Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy 2017!

Much has happened since I last wrote here, and things have been crazy busy. Getting ready for the holidays, teaching Signs of Safety in southeastern Missouri, the ice storm, the holidays... 

Let's start with a few pictures:

 Miss Skye broke her wrist falling off the monkey bars at school. She needed to be put under to get it set.

 She had a nice big cast for a number of weeks, then was switched to a shorter cast. She is now cast free and all healed up.

 Brie and the girls came home for awhile. They are in the process of transitioning back to their home in Missouri. I call this photo a "grandma selfie" because if I am sitting my lap is full.

I finished batman versus superman knitting for Aurora and Reimond: socks vs. scarf respectively. Both were well-received.

 (The sweater underneath I made long ago and isn't part of the package...)

Skye made us a Christmas card

The girls saw Santa:

It was put up late, but we had a tree:

The Maze kids were all home for Christmas Day, and the Soulak kids were at my mom's on Christmas Eve (we were there in spirit over FaceTime). 

The little girls were spoiled:

And the rest of us were happy.  

Eric and I both work this weekend (New Years eve and day). I had a mishap yesterday when leaving a St. Louis hospital: the guy in front of me missed the turn off to the exit and reversed into me as I was starting my turn:

 Fortunately we are both insured and he was very good about it. I'm hoping it won't be hard to fix because right now my door isn't happy being opened and closed, and I need a vehicle. Kind of a sucky way to end the last day of 2016 but glad it was no worse.

Reimond continues to fill my heart with pictures of my favorite lakes...  Here is a frozen Lake Nokomis, my idea of what winter actually looks like. We are all brown and dead down here.

My prayer for this new year is that we find contentment in what we have, courage to seek change and opportunity where it best supports the needs of our families as well as ourselves, and wisdom in making those decisions. It's been a hard year for so many, and we all carry heartaches of various kinds. Let's pray for a spirit of gentleness, love, acceptance, and courage for the coming year. Lord, in Your mercy, hear my prayer. Amen.

Sunday, November 6, 2016


It's a drill weekend and I have the little girls. 

Batman is acting as incentive for Adrianna to try and crawl forward--so goes backwards really well!


Today is Aurora's birthday and we had a lovely grown up dinner at a fancy St. Louis restaurant on Thursday night. 


Tomorrow it's 22 years ago my dad went to heaven. I've been missing him a lot and thinking on him often recently. 


Eric knew I've been feeling blue and brought me a nice treat. He's now sleeping as he's working all weekend. I am trying to get my Skye-bug motivated so we can run to the grocery store. We still have a picnic and tea party to have, a birthday cake to bake, and maybe a trip to the park. Yesterday was kinda a bust because it was grey and cool out but today is supposed to be better! 


My lazy girl wants to stay in her pjs! And the baby is being busy. 


Time to motivate!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

I gave in to the siren song...

And I've made my first motif of approximately 98 to make the swirl shawl...


Saturday, October 22, 2016

Finally feels like fall!

 My tree, that Eric and I planted after we were married. It's supposed to be a glorious Scarlett, but the gold will do.  Brilliant blue skies, cool weather, couldn't ask for a more perfect day! 

This is going to be a quiet weekend, hopefully a productive weekend. Eric and Aurora both work (although Eric is on overnights so currently he's sleeping), and I have the house to myself. So far I've drank coffee, read Facebook, and took a few pictures! 

Last weekend we went to the closing weekend of the Renaissance festival. We bought two day passes as we like having time to see everything and go back and shop if the fancy strikes us.  It was a drill weekend but we had been told we weren't needed for child care. That's why on Sunday morning it was rather a surprise to hear "Grandma!" And giggles at about 5:10 AM... I rolled over to find Miss Skye standing next to me in her flannel nightie, and as soon as I opened my eyes, she dove under the covers with me. From there I had hugs, cuddles, conversation, and cartoons on the television. Needless to say I didn't get back to sleep! Miss Adrianna joined us on the bed, and that was that! 

Eric and I took both girls to the faire with us and what an adventure that turned into! I had gotten a baby dragon puppet on Saturday:
 Which we decided to leave home as it was too fragile (in my opinion) to be carried around by a 6 year old, much to her dismay. But the morning started with a flower crown and a ride on a small war horse

 While baby sister observed wide eyed 
... we elected not to bedeck her in flowers as everything goes in the mouth right now, and mama hadn't packed her any girly clothing, so we were constantly correcting gender inquiries and statements. Poor bald baby! She was scared of loud cheering but loved the music, and was such a good sport about being bounced from pillar to post as her sister quested for stamps to become a Princess of the Realm!

Next stop on the adventure was holding snakes at the dragon pens

. Skye went from apprehensive to expert across two separate visits, and held every snake they had! Adrianna observed. 

Then there was making a fairy house with papa

Making a mask and a wand

And observing the jousting! 

The princess didn't have the royal stamp for the quest, and provided Skye with a scroll instead, declaring her a Protector of the Realm and Princess, even without all the stamps 

 But encouraged her to continue the quest to completion, which Skye fully intended to do... She watched a show (Crazy Boy Coy) and got a hug from him after

 Baby Susie came along on the adventure and Skye told everyone this was a birthday surprise for her doll.

She met a mermaid

 And was pleased she spoke their language--a combination of ASL, dolphin whistles, and siren song.

She was given jewels and treasure, had her face painted, and made friends of the death eaters


Not to be left out, little miss observed, lounged, ate, napped, and got a rainbow painted on that saucy foot that kept being propped up! 

 She was carried, danced with, and generally enjoyed the sights, sounds, and jostling over rough terrain! Mostly she and I followed along while papa and Skye quested and explored. 

At the end of the day, Skye met both Royal queens, who gave her hugs, stamped all over her successful quest results with the Royal seal, and demonstrated her curtsy to them and the King of England. We joined the procession to the gates where there was toasting, then dancing, and Skye danced with a lady in waiting, who in turn handed her off to the Queen of England, whom she danced enthusiastically with, learning a medieval ring dance. 


We had two tired, happy (dusty!) princesses to return to their mother after feeding them dinner. This grandma too was exhausted, and fell eagerly into bed when we got home. The next morning I was feeling muscles I hadn't known I had making introductions as I readied for work, and I felt them for a few days thereafter!

In other news (lol, using the word loosely) I am on the legs of the pair of socks, still haven't finished the sweater (because what knitting time I had was spent on the socks), and I still haven't started sewing! I have a couple of new knitting projects enticing me with their siren song, but have tried to plug my ears (of course that hasn't stopped me from identifying I have all the yarn I need for one of them, have the needles too--double pointed, in the correct size--and have read through the pattern--a few times! I have not kitted them together, or made a practice swatch, so that counts as ignoring it, right?)

The cool weather has stimulated my roses into a last major bloom and they are, as always, making me happy: 

So that's what is going on as of today in our corner of the world. Enjoy the weekend!

Sunday, October 9, 2016


 This is what things look like when grandma babysits after working all day: we eat McDonald's picnic style on the living room floor, while watching Disney junior on television, then cuddle in the rocking chair.  Brie and her husband went to the baseball game and they dropped the girls with me at work. We went and said hi to "Officer Papa" at his work, then came home. It was a fun evening! 

Surprisingly, it's been busy since returning to work after my unexpected vacation, and I was told that training is starting to become a trainer for the signs of safety program we've implemented at work. Thus, Thursday and Friday found me traveling up to St Charles county to observe a two day training and take notes so I can begin that process. It was fun and interesting, especially since our trainers are based out of a suburb of Minneapolis. It just feels like a bit of home hearing them talk and watching their examples from places I am familiar with.

Last Friday night (a week ago) we returned to the winery, and I didn't trip again, hahaha... Aurora and her boyfriend joined us and we sat under a gazebo in the rain, had a fire in the firepit, and enjoyed the music. 
 Eric and fire go together almost compulsively!  We had a lovely evening. Pizza, wine, conversation, and softly falling rain. It was so relaxing.

I've no new finished projects to share.  I ripped out my butterfly shawl because I wasn't happy with it:
 I bought a hand painted yarn to do it over again and will used these 5 mini hanks to do something else with. Amazing how much time it takes to create something and how quickly it an be reduced to nothing. 

I've started a pair of toe-up socks using the dark knight yarn I bought. They are going well and are more portable than the Hitofude sweater. I have about 20 rows or so left on that and it will be done.

I made significant progress reorganizing my sewing stash of patterns and fabrics. It looks much tidier, although still stacked. I'm still thinking about moving bins upstairs to Reimond's room so they are out of sight. 

 Lastly, I am the proud owner of the spinning wheel of my dreams. I saw it listed, used, on a Facebook group I follow. The owner, whose studio is in the first picture, was selling it. She said it needed to be picked up, she wouldn't ship it. I texted Liisa asking how far she was from the owner (who lives in Wisconsin) as I was 7 hours away; she said about 3 hours or so. The price on it was amazing, about half of brand new, and I couldn't pass it up. Liisa said she had the day off, contacted the seller, and made arrangements to go get it. Another woman also really wanted it, but Liisa offered cash and pickup the next day, so it is mine. Okay, it's mine and Liisa's. She has it at her house and I need to figure out how it's coming down to me. But it's closer to being mine than just a wish! I am so excited! Liisa has no idea what to do with it but said its lovely. I can't wait to have it here and love it/play with it/make stuff!

One last photo before I go... Reimond sends me lovely photos of the lakes and river when he's out biking. This one is a favorite with the fall colors just starting. The Mississippi below the lock and dam by minnehaha creeks outlet.

One of my happy spots! Have a great week!