Thursday, October 21, 2010

Violet Arrives in California - Traveling Monsters

Violet has arrived in California with her foster family and she seems to be having a GREAT time. She was telling the family about her sister Viola who is currently on her way to Canada and she got a little sad so her foster mommy got her a treat, I think she is in love! We are looking forward to hearing from her soon!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Meet Pemberley - Our First Monster Exchange Student

Pemberley came to us from Texas and seems to be having a great time seeing all the greenness of Washington. She was so excited about the trees she just couldn't stop climbing them....

She got a little carried away and almost fell all the way out of the tree.

Luckily for her the girls were right there to catch her and give her some love.

I think she was trying to tell me she would like some tea, so I quickly made her a nice warm cup!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Violet and Viola - Traveling Monsters

When I saw a group of gals over on the Danger Crafts group on Ravelry talking about doing a group of traveling monsters I jumped at the chance to join in. I ended up joining both the domestic and international groups so I made two monsters. My two monsters ended up being twins that I affectionately named after my grandma Violet and her twin sister Viola.

Violet and Viola's first adventure was to see the play Oliver with their human sisters Lippy Lou and Lynner in Seattle. They had a great time and got to ride in a bus and see the space needle all in one day.

On the bus with Lippy Lou

They spied the Space Needle before anyone could show them.

Waiting for tickets at the ticket window.

Lippy Lou and Violet playing around while waiting for the bus to come back to get them.

The sisters sharing a tearful goodbye. Violet headed out to Canada while Viola was on her way to Sunny California, she left just in time too it is awfully cold here in Washington.

And there they go, with their journals so we will get to hear all about their adventures while they are away.

Lippy Lou and Lynner are so excited to meet the new monsters coming our way soon!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

To continue with the knitting theme....

Wow it's been a month, a whole MONTH since I posted last. I have been super busy mothering my 4 munchkins, knitting, playing, traveling, training, visiting, getting ready for school to start. Just to name a few.

My goal this month is to knit five new projects without buying any yarn and so far I am going to make and maybe even exceed my goal. I am hoping to keep this trend up until the end of the year to use up some of my stash. My current goal is to stock up on handmade baby gifts to have on hand for when friends have babies. It seems that every time I turn around someone I know is either really close to giving birth or just finding out they are expecting so I want to get some stuff made up so I am not in a last minute panic to make a gift.

Last month I was given the opportunity to test knit the Girlie Girl dress by Michelle Guilmet-Buck. It was love at first sight and upon completion was I was still smitten. Here is a picture of of my first complete dress, it has made it's way to California to be warn by Emaline who made her way into this world on 8/9/10. What a great birthday!

I loved the construction and ease of this dress so much I decided I needed to make one more. I changed the colors up a little bit this time using my favorite color combination of pink and brown and because I started it in September I used my stash yarn. The pink is from the first dress and the brown was some stash I laying around. This dress will be going in a box to be given as a gift at a late date.

You can find these projects on Ravelry here and here.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Knitting Knitting and More Knitting!

Over the past few weeks I have been knitting A LOT, I love to knit and I love when projects come flying off the needles. Here are some pictures I have taken of the last few projects.

Shrug Bug Set

The yarn used in this set is Spud and Chloe Outer in Rocket. I adore all of Spud and Chloe's yarns and this time was no different. The sweater pattern is by Gina Bonomo and is guessed it... Shrug Bug. This was a quick and easy knit that I will be doing over and over and over again. The hat I just made up the pattern for myself, if you have questions about how I did it let me know! The button was purchased on Etsy @WoodenArtist I really love the buttons in their shop and will use them again!

Bitty Bump Set

This set has the Bitty Bump sweater also by Gina Bonomo which was equally as easy to knit and super fun. It was made with Spud and Chloe Outer as well but this time in the Sunkissed colorway. The hat is also a pattern I just made up on the fly.

When I was out shopping today I found some super cute jeans by Osh Kosh that matched both sets PERFECTLY so I just couldn't pass them up!!

Stay tuned as I will have some other knit items showing up really soon!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Raspberry, Strawberry and Straspberry Freezer Jam OH MY

Freezer jam is a huge part of my past, as I talked about yesterday. Today I will share with you how I make my jam so that you can enjoy it with your family too!

First my FAVORITE package for making freezer jam is made by Ball. Below is a picture so you know exactly what you are looking for. It is found by all the canning stuff in your local grocery store. I used to only find it in my Albertson's but recently have seen it in Walmart and Safeway as well. These little packages require less than 1/2 the sugar of the cooking method ones which is one of the main reason I prefer it, more fresh fruit taste!

Ball No Cook Freezer Jam

4 Cups Fresh Fruit
1.5 Cups Sugar
1 pkg Ball No Cook Fruit Pectin

Wash and prepare fresh fruit. I washed up my fresh raspberries and strawberries and then mashed them up in separate containers. I strained the seeds from 1/2 of the raspberries as I don't like extra seedy jam. Once this was complete I made several different batches of jam. two plain raspberry, one plain strawberry and four straspberry (1/2 strawberry, 1/2 raspberry).

Combine sugar and pectin in a dry bowl and mix well. Slowly add the mixture to four cups of fresh prepared fruit mixing well. Continue to mix for 3 minutes. Pour jam into Ball canning jars and put on sealing lids. Let rest on counter for at least 30 minutes before putting in the freezer......that is if it makes it to the freezer before it is devoured! We ended up with 19.75 jars total last night, 5 raspberry, 4 strawberry, 10 strasberry and .75 of a mix off all the extra from each batch.

Straspberry Jam all mixed up!

Jam can be stored in the freezer for up to a year but ours has never ever lasted that long. We share with friends and family and often times end up making tons more throughout the year at the request of others. One of The Hubs' friend's even offered to pick me up in Seattle for my 3 Day walk in San Francisco when I mentioned that I would bring him some Strawberry Jam if he could pick me up at the airport in San Fran for the walk. I guess he misses being able to come raid our freezer when we lived in Monterey! A couple of these jars are on reserve for Brian when I see him at he airport in San Francisco in October.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Bringing My Past Into Their Future....

Growing up one of my favorite foods of all time was my Aunt Sandy's freezer jam. I can remember having it numerous times in the summer and early fall and being so sad when the last of the jam for the season was gone. I also thought that Aunt Sandy had magical powers because she could create such a yummy treat. My mom also made jam just as tasty but not nearly as often, which lead me to believe it was some huge feat to make such a yummy treat. It wasn't until I was about 21 that I learned how incredibly easy making jam can be. When Aunt Sandy showed me her recipe, she created a monster. I have been making jam ever since and when I make jam I make TONS!

I can also remember visiting Aunt Sandy and family in the summers and going to U-Pick berries at the Twedt's farm. I have such fond memories of these times with my Aunt, Uncle and cousins and loved every minute of my summer visits. Little did I know I would grow up to live in their farm hands house with my two children for over a year. The hubs and I moved in to the farm hands house just before Lynner was born and lived there until we began our journey as a traveling military family. It was just a fluke that Aunt Sandy's co-worker was moving out of the house at the same time I needed a place to live and the rent was amazingly low so we were doubly blessed. Mrs. Twedt always got on my case when I came to their roadside stand and *gasp* paid for my fruits and veggies. I had to pay when she wasn't looking as they were on the honor system and if she saw me putting cash in the coffee can she would tell me I wasn't allowed because I already paid rent. We did eat a few berries without paying as we walked up the long dirt road on hot summer days, so it was all good!

Because I have such great memories of going to the farm to pick berries in the summer I decided it was about time I took my own children out to build memories of their own. My munchkins have picked berries in Aunt Sandy's yard a few times but haven't gone out to the farm to pick as a family yet. So yesterday we loaded up the car and headed to Biringer Farm in Arlington, WA. We were on a mission to get raspberries and strawberries, unfortunately we were a little too late for strawberries, but ended up getting TONS of raspberries, and boy are they delish! I can only hope that my children carry this tradition on with their kids. Next week I hope to get out and pick some blue berries, I smell some scones in our near future!

The kids picking...

*The Fish*

*Lippy Lou*

*Ky Guy*


(he's such a boy picking rocks instead of berries!)

Our Haul, or 1/2 of it at least ;)

Tomorrow I will be posting about the wonderful jam we made last night after a trip to the ER with The Fish who as pneumonia :(. He was acting totally fine up until about 2 pm yesterday when I noticed his breathing was a little labored so after a few phone calls I ended up taking him in to get him checked out. He is home with us and doing great, breathing treatments work wonders!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Our Little Cabin in the Woods....

for 2 nights at least. This past weekend we decided that since I totally screwed up the family camping trip by imagining that it was this week instead of last we decided that we would still take the kids camping in the woods and found an opening at Jim Creek Campgrounds in Arlington, WA. It was a great little campground and we had a lot of fun. Thankfully the hubs talked me into only 2 nights because it was plenty for our family. It was just enough to have fun but not too much to get tired of being out of the norm. I loved not having a working phone or computer and just taking time to relax and enjoy my family. My mother in law is visiting us from Alaska and went along with and we just had a blast with Grandma here! So here comes the flood of pictures from our trip!

Grandma with the kiddos at Twin Lakes

The Fish, loving the great outdoors.

Our view of the lakes.

Ky Guy walking the dog.

Ky Guy helping the fish look through the viewer, he LOVED it!

The Hubs and The Fish hiking in the woods.

Ky Guy and Bentley on our family hike

Grandma, Lippy Lou, The Hubs and The Fish

Peek-a-boo Lippy Lou!!

And it was about at this point that I let Lynner talk me into hiking back to camp instead of taking the trail back to the car and riding home. It was an additional 4 miles back to camp and boy was that a LONG trek!! Hiking 4 miles is a lot harder to do than just straight walking and it takes a heck of a lot longer too. I think after all it helped me to stretch out my back, but I continued to be dizzy almost the entire hike but thankfully didn't pass out. My poor mother-in-law kept asking The Hubs if they sound start looking for us because it took so long for us to get back, but we were fine and had a great time, once it was over! Ky Guy and Bentley took the hike with us and Ky Guy kept telling Lynner that she owed us big time for making us hike 4 miles!!

PWEEEEEEEEESE! Oh ok Fish you can have you first soda all to yourself.

Lippy Lou loving some time with Grandma in the swing.

Lynner and The Fish with Grandma!

Here is Ky Guy's "ok fine mom I will smile" smile *rolls eyes*

The Fish testing out the big kids' tent.

I hope you have enjoyed today's post about our camping trip, tomorrow I will show pictures of the fishing adventure from Friday!

Breast Cancer 3 Day Training Log

So again I am posting about my training or lack there of but at least I am putting it out there. I am sad that I am having major issues with dizziness and back pain but hopefully when I see the dr this week we can get it all straightened out.

Monday - ugh why am I still dizzy...
Tuesday - dizzy much?
Wednesday - the room gets foggy and I feel as tho I am going to pass out.
Thursday - still have the dizzies and back is starting to cause problems.
Friday - 10 miles with Mel
Saturday - Back is super sore and I had to pick the girls up from camp so no training walks for me.
Sunday - Back says no walking for you today.
Monday - Back says no walking for you again today and you should go see your dr.
Tuesday - Back issues and Dizziness, Dr. says do blood work and take it easy.
Wednesday - Still having major back issues and laying low.
Thursday - Hiked 5 miles with Lynner and Ky Guy at camp.
Friday - 3 miles with the girls and MIL at our campground.
Saturday - 2 miles with the MIL
Sunday - 2 miles with the MIL

Total for the past 2 weeks = 20 miles
2010's total = 247.65

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Arlington Fly-In and Balloon Glow

Yesterday while driving home from picking the girls up at camp I heard about a "balloon glow" that would be happening that night at the Arlington airport. This is where they set up hot air balloons around dusk and light them up with the flames it requires to keep the "balloon" afloat. I remember seeing the hot air balloons as a child with my Aunt Sandy and Uncle Dave and still have very fond memories of these times so I decided that I need to take my kiddos out and make some memories of our own. I am so glad we took the time to go because it was AMAZING. The 2.5 hr wait was not so amazing but we still had a TON of fun. I kept the kids busy with carmel apples, sno-cones, lemonade and kettle corn while we walked around looking at all kinds of airplanes. We got to watch a few planes take flight and show off which was nice as well.

The kids playing around while we were waiting.

Around dusk 4 trucks/trailers came out to the field in front of us and began the set up of their hot air balloons. We were in for a real treat! Below are some of the pictures of set up.

And the best part of the night...watching the balloons GLOW!

If you ever get to go see this in person you MUST, it is simply amazing!