Thursday, January 31, 2013

Knitting at Downton

I enjoy watching Downton Abbey. S#5 throws DA watching parties. She makes food, we watch the show, we discuss the details, I get to skip the bedtime routine on Sunday nights. It is perfect. (Am I a bad mom that I look forward to skipping the bedtime routine every now and then??)

Back in December I saw something on Ravelry about a DA KAL (Downton Abbey Knit Along). Jimmy Beans Wool, a knit shop in CA had a stash of Lorna's Laces yarn with a colorway named "Christmas at Downton." They came up with a pattern to go along with the yarn and would release a part of the pattern with each new episode of Season 3. I was all over that. I ordered the yarn and waited for Jan 6th on pins and needles.

Finally the season premiered and I got to watch and knit at the same time.

Clue 1

Clue 3

Clue 4

There are my Downton Abbey "Christmas at Downton" gauntlets. I think I was suppose to knit them one at a time, but I couldn't wait. I started the second one as soon as I finished clue 1 on the first. I'm very excited that I actually knit something in such a short amount of time instead of having a project linger on the needles for months and months at a time.

Catholic Schools Week

This week is Catholic Schools Week. There have been lots of happenings at school. I had 'eat lunch with your kid' on Monday (A), Tuesday (B) and today (J). Tomorrow is Grandparents Day. Last night was the family dinner. This is a catered barbeque dinner and the science showcase. It is not a science fair because they don't judge the projects and give out awards, instead it is just a demostration. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I think if I put all the time that A did into her project, I'd like the possibility of winning a ribbon. Oh well, everybody wins attitude prevails.

Enough about that. The dinner was crowded and hectic as usual, but I got to sit and talk to a friend I never get to talk to.  B gobbled down his food and ran out to play on the playground with his friend. J ran around with his cousin and friends. I only saw A once in passing and it took me 15 minutes to track her down when it was time to leave. I think everyone had fun.

We did make it over to the science showcase. I took pictures of A's project and cousin E's project. They were right next to each other. The purpose of Anna's project was to figure out the best way for her mother to dye yarn and make the color fast.  Alum is the answer. E did the opposite figuring out what is the best method to bleach fabric.

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As we were leaving A showed me that her CSW poster was picked to hang in the hallway.

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We checked out the pictures from the other grades and I found J's picture was hung up also.

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I went back to look at the first grade pictures to see if I could figure out if B's picture was selected also. It would have been a trifecta of CSW poster hanging. Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out if his was among the 1st grade posters.  Maybe next year.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Pinewood Derby '13

Yesterday was the Pinewood Derby. It was B's first year in it for real. J isn't in scouts this year but DH made him a car also. I shouldn't say that DH made the car, the boys helped saw and sand and paint, but DH did a lot of work setting the wheel so they ran straight.

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Congrats to B and DH for a 4th place finish. They missed 3rd place by 1/100th of a second. J's car didn't do so great. He blames it on B who dropped it when they were taking it in to weigh.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Catching up

I haven't blogged in awhile. Here's what happened in the last week or so.

B got to carry the gifts up at mass. You can see the new look of the church. Someday we'll have real pews.


B was scientist of the week. They did a jumping pepper experiment explaining static electricity.




J had a sleepover party. We cancelled the first one over Christmas because of the flu. He was excited to have another. Nothing was planned except flashlight tag. Luckily, they found stuff to do.

You know you are in Texas when a bunch of 4th grade boys come over and play Alamo. They were all fighting over who had to be the Texans and who got to be the Mexicans. Here they are storming the Alamo.

And enthusiastically singing happy birthday.


J built a robot with his lego mindstorms set.

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He's sad that a month after he got it, they came out with a new set that will interact with an ipod touch.

A has been up to her same old things, dance, school, reading, avoiding my camera.

DH & I went on a lunch date to Jimmy's Food Store. While our sandwiches were being made, I checked out all the Italian goodies.

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We went down to the new Clyde Warren deck park downtown, sat in the sun to eat our lunch, strolled through the park and bought a cookie ice cream sandwich from one of the food trucks.

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It was a nice afternoon.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Tomatoes for Christmas

My mom took a trip to Lancaster, PA with her quilting friends this fall to check out Amish quilting or whatever is it you do on a quilting trip. She also found my Christmas present, heirloom tomato seeds.


I've never grown tomato plants from seed before but decided to give it shot. I looked up some information on my favorite gardening blog and headed to amazon.  A few days later a greenhouse and some popup seed pods arrived on my neighbor's front porch. (We're having house number issues and our stuff keeps getting delivered to their house. I'm ready to go paint their numbers on the curb to put an end to it!) After two days, I realized I hadn't received my packages so I went looking for them. (The neighbors rarely go out their front door so they didn't realize they were there, but she did call me right after I picked them up to let me know.)


Greenhouse and seed pods in hand, I set out to grow some tomatoes last Friday. Watching the seed pods pop up was cool, I should have waiting and let the kids do that part.



Tomato seeds are tiny. I needed a quarter in the picture to give size perspective.


I planted the seed and then I peeked every 10 minutes or so. I'm not sure why, I knew they wouldn't grow in 10 minutes. I was a just little excited.


I didn't have to wait long. Five days later, I had this. See those tiny green plants growing!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Knitting Update

I've been knitting, a little bit here and another bit there. I've actually finished a couple of projects in the last few months, so maybe I've done more than just a little bit.

S#5 asked for me to make her this cowl a long time ago.  She had her big 30th bday in October so I decided to make it for her. Of course I decided the week before her birthday in which I was throwing a pizza party and a tea party for her. Needless to say it didn't get finished. Once I missed the deadline, I let it sit. She went to Thanksgiving in D.C. It was cold. I finished it so she might be warm.

Big Herringbone Cowl, Purl Bee

My friend in Chicago took up running a couple of years ago. I had been thinking of knitting her a hat for awhile. I pinned this hat and had a skein of yarn in mind. Her birthday is the end of November. I was on a knitting kick from finishing the Big Herringbone Cowl. I like that hats are a nice quick project that I can finish in a week or so.

Chunkeanie, Wooly Wormhead

Since I was on a knitting kick, I picked up a shawl I started way back in July. It was a mystery shawl where you get a clue a week. I finished the first clue before our cruise and then put it down. I did the second and the third some time after the kids went back to school.

After the hat, I finished the first wing and had every intention of finishing it before Christmas. The flu killed that objective quickly. I never took it out of the bag.

I wanted to finish the shawl because I wanted to start the Downton Abbey Mystery KAL on December 6th. I don't like having multiple projects going. I didn't let the incomplete shawl stop me from starting the Downton Abbey project. It is going to be fingerless gloves. I'm not sure I'll actually wear them, but the first clue came out nicely.

Downton Abbey Mystery KAL, Jimmy Beans Wool

While I'm waiting for clue #2 on Sunday, I've knocked off a bit more of the shawl.

Rockefeller Mystery KAL, Steven West

Maybe I'll actually finish them both before the end of the year.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Family Date Night

We had a free Saturday. B played in a couple of indoor soccer games in the morning and that was about it.

The weather was pretty in the afternoon and the kids asked nicely, so I took them geocaching.

Not sure what face B is making there!


J hid behind B because the sun was too much for him


It was a good afternoon for geocaching. We were 4 for 6. One of "DNF" is one that we've looked for multiple times and still haven't found. The bushes are too sticky for us!

After geo-caching, we returned home, picked up DH for 5pm mass, and headed out for the rest of the evening.

DH bought tickets to the Chinese Lantern festival at Fair Park on Groupon. It was the second to last night of the festival so it was our last chance to see it. It seems that everyone else had the same idea. The line to get in was so long. We had pre-purchased 4 tickets and had to buy one more. I stayed in line with the kids while DH went to find the box office. A few minutes later, he called to tell me to go to the other side. The line from the other direction was much, much shorter. What could have been an hour wait was closer to 10 minutes.





B's favorite part of the evening, the REAL Cotton Bowl 


It was a nice exhibit and I'm glad we used our tickets. As we left the lines on both sides were equally long and longer than when we arrived. If we had arrive then, I would have eaten the tickets and left. The lanterns were pretty but not worth that long wait in the cold.

We headed out to dinner after a long debate on where to eat. (Parents:no pizza, Kids: no to all other suggestions) Parents won, we ate at Fish City Grill and had a great meal. The crawfish etouffee on the specials board was delicious!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

A visit from the Tooth Fairy

B lost his tooth on Wednesday. He forgot to put in under his pillow on Wed. night. He remembered on Thursday but the tooth fairy must have gotten mixed up because she/he forgot to come. There were many tears on Friday morning. He was given lots of reassurements that it was just a mix-up over when the tooth was lost and when the tooth was put under the pillow and he should just try again. He figured out that the money I dropped under the bed (after realizing that the Tooth Fairy didn't show) came from me and was not misplaced money from the Tooth Fairy. Nice try, Mom!

Friday night we stayed up late to watch the Texas A&M Aggies beat OU in the Cotton Bowl. B fell asleep before the end of the game and was totally out of it when I finally forced him to go to bed. He didn't remember about the Tooth Fairy at all.

Lucky for him, the Tooth Fairy came anyway.

I think the Tooth Fairy was making up for the mix-up the other night.

End of break fun

The kids returned to school on Thursday. I was planning on spending Wednesday doing nothing, take it easy and chill before the hectic routine of school and activities started up again.

S#2 woke me at 9am with a phone call. Yes, I was sleeping at 9am, it was going to be a lazy day and I was taking full advantage. She knew that B had been begging to go ice skating over break and since she was taking her girls, she invited us along.

I got the kids up and moving so we could get there in time. We had a small interruption. B came to tell me that he thought his throat was bleeding. A quick inspection showed a very, very loose tooth. He took care of it quickly.


Off we went to skate. A is a decent skater, she has been several times and she took some lessons a couple of years ago. The boys have skated once or twice and it has been several years. They both had a slow start.





The kids had a good time. J & B eventually let go of the wall. Both had lots of falls. B came off the ice crying once after falling on his head. Except for a good bump on his noggin, he was fine. J's knee is still sore from falling. Despite the bumps, they all had fun. And I got to check another item off the to-do-over-Christmas-break list.