Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Yarn Along: More Reading Than Knitting

Not too much knitting going on these days. I’m still working on my Fall scarf. I’m loving the colors and texture. I’m hoping to have some time during my upcoming vacation to sit down and practice some more stitches and maybe start a crochet project. Any easy patterns for creatively challenged people (as it will be my first attempt at following a pattern) are welcomed!

On the reading front…I finished Fault Lines and I got to say, I loved it but it felt deeply sad to me. Being a reader of romance and a lover of happy endings, the end of this book was somewhat disappointing and even frustrating. I wanted the heroine to be stronger, to take more of a stand…and even though she kind of did, it really didn’t feel like I had closure.

So as I’m trying to decide which book on my To Read list to tackle next, I’m engaging in a light flirtation with a $.99 deal on my Kindle…Looking for Trouble by Erin Kern. It’s a no-thinking-required contemporary romance. Just the thing after a heavy Anne Rivers Siddon book.

On my nightstand, Harry potter 1 is coming to a swift end…just a few more chapters to go. My daughter is enchanted and I’m having a wonderful time watching her as she discovers the marvelous world that is Harry Potter. I haven’t decided if we will read book 2 right away yet. I’m not sure she is ready for the complexity of the story as it unfolds in subsequent books and if she’ll get it. We will see.

Joining Ginny.

Provoke and Ponder

Joining A is for Akari
“A new Wednesday ritual...some inspirational words to carry you (and me) through the rest of the week.”

I have this on a magnet on my refrigerator.  It helps me find my way when I get lost.

"For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life.  But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid.  At last it dawned on my that these obstacles were my life.  This perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness.  Happiness is the way.  So treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one.  Happiness is a journey, not a destination...:


What is inspiring you?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Weekending: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

I had an early start to my weekend...unfortunately, not in a good way though.  My car died on Wednesday evening.  It just gave up.  Apparently it needs a new transmission.  My husband and I had decided that when the car became too expensive to fix we would get a new one.  However, we also decided to remodel the bathroom and that this car may not be a bad "first car" for my son new car.  Sigh!

The up side of the story is that once I had come to terms with the fact that we were gonna fork out A LOT of money to fix this car, I had it towed and then let it go, and the rest of the weekend was great!

Isabella and I played hookie on Thursday (due to lack of car) and spent the day lazying away.  Then, we went to a youth theater production of Annie where my very talented cousin played Miss Hannigan.  It was loads of fun!  On Friday I watched the Black Swan with my hubby.  It had been sitting in our TV cabinet for weeks, so it was nice to have some grown up time to watch it while Bella was having fun at summer camp.  Then I made a big batch of spaghetti and watched two episodes of Glee when Bella went to bed. 

Saturday was a clean up day.  Vacuuming, dusting, laundry, washing cars...grilling, Battleship, puzzle making, Karaoke.  Then on Sunday I went with Bella's Daisy troop to Build-A Bear and lunch as a celebration for meeting our cookie selling goal. 

So what started off kind of sad turned into something wonderful.  My only complaint is that it's over.  But, there's always next weekend :)

How was your weekend?

Joining Amanda.

Friday, June 24, 2011

This Moment

Joining SouleMama...
"{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember."

I have peas!!  

Now how do I know when to harvest them?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Through a Child's Eyes

There are many things that I love about being a mother.  The sound of my childrens' laughter.  The hugs and kisses and I Love Yous.  The awe on their faces when experience something new, and their joy when they accomplish something or learn a new skill.  However, the moments I live for are those when my children teach me something or say or do something that inspires me.  During these moments, I feel validated as a mother...that I must be doing something right if my child, at age 15 or 7, is able to help me grow as a person.

As you may already know, I have been participating in Daisy Yellow's Index-Card_A-Day Challenge (click here to view my cards), and, of course, my daughter has been joining me in my 5 minutes of creativity everyday.  Often times she will sneak a peak at what I'm doing and proceed with her own version of whatever I happen to come up with.  However, last Friday she picked up her colored pencils and started drawing away with a single-minded focus, paying no mind to what I was doing.  The result blew me away.

I had drawn a similar picture one day when we were having some art time, so the idea was not entirely her own...but I was impressed with her skill.  She had drawn this free hand and from memory!

Over the past few days I have found myself coming back to this card.  It fills me with joy and hope and awe every time I look at it.  I ask myself "Who is this little creature that my husband and I have created and what great things will she accomplish in her life?"  Because I have no doubt that she (as well as my son) will accomplish great things...and it is my fervent hope that God will bless me with health and long life so that I may come along for the ride!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Yarn Along: Finally Finished!

Joining Ginny for Yarn Along.

The scarf is finally finished!!!

She is very pleased...and so am I. 

I can finally move on to something else...well, not something else really...more like new yarn.

Yes, I'm on to another scarf using the most beautiful ribbon in Fall colors.  This one is going to be for me :)  Can't wait to wear it!!

On the reading front, since last I posted I have finished Bed and Breakfast by Lois Battle.  It was a great story about mothers, daughters, forgiveness, and love.  I also chewed through two books on my Kindle...Life's a Beach by Claire Cook, which was so funny it had me laughing out loud, and 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson which was a sweet story.  Of the two though, I recommend Cook...great lighthearted summer read.

Right now I'm making my way through Anne Rivers Siddons' Fault Lines.  It's a little heavy, but Siddons is such a terrific writer and her stories are so touching and relatable, that I'm blasting right through it.

And of course, Harry Potter 1 is still on our bedside table :)

Oh...and here's Today's 5.  

Provoke and Ponder: For My Daughter

Joining A is for Akari

“A new Wednesday ritual...some inspirational words to carry you (and me) through the rest of the week.”

I saw this quote in a store and it immeditaely made me think of my daughter.  If she remembers nothing else I teach her, I hope she remembers these words...

"As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that wasn't supposed to ever let you down... probably will. You will have your heart broken probably more than once and it's harder every time. You'll break hearts too, so remember how it felt when yours was broken. You'll fight with your best friend. You'll blame a new love for things an old one did. You'll cry because time is passing too fast and you'll eventually lose someone you love. So take too many pictures, laugh too much, and love like you have never been hurt because every sixty seconds you spend upset is a minute of happiness you'll never get back."  Author Unknown

Monday, June 20, 2011

Weekending (Part 2): Jump Start On Summer

Sunday dawned overcast and cold.  Not great news when we had BIG plans for Father's Day...BIG plans.

But we didn't let a little funky weather get us down!!  We packed up our picnic baskets and headed to the park for a day out in nature.  What better way to spend Father's Day?

A group of us got together for some fun and games.

There was tennis...

Some scooter riding...

Leisurely walks...

Nature spotting...

And some shelter building.

We had a great lunch and managed two games of volleyball and a game of Cranium, of which I have no pictures because I was too busy participating :)  

I have to say, it was a lovley start to what I hope will be a wonderful summer.

How was your weekend?

Joining Amanda for Weekending.

Weekending (Part 1): Getting Into the Groove

This was our first free-of school weekend!!  Woohoo!!  So in between doing all of the household chores that we have been neglecting for weeks, we found time to...

Try out almond butter for the first time (Yum!)...

Play a little Wii...

Make some headway on our puzzle project (finished puzzle coming soon)...

And try out a new recipe.

It was a great start to a fantastically fun weekend!!  

Sunday deserves it's own post, so...

To be continued...

Joining Amanda for Weekending.

Friday, June 17, 2011

This Moment

Joining SouleMama...
"{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember."


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Today's 5

So after reading MJs post this morning, I decided...why not?  Drawing or coloring has always been a great de-stressor for me, so why not take 5 minutes of everyday and let my mind go!  So...I will be joining  Daisy Yellow for Index Card A Day this summer. 

We will see what wonders are created!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Weekending: Tying Up Loose Ends

Seems I am destined to be perpetually late for everything these days. Sigh!

Joining Amanda (a little late) for Weekending.

These weekend was spent tying up some loose ends. 
Trying to wrap up school activities.  Editing papers.  Studying for finals.  Preparing for end of year parties and performances.
Looking through yearbooks and reminiscing about old times.
Eating leftovers and ordering pizza.
Being blown away by Justin Bieber's rise to fame (watched Never Say Never with Bella).
Testing for orange belt.  Many photos, hugs, kisses, and congratulations.  Lunch and frozen yogurt to celebrate.
Feeling an amazing sense of freedom when the last final had been taken and the last paper had been turned in. 
Having a productive family meeting to discuss our summer plans.
Leaving the household chores for another day to spend time as a family doing nothing in particular, but doing it together.

I think summer has officially started in our household.  Although the kids still have a couple more days of school our mindset has definitely shifted.  Can't wait to see what the new season brings!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

This Moment

Joining SouleMama...

"{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember."

Simple joy...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Yarn Along: Mother's, Daughter's, and Pom Poms

I am really almost done with my daughter's scarf.  It's about two thirds of the way there...just need a little more length.  I spent a few hours Friday practicing purl stitch and cable stitch.  I took the advice many of you lovely ladies gave me and found some tutorials on YouTube.  It seemed I grabed my yarn and needles and got to it.  I was hoping to have a picture to share, but I must confess, the stitches looked rather...well, not good.  I need to do a little more practicing before I post any pictures.

On the reading front, I finished The Brazen Bride.  It actually got quite good once the story focused on the hero and heroine's pursuit of The Black Cobra...the mystery leader of a group of assasins wrecking havoc in India.  I just started reading Bed and Breakfast by Lois Battle.  It's a story about a widow who is estranged from her three adult daughters and their journey towards reconciliation.  It is very engaging and I am enjoying it very much.

Isabella and I are steadily working on Harry Potter, Book 1.  She is enjoying it immensley; especially since we see little bits of the movie as we read.  And I am enjoying reliving the magic!

Linking with Ginny.

Provoke and Ponder: A Week-Long Reflection

Joining A is for Akari

“A new Wednesday ritual...some inspirational words to carry you (and me) through the rest of the week.”

A quote I’ve been pondering all week.

“Life knocks us all off course at one time or another, I tell them, and right now it’s my turn. I let them see me cry a little, I accept every hug that comes my way, and then I remind myself, over and over…that when a door closes, another one always opens. I am simply going to need to keep an eye out for it, so that when I see it, I’ll be ready to walk through.”
~K. Kenison in The Gift of an Ordinary Day

You can read more about my pondering here.

What is inspiring you today?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Weekending: Going it Slow

This weekend...

Hung out with the teens on Friday…Souplantation and conversation about summer plans.

Did bits of cleaning and tidying in between longer moments of laziness.

Lots of reassuring a frazzled husband…had to dig back into thesis proposal writing memories to help him get his bearings. I hope it helped.

Dinner with friends on Saturday night…homemade gnocchi and tiramisu…heaven.

Spent some time reflecting on my funky mood of the past few weeks.

Dinner with friends again on Sunday. Truly blessed to have such great friends.

All said, it was quiet with a general sense of calm and moments of laughter. Not a bad weekend at all.

How was yours?

Linking with Amanda.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Monthly Reflection

I have been feeling very uninspired lately.  Not sure of it’s the hectic pace we seem to be living at as Luis nears the end of his first year of his MSW program, or the thoughts of the adjustments we will have to make come September when he begins again, adding an internship along with his three classes and full-time job.  At this point, the months of summer seem to stretch before us as a welcome respite from the chaotic life we have been living this past year, yet, at the same time, insufficient as I try to figure out how we are going to pack one school years worth of quality family time into two measly months.

As I ponder all of these certainties, eventualities, and possibilities, an overwhelming feeling of defeat fills me, which leaves no room for inspiration of any kind.  The past few weekends have passed practically uneventful, as I don’t do the chores I should be doing or start the projects I should be starting or make the plans I should me making.  Friday comes and I feel drained.  I end up half-heartedly getting through the weekend.  Then Sunday comes and the work week looms before me with all of the stressing and rushing and juggling that accompanies life in our household these days.

Today…as I sit on my couch and stare out my window, the dust bunnies sweeping past, the unfolded laundry in a pile beside me, I look for some words of comfort from someone who has been there, done that.  I randomly open my copy of Katrina Kenisons’ a Gift of an Ordinary Day and I come across these words:

Life knocks us all off course at one time or another, I tell them, and right now it’s my turn.  I let them see me cry a little, I accept every hug that comes my way, and then I remind myself, over and over…that when a door closes, another one always opens.  I am simply going to need to keep an eye out for it, so that when I see it, I’ll be ready to walk through.

How appropriate!  I am definitely having an off-course moment and it’s gratifying to read the words of another who has gone through the same moments in life and can offer words of wisdom to help me view my circumstances, not as a deep well I have fallen into and can’t seem to climb up out of, but more like a waiting room with many doors, one of which will open at any given moment and provide me with an opportunity to take a new path.

So, for now, I suppose I will simply accept and find peace in this place I am in and trust that life knows where it is taking me…and when the time is right, I will know the path that I must follow next.  in the meantime, I will work on surrendering my worries of the future and my expectations of the present, and simply enjoy what I have right now…dust bunnies, a pile of laundry, and a beautiful spring day!

Friday, June 3, 2011

New Look (for now)

Hello, all.  Just wanted to assure you that you're in the right place.  I've been trying to find a template I like and so have been playing around with various options.  I like simplicity and the previous template was just not working for me anymore.  I would love to add a photo to the title background, but that is proving to require more technological knowledge than I apparently posses.  I have also tried downloading templates and those also require techy skills in order to arrange the gadgets to my liking. I see an HTML class in my future :(  Any and all advice is welcome, but for now...this is it.  I hope to spruce it up with lots of pictures in my posts!  

This Moment

Joining SouleMama...

"{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember."

Nature's perfection...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Yarn Along: Feeding the Mind and Soul

Given all the yarn and knitting paraphernalia that I own, you would think I had a whole closet full of hand-knitted items.  But alas…it’s just the scarves as usual.  

I am almost done with my daughter’s very colorful pom-pom scarf.  I underestimated the amount of yarn I would need and had to go back for more.  I also started a new scarf with multi-colored ribbon I found on sale at Tuesday Morning.  I love the Fall colors and can’t wait to wear it!!  I’m using a brown suede and the fun fur, along with the ribbon.  Since I’m not skilled in different kinds of stitches, I usually use three yarns to give my scarves pattern and texture.  Sigh!  Someday I’ll be able to make amazing things like so many of you ladies :)  This weekend I also bought a crochet book.  For some reason one needle seems much less intimidating than two.  We will see how it goes.

As for reading…in the romance category I’m currently zipping through The Brazen Bride by Stephanie Laurens.  She is my favorite historical romance author and this is the third book in a quartet…but I have to say she goes a little overboard in this one.  Seems the characters spend more time in bed than trying to catch the bad guys.  Suffice it to say I’ve been skipping a lot of pages :(

Isabella and I finished Charlotte’s Web.  She absolutely loved it and I enjoyed sharing this wonderful story with her.  It got me thinking that perhaps it was time to delve into the magical world of Harry Potter…for the second time.  We started reading The Sorcerer’s Stone.  So far, so good.

And…every once in a while I read another chapter of Just Food or The Last Lecture :)

Linking with Ginny for Yarn Along