Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Best Pictures Books of 2013 (According to Me)

This post never came together, but I still reference it often so, I'm posting it in it's current incomplete state.  The yellow ones are wordless... I think the blue were ones that I thought would work for preschool storytime. See what I mean by just didn't quite come together?  Anyway, everything on here is good.  I'll try to do better next year.  

Nov 2012-Oct 2013
  1. Sophie's Squash
  2. Flora and the Flamingo
  3. The Dark
  4. Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great
  5. Ribbit!
  6. Ball
  7. This Moose Belongs to Me
  8. Bugs in My Hair
  9. Click Clack Boo
  10. Big Snow
  11. I'll Save You Bobo
  12. Mitchell Goes Bowling
  13. Hiding Phil
  14. Battle Bunny
  15. The Hole
  16. The Boy and the Airplane
  17. Carnivores (Aaron Reynolds)
  18. Whimsy's Heavy Things
  19. A Rule is to Break
  20. Romping Monster, Stomping Monster
  21. You Get What you Get
  22. Melvin the Unluckiest Monkey
  23. How to
  24. If You Want to See a Whale
  25. Steam Train, Dream Train
  26. Snippet the Early Riser
  27. Oliver and His Alligator
  28. Herman and Rosie

Books that missed the cutoff, but I didn't do one of these lists last year and I love these books

Dragons Love Tacos
Bear Has a Story to Tell
This is Not My Hat

Amy's Add-ons:
Open Very Carefully
Perfect Square
Open This Book

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Knitting (pt. 3) and Christmas in Minnesota: A Wrap Up

Warning: This should probably be two posts, but I'm far too lazy for that.  Proceed at your own risk.

Firstly, the big tragedy:
Sunday night I was desperately trying to finish up Christmas presents.  I had everything done and ready to go except for Erica's poncho.  I was sitting in bed weaving in the first of many ends when the dog jumped up on the bed climbed onto my pillow and proceeded to start peeing.  I panicked and tried to throw the poncho to safety.  Unfortunately, the dog's front paws were caught in it... and when I ripped it out from under him he ran across my leg, the poncho and the rest of the bed... all while still peeing.  It was a great day.

I had to wash it still which meant that I needed to weave in the ends (to try to keep it from unraveling in the washer).  So, I sat down in my pee soaked pants and weaved in ends of a pee soaked poncho...

Here it is fresh out of the washing machine... with the sheets that had also been washed.

The only major damage:
But, I was out of time... So, into the box with the ball of yarn that I needed to fix the hole and a crochet hook.  Then I wrapped it up.  I had to fix it after Erica opened it on Christmas.  It came out alright.  I didn't get a photo, but you'll have to take my word for it.

This is the mitten I had done for my dad when I left for Minnesota.  Not ideal.  He actually got an empty box on Christmas, but I finished the second one and had all the ends woven in by the time we left Minnesota.  Again, no picture of the finished set.

The scarf for my mom:

Up close for detail:

Vest for Michael.  He's helping me start my Etsy store.  He'll be advertising these vests to the seminarians because this is a wardrobe staple for pastors.

Andy's sweater front and back:

And thus concludes the Christmas knitting for this year.  On to the driving, hospitalling and Schweenanigans!
It turns out when you live in a terribly flat state that any little land form is REALLY exciting.  I spent most of the trip exclaiming that there were "mountains".  Here is a "mountain" in Wisconsin.  We accidentally deleted all the good pictures of the "mountains" on the Wisconsin/Minnesota border... So, this is the only picture you get.

Here is a not so good picture of the border.  I was driving at this point.  I was also doing a lot of squeeing about hills and mountains and land forms.  Our windshield was REALLY dirty.  After the snow started it was cleaner.

This is the hospital that my mom is at.  Isn't it beautifully Gothic!?  It's a very old building and definitely is foreboding.  We stayed in a not quite as old hotel across the street. The stoplights are just for crossing between the two.  If you don't mind having to sprint you can run out and push the walk button then wait in the lobby til the light changes and dash across the road. This trick is impossible with a toddler in tow.  

My dad insisted on taking pictures of Ryan and me in front of the nativity scene out front and the poinsettia tree in the lobby.  Please appreciate the hats we stopped to buy at a Farm and Fleet on our way up.  We didn't really have any winter wear and well... windchill. 

I think there was some concern about having Christmas with little ones in a hospital/hotel, but Anderson settled right in.  The bed was comfortable and "Woody and Buzz" were available on demand. Mom was in good spirits.  There is a pretty good chance that she will get to come home next weekend which would be really nice... though she'll be coming home with her wound still open which is not so nice. 

Simeon also made himself at home, but he's a pretty easy going guy.  Also, this is the only picture I got of him in his hat.  Another design destined for the Etsy store.

The hospital has a perfect playroom (usually used for consultation and CT Scan waiting).  It had tables to crawl under (and on) and plenty of space for batting, throwing and sliding.  It was also the perfect size for all the adults to sit on the furniture around the outside edge and still be able to reach a soccer ball almost anywhere it was kicked.  We used this room to it's full potential.

I spent a lot of time in this room holding up a coat rack.

Here's a pretty adorable Grandpa/Grandson shot for you.  Andy's pretty much a mini "Bobby" as he now calls him.

We took a family Christmas picture in front of Dad's favorite Rochester attraction.  Cousins Subs lived up to it's hype.  Good sandwiches.  Jimmy John's style meat on perfect bread.

And Erica and I got matching Day-After-Christmas haircuts.  I would like to point out that with our matching hair it is pretty clear that we have very different facial features and don't actually look anything like.

All week we got to enjoy some Schweenanigans.  Here are the moments we caught on (digital) film:

Just look at that kid!

On the way home we stopped for some lunch near Madison, Wisconsin.  I turned the wrong way to get back to the interstate... So we went and looked at guns.  There were a lot of guns.  This picture doesn't do the setup justice.

Then we sprung Rem out of puppy prison and went home.  He was tired and stressed out and ready for a nap.

Don't ever do this to me again, Mom.
All in all a pretty nice holiday.  More celebrating tomorrow with the extended fam. Can't wait!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Knitting (pt. 2)

So, these are the things I made for Ryan's family. We gave them their gifts last night since I work late tonight and then we are leaving early on Christmas Eve.

Jourdan got a cable cowl... It was supposed to be dyed light blue from an exhausted indigo dye-bath... Indigo did not happen, but maybe we'll try it next spring.

The buttons were the really special bit. They are custom work from beadfreaky on Etsy. The symbols are for her sorority.

Ryan's mom also got a cowl.  This is one of those convertible jobs that you can wear anyway you want.  However, I have to say that the below configuration is probably my favorite.

Ryan's dad got some mittens with holes to stick your finger out of if you need to accomplish things that require your fingers.  This picture looked better in my phone.

And, of course, Remmy had to be involved in every...



More Christmas knitting to come... Include some dog induced drama that brought me to tears... But ended up not being the complete end if the world.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas Knitting

This is what I'm working on tonight.







But how can you be angry when the sabotager is that cute?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Some Stuff That's Happened

First Christmas gift finished and gifted. They're mittens!! For the knitterly readers her are a few "behind the scenes" shots:
The insides with all the ends woven in (I'm always curious what the inside of a knit looks like.)
And a close up of the "seam" before I trimmed off all the ends.  I think I might love the inside of the cuff...

2. The bank accepted our offer. Actually they accepted our first (lower) counteroffer.  Which means we will get the house for less than we expected. Which, of course, is good.  We have to close before the 21st if January.  I don't know the exact date just yet, but should know soon.

3. Silly work happenings:
We are in the middle of a rather large shift. (Emmy and Marie are shifting rock stars!!)  Every single picture book in the collection will eventually be moved.  It's exciting because it means we have more space for *new* picture books, but it also means that yesterday was the last day I could walk to a book I was familiar with without having to think about it.

And that's what's going on in my neck if the woods... Anything exciting happening in yours?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Why I'm Usually Not Allowed to Do the "Adult Stuff"

We are looking homelessness square in the face right now.

Our lease is up on the 15th.  (We told the apartment people that we are leaving on the 26th, we need to talk to them about that...) and we have an offer in on a house, but it's a short sale and we may not hear anything for up to six (6) months and it will take 30 days from the time they accept our offer until we close... So, we are looking at a solid 6 days of homelessness even if they call tomorrow.  Every day they don't call adds a day to our couch surfing.  Needless to say, our nerves are shot.

In the midst of all this we've had to begin moving out (boxing up all our stuff and putting it into storage, making emergency plans in case the dog doesn't work out living in our cardboard box... turning off all of our utilities).

Turning off utilities falls on a spectrum from super easy (log in to website, set date, done!) to stupid hard (contract in place, cancelling costs money, website only offers transfer, we don't have a new address... BALLS!!!!)

*Internet Company* is hard.  (We do have a contract and breaking it costs money... and we need all the money we can get to give to the bank so they will give us a house.)  Luckily their website has a nifty feature where you can chat live with a representative... (unluckily their representative is the slowest typist on earth which leaves me plenty of time to type in snarky comments... my apologies to Christian Joseph, seriously).

So, this happened:

Christian Joseph>

All you need to do is call our hot line and they will place your account on a Seasonal disconnect.


Oh, easy enough. 

Christian Joseph>

Yes. Then once you are ready, you can call that number back for the transfer.


Can we pretend like we have a summer home?

Christian Joseph>


Christian Joseph>

No problem with that one.

Christian Joseph>

Do you have any other questions for now?


Good, cuz that sounds a lot better than, "I'm sleeping on my mother-in-law's couch."

(Wish this was timestamped because there is a silly long pause here where no one is typing...)


Thanks, Christian, you've been good help.

Christian Joseph>

You're welcome!

Christian Joseph>

We'll look forward to hearing from you again.

Christian Joseph>

Goodbye for now!

I think I may have made a new friend (check out all those exclamation marks).  I always feel a little bad because I'm not sure if I come off as an ass or as slightly clever.  I suspect it is more of the former and much less of the latter.  I had another very honest conversation with an "online representative" for a cell phone company this week, as well... I think maybe we were better off when we all had to deal with our social anxieties and make phone calls...  

Saturday, April 6, 2013

New Couch

We gave our old couch to some friends today.  It was sort of refreshing to see it go.  Our living room feels ginormous now.  We first decided that the couch needed to go when we found out that there are a lot of reasonably priced places to get smaller furniture that will fit better into our living room.  But now that it's gone and our lease is up in 4 short months hauling another piece of larger furniture upstairs just to have to haul it back out again seems... ridiculous.

So, for now:
Our Couch

With our Bachelor Pad Chair

The boys seem to like it...

I guess.
I'd like to add a hammock to the set up, but I'd have to buy a stand for it and I don't know how large those are.  I need to do some research.  But this is definitely getting the job done, in the meantime.

It's working out for me and the dog, too.