Saturday, October 31, 2009

A new furry family member!

Meet Mindy!

It was hard to pick only one to bring home when there were so many beautiful cats and kittens needing homes...
but choose only one we did, and our new kitten will be coming home on Tuesday!

Busy kids

We did half days of school this week while my parents were here, and then in the afternoons, David helped my dad with projects (my dad whipped everything into shape around here...yardwork, repair projects, winterizing projects, brake job on Bruce's car, and even an unexpected brake repair on my dad's truck), my mom and I sewed, and Abigail played quietly or rested.

As I mentioned in the last post, Abigail has been sick.  Every morning she would come down and ask for her sick bed on the couch, and she insisted on her blue blanket from Grandma O' other blanket would do this week.

When she felt well enough, one of the things she did was play the new piano...a lot!  I also found some paper with music staffs on it, so she started composing music of her own, too.

We found some new K'nex at a garage sale and one of the pieces is motorized, so David used it to build a car that actually drives.

We had one sunny, lovely afternoon when both kids went outside and made more leaf piles to enjoy...good, old-fashioned fun!

Knitting traditions

My parents are on their way home this's always sad to say goodbye, but we enjoyed a wonderful week together!

Abigail spent most of the week sick with a nasty cold and cough; we took her to the dr on Thursday to check her lungs (clear!), and then since we were just down the road from my yarn store, we stopped in for a visit.  Unfortunately, neither my mom nor I had our cameras with us (two bloggers, zero cameras...for shame!), but while we were there, we bought Abigail her first very own knitting needles and a skein of bulky wool yarn to go with it.  Here we are back at home, passing on the tradition to the next generation...

Speaking of knitting, I have been very remiss in posting two knitted wonders that were made for me this year, so my mom helped me get pictures so that I could finally post them.  My grandma made me this lovely sweater for my birthday...I got to pick out the pattern and yarn and then she made it for me!  She has been knitting for a very long time -- sixty years plus, I think -- and she said that this one was a challenge that had stitches even she had never done before!  It's beautiful and I love it!

(Kindly overlook the fact that I'm standing like a chimpanzee in the second picture!)

My mom conquered lace knitting this year and made me this beautiful shawl in a pearly gray laceweight yarn.  It's so delicate and feminine.

It's grand to be the recipient of so much knitting talent in my family!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Autumn fun

The minute we were done with school today (we're doing half days while my parents are here), David headed outside to get the blower and make a leaf pile...

Happiness is!

New ivories

Saturday the guys hauled out our old decrepit piano (only about half of the keys still worked).  The kids were thrilled to see the "guts" of a piano and figure out how it makes sound.

Then the guys got the "privilege" of muscling the thing out the door and onto the trailer.

David loved being one of the guys...riding in the truck, going to the dump, and "helping".  The McDonald's Happy Meal he got out of the deal didn't hurt, either. :)

Bruce's brother and his family had a piano that they didn't want any more, so they generously shared with us!  For the cost of taking the old piano to the dump, we have a new piano that works nicely (although we will enjoy it much more once it's tuned...ouch!) and looks much more proportionate to our room.  And so the living room makeover continues...and the kids' piano careers can move to a new level now that they have more than one octave's worth of working keys!

I am thankful...

...for the beautiful autumn weather and colors, for a houseful of family (my parents are here!), for plenty of fresh apples, and for hands that are currently functioning enough to make these, my most favorite dessert in the whole wide world...!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Happy birthday, dear Grandma!

Happy birthday to my beloved grandma!

Friday, October 23, 2009

A farewell

 Baker went to his new home today.  It was sad and happy all at the same time...but he is going to a family with three boys, a dog-sister for Baker, and a rural area with lots of room to play, and they are so excited to be adopting him...and our health will only be better off for not having the constant allergy-inducer in the house.

The kids are doing well, considering.  It helps that Grandpa & Grandma Minota will be arriving any minute now...and that we are planning to adopt a kitten in a week or two (no, there isn't a cat allergy)!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pirate up the mainmast

Beautiful fall afternoons to spend outside = very happy children!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


...potatoes, that is!
Our harvest is in and plenteous...


The best snuggles...

...come from freshly-bathed kids in fuzzy footie pajamas!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Our annual fall hayride...

Earlier this month, we went on our annual family field trip to Burt's Farm, where we enjoyed all of our traditions...beautiful autumn weather, pictures in the pumpkin patch, a hayride, playing in the stream, enjoying popcorn and fresh apple cider...and best of all, time together!


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Queen of Hearts and Alice in Wonderland Costume Set GIVEAWAY!!!!

Although we don't actually "do" Halloween in our family, we definitely play dress-up...a lot!...and this would be the dress-up set to top all dress-up sets.  This dress is only part of the package!
I have yet to win one of grosgrain's amazing here's hoping!!!

Another official sign that fall is here...

...footie pajamas!!!

(...and again I say, how did she get this long?!  When I bought these pjs at a garage sale recently, they looked like they'd still be a bit too long...but in actuality, they may not be long enough to last the whole season...babies grow up SO fast...!)

A suit-able answer to prayer

David loves to wear a suit to church, just like Daddy.  His suit from last winter was definitely way too small (I know all kids grow fast, but seriously...this kid is unbelievable.  I swear he grows measurably week to week!).  I have been watching -- and have even had friends watching -- Goodwill, garage sales, consignment sales, eBay, etc, for a new suit for him ever since the spring...all to no avail.  He has been very patient, but was feeling wistful that it was fall and he didn't have a suit like Daddy's.

Without boring you with all of the details, a few weeks ago I found a suit at a garage sale.  The size tag was missing, but other than that, it looked brand new.  There were NO other boys' clothes in his size range, but I took a chance and paid the $4 for it.  When I brought it home and tried it on him, I immediately choked was perfect.  A direct answer to the prayers of this mama's heart.  What a joy to share with the kids that our God cares about even the little details in our a new suit for a little boy to wear to church...

...and doesn't Abigail look like a darling little schoolgirl?!  How do they grow up so fast?!
(...note David's missing tie...this picture was taken after church, and it was amazing that he had this much clothing left on by the time he gets much as he loves to wear his fancy clothes, he enjoys stripping back down just as much!!!)

Oh, where have you been...'s definitely been a strange couple of weeks around here, but hopefully we're on the road to normalcy again for now...or at least as normal as we ever get around here. :)

I still don't have an answer for the health issues I've been dealing with -- in short, I've had a flare-up of intense body pain that has significantly altered my ability to get through even normal daily chores.  Thankfully, a few very nasty possibilities have been ruled out, but they are still doing more in the way of diagnostics to try to figure out what's going on with me and it doesn't appear that there will be a quick answer or quick fix.  My husband and children have been wonderful in taking care of me (David has perfected his daddy's 'I think you need to lie down and rest for a while now' lecture!), in picking up some of the slack that is bound to happen when I'm not at full-tilt, and at gracefully ignoring the rest while I ramp back up to more of a normal workload as the pain eases.  I'm on some high-dose steroids (hence the early-morning post, during 'buzz-time'!), and every day I'm feeling a little better.

Have we ever mentioned...never boring?!  This has definitely been another rough patch on our road, but we continue to learn more about our unerring and loving heavenly Father as well more about our own helplessness and weakness apart from Him...both of which are good lessons...

Thursday, October 08, 2009

One fish...two fish...buying new fish

Two or three years ago, we bought each of the kids a 10 cent feeder goldfish.  We have certainly gotten our money's worth out of them...they seem to be hardier than the fancy varieties we've had in the past, and they are social little things who love to "talk" to anyone who walks near the aquarium.  Sadly, Abigail's died a couple of weeks ago.  She was predictably upset by this, but we soon took her to choose a replacement, and all is right with the world again (the price has increased to twenty cents now, but we figured we could still swing it!).
Abigail took this picture so that everyone on the blog could meet her new fish, Orange Stripe (whose nickname, as I was instructed to explain, is W. Orange, with the "W" standing for "White").

Continuing the living room transformation...

I hit a few garage sales this past Saturday and walked away with two things that were exactly what I was looking for to add to the living room...
A new picture for over our fireplace...

...and an ottoman with a lift-off lid for storage.  It's a touch casual for our new decor, so at some point I plan to reupholster it, but for now it is perfectly functional...

The only thing more fun than redecorating is doing it successfully on a small budget -- tons of fun!!!

Fall is apple time...

Last week Karen and I took the kids on a field trip to North Georgia to get fresh apples...some for eating, some for baking (apple crisp...yum!), and a lot for applesauce!  There are essentially no pick-your-own orchards around here anymore, but there's an apple barn that has quite a set-up, so that adds plenty of interest to our apple buying.  By the time we tour the barn, look through the observation windows at the production line and at two operating bakeries, wander around the old-fashioned shops, eat a picnic lunch, buy a freshly made fried apple pie for dessert (or in the kids' case, homemade ice cream, I know my grandma will be proud of their choice!), and choose and buy our fresh apples and fresh apple cider, the experience has been a full and pleasant one.


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Yes, I'm still here!

Fall is here, too, and we're excited to be able to get out our pants and light sweaters (the one I'm wearing in this picture is one I inherited from RaDora -- isn't it chic?!).

I've been having computer issues -- wireless router issues, to be exact -- so my blogging is behind.  I have some fun stuff to catch up on once we get everything running smoothly again.  Aside from that, I've also been dealing with some health issues.  I'm in pain and very, very tired -- so getting through the day and its necessary chores is about all I can do right now.  We're in the midst of the diagnosis process and I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, I'm on steroids...which means I will likely be getting some sewing done in the middle of the night when I'm too buzzed to once I'm back to blogging again, maybe I'll have lots of accomplishments to share! :)