Sweater for Wee One

We had a crazy, busy, beautiful weekend here.  Mikey turned 18.  I know! We can hardly believe it either-both that he could be that old, or that we could be that old.  (Although the fact that I turn 50 in a month, should’ve tipped me off.)  We had a family dinner, Mike smoked his first pipe, the “kids” (which are now all adults except for one) played Catan and pool, ate pizza and lemon meringue pie. And like the amazing person that I am, I scheduled the Seahawks to play the Super Bowl on his birthday.  We yelled and cheered, scaring the dogs to death, and then sat in stunned silence as they threw a pass on the 2nd down on the 1 yard line….which was intercepted causing the Seahawks to lose the game.  Holy Moly.  It was, all in all, a great weekend.  We know this, because we all spent today completely wiped out.

Awhile back, I finished this sweater.  It’s the Clara Sweater that can be found on ravelry.

Here’s the sweater before it’s blocked:

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And after:

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Blocking makes a huge difference.  I never used to block anything. I was just so happy and proud to get it off the needles that I didn’t want to take the time.  But now I block everything.  As you can see, it’s worth the extra time.

The sweet little baby girl destined for this sweater is due very very soon.  I canNOT wait!

Own the Day!

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Bronson Grimbald finds his Happy Thought

A post dedicated to Grimbald’s trip to disney.

As we were packing up for our trip to Disney, Bronson Grimbald was being his normal cranky self, muttering about the gloomy weather and rain, and right then I decided he needed a trip to The Happiest Place on Earth.

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So tucked him in my bag, and off we went.

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He looked out the window as we flew over the San Juan Islands on a day with partly clear skies and muttered cranky things about not enough legroom and wanting his own bag of peanuts.

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He drank Starbucks as we waited for our plane in Seattle and muttered about not seeing the point of a vacation to see a giant mouse.

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The next morning, as we headed for Disney, he grumbled about having to ride in my purse.

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He did enjoy photobombing our first photos of Disney.

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He posed stoically in front of Big Thunder Mountain.

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He photobombed while waiting at Star Tours–which turned out to be his favorite ride, by the way.

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He ate lunch at Jolly Holiday Bakery.

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He was an avid people-watcher.

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He explored California Adventure with us.

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And we began to see signs of his crankiness breaking down as we explored the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail…he loved the little waterfall.

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He enjoyed watching The Mark Twain as we ate lunch at The Hungry Bear Restaurant.

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Our last day there, Bronson Grimbald was up and waiting for us at the door, ready to get a move on into the park.  He’d finally found his happy thought.

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He loved riding in the nose of the monorail with the pilot and a cute young couple from Phoenix.

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He couldn’t get enough of the castle all decked out for Christmas.

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He insisted on getting his picture taken with Mickey and then he wouldn’t stop talking about his very own Mickey ears.  We couldn’t do anything else until we found some for him.

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Then he wanted a proper photo taken of him in front of the entrance to the park.

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..and with the Christmas tree in Downtown Disney.  He wanted to go ice skating, but the rink wasn’t open.

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Bronson had the best time and wouldn’t take his ears off the rest of the trip, even on the plane ride home.  In fact, he hasn’t taken them off since we got home.  He smiles constantly now, in a Bronson sort of way.

Every day he asks when we’re going back.  Next time, he want’s to meet Minnie.

Bronson Grimbald highly recommends Disneyland.  “But be warned”, he says, “no matter how cranky you are, you won’t be able to do anything except have a fantastic time.”

Never underestimate the power of a Mouse.

Own the Day!

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Disneyland at Christmas

I took December off.  Sort of. We didn’t do any school and I tried to limit my effort solely to planning and enjoying the Christmas season…..

The exception was that Eric and I took a trip. Just the two of us.

To Disneyland.

It was all very quiet because we honestly didn’t know if we were going to have the  money to go until the very last minute.  The week before, we were still holding our breath and keeping our fingers crossed hoping the engine didn’t fall out of one of the cars, or the washing machine exploded or something equally huge that would have cost enough to prevent us from being able to go.

Quite suddenly it seemed, we were there.  Tank tops, sandals, sunscreen and our great big 7 year old selves.  I don’t think we stopped smiling for a minute.

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Our hotel was right across the street from the Park

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Always need a picture with Walt in front of the Castle. Look at all those poinsettias!  Poinsettias in the flower beds, poinsettias in hanging baskets; everything was decorated beautifully for Christmas.

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We ate a couple times in the Jolly Holiday Bakery. (From the movie Mary Poppins.)  Oh such good food and coffee. The Matterhorn Macaroons were amazing!

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The Jingle Cruise is one of the reasons I so wanted to do Disney at Christmastime.  All the Christmas packages destined for the explorers outpost had been lost in the jungle, and the animals had gotten hold of the decorations, baking ingredients and fruit cakes.  There were fruit cakes everywhere.

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So I took Grimbald with us to Disney. Here he is waiting in line for the Jingle Cruise.  As you can see, he’s grumpy pretty much all the time and needed a bit of The Happiest Place on Earth.  (I will post separately about his visit to see Mickey.)

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We left our 21 yr old son in charge of the house and we flew the coop.  We ate breakfast at Goofy’s kitchen. We rode Thunder Mountain Railroad.  We co-piloted the Mark Twain, riding up on the bridge with only the captain. We rode in the nose of the monorail.  We rode Peter Pan, and Star Tours. We stood and listened to all sorts of live music. We ate dole whips and Matterhorn macaroons and pineapple spears.  And all around the place was decorated with the signs of the season.  There were all kinds of Christmas trees and Christmas music was being played everywhere we went, while we wore sandals and tank tops in the 80 degree weather. We had the best time we’ve ever had.  We watched the fireworks over Sleeping Beauty’s castle which ended with snow…we were snowed on at Disneyland!

It was simply the best time we’ve had in our entire lives.  We’ve never had so much fun and felt truly like we’d had both a vacation and an adventure.

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Eric wants to know who can guess where I was standing when I took this picture…do  you know?

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It was a lovely fun special time.  We cannot wait to go back.  Maybe next year?

Own the Day!

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Welcome 2015 and all your possibilities

New Years resolutions are all about doing something you hate, or something you’ve put off, or something you’re not good at and then resolving to kick it to the curb in the coming year.  Things like: lose weight, declutter the house, paint the kids’ room, organize the garage, exercise, don’t yell at the kids, quit smoking, get “A”s in school, floss, pay off debt….

And while not one of these things is a bad goal, it’s all negative.  And we all know how New Years Resolutions go, they get lost in the day to day living and by March we’ve either failed or forgotten about them and we feel worse than if we hadn’t made it a resolution at all.

As I was mulling 2015 and all it’s potential, and these 365 days of endless possibilities, I began to think of resolutions/goals/dreams, for the year,  and I thought about making 2015 a year of happy positive things.  Goals, dreams desires that make my heart happy, excited,  and encouraged to love people.

So I started scribbling down every little and big thing I could think of, that I wanted to do this year, and these headings emerged:

LEARN, CREATE, CELEBRATE, RECORD, READ,

TEACH/INSPIRE,  GIVE, GO/EXPLORE…

So here is part of the list that is still evolving and will be ongoing throughout the whole year:

LEARN: felt ornaments, watercolor, frost cookies, needle felt, oreo cookie balls, decoupage ceramic coasters, ice cube candles, 1 new thing about my camera, sorbet, woodburning….

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Learning to make felt ornaments.  That doesn’t mean I’m going to be good at it. I just want to try and learn and enjoy the process of learning.  That critter above is supposed to be a fox and below are birds.

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RECORD: make Toby shadowbox, SMASH Disney 2014, SMASH school year, write in DAYS journal…

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CELEBRATE: our 50th birthdays every month, Lunar New Year, birthdays, Dylan’s grad…

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Eric and I both turn 50 this year.  I decided I want to celebrate that every single month with something small.  these are for January: Cashews for Eric’s birthday on the 2nd and bowls for me on the 3rd.  

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TEACH/INSPIRE: 7th grade home education

GIVE: 6 Pay It Forward people, hat and gloves for Eric…

GO/EXPLORE:  Port Orchard, Whatcom Falls, Vancouver, BC, Seattle Museum, Walk with Tulip Trekkers..

CREATE: Knit for me-hat, mitts, Knit for grandbaby, doodle/draw, Bible journal, new recipes in bread machine…

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This is the hat I’m working on for me.  I literally knit and give everything away (except a couple pairs of socks).  I don’t own one pair of pretty Nordic mittens.  So I decided I would give myself permission to knit a few things for myself this year.

I encourage you to Dream.  Dream about what you’d like to do this year.

This list is just a jumping off point for my heart every day.  It’s a deliberate way to be focused on the happy things in my world.  It’s a deliberate way to be focused on lovely creative things and pressing in hard to every day and loving my people with a fierce and faithful love.

No matter what 2015 brings to our lives, may we be focused on the gift each day is to live and love.

And now, we’re packing up school and heading to the Firehall Cafe’.  Time to “inspire” some learning in my girl.  My love to each of you and remember to

Own the Day!

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Happy New Year!…better late than never

Happy Day to you, friends!  The sun is streaming through my windows, the dogs are sleeping-one next to me, one at my feet.  Adrienne is doing math homework.  All my guys are gone at school and work and I’m rocking a headache like a boss.

There’s so much that’s been going on since we last chatted that I’m overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, so I’m just holding my breath and diving in, starting with the biggest thing first.

Eric got a new job!  He is still at the hospital, but now he is working in medical records which means instead of working till midnight or 1 a.m. he’s home now by 5 p.m.-no weekends or holidays.  It’s Monday through Friday.  I can hardly believe it.  It’s been 12 years since he had more “normal” hours and we had a more normal family life.  Adrienne (age 12) has never known what it’s like to sit down to a table for dinner night after night.

For the first time in her life, school is uninterrupted.  When Eric worked evening shift, we had to stop everything between 11 a.m and 2 p.m. if we wanted time with him–that’s “evening time”. If we didn’t take the time for that, the kids wouldn’t have seen Dad for days at a time.  Well, it’s no secret that I’m not high energy and working up momentum in any activity later in the day is difficult for me.  I can’t believe the difference already.  Just getting to plan dinner, set the table and eat together every single night is such a privilege–we are feeling quite spoiled.

This is the start of Eric’s 2nd week at the new position and he’s really enjoying it and I am enjoying it from home.

Another huge thing is that our older daughter, Nicole is expecting her first baby!  Our first grand baby!  Baby is due in July so we’re having all sorts of fun planning and dreaming.

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Adrienne and Nicole having coffee at WOODS

In other news, Mike wrapped his car around a pole, driving too fast on a country road as he was late for worship practice. By nothing but the grace of God he didn’t hit anything or anyone except the pole. And though he walked away without so much as a headache, the back end of the car is trashed.

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Eric and I took a secret trip to Disneyland in December and I have pictures all ready to post and show you.  I can’t wait to tell you all about it, it was the best trip ever!

And I have 2015 goals and dreams to tell you all about, too.  My take on New Year’s Resolutions.  My original list went like the following as I thought it might be nice to have a list that I can actually be pretty darn sure I can accomplish:

Make a list of unattainable goals and desires.

Be frustrated when I can’t attain them.

Feel sorry for myself.

Do pilates so seldom that when I do them, I get a nasty headache.

Forget someone’s birthday. Hope it’s someone that will forgive me.

Have chronic health issues: have no social life.

Be a bad example to Adrienne by grumbling at other drivers’ bad driving.

Feed my dogs too many treats.

From time to time, resent the fact that I’m still home schooling.

Forget to cook dinner several times a week.

Forget how to change my blog header and have it look like Christmas most of the year.

Spend too much money on Amazon.

Miss my sister so much it hurts.

Be late returning library books and owe the library a minimum of $15 every three months.

Yell at the dogs.

So after this cathartic exercise I began mulling over actual goals/dreams/desires for this coming year.  The question I asked myself:  if you could do anything this year what would it be? And I realized I had all these things tucked in the pages of my brain that I’d been saving, waiting for the opportunity to do. So I started writing it all down….and I will post on that in a few days.  It was really SO much fun.

Okay, well that’s enough for one day.  I’m off to work on the fingerless mitts I’m knitting for Eric at his request.  I hope you are having the mostly loveliest of days.  And remember to Own It.

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Christmas Tree at Disneyland, December 2014

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Wherein We Go To The Museum

In the interest of Washington State History, we headed to the Lynden Pioneer museum, which is conveniently 5 minutes from my house.  This place has a whole little town inside the building, circa 1900.  City Hall, Fire department, post office, millinery, jail, mercantile, church, school, etc.

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license plate

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Gas pumps

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Bank safe

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Cafe’- Tuna sandwich: .45  Ice cream sundae: .35

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Dry goods store

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Lynden or any little country town circa 1900.  A town inside the museum building.

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Adrienne and Hailey in jail.

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Fire department and city hall.

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And school, of course.

Faith, Hailey’s mom, was awesome pointing things out, talking about the history of buggies and farm equipment, telegraph equipment and old time cameras. She even did a mini economics lesson, bless her.

We hit the gift shop on the way out-(I love me a good gift shop-tourist trap or not, they’re my favorite part) where I bought Adrienne old fashioned stick candy. Then we ran to have ice cream at Edaleen for lunch a snack, before heading home.

We had a great time and getting to walk around a “town” from a hundred or so years ago.  History was made a little bit more alive for the girls today at Lynden Pioneer Museum.

Own the Day!

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Folk Tale

As part of Washington State history we’ve been reading Folk Tales by both Americans (How Paul Bunyan dug the Puget Sound) and Native Americans (How Mt. Rainier taught a man what real wealth is).  Then Adrienne wrote her own Folk Tale:

How the Pacific Ocean Turned Blue

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     Once upon a time, there lived two wolves, Skookum and Kloshe.  Skookum was the daughter of Kloshe. They lived along the Pacific Ocean.  At this time, the ocean was brown and dark. Skookum and Kloshe would eat fish and fruits for meals and occasionally swim for fun.  Every time they went hunting, they would watch the seals and Orca whales swim by.

     One day Kloshe got sick and died. Skookum thought it might have been a parasite her mom caught from a salmon.  After Kloshe, died, her body turned into a sparkling blue crystal, about the size of her paw. Skookum carried the crystal to the Pacific Ocean and put the crystal in the dark water where Skookum and Kloshe would hunt and swim together.

     Suddenly, the ocean dazzled and turned blue. The seals danced and the Orca whales sang. Even the salmon swam in a special pattern. All the creatures were excited that the Pacific Ocean was no longer brown but beautiful and blue.

And that’s how the Pacific Ocean turned blue.

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Today, I took Adrienne to have lunch with her friends at MP3 and we went to have coffee with Nicole.  Adrienne read about Sacagawea while Nicole helped me update the look of my blog and then we just sat and visited together.

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We’re home now, I’m tired and my head is pounding, but it was worth being with both the girls at a cozy coffee shop.  Now I’m waiting for Eric to get home so we can play our new golf game together.

Hope you’re up to happy things today. Cheers!

Own the Day!

 (Wolf photo credit:  http://www.straight.com/life/last-wild-wolves-ian-mcallister)
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