Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Milestone for Chardy

Chardy celebrated her First Communion last Sunday with her friends, family, and her godmother, Aunt Mary. It was a beautiful ceremony, and despite looking rather scruffy much of the time, Chardy cleaned up pretty well for the event, wouldn't you say?

Chardy with her Aunt Mary: (who by the way, we LOVED seeing and really did visit for Chardy's First Eucharist, not just to escape all those earthquakes in Reno!)

Afterwards, we celebrated the big day at Salty's (gotta love their buffet...). As you can see, Ginny was a big fan of the chocolate fountain...cheers!

At some point, Aaron got hold of the camera, and took an eclectic assortment of pictures.


A picture of a chair...holding a fish?

And, a self-portrait (check out the chocolate on the tip of his nose):

All in all, a good day had by all.

Honor Choir

There is perhaps nothing sweeter than the sound of a children's choir. Last Saturday, Alli, a few of her classmates, and about 100 other kids from 17 different regional schools, participated in an Honor Choir.

Alli's favorite song was a piece called "Journey". Although beautiful by itself, the story associated with it is equally beautiful. As you may know, following the Korean War, North and South Korean families and relatives were separated from each other for decades. Daughters and sons not seeing their mothers or fathers; brothers and sisters separated for lifetimes. But, in 2000, North Korea offered a brief window of visitation as a result of the "Sunshine Policy" era.

A choir invited from New York sang "Journey" at one of those reunions:

'Tis a gift to be simple; 'Tis a gift to be free
'Tis a gift to come down where you ought to be
And when we find ourselves just right
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight
When true simplicity is gained
To bow and bend we shan't be ashamed
To turn turn will be a delight
Til by turning turning we come round right
Going home, going home I am going home
Going home, going home; never more to roam
Though the road has been so long, now I'm going home
To the place I belong - I am going home.

We didn't have our regular camcorder, but still, ignore the blurry picture and take a listen.

As I said, beautiful.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Cherry Bobble Socks -- Warning: Makin' It Up As I Go...

I am making these socks up as I go using the Bobble Rib stitch from the Harmony Guides “Knit & Purl” Stitchionary.


As you can see, I have decided to use the "two socks at a time on circular needles" approach. After the last 7 week hiatus to complete a second sock due to SSS, I think it is high time to commit to a.l.w.a.y.s. knitting both at the same time. An added benefit is that you are guaranteed to have two perfectly matching socks. Otherwise, one of them always seems to end up wider/shorter/longer/narrower/etc than the other...

In case they turn out well, I’ll be writing up the pattern as I go, so I can share it! So, for anyone that wants to follow along, here's the pattern so far:

Cherry Bobble Socks

Size: Medium Ladies (7-8)

2 circular US 2 needles (I used Addi 16" and 24" so I could easily tell them apart)
Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino Yarn 420 yds/4oz hank (Cherry color)
Tapestry Needle, Scissors

No traditional gauge yet, sorry! But, 28 sts in Bobble Rib pattern should equal approx. 2.25". [Note: I hate making typical Stockinette Stitch gauge swatches, because (1) I really want to just make my socks, (2) my socks aren't in SS, and (3) I feel it is the gauge in pattern that counts the most.]

To Make Bobble (MB): (p1, k1) twice into next st. Pass the first 3 sts, one at a time, over the 4th st.

CO 56. Divide onto two circular needles (28 on each). The first needle will become your heel needle; the second holds the instep stitches.

Round 1: *(p5, k3)* repeat** til end of round.

[Note: Here's what you'll end up with on each needle. Needle 1: (p5,k3) 3 times ending with p4. Needle 2: p1, k3, (p5,k3) 3 times. 28 sts on each needle.]

Repeat Round 1 until cuff measures 1" (or until desired cuff length)

Round 2 (Begin Bobble Pattern): *(p2, MB, p2, k3)*. Repeat ** until end.

Round 3-5: *(p2, k1, p2, k3)*. Repeat ** until end.

Repeat Rounds 2-5 until leg is desired length.

Begin Heel Flap on Needle 1...

As you can see in my pic above, I'm not there yet, so the pattern can't go there yet either! Will update asap.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Searching for the Pot of Gold

A beautiful rainy day in the Northwest with the rainbow dropping right into our field. The kids felt it was their best chance to finally find the pot of gold.

Another view:


Finally, the second sock is finished!! After almost 7 weeks (and, of course, a few projects in between: booties for a friend who is expecting twins and a pair of socks for Ginny), I finished the Circle Socks! They meet all my requirements for hand-knit socks: super colorful, comfy, and I'll bet you'll never find a pair like them in any store...

For other more important news: Poor Chardy went to the orthodontist yesterday. Here is what they saw (you be the judge)...

The recommendation: remove (i.e., extract) 10 teeth from her mouth to "alleviate extreme crowding"...2 baby canines, 4 baby pre-molars, and then the adult pre-molars once they erupt. Chardy may be 8, but she's a smart cookie and cottoned on to the gist of the conversation pretty fast. Needless to say, she's not thrilled with the plan. However, she did brighten up at the prospect of a windfall of cash from the tooth fairy.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Friday, April 4, 2008

Birthday Girl

Hard to believe, but 8 very short years ago (plus 1 day), Tim and I were taking a beautiful stroll along the Columbia River enjoying the trees in bloom and waiting for Chardy to arrive. I kept insisting that things were moving along, but the hospital kept telling us to wait. They said, "If you can talk that easily, you aren't really ready to come in..."

So, we went to Olive Garden, where there was a very nice lady who sat us down, and asked (like everyone did those days), "When are you due?" And, we told her "today", because we knew (even if the hospital didn't) that Chardy was coming. She looked a bit startled, because really, who goes to Olive Garden a few hours before they are about to have a baby? But, we do love Toscana soup...and to this day, that lady still works at OG, and every time we see her, she still remembers Chardy and the day she was born...

Our family has delighted in every second of Chardy's existence...her funny quirks, her hearty laugh (that almost always makes her "toot", which makes her laugh even more), her huge crooked smile, her insightful comments on every day life, her spunk, and thousands other traits that escape me at the moment. But, you parents out there understand.

So, to celebrate Chardy's birthday, I took the day off work (Tim was out of town), kept the 3 older kids home, and we had a packed day. The morning started with crepes, of course.

And, then, it was time to open presents. There was also a gift for Aaron to open that Chardy had made, because Chardy said he always wants to open other people's presents on their birthday! (If you can't tell in the pic, she made him a large railroad crossing sign for his Thomas Train Track set.)

While she loved all her gifts, there was a special pair of presents from her Uncle Javed and her Grandma Aslam. Javed (master woodworker) made a cherry (?) doll bed from scratch and Mom sewed a mattress complete with sheets, matching pillows, and a hand-quilted blanket. A perfect place for Chardy's WebKinz to rest.

After presents, we went to Chuck-e-Cheese's for lunch (where Chardy has, by request, celebrated 3 out of the last four of her birthdays). Following lunch, we had planned to go swimming, but the pool was at capacity, so Chardy came up with a unique consolation prize: pedicures for everyone (yes, even Aaron...)

Everyone in the shop had a blast with the 3 girls and Aaron getting their nails done! (And, yes, I will be sure to delete the pictoral evidence before Aaron goes on his first date.)

After the nails, Chardy had requested mashed potatoes (just mashed potatoes) for dinner, so that's what we all had. For her "cake", she wanted the special Best Lemon Bars Ever recipe from Grandma's Bread and Water prison cookbook. Yum. My teeth still hurt, but man, those lemon bars are awesome...

Today, Chardy had her b-day party with friends at the climbing wall. She said it was her "best birthday ever", at which Alli indignantly asked, "even including France?" (as if we had gone to France just for Chardy's birthday). But Chardy replied, "Yes, because Aaron kept popping all my balloons at that party". It's kind of funny that that's her main memory from her fifth birthday.

Right now, she has two friends over for a sleepover, and then her birthday will be over (until Monday, when she gets to celebrate it again at school). But, hey, kids are so special...3 days aren't nearly enough to celebrate their existence.