Friday, August 31, 2007

Hectic Weekend

The boys and I leave today to go be with my mother-in-law. RacerDad went last night but had to leave early this morning in order to be at work. The funeral will be on Tuesday afternoon.

Speedy B has a baseball tournament this weekend. RacerDad feels that it is best to let him participate. It will help him to stay busy and make things a little less chaotic at MIL's. So I am dropping him at a friend's house on my way out of town. RacerDad will pick him up this evening and then take him to a baseball friend's house in the morning. One of us will need to come back home Sunday to pick him up.

I am taking school work for the boys to do while we are gone. They might not get anything done, but at least if they get "bored" they will have something to work on.

Until next week....I really did have some knitting I wanted to blog about....finished objects even...but no pictures. There is always next time.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Ores Watson

Today our family lost a wonderful man. My father-in-law, Ores, went home to be with the Lord.

A more interesting person I have never met. He loved words...poetry, jokes, crossword puzzles, the Bible, singing. Ores loved to hear the boys recite scripture and read. Whenever we came to visit he would always have a new joke to share.

How many men would think to cut your wedding announcement out of the paper and have it laminated? Ores did. He also sent me flowers when I gave birth to my boys and would periodically send me a subscription to a magazine he thought I might enjoy. Just plain thoughtful.

My favorite memory is a relatively new one. At 91, Ores knew his time on earth was running its course. About 9 months ago, he and my MIL came for a visit. After the boys had gone to bed Ores asked my husband to lay down on the couch. Then this sweet old man knelt beside him and gave him a father's blessing. It was such a touching moment...there was not a dry eye in the living room.

Ores will be missed.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Weekly Weigh-in

This week I lost another 3 pounds!!! I am now down 30.2 pounds. My goal for the MayDay challenge had been 20 pounds and with another few weeks to go I am excited to see where I will be.

I bought a new outfit this weekend to wear to church. It is 4 sizes smaller than what I was wearing in May. Happy dance happening here. What was even better? I was able to bless two women from church with clothes I no longer need. I told RacerDad to be prepared to see me in the same few outfits over and over. I can't see buying a bunch of new clothes since I don't plan on staying this size for long.

Challenges for is hard to journal every meal. I have the journal sitting right on my counter, but invariably I get busy and forget to jot it down. I am also feeling a little water logged. Water has never been my favorite beverage and at times I just don't want to drink it. I know I should and force myself but I would like hints on making water more "fun" to drink.

Need encouragement in your weight loss journey? Check out Tales from the Scales.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Vacation Swap to the Beach

My local knitting group hosted a Vacation Swap. The idea was to send your partner to a vacation locale and put theme based goodies in the package. My partner was my very dear friend Blogless Ellen. She went way above and beyond on my package. It was simply unbelievable.

It was all packaged in the darling polka dot bag. The bag is great for the beach (or to carry my knitting in). There is a separate zippered waterproof compartment and another zippered compartment inside, as well as pockets on the outside. I love the colors, so bright and cheery.

Inside was a fun note explaining each object and its significance to my vacation. There was a chart holder from KnitPicks (one I have had my eye on forever), to keep my pattern from blowing away. She included a great sock pattern that I think will be fun to try.

A handmade, just for me, needle roll was the next item. It is beautifully tie-dyed in aquas, blues and greens then lined with a sand colored fabric. I filled it as soon as I got home. I was so excited that it holds my large needles as well as all my dpns.

Ellen provided me with a book to read, what is a beach vacation without a book?? This one is special because it is from a local author with whom she used to work. Based in Texas at the turn of the century, I can't wait to read it. It is next in my stack on the nightstand.

Last, but definitely not least, was the yarn goodness. Ellen gave me Socks That Rock and not one skein, but two!!! That is right people...two skeins of STR. Both skeins are lovely shades of ocean blue. Ellen said she couldn't decide which one to give me, so she did both! The first is Lucy in the Sky and the other is Blue Moonstone. Just lovely!

Thank you so much dear friend. It was a wonderful vacation!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007


I am very happy to say the dentist was able to fix RacerDad's teeth today. He built them up with resin. It took less than two hours and they look very natural. RacerDad asked if this process was what people referred to as "bonded" and the dentist said no. We are just hopeful that they will hold up well.

Poor RacerDad, no more bagels, corn-on-the-cob, or apples. A small price to pay.

Thanks for all your prayers!

Schooling Again

It is so nice to be back in the swing of things with school. We are trying a new curriculum this year, using Sonlight. It is a lot of reading aloud for me, especially since we are doing two programs. I can put the older boys together, but Smoda is on his own. The boys are loving the books. It has been forever since I have heard them ask me to continue when the day's reading is done.

Smoda is LOVING math. I am using Saxon 1 with him. He has anticipated school for so long I could probably give him anything and he would be excited. His reading (recognizing letters and sounds) is coming along as well. I have been pleasantly surprised that he will sit for his read alouds. This is a child who normally, if I am reading, will begin to inch away, slide to the floor, inch away and then scamper as soon as he thinks I am not paying attention. This morning he asked if we were only reading one chapter of The Boxcar Children, he really wanted to do more. Yea!

Not only did I change our main curriculum, I have added in writing. We have always done something with writing...but this year I wanted more structure. I listened to a friend and have gone with Institute for Excellence in Writing. Quite a program. The boys are enjoying it and I have to say that I am already seeing improvements in their progress.

So glad to be back to "normal".

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Dentist Anyone??

I got a phone call from RacerDad today. A hammer that he was using to break loose a gasket, something he does quite frequently, had slipped. Unfortunately, when it slipped from his grasp, it hit his mouth breaking his two front teeth. This is not news you want to hear over the phone. My thoughts began to race wondering how extensive was the damage and when I can't see something, I imagine the worse. Of course in my mind it was compounded because my husband, who NEVER wants to go to the doctor, was requesting the name of a dentist.

Remember this was the man who "hung" himself through the eyelid with a drop light and didn't go immediately to have it checked out!

Fortunately, he was able to get to the dentist right before they closed. X-rays were taken and the damage assessed. The dentist is going to be able to "fill" the missing parts, this is not a cap but a build up. This should last four to five years if RacerDad is careful. I am just so thankful the repairs did not involve root canals and caps!

Monday, August 13, 2007

World Series Socks

Can you believe it? I am actually posting a finished object!! I began these socks during Speedy B's World Series. I needed a plain vanilla sock to work on. I knew the games would be too exciting for a pattern or for anything that would require concentration.

I used OnLine Supersocke 100 in the Summer colorway. I love the feel of the yarn, it is cool being made of cotton, wool and nylon. Knitting with it was another story, it did not split or unravel. My complaint is with the ball itself. It pulled out of the middle in a tangle more than once. Then when I got to the toe of the second sock, there was a knot...ugh!

Off to work on my Loopy Ewe Summer sock club sock while I am on a knitting roll. I promised myself I could not begin the fall sock until the summer pair was complete. So hard!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Daddy Discouragement

We sure could use your prayers here At My Hearth. Discouragement is hitting our family hard in many different ways. This morning's Sunday School lesson was on this very topic, but RacerDad is having a difficult time applying the lesson.

As many of you know, RacerDad decided to quit his job back in February. He was without work for almost 6 weeks before he began looking for a new job, then it was right at 8 weeks before he started with the new company. His current company truly does not need three technicians. There is not enough work to keep everyone busy. Since RacerDad makes the furthest drive, he is given priority on hours...doesn't sit well with the other techs. RacerDad believes God has placed him in this position for a reason. His years of experience have allowed him to help the owners make some profitable changes. He is gaining management experience that he has been lacking. All of this will help him in October when he goes to work for a man opening a brand new service shop. I think knowing this job is short term is affecting him. He doesn't feel settled. As we all know if a man is not feeling successful at work it begins to play on his temperament. Can I say we are feeling it at home?

The boys are being boys. Not practicing up to his expectations in their baseball. Not listening. Being slobs. Any one of these would normally just roll off his back, but now...oh boy, can you say tense?

Oh, well, enough of our saga. But if you would pray for peace in our family and encouragement for RacerDad I would appreciate it.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


This has been one successful Saturday...

I began at my Weight Watchers meeting (-.2), not real happy with my meager loss, but as it has been pointed out, it is a LOSS. I weighed in for my 12th week today and haven't had a week yet where I have gained.

Today I pretended to be a domestic goddess. My house was filthy....amazing what happens when you are either out of town or running continually for a whole month. Almost all my laundry is done, and folded and put up (did you faint Mrs. M???) I cleaned my bathroom top to bottom, not an easy feat considering RacerDad had to do tile work in there last week. It always amazes me how a small, easy job can create such a mess. I even found tile/grout dust inside the cabinets. ugh!

I planned my meals for the next week and went to the store to purchase any necessary I said domestic goddess!

Speedy B is suffering from allergies/asthma, so he has had to stay inside. RacerDad had promised racing this evening, but that had to be put on hold. To stave off boredom (a night with mom is not near as fun as the races) I declared tonight movie night. We went to Blockbuster and I let the boys pick out movies, of course I HAD to get some of my own. They enjoyed their movies and are now quietly tucked in bed. RacerDad will not be home until the wee hours, so I am enjoying the movie, Miss Potter, and knitting on a pair of socks. Sheer bliss!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Knit 1 Tea 2 Swap

Do you like loose tea or bags, or both – something you want to try? I prefer loose tea. Though I am not opposed to tea bags.

What is your favorite kind of tea (Brand, flavor, variety, etc)? Teavana is a brand I keep on hand. I love their Earl Grey Creme and Lady Earl Grey. I also enjoy fruit flavored teas in the afternoon...ginger peach, apricot, etc.

Favorite color in regards to tea or one you would like to try? (black, green, red, and white) (keeping in mind that this is how this swap is set up). Black would probably be my preference. I love the color red, but rooibos teas give me a headache.

Would you say you were a tea pot kind of person or just a hot water heater kind? Oh, definitely a tea pot gal.

What tea accessories would you like but have never purchases for yourself? I would love a tea cozy, I have many patterns but have never knit one. A tea wand is also something that intrigues me.

How do you prefer to be pampered? (examples: mani/pedi, bubble bath, yummy treat, etc). A bubble bath and a good book.

If you were a kind of yarn what would you be and why? Bright colored sock yarn. Pampers the feet with softness, practical with a touch of the unexpected. My socks are so different from the rest of my wardrobe which is fairly conservative.

If you had to knit/crochet baby booties, a fun fur scarf, or a fair isle sweater, which would you choose and why? I would knit baby booties. I am not a fun fur kind of girl and I still find fair isle a bit daunting.

What other event would make you skip a tea party? (A garden party? A book club meeting? A yoga class? Opening night for a new action thriller? etc?) A book club meeting.

What treat would you consider essential at your tea party? (Sweet? Salty? Scones? Those petite pastry trays with a couple of all sorts of things? Little crust less sandwiches?) Scones and creme are a must have. Then some delicate little pastries that are a feast for your eyes!

When buying yarn for a project how do you choose - do you buy the one called for or do you substitute? I try to find the yarn called for, but I am not above substitutions especially if I find a color I like better!

What do you carry your knitting/crocheting in when on the go? Love my little Loopy Ewe bag with the handle. Next would be my Sockapalooza bag.

Favorite movie to watch while knitting/crocheting? Any Jane Austen, especially Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth. (mmmm)

Are you a traditional tea cup kind of person or a mug type of person? Tea Cup, I love to feel like a lady, since I am surrounded by all men. Do you care if they match? Not really. I enjoy mixing and matching patterns.

Favorite childhood birthday party? A slumber party with all the girls from the 4th grade. My mom didn't realize that would equate to 35 girls and that all of them would come. ;-)

Favorite type of scone and jam? Tart cherry scone, lemon curd. Not necessarily together.

If you use candles, what is your favorite scent? Cooking pie, buttercream frosting, spiced pumpkin

If you could choose 3 people to have 'tea' with, who would they be and why? (famous or not, living or dead). My mom and my granny. I miss having these two wonderful ladies to share their wisdom with me. Then Katherine Hepburn, she has led a fascinating life.

You've been invited to a tea party, what 'props' will you wear (formal or casual)? A tea length "flowy" dress and a hat. Similar to the one that Julia Roberts wore to the polo match in the movie Pretty Woman. Love that outfit!

Any allergies/preferences you have or are willing to admit to? Cats and smoke otherwise I am good.

Anything we missed that you want your pal to know? Looking forward to a tea party!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Socks That Rock - Silkie

By Jove I have found it! Thanks to Jennifer.

I am a member of the Rockin Sock club this year and I was beginning to feel like a heretic. The first two installments did not rock my socks, as a matter of fact I found them to be utterly forgetable. Especially the Silkie colorway (ducking behind a rock). I am a bright, vibrant color kind of gal...pastels and muddy colors do not do anything for me. Before I get totally booed, please understand I love the gals at Blue Moon, I even have several of their yarns that I absolutely love. My favorite pair of "Christmas Socks" is a STR colorway. Anyway...

My Silkie will become a pair of socks...a pair of Monkey socks. Jennifer sent me to ChemGirl's blog and she is doing a pair of Wild Monkeys. Go check them out!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Tales from the Scales

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Official weigh in at Weight Watcher meeting on Saturday. Down another 1.6 for an official total of 27 pounds! This was even after the cruise.

Tip that is keeping me on track...drinking my water (with lemon of course). According to the Hungry Girl Newsletter, current research in Europe shows that drinking your water increases your metabolism and keeps it elevated for 30-40 minutes. Woo Hoo!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Yarn Goodness

Over the summer I have added some wonderful yarn to my stash. Such beautiful colors and soft smooshy yarn! I have been adding pictures to my Ravelry account, but neglecting the blog. So today I thought I would update here. Many of the yarns I purchased from my knitting group pal, Jennifer, when she destashed. What a boon for me that she likes the same colorways that I do!This first one is Fearless Fibers in Lime Kiwi. It is wonderfully soft. I am also glad it is fairly monochromatic. I am finding that I don't like pooling with my yarns and so many beautiful yarns pool horribly.
This one is a self striping yarn. Trekking XXL in 100. Little did I know that it was a very popular colorway. Lucky for me! I love the blues and greens with just a hint of red. Liz, another knitting sistah, has a beautiful Lady Eleanor shawl that she is knitting from JoJoland Rhythm M26 and it looks fabulous with this yarn. She is thinking of doing a pair of socks to go with her shawl. I loved it so much that I came home from knit night and ordered some of the JoJoland myself!
Here is my beautiful Wollmeise. I was fortunate to catch Sheri's Sneak-up at The Loopy Ewe in its early stage and so I had my choice of colors. This peacock blue/green called my name so Tiefer See came to live at my house. I am not sure what pattern I am going to use for this yarn, but I know I want it to be special. Any suggestions???

Liz, has begun a yarn dying venture. She calls her Etsy shop Knit Clinic and has quite a knack for dying some beautiful colors. When she brought her latest colors to knit night everyone was snatching them up. I loved this Bartlett Pear. I am thinking it will be a great fall sock. Tasha had a pattern she was doing that I think would be perfect...not sure if it was Monkey, I don't think so. Anyway, I am going to do the same for this yarn.

This last yarn is also from Jennifer. It is Claudia Handpainted in Ocean Depth. Looking back with all the yarns having blues and or greens, I guess I am hoping for cooler weather! Have you knit with any of these yarns? What do you think of them?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

What a Mess!

How can something this cute......

Make such a mess??????

This yarn was evidently not meant to be anything. It is Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille. I have attempted the same face cloth three times. It was not a difficult pattern, I just got distracted and had to start over and over and... Things were going well this morning when I had to put it down. I left my yarn alone for about 30 minutes and came back into a room that was reminiscent of the scene in The Ugly Dachshund where the Dachsies had destroyed the knitting and then hid so the blame was placed on the Great Dane. Only Muttley wasn't smart enough to hide and blame it on Trixie. He was too busy chewing yarn like it was bubble gum. I am just hoping he didn't swallow too much!

Home Again

This beautiful sunrise photo was taken from the balcony of my stateroom on the cruise. Yes, I said BALCONY. I just figured when my mother-in-law booked the cruise we would be in interior rooms down below the water. Needless to say I was shocked when we took the elevator up to the sixth floor and I opened my cabin door. I think dear old MIL was shocked as well. Good daughter-in-law that I am I offered to switch cabins with her, but I pointed out she would have to have two of the boys rather than just one (my cabin was bigger). She didn't want to change...oh, well!
For the most part the cruise was wonderful. I have to say it was hard going on such a long vacation without RacerDad. MIL was not much (read that NO) help. So if the boys were in the pool, I was in the pool. If they wanted to go get something to eat, I headed to Lido deck with them. Now there were lots of parents that let their children roam. I just couldn't do that, especially when I thought about the number of people on the cruise....3600 passengers and another 1200 crew members. Call me paranoid, but were there background checks on all those people??? I'll keep my boys close, thank you. Now Camp Carnival was wonderful. Smoda especially enjoyed it. There were activities scheduled from early in the morning until 10:00 at night. Unfortunately for me, if Smoda liked the activity that was scheduled for 9-11, the older boys would not want to go to their group at that time...they would want to go from 2-3 p.m.
The boys and I agreed that as much fun as we had, home is definitely best. Now if I just had the cabin steward to clean the house, the chef to prepare meals, Mel to be our server and the Camp Carnival staff to watch the boys....