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Friday, August 22, 2014

Are You Ready For Some FOOTBALL???!!!!!

Oh, I definitely am!! Although I played was on the volleyball team in high school, I've never been much into playing sports. I do LOVE watching football, though! It's one sport I understand and enjoy. I've been a cheer mom for several years, but this is my first year as a football mom. I can't even explain to you how excited I am about it. #1 Son has never had an interest in playing before - basketball,, no - but one afternoon last spring he surprised me by saying, "Mom, I'm going to talk to Coach about playing football." And that was that. From weight lifting to cleats, his padded girdle to quite a few bruises, my son has become a football player. #72 for the JV Fighting Leeman - Right Offensive Tackle - Left Defensive Tackle, and even a little bit of Special Teams. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

In Memory of My Grandpa

I don't like starting a post on a sad note, but my sweet Grandpa, the one who turned 95 the end of January, passed away on April 8. His memorial service was a couple weeks ago, and I wanted to share some of his remarkable life with you.

He lived a full life and traveled the world. Born in California to Scottish parents, he lived in Chile, South Africa and Puerto Rico growing up (along with a few other places). His family settled in Scotland when he was in high school. He returned to the states to finish school, which was extended a year because Grandpa hadn't taken Civics and Government. Apparently, this didn't sit well with him as you can imagine! After finally finishing high school, he went to Virginia Tech and graduated in 1940. It wasn't called Virginia Tech at the time, however. In 1896, the Virginia General Assembly changed the school's name from the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College to the Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and Polytechnic Institute. What a mouthful! Popular usage shortened the name to Virginia Polytechnic Institute, then to VPI until 1970, and finally to Virginia Tech.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

52 Week Crochet Challenge - Week 3

Yay! I did it! I started and finished Week 3 before Week 4 begins. Woohoo!  It really is the little things sometimes, isn't it? 

So, Week 3 is: Celebrate the First Day of Spring (March 20, 2014) by Crocheting a Flower, or Make a Project that has a Flower Motif or Theme. Well, it sure doesn't feel like spring in my neck of the woods. Today it's snowing. Really not my idea of a good time, but least the roads are clear...for now anyway.

There are so many gorgeous patterns for flowers out there that I debated for a bit on how I wanted to proceed with this week's challenge. A couple weeks ago I checked out the book, 75 Floral Blocks to Crochet : Beautiful Patterns to Mix and Match for Afghans, Throws, Baby Blankets, and More by Betty Barnden from the library, and let me tell you it's worth looking at!  With every page turn, it was, "Oooh, I love this!" I'm really not one for buying books, especially when there are so many free patterns online, but I think having this book in my crochet library would be a welcome addition. So many project possibilities! Where would I start? Truthfully, I forgot all about the book until now *sigh*.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Thankful Thursday

Yes, it's Friday, and this post is titled "Thankful Thursday", but it's been quite a week! 

Daughter #2 broke her toe on Monday.  She and #1 Son were playing kickball in the basement, and actually getting along - something I relish with a happy mom's heart, because it seems few and far between these days!  They're 12 and 14, and are complete opposites in many ways.  Plus, they can't help but pick on each other...EVERY DAY it feels like!  But I digress.  Daughter #2 went to kick the ball and missed, kicking the back of #1 Son's leg.  She couldn't put any pressure on her foot, couldn't stand or walk Monday afternoon, so we iced, elevated and Motrined (yes, that is a word, as of right now) the rest of the day.  She still couldn't bear weight Tuesday morning, so off to the walk-in clinic we went.  I didn't even try her regular pediatrician, knowing that if she needed x-rays we'd be sent somewhere else anyway.  After three hours at the walk-in clinic, the results came back - fractured 4th right toe at the growth plate.  Great!  We were fortunate enough to get an appointment with the orthopedic doctor that afternoon, and after almost three hours there Daughter #2 had a beautiful, multi-colored blue/pink/yellow cast.  

Saturday, March 15, 2014

A Project from the Heart - The Boston Marathon Scarf Project

National Crochet Month...what a great excuse to do more crochet - like I need an excuse, right? I've been busy keeping up with my CALs, and I've added some new projects to my queue, which I'll share with you soon! I can't seem to help myself really. The are so many great things out there to make, and so many great people to make them for.  One of my newest editions: the Old South Church Scarves for Boston Marathon Runners. 

I am a helper, I always have been. So when something comes along that pulls at my heartstrings, I'm all over it. Such is the case with the scarf project.  The Old South Church, in honor and rememberance of those lost at last year's Boston Marathon, started a project to collect knitted and crocheted scarves to "wrap each runner in love".  On Easter Sunday, the Old South Church will hold a Blessing of the Athletes during their morning services (which they have done since 2008) and present a scarf to each runner present.  I can't think of a better way to show my support and prayer for safety and strength than by something homemade from the heart.

I decided to use Red Heart Super Saver in #324 Bright Yellow and #385 Royal for my scarf. I did a simple ribbed pattern of double crochet, alternating five rows royal, three rows yellow, two rows royal, three rows yellow, and finishing up with five rows royal.  I had a TON of ends to weave in, since I didn't do it as I went along, which was very time consuming.  I think it turned out great though, if I do say so myself, and I hope it will bring a smile to a runner's face.

Wouldn't you like to make a scarf to bless a runner in this year's Boston Marathon? Check out the Old South Church facebook page, the Ravelry group Boston Marathon Scarf Project, or the church website for more information.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

March is National Crochet Month. Who Knew??

Ok, LOTS of people probably realized that March is National Crochet Month, but not me!  Thanks to Julie at Red Berry Crochet for creating the 52 Week Crochet Challenge in honor of National Crochet Month, and making me aware of the awesomeness of the month! Now I'm in the know.

Each week, there is a new challenge - from learning a new stitch to organizing your stash.  She's also created a Ravelry group to help us keep it all together.  You can find it here.  So far I've met a great bunch of ladies that I look forward to getting to know better as this challenge goes along.  You can follow their blogs from the links on the right under the "Are You Ready? Crochet Challenge" logo. Or join the group at Ravelry, which is a really cool knitting and crocheting site, by the way. You should check it out if you haven't already!

So what was the Week 1 Challenge?  How do you celebrate National Crochet Month?  Well, since I didn't know there was such a thing, just finding out about it was a good start, right? I also decided that I would try and crochet at least a little each day this month, and do better updating this blog.  Yeah, I know...I'm a little late getting around to posting this and we're already 13 days into the month, so I'm not doing so well with goal #2 at this point. There's still half a month left though, and there's always room for improvement so I'm hopeful.  As far as goal #1 is concerned, I've been able to keep up with that fairly well.  I use time duing my lunch hour to keep my hooks moving, and in the evening while watching TV.  I should say listening, because I have to keep an eye on the yarn and stitch count or else I end up with really strange looking objects!

As for Week 2? Start a crochet notebook, journal, scrapbook, or blog. Check! Woohoo! Got week 2 covered already.  I did actually start a “Current Crochet Projects” binder last week. No, I didn't cheat by looking ahead either.  It's a bright, pretty pink binder because white was just too boring for a notebook full of beautiful crochet projects.  Plus, I'm a girl and I like pink!  Don't judge.  Anyway, I was getting confused with which blocks belonged with which CALs, and trying to keep straight just how many ongoing projects I do have, so I needed something to help me along.  I have a page listing project name, designer, date started, date completed, which pattern(s) is used and where it can be found (book, website, etc.), hook size, and yarn brand/name/color.  I also have a printed copy of the current object pattern I’m working on, and a picture of the FO (finished object) labled with pattern name, which CAL/project it’s for, and the date. Oh, and a picture of someone else's take on the project if I like their color placement or want to use it for inspiration, etc.  The projects are divided by tabs so I can keep it neat.  I plan on making another binder for completed projects, and probably dividing that by type of object - blanket, scarf, hat, etc. This might be overkill, but I’ve never done it before so it will most likely be a "try it and adjust as needed" kind of thing.  I think it will be a nice reminder of the time, effort and LOVE that I put into each project, and I hope to be able to see my crochet skills progress and improve over time.

Now that I'm caught up on Weeks 1 and 2, I should be ready to start Week 3 on time.  Hey, it might even get it's own blog entry.  You never know...

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Blocks and Bowling

Crochet blocks, that is.  Between traveling to Ohio for grandpa's birthday, and traveling to a bowling tournament this past weekend, I've had a little bit of time to work on my CIPs. 

A few weeks ago, Dad and I bowled in the Central Shenandoah Valley USBC Hall of Fame Tournament and didn't do too badly.  We placed 7th in Doubles, I placed 7th in Women's Singles, and I placed 6th in All Events (which takes your scores from Doubles, Singles, and Team and adds them all together)! I don't know exactly how many doubles/singles there were since the results haven't been posted to the website yet, but I'm still quite pleased.  Now the Virginia State Mixed Tournament in Richmond Saturday and Sunday was a completely different experience. Double/Singles weren't too bad, but Team was a nightmare! The lanes were not very forgiving, we couldn't get anything to carry, and we bowled lousy - about 300 pins BELOW our team average for the day. It's impossible to win anything that way. The tournament goes through the end of the month, so we won't have any results before the middle to end of March, I'm sure. At the end of the day we were still laughing and smiling so I guess it wasn't so bad. Plus, we went to Dairy Queen afterward, and ice cream makes everything better!

I did make some progress on the Red Heart Checkerboard Textures Throw while traveling. Woohoo! I'm using Lion Brand Pound of Love yarn in Antique White #099. The squares are so soft, and measure roughly 12x12 10x10. They're close enough that I think once it's pieced together it'll be ok. The next textured square doesn't come out until next week. Boo!
Cross-Stitch Square
Granny Square

I made a decision about the other crochet alongs...after looking at the Moogly crochet along more closely, I realized that the squares were much more intricate than at first glance, so I decided to only join the 2014 Block-A-Month Crochet Along. I am really enjoying the squares, and they make quick work. I've gone with Red Heart Super Saver in Buff #0334, Soft Navy #0387, Aran #0313 and Cafe Latte #0360.

There is one main square a month, one filler square, and one 6" square, so the choices really are endless. I've decided on the Lemony Lime Citrus Square, the Frostbloom 12" Afghan Square, and the Flower Tile Afghan Square so far. I've learned something, too. Squares aren't so bad afterall.

Lemony Lime Citrus Square

Frostbloom 12" Afghan Square

I love the texture of this square! It makes you just want to run your hands across it, doesn't it? So ruffley and soft! I'm really liking the the colors, too, and I just happened to have them on hand so I didn't have to make any special trips to the store before starting. That makes me and my pocketbook happy!

Frostbloom 12" Afghan Square

Flower Tile Afghan Square
The downside to these two crochet alongs is that the afghans won't be completed until December! AAAHH! Waiting is so hard! I may have to add some 6" squares to fill in the time. Or, um, I could just work on the CIPs that are anxiously awaiting my crochet hook...

Monday, February 3, 2014

Time really does fly...

Wow! It's been over a year since I posted anything. Seriously, where does time go? Oh yeah, I'm a full-time working mother...that explains it, at least a little.

The first thing I need to do is introduce you to my granddaughter, Karli.  She was born November 22, at 3:30 p.m., weighing 5 pounds 15 ounces and measuring 19 5/8" long. Perfect and healthy in every way! Oh, and mom recovered GREAT from her c-section (after two and a half days in labor!).

About 3 hours after birth:

Here she is at 6 weeks old:

And one more at two months:

Isn't she gorgeous?!?!?!! I think I'm starting to get the hang of this whole grandma thing, and I think I'm really going to enjoy it, too!

We spent this past weekend celebrating my grandpa's 95th birthday. It was great seeing my sister and my Ohio family again. Sadly, the visits are few and far between. With the addition of Karli, it made five generations - again! My oldest daughter (aka Karli's mom) made five generations on my dad's mom's side of the family. My great-grandma was 94 when my oldest was born, and my grandpa (dad's dad) was 94 when Karli was born. I think that's kinda cool.
On a different, but related note, I have started crocheting again. Related because I picked up my yarn and hook when I found out I was going to be a grandma. I have a few projects under my belt, and a few CIPs (crochets in progress). Karli has a beautiful blanket; my son-in-law and youngest daughter have scarves and I made one for myself, too; one lapghan for Soldiers’ Angels; an OSU afghan for my son; and, an afghan that I started years ago and lost the pattern for.

Last week, I was cruising around looking for patterns and discovered The Checkerboard Textures Throw Crochet Along at Red Heart. I fell in love and have finished the first square. I am really pleased with how it turned out, except for the fact that it is definitely NOT a 10x10 square like it's supposed to be! What do you think? I'm hoping that all my squares will turn out the same size and the afghan will still come together like it's supposed to.

My problem now is that I have found two more crochet-alongs that I am smitten with. First, the 2014 Block-A-Month CAL and then the Moogly CAL 2014.  I’m not even a huge fan of Granny Squares, but I do love a good challenge so I’ll probably be making three blankets (in addition to the other CIPs I have going) this year. You can never have too many projects going at once, right?? The BAM CAL only does one square a month, while Moogly does two, and Red Heart does four! Hmm...decisions, decisions...