Thursday, June 30, 2011

Please Welcome...

The running joke in our family is that any time I want a baby, Barb Wire Man buys me a new dog.  So, just about every two years we add a member to our family.

Our first Christmas together, Flower was two years old, and I was really feeling the need to be a mommy again.
Poor Miss Remi.  She really needs a haircut!

So we he bought me an adorable little Schnauzer we named Remington.  Yes, Remington as in a gun.  Remi is a spoiled little dog, and queen of the house.  Mike and I both had schnauzers growing up, so we new we loved them.

About two years later, my biological clock started ticking again.  Flower was 4 at this point, and I wanted another baby so bad, I was certain I couldn't wait anymore.

And that is when Tank entered the picture.  Tank is a Rottweiler.  We love Remi, but were ready for a dog who would help protect the house.  Our families weren't too thrilled with us getting such a "dangerous" dog, but we are firm believers that it is all in how you raise them.  Despite looking the part of a huge mean guard dog, and barking like he will eat anything that moves, Tank is a big ol' pansy.  He loves playing with the kids, and the kids love him.  He has a few health issues, as many Rotts do,  so he mostly lays around in the backyard.  But he sure is a good dog.
It really disgusts me when Flower lets the dogs kiss her...

Skip ahead another couple of years.  I finally put my foot down.  I told Barb Wire Man I never wanted another Dog.  I would settle only for a baby!  Flower was almost 6, and it was high time for another little one.  Barb Wire Man said he would think about it.  Apparently, All Barb Wire Man has to do is think about getting me pregnant, wink, and it happens, and 9 months later, Little Man appeared!

And now, here we are.  Little Man is 2 and a half, and guess what. While I am not sure I really want another baby, I'm not sure if I don't want another one.  Barb Wire Man is certain he doesn't want anymore.  SO history is repeating itself!  Barb Wire Man called yesterday to let me know a man had some American Boxers  for sale.  We went and looked at them, and oh - my - gosh!  They were so freakin' adorable!  Little Man fell in love with every one of them.  We finally settled on this little dude:

Little Dude here is an American Bulldog, just like Petey on The Little Rascals.  He is all white, except for his right eye, a tiny brown speck on his left ear, and lots of brown freckles on his tummy.  If he grows up to look anything like his daddy, he is going to be one heckuva big dog.  He is still at "The Sleepy Little Puppy" stage, but when he does play, he seems to prefer toes.  And Mike's Boxers (maybe it is because he is a boxer?).  He also likes Little Man's toys, but he doesn't share well.

Our first night went pretty well!  We gated him in my laundry room.  He cried for a bit, but I went in and told him "NO!" three separate times, and he stopped!  He woke up crying again about 2 AM, but I repeated the same thing I had done earlier.  He stopped, and went right back to sleep.  Not even a poop or pee mess to clean up!  As I sit here typing this, he is playing on my bed with Little Man.  This dog has some gas.

Little Man is really enjoying him, and the puppy seems to be enjoying it as well.  Remi, doesn't much care for him.  He wants to play, and Remi just wants to be left the heck alone.  Tank isn't too sure of him, yet.  He doesn't dislike him, but I am not sure he really likes him either.  But we still have to find a name for him!  Both my other dogs are name after some type of weapon....Tank...Remington.  My son's real name is Gunnar.  So, I think we should stick with the theme here.  I'm thinking he looks like a Ruger.  Barb Wire Man has suggested "Chester" (for Winchester) and "Scud" (as in SCUD Missile".  He also suggested Frank, to which I said "Uhhhhh, no."  "Browning is another name, which my dear friend suggested.  Also another weapon maker, and fits great with his one brown eye.  Barb Wire Man just suggested "Dozer" to me, as in Bull Dozer, which goes somewhat with Tank.

Any suggestions?!

One last thing real fast!  My big Christmas In Jule sale will be starting soon!  YAY!  I will be adding a lot of great stocking stuffer ideas, and gift ideas, so be sure to check out 13 Plum Knitting each day!  Each day I will offer some type of sale, as well as add a new item!

Now if you will excuse me, I must go keep an eye on this puppy!

Friday, June 24, 2011


I've allowed myself to neglect my blog again.  I really hate when I do that, but some things just have to come first.  But this morning I was able to get in a shower, most of the laundry done, and even a not-so-quiet time pretty early, so I have time to write! What is a not-so-quiet time?!  That is what happens when one sits down in the quiet to pray and read the Bible.  But instead, your kids wake up, jump on your lap, and are ready to play!  So, they usually sit there with me as I read, talking.  I actually like it better this way, though.  My kids are a blessing from God, so hearing their sweet voices is just a reminder of how blessed I am.  Also, as parents, we lead by example.  My kids seeing me having a devotional time every morning and seeing me live my faith speaks greater volumes to them than just telling them what they should do.

Last weekend I took Flower to the airport to meet up with her step-mom.  She was flying back to South Carolina with her to spend a few weeks with the other side of her family.
Walking into the airport, all smiles!

She was excited, scared, and apprehensive all at the same time.  As was I.  Flower hasn't ever been that far from us, and it was her first time flying.
Apprehension setting in....

I'm thankful I have a good relationship with Flower's step-mom, though, as that made it much easier to see her walk away from me in the airport.
Flower standing in line with her step-mom

I knew she would be well taken care of, but I did shed a few tears!  You know I always try to look at the positive side of everything.
Last picture I could snap of Flower.  My favorite part is where the sign says "No Joking".  It made me really want to make a joke.

The only thing positive I can find about Flower being gone is the drastic decrease in laundry.  Why is it that eight year old little girls feel the need to change clothes 6 times a day?  And "forget" to re-hang what is still clean?  I guess its just easier to toss it on the wash room floor and let Mama deal with it.

It is hardest on Little Man, though.  Flower is his best friend, and they play together for hours on end.  Now, with all the daycare kids gone for the summer, and "tah-tee" (that's sister in his language) gone for three weeks, all he has is Mama and Daddy!
Little Man playing in the sprinkler with his "girl-friend".

We have gone swimming with friends a couple times, and played in the sprinkler.  Daddy comes home from work and plays wrestle with him on the floor.  But he still walks around the house occasionally yelling "Tah-tee, er war you? Es play tah-tee!"  Breaks my heart!

I visited my grandparents on the same Saturday that I dropped Flower off.  Unfortunately, my grandfather is quite ill.  He is in his 80's, so we are all prepared for the fact that he will not make it much longer.  I felt like I was visiting him just to say "goodbye".  Its difficult knowing that you most likely won't be able to see someone you love again.  I've had grandparents very suddenly taken from me though, as well, so I am thankful that I was able to see him.

I am excited about next month for 13 Plum Knitting!  It will be July, and I will be apart of a huge "Christmas in July" promotion on Etsy!  I will be adding something new to my shop almost every day in July!  Many of the things going up are going to be great stocking stuffers, and most things will be $10 and under!  If you are like me, and start your Christmas shopping in January, (no, really, I do.) then you need to visit Etsy next month.  There will be some really neat things!  I still have everything on sale for 15% off, if you use the coupon code CRAFTSHOW when you check out.  I've also added some custom order options.

It is time to go hang out some laundry before it hits 120 degrees.  Alright, it won't hit 120, but the high today is supposed to be 108.  Once it gets that hot, it might as well be 120.  (The bright side to how dry it is here is at least it isn't un-godly humid out.  I can't imagine how hot it would feel with all that humidty.)

Have a wonderful Friday, everyone!  Be blessed!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Now Hiring - Any Takers?

I am exhausted today.  At 2:00 this morning, I felt small stuffed animals being thrown into my bed.  Barb Wire Man didn't flinch, but that is probably because the hard button nose of a stuffed puppy didn't hit him in the eye like it did me.
"I by you mama."  That what the Little Man says when he wants me to hold him, sit by him, or let him sleep in our bed.
"Oh no.  You sleep in your bed.  This is Mama and Daddy's bed."  And off we went, walking down the hall holding three stuffed puppies and a Harley-Davidson blanket.  He crawled back into bed without an argument, told me night-night, and I made my way back down the hallway in a sleepy stupor.  Until I hit my toe on what I think is a 1/32 scale  tractor trailer model. I stifled my "OUCH" as best as possible, and heard Little Man giggle.  I just know he must have thought "I knew I left that somewhere!"
I should have just stayed awake at this point, but I didn't.  I climbed back into bed, and realized my toe was hurting pretty bad for just stubbing it on a toy.  I got up, again, and flipped the bathroom lights on.
After my momentary blindness, I saw blood pouring out of my toe.  Maybe not pouring, but it was bloody.  And it hurt like the dickens.
Next thing I know, our alarm clock is going off.  It seemed like just ten minutes before I was awake, but in reality it was a couple hours.  Thankfully, Barb Wire Man hit the snooze a few times before he announced that it was time to get up.
I toyed with the idea of going back to bed, but I didn't.  My job as a homemaker is as important to me as actually leaving the house to go to work.  I had things to do and if I wanted them done on time, I had to get going.  I'm glad I did, because its not even noon and all my daily chores are finished, and supper is already in the crock pot cooking.  The kids are napping, Flower is reading a book, and I could lay down and take a nap.  But I won't.  I always say I will, then I pick up my knitting needles and loose track of time.
But last night got me to thinking...

If mothering children and homemaking were reimbursable jobs, no one would apply for the job:

"All applicants must have experience running on little to no sleep.  Paid vacations, sick days and personal days are not provided.  Job duties include kissing boo-boos, constant laundry, and constant cleaning.  Refereeing experience preferred but not required.  Ability to pull whatever it is your child needs whenever they want it out of the blue is expected.  Must be able to play monster, trucks, dolls, and tea party all day long, while ensuring supper is on the table when your husband comes home.  Customer service skills, and good manners required, as you will be constantly training our future.  All applicants should consider applying  for a HazMat licence, as you will be wiping butts and boogers often, as well as cleaning out leftovers in the refrigerator.  Pay Scale: Commiserate of experience.  Starting pay is smiles and giggles.  Glass ceiling is reached once you are able to sit back and watch your own children complain about the fact that you are spoiling their children."

Monday, June 13, 2011

What to Write?

No, seriously.  Since I woke up today, I have been trying to find something that would inspire a wonderful blog post.  I've been wracking my brain trying to come up with something interesting, intriguing, funny...anything to write about, and I just haven't.  Its been a pretty mundane day today, which, in one way, is a good thing!  I've had a few ideas, but none interesting enough to make up an entire post, so, I will just share with you those single thoughts!

Our baby bird has flown off.  I am not sure when, but he is gone.  Flower was quite sad when she realized he had flown away (empty nest syndrome?!), but was quickly relieved to find her new pet: a frog she named Frogarilla.  Poor Frogarilla.  She has been trapped between two aluminum dog food blows filled with water, leaves, grass, and any bug Flower can catch to feed her.  I rescued her once, only for Flower to find her again.  

I miss riding on the Harley with my husband.  I'm hoping soon to talk my parents into keeping the kids one weekend so he and I can spend some time together on the bike!

My little Flower is going to see her dad soon in South Carolina.  I am excited for her to get to see her family, and apart of America that she has yet to see.  And while I know she will be wonderfully cared for while she is there, I am still worried as can be!  She hasn't ever been this far from me, but I know she is in good hands.  Barb Wire Man told me to get over it, that she will be fine and have a good time.  I know he is right, but as a Mama, I just can't help but worry.

Oh yes!  I found a new knitting pattern I love that is super fast, super cute, and totally usable.  So fast that I knit up a whole set of them in one day, and just listed them over at 13 Plum Knitting!  I'd love for you to stop by and take a look!  I still have my 15% off sale, and it includes everything in my shop.  Even new listings.  Just use the coupon code CRAFTSHOW when you are checking out!

Have a great day everyone, and be blessed!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Dear Lord!

That was my first thought when I saw this picture.  Yep.  Someone got a hold of Mama's camera.  Again.  I haven't even gone through all of them yet, but I am about to.  And you get to see!

Awesome.  Way to get a pic of mom with her hair perfectly coiffed,  and make-up on!

Now I know the real reason the dogs are always out of water.

Our baby bird has really grown!

Is it any wonder I have to clean the tub constantly?

Awww!  Too bad Brother's face is cut off....

Well, hello there.

Destined to be one of my favorites!  I love kid-feet pictures!

Roly Poly, anyone?

About 80% of her pictures are either super blurry, or, of herself flashing a peace sign.  But some of those pictures up above are really great.  I dare say some will be framed.  But I saved the best for last.  It made having to wade through and delete hundreds of pictures worth it.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Lovely Lace Pattern!

I've been neglecting my blogly duties again.  Partly because I'm still trying to figure out a good schedule for the summer, now that it is just the kids and myself.  But, the main reason is because I found a new lace pattern I love. 

Today, I am going to share my pattern for a Matinée Lace Sachet.  I have never posted an original pattern here, because I never write them down.  The real reason all of my things are one-of-a-kind is because I end up "making it up" as I go, and don't remember from one time to the next what I did!  But this pattern is too easy to forget.  The only reason this might possibly be considered an intermediate level pattern is due to the tiny needles, and lightweight thread used.

Quite romantic, don't you think?

You will need:
Size 1 Needles (toothpicks work well, too!)
Fine Crochet Thread (I used Red Heart, 100% Mercerized Cotton in Natural color) 
small length of ribbon
potpourri of your choice

Lace Repeat, Multiple of 8 plus 1
Row 1: K1, *k2tog, k1, (yo, k1, yo, k1) twice, k2tbl, k1*  (repeat from * to end of row)
Row 2: purl (WS)

(See?  That isn't too hard to remember!)

Knitted Matinée Lace Sachet
CO 33 stitches, leaving at least a 12 inch tail
Set up row:  purl across
Rows 1-4: work lace repeat, end by working a WS row
Row 5: k1, *yo, k2tog* Repeat from * to end of row  (This will be your eyelet row for weaving ribbon tie)
Row 6: purl
Row 7: Work row 1 of Lace Repeat
Row 8: Work row 2 of Lace Repeat
Continue Rows 7-8 until piece measures approximately 6.5 inches from cast on edge, finish by working a WS row.  It is more important to end by working a WS row than for piece to be exactly 6.5 inches long.
Continue as follows:
Row 1: k1, *yo, k1*, repeat from * to end of row  (RS)  (This is also an eyelet edging for ribbon tie)
Row 2: purl
Row 3-6 work Lace Repeat, beginning with RS 
Row 7: CO purlwise, leaving a 12 inch tail

Your finished piece should look about like this:
One very important step in this project is blocking.  The pattern is hard to see if you don't, and looks unfinished.  To block, wet piece thoroughly.  Pin edges down so that piece measures approximately 8 inches long by 4 inches wide, and allow to stay there until completely dry.  I pin my things to my ironing board, and it looks like this:

Once piece is completely dry, remove pins.  Thread one of the long tails through a tapestry needle.  Fold piece in half "hamburger style", with WS facing out, and sew edge.  Repeat on the other side.  Once finished, weave in ends, trim, turn right-side-out, and this is what you should have:

Now, all that is left is weaving ribbon through the top eyelet row, filling with your favorite scent, and tying the ribbon in a pretty bow.  Pretty simple, huh?!  And honestly, this pattern could be much simpler if you knit in the round.  However, I would rather stop knitting all together than to knit with double-pointed needles, so sewing up the sides is a small price for me to pay.

I think this pattern is just beautiful.  I think, in fact, that I see a pair of fingerless gloves in this same color and pattern in my near future.  (OK, so the fingerless gloves are already on my needles, waiting for me to finish writing this so I can get back to knitting.)  The pattern, the color, and the cotton seems so romantic, so vintage, so lady-like.  I can imagine the gloves would look perfect on Josephine Marsh!  (Hopefully you know who I am talking about.  If not, I'm sad for you.)

This really is my first attempt at putting one of my own patterns onto "paper", so if you see something that isn't working right, or you have questions, feel free to let me know!  Have fun knitting your lace!  Be blessed!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Homeschooling During the Summer!

I've wanted to home school Flower for quite some time now.  However, the timing is not good, and I don't really have the backing of my husband, so for now, it is a no-go.

Since she started kindergarten, it seems that we have gotten a few bad apples for teachers, and this is one reason I wish we could home school.  I absolutely know that not all teachers are like this, so please do not think I am harping on teachers!  I had some amazing teachers when I was in public school; one in particular, Mrs. Wells, made a huge impact on my life.  I have a great respect for teachers.  We just happen to get the teachers who are either brand new and unsure, or just flat do not care for teaching.  I really believe that a good teacher must have a heart, a passion, for teaching children.

My second reason for wanting this, is because of all the state mandates.  I know and understand why we have those.  But in my opinion, the poor teachers must spend so much time focusing on "teaching for the test" that they can't just teach.  They teach exactly what is on the test, and grill about passing the test.  If they could just focus on making sure the children learn and retain the basics, they would most likely pass the tests.  (Again, this surely isn't the teachers' fault.  I wanted to be a teacher, but I just don't think I could in a public school now.  I think the laws that were made with good intentions to help our children hinder the teachers from really teaching.)

I could go on and on about this, but I won't.  Those are just two of the many reasons I would like to home school. I have many friends who were home schooled, and we've all gone on to live very productive lives.  We aren't socially inept.  

Anyhow, back to my story.  Flower and I are starting some third grade workbooks today!  I spent the morning creating "lesson plans" in reading, math, science, history, handwriting, Bible, and language arts.  (I enjoyed doing that, and have a new-found respect for my mother, and for teachers.  Mom created lesson plans for two kids for many years, and I never realized just how time consuming it could be!)

Flower is very excited about working on these lessons with me.  As she said "I cannot wait to be smarter than every other kid in the third grade next year!"  We have some fun science experiments to work on, building projects in history, and a "paper" to write.  We are even going to learn cursive, and everyone knows that really is the most important part of third grade!

Don't worry, though.  I promise to let Flower have a summer!  I'm not keeping her in doors all day long!  We work on school during nap time, when being our normally loud and boisterous selves would only wake brother up (and  no one really wants to wake him up from nap because he is grumpy!)  Not only that, but because it is truly a one-on-one learning environment, what takes a normal class 8 hours to accomplish, we accomplish in only a few hours.  Besides, taking field trips to the park is a great way to learn about nature!  Of course we will be outside this summer!

This is also a great way to keep Flower's brain from "turning to mush", as her teacher stated.  She won't forget the things she already learned, and be forced to spend the first 2 months of school relearning what she should already know.  

Now, if you will excuse me, it looks as though I have some papers to grade!