Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Little Joke for You!

The Redneck Vasectomy:

A Kentucky couple, both bona fide rednecks, had 9 children. They went to the doctor to see about getting the husband "fixed". The doctor gladly started the required procedure and asked them what finally made them make the decision, why after nine children, would they choose to do this. The husband replied that they had read in a recent article that one out of every ten children being born in the United States was Mexican, and they didn't want to take a chance on having a Mexican baby because neither of them could speak Spanish.

**I received this from my cousin. It was so awesome I HAD to put it on here for you to read!**

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Update on Mom

Hey all.

Just a quick note of update. Mom was moved to her own room yesterday. So no more ICU, thank God! The ventilators and oxygen are no more. She is breathing totally on her own. She is also talking. They've removed the feeding tube, she is able to eat. She went through a small throat therapy to make sure that she didn't aspirate any food or liquid from the tube having been in her throat for so long. She is up and moving around to go to the bathroom and such. She sits up most of the day in a chair now. Yay, may God receive all the glory!!

I will be going to see her tomorrow night. I'm going to take a portable cd player and some of her favorite cd's by Connie Wetzell (These are the music/scripture cd's that we used exclusively while Stef went through chemo. They are so relaxing. As a matter of fact, these are the scrip cd's that my kids sleep to every night.), as well as, the cd's from the women's conference that I was at last weekend.

I recommend you check out Connie's cd's if you are looking for a comforting, non-boring, way to bring the word of God into your home. Makes great background noise too. :)

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Challenge...

Ever feel the need for a challenge in your life?

I mean besides climbing Mount Everest or running the Boston Marathon. All worthy feats, no doubt.

BUT, if you ever want a REAL challenge...ask your 11 year old son to pick out yarn for his new Babette blanket.....

Yeah...I know...I'm sweating, too...

I literally refused to make the blanket until he went and sat down around the corner and said to himself "it's my blanket, i can have how i want it."

Ok. Point made. You win.

I have devised a way to make this blanket as nice as possible. I will overcome!

Besides, the longer I look at them...the more hypnotized I become by them....I'm starting think this will actually work!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I'm Artistic and I didn't even have to cheat!! LOL

What type of Mother Hen Are You?
by Educational Resource

Updated WIP's

I finished the butterfly afghan, but I was in such a frantic state trying to get it packaged and ready to be mailed that I completely forgot to lay it out and get a decent pic of it. I could've kicked myself. It turned out beautiful. Mrs India was happy with it.

I have posted one of the mystery WIP/free patterns from a few weeks ago here.

However, now that I actually have time for myself to post the other previously promised free patterns...I can't find my pattern book. I know I will, but it's nonetheless frustrating at this particular moment in time!


Rewards Chart/ Medieval Money Bag & Coins Crochet Pattern

Let me start by saying there is a lot of info and pics in this post/pattern! (Blogger smooshed all the words together, so I apologize for no real definition in the pattern 'stops and starts')

Ok What is a rewards chart with a medieval style money bag and coins? I was trying to come up with a way to have my kids 'earn' without having to spend a lot of money that I didn't have to give them. A way to also teach my kids frugality and working for what you have/want without necessarily having to dole out 'allowances' every week. I don't think that kids should be 'paid' for chores...but sometimes incentives are fun. This is what my brain(with the help of God) came up with:

We chose to use jobs they have to do anyway. They are things that are expected of them...just because we are a family and all family contributes to the well-being of the household. I said we wanted to teach them certain things and frankly, I'm tired of having to remind them to do this stuff EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK!!!! They are 13 and 11 for heaven's sake. I should NOT have to remind them to pick up the bathroom after usage and comb your hair and brush your teeth before leaving the house. Yet I do. Daily. Everything on the "Jobs" list has to be completed without me reminding them. If I see it before they do it, they don't 'earn' the coins for the day. They still have to do the job, but they get no rewards from it. (for instance, My son was the last one out of the shower today. It was his job to pick up the bath mat, make sure the curtain was closed and pick up his dirty clothes from the floor...he didn't. I saw it. He has to still do it..just no rewards.)

From there we then gave each 'job' a 'value'. If I do this...I earn this for it. You can see in the picture below what types of jobs I used and what kinds of values I gave them. (You customize this to fit your are not required to follow my list) What you can't see on the list is the things like "for every 'A' you can earn 10 coins, every 'B' 7 coins...etc" I home school the kids and I thought this would be a good incentive to do well on their assignments and tests. My MIL gave me a good idea too...for every 'D' or 'F' they would have to PAY me back! That's awesome! Thanks for the idea, Ann! Anything that needed a 'disclaimer' on it, I put it on there in red or another color. (i.e. Our household jobs like dusting/vacuuming/mowing the lawn are available to only one child in a week. I think I would love the cleanliness...but the house being dusted 10 times in a week??? A bit excessive...and I know my children would do it just to earn the coins....LOL) I also put what was expected of a certain job in red. Like for us, clean/organize the Living Room means to fold and put away all the blankets, pick up the movies and put back on the shelf, make sure all dishes have left the room and straighten up the coffee table. It might mean something totally different to your family. That's the beauty...this is totally customizable to your family, your needs, your children's ages and ability levels. Mine are 13 and not only do I place a larger 'value' on the jobs..but it also costs them a great deal more to 'buy' rewards! :) Oh one more thing: I put a green dot next to all jobs that are required daily. I even put on there "Daily Hygiene w/o having to be reminded...must have parental approval before claiming". We have a 'list' in the mornings that I have to run through with my 11 yo EVERY DAY! Hair, teeth, pits, underwear. The boy would go commando every day if I let him. And he stinks from more than one spot on his body...and he hates to brush his hair...I'll let you know if this list actually works to correct any of it and make him more responsible for himself (a plea to God...Pleaaaase)!!! LOL

They get 'paid' their coins every day before bed.

**side note** We took our 'jobs' list to a local sign company and had them laminate it. It cost us $4.75 and we can use dry erase markers on it. A wise investment so you can use your list for a longgggg time!

Here's a supplies list for the Charts: (I only have two kids, you might need more poster board for more kids)
2 pieces 20"x28" poster board (got mine 2/$1 at the dollar store)
Markers of choice
Long ruler
List of Jobs and corresponding 'job worth'

Here we get to the FUN and REWARDS portion of the charts. I started out writing things down that I thought the kids would think were great rewards. As a matter of fact I thought some of the rewards like "mom picks up dirty clothes" would end up fueling their imagination and they would be all about 'what kind of dirty things can we make mom and dad do'.... Not so when it came down to it. I asked them to read over what I had put down for rewards like "I get to choose the movie for the night" or "I get to rent a movie" or "I don't have to empty the dishwasher for a day/week"..stuff like that. When they thought up rewards it was nothing like what I was expecting. My son was all about getting done with school early or getting extra time on breaks and things like that. My daughter was into buying picnics at the park or going swimming at the pool or buying an hour with mom or dad and doing whatever they wanted with them alone(excluding spending $). (Please don't get the idea that we spend no time with our's just usually all together as a family.) I wanted to include them in choosing the rewards because, ultimately, it was going to have to appeal to them if they were going to work towards it.
We placed high values on most of this stuff because they have the 'potential' to earn close to 100 points in coins/day with just their daily stuff and grades. I didn't want them to think that they were just going to get it for nothing...because then it means nothing. This way if they have to earn for one or more makes them think "What do I really want to spend my coins on?" "What is worth working that hard for?" (Early financial training, 13 yo has already decided she's going to spend only a portion of her coins for rewards and save some for really big rewards later. LOL. That's cool!)
Items that cost real money are only available on Fridays/Saturdays and only to one child per week. Once one child decides to buy that item (we decided that whoever earns the most coins in a week gets the chance to be the first one to 'buy' the real money items) then it goes on an every other week schedule. You will only be eligible to 'buy' that item every other week..if you choose not to buy that on your eligible week..then you forfeit until your next eligible week. So no fussing about how you didn't get a chance to buy it and you got skipped...blah, blah, blah...if the rules are in place before you one can fuss. Obviously you need to tailor this to your family and your financial situation. Our financial situation does not allow us to arbitrarily spend extra money for more than one or two things a week. That is the reason behind "One real money item per child/per week".

The mom and dad list is one of the most expensive lists. No way was I going to put a small amount up there for me and Tony to have to clean their rooms! If they want to save their coins and it means THAT MUCH to them for us to clean it...then I will do it for a 1,000 points in coins. LOL.
We also have a special times list that I didn't take a picture of. That's where it has the "15 extra minutes on break" or "Picnic at the park". I will let them pool their coins together to purchase things like 'swimming at the public pool' or 'picnic at the park' since these are items that the whole family would partake in anyway. I don't think that just one child or the other should have to pay for things like that.
Ok, now onto the crochet pattern(pics first, then patterns)!!
Medieval Money Bag and Coins
by Elizabeth Mareno 2008

***This pattern has been tested by no one but me..let me know if anything needs to be fixed!***
Materials List:
1/2 skein-Bernat Softee Chunky Acrylic yarn (or other #5 bulky yarn) color of choice.
med-large scraps- RH Super Saver in Gold, Carrot, and Light Grey
I Hook(bag), H hook(straps & coins)
Large eye needle for weaving.
Bag: Working in rounds, do not join until stated.
With I hook and bag color.
R1- ch2, 6sc in 2nd ch from hook (6sc)
R2- 2 sc in each (12)
R3- (sc in 1sc, 2sc in next) around (18)
R4- (sc in next 2sc, 2sc in next) around (24)
R5- (sc in next 3sc, 2sc in next) around (30)
R6- (sc in next 4sc, 2sc in next) around (36)
R7- (sc in next 5sc, 2sc in next) around (42)
R8- (sc in next 6sc, 2sc in next) around (48)
R9- (sc in next 7sc, 2sc in next) around (54)
R10-R16- Sc in each sc around.
R17- (sc in 7sc, sc dec) around (48)
R18- sc in each
R19- (sc in 6sc, sc dec) around (42)
R20- sc in each
R21- (sc in 5sc, sc dec) around (36)
R22- sc in each
R23- (sc in 4sc, sc dec) around (30)
R24- sc in each
R25- ch3, (sk next sc, dc in next sc, ch1) 13 times, sk last sc, sl st to 2nd ch of ch3. (14dc)
R26- ch1, sc in join, sc in each ch1 and dc around. (30sc) join.
R27-28- ch2, hdc in each sc around, join. (30hdc)
Finish off, weave ends.
Strap: Make 2 for each bag.
With H Hook and Gold.
Sl st in 2nd chain and each across. (50)
Finish off leaving a long end.
Weave through dc's on row 25, sew ends together firmly, pull on opposite side to hide seam.
Weave and sew the second one so that it pulls the opposite direction.
Coins-Single color:
With H Hook and coin color.
ch4(does not count as first dc)
15 dc in 4th ch from hook. sl st to first dc. Finish off, weave in ends.
Coins-Double color:
With H Hook and first color.
8 sc in 2nd ch from hook, join, cut first color, join second color.
2sc in each sc around. (16) Finish off and weave ends.
Our coin values go as such:
Gold= 10
Grey= 5
Bronze= 1
Bronze/grey= 20
Bronze/gold= 25
You can give your coins any value you want for your individual needs.
If you use this plan...I hope you have fun...and let me know!! I'll be updating as our family becomes more involved in it. So far, so good.

My Apologies

Just have to say a quick sorry for falling off the face of the earth for a few weeks. It's been a complete roller-coaster ride around here.

Mom got sick with pneumonia and we have spent alot of time with her. Well, last weekend (while I was gone to a women's conference, no less) she went in for 'emergency' surgery on her right lung. An absess formed in her lung the size of my dad's hand. It was hiding behind the 'pneumonia goo' in the xrays, so nobody was catching it. Then somebody saw it and said, "you have to come in for a CT scan". So she went in...3 hospitals later, she was finally at the place where she could get surgery done. They did it late on Saturday. I was able to be there with dad at that point because the conference was over and the girl's just dropped me off on the way through.

Apparently she had the best surgeon available. That, of course, was by the hand of God. The surgery was so aggressive in the scraping of the lung and removal of the infection/pneumonia goo and such that it caused her lung wall to be severely thinned. She ended up with a 2"x1/8" hole in her right lung. If it could have been surgically fixed, they would have. It had to heal/scar on its own.

3 hours AFTER surgery was done...we finally got to see her. By then my dad is irritated because nobody has been forthcoming with ANY of the info. All they said is that they were trying to stabilize her. The only person we've really had any contact with by this time is the amazing surgeon...who has the bedside manner of a rock. Basically snapping back at my dad because my dad is concerned about the 2 hour drive he still has ahead of him and he STILL hasn't been able to see my mom AND Noone is talking to us! The amazing surgeon yells back at him about how he's in the same position, he hasn't been able to see his family either, and getting angry about isn't going to help. WHAT A JACKASS!!!! (Lord, please forgive my mouth) No sir, you are NOT in the same position we are in. You may not have been able to see your family...but is your family in the freakin' ICU?? I think NOT! Has your family just been through major surgery??? I think NOT! Is your family on the verge of death???? I THINK NOT!!! So back-off CHARLIE!

Ok, so I let the cat out of the bag. Mom was in the ICU at this point. She was hooked up to a double ventilator and in a chemically induced coma that they didn't anticipate even thinking about waking her up from until Wednesday...maybe...if all the planets aligned in the right order...
Air was escaping into her body cavity every time the ventilator was used, so they had a tube that was sucking the air out of her so that the pressure wouldn't build and hurt her heart. It was a constant bubbling sound.

Well, let me just tell you this. She is beating ALL of the odds. We took the info they did give us to battle in prayer. satan doesn't have the right to steal my mom's life, her time, her energy, or cause her to be in debt and lack from this. satan doesn't have to even be battled. he is under my feet and subject to the name of Jesus!'s the update!

1) 20 minutes after our basically 3 hour prayer meeting at church on Sunday: They had removed one of the ventilators, they were having to give her more morphine to keep her under cuz she was fighting to wake up, they were talking about a feeding tube and she was the most peaceful they had seen her since Saturday.

2) By Sunday night when my dad went to see her: She was awake and responding, she could nod her head and shake it and squeeze my dad's hand.

3) By Monday when I went in to see her and dad went later: She was sitting up when I got there in the afternoon, she looked bright and her skin color was pinking up nicely, she was on oxygen, still had the tube in but the ventilator was not running. When dad went he said that he only heard the bubbling tube twice in the hour that he was there. That means the hole was healing!! :)

4) By Tuesday when dad went to see her: They were talking about removing the second tube, but still hadn't, she was able to write dad a note for the first time. He said that the hole was still healing extremely fast.

5) By Wednesday when dad went to see her: They actually removed the second tube, she is on an oxygen mask, she is sitting up, they talked quite a bit through notes and nodding, she still has the feeding tube but they are planning to start her on clear liquids today, they also told my dad that what she has gone through is the equivalence of a gun shot to the chest/lung.

6) Today is Thursday: We will be going as a family to see her tonight. We are expecting great things! She is a miracle! God is so good!

Thanks to all of you who knew and were praying.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

WIP's ..AND..A Music Review!!

Ok. We'll start with the butterfly afghan that I am currently working on. Another project for the lady from India. This is actually project #3 for her, but I didn't show you project #2 cuz...just cuz. This is from the Dragonflies, Butterflies, and More afghan book by Sandy Rideout. They are all so lovely and I want to make every one of them, but I need to get through this one first. OH, I should let you know. There is no afghan in that book that looks like this one. Mrs India wanted the basic color scheme and style of the dragonfly afghan, but with butterflies. Since the patterns were so close it wasn't hard to convert them over at all.

Next we have Sock #1 of Pair #2 from the leftover Christmas Knits. I'm loving the colorway of this Patons, but I really don't like where the colors are choosing to pool. You can't see it in these pictures but the opposite side of the sock has a big white streak where the tan/blue decided to come together.

This is yet another preview of a free pattern I will be posting. I'm sure you are all getting sick of hearing that one! I have GOT to get some of these patterns posted soon. The only reason I'm holding off on this one is that I don't have all of the components together and I want to show you the whole set before giving you the pattern. This is going to be part of a new 'rewards' system we are implementing in our house! Updates on this project soon!

And here begins our music review! In my store I also sell Christian music, books, DVD's and Bibles. One of the joys of this is that the music company that I go through sends me pre-release albums periodically. I know I don't get alot of them, but I think its fun and I love listening to all the different groups coming out. Here are some that I thought deserved mentioning.
Joel Auge is a very, very, very, very mellow cd. This is his debut album. It is good. It is mostly folksy and off the beaten path. I personally was counting down till the last song. After a while they all started to sound the same. I think I will be handing this one off to a girlfriend of mine whom I know is a folksy music lover. I do have to say that there were about 3 songs that really got me interested. He is a very interesting song writer.

Next up is Tenth Avenue North. They have one song on the radio that seems to be climbing up the charts. I enjoy them alot. They are very good 'background noise' cd. They are fun to listen to. To me the lead singer reminds me of Switchfoot in his vocal presentation. I would definitely classify them as a 'poppy collegy sound' sort of like Jars of Clay without all the minor chords and weird songs.

Are you ready for some punky styled P&W? A mix between United (music) and Inhabited (vocals). Very interesting indeed. I enjoy most of their songs. Some of them are funky. Most of it is very fun to listen to.
Last but not least today...we have Warren Barfield. If I wasn't married already, I would have the biggest crush on this man! Musically, he is my soulmate. :) Soul, R&B(especially on Unleashed), Rock, Blues, Slightly Poppy, Slightly Country....every song is a blissfully, melodic, pan of brownies! :) LOL Of course anything that makes me really happy is going to be linked to food somehow!! LOL How is it that I am just discovering this man's talent now? *sigh* All that time wasted!!!
A couple more noteworthy bands coming up are Fireflight(rocker chick band that blends the stylings of Plumb, Barlowgirl, Hannah Montana-just one song- ,and Superchick into an awesome jam album!) and the sophomore album of Eleventyseven(total techno/punk rock'n'roll).
Just so's everyone remembers...these are my words...not anyone else's so if you don't find the same info about these people somewhere else....that's cuz I said it, not them..LOL These are only MY opinions!