Kicking It Up a Notch…

012_12.jpgThe Graduate…Son #2

Sometimes life just jumps up and grabs you with things you’ve stalled or put off for awhile; it’s been that way this week.  Our middle son is graduating high school in a few weeks and we will be having a combined open house at church (along with 4 other families) in less than two weeks. Our graduation party coordinator wanted us to be ‘ahead of the game’ when it came to holding our party, hence we will be celebrating at the party ‘before’ the actual graduation takes place!  That’s not too bad, I suppose, except…for some reason, my brain’s been telling me: “Relax! You’ve got WEEKS to get ready!” Well, I finally snapped out of that fog yesterday and realized that I hadn’t sent out the party invitations, his graduation photos aren’t ‘in’ yet (so they won’t be included in the invitations), I haven’t ordered the cake, etc.  It’s been a rather hectic few days around here. Yesterday found me getting the invitations done (by hand), too late to order any now.  Today found me going to the cake decorating store to buy the much needed plastic graduation cap & ‘grad person’ to top his cake. I was very relieved to find that they had purple writing gel-his graduation colors are royal purple and gold. (small sidebar here: the colors are royal purple and gold, BUT my son made the National Technical Honor Society and THEIR colors are Purple and WHITE!). That’s OK, now I’m prepared! (thank heavens for taking those cake decorating classes many, many years ago…sure come in handy in an emergency!).  I just took a break a few minutes ago from cutting out tons of black construction paper letters. Why letters, you ask? (of course you asked!)  Along with the party, each grad is given a ‘Award Table’ to put their trophies, awards, etc. on.  This is my second son who’s graduating, but first son doing it in this manner.  I chose to buy one of those tri-fold cardboard display boards (the kind you see kids using at science fairs) to put some of his photos on.  Went pricing stick-on letters (which would be much easier, for me) and found that they didn’t have the size I needed; here comes the Art training…(1) go down the basement and dig out the art supplies (2) find the lettering templates (3) take them upstairs and trace all those lovely little letters on black construction paper…then, you guessed it…cut them all out! Now I suppose I should also explain that this is the son who has been truly vascillating from “I really don’t care at all about my graduation” to “Wow, Mom! You’re doing all this? Thanks!” (you just never know sometimes….) He was actually thrilled that I found the purple decorating gel for his cake…who knew!?  (Another sidebar…I suppose I should also explain that we homeschool. I’ve been homeschooling my kids now for 14 years and this is graduate #2). 

    Anyway, it ought to be a great party – hope I’m prepared. Gee the way I’m going, by son #3 I should either be a pro at organizing graduation parties OR totally forget I’m supposed to be doing stuff until the night before! Who Knows??? (the mind wanders…)

   As to the “Ghana Project”…I’m still awaiting news from the head nurse as to whether they will actually have space on the airplane to take more than a few afghans. I’ve had a good amount of wonderful people who are just waiting for the word before starting knitting squares for the next trip to Ghana in November. I will keep you informed as best I can, when I hear anything. Meanwhile, I’m starting on afghan #4 (only have 4 squares done). This whole project is turning me into a knitting stitch and yarn ‘junkie’…I find myself constantly on the outlook for more simple stitches and cheap yarn on sale or at garage sales.  Call it my little obsession, if you will. It’s harmless-I don’t go too overboard (unless you count three rather large bags of yarn at present…but that will be our little secret!).

Thanks for reading;



Published in: on May 25, 2007 at 5:12 am  Comments (1)  

The “Ghana Project”

First Ghana Afghan  To Ghana!


 004_42.jpgFrom Michigan…

Earlier in my blogs I have mentioned starting what I’ve labeled my “Ghana Project”.  Today I received the photos from my first ‘send’. (If you right click on the photo, it will enlarge) The head nurse who took my first afghan to Ghana in April just sent me these photos.  She and a team of doctors volunteer two weeks of their time to go to Ghana and Sierra Leon to perform orthoscopic surgeries on very needy children who have severe spinal deformities.  The young boy you see in the photos is the recipient of my first afghan. He is one of three children in this family, all of the children have this deforming condition (spinal muscle atrophy) and all three brothers are paralyzed from the waist down. Caleb is the youngest in this family; he is 6.  When I first looked on these photos all I could think was: “THIS is what it’s all about! THIS is why the Lord gave me this project.”  I thank the Lord for this ability to serve HIM through serving others by using my talents in knitting. I wanted to share these with you.



ps:  I received another email from the nurse saying that just before they took these photos the power went out and they had to conduct the examination by only the light from cell phones! She also said that he wasn’t scared, but that this was the look he had the whole time they were there.

Published in: on May 17, 2007 at 6:57 pm  Comments (4)  

Rainy Days

may-god-smile.jpgToday is one of those rainy, chilly days where you just want to wrap yourself in a cozy, warm blanket and snuggle down with a nice cup of hot cocoa and a good book.  When days like this come, doing housework (or, for that matter ANY work) is not at the top of my list. I’ve been trying to muster a sense of ‘housewife duties’ and plowing through laundry and dishes.

Yesterday, on the other hand, saw me digging for my shorts and summer tops, as the weather hit a balmy 88 degrees! Around 6 p.m. last night while I was fixing dinner, we got a heavy summer rain. During that time I kept hearing ‘plink’….’plink’ sounds outside. What could THAT be? Upon looking out the window I was greeted with tons of hail – marble-sized hail….everywhere! Who would think that in 88 degree weather we’d be getting hail? Stranger things have happened, I’m sure.  As the old saying goes: “If you live in Michigan and don’t like the weather, wait five minutes…it’ll change!”

   Just wanted to drop in and say HI, hope you’re having a great day…rain, cold…whatever your weather. We can still be sunny in our hearts, despite the elements outside. Have a great day!



Published in: on May 16, 2007 at 11:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Spring Cleaning & Dandelions


As you can see I’m having fun learning all about this ‘posting photos’ thing! This is my first ‘borrowed’ photo (one that I didn’t actually take myself…THANKS, LES! for teaching me to do this! Anyway, now that it’s Spring, I’m getting that “I need to get rid of some stuff” feeling; ever have that? I’ve been going through my homeschool books, teacher guides, etc. and have decided it’s time to finally let loose of some of it. I only have one son left to homeschool and he’s going into 9th grade – no need to keep the elementary stuff anymore. (Here’s a blatant plug for a great group) I’m not sure if you have this wonderful group in your area, but it would highly behoove you (like that word?) to check them out; they’re nation-wide, as far as I know. The group is called Freecycle and, like their name, they’re totally free. Their goal is to keep things which are still usable, out of the trash heaps. You know-all that ‘stuff’ which you accumulate and don’t really know what to do with anymore. When that comes up-think: Freecycle! I will post their address; you go to the main address, then look for your state, then for your city, town, area and see if they are near you. To quickly wrap up what they/you do: the whole thing is run on the computer. Say I had an end table that still was good, but I was getting a new one from Aunt Sally and really didn’t want to throw this one out. I don’t know anyone in my immediate family who would want it, but it’s too good to just throw away (here’s where you think “Freecycle it!”). You would go on your computer to the freecycle link, type in your item, and then wait for other freecyclers to write to you saying they would love to pick it up, at your convenience! It’s that simple! This goes both ways, by the way-you can both get rid of things AND GET things you might want. I have truly been blessed with many great items from all around our area: a 1 yr. old lawn mower and weedwacker (with all papers/directions) from a family who was moving from a house to an apartment; a lovely baby changing table (I’ll not list all the baby items I’ve received, but they were numerous); a desk for my computer; a nice recliner-the list goes on and on. There are all sorts of things offered and received every day on freecycle, all over the US. Before I forget, let me list the main address:

Give them a try-I’m sure, with a little use, you’ll be very glad you did.

I started out by mentioning dandelions-those little balls of yellow (or white) which dot the landscape around our house. It’s amazing what a little rain will do to speed up the growth process. I realize I’ve been ‘under the weather’ this past week with a sinus infection (I’m feeling a little better now, thank you), but glancing out my kitchen window today brought a new surprise-what was, just a few days ago, a few dots of yellow, is now a field of very tall white, fluffy dandelions! Where has the time gone! Upon further inspection I discovered that all my daffodils and narcissus are totally gone! My goodness, that was fast! I’d better start grabbing life by the lapels and enjoying this lovely flowering Spring while it’s still here! I truly love Spring because of all the flowering bushes, trees, and plants. I stopped at a garage sale yesterday and the lady of the house had tons of flowers and bulbs to offer, at very reasonable prices. There were hostas, hen & chicks, iris bulbs, shasta daisies-all sorts of wonderful plants. Did I buy any, you ask? Of all the things I am, a gardener I’m not. My grandmother started a gardening club for our county, way back ‘in the day’ (circa 1940’s). My mother continued her legacy and could plant almost anything and make it grow…not me. I’ve tried; don’t get me wrong-when we first moved to this house we bought all sorts of bulbs and bushes. Rose bushes (lovely colors, several varieties), forsythia, magnolia, lilacs-of all of them, only the very scraggly forsythia bushes still remain. I’ve had to face the sad fact: I’m not a gardener…or even a house plant person! In our house now resides three plants: one spider plant that I bought at a garage sale last year. (It WAS doing quite nicely until my son accidentally knocked a wooden plaque over on top of it, totally crushing most of the leaves. It still survives, but really looks like it’s been in a war of some sort), a large bowl of Sansevaria (the short, rose-like “Mother-In-Law’s Tongue”), and a large bowl of miniature Umbrella plants. I faithfully water them each week (none of them do good with too much water-very sparse, and only once a week, max.); and they’ve faithfully kept themselves alive…but I’m no gardener. There are things in life we all have to come to grips with, and this is mine. I guess it’s a good thing neither my Mother or Grandmother can see me today…it’s not a pretty sight. Oh well, I do have other redeeming qualities! (I can knit!!!) big grin inserted here….

Today the sun’s shining, it’s a lovely cool 50-something degrees AND it’s Friday! That means that very soon I’ll have the rest of the day to go garage-saling (my small passion) and perhaps, also get rid of a few more things on freecycle. Hope you decide to check out my suggestion…it’s a great site and really does help everyone either get or give great/still good items to others who can enjoy them.

Have a great day! Hugs;


Published in: on May 11, 2007 at 7:01 pm  Comments (1)  

Rocking and Patting

Rocking and Patting  Although this photo is not current I just had to include it after having written all about the times spent holding, rocking and patting my dear grandson. In this photo he’s about four months old; he’s now much older (11 months) but just couldn’t resist putting one of my favorite shots of us together. (No, I’m not asleep here, just very comfortable!)



Published in: on May 11, 2007 at 2:27 am  Leave a Comment  

Me & My Baby!

Me & My Baby!  This is an experiment to see if I can actually put a photo on my blog…sure hope so.  This is my darling grandson of whom I’ve written several times.



Published in: on May 11, 2007 at 2:04 am  Comments (1)  

It’s Spring and I’m Sick

Well, that about sums up what’s going on around here for me.  Working on trying to get over this nasty sinus infection; no fun, but I’m not complaining-just explaining why I haven’t written in awhile.  Tried knitting my “Ghana Project” squares yesterday-that was a mistake. Have you ever just not been able to do something you usually do? I must have tried 4 times, at least, to knit several patterns I’ve done numerous times, only to find it was messed up somewhere many rows earlier; that’s frustrating! Just got a shipment of yarn that I’d purchased on Ebay and was eager to try out some of the beautiful colors…only to mess them up. Oh well-sometimes life’s just like that; as my blogging friend ‘firefly’ described-my Mojo’s Kerfluffled!  That’s when you just have to step back and wait awhile; Mojo’s are like that-sometimes they take days to get re-fluffled! (now I’m in a crazy mood!)

    Wanted to post a really great free site I just ran into the other day; it’s a knitting site that has videos for both English AND Continental Knitting styles! (Not sure if I’ve explained before, but I knit Continental, which is very different from the usual English style most people use. That’s not bad, but makes it very hard to do certain patterns because I hold the yarn in my left hand, instead of the right like the English style does.) The site had a video on doing ‘Cables’-when I first learned to knit as a child, I knew how to Cable, but now I’ve simply forgotten.  Watching this video made me think that, perhaps, I might actually be able to do them again!  If you like to knit, check out this site!

   Still trying to sort out graduation ‘happenings’; when I’m feeling better I have to go purchase the correct color balloons, confetti, balloon weights, table decorations and order the cake…sound like fun? At this point my son will be lucky to just HAVE a party…not feeling very chipper today, just loggy (but I know this too, will pass).

   Thanks for reading-I’ll try to be a little more interesting next posting.



Published in: on May 10, 2007 at 6:51 pm  Comments (1)  

Of Sons, Graduations, and Etiquette

Once again we, as parents, are plunged into the tumultuous world of graduating children: our middle son will be graduating high school in June. Last night found us at a 2 1/2 hour meeting to solidify details of said project: checking spelling on diplomas, purchasing announcements, and trying on caps and gowns. After three tries, the gown finally was the correct length; first we had one that trailed his shoes onto the floor, second was a knee-high ‘house-coat’ style, and finally the correct length! (These were all sized by height: he’s 5′ 7″, the first was for someone 5′ 11″, the second 5′ 6″, and the third 5′ 7″; turns out they were mis-labeled.) Sort of sounds like “Goldilocks and the Three Bears”-“This one is too hot, this one is too cold, but this one is JUST RIGHT!” It’s been seven years since our oldest son graduated, so once again we sat through all the details of this momentous event, listening to the minute parts to the whole, things like proper addressing of the invitations, remembering to put white bobby pins on the caps to hold them onto hair-do’s, etc. What struck me as curious and almost sad was the necessity to cover proper etiquette of young ladies physical comportment: you know-how to properly sit on a stage without showing too much ‘body’. I realize that Emily Post is NOT someone this generation is totally familiar with but…it bodes a sad note to our society when it has to be covered in great detail as to how to properly sit in a folding chair, reminders on not wearing dark or ‘loud’ colors which might show through a thin, white gown, the proper length of a skirt or dress. These are things which sadden me, personally. I don’t have a daughter, but if I did you can be assured that she would already have been taught these ‘basics’ of behavior…especially if she had been raised in church! (Here I go on my soap-box, but HEY! It’s MY blog, so I’m allowed to rant a little). These are young Christian women who, hopefully, have been raised in churches which have SOME standard of proper etiquette (for want of a better word). The people presenting the ‘lessons in etiquette’ stressed that this was necessary due to things which had happened in the past. To underscore this change in the way dress codes have sort of ‘slipped’ in recent years, a young lady raised her hand and asked if ‘flip-flops’ were allowed…AFTER being told this was a formal dress affair! Here I go dating myself, but I was quite appalled! (Guess my personal ‘inner Emily Post’ needs to update to the current generations standards, but I don’t see myself doing that any time soon!).

Another point of interest was the addressing of the invitations. Here I can see where there needs to be some instruction; not everyone has had the “Formal Writing” course and there definitely needed to be some coverage in this area. Whether to fold the inner envelope, or not; the proper addressing of the inside envelope, the outer envelope, where to put the ‘inserts’: photos, name cards, party invitations, etc. When I got the call that this meeting would last 2 1/2 hours, I could not figure out just WHAT could take that long…now I’m one of the informed. In the near future we will also have to ‘endure’ the graduation rehearsal dinner (which, by the way is ONLY for the graduate and their parents…no siblings…which means I now have to find someone to watch our youngest…oh, joy), and the ‘glorious graduation day’. Do I sound all enthusiastic? Not really-been there, done this already, once. It’s a good ’cause’, but several very long…(and sometimes boring) days lie ahead. I know that in the future we will look back on this and laugh (I hope) but for now it’s just one more ‘thing to get through.’ I was glad our ‘graduate’ was able to attend last night’s meeting-up until then he was, should I say, ‘less than enthusiastic’ about this whole thing. Now that he’s been with other homeschoolers who are graduating and seen their excitement, he’s beginning to look forward to that day. I’m grateful we were able to contact the group who sponsors homeschool graduations in lower Michigan so that we could also participate in this event; they do an awesome job of the whole affair and are to be highly commended. For those who think that homeschoolers really miss out, I say: not in this area. It was a little ‘breath-taking’ to finally view his diploma and realize that we had a part in it all (he’s been homeschooled since the middle of first grade). Who knew, way back then, that we’d be ‘here’ now? Only the Lord.

We still have one more son (age 12) but, for him, we are beginning a new chapter in our lives: he wants to try out public school. That will be another whole blog entry (or many), I’m sure. It has taken me a very long time to even consider doing that-sending my child to a public school, because of all the bad things one hears and reads that go on there. I’m am going on 59 years and have been homeschooling close to 14 years now…I’m getting old and quite frankly, I feel like I’ve given all I can-my brain is just getting ‘fuzzy’! I’m not the eager, enthusiastic Mom who was excited to begin each day of schooling; I wish that were still the case, but it’s not. I know we’ll all pull through this, and there’s always the option of returning to homeschooling should this not work out, but for a change, I’m willing to give it a try.

That’s my rantings and ravings for this day, anyway.



Published in: on May 1, 2007 at 7:06 pm  Comments (2)