Monday, March 31, 2008

Opening Day

It's Opening Day for the Detroit Tigers today. The fans have high expectations for the team this year. They've played very well the past few years (after a very long slump!) and have acquired some new talent. It's going to be a very exciting year!

Jake is really anxious for baseball to start. The Tigers season, of course, but his own baseball season as well. Hopefully practice will start this week, weather permitting. We had snow flurries yesterday, but today we're supposed to be in the 50s (FINALLY). Maybe spring will actually come to Michigan this year after all! I hope so. It's kind of miserable for the kids to be playing in nasty weather (and not much fun for the spectators either!) Jake has a short season, but he really enjoys playing.

To help us get in the baseball mood, we watched The Rookie last night. What an awesome movie. If you haven't seen it, you definitely should! It reminds you to follow your dreams, even in the face of adversity and nay-sayers.

I finished a pair of socks last night (I'm waiting to see if the sun comes out so I can get a photo) and just cast on with the spring-colors yarn I showed in my last post. I played around for a little bit to come up with a stitch pattern that will compliment this yarn. Hopefully what I decided on will work well. I am already loving knitting with these colors rather than the dark, muted colors of my last pair.

I'm going to watch the Opening Day pre-game coverage, then the game, and knit springy socks! Jake is back to school today after a 10-day spring break, Kaitlyn is still in FL, so the house is mine and that's my plan!

Go Tigers!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Time to catch up a bit

A few weeks ago, my daughter Kim invited some of her friends, aunts and coworkers, and I invited a few friends, to share in an evening of meal prep at Dinner Kitchen. None of us had done this before though many of us had wanted to try it. We selected the meals we wanted to make ahead of time, so that when we got there, our ingredients were prepped and waiting for us to assemble the dishes. Some ingredients were premeasured, and others we had the choice of how much or little to add of something (mostly spices and herbs, but a few other things too) depending on our own tastes and those of our family.

Here are some pictures from that night. I accidentally left my camera at home, so called my friend Tamara to bring hers. These are all shots she took while we were there. I haven't gotten the pix that Kim took yet, so I don't have one of Tamara in this bunch. Drat!

Easter was a lot of fun. We celebrated with Mike's side of the family on Saturday. The kids had a blast. We also celebrated our nephew Alexander's 5th birthday that day too. On Easter Sunday my brother and his family came over for dinner, and some Wii competition. Mike made a prime rib in the roaster that was TO DIE FOR! YUMMY! Andy and Karen brought a ham that was also very juicy and tasty. We had roasted asparagus, steamed broccoli, homemade bread, mashed potatoes, fresh pineapple and canteloupe, etc. etc. I made Cream Puff Cake for dessert and that was a huge hit. I don't know how anyone had room for it after that huge dinner! It sure was delish.

On Tuesday Kaitlyn left for Florida with a friend and her family. She is having a great time. Today they are going parasailing. Sounds like a blast!

Since Kaitlyn got to do this, I figured it was only fair that Jake got some fun too, so we got a room at Sterling Inn for a few days. There is a waterpark at this hotel, and he was excited to get to do this. My nephew came and swam with Jake one of the days for a few hours. It was great to see the big grins on their faces every time I looked at them. Personally, I was happy to get home to my own bed and routine. I was thinking I would get a lot of knitting done while there, but that didn't happen. I did finally finish the book I was reading that was 2 weeks overdue at the library. Now to pay the fines. OOPS! (REALLY good book, BTW. Incredible true story)

I did manange to knit a few rows on my socks. I'm hoping to finish them this weekend and get on to a new pair. I've chosen the yarn (a beautiful mix of spring colors, hand-dyed by my friend Lynn. If you haven't checked out her site, go do so! She's got beautiful yarns for sale, as well as nice pattern designs! Sometimes she has polymer clay buttons for sale. Lynn and her husband are also talented musicians. You might want to pick up a CD or 2 while you're there!
Now that I know what yarn I'll use for my next socks, I just need to pick out a pattern that will compliment the yarn.

Today is the baby shower that I knit the green cardi, hat, booties and socks for. I also knit the burp cloth from the Mason Dixon book, in a blue/yellow/white cotton I found for the UM family this baby is being born into (GO BLUE). I can't wait to have pix of the bebe in the items I knit, though it will be a while. They will fit in the fall (I HOPE).

I also found out today that another nephew and his wife are expecting their second child. YAY! More baby knitting in my future!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Hooked on Baby Knitting!

I'm on a baby-knitting kick! I gave these cute booties to Debbie for Kasie on Friday. I just adore how these turned out.

I made the mistake of searching Ravelry for the tag "Baby" today and came up with 1367 pages of the most adorable baby knits. I ended up ordering another bootie pattern that is just to die for. I'm not going to say which one yet, until I have a pair knit up. Then I'll share. I just want to knit baby stuff all day long. What is going on here?

I have a feeling there will be some more knitting going on before the shower. I did end up making a hat to go with the green sweater/sox/booties set. I'll try to get a picture of that tomorrow.

Believe it or not, I'm sick again. This has been a horrible winter. There is so much crap going's hard to stay healthy. I'm hoping a good night's sleep (with the help of some Nyquil) might help. If not, tomorrow it's me on the couch with.... what else....some baby knitting!

Monday, March 10, 2008

New Bloom baby to look forward to

I finally got the buttons sewn on the baby sweater and got some pix of the finished ensemble outside in the sunshine.

Our nephew Nick and his wife Sarah are expecting their first baby in May. The shower is the end of this month. I'm so glad that (for once!) I didn't procrastinate and actually have the gift done EARLY! Gasp! A real miracle, if you know me well. I may still knit a little hat to go with this sweater, socks and booties set. If I get it done, fine. If not, I'm happy with what I've got right here!

Nick and Sarah opted to not find out the gender of their baby, so I had to put unisex buttons on the sweater (and knit it in a unisex color). There were SOOOO many really really cute girly buttons I could have chosen, and also some cute boy-ish ones (trucks/cars, or fishing/hunting/outdoors themed ones, etc.) These teddy bears are ok, but I'm a little disappointed that I wasn't able to use some of the others that were just adorable. I think buttons can really "make" a garment, and I'm not sure these really do. Oh well, I did the best I could.

This new baby is the first one that will be born to a cluster of 6 cousins that have gotten married in the past few years, including our daughter Kim.(Those would be our kids' cousins....meaning our nieces and nephews, and Kim). I'm sure there are going to be a bunch of pregnancy announcements coming fast and furious in the next couple of years as these newlyweds all start growing their families.

I am SO excited at the prospect of our first grandchild being right around the corner. That is going to be one decked-out-in-handknits baby!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Knitting? Why yes, there's been that too!

Here are a few things I've been working on since the last knitting content was posted.

Mom's 80th Birthday Bash / Kaitlyn too!

I'm finally getting around to writing about the wonderful fun-filled family weekend we had mid-February. For months my sister and brothers and dad planned a surprise for Mom's 80th birthday. Surprising her is not easy, believe me. If she gets the slightest little inkling that something is up, she's got it all figured out in a heartbeat. It can be quite annoying when you're trying so hard to put together a surprise! We didn't know if or how we would pull it off, especially since she said to Diane when she was here for Christmas, "You know, I'm expecting a surprise party for my birthday". C'mon....who says that? Mom, that's who. LOL

Things had already been in the works LONG before she said that. Luckily the out-of-town siblings were all able to make it here for the big day, and this time Diane's daughter Melissa was also able to come. Yay!

Diane and Melissa came in early on Friday morning. I picked them up from the airport. We had tossed around the idea of heading to Lansing that day, since our brothers weren't arriving until later in the afternoon. Snow had been predicted, but that didn't happen. So we decided to go for it. I have been wanting to see Rae's new store, and I hoped to meet up with Lynn there that day, but Lynn was not feeling 100% and I thought it better to not bother her, and let her rest. We decided to head to Threadbear first, since Melissa had not been there. Unfortunately Matt and Rob were not coming in til later in the day, so we missed them, (and the dogs). From there we went to Rae's. She wasn't there either, but I did get to finally meet and talk to Sharon who was working instead. I've been reading Sharon's blog for a couple of years now and I don't think our paths had ever crossed before that day.

The only thing I bought at Rae's were some new magnets for the back of my car. Along with my "YARNBOX" license plate, and my yarn/needles magnet, my new "k2tog" and "ssk" magnets look right at home. I'm sure the non-knitters who drive behind me are often scratching their heads wondering what it all means, but I figure those who need to know, do!

When we were done at Rae's, we decided we'd better get on the road since we had another 2 hours until we got to Andy's house. Andy was picking up Dave and Brian from the airport, then we were all meeting to surprise Mom. The plan was for Andy and his family to go out to dinner with Mom and Dad, but we were all going to be at the restaurant waiting for them. We got to the restaurant where Andy had made reservations, only to find it under construction! We promptly called Andy to tell him, and made alternate plans. Luckily the restaurant we chose was able to quickly set up a table for 14 for us and we all chatted for a while, waiting for the birthday girl to arrive.

I think that was the real surprise...that we were all there, on Friday. I think Mom was expecting something to maybe happen on Sunday, and so she was a little flabbergasted to see us all sitting there at the restaurant.

We ordered WAY too much food, but had a good time catching up. Then we went back to Andy and Karen's house, played Wii for a while, then split up for some sleep before the big day. We had planned a party for Mom on Saturday (which we had to tell her about, so we could get ready for it in the morning!) We had about 30 friends/family members gather for lots of good food, laughter and fun.

Once all the guests left, the kids were hanging out in the family room in the back of the house. Mom, Dad, me and my siblings were in the living room in the front. We caught up on some family history, and then started pulling things from our own memories, and really had a very special time reliving some things from the past. Good times!

Dave and Brian were leaving early the next day, but Diane and Melissa stayed until Tuesday. So we had a few days of hanging out before they had to leave. On Tuesday we left the house in time to hit a few yarn stores on our way to the airport. We went to the new City Knits in Mt. Clemens, Knotted Needle on Mack in Grosse Pointe Woods, and The Wool and the Floss in Grosse Pointe. Diane, Mom and I had tried to go to all 3 of these the day after Christmas when Diane was here but they were all closed. We were happy to check them out this time. I had been to Wool and the Floss before but the others were new to me.

So that was our fun weekend. It was really great to have the whole family together again. Mom loved her alpaca "Odessa" hat that I knit her. I had Kaitlyn and Jacob write letters to her as their gift. She really doesn't need any more "stuff" and I knew that would be special. They wrote about why they thought she was a special grandma, and some special memories they shared with her. She really enjoyed reading those. Mom got lots of gift cards from her friends and family, so I'm sure she'll have fun spending all of those!

Mom and Dad left for a trip to Florida just a couple of days after the party. They stayed most of the time with Mom's cousin, but made a trip down to Boca Raton to see Dave and his family, and on the way home will stop at Brian and Lori's house in Savannah. Actually they should be there right now, and leaving for home tomorrow I think. It was kind of funny, Brian and Dave flying up here for a few days for the party, only to find out that they'd be seeing Mom and Dad in their own houses in just a week or so.

Kaitlyn's Birthday

Kaitlyn's birthday is the same day as Mom's. She got a few gifts at Mom's party. Mom gave her a photo album that had pictures of the 2 of them taken on (or near) their shared birthday each year. Melissa had helped with this project, using her creative/crafty scrapbooking skills to embellish the pages. It was a very special gift. On Monday, we went to BD's Mongolian BBQ for dinner, where the waitress made her quite a "lovely" hat for her to wear during dinner.

Kaitlyn's camera bit the dust at Christmas and so we bought her a new one then as an early birthday present. She can't be without her camera! She definitely has her Grandpa's photographer genes, that's for sure. She takes some really great photos! Here are some pix that I took on her birthday: