Friday, July 31, 2009

I'm A Winner

I take part in a "Sock A Month Knit Along", basically I try and knit a sock every month and post it to the blog. We just finished SAM 7, with each KAL running six months. This was my third SAM, and each month I have watched as winners of drawings have taken home "fabulous prizes". Yarns... most hand dyed, have brought tears to my eyes... markers, lovingly made, have made my simple plastic markers pale by comparison... and each month I have NOT been the winner. You see... I just don't win stuff.... until NOW!

I had put my socks on the blog early in July so that I could concentrate on other Christmas gifts, and had not checked back. I received an email from Zonda, one of the administrators of the blog with a link back to the blog... and there it was...

...400 yards of the most beautiful spring colored sock yarn you have ever seen... with my name below it as the winner!!! (And that little package you can see at the front... MARKERS! Yes... I was so very happy when this arrived!) Anyway... I digress.... I was SO excited when I saw this blog entry that I called out to Mickey with the news... he said, "That's nice"... NICE???? Okay... this was WAY better than nice!!! Then I told Carly, who politely smiled and said, "That's great, Mom." GREAT???!!!! Again... why all the lack of enthusiasm???? So I did the only thing that a girl can do in a situation such as this... I sent the link to my best sister-friend, and fellow yarn lover, Rebecca... and I awaited her reply. I was NOT disappointed... there were more question marks and exclamation points in her email than there had been in the conversations with my family. FINALLY... someone who understood the importance of this occasion!!!

Now... don't get me wrong... my family was thrilled for me... but they were thrilled as only those looking in from the outside can be... they did not have the JOY of a knitter plastered on their faces... or dripping from the voices... but I love them anyway. Afterall... not everyone is called to LOVE YARN... we are a chosen few!


Monday, July 27, 2009

Our Weekend in Pictures

Mickey has always wanted a hardwood floor... when we built he wanted it, but didn't want to spend the money on it at the time. So this weekend, we put a hardwood floor in our livingroom... all by ourselves!!!

Wednesday, I spent the day unpacking 15 boxes of wood planks....

On Thursday, Mickey tore up the carpet while I pulled up the staples holding down the padding. The floor was then vacuumed and preped for the wood!

Friday morning, we began the day at 8:30 by laying felt paper on the floor...

And then I laid out the first row of wood for Mickey to nail in... no fancy nailer here... had to drill holes and hand nail the first row!

Around 12:30 we took a 30 minute break for a sandwich. I think we managed to get pretty far by that time. Using the "fancy nail gun" made the work go much faster!

We were pretty excited when we got to the final row of the living room... this mean that we only had the area in front of the stairs and the hallway to complete... and while it didn't seem like much, it was harder to lay... there were doors to go around there, as well as the carpeting at the top of the stiars!
(For supper... we ordered Domino's... LOVE the fact that they deliver here!)

The completed living room...

Michael had the entire downstairs at his disposal... complete with TV... but he decided that he would rather watch a video while reclining on our bed! His own personal little nest!

I think that the finished product turned out amazing... and on Sunday we brought up the new couch and loveseat we had in the garage.... our re-do was complete!

But I have to admit... it was a long weekend... (we had a VBS day thrown in the middle of this!) and I am still tired!!! And last night... just before we went to bed... Mickey said... "I'd really like to do hardwood in the bedroom as well!" With a big smile on my face I said... "Sure... but not for AT LEAST two or three years!!!"


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Alone in a Crowd

Some of you have heard of the "Stalker Bird" that we have here at the house. Okay... I think it's real name is a "Yellowbellied Flycatcher", but I swear, the bird is stalking us!

I know this isn't a great picture... he's pretty hard to catch in the right spot... and I know that is on a hummingbird feeder... maybe he was raised by hummingbirds??? I don't know.

This little guy showed up last Friday. At first I was confused... he was sitting on the back of the rocker on the front porch... just looking in the window. As the day progressed, he began to fly up to the window and peck on it... then he would land on the screen and just hang there, looking in. He has even landed on the back door to sit and peck on it. Everyday, several times a day, he goes through this same routine!

Mickey has suggested that he sees himself in the window and thinks that he has found another of his kind. You see, this little bird isn't generally found around here. They winter in Chille, and migrate to Canada in the summer to breed, then head back to Chille.... and we are pretty sure that at some point on the journey, he became lost. And now... he is here all alone. I called a local newswriter, who happens to be a huge birding enthusiast, and I asked her opinion on what we could do. She said, "He is just going to have to figure out this isn't where he belongs, and then move on to where he is supposed to be."

I've thought about that alot over the past few days... I've decided that this little bird is sure a lesson in our Christian walk. Sometimes we go places we shouldn't... be it from a conscious choice or just by merely following the crowd, and we end up where God just doesn't want us. And like this little bird, we end up "beating our beaks" on the window or door, trying to find a different path... or someone to help us find our way home. And all the while, we haven't really figured out where we are SUPPOSED to be... we just know that it isn't where we are. Once this little guy figures our he isn't supposed to be here, we hope that he will move on and find his family... because while he isn't alone in our yard... we have tons of different types of birds... he is still lonely. We can also be lonely in a crowd when we aren't supposed to be where we are. That is when we need to turn around and walk away... or maybe walk away isn't the best choice of words... maybe I should say we "walk toward" where we were supposed to be in the first place!


Monday, July 6, 2009

the 4th in pictures!

Michael, Kailyn and Camden were busy watching the crowd at the fireworks on July 3rd. We have watched them on the lawn of the Pekin United Methodist Church for years, and hundreds of people are busy on the lawn throwing Frisbees, eating and visiting.

Rachel brought "little chairs" which the kids all loved.
Michael was very excited about the fireworks.

Kailyn was very busy taking care of Levi...
if you didn't see her right away all you had to do was look for Levi,
who was dressed in his green jammies (below) so that he was
ready to just plop into bed following the fireworks!

Emma and Camden spent a little time in the chairs...
and I mean a "little"... they loved to run in circles around
our blankets and chairs, getting rid of a little energy!

Isn't that an awesome picture of the moon?
Mickey captured it right before the fireworks began.
He also managed to get a few good pictures of the fireworks themselves.

We had a nice weekend... even though it rained most of the afternoon on the 4th.
No cornhole... no swimming... but plenty of eating occurred!
And yesterday... yep... following church it was a day filled with napping.
Hope your holiday was as happy as ours!!!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

It is ALMOST here!!!!

The 4th of July weekend is a BIG DEAL in my hometown... Pekin, Indiana is the site of the OLDEST CONSECUTIVE FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION IN THE UNITED STATES! Now, there are older celebrations but the word CONSECUTIVE is what makes our celebration stand out. This year will be the 179th such celebration. Personally, this will be my 49th celebration - I have only missed ONE in my life... one of my favorite pictures is of me sitting on the front porch of our home when we lived on Main Street in town... I was 6 months old watching my first parade!!!

So this weekend out daughter who lives out of town will arrive with her family on Friday and will leave on Sunday. We will meet our other daughter and her family on Friday evening for the fireworks, which we will watch from a local church. Then on Saturday, Carly and I will go and stake out our viewing spot for the parade (which we will all watch together in the SAME SPOT AS ALWAYS!). After a visit to the park for a walk through the rides and booths, and much visiting with people you ONLY see once a year on the 4th, we will head back to the house where we will prepare for our annual cook-out. Our "extended family", comprised of church friend, will arrive at 4 and the swimming (if it doesn't rain!), cornhole (ditto on the rain!) and SCRABBLE will begin.

The day will be filled with tons of food, loads of laughter, and the giggles of little children... it will be a GOOD DAY!!! And in the midst of all that fun, I hope that we remember to give thanks for those who have made this day possible for us... those men and women who have given of their time, and many their lives, to keep America free. The song GOD BLESS AMERICA will be sung in many venues over this holiday weekend... but I believe that He has ALREADY blessed America... and that, as a nation, we have taken that blessing for granted. Remember to be in prayer for our country and its leaders... and especially for the next generation of leaders... that they will KNOW GOD... and follow his ways... so that American can remain FREE!!!!