Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Instructions Not Included


I know I should have photo shopped his eyes, but now a-days, well. . . you get what you get!


Could this little adorable guy really be the reason for the craziness of this season?
That's right. . . my angle didn't have such a heavenly day on Monday, leaving us behind schedule, but we did get the tree decorated and most of the Christmas shopping done. The laundry. . . eh- who needs clean clothes anyway?









And when on Tuesday he started to giggle and laugh, we didn't really care what had been done and what had not.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Counting Down

We are starting to feel a little more like Christmas around here.

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We finally were able to get out to get our tree. It's a natural Noble Fir. (The natural part, we were told, refers to the fact that the tree was not pruned to grow to look like a typical Christmas tree.) We had a Noble Fir last year. We really like the way that they look, and really, doesn't it seem appropriate that Yarnnation should have a Noble Christmas tree?

It is about half decorated. Little Sir is slowing up the process. I think he just loves Christmas so much he is upset that he can't help decorate the tree. Anyway, that's the story I'm going with. :) I'll post decorated pictures in the next day or two.

We were also given an adorable and perfectly appropriate advent 'calendar' for Yarnnation.

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It is a braided cord of yarn with little knit hats and mittens, each with a number on them, hanging from it.

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Inside of each hat or mitten is a little ornament. I hang the ornaments on the outside of the little knit item for that day.

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Many thanks to the Duke's aunt who saw this and knew I would love it, and I DO!!! I have happily incorporated it into our Christmas celebration.

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Remember, that Melissa at Banana Migraine is hosting a no stress Holiday Traditions Festival. Click on over to find links to more holiday traditions and to leave a link to your own post about holiday traditions.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

FO and Fotos

It only took a year (and a bit) but the Duke's aran sweater is finally done. Knit in the ever wonderful Cascade 220. The pattern is my design. The center cable is from Vogue Knitting's second Stitchionary.

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We took it, along with the cutest baby on the plant to be "professionally" photographed. I use the word professionally VERY loosely here.

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Even the cheesiest of fake photogs can get lucky when the subject is so dark CUTE!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Gather the Gopher Wood

Well, Little Sir and I made it through the crazy downpour here. We were lucky, the only stress I experienced due to the deluge was the anxiety I felt at not being able to help my friends and neighbors who were flooding. So frustrating. I felt better after the Duke got home and immediately headed out to help people. He's such a good man (as are the many other men we go to church with who spent the day soaking wet and moving heavy water logged furniture.)

Now, moving on to a more cheery topic. . . Melissa at Banana Migraine is hosting a no stress Holiday Traditions Festival. Periodically throughout the month she will be posting about some of her favorite holiday traditions and has invited all of us to do the same. She has provided a central link location as well so we can easily share our beloved holiday pastimes.

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The Duke and I (like many of you) purchase a Christmas ornament each year. We look during the season for one that captures something that will remind us of the previous year. This year was marked by the miracle arrival of our son. It seemed appropriate to us that we celebrate that event with an ornament that depicts the miracle birth.
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We also add one more to our collection of Christmas books each year. This year I chose a beautifully illustrated book that tells all about Santa Claus. It is called Santa Claus, written by Rod Green and illustrated by Jon Lucas and Carol Wright.
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Here is a small sample of the elaborate illustrations.
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Thanks to Melissa for hosting the Holiday Traditions Festival. Click on over to her blog to visit other participants in the Festival and be sure to post about your favorite traditions and add your post for other's to enjoy.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Welcome to Winter


And not just a little bit, these are the biggest snowflakes I have ever seen. For those of you not familiar with Seattle's weather, snow is a novelty here, especially this early in the winter.

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Sorry for the fairly crummy pictures. I didn't have any shoes on and I wasn't interested in staying outside for very long.

My dogs are so excited, they love the snow. I'll try to get pictures of them playing when there is a little more on the ground.

Friday, November 30, 2007

The Royal Court- A little help

The observant among you may have noticed that THE ROYAL FAMILY blog section on my sidebar has been growing. That's right. . . HURRAY for more royal bloggers!

In addition to sister Princess P. and my mom's NEW blog on Blogger, we have. . .

Uncle Paul at Jagerhaus -(who insists on blogging on a crummy program- thus the funny "title" on my sidebar)
Cousin 1: The Petroff Clan at Our 5 People
Cousin 2: The Flamm Family
and Aunt Carma at Me and Mike

As the family is becoming established in the blogging world, I thought I would help out with a Bloglines tutorial that I posted to another blog a year or so ago. It will help us all keep track of one another in a nice tidy, OCD, manner!


When I first entered the world of blogging, I wondered how anyone ever managed to read more than a couple of blogs, it took so much time to go to each blog just to see if they had a new post. I don't know about all of you, but I didn't have time to go clicking around blog land for an hour or two every day.

Then the amazing KAT introduced me to Bloglines.

Bloglines is a website that keeps track of all those blogs for you, it automatically tells you when they have been updated, and you can even view the blog right from bloglines, no need to go click, click, clicking anywhere.

Well, now I am able to easily follow about 30 blogs. It only takes me a few minutes each day to check and read them. I know that Kat follows many more, and there are some knitters out there who follow well over 100 blogs, all with the help of bloglines.

So here is a Blogline Tutorial to get you up to speed.

First, go to

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Click in the center there to get started.

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Easy Peasy so far. . .

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Do as the good people at bloglines instruct, head on over to your email, they send it out very fast.

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Clickity Click and it will take you back to bloglines.

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OOPS, make that subscribe- I'm not goin' back to fix the graphic, we are on a roll!

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You can also create new folders if you are the organized type, for instance, I have a folder for HT bloggers, a folder for other knitters, a folder spinning blogs, ect.

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Congratulations, you did it!
Bloglines will now "watch" that blog for you, it will show up as having new posts in the left hand pane when the author posts. Some blogs will only show a summary of the post, you can change this, if you want, by clicking the blog name in the left frame, then clicking edit subscription in the upper right hand corner of the right frame. Change the "display preference" to "complete entries."

Go ahead and click "add" again and start adding blogs. Now you only have to visit ONE website to keep up on all the current knitting happenings.

Most websites have feeds, Bloglines, is also a great way to keep updated on the news, the weather, and other favorite topics.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


Learning to understand and respect one's own limits is something that most women, including myself, are not very good at. I am beginning to understand that one of the reasons that God gave us the opportunity to have children is to teach us this particular kind of self evaluation and respect. My inability to get my "to do" list done is *blinking hot neon pink* obvious.

To demonstrate my newly attained ability to "let things go," I am only knitting one (yes ONE) Christmas present this year. Aren't you proud of me? Did you think that such a statement could be made on a knitting blog?

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Here it is. . . A Swallowtail shawl, which I am naturally altering, in Twinkle Knit's, Kid Mohair in Silver Lavender. At least on my screen, neither my shot, nor the one on their page shows off the color well. It is a beautiful muted lavender. This yarn is heavier than the Misti Alpaca the pattern calls for and I am actually knitting it on a size US 9 needle. It is knitting up much faster that way, and I won't be completing all of the pattern repeats, or the thing would be giant.

I am very proud of myself for realizing early on that trying to knit a multitude of gifts this year would be a pursuit of frustration. Now if I could just come to the same conclusion about the laundry and walk away from that as well. . . I wonder what that would look like. . . terribly ugly, I'm afraid.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bonus Benefit of Breast Feeding

Say that three times fast!

I have for years lamented the fact that I can never seem to find as much time to read as I would like. I have never been able to read and knit at the same time, like some of you very talented knitters out there, probably something to do with me being dyslectic.

I have made good use of Librivox to listen to some wonderful books, but as you know, it takes a lot longer to listen to a book than it does to read it, so my reading progress has still been limited.

Well, Little Sir didn't think that was acceptable and has learned to eat with the help of only one of my hands, so the other is free to hold a book. Such a thoughtful baby, isn't he. So, I have been getting a lot of reading done. It's great. Here are some of the books I have finished. The descriptions are taken from Amazon.

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

The Hiding Place proves that the light of God's love can penetrate even the darkest recesses of despair, places like the Nazi extermination camp at Ravensbruck. After protecting Dutch Jews in a secret room in their home, Corrie ten Boom, her sister and father were discovered, arrested, and imprisoned. Only Corrie survived, but her faith in God remained strong-so strong that, after the war, she could forgive a former camp guard in a face-to-face meeting. More than just a spellbinding adventure, The Hiding Place is a life-changing story.
That is true, it is a life-changing story. It was amazing and inspiring.

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

Blink is about the first two seconds of looking--the decisive glance that knows in an instant. Gladwell, the best-selling author of The Tipping Point, campaigns for snap judgments and mind reading with a gift for translating research into splendid storytelling. Building his case with scenes from a marriage, heart attack triage, speed dating, choking on the golf course, selling cars, and military maneuvers, he persuades readers to think small and focus on the meaning of "thin slices" of behavior. The key is to rely on our "adaptive unconscious"--a 24/7 mental valet--that provides us with instant and sophisticated information to warn of danger, read a stranger, or react to a new idea.
Excellent, very interesting, just like The Tipping Point. He is an excellent writer and his writing really gives you something to think about.

The Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp

I would recommend this to any new parent. We also watched the video and the techniques he uses have worked wonders for Little Sir.

The Female Brain by Louann Brizendine

This comprehensive new look at the hormonal roller coaster that rules women's lives down to the cellular level, "a user's guide to new research about the female brain and the neurobehavioral systems that make us women," offers a trove of information, as well as some stunning insights. Though referenced like a work of research, Brizedine's writing style is fully accessible. Brizendine provides a fascinating look at the life cycle of the female brain from birth ("baby girls will connect emotionally in ways that baby boys don't") to birthing ("Motherhood changes you because it literally alters a woman's brain-structurally, functionally, and in many ways, irreversibly") to menopause (when "the female brain is nowhere near ready to retire") and beyond. At the same time, Brizedine is not above reviewing the basics: "We may think we're a lot more sophisticated than Fred or Wilma Flintstone, but our basic mental outlook and equipment are the same." While this book will be of interest to anyone who wonders why men and women are so different, it will be particularly useful for women and parents of girls.
I think all women should read this book. I feel like I understand myself better after reading it. It would also be so helpful to the husbands' and fathers' of all women. I'm trying to get the Duke to read it.

Andrew Carnegie by David Nasaw

I just started this biography and I am all ready fascinated. I do love good historical biographies. This one appears to be researched extremely well.

So, I don't really have anything I'm thinking of reading next. Any suggestions? The books above give you a bit of an idea of my preferences. . . (ie- not a big fan of fiction.)

And now, what you all really want to see. . . yup- getting cuter every day.

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Friday, November 23, 2007


The Duke, Little Sir, and I had a nice quiet day at home together. We had a simple but delicious dinner, watched the dog show (one of our favorite things about Thanksgiving,) spent time together, and oddly. . . installed a new microwave. (Yes, Daddy Shark, that means you are off the hook on Saturday.)

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A Turkey Breast is much easier and faster than cooking an entire turkey. Stuffing from a box, green beans from a can, but I did actually make twice baked potatoes- my favorite way to have potatoes. There is also some pink Jello salad to make my Utah born and bred hubby feel like he was home :) -- Little Sir had his dinner a bit before us. You'll notice his 'leftovers' sitting there with him.

Yes, my Duke is a tad bit, well let's say restless. He doesn't sit still and/or relax very well. He is either asleep or working on a "project." Yes, being his wife can be exhausting at times, how did you know?

I am so thankful for the men in my life though.

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Here they are in the three minutes that the Duke actually sat down during the day.

We have so much to be thankful for this year. Little Sir arriving safely, the Duke graduating and finding a job that gave him the flexibility to be with me while I was sick and laboring, our moms who came to our rescue, and our friends and families that supported us, prayed for us, and showed us more love than we could ever imagine possible.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Imagine Me and You and You and Me!

Today was our first full day all on our own, just the Duchess and her Little Sir. We did pretty good, if I do say so myself.

We took Maggie and Logan for a walk (they have some work to do learning how to not get bumped by the stroller) and they were happy.

Then we went to the Baby Depot for some stuff we needed and to another little shop to pick up a gift.

I even managed to get dinner on the stove, one of the dinners I froze before Little Sir was born, but I had to leave it to feed the little guy and ended up burning the bottom of it. Our microwave broke a few days ago and our new one doesn't arrive until Wed. When you are trying to reheat frozen dinners, a microwave is helpful. It was fine, we just didn't eat the burned part. Just another "welcome to parenthood" meal.

I was exhausted by 7:00 and fell asleep- nothing like a nap at 7:00 to throw off your sleeping schedule, huh? Oh well, it shouldn't be too much of a problem. It's not like I've had an abundance of sleep as of late.

And now what you have all (read: Princess P. and the Queen) have been waiting for. . . pictures of the 8 lb 13 oz bundle of adorable!

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Don't you just love the tie-dyed onesie? A gift from one of the Queen Mothers. (Little Sir's Great Grandma.) He looks so cute in it!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Happy Chaos

Little Sir is 4 weeks old! We are settling into a happy bit of chaos. I can't believe that a month has gone by. It seems like I just blinked. My introduction to the continual admonition that "it goes so fast."


Little Sir at three weeks.

Little Sir posing for his "Rookie Card."

As for knitting, well, the chaos reigns here too.

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The bottom and one sleeve of a sweater, along with the frogged balls from the second sleeve which I accidentally knit on the wrong size needle.

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The body of Little Sir's blessing sweater, along with the remaining yarn that Logan so handily wound into knots for me while I was distracted by an adorable baby.

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One Monkey sock that I somehow altered the pattern half way through and now have the. . .er. . ."challenge" of making a matching sock.

You see, chaos, but it's a happy chaos.