Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The mailperson was my best friend yesterday as she delivered my Family Sampler pattern by LHN yesterday which I ordered from http://www.123stitch.com/. Once I read about this on FB as well as a few other blogs, I knew that I needed to have this and stitch it up. I have thought about doing something like this - to capture our family and have something special to hang on the wall - something stitched by me. I love the colors of this LHN pattern and the ability to customize it with no only your name and initial, but the make up of your family. It calls for CC thread as well as DMC. I probably have all the DMC, but will need to get the CC...and then just determine when to start.
The only stitching project that has a deadline right now is an ornament for the Ornament Swap group - last person is Angela, the moderator of the group - and the deadline for that is in November. I have actually picked out the pattern of her ornament and have started it. I have been trading off between the ornament and stitching on MW the last few days (when I find time to sit my butt down). So, I might get her ornament done early or at least finish it before I start a new project. That will also give me time to make sure that I have the "right" fabric and all the thread for the Family Sampler.

Last night both boys had hockey practice. I actually went down early with Robert (older son) for he had off-ice training before his ice time started; and then DH came down a little later with Matthew (younger son). It looks like this year is going to be a little challenging for Robert when it comes to hockey and school - especially when it comes to getting to bed at a decent time on the school nights when he had hockey practice. As per what we experinenced last night and last Thursday night...he gets home from school around 3:15pm, starts a little homework while eating a light meal, leaves the house around 4:15-4:30pm in order to arrive at the rink for off-ice fitness at 5:15pm which last an hour; then is hockey practice on ice for an hour and a half. That means getting back home around 9pm or so - to shower and start/finish the rest of his homework. Last night we all went to bed while he was finishing - at 12:45am this morning I got up and found him still sitting at his desk working on his English. I told Robert to finish what he could by 1am and get in bed so that he could get some sleep. When I got up to ride the stationary bike at 4:30am, I found a note on the bike to wake him up at 6am so that he could finish (which is in 15 minutes). Poor kid. At least he doesn't have practice again until Thursday, which is the day before a 4 day weekend.

Today is the last day of August. I keep watching the countdown box on the upper left hand side of my blog as it counts down to my 2nd blog-o-versary. This falls around the Thanksgiving holiday time - so as the numbers get smaller that means that Thanksgiving and the holidays are getting closer. Anyone know how to slow down time? :)

Take care everyone and remember...
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch Often!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

A hockeymom's day

"Yep...we are getting back into it, eh?" As Cole, another hockeymom, commented on my last post yesterday (I added the word "eh"). Yep...School...Hockey....Hockey...School...Hockey, again...it has begun :) And when we aren't at the rink, for the kids might actually have a day/evening without practice, there is always the drills - shooting, puck handling - that take place in the garage.
Matthew working on his stick handling skills while balancing on a board
(board is held up by 2 hockey pucks stacked up on eachother)
Yesterday, while Robert (older son) and DH were at the 3-on-3 hockey jamboree/tournament, Matthew and I were at home. After getting some of the basic household errands accomplished, we then had time to go out into the garage to work on his hockey skills. Normally this has been the kind of thing that DH did with the boys every morning during the summer; while I was at work. So, this was my first time working with Matthew and I had to pass him the puck for one of the drills, so that he could shoot it into the net.  I was told that I did a pretty good job at passing...well...that is after Matthew gave me a lesson on "how to pass the puck without slapping it".
Like they say, "you learn something new every day" :)

Well, after the choas at the rink yesterday, with Robert's 3-on-3 team registration not getting submitted, the rink adminstration handled it wonderfully and the boys were able to play 5 (30 minute) scrimmages. And I think that they had a good time, but it did make for a long day - they left at 7:30am and didn't get home until 5pm.

In between the household errands, helping with Matthew's hockey garage workout, I did manage to sit down for a while and put some stitches into Mary Wigham yesterday. I am just about done with another little motif and will probably be able to post a photo of it soon.

Hope everyone is having a nice weekend! Remember...
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch Often!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The end of the week

A Look Back at last week...

The first week of school is in the books and both boys had a good week getting use to their new schools and schedules.

Matthew (younger son) not only mastered his school locker combination, but also got use to having a PE locker too...and is able to remember 2 locker combos.

I, too, am getting use to my "new" schedule of taking Robert (older son) to high school before 8am and then going into work, where I have increased my hours to 20/wk.

Tuesday and Wednesday the temps were hovering 105 degrees outside, thus causing us to close windows and turn on the AC.

Thursday and Friday, Mother Nature decided to roll in the fog bank again and turn on nature's AC - with temps back in the 70s our windows have been thrown open and our AC is off.

Hockey practice schedules have seem to be settling on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday for Matthew...and Monday, Thursday and the weekend for Robert...which makes it easy to start scheduling life for the family and the boys can manage their homework.

I pulled out Mary Wigham a couple of times, but haven't made any more progress than what I posted earlier in the week.


Now the weekend is here and seemed to have started off with some chaos...I registered Robert and a few of his hockey friends for a little 3-on-3 hockey tournament (something that we have done over the last 5 years - it is not part of the hockey season, just a fun event that the rink does 2x a year). Well, long-story-short, the team didn't get registered. However because the schedule had another team listed with the same team-name, we made the assumption that Robert's team was registered. Well, at 9am, when Robert's team should have been out on the ice another team was out there - yikes - with me here at home and DH down there handling everything, he did track down the people who were handling the tournament so it sounds like they were able to put some games together for the boys to play. But, OMG, do I feel foolish.

Typically, when I register for something like this, I email the registration applications to the people handling the tournament and follow up with an email. But with the start of school, work and other family things going on this week I forgot to follow up to make sure that we were registered, but when I pulled up the schedule on Thursday, I saw that the team-name was listed - so I assumed that everything we "ok". Well, I guess I should never assume for I can make an A$$ out of U and ME, or at least me :( Oh, well it sounds like they got some games, but I just feel foolish that it happend.

That is really the only event that we have going this weekend, aside from Robert's hockey team practice tomorrow. So, for the most part it will just be a quiet weekend at home.

Hope your day is going well and remember...
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch Often!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Stitching, stash, school and sweltering heat

Here is a status photo of where my Mary Wigham is. I have been working on the motifs on the right hand side: the ones stitched in Berry Cobbler (pink) and Picnic Basket (brown). Here is a closer photo of that area:
It is still a very enjoyable stitch, so when I do find time and sit my "bahooki" (aka bottom) down it is a lot of fun.

I also did a little stash shopping, purchasing the "September/October" monthly sampler from LHN as well as the new "Family Sampler" which just came out...unfortunately it is on back order, but since it is not something that I am going to start immediately I can wait.

So that is all the stitching news right now. Other topics - the boys started school today. Both were very excited to start the new school year and their new schools (Matthew in middle school and Robert in high school). However, both came home and said the day was fun, yet boring. For the first day of school means each class they had went over the rules...Bo-o-o-ringggg! Nevertheless, after listening to them talk about their first day experiences, they do so with much excitement.
Robert's new experience is having classes with all age groups - 9th through 12th and having some of the boys have beards and/or mustaches.

Well, as I predicted as soon as school started - summer decided to rare it's ugly head. All summer long we have experienced temperatures in the mid-70s to mid-80s. Typically our summers are well into the 90s and 100s as we live in a valley east of San Fran. With the lower temps, we have actually been living without AC and open windows. That is until last night. Yesterday the temps were in the high 90s - today it was in the low 100s (current temp at 6:45pm is 104 degrees). And once those temps go up, the fire alerts are issued. In fact, we actually have a fire going on about 20 miles or so north of us. I believe they said that it has already burned over 150 acres. There is no threat to us here (so, please no worrying) and there are no structures in danger - just a lot of wooded areas as it is a regional park.

Stitching...stash...school...sweltering heat...I think that is all the news right now.
Hope everyone is doing well - remember:
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Attacking life with a positive attitude

Dear blogging friends - your comments and support over whelm me each and every time. As I have mentioned several times since I have started blogging, I find typing words and posting thoughts a wonderful way of journalling for me. Not all of my posts get comments, not all of my posts are about stitching, not all of my posts are interesting...but they are a representation of me. My last post was a journal of all that I have accomplished to get the school year and hockey season organized in my house hold. The comments I received were so apprecitated as you all acknowledge the hard work, effort and time it takes to juggle family, work, personal time and life in general. Yes life is busy and it does seem amazing when I do find time to sit and stitch or even go to the bathroom :) But while it is busy - the word I like to use is: FULL. My life is FULL...of activity, of support, of love, of life, of laughter...and I truely believe that as long as I can attack it with a positive attitude, all can be accomplished.

Speaking of accomplishments...yesterday I sat and read a lot after getting home from work. I have been reading the Sweet Magnolia series by Sherryl Woods. During the summer she came out with 3 new books in the series, which I requested from our local library...and when they are on the "hold" shelf I get an email to go check them out. Well, long story - short...one of the books was over due and I was only 1/2 through it; and because it has a request on it I couldn't renew it...so I spent most of the afternoon laying in bed reading - something that I haven't done in a long time. But the good news is, I did finish it and can take it back today and clear up my library account :) With that book complete, I am moving onto the next in the series: "Sweet Tea at Sunrise"...which I also have to finish quickly because I just checked out "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett. I requested "The Help" 3 months ago and it finally got to the "hold" shelf for me to pick up. I have it only 3 weeks...so I need to get reading.

So on that note...I will sign off and get in a little reading while I am on the stationary bike this morning. Hopefully I will make a lot of headway so I can get in a little stitching today too.

Take care you all, and remember...
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often
(unless you have library books that are almost over due)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I am feeling like I can just about breathe :)

Well, the last few days has been used to try and get things organized for the upcoming school year and the new hockey season. Yesterday we were able to get both the boys registered for their respective schools and, now, with that accomplished I am the proud mother of a new Middle Schooler (6th grade) and a new High Schooler (9th grade). Hard to believe that I have entered into a new phase of life where I have no child in elementary school.

Registration day for both went very smoothly and quickly. It has always sounded strange to me, when I moved to California, that I had to go to the schools and "register" the boys before school started. It is a day when you have to turn in all the emerencey forms, health forms, signed acknowledgments that you are aware of the attendence policies, etc. And then of cource there is the payments you need to do for the PE clothings, the spirit wear, the year books, donations for the school, donations for the school district, donations for the science tools, etc. So filled out forms and money were the items to turn in and then once that is done, you go to the last station in the gym and get the thing you have been wanting all a long - the "reward" of the child's schedule (the dangling carrot). And as soon as the schedule is in your hands, the child snatches it only to post their schedule on their facebook account as well as txt all their friends to see who is in their classes. It definitely is an interesting world we live in.

With school basically set and each boy has some basic school supplies to get them through the first couple of days (I don't buy everything off the school supply list anymore - too expensive - I just buy what they need for their own classes) the excitement for the first day is growing.

Quick story regarding prepping Matthew for Middle school
On the printout of his schedule is his locker number and combination. Having a locker is a new thing for him and of course he was excited to see where it was and open it up before we went home to share his school schedule with DH and Robert. So we found his locker and he starts to work the combination;
"Turn combo 2x to the right until you get to #, then turn to left pass the first # until you get to the next #, then turn right to the last #"
Well, after a few tries, he gets it and has already memorized it. However, as we are walking away from the lockers, he says:
"Mom, I think the hardest thing about Middle School will be the locker combo especially when you can't remember your right from your left."

In addition to all the prepping for school registration, I have been working on all the hockey stuff. As I probably posted, I have volunteered again to be the team manager of Robert's team - which consist of organizing the team travel tasks (hotel, team vans, submitting rosters, etc). It always takes a few weeks to get things organized and figured out for the new season, especially working with a different coach (I have found that each coach has their own way of working with the team manager as well has having their own level of communication with the parents of the players...so I am getting use to this year's coach's style). But I think that I have the first travel tournament all coordinated and will be ready to work on the next one when more information comes out.

Both Robert (older) and Matthew (younger) have their first couple practices under their helmet and are excited about the upcoming year.

Stitching and "me" things...
While school and hockey prep are the things that have basically 'taken over' my life for the last few days, I have also been running/jogging with my older son. We started running together in the mornings in mid-July after hockey tryouts, for he wanted to keep in shape during the "down time" before the season started up. Now I have mainly been a biker - my road bike unfortunately hasn't seen the light of day for a year, but I get up and spin on a stationary bike in the morning for an hour or two before the house gets up. Robert and I started out jogging/running about 3.5 miles and then have increased it to 4-5 miles depending on how much time we had in the mornings, before he or I needed to be somewhere. We have done a couple of 9-9.5 miles runs...which we did yesterday. It has been really a treat to do this, not only for my own self fitness, but to have this time with Robert. And even though his "old mother" slows down his pace, he thinks it is pretty cool that he has a hockeymom willing to do this with him :)

So with all that going on, it has been difficult to make time to sit and stitch. I have put a couple of stitches in Mary Wigham, but really not enough to show and tell about. I will try to put some more stitches in her so that I can post a status photo soon.

Anyway, just wanted to catch up a little on my "goings on" before I start catching up on your "goings ons". Hope everyone is doing well and remember:
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!

Monday, August 16, 2010

A new week begins

Good morning, afternoon or evening depending on where you are and when you read this post. Monday has rolled around again and a new week begins. Last weekend was filled with meetings down at the hockey rink in between my older son's first of the season practices. Saturday brought a 3 hour meeting which was run by the hockey clubs new council (or board) - beginning with a Team Manager's Q & A session followed by the council meeting. While it definitely was long and there were some people who talked alot, there was some good information - policy changes and updates - that I took away from the meeting (however it didn't need to be 3 hours long!). Sunday's meeting was lead by my son's coach - and he definitely has done this before. Each player received a binder with information outlining the coach's policies, procedures, philosophy, etc...for the season, for hockey, for school, for life. On and off the ice, these players are expected to do a lot this year...it definitely will be a good year!

So asside from my weekend of morning meetings, I really didn't get a whole lot of stitching done. By the time I got home, I was pooped and decided that a nap both afternoons was a better use of my time :)

Well, just dropped by to say "hi". I hope to have a stitching update soon!
Take care and remember...
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Weekend update: "It is the end of our summer as we know it..."

Well several of our laptops are still experiencing some issues left behind by the Malware virus and some have that "google-analytics" bug as I mentioned in my last post, which is a pain to get rid off...which we have not been successful yet. It is like your computer is possessed on some occasions...jumping from one website address to another or just not allowing you to sign in to specific places. Like on one of our laptops, I can pull up my blog, read and comment on your blogs, but I cannot sign into my own blog in order to post or change anything. But at least we have my little cutie laptop to use :)

Well, the weekend is here...and "It is the end of our summer as we know it" is playing in my head. The first of the early morning hockey practices kicks off the new hockey season for the boys this morning; so now our life is back in hockey mode for the next 9 months (at least). Robert's (older son) team gets going this weekend with on-ice practices, off-ice fitness training, parent/player meetings...and then since I have volunteered as team manager again there are the manager's Q&A session and club council meeting to attend. At least all of our hockey committments are in the mornings today and tomorrow...leaving the afternoons open for any summer like activities, if we still have energy (maybe we all will just go home and nap). Matthew's (younger son) team starts their practices on & off the ice next week. It is nice to get the hockey-stuff going before school kicks in...that starts Aug. 24 for both boys.

I have continued to put time and stitches into Mary Wigham this week, but haven't made enough progress to post a new photo. I am hoping to find some quiet time this weekend to put needle to thread...maybe during nap time :)

Well...just wanted to check in. Hope everyone has a good weekend and remember:
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Finally a Mary Wigham Update

I have been wanting to blog about the progress of MW, who came out of hibernation over the weekend, but I have been dealing with computer virus issues again. My DH got the worse of the viruses removed, but the computer I use while spinning on my stationary bike there is the "google-analytic" virus. Have any of you experienced it? Where you might log into your blog at the "sign in" screen and then press enter only to reach a blank screen...or reading your email and your computer jumps to another website unprompted while getting a message about google-analytics. If you haven't experienced any problems like this consider yourself lucky because it is a pain in the neck...DH is hoping that he can figure out how to fix it.

Any way, using my little tiny laptop, I am able to finally post a photo of MW...here is what she looks like right now:

Mary Wigham Progress (sorry about the wrinkled look & dark photo)
The part I just finished is located on the right hand side; it is this part:
Newly finished motif (the one done in GAST Tin Bucket and Shaker White)
Last night I finished a motif, which I noted above, and started working on the one below in GAST Berry Cobbler. It still is an enjoyable project to stitch.

Well, off to bed...take care and remember:
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!

Monday, August 9, 2010

The count down to craziness...

Well, for some reason August seems to feel the need to rush by...last weekend was the last weekend without any hockey commitments. So, we utilized Saturday as a stay home day to get caught up on a few things as well as start some of the "back-to-school" tasks. But first up was a little sleeping in (at least for the boys) - followed by a long run. To keep in shape after tryouts, Robert (older son) and I have been doing a little jogging together in the mornings to compliment his hockey skill workouts. We started just going for a 3-5 mile jog during the week and then added a long one on the weekend. Saturday we ended up jogging 9 miles in an hour and fifteen minutes (he probably could have finished it in less than an hour, but he had his old hockey mom to jogging behind him). So, last week I logged over 30 miles, not too bad for an over 40 year old mother who just put on her running shoes :) Now I have the jogging bug.

Yesterday, we decided to do a day trip to the beach. We had a hard time decided where to go because there has been a constant fog bank on the coast...but decided to drive up to Stintson Beach which is near the famous Muir Woods, for the weather forecast for this region was 75 and sunny. This drive always puts the fear of goodness in Matthew because of the twisty-turvy-ups-and-downs of Hwy 1. Well, as soon as we turned into the beach parking lot...not only did the disappointment of a foggy, misty day hit us all, but Matthew had to deal with the after effects the drive. Once his stomach was satisfied and he was cleaned up, we decided not to disappoint the boys. So, we got a little of the beach equipment out of the car and set up a spot where DH & I could plop down while the boys played in the sand & surf for a couple of hours. When DH and I had enough of being misted on, we packed up and headed north a little further on Hwy 1...first to find a place for lunch and second, to find a cut off that would take us to one of the main highways so we didn't have to drive back all the twisty-turvy-ups-and-downs again. I don't know if our last beach day was a good celebration to the "almost" end of summer, but it definitely was an adventure!

This week is the last week of summer camps for the boys. Matthew (younger son) really enjoyed his afternoon camp this year - and even when given the choice of staying home to "veg out" - he opted to go to the camp and play. This is the last year that he can attend this camp, for he will have aged out after this summer. The only way for him to attend next year is if he participates in the Junior Leader program...which is what Robert (older son) has been doing for the last three years. Robert's Jr. Leader schedule this year has included working at the afternoon camp Matthew attended, as well as work at a preschool camp and a Nature Day Camp. As in the past, being a Jr. Leader has been a wonderful experience for Robert and I think that this year was his most enjoyable because of the variety of camps he worked at. I believe that this is his last year for participating in the Jr. Leader program...next year I think he has the ability of actually applying for a Leader position, which is a paid position. But we will cross that bridge when it is time.

Starting the weekend of Aug. 14-15, the hockey practices start up for both boys. This is the first step to the beginning of our craziness. With both boys in a higher level of hockey that comes with higher expectations of development on and off ice, there will be ice time and fitness room time to deal with...most of the time the "off ice" skills will be scheduled for days/evenings when they also have ice - thus, making the most out of our drive to the rink.

Anyway...as hockey practices start up next weekend...school registration/orientation for Matthew (6th grader - first year of middle school) and Robert (9th grader - freshman in high school) also take place, as we gear up for the start of school on Aug. 24th.

So, while it does sound like we have a lot going on here, it is somewhat a gradual process of adding on the different activities which is much better than waking up one day and having both hockey & new school hours hit at one time. At least that is one way of looking at the next 2 weeks. :)

Stitching News...
Aside from all the daily events that occur in my house, I have decided to give "Eat, Sleep, Stitch" a little rest. Since the last time I posted a photo, I have added a few new stitches and buttons, but just need a break from it. There are a few more areas of white spaces that I am not satisfied leaving blank, but don't know what I want to do right now. So, I have put it aside and brought Mary Wigham out of hibernation over the weekend. It was like having a good friend over for a visit! I got to stitch for a couple of hours on Saturday while watching the Blues Brothers and will have a motif done soon, so will post a status photo soon.

Well, that is about it from the house of craziness. Take care my blogging friend, and remember:
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A little show and tell time

It is hard to believe that it is Wednesday already. I feel like the week has just started - hope it slows down just a little for we are not ready for the summer vacation to end quite yet. Well, anyway...today I have some stitching things I want to show you.

First, I saw on the Ornament Swap blog that Conny received the ornament I stitched for her - so, I get to show you the little snow man:
Snowman from Just CrossStitch Ornament Edition 2003 

 I had to "borrow" the photo Conny took and posted on the Ornament Swap blog because the one I took before I sent it to her is on another computer, which one of the boys is playing on. I am so happy to hear that it reached her ok and that she liked it. I had fun stitching it and finishing it (almost kept it for myself...lol). The next Ornament Swap recipient is me...how cool is that?

The other thing I want to share with you is the Eat, Sleep, Stitch sampler that I have been working on. Here is where it is now:
(Above) - the top 1/2 of the sampler
(above) - the bottom 1/2 of the sampler
I think that I am just about done...but I feel that I need to do "something" on either side of the initial/date band, but haven't figured out what that "something" is yet. I know that I will figure it out - sometimes these things come to me while I sleep :)

In the mail today, I received my Annual Halloween Issue of Just CrossStitch - the Halloween ornaments on the cover are so cute. I haven't had a chance to sit down and look through it yet, but I am planning to later this evening.

Aside from the stitching news, the other interesting thing that has happened in our household is we now have 3 working laptops (one laptop is an old IBM ThinkPad we received 7 years ago from a company DH use to work for, one we purchased and one is on loan to us until November). The reason for the excitement is because DH found a way to get rid of those horrible computer viruses which attacked one computer a year ago (once it was "sick" we put it on a shelf in a closet, thinking that it was gone for good) and the loaner over the weekend. He figured out how to rid the loaner and then decided to see if he could resurrect the old IBM...and he did! Which was really exciting because it was the one that I used while spinning on the stationary bike...now I feel that I am back in business - - - Happy Day are Here Again...ok, it is the little things in life that put a smile on my face :)

That is about all from our house hold...hope you are having a good week! Until next time, remember...
Live, Love, Laugh and Stitch often!