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Thursday, May 31, 2007

The Shows

I think I'm almost done recounting my Vegas trip. I couldn't leave out the shows!

On Thursday night we saw Celine Dion. We really lucked out with our tickets. We bought them before she announced that this would be her last year. Carl's cousin, Kristi (she lives in the Vegas area), told me that the tickets are going for a lot more now. We had pretty good seats (high--but in the middle) and I was really looking forward to the concert.

Caleb and I have a song. It is our special song. It's A New Day. This was Celine's opening number. I pretty much cried immediately. I know, I'm a goober. I also cried when she sang a song from her Miracles CD. I'm not the biggest Celine fan in the world (she's no Neil Diamond!) but she put on an excellent show. The dancing was great. Speaking of dancing...
Oh, Benji! I love you! We looked for him all through the show. It was part of his prize from winning season 2 of So You Think You can Dance. Halfway through the show the dancing started to be a little more "upbeat" and that's when we saw him. Oooh! Fun times.


On Friday night we decided to check out the free stuff around town. We saw the show at Treasure Island. I didn't include the picture because I didn't want to remind Mary and Megan of the smut. ;) Plus, I forgot to edit it and when I uploaded it we were sideways.

We also saw the volcano erupt at The Mirage.
We saw the fountains at the Bellagio during the day on Thursday and also at night on Friday. The song on Thursday was Catherine Zeta-Jones' All That Jazz. Fun stuff. Friday night was God Bless the USA. That one wasn't as good as All That Jazz (in my opinion).

If I had unlimited funds and time I would have liked to see Spamalot, The Beatles Love, Mystere, and Ka. Maybe next time.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Shopping

Friday was our shopping day. That was also the day that I ate my mega breakfast. I needed my energy for what was to come.

We had printed off a bunch of coupons for both the Las Vegas Outlets and the Las Vegas Premium Outlets. The night before we decided to just go to one so we chose the Premium outlets. They did not disappoint. I had a few things that I wanted to shop for: skirts/dresses, a purse, and some dress shirts for Carl. I found everything I was looking for at a good price so I didn't come home empty handed!

Here are the things I purchased at the outlets.


Carl got a shirt that will match his drunken argyle to perfection (as soon as I finish it) and two ties. The last new tie he got was one I bought for him for Christmas in 1994 (we had just been dating a few months). He was due for a little updating. These are from Van Heusen.


I found a purse that I love. I got it at Wilson's Leather. The price was right and it smells really great! I also got a wallet from a luggage store but I didn't take a picture of it. It is inside my purse...empty.

We all pretty much scored at the Bass Outlet. Mary found some shoes, Megan found some pants, and I found 3 skirts. The one on the left is denim. It's hard to tell.

Later that evening we went to the Forum Shops in Caesar's Palace. I just had to go and browse in Anthropologie. What I really wanted wasn't available at that store. It is just as well because it would have been a pain to try and get it home in my luggage. I had to settle on bringing home this awesome lilac candle. It did inspire me to start a wishlist on their website so I can keep track of all the goodies I find that I want on there. Sometimes just knowing that they are in my wishlist is just as good as buying them. Okay, not really. It does take the shopping edge off, though. Want to see my wishlist?

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Knitting

I sometimes forget how wierd it can be for some people that I brought four different knitting projects to work on for a 3 day trip to Las Vegas. I know the people that read my blog for the knitting content wouldn't be surprised but the people on the plane (Shawn excluded) and Mary and Megan probably thought it was a little obsessive. I don't deny it.

I finished the back of my sweater before I left and decided to cast on for the front when I was waiting to board the plane. I left my little knitting bag of extras in my suitcase that I checked (because of the scissors) so I didn't have any stitch markers. I didn't even have any contrasting yarn I could use. What was I supposed to do? I looked around for some inspiration. Lo and behold, luggage tags! I'm sure everyone was wondering why my knitting was "tagged" but it sure made the knitting go quickly having the center panel marked off. I took this picture as soon as I reached the hotel so that is as much knitting as I got done on the flight to Vegas. As of right now, I am about 2 inches until I can start decreasing for the armholes.

I also brought along my blue cardigan and the Drunken Argyle. I didn't knit on those at all during the trip but I felt good knowing that I had the option. :)


This stockinette hat was my go-to for knitting on the go. I did a huge chunk of this waiting for Mary to try on her new super cute maternity wardrobe and also in taxis. This hat is a special order from Caleb's speech pathologist. I hope she likes it. I just finished it up this evening.

The Hotel


We stayed at The Orleans. It is just a mile off the strip on Tropicana Blvd. The rates were right and it was a really quiet hotel. It was perfect for us mommies in need of some sleep. When we went to the strip we took a taxi. Going that way saved us a lot of time and it wasn't that unreasonable considering we split it 3 ways.

The restaurants inside the hotel were okay. We tried the French Market Buffet for dinner and breakfast. The dinner was okay. They had cajun, italian, mexican, american, seafood, etc... I didn't try any of the desserts but they had a huge case full of cheesecake, pies, cobblers, cakes, cookies, you name it. The breakfast was really good (and cheap!). I really wanted waffles with apples and there they were! Crepes, blintzes, breads, eggs, omelettes, biscuits and gravy, sausage, bacon, hash browns, etc... Pretty much any breakfast food you could want. That was the one meal where I felt I really, really pigged out.

The hotel also has a movie theater, bowling alley, arcade, spa, beauty salon, pool, and of course a casino. After Mary and Megan left on Saturday afternoon, I decided to go and see Pirates of the Caribbean. It was a nice way to spend the afternoon. It definitely wasn't my favorite of the 3 movies but it was nice to get some resolution to the story. They say they aren't going to make any more in the near future but left open the possibility. Maybe in 10 years?



On Saturday morning we tried out the pool area. Mary and Megan were full on sunbathers. I didn't bring my swimsuit so I just rolled up my pants and took down my knitting. I was wimpy and only lasted about 20 minutes. It was getting hot. At least I didn't get a sunburn!

I'd probably stay at the hotel again the next time I'm in Vegas. I just can't think of a reason I'd need to go again anytime soon. I've had my fill for a while.

Monday, May 28, 2007

The Flight

I flew Allegiant Air. They have two flights a week to Vegas from Lincoln and they are pretty darn cheap. You can't beat them. You can pretty much guarantee that the people you fly out with are going to be the same people on the flight back. I sat by two girls on the way out there that had just turned 21 and this was their present from their parents. Think for a moment about why their parents would encourage their children to party in Sin City just days after they turn 21? Can you wrap your head around it? I couldn't either. I told them to be careful. I saw them on Sunday and we chatted a bit on how their weekend was. They had a good time and survived well enough. They were really tired (heck, so was I!) and actually glad to be coming back home.

The couple next to us on the flight out was going to take a day trip to the Grand Canyon. When I saw them on Sunday the wife said that once she got there it was fine but the little plane they rode on to get there just about killed her. It was really bumpy. All in all I think they were happy with their trip.

I saw Shawn from Threads. He said hi to me, we talked about what we were knitting (I'm still working on my sweater and he was making socks), and that was about it. On the way home I talked with one of the people he was with for a while and she actually won $300 on a slot machine. She was smart enough to cash out and then she bought souvenirs for her family.

I sat by a really nice couple on the way home. We talked a lot about our trip. They saw Don Rickles and the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The guy said he'd never seen so many hookers before in his life as he did at the fight. We determined that it was probably the best place for them to get work...but really, what do I know? It came up that I was Mormon and was going to church straight from the airport (even I found this a little humorous---coming home from Vegas and heading straight to church!). We talked a lot about the church, Mitt Romney, missions, feminism, etc... He said I was the funnest Mormon he'd ever met. I think I won him over when I said that I didn't know yet who I was going to vote for and that Mitt wasn't automatically getting my vote just because he's a Mormon. We also talked a lot about kids and they gave me some really good advice about working with the special ed department (they have a son that is mentally retarded). The flight went really quickly.

I'd definitely fly Allegiant Air again. They don't have complimentary beverage or snack service (it'll cost you!) but I was warned ahead of time so I made sure to buy a drink in the airport to take on the flight. On the way out they also hold raffles. You put your seat number on a dollar, throw it into the bag and the winner takes all. I abstained. They also sell show tickets and monorail discounts. On the way home they push the souvenirs. Again, I abstained. I was too broke.

The Airport

I left Thursday morning to get to the airport but not before we had a meeting with our Bishop because they want to give Carl a new job at church. He's now the 2nd Counselor in the Young Men and SCOUTMASTER. Oh boy. He also still has his duties as Ward Mission Leader until they can find a replacement. I think he's looking forward to the new experiences.

Back to the airport. I flew out of Lincoln so it was no big deal getting there or parking. You can easily walk from long term parking to the terminal. The weather was nice and I was enjoying my first few minutes of solitude. I got in line to check in and I couldn't find my ID. I knew I packed it so it had to be somewhere. I looked in every bag. Not found. I got to the front of the line and really started to panic. The agent went ahead and checked me in without it (I had my credit cards) and informed me that I'd just have to have the deluxe pat down when I went through security. Woohoo! Once I checked in and they took my suitcase, I decided to go and check the car. My ID may have fallen out when I took out my ATM card to get cash. I looked in the seat cushions, under the seats, all over that darn car. I started to feel sick. Could it be somewhere downtown? I stopped to get lunch to go at Chipotle. Is it there? I stood up and felt something poke me. I reached into my pocket.

I had looked in every bag but had failed to check my own pockets.

Classic Christy.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Las Vegas Pics









Lots of fun. I'm really tired. Stories to come tomorrow. Time to start planning for 2008.

Destination: SAN ANTONIO, TX!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Favorite Things the Third

This is one of my favorite websites. You can find almost anything you want on here including my son playing the piano. I really need to add some more video of him---he is SO MUCH BETTER now. It's amazing.

Remember the Snorks? I was trying to explain that show to someone after they had no idea what the heck I was talking about. Now, I can just refer them to YouTube.

Did anyone else miss the end of American Idol last night because it ran over? Here it is on YouTube!
This, my friends, is a Crop-a-Dile. I'm pretty much in love with it because it allowed me to use eyelets again. As you can imagine, I can only make cards while the kids are asleep. I love the look of eyelets but I was never able to use them because the hammering was just too much.

One day I was browsing on Splitcoast Stampers and there was a post on the forum saying that the Crop-a-dile was on the Home Shopping Network as a Today's Special Value. That means...super cheap! I flipped on over to that channel and snagged one. The HSN version is purple, came with a carrying case and a gob of eyelets. It really is easy to use---punches through as many things you can fit in there like butter. Chipboard? No problem! Denim? Smooth. Eight pieces of cardstock at once? Piece of cake. They carry these (without a carrying case or eyelets) at most craft stores and be sure to use your 40% off coupons when you get it! That will make you love it even more!

I'll be back tomorrow with pictures and a report on my trip to Las Vegas!

Friday, May 25, 2007

More Favorite Things


My favorite scent of the moment is Japanese Cherry Blossom from Bath & Body Works. Not only do I love the smell, I love this packaging. It's so pretty! Out of all the products that B&BW carries, my favorite is the body cream. The product that gets the most use in our house, though, is the hand soap. We have one at every sink (not all cherry blossom scented--unfortunately for me!).


My favorite place to eat? Chipotle. This is what I usually order: Burrito with steak, lime cilantro rice, black beans, roasted corn salsa, cheese and lettuce (no sour cream). We sometimes splurge for a bag of chips (limey=yummy), especially if we're sharing a burrito.

Only one more day of my favorite things and then I'll be back with pictures of my favorite things from Las Vegas!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

My Favorite Things

Oprah can do it and so can I! I guess the only difference is that I don't have enough pull with companies that they'll actually give me this stuff to give away to all of you.

For the next few days while I'm gone on my girls weekend to LAS VEGAS, Carl is going to be posting a few posts I did ahead of time that include some of my favorite things. Enjoy!


Today's item: The Family Skillet from Pampered Chef.I earned this skillet for free when I was a Pampered Chef consultant. Knowing now how great it is, I would maybe even fork over the money to get it at full price! I'd at least have a Pampered Chef show and get it for my 1/2 price item.

This skillet is big enough to cook 6 hamburgers at once and you can even put it in the oven to make a skillet cake! Have you had a skillet cake before? Super moist and FUN.

My Pampered Chef runner-up item: the stoneware bar pan.


I got these shoes from Target last month. The price was right and I just needed a simple white flat. I was expecting to wear them to church every once. I didn't expect to fall in love with them and want to wear them every day. They are so light it is almost like walking with no shoes on at all. Granted, when it feels like you're walking with no shoes on you wouldn't want to wear these to an amusement park or on a super long walk. They just make me feel really cute just scooting around the house in these and they can really dress up my "uniform" of capris and a t-shirt. These are the shoes that got muddy before the party earlier this month but they cleaned up nicely with a little wash and some bleach pen. That makes me love them even more!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

SMOOSH!

We had a lovely day yesterday. The kids played and played all day. The grownups had a little fun as well. Tara and I went to the mall where we did some shopping. I got two shirts and an undergarment. Tara got a shirt, some capris, earrings, and some cute hair clips for Zoe. We enjoyed a little refreshment from the DQ, made a quick stop at a grocery store, and headed for home. While we were gone, the kids and the dads had made up a new game. SMOOSH!

This is how you play.

The kids lay down on the floor.


The dads raise up a queen sized air mattress high up in the air.


You count to three.

Then, SMOOSH!


Then they kick off the mattress and beg for more.


Repeat.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Visitors

We have a houseful today and I couldn't be happier. The Cooks are here visiting on their way to Utah (from good ol' Lafayette, Indiana). It has been almost 2 years to the day since we've seen them. Eva and Ellie were just babies! Kenna wasn't even on the radar yet! Harry and Zoe were some of Caleb's favorite playmates! Needless to say, we are having a fun time and they are going to be here until tomorrow.

I snapped these pictures just a few minutes ago. I had just turned on Curious George so Eva would sit still while Tara did her hair (she asked to do it!). Caleb is at school this morning.





Last night I was feeling really lucky to have company at the house and then right before bed I got an email from Heather with a link to a blog I read. I didn't have time to go to a lot of blogs yesterday so I missed the announcement. I WON AN ENORMOUS PRIZE!!! What a great day. It's going to be a great week, actually. Two more days until Las Vegas!

Monday, May 21, 2007

It's Potty Time!

I have an announcement to make. Caleb sat on the potty this afternoon and didn't cry or scream. I waited until Ashley (the grad student I hired to help out during the week) was here to try it so I don't know whether or not that was a factor. We made a big deal about being able to sit on the Blue's Clues cushy seat and he did it without fighting at all! I'm amazed. I'm elated. I'm hoping this is a sign of good things to come.

Flora

On Saturday, the Lincoln Knitters decided to trek it on up to Omaha to meet with their knitting guild and then do a little yarn crawl afterwards. Two shops were on our agenda: Personal Threads and String of Purls.

I tried to have a specific project in mind when looking at yarn. I even brought my Charmed Knits book so I could get yarn one of those projects. Instead, I started looking at the sample knits all around the store (Personal Threads). I saw a really cute blue top and it was kind of like magic. It was a little like the magic Hollie and I experienced when we were shopping for my swing dance dress. I had to make it. Resistance was futile. I did try to resist. A little.

I couldn't find the pattern in the store. I found the correct notebook but it wasn't in there. I asked where I could find it. They got it for me. Then, I asked for yarn suggestions. They took me straight to the yarn the pattern calls for. They also showed me some that I could substitute (although those yarn choices weren't as good for the design). Maybe they wouldn't have enough yarn for me to make this top. The Lincoln yarn store sure wouldn't. Ha ha. But, this is Personal Threads. Of course they have enough. In every color they stock. Now I have to pick the color. I really liked the blue sample in the store but I'm also working on that blue cardigan and that just might be too much blue knitting to handle. I go to Joanne. She goes for this.


It is this gorgeous pink/hot pink number. Artful Yarns Flora in Hibiscus. 60% Cotton 40% Viscose (a fancy word for rayon).


I cast on pretty much as soon as I got home. I swatched. I got gauge. I cast on for the appropriate size. I knit and knit and knit. It was looking really big. I checked my gauge again. Right on target. I kept going. Soon, I could not deny the hugeness of it. I took it off the needles to get an appropriate measurement. It was four inches longer than I needed it to be. FOUR! While it was off the needles I checked the gauge again. Spot on. Huh? I soon realized that this yarn is a dirty little liar and I couldn't just go by gauge. I decided to make it a size smaller. It is going much better now and looks like it will fit me much better! I took it off the needles to measure and now it is the size I wanted it in the first place. Disaster averted? Time will only tell. On Saturday I was still having grand delusions that I might actually finish this before I go to Vegas so I could wear it to Celine. I know she would be oh so impressed by my hand knit creation. After I had to rip out a good chunk of knitting, I decided that I should remember that this will make excellent vacation knitting and just take it easy this week.

Excuse me, I have to go and knit now.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I Dub Thee...

QUEEN JANET! My mother-in-law Janet guessed the correct amount. Right on the money. I spent $21 on Friday. I spent another $7.75 on Saturday morning at garage sales and we won't mention how much I spent on yarn yesterday in Omaha after our field trip guild meeting. I'm going to blog about that purchase tomorrow (without revealing the total--unless Joanne or Tana spill the beans in the comments) and show you how the yarn is turning into a beautiful garment. Or not. The debate is still out. I showed the yarn and the pattern (clearly, an adult sized pattern) to Carl and he asked if I was making that for Eva. Maybe it was because he only saw one ball of yarn and hasn't noticed the other 13 that I stashed away as quickly as I got home. Anyway, that's all I've got for now. Pictures of my newest knitting coming tomorrow!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Garage Sales

It is that time of year, my friends. I put it off as long as I could. Yesterday I went to some garage sales. It started out innocently enough. It was a beautiful day and Eva and I needed something to do in the morning. We also had a list of things to be on the lookout for.

What to look for:

1. sewing machine
2. twin bed frames
3. twin bed sheets
4. summer clothes for the kids
5. cool stuff that I can't live without.

Here is what I bought:

1. toilet seat--for real. We're thinking part of the problem with Caleb's not wanting to sit on the toilet is some sort of sensory issue. I've been thinking about buying a cushy seat (with Elmo on it) to stick on the toilet. But, my inner Carl was telling me not to spend $15 on such a thing. Good thing I heeded that wise inner voice because I found one at the first place I stopped for $1! It isn't Elmo but it has Blue's Clues on it. Good enough. Are you grossed out that I bought a potty seat at a garage sale? I was a little bit but then I realized that it isn't as bad as having him use a public restroom. At least I know I'm going to clean it well before he uses it. I hope it works. I had an IEP meeting at his school today and we added on some sensory integration into his therapy routine and also included more regular trips to sit on the potty.

2. summer clothes for Caleb--I found a few pairs of shorts for him and that was about it. I've noticed that most of the 5T clothes were pretty worn through.

3. summer clothes for Eva--I hit the jackpot here. I got Eva some of the cutest little shorts and sundresses. She got 4 pairs of shorts, 3 shirts, and 2 dresses.

4. Larry the Cucumber "potato" head toy--This is the funnest toy! The kids have been playing with it all day. Basically, it is Larry the cucumber and he has all sorts of accessories to put on (a hair brush and towel, his pirate patch, etc...).

5. a Hello Kitty twin reversible bedspread with sheets--this is going to look great in Eva's room! I also got another set of twin sheets. They aren't cute but will be good for company or when I'm behind on laundry.

6. an Old Navy maternity sweater--why? I got it for 50 cents and I am going to rip it apart for the yarn. It is white cotton.

7. two white wood tables--they are square end tables and I think they will be great as work tables for the kids. I'm so sick of that ugly Spongebob table. Now I just need to find some cute chairs to go with them.

I found a sewing machine for $5 but it needed to be fixed. I knew that even if the fix was an easy one I probably wouldn't get around to doing it. So, I passed it up. I also found a couple of over priced beds. So, I guess I'll have to go out garage saleing again soon.

Wanna guess how much money I spent? The closest one to the actual total from today will win my sincere congratulations, a shout out on this blog, AND will from here on out be known as (by me, at least) the QUEEN (or KING if you prefer) of GARAGE SALE PRICE GUESSING. I know, I know. I'm so generous.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Ve Have a Veeeener!

I don't know what is up with my title. I hope you will all read it out loud in your best Eastern European accent.

Thanks to a handy dandy random number generator, ve have a veeeener from yesterday's giveaway. It's MAREN! Congratulations---send me your mailing address and I'll get that out to you in a jiffy.

My screen saver is a random sampling from the pictures in My Documents on my computer. Every once in a while I look at the picture and say...Oooh, I love that one! So, I thought today I would share some of those with you again.



With that, all the grandparents are happy!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Goal Reached!!!

Over the past six weeks I think we've been able to do a lot to raise autism awareness. I'm so grateful for what all of you have done.

Did you check my sidebar? We hit $300 today! In the past two weeks I've been making a few more sales and a few more donations have been coming in. Today was the day I had enough to push us up to $300. I'm so excited that I've decided to have another giveaway.




These stationery packages were by far my best seller in April/May. There are eight assorted cards with envelopes inside the package. They really turned out nicely. They make a great gift.

Leave a comment and you're entered to win. You have until midnight tonight and I'll draw a winner tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

En español

Usually I burn through the dvr of the results show from Dancing With the Stars. Not the one from this week. It had two things that I absolutely love.

This.

And This. That's Joaquín Cortez---flamenco dancer.

But first, let me tell you about Enrique.

While I was on my mission in Mexico (1996-1997), Enrique was on tour in Mexico. I saw posters of him everywhere. I heard his music on the bus. He was the brand new thing and I bought his cassette before I came home (I also bought one of Shakira's early tapes). I loved that tape. Years later when I became a Spanish teacher, I made my students love Enrique. I was a working woman so I had upgraded to the CD but I made them learn how to sing Miente. It is actually an excellent lesson on commands. Miente. Díme que me amas. Júrame que nunca piensas alejarte de mi. Dude. I love this song.

It wasn't long before he hit it big with his English language album. My students were thinking they were all that when they told their friends they already knew who he was and were already quite proficient in singing his music en español. We started learning the spanish lyrics to his popular english hits. Ritmo Total. Heroe. Later came Escapar. Heroe provides an excellent lesson to all who are unfamiliar with the actual castellano (Spanish-from Spain) accent. Enrique is from Spain--although with his superstar father, Julio, he spent a lot of time in Miami. Escapar is also a good example of castellano and is good when teaching the future tense.

My students began to realize how much I love Enrique when one day I decided we should celebrate his birthday (May 8, 1975). I'm sorry to say that I think a lot of my students actually have that date etched in their brains because I used it as an extra credit question more than once. I missed noting Enrique's birthday this year on the blog...shame shame. I think this post is more than making up for it. One of my students actually gave me a framed picture of him for my desk. I still have it. I also gave extra points for any student that could bring in a photo of Enrique showing both ears at once. Now that he's had the mole removed (Why? Okay, why not?), it is a little easier to find them...but not much. Am I the only one that's noticed this? Yep. Pretty sure.

Carl went with me to an Enrique Iglesias concert (2004, I think) in Chicago. We had an excellent time. He appreciates Enrique but was quick to point out that he's not as good as Neil Diamond. Point taken. But, I don't exactly want a picture of Neil Diamond on my desk. I lie. I do want a picture of him on my desk. Why don't I have a picture of him on my desk? I guess because he doesn't speak Spanish. Pobre Neil.

And now, on to flamenco.

In 2001, I went to Spain. Several of my students went and my mom and sister even came along. It was a great trip and I've been wanting to go back ever since. One of the highlights of the trip was the flamenco dancing. We saw a basic flamenco show in Sevilla but the best dancing we saw was in Granada in the caves by the Alhambra. The gypsies would put on these dancing shows in narrow caves. I fell in love with the music and the dancing. I have several CDs of flamenco music and I had a couple of flamenco videos that I would have my students watch.

I haven't taught Spanish for 2 years now so I don't listen to Enrique as often (he's still on my ipod so he's not totally out of my life) and I most definitely don't watch or listen to flamenco much anymore. This DWTS episode just brought back a bunch of memories and I couldn't help but blog about it!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Tote Bags

In response to Catherine's post on reusable grocery bags, I've been looking up some patterns and thought I'd share them with the masses.

I've never taken the time to make the tote bag made out of plastic bags. I've seen a few made and they can actually be pretty cute. They won't be winning any design awards but if you carefully select the bags you'll use you can make them stripey or semi-solid.

Here is a link to a tutorial by Carol Duvall on how to cut the strips. She gives three different methods.

Here is a link to a tutorial and pattern. It is a pdf file.

If you'd rather use yarn for a reusable grocery bag, here is a pattern from Lion Brand.

If you're planning on using these bags for carrying home groceries from the store, I'd definitely go with the plastic bag option.

Has anyone ever made these?

Monday, May 14, 2007

Hoosiers

Some friends of ours that live in Indiana (the Cooks) are coming to stay at Hotel Nelson on their way to Utah. We are so excited for their visit. They are going to stay two nights on the way there and two nights on the way back. They keep asking me if there is anything from Indiana that I'd like them to bring.* I've been thinking for weeks on what I might want from there that I can't get here in Nebraska. We don't really need any Purdue memorabilia. The only thing I really want are tacos al carbon from Taco Rico but I'm pretty sure that they won't travel well. There are also things I know that are impossible to bring--like the Tippecanoe County Public Library (Hello? No late fees!!! Tons of DVDs!!! Free holds!!!).

I know a lot of my blog readers live or have lived in the greater Lafayette area so I'm asking you---what would you ask for if someone was offering to bring you something from there?


*It doesn't matter to me whether they bring anything or not--I'm just so flippin' excited for them to visit. Tara just keeps asking me and I think she doesn't want to come empty handed.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

Saturday, May 12, 2007

I Have Returned My Flower...

You know that Nasonex commercial? I know it by heart because Caleb used to watch it over and over. Anyway, for days he would go around and say "I'm stuffed up and so congested". That's how I feel this morning. I don't know whether it is allergies or the start of something worse. I've been taking my allergy medicine and it allowed me to sleep okay but I am just really stopped up. It is kind of like how I felt back in March when it knocked me out for good and I couldn't hardly leave my bed. This scares me. At least it is the weekend and Carl will be home.

He's not home at the moment. He took Caleb on the Father/Son campout. Caleb loves sleeping in the tent and playing with flashlights. Carl loves that Caleb loves to camp. They'll be home later this morning. The weather was perfect last night...maybe even a little hot.

I was freezing. Our air conditioner was kind of putzing out on us so we had a repairman come over to fix it. It was fabulous service. We called. He came right away. All in all it took less than an hour from calling him to having cold air blowing through our vents. Love it. Our thermostat is a little off so if we have it set around 70 degrees--it really means more like 65. I forget this sometimes so I woke up freezing cold in the middle of the night. I turned the air off and now I can tell the house is really comfortable.

The craft fair went well. There weren't a lot of people there so they told us we didn't have to pay a booth fee. I actually did pretty well selling my cards. The gift packs (like I sent Anne and my mom) were definitely the best sellers. My best customers were the Juice Plus+ ladies at the booth next door. Two booths down was Beauticontrol. I got an awesome hand massage and booked a spa party (June 7th at 7pm...mark your calendarios!). Now, that's my kind of home party. She's going to come and give us hand and foot massages and a facial. Fabulous. So, the night wasn't a total bust for me. I didn't spend any money! This is usually my downfall when I go to craft fairs. I spend as much as I make. Not last night! Discovery Toys was there and it was all I could do not to buy Marble Works. Is that what it is called? Anyway, it is one of Caleb's favorite things to play with at school. But we don't have a birthday or anything coming up so I really couldn't justify getting it for him right now. I also found some really cute stacker rings from Silpada Jewelry. If you price them out per ring it is pretty reasonable but there was no way I could justify spending that much on rings for no good reason. So, I was also able to donate a good portion of my proceeds to Autism Family Network. They are going to do this again in the fall. I'll certainly be there!

I think I'm going to go and raid the medicine shelf and see what I can find. And, I need to put my chapstick in my pocket for easy access.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Autism Family Network Fair

Tonight is the Autism Family Network home business fair. I'll be participating and some of the proceeds of the sales will benefit AFN and the rest will go to Caleb's therapy fund. I'm a little nervous because I don't know how much this was advertised. If you can come, please do.

HOME BUSINESS FAIR

to benefit Autism Family Network of Lincoln

May 11th, Friday evening from 5:30-9:00 PM

Christ Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall

(below the main church building)

44th and Sumner, Lincoln

HOME BUSINESS FAIR VENDORS

ARBONNE

ADVOCARE

BEAUTICONTROL

DISCOVERY TOYS

JUICE PLUS

MANNATECH

MARY KAY

PAMPERED CHEF

PREMIER DESIGNS

SILPADA

STICKS & STAMPS

Christy Nelson

sra_nelson@yahoo.com

TASTEFULLY SIMPLE

USBORNE BOOKS

LOCAL VENDORS

Homemade jewelry

Karis Loos

karis_el_2000@yahoo.com

Homemade handiwork/bath items

Sabrina Sumsion

ssumsion@neb.rr.com

Author Janet Syas Nitsick “Seasons of the Soul” about autism

www.janetsyasnitsick.com

Contact Melinda Scheich at www.AFNLincoln@aol.com or call 617-2093

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Two Weeks' Notice

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Knitting Update

It's about time I post about some of my knitting, don't you think?

1. Drunken Argyle for Carl. The back is finished. You can see how far along I am in the front. I believe I'll have this completed in time for the county and state fairs. Some things I'm loving about this: Addi Turbos (my first pair!) and my Knit Picks chart keeper. I don't know what I'd do with out those.

2. Marnie cardigan from Hot Knits.

I haven't worked on this for a while. I've got the back and both fronts finished. I'm working on the first sleeve at the moment. Here is a close up of the texture. I really like the all over small cables. The pattern calls for them all to twist the same way but I decided to alternate the twists on each row. I am planning on entering this in the county and state fairs as well.

3. Mountain Peaks Shawl.


This shawl is taking me a while to get into. It has a pattern on both the knit and purl sides so it isn't something that I've been able to memorize. This means that there is only a limited time during the day that I can work on this shawl (no kids or other distractions) and when I do have the time, this isn't at the top of my list. I have no doubt it is going to be fabulous and will make one of my blog readers very happy to receive it...I just don't know if it will be this year or the next.

4. State Fair Socks aka Game Day Socks.

This is the pattern I finally decided on for my State Fair sock entry. I have a lot to live up to since my socks from last year took top prize. It is a stranded pattern so I'm not going any more than 2 stitches before I twist the yarn so I don't have strands big enough for toes to get stuck in. Here's a look at the inside of the sock.

I am really enjoying working with this yarn. It's from Nebraska! I'm using Brown Sheep's Wildfoote in blue blood red and vanilla. This is the second time I've used Wildfoote.

And, just because I have enough to knit to keep me busy for a LONG time doesn't mean I'm not thinking about future projects.




My Charmed Knits book arrived and these are just a few of the things I'm putting on my list. I don't know if you can see the clock blanket picture all that well but it is based on the Weasley's clock. The arrow is pointed to Home. It lists work, mortal peril, etc... Cute stuff.