pattern is from an Interweave Knits magazine from 2 or 3 years ago. I just can't resist lacework! They were slower going than just basic socks ~ but ~ who the heck wants JUST BASIC?!!

I told Miss Chelsea I'd better not see her running around the house with nothing but these socks on {getting them dirty and full of holes!} or stuffing them under her bed! These babies cost me $16.oo to make. Sounds kind of crazy for a pair of socks. But only KIND OF. The experience was worth it and so is she!