Kids Cats & Knitted Hats

This is my little spot to share the things I'm learning to do with my knitting looms.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

I’m a Grad Student Now!

Am I crazy? I've just enrolled in Kaplan University's MBA online program. My first class starts November 14 – just a few days away.

Why on earth would a 42 year old mom do such a thing?

Simple. All my adult life, I have made decisions based on my family (as it should have been). I became a teacher so I could have a schedule that allowed me to be home with my boys in the summer. I left teaching to pursue my direct sales business because I realized that I wasn't a good "balancer," and I was giving it all away in the classroom without leaving anything for my kids. I gave up my direct sales business when it started interfering with their after-school and weekend activities. Then I started working full time at the hotel to pay for Josh's college tuition (Go Hoos!).

So there I was, working in a hotel as an administrative assistant and group sales manager, making a small wage, knowing that I had more to offer. My BS degree should be good for something, shouldn't it? But it had gotten "dusty" over the years, so I started thinking of ways to update my skills and move into a higher paying job.

Then it occurred to me that if I need to learn something new anyway, I may as well go all the way and get my MBA. I was a good student in college and during my graduate classes while studying to be a teacher. And I've always told my kids that they can have anything they want as long as they're willing to work for it.

Of course I struggled with "Am I too old to do this?" Then my mom said something that made a lot of sense. She said, "If you start now, then in two years you'll be 45 with an MBA. If you don't do it, then in two years you'll STILL be 45." Pretty wise.

So here I am . . . two weeks before my 43rd birthday, about to start my first class for my MBA. Oh, and did I mention that tomorrow I start my new job as director of sales at another hotel? I may be biting off more than I can chew, or at least more than I have energy for. But I might just find out that the stimulation makes me feel young and alive. OK, that might be wishful thinking.

Anyway, I hope to post more often than in the past. I hope to post from time to time about my courses and how I'm surviving them. If you're reading this now, please say a little prayer for my survival over the next two years or so.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!

Monday, April 16, 2007

Virginia Tech

I can't tear myself away from the news, and I can't stop crying for the families of the students who were killed or injured in the senseless shootings that took place today at Virginia Tech.

Just a few months ago our family toured the beautiful campus on one of our "help Josh pick a college" trips. He toured several schools that have good engineering programs; UVA was his first choice and VA Tech was number 2.

A few weeks ago he received an acceptance letter into the engineering school at VA Tech, and we felt pretty comfortable knowing that "Plan B" was in place. Then on April 2 he received his acceptance letter from UVA and his decision was made.

We've been so excited and so proud since his acceptance letter came, thinking about how bright his future looks.

But I'm reminded today -- once again -- that we can't be so arrogant as to assume we have anything beyond this moment. Other events that brought this realization: the Columbine shootings, 9/11, the Sniper shootings.

All I can do today is hug my kids a little closer, remind them to be safe, love them with all my heart, and then trust God with the rest.

My heart goes out to the parents who lost their children today. I pray that God gives them comfort and strength, knowing that He will bring good out of the unthinkable.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Just a quick update . . .

It's been a while since I posted -- two whole months!!

I started working at the hotel with my hubby (who happens to be a great boss!). I'm his bookkeeper, in charge of accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, and a host of other hotel related things. It started out as a 3-day a week part time job, but it quickly turned into four and a half days. I'm still leading our church's knitting group, and we meet on Thursday mornings for two hours and I go into work after we finish.

Speaking of the knitting group, what a blessing that has been! Our church was finally able to deliver meals to the homeless yesterday evening, so we took some bags of hats and scarves our knitting group had made. I was so worried that no one would want them, but was I ever surprised! I quickly found out that much of our knitting has been focused toward women and children, but we have quite a few men on our route too. So it's back to the stores to stock up on black, gray, dark blue, brown and dark green yarns for men's items.

One of our ladies had made a fluffy pink set, and I got to give it to a precious little girl who just loved it! She looked like a little princess. God has so richly blessed me in so many ways with this ministry.

We started out early last spring just making hats and scarves to distribute to the homeless when we delivered meals to them. But God had other plans, and our little ministry has quickly grown.

We started making tiny hats for premies at the local hospital. Then we were asked to make soft hats for patients who had brain surgeries. Next came a request for ultra soft hats for cancer patients. Our church schedules visits to a local nursing home, so we're trying to make prayer shawls as well, and the ladies in the group are also making prayer cloths to send to the prayer cloth ministry group to which I belong.

My knitting group means the WORLD to me! It is made up of six or seven ladies who come out faithfully every week, rain or shine, and I do mean that literally. Last week we were hit by some of the heaviest rains we've seen in this area in quite a while, and those ladies showed up at the church, ready to knit. As I said, God has truly blessed me with this ministry. I love the ladies who share this vision with me, and I was so touched last night seeing the looks on the faces of the people who received the gifts. One lady hugged me, and so many gave us such sincere thanks when they found out they had been made with prayer by a bunch of church ladies. All the thanks belongs to God; we're just trying to be obedient to His calling.

I wish it had been light enough to take some photos, especially of the little girl in the fluffy pink set. But you'll just have to use your imagination this time.

Here's the really funny thing. Every week at the beginning of the worship service our pastor makes announcements of upcoming events for the week, and every week he announces that the "Knifty Knitters" group will meet Thursday morning at 10:00. I think most of the men had it in their minds that we were just a group of chatty, gossipy, giggly knitters, and we had even been fussed at for having so many containers of yarn stored at the church. Then last night four of our men got to see what we had really been doing, and I think they were impressed. It made my heart smile!

Thanks for reading my ramblings. I hope to have some pictures up soon. I wish everyone a wonderful, blessed Thanksgiving!! Don't we truly have so much to be thankful for?

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning." James 1:17

Friday, September 22, 2006

One-Skein Exchange

Over at the Markman Farms group, we did a one-skein exchange. Our task was to knit a dishcloth for our partner, and then send her the dishcloth, the remainder of the skein of yarn, and the pattern for the dishcloth.

My partner was MJ, and this is the wonderful dishcloth I received from her:

I just love the colors! It's such a neat pattern; I almost hate to put it in dishwater, but I just love the way these little cotton squares do their jobs! So it's going in the water now that I've photographed it and put it on my blog!

Thanks MJ!

Initial Exchange Package

Another really cool exchange we did in the KKEXnMore group was an initial exchange. What a neat idea, and so much fun to shop for! We looked for little gifts that started with the initial of our partner's first or last name.

We shipped those packages out at the end of August, so at the beginning of September I found this package on my front porch:

How exciting! So I opened it and here's what I found:

Lots of individually wrapped gifts, each with a clue ("L is for . . . " or "C is for . . . "). How clever! I felt like a little girl at Christmas; I couldn't wait to rip open those packages!

Whiskers (our fat cat) helped me open the packages, and here's what we found.

A great little book (A Life God Rewards) -- I carry it with me and read it when I have to wait anywhere; a Coke cup, and a yummy candle . . .

A very pretty night light, some decorative fall leaves, and an adorable calendar for my purse . . .

Some care bears lip balm and some carmel latte lip balm (I LOVE lip balm!), Candy Corn, four carbineer clips (I use those for everything!), a magnet with a love message, and a cute cat figurine.

Tracee Stewart had my name. Thanks Tracee for a fun box of great surprises!

Oh, and poor Whiskers was just exhausted by the effort of opening all of those goodies!

Secret Pal - First Package

It's been forever since my last post. My best friend's mom had a stroke in mid-August and passed away after two weeks in the hospital. I was at the hospital with her pretty much every day during that two weeks, and I've started working part time, so I'm behind on a lot of things.

Instead of cramming it all into one post, I'll write several smaller posts to get a little more up to date.

First, I participated in a few really cool loom knitting exchanges.

The first was a secret pal exchange through the KKEXnMore group. We sent two packages to our secret pal; the first was sent August 15 and the second was sent September 15.

Take a look at what my secret pal sent me in August!

All kinds of goodies -- a fabulous tote bag with a knitting kitty on it (two of my passions), some really cute note cards, an address book, some cotton yarn for making more dishcloths, yuuuuummmmy Dove chocolates (not pictured because they were long gone when this picture was taken), a cat note book, a Sudoku book and electronic game, Altoids . . . what a great surprise! Thanks Secret Pal!

Here's a close up of the kitty tote. I carried it with me every time I went to the hospital to visit my friend's mom, and everyone who knows me said it was perfect for me -- two things I love are kitties and knitting! LOL

Saturday, August 12, 2006

What kind of yarn are you?

Hmmmm, does this fit me? Probably so. . . .

What kind of yarn are you?

You are Dishcloth Cotton.You are a very hard worker, most at home when you're at home. You are thrifty and seemingly born to clean. You are considered to be a Plain Jane, but you are too practical to notice.
Take this quiz!

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Monday, August 07, 2006

Yay! My hubby found my battery charger for my digital camera in his car this weekend. So I’ve taken some photos of a few things I’ve been working on.

This pattern was posted on the Prayer Cloth Ministry group. I think it’s called the Angel of Welcome? Anyway, I love it and I’ll be sending it to Tish soon. The pattern was written for the needles, so to convert it to the loom I changed all Ks to Ps and Ps to Ks on even rows.

I’ve been working on a Christian fish prayer cloth / dish cloth pattern. I charted it out and it looked fine, so I knitted it with cotton yarn on my dishcloth rake. Using the true knit stitch, it came out looking a little like a shark:

Using ewrap, it looks a bit like a whale:

So I’m going to tweak the pattern a bit and see if I can make it look like a fish.

Here’s a triple fish pocket prayer cloth I came up with. It’s hard to see the fish in the photo, but they’re a little clearer “in person.”

I’ll post the pattern shortly.

On another note, Décor Accents is going to break me! They’ve just come out with three new Wonderlooms – Extra Small Gauge, Fine Gauge and Extra Fine Gauge. At first I thought I had to have to the EFG so I could learn to knit socks. Now I know I don’t have the patience for sock-making. I already have a fine gauge AJAL, so I don’t really need that one. But the ESG – I think I could really bond with that one. So I’m off to order that one I think.

You know, I once knew a lady who loved cats (I do too, but this story is not about me). She had several that lived in the house, and her husband finally told her absolutely no more cats. But she just couldn’t resist when one day a furry ball arrived on her front porch. So she took it in and didn’t tell her husband about it. It took her husband quite a while to figure out they had a new family member, because the cats would appear and disappear from the room one at a time. It was only when he saw the new cat with one of the other cats that he finally caught on.

So I figure if I just add one loom here and there and never bring out more than one at a time, I can eventually own every loom I want and no one will ever know how bad my addiction really is! What do you think?

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Please excuse me while I whine . . . .

Waaaaaahhhh!!! I can't find my battery charger for my digital camera! I can't post any pictures of the things I've been working on.

I came up with a Christian Fish dishcloth and I can't even show it!

I'm on this fabulous journey with Flylady, so I am supposed to be able to find anything I need at a moment's notice. Then why is this charger being so stubborn? I've looked everywhere (well, obviously I haven't because I haven't found it yet).

Anyway, when I find it, I'll charge up those batteries and take some photos.

Meanwhile, please send good thoughts to me so I can find it. It's probably under a pile of clutter in my office.

We now return you to your regular looming schedule . . . .