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Sunday, December 26, 2004

Why I Bother

The Crafty Conservative

First, Merry Christmas!

Now...to my topic of the day. Why I bother going to church with a toddler. Today was the worst day ever for our little frog at church. He was totally cranky and volatile. Not fun. It doesn't help that we were visiting my mom's building (we're in Oklahoma for the holidays) and her ward doesn't start until 2pm (prime naptime). But, really, I sometimes wonder whether or not it is worth it. So, I thought up some reasons on why I even bother going every week (even though I rarely get to hear any of the speakers).

1. I have a testimony. I'm a believer. Going to church is a real help to me. It strengthens my beliefs and helps me make it through the week. Even if I don't get to hear what everyone says, I can feel the Spirit and enjoy the company of others.

2. My little frog learns things there each week. Okay, he's only 23 months (almost) and he goes into the nursery after our main meeting. But, I'm amazed at the things he says and does when he comes home. The other day he started saying "sun...beet" and throwing his arms up in the air. They have singing time in the nursery and they sing "Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam". When you sing "sunbeam", you throw your arms in the air. We never sing this song at home (well, we do now) so I know he learned it at nursery. He also knows "The Wheels on the Bus" from nursery. He just started singing it the other day.

3. We're setting an example. Going to church is important to us and our family. We want little frog to feel the same way. We want him to have the opportunities of participating in the activities with the other kids and getting into the habit of regular worship.

4. It's the right thing to do. Skipping out on church meeting just because it's not the easiest thing to do with a young child (or children) isn't a good enough reason. At least, not for me. Even though I get frustrated sometimes, it'll take a lot more than an unruly kid to keep me from church.

5. I just thought that there should be five reasons. I don't really have any more reasons to list...I just think there should be a number five. It didn't seem complete without it.

There. All better.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Knitting Schedule

The Crafty Conservative

For the first time since I've begun knitting in earnest (August 2004), I bought yarn without a particular project in mind for it. I feel like I've sort of entered a new phase of my knitting obsession. I started reading the blog, I'm Knitting as Fast as I Can and there was a contest to figure out how many pairs of socks she could make from her sock yarn stash. I'm obviously nowhere near having that kind of stash...however, I can see how that could easily happen to me.

So, I'm putting myself on a sort of knitting "schedule". If I get a chance to knit in the daytime, I will work on socks. I have one pair on the needles, although I'm about ready to frog it all and find a better pattern. I have one done already and I'm not too excited about how it turned out. I'll make an executive decision on the socks tomorrow. It's dark outside so I'm trying not to think about the socks. I just realized that they are harder to knit when the natural light doesn't come into the room. I guess I'm too blind.

When I get a chance to knit at dusk or later, I am going to work on my hooded sweatshirt found in Hip to Knit. That is also my "on the go" knitting right now. I'm working on the right front side so it is pretty portable. It's also 100 rows of stockinette now that I'm done with the ribbing so it's kind of mindless. I think that's why my eyes don't bug out so much when I work on that at night.

The top item on my Christmas wish list is a head lamp. Although, now I might have to tell my husband about the ear lamp that Yarn Harlot posted as part of her "Gifts for Knitters" series. I was kind of looking forward to knitting with a head lamp while watching The Amazing Race. Almost all of those teams wear them. Solidarity, you know.

I've digressed. Back to my schedule... I'm going to start a new project soon. But, I don't know where it will fit in my schedule. Daytime: socks. Nighttime: sweatshirt. My new project, you ask? Booga Bag. Maybe I'll relegate my sweatshirt to "on the go" status only while I work on the fabulous bag! I think I'll sleep on it and reserve judgment until tomorrow...or Monday. I better get a good night's sleep for a big day of decision making!

Friday, December 17, 2004

Adoption Woes

The Crafty Conservative

I think I've mentioned before that my husband and I are adoptive parents. The adoption process can be long and drawn out. Invasive. Uncomfortable. But, you know what? Can't the same thing be said for actual labor?

What I'm most upset about is the fact that many adoptive parents (and I'm sure birthparents as well) get taken advantage of. As soon as President Bush raised the adoption tax credit, the agencies raised their fees. The reason? "Oh, you'll get that back from the government". Maybe. Someday. My husband is on a fellowship at Purdue and makes enough money with that where we can live a comfortable life and take care of ourselves and a small family. I also work part-time as a Spanish teacher. We don't have $15K lying around to pay to some agency. It's frustrating. So, we end up cutting some corners by doing things ourselves. It helps that my husband and I are aren't looking for a "mini-me". In fact, I'm not looking to adopt white kids at all. There are plenty of people fighting and paying big bucks to adopt them. We want to adopt a child (or children) that may be considered hard to place. This, unfortunately, is mainly due to race. There are plenty of African-american families that adopt AA children. There just aren't enough. So, my husband and I are white. Our son is black. We are in the process of looking for our next child. I hope he or she shows up soon!

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

I Miss You, Ken Jennings!

The Crafty Conservative

Jeopardy is not the same without Ken Jennings. My almost nightly routine of watching him kick the pants off of all his competitors is over. Okay, I still watch Jeopardy. I can't help myself. What is obsessed? The current champion (as of today) is a software engineer. But, he's no Ken Jennings (also a software engineer). It's a horrible tease to hear Johnny Gilbert (yes, I know the announcer's name) say, "Our current champion is a software engineer from [blah blah blah]" and not have it end with the name Ken Jennings.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

My Theme Song

The Crafty Conservative

Wouldn't it be cool to have your own theme song? I mean The Donald has one now. "Money money money MONEY....MONEY" You can't listen to that song now without thinking of him. At least, I can't. Many a good song, I'm sure, have been ruined this way.

So, thinking about Trump's song got me wondering. What could my theme song be? I don't think that there are a plethora of songs about super-crafty conservatives out there. But, as soon as I hear one...you can bet that I'll claim it as my own!

Monday, December 06, 2004

Longer is Not Always Better

The Crafty Conservative

Okay. I'm a novice knitter. My first attempt at using circular needles was with my failed oven mitts. Before I actually got them out of the package to use them, I didn't really get how they worked. A couple of weeks ago I bought another pair to do a felted bag. I thought that if I got a bigger circumference, I would be able to use them for more projects. Oops. So, for all you novice knitters out there...there are very few projects for which you need a 29" circumference on your circulars. I'm sticking with 16" from now on.

Saturday, December 04, 2004

The Oven Mitt disaster

The Crafty Conservative

I made it to row 30 of my oven mitt and realized that the amount of yarn it was taking was not worth the effort. One oven mitt was going to cost me approximately $15. I was hoping for more like $5-6 oven mitts (including the extra cost of the size 15 dpn). So, I frogged it and began making some felted potholders. I know, I know. Not as exciting. Back and forth in garter stitch is not what I was really looking for. But, it'll do. I'm getting down to the wire here. I'm absolutely in love with the yarn, though (see previous post). The colors are fabulous!

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Oven Mitts with a bonus RECIPE!

The Crafty Conservative

Well, I went to my LYS to purchase an 85% wool/15% mohair blend to use for making felted oven mitts. I got 2 skeins each of deep red, deep green, and beige. What I failed to do was get size 15 dpn. You see, I have some size 15 circular needles and I thought those would do. Am I crazy? Is the circumfrence of an oven mitt really going to go around my circs? Of course not! I tried and tried. I must say, that I'm a beginner. I really haven't been knitting that long. So, you can't really blame me.

Cut to me BACK at the LYS to admit my lame mistake and to buy those darn size 15 dpn (that I'll probably never use again unless I just think that these oven mitts are awesome). So, after two trips to my LYS (luckily, it's only a mile away), I was ready to begin my oven mitts. My progress, you ask? I'm on row 14 just starting the thumb increases.

We had some friends over last night for dinner. I made one of my favorites...corn bread casserole. Here's the recipe:

1 package Tennessee Pride Mild Sausage, browned
1 can whole kernel corn
2 packages Jiffy corn muffin mix
2 eggs
2/3 cup milk
1 to 1 1/2 cups of cheese (I used mozzarella but it could be cheddar, colby jack, or whatever)

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl and then spread it into a 9 X 13 pan. I, of course, recommend the Rectangular Baker from Pampered Chef. It cooks more evenly and the bottom and the sides don't get too hard. Just a little of the PC salesgirl in me...

Bake at 375 degrees (F) for 25-30 minutes or until top is golden brown.

It tastes so good! The sweet cornbread and the (not too) spicy sausage are such a great combination. It's always a hit with whoever tries it.