Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Shout out to Knit Picks

Just have to tell everyone how pleased I am with Knit Picks. Someone on Ravelry had bought a kit from them, and had lost the instructions, and they sent her new instructions by email. I thought that was pretty cool. Someone else said they'd broken a needle and was mailed a replacement. Very cool.

My problem was of my own doing (and my kids). I bought a swift from Knit Picks a long time ago. Any of you that know my financial situation know that, even though it was a Knit Picks swift, it's still a lot of money for me. Anyway, the kids love to play with it, and lost the screw that holds the "rack" part in place--the big wooden screw. For a couple of years I've been using a rubber band that sometimes holds it in place, usually doesn't hold it at all, and I end up winding with one hand and holding it up with the other. And wishing the whole time I had a solution.

So I thought, "Hmmm...why not ask? I'd be willing to pay for it. Maybe Knit Picks can send me one". So I wrote to customer service and tried to explain it the best I can which screw I need. Amber wrote me back the next morning and said that they were sending me both screws and I should have them in a week.


How wonderful is that??? I know some people have had bad experiences with Knit Picks. Some people dog them because their shipping takes too long, or they will put LYS's out of business. I just want to say thanks to Knit Picks for their great service--you've made a customer for life!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Lynnette's Throw-Together-in-a-Blizzard Hamburger Concoction

We just got 14" of snow, and I'm not going to the store. So I went through my pantry and fridge and threw together what I had--and it turned out! So here goes:

1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small can mushrooms (you can probably use fresh, but I had canned)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can beef broth (or cup and a half of water)
1 1/2 cups Minute Rice
salt and black pepper to taste

In large, oven safe skillet, brown ground beef. Drain. Stir in onions, garlic and mushrooms and cook until onions soften a bit. Add both soups, beef broth and Minute Rice and stir.

Put entire skillet in 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes, or until rice is cooked. Should be creamy, but not soupy. You could probably add some cheese on top if you had it (I don't). Enjoy your daughter telling you that you should "throw together" dinner more often!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wordless Wednesday--Peace

Monday, November 30, 2009

Is it a Packer Pickle? Corn? Nope...

So, for the kids' teachers this year, I'm busting out my stash and making them Christmas ornaments. I bought some cute boxes at Big Lots for a buh-fitty, and I'm ready to go. Here's my first try:
Now it's supposed to be a christmas light. Honest. I used this pattern. I finished in record time.

So Anna says, "Wow! You made the pickle to hide in the tree in Packer colors? Cool!" Emily said, "You made a corn?" Brian couldn't figure out what it was. He figured Emily was right when she said corn. When I told him it what it was, he said, "Oh well, maybe if you made a whole string of them." Tomorrow is (brace yourself) DECEMBER 1st! I don't have time to make a whole string of lights AND other ornaments and all the other crap I have to make for Christmas. Figuring it out, Nicholas has 2 teachers, Emily has 2 teachers, Anna has one teacher, and that isn't including Nicholas and Anna's parapros or student teachers!

So anyway, I'm working on that, a lace scarf (which is almost done), Anna's sweater, a canine related gift, plus sweating it because cold weather is here and no mitties or hats are done for my children! I am a bad knitting mom!

The night before Nicholas' birthday we were in the Appleton Christmas parade on the Library float. Our theme was "The Polar Express". Here's a few shots:

The Saturday before Nicholas had a birthday party at Soccer Heaven. It's a neat place to have a birthday, although I wish it were slightly better organized and a host was included (for $125, it ought to be). PLUS the website says that the premium party includes pizza and a free refill on your soda--it doesn't tell you that for your $125, you don't GET your first soda...you have to pay for it (a little deceiving in that omission, hmmm?) If you like a party where you don't have to do anything--don't go to Soccer Heaven. But if you want a party your 7 year old and his friends will remember...they're a great place to go.
Well, I'm off to knit some more Christmas ornaments--just probably not lights! They DO have a pattern for a knitted pickle...

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Why Can't this Weather Last Forever?

I love sitting out on the patio with the laptop and the camera, enjoying our very warm Indian Summer day in November. I know it's a tease, and that winter is just around the corner. I can feel the chill in the wind, just giving a hint of what is to be. And I know there is NO possible way I won the lottery last night, so I can winter in Florida. But I'm not ready, and I'm sorry I took all those summer days on the patio for granted. Summer wasn't very warm this year, but it was summer, and I feel like I disrespected it. So I'll pay a price this winter.

And with that, I had a really good mail day on Friday.
Two are Christmas presents, so I can't show you what it is, but the other is some yummy Zen Squooshy Sock in Raspberry Rush from Sonny and Shear.
Have I told you that Sonny and Shear is my favorite place to buy yarn? Seriously, they're AWESOME! Kris always makes me feel like my order is special, even though it always seems when I am able to order, I can only afford one thing, and I feel like a cheap-o. If you haven't gotten yarn there, I highly recommend giving them a try. You won't be disappointed!!!

Yesterday we went to Horicon Marsh, thinking, "Geez, it's 65 degrees, we'll see TONS of migrating birds!" Well, it WAS 65 degrees, but we only saw Canadian Geese (granted, there were a ton) and Coots and Mallards. Granted, Coots are lots of fun to watch swim, but it appears everything else had migrated already. Too smart for us!

I also finished one of my sockies, but I forgot to take a picture, so that will be for tomorrow.

Today the plan is going to pick up Emily from Grandma's house, and just hanging out outside. I don't even need to take a walk. I think I'll make some lemonade and just enjoy the patio right here for one more day of grace.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


I've been feeling really blah lately, and some things have been bothering me much more than they should. Not like big things, stupid things. I got up my courage and went to Globally Sound in Appleton for yoga this morning. My friend Greta's sister, Genelle, taught the class, and their other sister, Renee, came too. It was the most wonderful decision I've made--seriously! I had such a great time, and it was so amazing and relaxing. I feel so good, I'm going to make it a weekly routine. Mostly, I'm ok with everything, and I'm definitely not as angry. And if yoga can help me feel like that, I'm on it!

I've also been knitting a sock. The pattern is ankle slipper sox in worsted weight Vanna's Choice in a Seaspray green. I thought it was a pretty color and would make a nice sock, and I'm not disappointed.
And I needed to take a picture of my Totoro bag I got on Ebay that I just love.
Nicholas has decided to do his birthday party at Soccer Heaven, so will run the deposit over there today after I pick up the house and go to work. I think it was a great choice--he had mentioned the bowling alley again (I wasn't very impressed when we went here last year). I actually went to the Wikispot page I made on kids birthday parties in the Fox Valley and read him the list, and this is how he picked it. So sometimes stuff I do actually works out!!

Think I'll grab a sandwich and move along through a house pick up.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

It's Halloween

We didn't have such a great Halloween this year. Not only did Nicholas still have a fever (and now complains his ear hurts) but Emily got home from my mom's house and has a fever too. She just wept her little heart out when we said she couldn't go trick or treating, and it nearly broke mine.

So I went all out (probably too much, but oh well) and got Nick and Emily treats. I also got them some cake from Manderfields.
Anna decided to be a ghost (since with sick kids, I didn't get her costume done) and she looked cute.
So Brian and she went out, and lasted MAYBE 15 minutes in the cold. So we had no trick or treaters either with the flu in the house. It makes me feel bad, and I hope next year is better.

Some Halloween Creativity

Trick or Treat/Smell my Feet/Give me something good to eat!
If you don't/I don't care/I'll pull down my underwear!

First here are our little pumpkins--they're already rotting, poor things!!
And Emily asked that I take a picture of her artwork. She put them all next to each other on the windowsill, and then says, "Look Mom! They're loving each other!"
I'll post pics of the kids in costumes later. Nicholas still has a fever, and will not be partaking in Trick or Treating this evening. He's ok with it, since I told him I'd get him whatever candy he wanted. And sorry neighbors, we won't be handing out Flu-full candy this year either :(

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Bridge

Oh Dick! Oh Jane!
Oh, oh!
Look, Look!
Come and Look.
Look Mother and Father.
Look and see.
Come and see the bridge.
See the cars. See the cars go.
The bridge makes us happy.
They go two by two.
Go Cars, go!
See the cars. See the cars go around.
Go cars, go!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My Caring Son

My kids' school is great. They have awards every quarter called "Character Counts", where kids are nominated for awards by their teachers based on 6 character traits: Respect, Trustworthiness, Caring, Responsibility, Citizenship and Fairness. Nicholas got an award yesterday for Caring, which is no surprise--he is a very caring, kind little guy.
Unfortunately, he's also a sick little guy. I could tell as he walked back from the award ceremony that he just didn't look right (notice how white his face is?), and, sure enough, he had a fever of 102 when he got home.

Of course with my children, the Motrin kicks in, and you'd never know they were sick. Nicholas and Anna spent 2 hours screwing around...now they are more quiet, since Nicholas' fever is back.

In other news, I started Anna's sweater.
And now I won't be working on it tonight, thanks to my good friend Susan Bates and her crappy interchangeable needles. It kept unscrewing, so I went to tighten it. And it broke!
Oh and the tree that was still green? Yeah, well, not so much now. Now I need to rake:
Think I'll start some socks tonight.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Mulberry Lane Farm

Last Wednesday I took a field trip with Nicholas' class to Mulberry Lane Farm in Sherwood. Fortunately the rain stopped (mostly) but boy was the Pumpkin patch muddy!! We even wiped our feet before we got back on the bus, and the entire floor was mud!

It's a really neat place--in addition to the pumpkin patch, Nicholas' class got to do some pretty neat things, including riding a pony, milking a cow, feeding goats and sheep and holding a chicken. I highly recommend it just for a visit with your family...very impressive, friendly staff.

I also did Brian a favor and gutted pumpkins with the kids (without him). He really hates that job. But we had some fun:

We went to Door County for a drive this weekend. I would have had some great pictures--but for the fact that my memory card was in Brian's laptop. And the laptop was at home.

Then we went to Tundra Lodge to stay overnight. Anna and I ended up going home, because she had a fever. I saw the worst in my 10 year old, let me tell you...nothing like a screaming, stamping your feet, crying fit in the hallways of the hotel. Brian stayed and wasn't impressed--we are used to Lodge at Cedar Creek, and this was a miniature, less nice version of that.

Today Nicholas is getting a Character Counts award at his school, so I could be doing another post with pictures later.

I also started Anna's sweater, so I'll post pictures of that later too.

Otherwise, just trying to stay healthy and keep everyone else healthy.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Football Sunday

It's Sunday, and fortunately for me, this morning I Kitchener stitched the toe of my second Brett Favre sock!
I'm very proud of myself--the yarn is Opal Mississippi (I couldn't make this up...) color #2087. The problem is getting the socks to look alike. I'm not completely anal about it, like some people, but I do like my patterns to look somewhat similar. I got really close on these, so they are nearly identical. Yay Me!
We went over to Dan's house to watch the Packers kill the Lions. I enjoyed quite a few Mike's Hard Pink Lemonades (OK, is 5 quite a few??) and I can honestly say I've never been hung over the same day. I am getting old.

Did you see the Vikings pull out the game in the last minute to stay 6-0? Couldn't be happier about that!! To reiterate: I am not a Vikings fan. I am not even really a total Brett Favre fan (I think he's acted like a complete asshole drama queen)--but I absolutely, positively HATE Ted Thompson's guts. He needs to lose his job and crawl back into whatever obscure hole he came out of. The Packers need someone who makes educated decisions, listens to his staff, picks up Free Agents, actually does what is best for the team (and not just says he does) and admits when he is wrong (JUSTIN HARRELL) so the team can move on. And if wearing a purple and gold number 4 the rest of the season gets us to that end, I can force myself to do it. Besides, I look damn good in purple--almost as good as green.

'nough said about football.

It's time for me to start Anna's sweater. I'm not a yarn snob, but I was surprised when Anna wanted me to make her a sweater from Red Heart. She wanted a brown sweater, and I just didn't know if I could bring myself to knit an entire sweater for her in brown...but I did find a nice aran color with flecks of brown and blue in it, and she loves it (lucky me!)

So the moral of the story is this: No one is more thrilled that I've finished my Brett Favre socks than Anna, because now I can knit her sweater!!

Upcoming this week--Sack it to Goodwill for Cub Scouts, Mulberry Farm for Nicholas' class, WLA this week so the library should be interesting.

Nicholas has his last soccer game on Saturday morning--against his current school. We weren't sure what school he would be at when we signed him up for soccer, so we signed him up for his old school, thinking he'll at least know some of the kids. I fear his coach is trying to get rid of him, as he told him he can play with the Richmond team on Saturday if he wants and they'll have someone fill in for him. I told Nicholas no--he's been with his team all year, he's finishing out the season with them.
Maybe it's just my over-sensitivity on these issues--Let's face it, I am scarred by my own childhood. There's nothing quite like having an art teacher who draws your self-portrait for you or has another kid do your paperweight because you suck so bad at art. Or a music teacher who singles you out in 5th grade to give "special lessons" to at recess time, and let's it slip it's because you sing too loudly and suck at it, and the other girls complained--but come on. I'm sorry my son is not a star soccer player. But wanna know a secret? He is the kid out there having the most fun! The smile on his face, because he's just happy to be out there playing with his friends, is priceless. He's improved tons this season, and I'm very proud of him--and I hope his coach is proud of him too.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A Busy Sunday!

Today was the day that Emily has waited all year for (even more than her birthday!): It was her day to go to Every Girl's A Princess!! We were a little bummed we got pushed back 20 minutes (especially when I called within a minute of receiving the email that reservations were opened up!) but she was met by her Royal Dresser Ashley, and made a crown, wand, bracelet, picked a pretty purple dress, was announced as Princess Emily, made a pretty picture frame, and then we were off to the Royal Tea!

It is a great time! This is the last year for Emily to be in the Petite Parlor for 2-4 year olds...next year, she's in with the big girls (and big prom dresses!!) We have a great time every year, and it's so worth the money (that goes to some great causes).

Then we went to my parents house to watch the Vikings win (Brett Favre's 1st time on a 5-0 team--yay Brett!!) and have some yummy beef stew. Then off to the orchard for some apple picking before the snow (!?!) for Columbus Day!!
Tomorrow--my first Cub Scout meeting as Den leader of Den 5, Pack 3018. I'm a little afraid, and am grateful for the help from the Cubmaster Jill! Wish me luck!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Baby it's COLD outside

I know global warming is about climate change, but maybe sometime we can get some of the "warming" part up here. The summer was not warm, and now we are talking accumulating snow in early October. This is just NOT right!

To top it off, I am woefully behind on my winter knitting (as in "haven't started"). I am still working on my Brett Favre socks, but I suppose I should put them down to make some mitties and hats quick. Nicholas has a soccer game tomorrow at 8:30 am, and if I thought last week was cold, this week will be 20 degrees colder!!!

Last weekend we went to Brian's Aunt Jackie's land in Waupaca. It was beautiful up there, and I see why she commutes every day to Appleton. Here are some pics of the kids on the tractor:
(Emily is wearing Anna's "octopus" sweater I made her when she was 4!)

We're going to cook out tonight (for what could be the last time in a while) so I am off to the store for brats and buns! Then I'd better get going on that knitting!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tooooosday.....Aaaafternoon...(OK, really evening)

We took the kids to see Ponyo at Field of Scenes on Saturday night.

There was only a handful of cars there, and it was really nice (great movie by the way. Terry has made me into a Miyazaki fan!). October 3rd is their last movie for the year. They are showing the Haunted Mansion, and it's $10 a carload or free with a pillowcase full of cleaning supplies. The supplies and the profits all go to Harbor House, so if you are free, check it out. It's a really fun place, and an asset to the Fox Valley.

Today Emily had a playdate with her best buddy Max. They decorated cupcakes.

I couldn't find my Halloween decorating stuff, but Christmas sugar and jimmies were JUST fine with them. The cupcakes are sugar-riffic and the mess was overall not horrible,

but they had such a good time. And Max brought home cupcakes to fatten up his family, since his mother has decided to attempt making brownies with black beans in them. That's no way to make dessert!

Speaking of which, had a nice walk with Jeanette and Amy tonight. Wondering who will give in first when the weather gets cold.

Still knitting on my Brett Favre sock. I'm looking forward to pay day on Thursday to buy yarn for Anna's sweater. (I'm also looking forward to eating again LOL!) I also want to get started on my Cardi...the weather is getting chilly and my work shirts are soon to be short sleeved (and safety green)! And Sunshine Yarns had an update...mmmmm.....