31 March 2006

Happy Spring!

At 3:30 pm today, both boys are officially on spring break.
Spring is most definitely here.

30 March 2006

Quiet morning

It's a nice quiet morning here at home. The dogs are snoozing, the birds are quiet, and the guinea pigs aren't even oinking. It's restful to not have L talking constantly all the time.

This has been a busy, yet (so far) uneventful week. The biggest news is L has bronchitis, yet again. The weirdest part is it sounded really awful to Dr. W, but he is not running a fever, or letting it slow him down in any way. How can one kid be so sick and not even let it phase him?

The end of the semester is coming like a train wreck (really fast, and really messy). Next week I'll have papers to grade, hands to hold, and lots of students showing up for tutoring. I can always tell when the end of the semester is in sight to the students because all of a sudden they ask how many points they have, what are they missing, and beg for more extra credit. Since one of the things I'm trying to convince my students is that biology is everywhere and relates to their lives, I let them turn in biology related articles from the popular press for points. They also get 2 points when they recycle the scantron sheets from other exams (I'm trying to reduce the number of dead trees). But they want more, more, more! If they'd just do all of the assignments and study for their exams, they could easily pass. To quote Hogarth from the movie The Iron Giant, "Anyone can do well if they'd just do the freaking homework!" I suppose that's the lesson they might learn from my class.

On subjects that I can control (i.e not L's health or my students' effort levels), knitting has been both good and bad. Good in that I'm 1/3 done with the second Norwegian sock. Bad in the way that I had to rip MIL's vest because it was just too big. It's also not fun to knit with the yarn right now. It's itchy and it's been bothering my hands. Stockinette is also boring. I might ask her if she'd consider a shell for summer instead. Then she could wear it now and I'll work on the vest later, after I've found a way to make it more fun to knit. Another good thing is that I've started L a pair of socks from leftover yarn. It's nice to use up those little odds and ends.

On to working on my sock. I'd like to get through the decrease round and start the rest of the leg. These are going to be some very warm, very cushiony socks. Too bad we're heading into summer! (Ha! Not really. I could handle have these socks relegated to opening the drawer and admiring them for awhile.)

27 March 2006


can be a good thing.

On Saturday, I went out to the mailbox and found an application for here sent to us by L's hematologist. At first, I thought how nice--camp for the whole family. Maine in July might be nice. Travel would be a pain (it's over a thousand miles away) and July is already going to be busy. It's also free for our whole family.

Then you remember why--it's the only camp for children and their families that is for children with life threatening diseases. I like to pretend that what L has isn't going to have an impact on his life. L is doing so much better than he was when he was three. It's perfectly normal to have a child who goes to a GI, a hem, and takes at least 10 pills every day. It's normal to have his older brother ask if we're going to have to take L in to the ER if L throws up even once. It's normal to have to knit a pair of socks for a small child every few weeks because he had YET another CBC and that's his bribe of choice.

Well, it is normal, for us. But I don't like to remember that this disease could have very serious consequences for him (and for the rest of the family). Mail like that just sort of reminds me that our normal is just different from most other families' normal.

We probably won't be able to go this year. M has Boys' Camp I the next week at the Domain, and the following week we'll be heading out for vacation. Maybe next year.

22 March 2006

Top 10 Random Thoughts for Wednesday.

This is going to be a post with a bunch of non-related comments.

1.) Is it really so strange to be able to read mirror writing and to actually be able to do it? Enquiring mind wants to know.

2.) M has started in a gifted math program. Maybe he'll stop being so bored in school now.

3.) L had this conversation with a parishioner two Sundays ago.
Parishioner: L, why do you make so much trouble?
L: Because I am so good at it!

4.) The new church is coming along very nicely. B is happy that we will have a church and not just a house. We might be in around Pentecost.

5.) I finished a new pair of socks and let L take the pictures. What do you think? They have been dubbed the banana socks, but are actually the Lichen Ribbed socks from Knitting Vintage Socks. I like the way they look and the feel, but I don't like the Welsh heel. I do like the star toe of 3 points though. The yarn is Step by Austermann in colorway 01. I want to use another skein to make fingerless gloves to wear at the college. The adjunct computer is under the vent and I freeze year round!6.) The Norwegian sock needs to have its heel turned. I'm getting close to finishing up the first one.

7.) Because L took a picture of my feet, he decided he needed a picture of his feet too. So here they are with bunny ears.

8.) A picture of Lulu, because I feel like it.

9.) The boys and I are reading a series of books at bedtime about Gregor the Overlander. It's a great boy book--there are giant cockroaches, bats, and rats. We're on the second book.

10.) Tonight at the soup supper/Taize service, I am bringing chicken stew. Not that anyone cares.

15 March 2006

What happened to spring?

Monday, we had 70 degrees and thunderstorms. Tuesday, we had sun and 50 degrees. Today is going to be another 50 degrees. Welcome to spring in Kentucky. I'm on spring break, but it's too cold to do any cycling (can't anyway--I have L's cold. The two of us seem to be developing bronchitis again.)

I am keeping busy, though. Yesterday, I learned how to start an online class. I will be working on getting both classes I teach set up for that. It's not hard, but it will be very time consuming. Once it's done, I'll just need to tweak things every semester.

I am also watching movies and knitting. I don't sit still well, but if my fingers are busy it's easier for me to watch a movie, read a book, etc. Surprisingly, I've discovered that I can do this even when knitting fair isle. I started the Norwegian Socks, and I am really enjoying it. The yarn and book are from my SP. She seems to have figured me out pretty well! I've had to shorten the leg (15" down to the ankle means over the knee for me), but that's okay. These pictures are from yesterday (last night I did the calf shaping and another pattern repeat) but they show the colors pretty well. I'm so impressed with myself! Knitting with yarn in both hands seems so difficult when you see it, but it isn't as hard as I thought it would be. These socks are going to be very warm as the stranding means the yarn is pretty much doubled throughout. I probably won't get to wear these until fall, but I'm still having fun knitting them!
The book has several other sock patterns that I want to knit, so at least I'll have lots of sock patterns to choose from.

I need to decide what kind of soup I'm going to make for tonight and write a list for the grocery store. At least I can do the grocery shopping sans children with my job schedule.

09 March 2006

Lazy morning

L is home from school today. He has a cold (which is not bronchitis--yet) and sounds absolutely miserable. We're hoping that keeping him home today plus the weekend will give him a chance to recover without this turning into something else. This is how he has spent the morning:He also watched Finding Nemo (twice) and sniffling. He's missed 11 days of school already this year and will be missing at least two more for specialist appointments. Next year when he starts kindergarten this will be problematic. After 10 days, the schools have to start informing you about the absences. Luckily, we can easily get doctor's notes about his absences. I just wish we didn't have to worry about these things. Don't worry about him, though. He's still his energetic little self.

I spent the morning finishing up my lecture for class tomorrow and knitting a sock. The yarn has aloe vera in it and I'm just hoping that it helps soothe my poor dry winter skin.

M has choir practice tonight and outdoor soccer practice starts tomorrow! Yes, spring is here. We have dandelions in the front yard, tulips and day lilies popping up, and B is probably going to need to mow in a week or so.

Next week is spring break for me. Only 27 hours until I am finished with my duties and can mostly ignore students and the college for one entire week. I will be taking a course to learn how to teach online (teaching from home in my pjs sounds pretty good to me) but otherwise, I am going to do as little as possible. I'm not going to clean the house. I'm not going to run errands the entire week. I'm going to do fun things, like ride my bike.

Now it's only 26 hours and 59 minutes.

07 March 2006

Another knitting post

First, a big thank you to my secret pal. She sent me sock yarn (yay!) and a great sock pattern book, by what may be my favorite knitting author/designer Nancy Bush. The yarn is from Dale of Norway (can we all say ooooh?) and I think will be great to knit with. The yarn is for the Norwegian sock pattern which has fair isle knitting in it (a new favorite technique), so I will have something to keep me busy next week (on spring break, woohoo!). I will also be casting on for MIL's sweater vest next week, because I know that I will need something that I can take breaks from the fair isle.

Speaking of fair isle, I finished the fair isle class that I was taking. We made headbands, a nice fast easy project. I'd show you the headband on my head, but it's too big (I have a small head). I'm going to make another one with 12 fewer stitches. M wants one, too. It is pretty, though. I suspect that I'll be doing a lot of fair isle as it is fun and it makes really warm garments (the stranding doubles up the yarn).

I'm going to stop here, as L will be home from school soon. He's been something else lately.

Oh, my worries about M never wearing the sweater have been completely unfounded. It's the first jacket he grabs whenever he is going outside or is chilly. He's even wearing it more than the beloved Reds jacket that his grandparents gave him for Christmas!

04 March 2006

The sweater and its use

As I was writing before, I finished M's sweater. He loves the color green and has since he was able to identify colors. He wore the sweater to school and the principal saw it and asked him who made it. He's pretty proud of it. Here it is, in a mannequin pose. The sweater won't fit him long--I made it extra long in the body and the hood and it's just right. B measured M on Monday, and he was 51.5 inches tall. I measured him today and he was 52 inches tall. I can't wait until summer when he can wear shorts.

We had a very nice day today and spent it watching the boys play with all of the neighborhood children who were at home. We had soccer games, bike riding, scooter riding, playing on the playset in the back yard, playing with the dog, and a huge variety of activities. It's nice to live in a neighborhood with a lot of children. It also seems that our house is the one where every one wants to come and play. I like that--we know all the kids and we know were everyone is.

The second picture is the boys in their matching sweaters today (L's sweater I made last spring. It still fits). It was a bit chilly but the sweaters were just right. They also like their helmets. The scary thing is that M's wearing my helmet (I have two). We have the same size head already (he's 8.5 years). I don't think that he's going to be shorter than me that much longer.

03 March 2006

I Lied.

I finished M's hoodie last night at 10:20. No pictures yet, as he wore it to school today. I'm amazed that I finished it already! It is convenient though, as now I can start a new project that will keep me busy through proctoring three exams today.

It always feels good to finish things. I hate having too many things left undone. The only unfinished project I have left is B's sweater. I have to think when I work on that one, so it is pretty slow going. Fun to knit, but slooooooooooow.

I'm going to have to go now. The highway awaits (and 110 students who tried to convince me to put off the test until Monday).

02 March 2006


This week, I've actually finished two projects (and a third may be finished by Sunday). I finished socks for me which are definitely fraternal twins. I couldn't have made them match because the pattern of the stripes was completely random.

The other project I finished was a purple lace scarf for someone else, who I think does not read the blog. I'm pretty sure that she doesn't know it's for her, even if she does. (No, she's not related to me, so don't hold your breath if you are.) It's knitted from bamboo yarn (yep, made of bamboo fibers) and it was really kind of interesting with which to knit. I used size 8 needles (which seem huge since I knit socks on either 1s or 2s usually). I like the way it came out.

No cycling for the last couple of days. I've had asthma attacks for some reason, so I thought that riding 3 miles and then having to stop out in the middle of nowhere wasn't exactly wise. Especially if I can't talk on the cell phone to get someone to come and get me. Hopefully all of this is just the weather changes (it was 76 yesterday and 68 today and there's a cold front coming later today) and I can get some real cycling in next week or so.

Time to go--the boys have choir in about 45 minutes, so I need to corral the smaller boy.