... But my mother-in-law does. I am in awe of her and anyone who has the required patience and skill. I suppose one of these days I should try and learn. Until then, I will continue to thank my lucky stars that my kids get to wear snuggly handknits all winter long, no thanks to me. :)
Maybe I was inspired by all that comfortable nothingness. This year, we decided instead of taking the kids out for New Year's Eve, we would have our own celebration at home. The kids had a great time, and I think we created some wonderful memories for them. Maybe this is the start of a new tradition!
Things got started early in the morning, as The Princess helped me prepare some sugar cookie dough. Our favorite recipe is the one in Betty Crocker's Ultimate Cookie Book.
We put the dough in the fridge to chill for a few hours, and it was time to make the invitations. While The Princess worked on these, I blew up 72 balloons. More on that later.
At the appointed hour, we began the party by baking sparkling cookies. We took our chilled cookie dough and rolled it into walnut-sized balls. I set out plates of sparkling sugar, and the kids had fun rolling the dough in the sugar and putting it back on the cookie sheets.
We baked them at 375 for 10 minutes, and they turned out like this:
Next, it was time for the violin performance. Radar and The Princess teamed up to plan a concert.
After that, we played some Just Dance. and then it was time for dinner. We had tacos by candlelight (because everyone in my family will eat tacos).
And then, to ring in the New Year (at 6 p.m.), we had a balloon drop! We took the 72 balloons I had blown up earlier and put them into a sheet... which is harder than you might think.
The Bossman and I stood at the top of the stairs and the kids were at the bottom. The kids counted down and we let the balloons go! I didn't get any pictures of the balloons in flight; it was too complicated to do the balloon drop and hold the camera. I did get some shots of the aftermath though.
Yes, a great time was had by all, and I think we welcomed 2011 in great style. I hope you had a Happy New Year too!
This week, I have been spending an inordinate (and perhaps inappropriate) amount of time doing ... Nothing.
Now that it is after Christmas but before the resumption of school and all the activities, the rhythm of my days has had a nice simplicity to it. I get up, make breakfast, get the kids started on something fun, and settle into my favorite chair by the fire.
Oh yes, the chair. It's not much to look at. In fact, I am fairly certain some of my friends consider it an eyesore. It is a circa 1998 genuine swiveling, rocking La-Z-Boy recliner. It has no style whatsoever and it is worn and stained. But you know what? This chair has memories. I spent many a late night in this chair nursing my babies back to sleep, and I still spend many an afternoon snuggled in it with a child or two or three, reading stories.
So... Here I sit. I know reality will very soon interfere with all this nothingness, but I'm just going to enjoy it while it lasts.
My mother-in-law is an amazing knitter. We are blessed to always be well-stocked with winter gear, and my kids are the envy of the pre-school with their connected mittens that can't be lost. Now she is teaching The Princess to knit, and it was really fun to watch them working together yesterday.
My own mother likes to joke that talent "skips a generation", because her mother, my grandmother, was an accomplished seamstress. She doesn't give herself enough credit though, because my mother is the one who introduced me to needlepoint and cross-stitch, which was my introduction to the joy of needle and thread. Still, I do think of my grandmother when I am sewing clothes, and I know she'd be proud of me.
It's interesting how handcrafts connect us to past generations. It's lovely to see my daughter literally knitting a bond with her own grandmother as she learns this new skill. Sure, in the era of Target and Wal-Mart, maybe no one really has to learn to knit or sew anymore, but it connects us to a time when it was a necessity, and to the people for whom it was so important.
Two years old, and constantly on the move. That's my baby, my youngest, my little guy, who has openly defied me by officially leaving babyhood as of his birthday yesterday.
It is bittersweet seeing the kids get so big, but at the same time, it's exciting to see them mastering new skils and it is great fun to see glimpses of the person they will someday be. Just don't ask me to take him for his first haircut. I am entirely NOT ready for that.
We had a very special guest here for the little guy's birthday cookout - if you are a sewing blog fan like me, you just might recognize her (she's on the left and I am on the right):
That's none other than my friend Adrienne, from Some of a Kind! She and I had known each other for a couple of years before discovering that we both had sewing blogs. Neat, huh? If you haven't checked out her blog yet, you definitely need to, it's great!
And then there's always the weekend sewing. I finished up one custom order, nearly finished another, and cut out / pinned a bunch of blankets and some other projects. You know you've created a lot of UFO's when you have this:
Yes, friends, that is a nearly-empty pincushion. Time to fire up the machines!
I must apologize for my week-long absence. My dear husband was out of town on business for a week, and things were a little busy (understatement!) around here. If I may, I'd like to speak for a moment to my fellow housewives: If you think your man doesn't help out around the house much, just send him out of town for a few days. You might be surprised to find out just how much he does, when he's not there to do it.
The kids and I had fun, though. We survived the week with the help of a few key strategies. There was a lot of this to burn up youthful energy:
And some of this to save Mom's sanity:
And OK, I admit it! There may have been one or two trips through the McDonald's drive-thru.
Now we are all very happy to have Daddy back home, and perhaps we have all gained a greater appreciation for each other. I'd have to say, it's true that absence makes the heart grow fonder.