Thursday, December 31, 2009


I know I'm a little early for Happy New Year but.....

we are leaving here around 8:00 tomorrow morning to head back to PA for Todd's grandmother's funeral on Saturday. Supposedly they are under a winter storm/blizzard warning for back there late tomorrow.

And we are going to my SIL's for our relatively quiet and probably relatively early New Year's celebration.....

We did have a wonderful Christmas, Tyler got the MOST AWESOME Christmas present which involved me braving Wal-mart last Saturday on one of the busiest shopping days of the year to buy 12,000 little things for it....

and I do have some finishes to share....when I come back next year:)

Blessing to all of you!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

10 year old girls

Jessie is having her friends' birthday party today. 10:00 am to 4-5:00 ish pm.

Three homemade pizzas have been decimated:

8 or 9 girls.

They danced to CD's and sung happy birthday:

Somehow, they are entertaining themselves:

I think this one needs posted in the Elementary School teacher lounge:

And they think they are so sweet:)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Fast and Furious!

Between shopping (I thought I was doing good.....until I made a list):

this is MY christmas present*. I lost the picture of the marathon shopping session I did on Saturday that I had to text to Todd when he asked me what in the heck I did all day. The kids were lucky they were able to squeeze into the Durango among all the packages and bags and didn't have to ride in the luggage rack.

Basketball practices:

believe me, 8:30 a.m. practices are no fun. But that two hours is nice to myself:)

And some furious knitting:

a back and one front side of Jessie's Central Park Hoodie. I still have to attach 1 side and the sleeves, and put on the hood and the button band ribbing. All is knit but the button band, the hood and 1 sleeve......

I just may pull it all off. I'm sure I'll be burning the midnight oil tonight and tomorrow night, but....

It will be so worth it come tomorrow night and Christmas morning and day.

Have a very Merry Christmas!

*yes, I buy my own Christmas presents. Thank you junk stores.....Saves us a lot of fights and headaches. This ancient wood cabinet will grace my kitchen, which will out of necessity get demolished sometime this coming spring.....

Thursday, December 17, 2009

It has hit....

The holiday craziness, that is.

Last night I made pork and saurkraut for dinner, along with 4 batches of sugar cut out cookie dough. It is depressing when you realize a quart jar of homemade saurkraut is no where near enough to feed a family of 4 and that the 8 jars that I have left from my 2008 saurkraut canning spree will not be enough to get us through until next fall:(

Tonight, I have to bake 16 dozen sugar cut out cookies. I'm taking 8 dozen of them into Tyler's class and letting the kindergardeners decorate them and take them home to their families. The other 8 dozen? Tyler and Jessie will decorate on Saturday. Ought to be an experience.....

I still have some shopping to do. Mostly for a friend of Jessie's who just lost her mom after a sudden and 2 month long illness, and the family is struggling financially. A group of us are "doing" Christmas for the little girl and her dad. Todd and his friends will be trying to shoot 4 deer this weekend to give to the family so they will at least have meat on the table. And a group of us are giving them food (I took over about 60 lbs. of meat out of our freezer, a friend did snack foods, another friend did canned goods). Makes me realize how blessed I am.

Fortunately for me, the kids have not asked for a lot of things this year. Other than the usual cell phone and Nintendo DS for each of them. Which I told them already isn't happening. They need to be outside playing instead of on a video game (and they already have a Wii courtesy of great-grandma) and when are they ever somewhere that an adult is not with them?

I'm still madly knitting on fingerless mitts. I have the last 1/2 of a mitt to finish up tonight to give to Tyler's teacher tomorrow. This is the 6th pair I have made. is my last day of work until next year, except for swinging through here twice a week to check the mail, phones, and email. It will all get done, sooner or later.

Have a happy Thursday!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Show results

We are home. Actually, we have been home since Sunday about 11:30. I just couldn't post until now due to being EXTREMELY tired and I had camera issues over the weekend. And yesterday was spent catching up at all get the idea:)

A fun weekend, a BUSY weekend and a tiring one. We got home and everyone crashed - we literally just sat around all day watching football games and movies.

But the kids did awesome! Jessie got a 6th and a 7th (out of 14) with Punx - who behaved like a champ for her:

And Tyler got two 6th places (out of 10) with Roscoe:

This show was huge. There were probably 300 steers and market heifers there on Saturday with 28 classes running in each of two rings. I didn't get a whole lot of pictures - we were too busy running from ring to ring as Tyler showed in class 10 in both rings and Jessie showed in class 12 in both rings. But the next show is January 9th and if the weather isn't too crappy, we will definitely go back down there and do it all over again. For sure we are going to the Ohio Beef Expo in March with both kids and both calves. And I heard a rumor last night about going to the Pennsylvania Beef Expo the end of March with both calves.....

Now I can finally get geared up for Christmas. Of course, I still have a couple smaller things to buy, a few things to finish making and everything to wrap. But I am off work starting this Friday until after New Year's Day, so hopefully I can get some stuff done the week before Christmas:)


Friday, December 11, 2009

10 years old

Wow. Hard to believe that today at 12:58, Jessie turned 10. That is mind numbing. It has gone by so incredibly fast.

She loves her animals, loves her friends, loves to dance and sing. Play sports, show cattle, show pigs.

Fights constantly with her brother.

Gives as good as she gets when the boys tease her at school.

Is turning out to be a really scrappy basketball player - surprise surprise.

She hates to read unless it is something she can really relate to.

A few months ago, she asked that we go to a steer show in Columbus, Ohio over her birthday (actually, it was either she get to go to the steer show or go deer hunting in PA with Todd for doe season). We chose what seemed to be at the time the lesser of two evils:). So we are on our way south, loaded up - 5 adults, 2 kids and 2 head of cattle. And yes, we are taking a cake with a steer on it.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Sort-of party

Last night while we were in the midst of washing and clipping calves to get ready for this weekend, my parents came down to give Jessie her birthday presents and bring cupcakes. Which the kids and the 2 guys clipping on her steer devoured. And they asked for more for the weekend.
Yes, tomorrow she will be 10. Where have the years gone????????

She had to try everything on immediately:

Mom knit her the cute little sweater - I think it's the Juliet pattern from Zephyr website. Size x-small. Yes, dark pictures and I didn't get a full shot so you can see the Ugh boots. She has wanted a pair for eons. Thank you Mom and Dad and Kohls.

Today with a high of 28 degrees, she opted to wear jeans, the tshirt, sweater and the boots to school. She thought her legs would freeze in the leggings and skirt while playing football with the boys at recess.

And my Mom wore the vest that I knitted her a month or so ago so I could get a picture of it:

Mondo Cable Vest from Chicknits.

I have more of this yarn (lanaloft worsted weight) to make myself a vest too - which I think will be happening during the Christmas holiday. Seeing as I am off work for 2 whole weeks at the end of the year:)

We had high winds all day yesterday - and I had to wash a calf in the cold and wind at 5:30 p.m. and get him dry by the time they came to clip him at 6:45. Tonight we are packing everything that we possibly can (generator, fan cages, grooming chute, show box, fans - believe it or not Jessie's steer was sweating yesterday due to all the hair he has - grain, hay, straw...). Tomorrow we will load up and head down to Columbus about 5 or so when we all get done washing calves, working for some of us (Todd and Jason), and helping out in Tyler's kindergarten class (me). The kids are making gingerbread houses in his class. The kids will show all day long Saturday, and Sunday morning sometime we will load up and head home.

And yes, I'm taking a birthday cake for Jessie with us with a black steer on it. I'll be back tomorrow with a proper birthday post for her.
Stay warm!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Hello again!

I know I said I'd be back shortly's been hectic here.

Some pictures of all my Christmas gifts that I have made. And I still have 1 more pair to make (in purple) for Tyler's teacher to match the scarf I made a few months back. All of these patterns are from A Friend To Knit With. Very simple, very quick and very perfect!

Toasty made out of Debbie Bliss Donegal Tweed - 1 skien and 3 hours (this was the last pair I made - I think I'm getting faster!)

Toast made out of Berroco Jasper & Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK (the dark grey is the cashmerino). I was afraid I wouldn't have enough with 1 skien of the Jasper (and I wouldn't have) so I used some leftover cashmerino as well.

Toasty made out of Debbie Bliss Donegal Tweed - 1 skien & 5 hours!

And of course, a hat for me. I'm not a big fan of hats, but let me tell you - when you are outside using a hose to rinse off a steer and then spend an hour + drying him with a giant hairdryer, a hat works wonders on your ears!

Bananna Republic knock-off hat made out of Rowan Big Wool - 1 skien and 3 hours! And P.S. - NEVER try to take a photo of yourself in a semi-dark room at 11:30 at night - it just doesn't work well!

We also had Thanksgiving dinner at Todd's parents on Sunday, and the kids made these wonderful gingerbread houses. I'm going to have to keep an eye on Tyler, as he wants to EAT it in the worst way!

We did get our Christmas Tree up Saturday night - I was hoping we could get a real tree after we get back from Columbus this weekend, but I was outvoted. And actually, now I am just glad that it is up and done!

Last night was Tyler's Kindergarten Christmas concert at school.

Here is his entire class. I sat right down on the floor in front of them to videotape the whole thing (Todd and Jessie were sitting in the very back row with some friends of ours, and I couldn't see well enough to video tape him or take pictures). I thought I was going to have a riot on my hands when they saw me! Mrs. Bair take MY picture! Mrs. Bair take MY picture!!

I have tried and tried and tried all morning to upload a video of a really cute song they sang - "No L." However, I cannot get it to load. I'll try again later, and if anyone has any suggestions, please let me know how I do this!

Have a great day. I'm off to wash and dry calves in the 30 degree weather!


Friday, December 4, 2009

Less is definitely more

Yes, I've been absent a lot lately. Seems like I had wonderful intentions this week having been off work since the Wednesday before Thanksgiving but....

I've been doing lots of work with the calves that we are showing next week, a fair amount of shopping with my Mom and my Grandmother, and TONS of knitting and quilting. I can say that I do have most of my Christmas crafting and shopping done (or in the case of the Christmas crafting, I know what I am making and have the supplies to make it). It's not going to be a lavish Christmas by any means but we will make some memories.

But today, I decided I had really better get it in gear and get out my Christmas decorations. Seeing as I have to go back to work on Monday, we will be at a steer show in Columbus next weekend Friday through Sunday and Christmas will be here before you know it.

This is about a 1/8 of the containers of my Christmas decorations (I have 6 big totes and about 9 or 10 copy paper boxes). I think I put out about 1/2 of this.

I decided this year I am ONLY putting out stuff that I truly love and that has special memories/meaning to us. As a result, what used to take me 3 solid days of putting out decorations took me about.....2 hours.

This Santa is supposed to sit on a vacuum cleaner ("Sweeper Santa"). However, due to the little people in the house, it is a pain in the you know what to have to take the Santa off the sweeper to vacuum every day. Or even several times a day on the weekends.

I decided to put some garland up here and there - if I can figure out how to attach it to the house siding WITHOUT putting holes in the siding, one of these garlands will go around our back door.

Normally I would have 3 shelves like this loaded to the hilt.

This Santa I made a few years ago - he just sits on a wooden dowl rod. Todd needs to cut the dowl rod shorter and put some sort of wooden base underneath him.

I still need to put out my life size Santa and hang 3 Christmas wallhangings that I have made over the years, and I am pretty sure the Christmas tree is going up this weekend. I have lights hung outside the house (I thought about hanging lights on the chicken coop and that may still get done but for right now, I'm doing good.

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend. It's been in the 60's here most days........


Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Belated Turkey Day

I hope everyone had a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving!!!

We had a wonderful day. I tried to get over here, but, I think I was tied to the kitchen! It did not help that I burned the first three loaves of bread that I baked, so I had to bake more:)

But I made pumpkin pies (which we didn't even touch), mashed potatoes, chicken dressing and 3 loaves of bread. And we deep fryed two 20 lb turkeys. Mom brought everything else and my grandmother brought pies. Todd's mom brought munchies and another pie.

Then Todd's mom brought a gingerbread man cookie kit that you decorate. Which was a blast.

Today, I did not go shopping. Rather the kids and I went to see blind side - it is an AWESOME movie. Although, if you have sympathetic tear ducts like myself - take some kleenex. The kids loved it and I loved it.
I'm off work this entire week coming up. So hopefully lots of decorating and crafting will get done, but we will see. Only two weeks until we head to Columbus for Jessie and Tyler to show their calves - yikes!!!!!!
Later everyone,

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A quick cardi

Yes, crappy photos, but I couldn't wait to show you!

I had seen this on Philigry's blog, and actually brought one similar to it at Eddie Bauer on Friday when I was shopping for the kids (um hmmm) clothes for them to wear to the calling hours/funeral of Todd's grandmother.

Today, I went to JoAnn Fabrics and found some great jersey knit, and the pattern (McCall's) which was on sale for 1.99. Not being sure if I should do the Medium or the Large, I brought both sizes of pattern.

It was super simple to make and modify so it would fit me perfectly.

I ended up using the Medium for the rectangle, and the Large for the sleeves. I am not a fan of very fitted sleeves, and just cut them out about an inch bigger than the Medium sized sleeves.

I still have to hem the sleeves, but I'm going to leave them unhemmed for now and see just how long I want them. I think this will be great with jeans or dress pants for work.

I still have a navy blue jersey knit to make one for my Mom, and I'm thinking I need another one in red!
Have a great day!

Now I'm a basketball Mom!

Jessie enjoyed soccer tremendously this fall. And then she thought she might want to try basketball.

So far, she is enjoying it. Her name still could not be "Grace" by any stretch of immagination, but she is good at defending the ball.

Although yesterday she told me the boys in her class are all excited to come watch me play basketball when the games start up in January. it the game she likes or the boys?

Monday, November 23, 2009

I'm back....

.....after a whirlwind trip to PA for Todd's grandmother's funeral (she was diagnosed with colon cancer early October, passed away Thursday, November 19th at 4:00) we got home late last night.

Calling hours were good, the service was wonderful, we ate way to much food, saw relatives and friends from PA we haven't seen in a while. Got to see his other grandmother, who was diagnosed with lung cancer 3 days after the first grandmother was diagnosed.....

Now I'm off to read about what all of you have been doing, get the laundry situation under control, clean my house and start cooking. Someone told me Thanksgiving is 4 days away. Amazingly enough, I'm ready (I think).....

But I will have guests on Thursday so I will be back, hopefully before then!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Another knit for ME

I finished my BoHo blouse from the book Glam Knits. Talk about fast!

Of course, once I blocked it I had to wait 2 days for it to dry. And as this yarn was 100% wool, I was not sticking it in the dryer.

I actually finished it up (or thought I had) Saturday afternoon, just in time to go to a friends' daughters' birthday party. But decided while at the party it was too short (it kept riding up in the back). So after we got home from the birthday party and while Todd was at a garage fire Saturday night at our neighbors house, I ripped it back and kept knitting. I think I added something like 6 inches to the overall length. I just knit until I used up the whole skien of yarn - which made it 3 skiens total for this sweater.

A good soaking in the sink, pinned it out on some nifty blocking boards my Mom got, and it fits perfectly. Not too tight, not too loose.

I did not do the cables at the top, and you can see my increase rounds - maybe the cables would hide these? I don't know. But I do know it is very comfortable and this yarn is WARM.
Now I've made a deal with myself that I have to put away all of the projects for ME (guess I am a very selfish quilter and knitter) and I HAVE to get moving on some Christmas presents. It will be here before we know it......
Enjoy your days!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Driving MYSELF crazy

I do it to myself - I see something I like and want to make it instantly. Unfortunately, most knits that I like are sweaters and if I am making a quilt, it has to be at least a twin size. Both of which are NOT instant gratification. So I tend to start LOTS of projects:)

This vest I am making for my Mom. Because she didn't want to do the one teeny tiny cable down the front. Of course, since I can do the cable, that means I also learned (I hope) how to do the provisional cast on and how to join the back neckband (which I finished up at 11:30 last night thankyouverymuch - do I get a prize for getting it right on only the second try and being up so late? lol). I still have about 5 inches of knitting on the body and this one will be done.

Then I saw this in one of my knitting books and HAD to have it. Of course, the yarn I am using is seconds so there is no tag, but I do know it is Brown Sheep Top of the Lamb (I knew it was Brown Sheep and figured out from their website which yarn it was based on the weight and color). I do like seconds from this yarn store - $3.49 a skein. Again, another one that needs maybe 5-6 inches on the body and it will be done. It would have been done last night but I have to wind another skien of yarn into a ball. And I didn't feel like doing that!

BoHo blouse from Glam Knits

Of course, I do have something quilty to show. I made this top last winter - all it needs is quilting. I'm going to attempt that on my newly fixed sewing machine (which has been in the shop 3 times so far this summer. Fortunately nothing major each time, just annoying). Todd and I decided that I would send all my future quilts out for quilting as my machine is getting up there in years, but this one? I have maybe a 1/4" extra of backing all around, so I'll be doing it myself.

Another knit for me - and I have been working on it for quite a while. I love the Pimlico Shrugs, however, I wasn't sure I could do the lace pattern, so I did a seed stitch. Talk about boring and time consuming. The body needs to be at least 25" long (the pattern says 35" but I'm seeing where everyone else went shorter). I'm at about 12". This one may take a while.

But of course, I have something waiting for Jessie for a Christmas present - the Central Park Hoodie in this lovely periwinkle Cascade 220 Superwash yarn. Of course, with her being just about 10 and the pattern only going to an extra small (32") I will be sort of flying on a wing and a prayer. Smaller needles, smaller yarn and hopefully it will work! I'll have to learn how to read charts with this one, but I went and specifically brought more yarn (to put with some leftovers from another sweater) for this sweater from my LYS so that if I get to confused (which may very well happen) I can go in there and they can straighten me out!

And I have something else for me - which the yarn just arrived for yesterday. The Skating Sweater from Twinkle Knits in Rowan Big Wool. I found 5 skiens on ebay for dirt cheap (about 1/4 of the normal price) because they are two different dye lots.

So now you all know what I will be doing this weekend, in between washing Punxs and Roscoe daily and cleaning the house. Have a great weekend everyone!