Wednesday, February 29, 2012

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

Yep, it took until February 29th for us to get some significant snow.  I believe it started snowing here somewhere around 3 AM.  It is now 5:35 PM and it's still coming down.  I love it.  It's been a GREAT day.

Starting to pile up by the patio door...

Hmm, probably should have brought in that patio furniture...

We were literally snowed in!  There were wind speeds recorded in Duluth today of 67 mph.  Lots of snow and wind makes for some big snow drifts.  We couldn't get out the front door.  Good thing the garage is attached, and it didn't drift too bad in front of the garage door.

We spent most of the day snuggling on the couch.  This is what you do here when there is a snow day and school is cancelled.

Sometimes you get up off the couch to take pictures of the neighbor's house out the front window.

And then you take pictures of daddy grill and baby grill.  See the baby grill there?  Next to daddy grill?

Sorry, baby grill.  I knew I shoulda brought you back into the garage.

The kids finally wanted to go play outside.  Andy helped dig out the front door.


Then it was time to play.

Some people use beach toys to build sand castles.  Not us.  Snow forts are way better than sand castles.  Plus? No sunburn or sand in your shorts.

I'm so glad we got some snow finally for the kids to play in.  Also cool?  It's supposed to be 40 by Saturday, so it won't be sticking around for long.  Plus, my Christmas decorations are all put away already and we don't have 5 months of winter ahead of us.  Yay!

The kids are about to come in, so it's time to go make the hot chocolate...

Tonight we get to do a little more snuggling and keeping each other warm.



Monday, February 27, 2012


Saturday evening my mom and I went to another play at our local playhouse. We got to see the local production of Amadeus.
Luke Moravec played the part of Wolfie.  I loved his performance.  He had the manurisms, silly high-pitched laugh, and crazy voice down to a T!!!

Cheryl Skafte played Wolfie's wife, Constanze.  She is adorable and so very talented.

Rob Larson played the part of Antonio Salieri.  It has been two full days since I saw this play and I am still thinking about how in God's green earth he memorized all those lines.  I do believe he was on stage 95% of the time, and spoke 90% of the time he was there.  Holy moly can the man act.  It truly was awesome.  There is no other word for it.

Salieri made a deal with God as a young boy to live a life serving God and mankind in exchange for becoming a famed musical composer.  All goes according to plan until Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart arrives in Vienna and ruins everything Salieri has worked so hard for. 

Mozart's eclectic behavior, his love of wine, lack of money, and crazy thoughts running through his own mind eventually led to his death, and left Stanzie a widow.

Salieri eventually tries killing himself (unsuccessfully) and upon thinking he is dying confesses to poisoning Mozart years earlier, causing his death.  Who knows the real truth?  Only Mozart and Salieri.

My dear friend and former co-worker, Julie Ahasay, brilliantly directed this show.  An unbelievable job, Julie!  I absolutely loved it!  I'm so sorry I didn't run into you after the show.  It was a bit past my mom's bedtime.  I still have a hug for you, that I intend to deliver very soon.  Julie says Salieri poisoned her in this photo!

And here is a photo of the cast and some of the crew.  My girl Jules is right there in the middle in her fancy sparkly dress.  Isn't she a hottie???

I've loved this movie for a long time, so I was very excited to hear there would be a local production of it.  Even better when you know the director.  I could see little pieces of Julie all through the show.  I was imagining rehearsals in the theater, and I could hear her giving "direction" always followed with that laughter that I love of hers.

Again, I am reminded how fortunate we are to have this local playhouse right in town that consistantly puts on these wonderful shows.  Thank you to everyone involved for working so hard to deliver a brilliant performance!  I can't wait for the next one!



P.S.  All photos are courtesy of Julie's husband, Lane Ellis.  You can check out approximately 200 additional photos on Lane's Facebook Page.  Thank you so much for sharing them, Lane!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Outdoorsy Photos

Here are a few outdoorsy photos to share with you.  This didn't turn out quite how I had planned, but I just didn't get time to head outside and take pictures like I had hoped.  I wanted to get some good pics with the good camera, but apparently it was not to be this time.  Enjoy anyway.

This is Tricia's entry.  I'm in love with this picture.  You told me that the snowflakes were huge, and you were right!  They look like the fake stuff they use in movies and on soap operas.

This one was mine.  There are SO many cool old buildings in downtown Duluth.  I'd love to tour 1/10 of them someday, and learn a little about the different things that the buildings were used for.  I love when the bricks don't match from several years of repairs.

Just a snapshot I took today on my walk to my car from work.  The skywalk takes you right over the freeway.  There isn't much traffic at 4:00, which is why I LOVE getting off work at that time.

I call this one "Power To The People!" 

And this one is the intersection of Lake Ave and Superior Street, showing you the pathetic amount of snow we've gotten this year.

All four of mine were taken with my iPhone and filtered using the free Instagram app.  I love this app.  I'm not sure if Tricia used Instagram or not, but editing your photos is sooo much fun.  It just makes them so much more interesting. 

Keep taking pictures people!  :)

I do have one more photo to share with you:

This is the progress I've made on the blue sweater.  The top isn't quite that puckered, it's just bigger than the length of the needles right now and I didn't want to drop any stitches.  I will hopefully get it done this weekend.  I'd love to wear it to work on Monday!  I'm still soo happy with how it's turning out, and the angora is heavenly!  Morgan has told me that I don't need to worry one bit about the fit, because if it's too small, she will gladly love it and give it a home.  In her closet.  And on her body.

Hope you are enjoying your Friday!  I'm currently watching the Bulldogs on TV, in my jammie pants, with a glass of wine on the side table.  As soon as I hit "publish post" and close the laptop, I'll work some more on the blue sweater.  All that = happiness for me.

Go find your happiness tonight, k?



Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Parenting is one dang hard job.  I consider myself a decent parent.  Far from perfect, but I think I've done a fairly good job so far.  My kids usually remember their please's and thank-you's, are generally kind to others, and do well in school for the most part.  I try and try every day to shape them into people that will be successful, and be happy.  I want them to be good people.  I don't think I've messed them up too bad yet.  But there is still time.

One area that I have not done a very good job in is making them responsible for cleaning up after themselves and helping more around the house.  If you remember back to My Post About Dreaming Of A Clean House you will know that I've talked about this before.  Thank you all for your suggestions back then.  Unfortunately I haven't grown that OCD gene yet that makes me have a spotless house.  I was hoping for a miracle, but no such luck.

However, I recently found a post on Pinterest that gave me a great idea.

I haven't been a fan of paying my kids to do chores.  But sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

The kids are a little older now, and money talks when you want electronics.

So, we went around the house together and came up with a list of chores that could be their responsiblity.  I assigned what I thought was a fair dollar amount for the job being done, and a specific rule sheet that spelled out what I expected from them if they were going to earn the money for the job.  (I have to be very specific with them, because they will always try to wiggle their way around the rules.)  A little artistic work, a trip through the laminator, some magnets from the craft store, and we have ourselves a new little system.

There are a total of 13 chores with assigned dollar amounts.  Sunday marks the end/beginning of our week.  They must choose 4 chores to complete before the next Sunday.  They can choose more if they would like to earn more money, but they don't have to pick any more than 4.  When they choose their chores, they go on the fridge under their name.

After the chore is completed, the card goes in their jar that they hand painted.

On Sunday, I go to the jar, empty it out, and pay for the work they have done.  Then the process starts over again.  It is working great so far!  It is still a work in progress, though we are now on our third week, and I'm really impressed with how well they have been doing.  We've had to tweak a few rules as we go, and I'm sure there will be more changes still.  For example, they aren't allowed to start most of their chores until Wednesday, so they can't clean off the junk on the stairs on Sunday and then again on Monday before the stairs have accumulated any additional crap.  Also, (and this one is brilliant, if I do say so myself) the vacuuming must be done after the miscellaneous junk is cleaned off the floor in the entry and the living room.  So if Morgan has vacuuming, and Andy is supposed to clean off the floor, she can't vacuum the 3 square foot area that is open, she has to bug Andy to do his chore first so she can do her chore and earn her money.  I haven't figured out if there is a consequence yet for not completing 4 chores in a week.  So far, I haven't had to.

I'm not sure how long this will last, but I'm loving it so far, and I think the kids are too.  It's also teaching them the value of money more, because I've started making them pay for more of their own luxury items.  They are thinking twice before buying silly things that aren't needed.  I hope they stay excited about it!  The house is looking much better, and the chores are easier each week.  Yay!

One last picture to share of the boy peeking over the wall in his (very crooked!) new glasses.  The jars sit up here above my kitchen cabinets, right next to my (very empty!) wine racks.  Good thing wine bottling is in 6 weeks!

Thank you Pinterest, for the great idea!!



Sunday, February 19, 2012

One More Finished Hat

This is a hat that I knitted.

It is for Tricia's son, Evan.

I heard a rumor that Evan likes to play with cars.

So I made 5 little cars, and attached them to a hat with a little road on it.

I sent it off to Evan, and I do believe he loved it.

It's so fun sending my hand-made goodies out to people!

In other news, Andy's team had their district playoffs this weekend.  We took 4th, and the top three teams go on to regions.  Bummer!  We have one more game next weekend just for fun and then our season is over.  I can't believe how fast it went!  What a great year.  I love watching the boys improve so much over the span of 4-5 months.  GREAT season guys!  I'm very proud of all of you! 

Don't worry everyone, spring league starts in a few short weeks.  I wouldn't actually want some free nights to myself or anything.  Summer league starts shortly after that, and tryouts for yet another tournament team are being held tomorrow afternoon.  You don't get better sitting on your couch all spring/summer, right?  These years are going to be over before we know it, so you might as well dive in head first.

I got tons of time in on the blue sweater.  It should only need a few more power sessions before It's completed.  I'm so excited about how it's turning out.  I just hope it fits.



Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A few crafty things to show you.

So, I wish I would be more on top of my projects and share them with you while they are in progress.  I'll try to be better about that.  It's tough when they are gifts though.  I've made a bunch of things over the past few months and am finally sitting down with a little time to organize the pictures and put them here.

I'll start with two projects that are currently on the needles.

If you know me, you know that I don't like spending a lot of money.  That's the nice way of calling myself cheap.  But let's face it - if it takes a little more effort to get something for 1/10th of the cost, I'm all over it.  It's kind of tricky being so cheap when you love to be crafty.  Sometimes you have to get creative with where and how you find your supplies.  Here is one of my favorite ways to get awesome yarn for 1/10th the price I'd get it if I were to buy it brand new.  I love my Savers store.  LOVE it.  Sometimes they are a bit overpriced (the other day I found six idividual Fiestaware pieces for $19.99 EACH! That's more expensive than if you were to buy them brand new!) but sometimes they have sales, and if you don't mind buying gently used merchandise, and have the time to dig a little, you can really find some treasures.

The other day I found this little gem on 1/2 price day.  It is an Old Navy brand cotton/wool blend sweater in a rosy pink color.

In case you needed help calculating, 1/2 of $2.99 is $1.495.  I paid $1.50 for this sweater.  I brought it home, took it apart at the seams, found the end of the yarn and started ripping.  Have you ever ripped out an entire sweater before?  No?  You should.  It's very therapudic.  It's a great stress reliever.  I love the little pops of each stitch coming unraveled.  The kids help me wind it on the ball winder that Nate got me for Christmas last year.  Sooo much fun.

So now, this yarn is becoming a gorgeous scarf that I discovered through my friend Melissa at our last knit night.

The pattern is called And So Are You by Rose Beck. (click the link to see pictures of what the finished product is supposed to look like)  I am in love with this pattern.  There are A. Lot. of stitches in this scarf.  It's going to take me a long time to finish it.  I have made a few mistakes.  They are strategically hidden in these photos.  I cannot come to terms with the fact that I should rip it out back to the mistakes.  So I did what most knitters I know would do.  It's in the knitting bag, and I started on something new.  :)

This project is also using recycled yarn from a sweater purchased at Savers and torn apart.  I got this one a while ago and unfortunately don't have a before picture.  Do you know what fiber is in this yarn?  Do you?  Angora.  Yesssssss.  It is like knitting with a cloud.  Sooo soft!  These pictures make the yarn look light blue, but it's actually more of an aqua.  Do you know how much this much angora yarn would cost at a yarn shop?  Me neither.  I wouldn't even look at it for fear that I might faint dead away if I looked at the price tag. 

So I am taking this dreamy yarn, and creating what I want out of it.  It's becoming a Lucia Tee by Helene Rush.  I can't wait to finish it.  I think it's going to be worn a lot.

This is a hat I made for myself to wear to hockey games.  It's nice and warm, and I'm very happy with how it turned out.  The problem with making something super cute?  You email your sister a picture of it, and then she wants one.  Love you, Kel!

So, I made another one for my sissy.  It is currently in transit to her, and I'm hoping she receives it tomorrow.  I hope she also wears it to hockey games, and it brings her son's team some good luck!  The pattern for this one is the Newsy Cabled Cap by Linda Cyr.

These are some hats that I made for my homie Trish, who looks rather delish in her brown one.  Her daughter Lauren is the recipient of the multi colored party hat.

I called in the professional for help modeling Trisha's hat before it was sent off to her.

I love knitting stuff for myself, but honestly the whole process of knitting for a specific recipient is so incredibly rewarding to me.  I think about them with every single stitch.  I wonder what they will think when they receive it.  I wish I could be there to see them open it.  Sometimes I can, sometimes I can't.  I picture Miss Lauren wearing this hat to school, or shopping with her mom, or over to a friend's house to play in the snow.  It is an awesome feeling to know that I played a part in keeping her sweet little head warm.  The pattern for these hats is To Slouch or Not To Slouch by Linda Fisher.  A great pattern!

These were a Christmas gift for my other sissy, Erin.  She is the Dean of Students at South Ridge School, so I made her some things in her school colors.  I believe she has made 3 of these scarves for others at her school since Christmas, so I think they were a hit.  I'm glad you liked them Erin.  I hope they keep you warm at football games.

So, here's a little funny story for you.  Do you remember back to THIS blog post in December when I told you that I'd made the biggest, idiotic mistake in knitting that I had ever made?  Well, that idiotic mistake happened to be on these mittens.  I can't believe I'm about to show you what I did.  But I will.

Brilliant, I know.  You are seeing that right.  Yep.  Two right handed mittens.  I was sick.  You will notice that I didn't even weave in the ends of the second one I made.  Seriously.  Who does that?!?!

So, this is what she opened on Christmas.  I gave her all three in case she loses one.  Let's just hope it isn't the left one.

 And finally, moving away from the knitting for a bit, I wanted to show you what I made for the awesome ladies in my Hockey Mom Club that meets monthly for dinner and drinks.

Who wouldn't love a Hockey Mom ornament in turquoise with black glitter, pink fur, and leopard print ribbon??

So, that's it for this time.  There are pictures of the quilt that Morgan and I made for my mom for Christmas too, but I can't find them right now.  They must be on a flash drive somewhere.  But this post has taken FAR too long.  The quilt is something pretty dang special though, so be assured I will blog about it sometime soon.

Since yesterday was Valentine's Day and I didn't post anything, I thought I'd share this one valentine photo with you.  Messages on candy hearts have certainly changed with the times, huh?  This made me LOL at my desk at work yesterday.  Which is always a good thing.

YEeeeaaaah boooi!

Hope you enjoyed your Valentine's day with your honey!