Tuesday, August 26, 2008

What can I say?

What can I say? I have been racking my brain the last couple of days about what I can blog about. The truth is, the last few days there hasn't been anything going on. I've been washing windows (boring) and doing some general cleaning which also is not very exciting. No knitting or cooking to speak of. But with Sophie arriving in less than a week, I am considering this the calm before the storm!!

One thing I have done is to set K's doll house back up in her room. This is a house that was built for her when she was younger and into American Girl Dolls. (There is furniture and accessories for it that I will be putting back in after Labor Day weekend.) When K grew out of her doll phase, we loaned it to some friends with younger girls. For the past several years it has been covered in plastic out in Steve's shed. I thought it would be fun to get it set up again. I'll post another picture after I have it completed.

In the meantime, I will give you a Sophie update.
She is 7 weeks old today and getting ready to come home!! Our friends will be bringing her home with them after Labor Day weekend (Julie's dad is the one who has the pups and they are getting one as well), so Sophie will be arriving late Monday afternoon September 1st. In the picture, Sophie is the one on the right. She how well behaved she is already?? And already a good poser for pictures which will be nice for future posts!!

Sumo keeps going to the basket we have on the floor with all of her little toys in. You have to wonder what he's thinking..... Pretty sure he has no clue!! But how can he not love this sweet little face????

Well, off to plan the menu for the weekend and get a little more cleaning done. I will be heading to Mpls in the next couple of days for the funeral of my dear friend Cheryl's mom. She passed away last evening. My heart is heavy for my dear friend as she walks through yet another dark valley. (Her daughter Lindsay is one who we are running our marathon in memory of!) I love you Cheryl - my thoughts and prayers are with you!

Until Next time....

Friday, August 22, 2008


Yes, I know it's always been TNT Thursday, but I can't seem to get my posts done on Thursday, so I changed it to Friday. I can do that. I thought I would let you know a little more about the Poker Run our team is doing tomorrow. I've spent a good part of the last couple of days getting ready for it. One of the things we all needed to do was to make 'memory boards' to have at the different stops. Here are the boards that I've been working on....

The first is a board I made which will sit outside the restaurant that we are having registration at and will be the starting point of the 'race'. Turns out there is a big 'Panther on Main' event tomorrow which should draw hundreds of UNI students who may be interested in registering for the race. I've ordered some balloons to tie on to it as well.

The second board is our memory board that is basically an enlarged version of our support letter which highlights the 3 special people who Steve and I are running in memory of: David; Barb and Lindsay. Steve will have this board at the stop that he will be at and will be able to explain more to people the purpose of Team in Training and why we run!

For the last board, I decided I wanted to have an emphasis on the importance of giving blood and what a source of life that is, especially to those who suffer from a blood cancer like leukemia and lymphoma! I stopped at both the American Red Cross and the Blood Center and got information for people on giving blood. I especially would encourage people to look into Apheresis.. which is a special kind of blood donation where they basically just take the platelets from your blood and give the rest back to you. Platelets are especially needed in those with blood cancer. I remember being able to watch Lindsay perk up and the color return to her cheeks when she received a unit of platelets. Almost like magic. If you've never looked into it, call your local Red Cross center or Blood center today!!

Everyone who registers receives this t-shirt, which I think turned out very cute. The colors are the same colors as our local University (UNI) which should be a big hit!

A close up of the front:

Basically the way a Poker Run works is that people register and receive a map of the 9 stops along our 'course'. At each stop they receive a marked card. With the 9 cards they get, they come up with their best poker hand and the winner wins this: A 4GB Ipod Nano. Now people also have the option to purchase additional random cards at one location to better their chance. Sounds fun. We hope it will be fun for all who come and a big success for the team.

Until Next Time....

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Settling Down....

Well, things have settled down a bit since our excitement on Monday. R finished up his internship yesterday and Steve and A made the drive to Omaha yesterday afternoon to pick him up and bring him home! It was so good to give him a big hug after all he'd been through. My mind can still wander to the 'what if's' but I try not to let it linger there!!! What does linger is the pile of paperwork that must now be filled out to file our insurance claim. Yikes!

The paperwork came in the mail today, but it was NOT the first thing I opened!! The first thing I opened was this box for the Dishrag Tag! I am a member of Team #4 - the Ragtag Racers. What is a Dishrag Tag you ask??

Dishrag tag is a game of tag composed of teams which each have 12 knitters on it from across the country. In turn, each team member receives this little box that contains: 1 knit dishcoth; 1 skein of yarn to knit a dishcloth with; an official dishrag tag pattern; instructions and possibly, just possibly a treat of two!! The goal is to unpack and keep the knit cloth and goodies; knit a dishcloth with the yarn and pattern provided ASAP; repack the box with the knit cloth; a new skein of yarn; the instructions and pattern; and a goody or two and mail it to the next team member!

I received this box today in the mail from Alaina at approximately 11:43 a.m. I quickly unpacked the contents; ate a dove chocolate for energy and cast on. 2 hours later the cloth was done and I was ready to print off the mailing label; repack the box with the cloth; yarn and maybe, just maybe, some chocolate and headed to the post office. (Did I mention I want our team to WIN!!)
It's off to Diane in Missouri. 2 knitters down; 10 to go. First team of 12 to finish and get the box back to the starting point wins. Too fun!!

Now, I must get back to my Wollmeise scarf. I am coming to the sad realization that I will not have this scarf finished by the time the Olympics are over. I knew I was thinking big... but with the craziness of life, my knitting time is pretty limited. Whatever the case, I am LOVING this colorway!!! I see lots of these scarves in my future!

I did finish this scarf and just need to wash and block it. I love this pattern and this yarn. I have the same yarn in a blue colorway that I may need to cast on next since I will be giving this scarf away.

M had her first day of students today in her new 3rd grade teaching position. I'm very excited to hear how it went. I have a friend who has a friend who makes cookie bouquets and I had this one made up for her. It turned out adorable!!! I know she is going to be an INCREDIBLE teacher! We are just so proud of her! My nephew also had his first day of teaching today in Fairbanks Alaska!!! He has a blog of his adventure that you can check out here if you'd like. We are very proud of him as well!!!

Off to cook dinner. Not sure if R & M are joining us or not. We're having fajitas. Yum!

Until Next Time.....

Monday, August 18, 2008


Well, this morning started out with a phone call from R who was on his way to Grand Island, Nebraska for the final week of his internship. The car was kind of acting funny and there was some smoke coming from the hood. After asking a few questions, Steve advised him to pull over and GET OUT! A few minutes later this is what happened!!! Fortunately he is safe and back in Omaha where he will wrap up his internship a little early and come home. Fortunately the company he has been interning with has been very helpful and supportive through this!

Here are a few more pictures that he sent. The fire is out and now it just needs to be towed somewhere. The funny thing is that this is not R's car. It is K's car that they were using for the summer. If you recall, K's first car met a deer at 70 miles an hour last fall. Good thing she likes to bike!!!

One last look at her Camry. As I said at the beginning, we are feeling extremely thankful that R is safe. Things could have been so much worse. I'm not sure if we'll ever know what caused the fire. The insurance company is working on it. (They have been extremely helpful as well!)

That's all for today. Spending most of the day on the phone getting this all sorted out. I think I may put in a movie and just knit for a bit.

Until Next Time.....

Friday, August 15, 2008

TNT Thursday

on Friday. Yes, I know it's Friday. The weeks keep slipping by! Anyways, it is time for another update on our marathon training with Team in Training. Steve and I will be running in the San Antonio Marathon November 16. While we are training, we are raising awareness and funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Our hope and prayer is that we can help in the race to find a cure for these diseases!

I thought I would post a bit about the fund raising aspect of this journey and then share the winners of my first prize drawings!

When we first signed up to do the marathon we were told that we needed to raise a minimum of $8200 between the two of us. Yikes. That seemed like a lot of money! (And it is!) I don't particularly enjoy asking people for money and Steve has a downright aversion to it, so I knew it wouldn't be 'easy'. Steve designed a great support letter to send friends and family. I talked about our undertaking on my blog and amongst the knitters on the Ravelry site. And it has been amazing (and humbling) to watch as the funds have come in.

To update you, as of today we have raised roughly $7478 of the $8100 minimum. Personally I would love to be able to raise $10,000, but we will see!!! We are helping with a Poker Run on Saturday August 23rd which is one of the fund raisers our local team is doing. If you are reading this and are interested in more information on how to take part in it, just post a comment; send an email or give a call!!!

Now, on to the winners of the prizes. I did two drawings.... one for the knitter (since the prize was yarn and all!) and one for the non-knitters. Here is who won:

Allison won the Ladigitessa sock kit from Yarnissma (Wollmeise yarn and sock pattern) - courtesy of anonymous. I know that Allison will enjoy this. I know I would!!

Nancy (a fellow knitter and Spring Flinger) won the Loopy Ewe 'Don't Be Blue Kit' courtesy of Sheri at The Loopy Ewe!

For the non-knitter (fondly referred to as 'muggles') there is a $25.00 Applebees Gift Card courtesy of Sumo our dog (who earns them by eating massive amounts of Purina One Dog Food) which is going to my oldest brother Greg!!! We have received tremendous encouragement and support from both of our families and consider it a huge blessing!! But Greg, you get the gift card!!!

A big THANK YOU to all who have supported us so far! We couldn't do this without you. We will have another drawing after our funds are all in for several more prizes that you can see here.

If you would like to donate and be part of the race to find a cure, head over to my donation page. For every $25.00 donated you get a chance to win a prize AND the deep felt thanks for helping us and those diagnosed with Leukemia; Lymphoma and other blood cancers run the race!!

Until Next Time......

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Ahhh....Home Again!

Well, after a wonderful 10 day whirlwind trip around the Midwest, we are home again!! I have to admit it is nice to be back, although we had a wonderful trip and spent great time with friends and family!

Our last weekend we spent in Omaha with R&M. Friday night we headed downtown to the Old Market to this pizza joint. It was so good! I have to say it was the BEST Thai chicken pizza I've ever had!

Afterwards we headed to a local ice cream shop that serves homemade ice cream. I got a concord grape ice cream that was very good. Reminded me kind of like laffy taffy. Very sweet.

Saturday we did a little shopping and then we headed to the zoo! I have heard great things about the Omaha zoo but have never been. We spent 3-4 hours there and had a great time. It really is a nice zoo!! And the weather was perfect!

The aquarium was nice.... Loved the underwater tunnel with the sharks swimming overhead. (Ok, not really! I have a horrible fear of sharks and kept envisioning the glass breaking!) I'm not sure why I have such a fear of sharks having lived about as far away from the ocean as one can get my whole life. Maybe I was scarred seeing JAWS at a young age!!!

One of my favorite animals is the giraffe. I just LOVE them. I really don't see how a person could go to the zoo and see the variety of animals and sea life etc.. and not believe in God. I just think He had an amazingly fun time creating everything!!!

Sunday we packed up R & M's apartment and Steve and K headed back to Iowa and he dropped her off at her apartment to get settled in for another year of school. I can't believe how fast the time with her went!!! I rode back home with M who was coming home early for a job interview Monday morning. And.... she got the job!!!!!!! A 3rd grade teaching position at a public school her in Cedar Falls! Now I cannot even begin to tell you how excited we are for her (and proud of her!!). This is a very difficult district to get in to, especially as a new teacher!! She starts tomorrow and couldn't be more excited!!

Sumo was very happy to see us when we got home! He did fairly well while we were gone. Had one major accident (which is very unlike him) but we can deal with that. He was quite anxious to pose for a blog photo and I reassured him that Sophie will not be taking over that job for him!! Here he is with my latest scarf project. I cast on another Fan and Feather scarf out of Wollmeise for the Ravelempics Scarf Stroke. I'm pretty sure I'm going to have trouble finishing it by the end of the Olympics with everything else going. but I'll give it a try.

And the very fun news is that A is home from his summer in Colorado!!! He got home late last night and we get him for almost 2 weeks before he starts his senior year in college! Sumo is always so happy to have any of his kids home (and can never quite figure out why they choose to leave!!). There are several reasons that I think we will be seeing more of A this fall! (One being little Sophie!) The other is a new 'friend' that A met out in Colorado who goes to school here at UNI. I'll keep you posted.....

Until Next Time....

Friday, August 08, 2008

Meet Princess Sophie....

Well, today was the big day! We got to meet our new puppy, Princess Sophie. Is there anything cuter than a new puppy???? Needless to say I was very thankful for a digital camera today as we shot photo after photo. I've tried to narrow it down a bit (from over 100) and hope you enjoy our new little girl.

Steve was a little nervous that she might not like him (Sumo was quite afraid of him initially!) but she took right to him!

She is a very sweet little girl. I am just sure that Sumo will love her at first sight!!!

K fell instantly in love with Sophie and I do believe it just may give her cause to visit home once in awhile this Fall!! How can one resist such a sweet face!!

Not only were the puppies sweet and extremely well mannered, but the mom (Ginger) and Grandmother (Molly) were there and both had excellent temperaments. (Here is Sophie looking up at her mom Ginger.)

Since the puppies are just under 5 weeks old they are still nursing. Ginger stood very still while her little pups got drinks all around. Here is Sophie getting a little drink without her siblings around. Lucky girl!! The puppies have sharp little teeth now and have started eating some puppy food as well. Ginger won't let them nurse for long with those sharp teeth!!

We are very excited to have our little Sophie come live with us. Hopefully we can pick her up sometime before Labor Day weekend. (Still working out the details of how to pick her up.) Our friends down the road are also getting one of the puppies. (It's actually her dad who has the puppies!) It will be nice for Sophie to have a litter mate so close!

Sophie is really excited to meet the rest of the kids and, of course, Sumo. Steve has already had a talk with Sumo and made him promise not to eat Sophie. Now he'll have to have a little talk with Sophie and make her promise not to bug Sumo to death. And we should have peace!!

Puppy kisses all around!

Until Next Time...

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Thursday in Ortonville

Well, I know that today is the day that I usually do a TNT update. I'll share a little about our training run today and then fill you in on what else we've been up to the last few days.

We woke up this morning early and headed out for a 10 mile run. The air was cool and perfect for running! There is a park preserve not too far from my parents, so we headed there. It was the perfect spot to run with some of the road in wooded, shaded areas.

And some of the road along wetlands. We saw some wildlife.. mostly amazing birds. There was a whole group of pelicans on one of the lakes which were very fun to see. The run itself went fairly well. We run a mile and then walk 2 minutes and just keep repeating until we're done. (We only do this on our long training runs) The shorter runs during the week we run the whole time.

Now to let you know what else we've been up to. Yesterday we headed out to my brother Gregs' place. He has a farm near here that he spends quite a bit of time at. He and his girlfriend have project galore that they work on out there. One is the raising of exotic chickens.

They haven't started laying eggs yet, but I guess they are suppose to be quite colorful. They sure have some interesting looking chickens, that's for sure!!

Last night found us at a lovely restaurant overlooking Big Stone Lake. The weather was perfect and we sat for quite a long time visiting and enjoying a wonderful meal.

This is the view we enjoyed for the evening.

Today after our run, we headed up to a place on the lake that my brother Dean and his wife own.
It has a wonderful view of the lake and South Dakota, which is on the other side of the lake.

Steve and K found some lovely chairs on the deck and I think would easily have spent the day right there. But of course we had other things to see and do!! I guess we'll just have to make 'reservations' sometime and come back!

We managed to sample another local restaurant for lunch and then headed into town to the museum. Here is a shot of the inside of a one room schoolhouse that used to part of one of the 61 school districts of Big Stone County years and years ago. My cousin Larry was working at the museum today and acted as a tour guide for us! We also stopped by a wonderful shop downtown (Village Crafts) that hosts a weekly knitting group. Mom decided to pick up yarn and some needles and we are hoping to help her cast on a scarf tonight and get her on her way before we leave in the morning. The knitting group (led by the wife of another one of my cousins) at Peg's store should be able to give her guidance as she goes.

Tomorrow we pack up and head back to Omaha. We will be making a stop in Orange City, Iowa to meet our little Sophie. We are very excited to see her. (And I'm sure I'll have LOTS of pictures to share!)

Until Next Time.....

P.S. Thanks to all who have visited M's Etsy shop. (And for many of you who purchased her jewelry!) I'm working on a button so that it will be easy for people to head over and take a look at what she has been creating. I know I want like everything that she has on her site!!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Driving and Knitting and Driving and....

Knitting!!! Well, we are now at my parents in Ortonville Minnesota after an overnight stop in Omaha. We had a great evening with R & M, but I realized I had forgotten to put the card back in the camera when we went down to the Old Market for dinner.. so no pictures! We'll take plenty when we go back this weekend.

While in Omaha, we helped M get her Etsy site for her Vintaj jewelry figured out. She has been making the most gorgeous earrings and necklaces and decided that she would give the world of Etsy a shot. You can check her shop out here.

We've had hours in the car the last couple of days and between K and I we have done lots of knitting!! I started on a scarf with yarn and pattern I picked up at the Midwest Fiber Fair. They were both from the Plain and Fancy Sheep Co, but they don't have a website, so I am sorry that I can't link to it. The yarn is fairly nice to work with, but I have come across several knots which are frustrating. The pattern is a combination of garter stitch and chevron pattern and I really like how it is coming out.

K finished her Fan and Feather scarf that she started before she left for Philly in June. I think that it is Yarn Love. The colors are gorgeous. This is such a great pattern! Easy to memorize, with 3 rows of knit; 1 row of pattern.

She also whipped up a pair of Fetching Fingerless Gloves on the trip from Omaha to Ortonville today!! (She is a very fast knitter!!!)

Well, that's all for today. We're looking forward to a relaxing time here at my folks' visiting and knitting and eating my mom's wonderful cooking. My dad cooks very well as well.... (i.e. takes us out!) I'll keep you posted!

Until Next Time.....