Thursday, July 22, 2004

Life is starting to settle down a little bit here and I have been able to work on some of my projects! 


These are the men's socks on which I have been working for some time now.  It is great to see them finished!

I immediately started a new pair of socks. 


I'm doing the summer pair with the sailboats.  This is my second attempt.  I already finished the first section of the color pattern only to discover my gauge was off.  So, I grabbed smaller knitting needles, frogged and started over last night.  When I have completed a few more lines of the chart, I will remeasure my gauge and see whether or not I will be able to keep going.

Tomorrow night the Christian Artisans online group will be having a baby shower for a group member.  I sent off my present earlier this week.  Since it is a group for Christian women who make stuff, my gift is handmade. 

It is a Play Quilt Tote.  In this form it is a nice quilted tote bag with a large pocket on both sides.  It holds plenty of baby toys.  However, when it is unzipped. . .

It starts to change.

More unfolding. . . 

Until it finally opens into a quilt.  Just perfect for playing!  The pattern is from a book called "Sew and Go Baby."  

In the meantime, the kids have been having lots of fun playing together! 


Gabrielle and Savannah learned to swim like alligators. 

Of course, Gregory and Gabrielle enjoyed their usual games.


Splashing and swimming, naturally! 

And then, we brought out the snorkels. . .

Savannah took to snorkeling like a true Florida girl! 

Hard to imagine she didn't like to get water in her face an hour before this picture, huh? 

After watching her cousins slide into the water for a little while, Savannah got into the action. 

And on the second day of water play, got absolutely adventurous! 

Summer splashed around some herself, until she figured her mom looked too comfortable. 

Then it was time to put Mom to work.  My sister Mary has the energy of one 10 years younger than me so I kept sitting without guilt.

Gregory wanted to see how high he could swing.

And then jump.

His landings are getting better.

It is great to see him having so much fun!

And landing on his feet, . . . mostly. 

As for Gabrielle, . . .

She is still my most adventurous child.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Despite unimaginable hardships and trouble, my sister finally completed her cross country adventure and has safely arrived in Florida. After one week, our children are inseparable.

They found enough hats for each of the girls to be southern bells and for Gregory to look like Indiana Jones.

Despite the one boy to three girl ratio, they had lots of fun dancing to the Christian Radio Station music.

It is just delightful to watch them dance, play and enter their imaginary worlds together!

While my sister and I have not yet managed to have much quality time together, her husband did drive me to Central Florida and back yesterday in his truck to pick up my new toy.

It is a LeClerc Nillus II, 36 inch weaving width loom!

Now I feel like a real weaver! I bought it from a delightful lady who is presently liquidating her weaving tools and stash, as well as some of her spinning and other equipment. Her name is Johanna and she still has some wonderful items up for sale.

I had hoped all the busy-ness would end and my sister and I would finally get some time together. Unfortunately however, she is very allergic to our dog. Our dog is setting off my sister's asthma and so they are going to try to find an apartment as soon as possible. I'm sad, but I hope they will find one close-by.

Friday, July 02, 2004

One of the best parts of living in a vacation destination community is that we get to "go on vacation" whenever we have company, without the inconvenience of traveling or living out of a suitcase. With that in mind, we just finished a really nice local "vacation" with the Morse family.

We started our "vacation" with some time at the beach.

Our family loves to snorkel for the sea shells buried under the sand, under the water. Gregory is one of our best snorkelers. Caroline Morse and her daughter Ashley quickly learned to snorkel however and braved the rough, storm-stirred sea for shells.

Here you can see Ashley snorkeling in the background while Gabrielle jogs up the beach after a swim. I felt bad that the water conditions were so rough on the only day we made it to the beach, but we all still had fun. Hopefully beach conditions will be better next visit.

Fortunately, Gregory and Gabrielle like to play in rough water as well as calm.

Noah, Caroline's son, however, seemed to prefer sand castle building.

Ashley loves dolphins, so we traveled to the Gulfarium in Fort Walton Beach to find some.

The dolphins here are highly trained and hop right out of the water when asked. They also do some incredible jumps.

The kids had fun watching the various sea life shows.

Here they are wearing the hats we picked up at a souvenir shop on Pensacola Beach.

The highlight of Caroline's visit for me was learning to use my small floor loom.

Caroline walked me through warping the loom and started me weaving. She even brought me the thread for my first towel project. I have carefully photographed this first project so as to conceal the glaring errors I've already made.

I had been concerned about the emotional state of our family since we were still grieving the loss of my father when the Morse family arrived. But Jesus is so good. Many friends were praying for us. Additionally, I had prayed we would be able to be "present in the moment" while we had company and Jesus physically lifted the burden of my grief from my "shoulders" the day our company arrived. We all had peace during the week and truly enjoyed ourselves. A level of sadness returned when our company left, but I am so busy preparing for the arrival of my sister that it isn't too bad.

My younger sister Mary is moving to Gulf Breeze! She had originally planned to move next summer, but a series of events led her family to believe the Lord would have them move this summer instead. Thus, they are presently on their way with all of their possessions in a rented truck. Please pray for my sister's trip. They had planned to do the 2,100 mile trip in three days. However, during the first 24 hours of their trip, they made it less than 200 miles and when last I spoke with her they were unable to see anything through the smoke covering the road from uncontained wild fires in Arizona. They are traveling from west to east on I-40.

In addition to removing, sorting through and getting rid of stuff stored in the guest bedroom, I've been clearing out closet space and drawer space for my sister. They will stay with us until her husband finds a job and they are able to get a place of their own. It will be a challenge for our two families to learn to live together, but it will be good for us all.

Since my sister is not [yet] a fiber person, I thought I'd better wash my new fleece before they arrived.

I got this beautiful Corriedale fleece from Cary Smith of Serenity Farms. It is amazingly soft!

Somehow however, I didn't think my sister and her family would understand that washing a fleece preempts eating and other uses of the kitchen for a day.

But since I finished washing my new fleece, she doesn't have to discover our kitchen priority system just yet.