I know it's trite to say that time flies, but I literally have trouble believing that my sweet baby Katie just turned fourteen. Fourteen!! It seems so big, so grown up, so mature, so scary. And I suppose she is all of those things, actually.
The first one to volunteer to help me shovel the snow, the one who is my right hand in our house, with the kids, with life.... is growing up. It's hard to believe in a few more short years she will be heading off to college, taking on the world as an adult. It makes me a tad teary to think about it, but is also makes my heart swell with pride. I'm happy to say that now, at fourteen, come what may, I genuinely like my teenager - which I know is a huge blessing in itself, one not every parent has at this particular moment.
Happy Birthday, Katie.
~ Joining in with Ginny at Small Things, who loves to read & loves to knit~
I am trying to be very disciplined and only work on Christmas presents until they're done - I don't want to be frantically clutching my needles on Christmas Eve, desperately finishing one last thing...
After finishing the first sleeve of this sweater, I decided I was unhappy with the short rows I had worked, and not thrilled with the fullness of the sleeve itself. I ripped it all back, and am reworking, with one less set of short rows in each repeat. I also read up on the technique over at TECHknitting, and am much happier about it this time around. Hopefully it will continue to move along quickly... there are more gifts to make!
The book I'm reading is The Winter of our Disconnect - the story of a mom & her three kids, who completely unplugged for 6 months. I'm just getting into it, but am fascinated by the idea, and the process the family is going through as they adjust to no power. Can you imagine - no power at all? I can't even get the family to agree to no cable TV!
As much as I love taking pictures, every now and then I get so caught up in the moment that I completely forget to pick up the camera. Halloween night was one of those times; I was so busy adjusting wigs, setting out pumpkins, finding props & chasing Liam that capturing it all for posterity went right out the window. Fortunately, a friend saved the day by grabbing a shot of the brood while begging for candy.
We have here, then, a halo-less angel, a fearsome pirate, a pink-haired Little Mermaid, and a brave astronaut. Even the astronaut lasted the better part of an hour going from house to house, and then we went home to enjoy hot chocolate, while the big ones went back out for more (and more, and more...). There are carefully labeled bags of candy tucked into the pantry, and Halloween is over for another year. I wonder who will venture out with me next autumn?
I've been inspired by the fall leaves and crisp morning air to start making my holiday plans. Here's what I'm thinking...
The best part is that all of this yarn is in the stash already, so I am ready to get started, and I'll be making room in my yarn dresser. You know, when I read that list over, it doesn't seem that crazy... lets see what the next two months hold! What plans are you making?
Although Liam turned three last week, we celebrated the big 3 today with him, and a few of our family friends. I really love having a theme for parties, so when I discovered an Eric Carle Birthday Party kit a month or so ago I knew that was it. Liam LOVES Eric Carle books, and one of his favourite is The Very Hungry Caterpillar, so that is what we went with.
The kit came with paper hats, a cardboard birthday banner, as well as goodie bags and stickers. It also had a book filled with ideas for a themed party, that were all too complicated for me to deal with. We had a do-it-yourself helium balloon kit, and Katie obliged us with custom artwork for each one. I planned a couple of simple crafts, but we ended up just playing and visiting, although Katie did also offer her facepainting services.
I baked cupcakes last night, and this morning Stuart helped me quickly decorate them before our guests arrived. The sun shone, we played outside, everyone was happy. And most important - the birthday boy felt loved and special (and even tried out his new run bike). I suppose that's what it's all about, right?
Brian turned nine yesterday. He opted to take a couple of friends to the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie instead of having a party, but I had to turn it into a bit of one, anyway. Quick fish cupcakes, and a few little accessories can make any day into Pirate Day, right?
Just the fact that he would rather go to a movie with a few buddies shows how grown-up my boy is getting. I love it, though, that he's not to big to throw on the pirate gear, and act it out when he came home, checking with the Blackbeard book brought home from the library (for accuracy, of course).
My, how the years have flown...
In the week before Christmas, I picked up the book Little Birds at our local library. Although the combination of new job and end of school semester put an end to our plans for a completely handmade Christmas, I did still want to make a special little something for each of the kids' Christmas stockings.
Liam is especially enamoured with peacocks right now, and when I saw the little peacock featured in the book, I knew I had to make one. That, naturally, lead to a bluebird for Gwenyth, and an owl for Brian, and finally, a budgie for Katie.
I pulled out my small stash of wool felt, and got busy. There was more handwork involved than I have been used to doing in the recent past, and I very much enjoyed myself. The sewing was a nice accompaniment to sitting with the kids watching different Christmas movies in the days before the holiday, and I continued to stitch away in the evenings after my own little flock had gone to bed.
Traditionally, there is always a little face - a stuffed toy, a doll - peeking out of the top of the stockings on Christmas morning, and I would usually want those to be a surprise. The kids did see me working on these little guys ahead of time, but it didn't seem to take away from their enjoyment of a soft, handmade bird of their own.
This project has definitely inspired me to do more like it. Working with felt was really satisfying, and even more so, these little friends for the kids had exactly the feeling I was hoping for in giving them something handmade. It has definitely encouraged me to plan and work more carefully for next year, so that we can achieve our handmade holiday goals in 2011.
Liam is napping, the big kids are at school, I have an English assignment due Monday and a Psychology mid-term on Wednesday. Obviously, the most important thing for me to be doing right now is thinking about Christmas!
Last year, when Stuart asked me what I wanted for Christmas, I told him that I wanted his commitment that this year, we would have a completely hand-made holiday. No plastic toys, no stuff we don't need, just special, well thought out gifts, made by our own two hands (well, as much as possible - we agreed it is acceptable to purchase some hand-made things). He said yes, and although I think it will really be too much for him, and that he will succumb to the need to shop, I'm embracing it wholeheartedly.
Here are some plans in the works: