Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day (one day early)

We'd like to wish our MOM'S a very HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! You gals are the GREATEST!

I've been thawing some frozen strawberries and today (a day early) I'm going to make myself (&Tom & kids) a great big ole Strawberry Cheese Cake! I rarely make deserts, so this will be yummy!

I haven't posted my cross-stitch progress in awhile...that's because I've put it on hold until I finish my current knitting project. Here is the last pic I took before I put it can kinda see why it's not grasping my interest ATM.

Thanks to my MOM I know how to knit! :-)

Thanks to my good friend Dana I've learned how to knit "comfort dolls." They are for a literacy project for the children in Uganda. If you know how to knit and have time to make a couple before the end of this month, please visit the Knitting For Angels website. I love this project because you can use your left over yarn from other projects. Keep in mind this is my third knitting project ever. My first two being dish cloths. Reeve & Kyle love the dolls, so I have to make them a couple next. The first one I made I didn't quite know how to go about embroidering the face...It isn't centered and I used floss instead of yarn. Then you can see how I've experimented with the face...the last one is getting better I think. The first doll was really hard to seam up...I was using a yarn needle and it wasn't sharp enough to go through the stuffing. Oh my fingers hurt pushing it through! I experimented with the second one by making it "thinner" to see if that would help, but he turned out too thin (not very comforting) and the yarn needle still had a hard time going through. The rest I used a sharper needle with thread for the seams, and that seemed (a little pun)to work better. I have a hard time measuring my time, but I think it takes me about 6 hours to make one doll. My knitting is improving and I can purl faster now, before it was a real struggle for me to get the hang of purling.

I also got to test some bamboo needles for this project. I'm still torn on which needles I like better! The bamboo ones are nice and soft, warmer to knit with, a little more grippy. I thought I'd like the more grip factor, but now I'm not sure. The metal needles are cold & noisy, but they are also smooth and a little sharper at the ends which I think is better when you have to "knit 2 together" or "purl 2 together". I have yet to experiment with circular needles. I'm still intimidated by them.
Everyone have a great MOTHER'S DAY!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Mini Bike Trip

It was a beautiful day here yesterday and we were gung-ho to get outside to do some much needed work in the garden & yard. Tom decided to tackle the garden project first and he went to start up the tiller. (We're working on building raised beds, so we don't have to till every year...they're also easier to weed). He couldn't do much until he went to town to get some gas...that's when he decided he was going to try out the flatbed trailer we got for the bike. As soon as the kids heard he was going to ride his bike they started jumping up and down wanting to ride their bikes with him. It's a 5 mile (by bike) trek to Hustler (nearest gas station). We have an alley-cat bike that will attach to a bike for Kyle to ride, BUT he INSISTED on being a "big boy" and riding his own bike. He also INSISTS on having training wheels...but they will be coming off soon.
We have to ride on the road for about 3 miles before we even get to the bike trail. Luckily we live on a very quiet rode and we only saw a couple of cars the whole trip. Both Reeve and Kyle did a super job, and Kyle only complained once. About 1.5 miles into the trip he said he wished he would have agreed to ride on the alley-cat.

Once we got to the bike trail we all had a blast.

The flatbed trailer worked great. Tom said he didn't even notice he was hauling anything. We bought the trailer in hopes of a summer biking camping trip. We plan to leave early on a Saturday and bike on the trail and just see how far we get. There are campgrounds along the way.

We could bike from our house all the way to the Mississippi River and use the bike trail most of the way. We'd only have to ride on the road from our house to the trail. For that trip Kyle will be riding the alley cat. Reeve does excellent on his bike and was biking circles around us.

When we arrived in Hustler. Tom went to get the gas (and some beer) and the kids and I went to the park.

On the way back Reeve was so far ahead he decided to get off his bike and explore the bridge. Kyle raced to catch up with him. He crashed his bike into Reeve's, knocking it over (didn't care) and ran to see what Reeve was doing.

He didn't hesitate and started to climb under the bridge.

He found Reeve and he was thrilled to explore under the bridge.

After a little break and 6 miles into the trip we were ready to hit the trail again...only 4 more miles left and one REALLY HUGE HILL.

Back on the road again...only 2 more miles left.

Kyle was a trooper, and really started to get into a rhythm.

Then we met the hill...the pic below really doesn't capture how steep this beast is. I get to about this point and I have to walk my bike up.

Kyle got a free ride in the flatbed with his bike (we were very careful).

Reeve was anxious to get home and eat some left over pizza.

Up, up, up now we're at the top section of the hill.

After we reach the crest of the hill we get a little ride downhill to our house.

The yard is torn up because our neighbors are going to plant organic feed corn on it this year. They were nice enough to have all the weed trees removed to get the land ready. Hopefully with the fields planted that will cut down the number of ticks we get.