Friday, September 20, 2013

E does the blogging - 21 months

In the past few months I have turned into quite the chatter box. Mom figures I was just waiting to say things until I could really say them well. On the day Mom took my pictures I said my name for the first time. Mom and Brother were so excited and tried and tried to get me to say it again - but I wasn't interested. I've also recently learned, "prickly" "train" "airplane" "truck" "story" "pants" bike" "flower" "outside" "buckle" "go away" "please water" "sorry" "help" and a whole lot of other words too. I will even attempt to say anything Mom asks me to, like "friend" at the store yesterday.

Brother taught me a great trick of saying "hi" to everyone we see - especially at stores. Mom says we make a lot of people's day when we say hi to them. I am certainly not shy when it comes to saying "hi" as long as I do it myself. If Mom has to prompt me to say hi then I get really shy.

I love fruit! Right now we have apples, pears, and grapes in our back yard and I sample each of them nearly every day. I am just the right size to fit under the support structure for the grapes. I have surprised Mom several times by walking out from underneath the grapes when she didn't know I was under there. I can hide completely in the grapes and then I can eat as many as I want. I really love eating grapes! Every day when we got outside I ask Mom for an apple. She quickly found if she didn't give me a good apple I'd just eat the rotting ones off the ground. So now I get an apple a day - and it seems to be keeping the doctor away. I haven't had to go to the doctor since I got tubes in my ears in June.

I am very motivated to keep up with my big brother. I love to follow him around and do everything he does. If he sits down to put his shoes on I sit down so I'm in the exact same position to try to put my own shoes on. I really love shoes, too. I know which shoes match up and which person they belong to. I sometimes hand people their shoes in matching pairs when I'm ready to leave. 

Since I got tubes and moved into a bed I've been sleeping a lot better at night, though I often fall asleep just inside the door and sleep on the floor all night long. But I rarely get up in the middle of the night any more.

Climbing is my favorite game. I love to open the dishwasher and climb on the door. If the stools are down I push them around the kitchen and get into whatever has previously been out of my reach. One day I even set the timer off on the stove. It really scared me and I haven't tried that again. 

I love reading books, especially the books that just have pictures and the words to what they are. I pull one out and tell Mom everything I know in that book, then I have her tell me all the things I don't know. Then we start all over again. My favorite things to find are dogs and cats, because they also make noises which are fun to make.

Monday, July 15, 2013

E Does the Blogging - 18 months

Ok - so my update is a month late - but the picture is about right. There is just so much to do these days! Who has time for typing on the computer when there is a whole world to explore? I love exploring. I climb on everything and even when I fall it doesn't stop me from climbing or trying to climb on anything else. In the few weeks we've owned a bunk bed I've already learned how to climb up and down the ladder by myself. Mom always says I have no fear. I love water and heights and dogs and strangers...I'm not scared of anything - except being taken away from my mom and dad. A couple weeks ago (6/24/13) I got tubes in my ears. The anesthesiologist took me from my mom and dad and I was not happy. Other than that the tubes haven't bothered me much at all. The hardest part was not eating before we went to the doctor's office at 7:30 in the morning. By then I've already been up for a couple hours, you know - and a guy sure gets hungry when there's so much to explore at 6 am!

I love living in my new house. I love playing in the yard - especially the front yard. I'm not allowed to be out there by myself, but I sure try to be. I really love playing in the sprinklers. I always scrunch my shoulders when the water hits me - but I keep going back for more. I also love to play in dirt and mud. I have ruined several outfits since we moved with mud. We got a dog a couple weeks back and I sure do love Lola. She often licks me right in the face and I always shudder but go back to her for more. I love dogs! Every time I see her outside I holler "DOG!" and I start saying "woof" over and over. I have also learned to say "meow" and I always tip my head to the side when I say it.

My vocabulary has exploded over the last month or two. My favorite things to say are "uh-oh" "stuck" "Cay-ba" (Caleb) "Ouchy" "shoe on" "shoe off" "wite" (light) "bonk" "car" "no" "tanks" (thanks) "Bye! 'ove you!"

I love food. Watermelon may be my all time favorite though. The other day Mom gave Caleb a plate of watermelon and I reached over, grabbed a piece, and stuck it in my mouth - amid protests from my older brother. Mom handed me my own plate of watermelon a few seconds later and I spit out the piece of watermelon I swiped from Caleb, put it back on his plate, and went to work on my own plate of watermelon. I sure do love watermelon! I am not a fan of bread and I nearly refuse to eat tortillas. But other than that I'll eat anything. I love emptying the cupboards and getting into anything I think I might get away with if no one is looking.

Sleeping, especially at night, is not my favorite thing. Since I've been moved into a big bed I can now get out whenever I want. I often end up snuggling with Dad (Mom always takes me back to my bed - she doesn't believe in snuggling and sleeping at the same time). Sometimes I have night terrors and lately when that happens I end up running around my room or the house and screaming in the middle of the night. Usually when it happens once then it happens multiple times that night and then doesn't happen for a couple weeks. I almost always wake up about 5:30 - no matter how late I went to bed or how many times I was up in the night. I have to be that early bird! Lately though Dad just snuggles me back to sleep for an hour if he can.

I love doing anything Caleb does. If he lays on the floor - so do I. If he poses for a picture - so do I. My big brother is my best friend and we always do everything together - except he isn't fearless like I am so I am often the one to lead out in making trouble. I love carrying my blanky (Bay) around and chewing on it. Mom says that's gross - but she can't convince me!

I have been learning to sing and dance. Most of my singing is incomprehensible to everyone but me - but Mom says she can sometimes tell what song I'm trying to sing. Zip-a-dee-do-dah is one that I love to sing that's easy to hear what I'm trying to sing.

I suppose that is enough of an update for now. I have cupboards to unload, you know. "Bye! 'ove you!"

Friday, July 12, 2013

Wavy Crochet Blanket Pattern

Adapted from THIS hat pattern and THIS blanket pattern

20 week blanket size
3 colors of yarn
Color 1 = in between little stripe
Color 2 = first wavy stripe
Color 3 = second wavy stripe

Ch 52
Row 1 - color 1: sc across

Row 2 - color 2: sc across
Row 3 - color 2: sc across, ch 1, turn
Row 4 - color 2: *sc 3, hdc 2, dc 5, hdc 2* repeat * to * across (ending with sc 3), ch 1, turn 

Row 5 - color 1: sc across

Row 6 - color 3: *dc 3, hdc 2, sc 5, hdc 2* repeat * to * across(ending with dc 3) ch 1, turn
Row 7 - color 3: sc across, ch 1, turn
Row 8 - color 3:  *dc 3, hdc 2, sc 5, hdc 2* repeat * to * across(ending with dc 3) ch 1, turn this is a repeat of row 6 - all your stitches should match up with the stitches on row 6 - sc on top of sc, hdc on hdc etc.)

Row 9 - color 1: sc across

Row 10 - color 2: *sc 3, hdc 2, dc 5, hdc 2* repeat * to *  across (ending with sc 3), ch 1, turn
Row 11 - color 2: sc across, ch 1, turn
Row 12 - color 2: *sc 3, hdc 2, dc 5, hdc 2* repeat * to * across (ending with sc 3), ch 1, turn (this is a repeat of row 2 - all your stitches should match up with the stitches on row 10 - sc on top of sc, hdc on hdc etc.)

Row 13 - color 1: sc across

Repeat A and B until blanket is at desired length - I usually go until it's square for angel baby blankets. 

For your last two rows you'll want to do the last two rows of the next A or B section to make it less wavy on the top. So if the last full color you did was B then you'll do row 7 and 8 after your row 13. If the last full color you did was A then you'll do row 11 and 12 after your row 9

To make a bigger blanket start with a multiple of 12, add 3, add a ch 1 and turn.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Angel baby crochet outfits

I've been trying to find more ways to use embellishments lately. It's really fun to see how outfits can go from a cute outfit to a darling outfit with very little effort. 

These No-Sew Hats are great! I just tied on the little blue teddy bear button with a knot. I hot glued the rosebud onto the knot. 

This 16 week rosebud set is currently my favorite:

I hot glued my roses on - though I have heard of some other glues that might work as well/better. They seem to be sturdy enough for now. I've taken this outfit out a number of times and even fit it to the little 16 week size doll someone made for me and there is no danger of the roses coming off yet. I sewed the buttons on first then I didn't like the way they looked so I glued the rosebuds over them. Make sure the hot glue doesn't accidentally close your outfit off!

I've also been working to mix and match sets a little more so that everything isn't all the same color. One thing I've been playing with quite a bit is using the sewn Teeny Tears diapers with crochet sets. Someone else did these diapers - and inspired me to glue things onto the safety pins on the diapers:

One thing to be sure of is that your safety pins can still open and close with something glued on. The roses are hot glued on to one side of the safety pin so that it can still open. The buttons cover almost the whole head of the safety pin - but are nice and flat so you can still open and close them.

What other embellishing ideas do you have? I need to try this a little more - it makes the outfits have an extra measure of cuteness!

Friday, May 3, 2013

A house is a house for us!

We closed on our house today!

Back yard pictures

Perfect for our 5th anniversary - don't you think? Lots of work to do in the next two weeks till we move (and probably more after that) - but the house is ours! And today is a beautiful day.

And yesterday Sam took the day off so we could go see the tulips at Thanksgiving point - something I've been wanting to do for weeks and we had planned to go this weekend but now we're house fixing instead. But we did make it and got some fantastic pictures. What a fun (and busy and crazy) anniversary weekend we are having!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Extra Large Angel Baby Kimono

Extra Large Angel Baby Kimono Crochet pattern

Caron Simply Soft Yarn
F hook
XL crochet kimono - 26 week size
Size matches with the Teeny Tears large diapers (Crochet TT large diaper pattern)
For more angel baby info/patterns including best colors click HERE

Ch 48
Row 1: hdc 6, SH, hdc 8, SH, hdc 14, SH, hdc 8, SH, hdc 6, ch 2, turn
Row 2: hdc 2 in first stitch, hdc across, hdc 2 in last stitch - total 56
Row 3: hdc 8, SH, hdc 10, SH, hdc 16, SH, hdc 10, SH, hdc 8, ch 2, turn
Row 4: hdc 2 in first stich, hdc across, hdc 2 in last stitch - total 66
Row 5: hdc 10, SH, hdc 12, SH, hdc 18, SH, hdc 12, SH, hdc 10, ch 2, turn
Row 6: hdc 2 in first stitch, hdc across, hdc 2 in last stitch - total 76
Row 7: hdc 12, SH, hdc 14, SH, hdc 20, SH, hdc 14, SH, hdc 12, ch 2, turn
Row 8: hdc 2 in first stitch, hdc across, hdc 2 in last stitch - total 86
Row 9: hdc 14, Skip 18, hdc 22, Skip 18, hdc 14, ch 2, turn
Row 10: hdc 2 in first stitch, hdc across, hdc 2 in last stitch - total 52
Row 11: hdc across
Row 12: hdc 2 in first stitch, hdc across, hdc 2 in last stitch - total 54
Row 13-28: hdc across


XL kimono and large kimono - for size comparison

For more angel baby info/patterns including best colors click HERE

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Crazy day

Today has been a crazy day. I started off the morning with little sleep and some well meaning good morning hugs that left me with a fat lip. I was determined to make this day better. But Emmett didn't want his usual 10 am nap. After lunch we tried again and he managed to fall out the bottom of his crib. Yes - out of the bottom - not climbing over the top. Yesterday he was playing with a screw and I'm noticing now where it is supposed to go on the crib. I guess falling is a bit extreme - he was in the process of falling and stuck between the mattress and the bars of his crib. Luckily head up. The hole has been totally stripped so there's not much I can do about that just now. So I stuck a tiny screwdriver into the hole to keep him from falling out again. Emmett slept only a little while then woke Caleb up (he hasn't been sleeping well lately either) and was extremely cranky (pretty sure he's getting molars).

12:30 and the entire afternoon stretched out before us. And Sam had the car today. And he is working late and  won't be home till well after bedtime. And the paperwork that takes 2 weeks for us to get our house hadn't even been submitted by this morning. And we're supposed to move by May 1st.

I suppose it was just one of those days - despite my best efforts to turn it around.

And then I tried to get Emmett down for another nap - only he was suddenly panicked and screaming and when I went to get him he was behind the crib. The screw was missing on the other side of the crib - and he'd managed to get down there and stuck behind some boxes under his crib. So much for a decent nap for this little guy today.

And the afternoon stretched on - and on - and on....

Then I got an amazing phone call telling me that my application for Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep had been approved - weeks ago (day after I re-applied in fact) - with high marks! I should have already received an email and hard copy letter  - neither of which I have seen - but that's just a technicality! I'm so excited! Made the whole crazy day feel worth it - even if Emmett has taken his climbing to new heights.

Oh, did you think falling out of the crib would scare him enough to stop him? Oh no - he fell from the TV table since then - and is constantly attempting new heights.

But at least there was a bright point in the day! Not to mention Caleb loves watching American Idol - he calls it The Concert Movie - and last night's show was pretty impressive if I do say so myself. And we have been talking about Narnia for three days straight. I really thought the movie would be too scary for him and I was totally wrong. He LOVES it! He loves the big battle. He loves all the talking animals (He thinks Mr. Tumnus is a monkey. Then yesterday he told Sam that I told him Mr. Tumnus was a farm but, "Mommy's silly! It's a monkey." Today he pulled out a scripture picture book that has a picture of Christ on the cross and then the next picture is Christ resurrected. He opened to that page and said, "Look Mom! I learned about this! And Jesus died and then he was alive again. Just like Aslan!" Seriously - a 3 year old made that connection???? He's going to be a great missionary - and he's already praying (sometimes multiple times a day) that he can get his mission call and go on a mission.

It is a good thing there are bright spots in our days. It makes all the hard times not seem quite so hard - if even only for a moment.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Angel Baby Large Bonnet Pattern

Large Angel Baby Crochet Bonnet

20 week size
F hook
Caron Simply Soft yarn

Ch 2
Row 1: 8 hdc in first stitch
Row 2: 2 hdc in each stitch - 16
Row 3: 1 hdc, 2 hdc - repeat around - 24
Row 4: hdc around - join
Row 5: hdc across - do not join any more - instead chain 2 and turn
Row 6: hdc across
Row 7: hdc across
Row 8: hdc across
Row 9: hdc, 2 hdc, across
Row 10: Girl (or ruffled) - 1 slip stitch, 3 hdc in next stitch - repeat across

Row 10: Boy/girl - Sc across - or crab stitch across

Boy bonnet with Crab stitch edge

Bonnets and Teeny Tears diapers

Boy Bonnet set - sometimes boys need bonnets if they have heads that haven't formed correctly. I put a hat and a bonnet in this set so the parents could choose. Large Kimono, loom knit hat, large bonnet, 2 Teeny Tears small diapers, Jacob's Ladder blanket

Girl set - Bunting, 2 Teeny Tears small diapers, large bonnet, Heart blanket (no pattern yet)

For more angel baby info and crochet patterns (including best yarn types and colors) click HERE

Saturday, April 6, 2013

I am a missionary!

I am grateful for dreams. Not necessarily dreams you have when you're sleeping (I had one the other night that a friend and I were Pony Express style thieves - stealing angel baby was hilarious!) but the dreams of the future. I love talking with Sam about the things we'll someday do. I suppose there is some danger of saying "Someday I'll do ______" and then never doing it. But truth be told - we can't do everything we can dream right now.

Last night after his mission reunion we talked about going to Africa someday. I told him I plan to take an extra suitcase full of deflated soccer balls and bicycle hand pumps so I can give every little kid I see over there a ball. Do you know that having a ball is kind of a status symbol for those kids? They make their own balls out of plastic grocery sacks all wrapped together. Sam made one to show for a Primary thing. It is a very hard ball! More than anything the kids want to have a ball to play with. Sam has even kicked the idea around of an Eagle project to send balls over to Zambia, where he served. He said if the missionaries had balls to hand out to the kids they would get so many people listening to them. Not that they are finding that extremely hard - Zimbabwe was the highest baptizing mission in 2011 - over 3000 baptisms in Zimbabwe alone! Liz Lemon Swindle has a series of paintings she is doing of African children with Christ. I have this one - so far it's my favorite:

Click on the picture to read the story behind this picture - it is so sweet!

In July of 2007 Sam sent this email home:

Hello to all friends and familyWe had an interesting activity on Sunday. I don't know how many of you have heard of mother's without Borders. It is a program that runs an orphanage over here but is run by a member from Utah. Every year they bring over three separate groups of volunteers to help with different things. It is an amazing thing. This is now the third group this year and in it are two very important people. They always come to our branch so it is a bit weird to see so many white people around. Last sunday as we were greeting people there were several college age BYU girls that kind of is strange to see, but in the mix were a few older couples. Then coming along was a man in his mid thirties who had shoulder length hair and a full beard. That is not a popular picture in the church anywhere and thus I was a bit taken back. During priesthood he sat in front of me and I was unnerved. Oh well I brushed it off. This week we found out that there was going to be a district fireside by a woman named Liz Swindle. She had come over on the trip for some special reason. As we sat down and she started to speak I noticed the same long haired man sitting on the stand. As she began to speak I learned that she is a popular artist in Utah. She specializes in pictures of the Savior. She is also involved in a project with Kenneth Cope. It will come out to be about 60 pictures. The one she is working on now and the reason she is here in Zambia is to do a painting of the Savior with African children. Lo and behold the long haired man turned out to be her model for the Savior, and the one who would be painted. What an idiot I felt like. To have judged prematurely on something that I didn't know. It just goes to show that you can never see what is in a persons heart. It taught me a very important lesson. I am looking forward to see the actual painting. It should be done in December. Well love to all.Elder Robbins

I have this picture now and every time I see it I am reminded of not judging people - and that someday I want to go to Zambia and meet children like these boys - and take balls to them. It is a someday dream. There is no way I could afford it right now - and maybe not for years. But it is a dream I keep in my heart for someday.

The main someday dream I have is to serve a mission. I grew up certain I would serve a mission. I grew nearly angry when people would tell me I didn't have to go - because I always wanted to go. With 4 brothers younger than me our FHE lessons would often include, "When the boys go on their missions..." and I would always add that I was going too. I didn't like hearing that I didn't need to serve a mission. I would do it! When I received my Patriarchal blessing the Patriarch said I could even serve a full time mission - and he sounded shocked. I kind of laughed thinking I would definitely serve a mission! The year I turned 19 I was so lonely - so many of my best friends were out on missions and I still had 2 full years to wait! It was a hard summer. And I kept preparing.

And then Sam came home from his mission and suddenly I realized there was a different mission in mind me for me. Despite my desires to serve a full-time mission there was something else in the works for my life. It wasn't easy to change my desires. When Sam asked me to marry him I nearly cried when I told him that if we got married I wouldn't be able to serve a mission right now. Then I told him, "If I marry you now you HAVE to promise to take me on a mission someday." He looked a little bit stunned (I had already said yes to the proposal though - this was the next day) and said, "of course!" I think he suddenly realized how set my heart had been on serving a mission. But it was a turning point for me. It wasn't that I wasn't getting to serve a mission - it was serving a different kind of mission. My new mission was a family.

And what an amazing mission these last (nearly) 5 years have been!

There have been trials. There have been ups. There have been downs. There have been chances to restore my testimony. There have been times I wonder if my testimony exists at all. It is a life long mission. I have the opportunity to share the gospel with those around me. I am not knocking on doors finding people to convert. But there are some people in my home who don't understand much about the gospel two boys. I'm sure they came down with some of that heavenly knowledge - but by now they don't remember all of it. They don't know how things work in the church. They don't know how to form their own testimonies. There is so much they don't know.

And I am the missionary sent to teach them. I have a fantastic missionary companion who also helps me teach great lessons. We get to teach about eternal families. We get to teach about being kind. We get to teach stories from the scriptures. We are missionaries! I never imagined some of the lessons we would teach....recently there was a lesson about getting married in the temple that included that you couldn't marry your brother. We don't wear name badges - but we are called by special names, "Mom" and "Dad" and we are missionaries!

I can't describe how my heart sings when my 3 year old prays at every blessing on the food "Bless that we all get mission calls and go on missions." Oh yes, I laugh a little too because he has at least 15 years to wait on that one and I'll have years more than that - but what a great someday dream! I have been thinking recently how my grandma would have especially loved my 3 year old - with his random chatter and matter-of-fact conversations and his dreams of serving a mission. He talks about serving a mission like he talks about his next birthday. He wears a Future Missionary tag to church every Sunday - and he does so very proudly. Grandma would have loved all of these things about him! Every time I see Senior Couples who are serving/have served a mission I think of my grandma. She loved missionary work with all her heart! She served 7 missions in her lifetime - not including her life's mission and family.

The mission reunion last night reminded me of my someday dream of serving a full-time mission. Oh and wouldn't it be great to be in Zambia on a mission!?! Not to mention hundreds of wonderful other places around the world. Someday I will serve a full-time mission! And for now - I will serve a full-time family mission. I spend all my time teaching the gospel to my two boys. My example is the best way I teach them. I am a missionary! I look forward to that day when I can be called on a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I anticipate reading that letter that says "Dear Elder and Sister Robbins you are here-by called to serve as missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints..." It is going to be an amazing day! I also anticipate the days I will be hearing my boys read their mission calls aloud. We are a missionary oriented family. I saw a quote once that said "In this family we do missions!" I need to find/make something with that quote to hang in my home. Because we do missions! This is a family mission and our goal is to have each member of our family ready to return to our Heavenly Father so we can all sit around the dinner table in heaven with no empty seats. It is a lofty goal, indeed. But it is our someday dream. And that's why I am a missionary now - I am a missionary to my family. What a wonderful mission!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Basket Weave Crochet Blanket

Pattern adapted from THIS pattern

This pattern has been sized down for angel baby use - but if you double the numbers (14 instead of 7) you'll get a bigger pattern. Multiply it more times and you can get even bigger if you want.

This pattern is worked in rows - but for sizing I think of it like it is worked in squares. For an 18 week size blanket I did 6 X 6 squares. For a 20 week size I did 7 X 7.

You will have A blocks (sc only) and B blocks (fpdc & sc)
You will have sections of rows - I and II

Clear enough?
18 week size: ch 45 (7 stitches X 6 squares + 1 sc on each edge + 1 for turning)
20 week size: ch 52 (7 stitches X 7 squares + 1 sc on each edge + 1 for turning)

I will work the 20 week size pattern - for the 18 week size just leave off the last section of each row.
FPDC = Front Post Double Crochet (You can find how to do it on youtube)

Row 1: sc across - 51 - ch 1 - turn
Row 2: sc across - 51 - ch 1 - turn
Row 3: sc 1, A: sc 7 (total of sc 8), B - FPDC around the front post of the sc two rows below, sc next stitch, FPDC, sc next stitch, FPDC, sc, FPDC (total of 7 stitches, 4 fpdc & 3 sc); Repeat A (7 sc); Repeat B, Repeat A, Repeat B, Repeat A, sc 1 (make sure to end on a sc!) ch 1 turn

Row 4: sc across

Row 5: Repeat row 3 (instead of FPDC around a sc below, FPDC around the FPDC below)

Row 6: Repeat row 4

Odd rows - repeat row 3
Even rows - repeat row 4

Up to through row 9 (include the first two rows of sc in your counting) - If you added stitches to the length of each of your blocks you will need to add extra rows to make each block a square shape when it's done. Just keep repeating the pattern until you have a square for each of your blocks. End on an odd row.

This is a good place to switch colors - but it is beautiful in one color as well.

To make your blocks wide enough I just fold the corner of the first section down to make sure it's a square or really closet to it.

Row 10: sc across

Row 11: sc 1, B: FPDC around the front post of the sc two rows below, sc, FPDC, sc, FPDC, sc, FPDC; (Total of 7 stitches, not including first sc - should take up EXACT same space the sc A block did on the row before)  A - sc 7; (this section should take up the exact same amount of space as the FPDC block B did in the color before) Repeat A; Repeat B; Repeat A; Repeat B; sc 1 - ch 1 turn

Row 12: Repeat row 10
Row 13: Repeat row 11 (instead of FPDC around a sc below FPDC around the FPDC below)
Even rows: repeat row 12
Odd rows - repeat row 13

Up through row 17.

Close up of the basket weave texture

Switch colors
Repeat I
Switch colors
Repeat II
switch colors
Until blanket is the right length. I do 6 sections (I - II - I - II  - I - II) for 18 week size and 7 for 20 week size (I - II - I - II  - I - II - I)

Edge with a row of sc or two and whatever edge you want. I like the crab stitch.

All white blanket

For more angel baby info and crochet patterns (including best yarn types and colors) click HERE

Sunday, March 31, 2013

March comes in like a lamb and leaves like a lion

My goodness I haven't updated lately.

I bet you think it's because we are so busy living full lives of craziness.

Not really true. Truth be told - it's more of 'we haven't done anything interesting in weeks'.

But we have had some interesting things pop up lately.

Last week Sam's bike got stolen from behind our apartment. When he talked to the police they said, 'Oh we know that area - that's the neighborhood place to go to get high.'

We still haven't seen a trace of his bike. I think that bike is cursed. In 6 months it had been both totaled and stolen.

And now I'm kind of freaked out to live here.
And to walk out back after dark.

Every time I turn around it seems as if everything is saying "Move!" and I can't wait to leave this apartment.

Not to mention the used needles we found in the street out front the other day. MOVE!
And the mom who yelled at her kids all the way down the block then finally came and got them (I think they were about 4 and 2) and hollered at them right in front of me and my boys, "I swear to ____ I'm gonna break your legs."

I wanted to cry for the little boy. Especially because it was a beautiful day and who wouldn't want to be outside?

And then Emmett got into the new neighbor's container of cigarette buts and so we came inside because even sidewalk chalk isn't enough to make me fight so much of the world for a few minutes of fun with my boys. MOVE!

We watched American Idol on the computer instead. Caleb loves it. He calls it American Idaho or The Concert Movie. Have I mentioned this kid loves music? You really should hear him singing Zip-a-dee-do-dah. He sounds like he just loves life and it always makes me smile inside and out.

The ants remembered that Emmett loves throwing his food. And they are taking over my kitchen. And I'm pretty sure they are living in the carpet. And I don't like ants much. MOVE!

Every time the neighbor goes out for a smoke we can smell it coming through our doors and windows and it gives me headaches almost every day. MOVE!

And so life feels a little depressing right now. (And yes - these are just the things that have happened in the past 10 days - though none of them completely surprise me - we're used to that in this neighborhood)

But there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

We are buying a house! All the paperwork is still going through but we are buying a house! So far nothings coming up (meth test, inspections, etc) to make it non-livable. Some work has to be done - mostly painting and carpet and adding a bathroom (they took EVERYTHING out of the bathroom; sink, counter, light fixtures, shower head - all that's left is the jetted tub which is missing the pump to make it work.) But it is going to be great!

It's on more than half an acre and in a really quiet neighborhood. The house is nearly 3 times the size of this apartment. It's at least double the size of our apartment just upstairs. We are hoping to get the basement turned into a basement apartment and we will still have so much more space even just living upstairs. It is definitely a bright spot on the horizon!

But for now we are waiting for paperwork to go through. And it's frustrating. We want to be out of here so badly but there's not much we can do just now. Hopefully in a few weeks. The other day we were out at the house talking to electricians and plumbers (Ok - Sam was talking to them - I was out back letting the boys play in the yard and watching the birds; robins, black capped chickadees, finches, steller jays) and I just wanted to weed the yard. Crazy right? Someone obviously loved this yard a lot. There are so many flower beds that I'm pretty sure we'll need to move the flowers and fill some of them in because there is NO way I can keep up with THAT many flowers. I am excited to see what is under the yard. As I was wishing I could weed everything and let the crocuses have a little more space I felt like the girl from Secret Garden. When we got home I ordered it from Amazon for less than $2. I can't wait till it comes! Sam doesn't know the story. And we are going to live that! I can't believe how many flowers are coming up in that yard. So far I've seen crocuses, snow drops, iris, tulips, daffodils and some tiny blue flowers. There are a bunch of grapes too.

I am finding it so hard to take to heart those lessons of 'don't wait to be happy' that you always hear in Conference. It feels like no matter how hard I try I cannot be truly happy until we get moved.

But then my boys do something darling/sweet/funny and I remember that I am happy now because I have them. Emmett is always looking for his shoes (even when they're on his feet) and Caleb's almost always singing something or saying funny things. And Sam keeps us all together and takes us out for drives when our adventures during the day fail so miserably.

Life is good - and we are excited for moving on. The ward I will miss - but that is the only tie I love about this place. Luckily we will still be close and luckily we have facebook for friends.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Loom Knit Hats

Something new and exciting for the angel baby crafter crowd:

knitting looms small enough to make hats for angel babies!

Why we like the looms:
Knit is a LOT stretchier than crochet - making it easier to get the hats on delicate little heads.

The pegs on these sock looms are close enough together AND they're adjustable so you can make hats to fit nearly any size! (30 pegs for a 20 week size hat)

These flower looms are the exact right sizes for our crochet outfits

These are a lot easier for some people to use, especially kids.

Things we don't like about the looms:
The flower looms are a little bit finicky. I LOVE the small and medium size, but the big size is mostly a pain. My hands are too small to really hold it in one hand - but it's not really big enough to rest on anything while I'm holding it. These don't have grooves for the hook so you just have to finagle it till you get it to work for you. I only loop around 4-6 pegs at a time and use one thumb to hold it on while I work on the rest. There aren't flat pieces on the pegs to keep the yarn on. But the tiny one is the right size for a 15-16 week size outfit - something we haven't been easily finding.

Personally I'm not a huge fan of the adjustable sock looms. But I know some others really like them.

These knit hats take me a lot longer than crocheting a hat. More than double the time for the big one.

All in all - we're finding the looms to be a great way to get some tiny hats that are really stretchy. There are pros and cons to each kind - but they are working really well!

Large (20 week size) hat: about 4 inches of knitting
Medium  size hat: about 3 inches of knitting
Small size hat: about 2 inches of knitting.

Small size fits on my thumb

Caron Simply Soft yarn works well on these types of looms. It isn't the best though - smaller baby Sport Weight yarns work better - but to match an outfit - you can definitely use the Simply Soft yarn. Also there are sock yarns that are a lot thinner and I've heard those work really well too.

You can make a brimmed hat - but you will lose lots of the stretch. On a large brimmed knit hat I found it stretched almost the exact same amount as the crochet large hat. So that is definitely an option.

For the medium and small hats I recommend not doing a brim and just letting the edge roll up (it will kind of happen anyway) because the smaller ones need the stretch so much more.

These two hats are made from the same yarn. The brimmed one stretches 1/2" less than the one with a rolled up edge. Not a big problem for the bigger hats - but the extra stretch is so helpful on the tiny ones.

I compared a knit hat with a brim and a crochet hat (both large sized) and found that they stretched nearly the same. So for me it's a lot easier to crochet the bigger hats and knit with the loom for the smaller hats.

Christine at Sew Much to Share, Davis County has a lot more info about different looms and yarn types. She's also got lots of knitting experience (this post is everything I know about knitting) and she has lots of other patterns and angel baby info on her blog.