Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Stockings Were Hung

My Christmas stocking was hand knit in 1978 for my first Christmas.  It was made by Mrs. Hales, a neighbor across the street.  The stockings she made for me and all of my brothers are proof that she loved children, although, now that I think about it,  maybe it was just babies she loved.  My only memories of her include scolding, and finger wagging.  One of our favorite neighborhood games was daring each other to run on her grass.  (After her death they found a box of balls in her basement, many of which belonged to the Wilkinson family across the street. )  I bear her no ill-will, however, and adore the vintage-y look and feel of her wonderful creation.

I hadn't thought much of my stocking after my mom passed it along to me.  I had purchased fancy new ones after Dean and I were married.  Then, along came Benjamin, and another sweet neighbor, Ms. Francine Wiggins, who knew of Mrs. Hales and the stockings she made, knit another beautiful sock just in time for his first Christmas.

I mentioned to my mom that Dean didn't have a hand knit stocking and that I should learn to knit, when what to my wondering eyes should appear, but another hand knit stocking with Dean's name on it.  My mom had mentioned what I had said in passing, and dear Ms. Wiggins took pity and whipped one up.  Now, when I say "whipped one up", I am using words only non-knitters use because I was one at the time.  She knit two stockings for me out of the goodness of her heart and after having knit two more on my own, I am deeply grateful.

Fortunately I had learned to knit by the time Sadie and Alan joined our family.  I called Ms. Wiggins and she gave the pattern to my mom to mail.   This post didn't make it in the blog last year because Alan's sock was only half finished.  It wasn't until Thanksgiving weekend that Dean reminded me I had a half finished sock under the bed and only a few weeks to finish it.

We're still a stocking holder short, and Alan and Sadie's socks still need their sequins, but they're done.  I only had a little trouble reading the pattern.  You're supposed to knit each half flat and then seam it together, but it was too confusing.  Another friend helped me adjust it to be able to knit in the round and, voila!!

Ben has accused me of making Sadie's the biggest.  Seeing them hung I have to agree.  Good thing all that acrylic yarn is so stretchy.  His will be able to hold just as much.  I hope my littles will appreciate their 70's inspired stockings.  I have so much red and green and white yarn left there's sure to be plenty 20 years from now when I have to knit more for the grand youngun's.

What is your favorite Chirstmas heirloom?

Friday, November 28, 2014

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I Went Walking...

Having brothers home for Thanksgiving break means our mother daughter routine is thrown off a bit. Sadie and I usually share a walk just before lunch time.  We take Bailey down to the end of the cup-de-sac and back.  It's just enough to wear out our ancient beagle and Sadie's small legs.  

Today, Alan and Ben went on the walk too. I decided to sit this one out, thinking it would be a good time for some sibling cooperation and responsibility.

The inevitable fights about who gets to hold the leash, a fall or two, tears, Alan making it home way before Ben and Sadie because "no one would race with him"...

I got half the kitchen swept before they were all back inside again tattling on each other, but also laughing and talking about the next time they take Bailey for a walk.  In my book, that's a success.

Friday, November 21, 2014


Always the life of the party, and it's not even his...

Joining Mamabyrd and others in their weekly impressions.  Feel free to add your own here or there.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Failed Photo Shoot

I was determined to get a picture of them, in their sealing outfits, in a cotton field, at sunset.  I sewed their bow ties, curled her hair, even purchased Ben's sweater vest a mere hour earlier and loaded them into the car.

The weather was perfect.  There was even one cotton field left that hadn't been harvested yet.  The light was perfect.....  The SIM card was no where to be found.

Yup, I had three beautifully dressed children with relatively good attitudes in a picturesque spot and no way to capture the moment.  All I managed was a grainy cell phone photo that can't be uploaded due to poor resolution.

Not to be defeated I piled everyone back in the car and headed back for the Sim card with promises of ice cream and video games if only they would bear with me... They tried, but the light just didn't last.  Sadie was so confused by the whole ordeal.  The following is documentation of my epic fail.

I tried salvaging the color with some computer edits, but it just looks wrong.

This last photo pretty much sums up the whole 10 minute shoot.  They kept posing and forcing their smiles and Ben kept suggesting ways to stand, bless his heart.  Sadie was just done.  There was nothing easy going and natural about it.  Better luck next time.  Next time I will plan a leisurely afternoon in October, when the cotton is high and fields are plentiful, and I will bring a real photographer.  Too bad my favorite one lives 2,000 miles away.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

"My Two"

In the last few weeks Sadie has blossomed.  Her words are more coherent, she informs us when she needs a diaper change, she has made it clear that she is capable of providing for herself by getting drinks from the fridge and raiding the snack cupboard, she is more socially outgoing, especially at church, and last night she refused to sleep in her crib and so she spent the night in the queen size guest bed all by herself, got herself up this morning and came downstairs with her "loons" (balloons) asking for breakfast.

I don't really remember Ben having such a transformation before he turned two, but Sadie has made it clear she is growing up whether we like it or not.  My favorite part of the day was when I caught her whispering, "my two, hap day" in her bad last night.  I don't know if she really understood what the words meant, but she caught on to the gift opening and blowing out the candles really fast.  

Chocolatey Zucchini Loaf Cake with chocolate ganache, straight from the pages of Better Homes and Gardens.  She loved the woodland animal theme and her "sadiebug" hat.

The only one ready for this photo was Ben.  The funniest part was I took three and this was the best there was.

Giving kisses to her "loons".  She toted them around all day...

Some favorite gifts. A new cup, perfect for little hands, and a new baby doll. (She got a Blah-Blah doll last year too, but when I visited the shop to see if they had anything new, these were being clearanced out and she wouldn't put this particular cow down, so now she has two cuddly, knitted tea party friends.)

I was worried she wouldn't want to wear the hat I finished just in time for her to open, but she exchanged it for her paper crown without a second thought.

Grandma and grandpa's gift they let her open before they left has been the favorite.  The noisy ones always are.

So, here we go.  It's been a while since we made it through a two year old. Potty training and Sunbeams are just around the corner.  We can hardly wait!

Friday, November 7, 2014


Saying goodbye never gets easier.

Joining Mamabyrd and others in their weekly Impressions.  Feel free to join us with your own.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Night at the Fair

The National Peanut Festival rolled into town last weekend.  It really is the epitome of the deep south experience.  A true carnival in every sense of the word.  Yes, there's the expected creaky rides and fried food, but the Peanut Festival offers a greased pig competition, blue ribbons for the best cotton and peanuts grown in the area, and a exhibition of "peanut handicrafts" that is truly as weird as it sounds.

Grandma and Grandpa were thrilled to be able to experience it with us this year.  My mom kept saying, "It really is just rides and food, isn't it?",  and for the most part it is.  There's the occasional Scentsy vendor,  a tractor display, and The Pointer Sisters had a concert there this year, but the lights of the midway are the reason people come from hours away to experience the Peanut Festival.

Bugged we were spending so much time in "kiddie land"

Bugged his feet couldn't reach the gas pedal so he had to ride with his brother...

"Mom!!, it's a , wait what do you call this thing with stripes again?"

We finally made it out of kiddie land.

I didn't document our food consumption, but I assure you it was gluttonous.  Corndogs, (supposedly the world's best, at least that's what it says on the side of the food truck), elephant ears, ribeye sandwiches, roasted corn on the cob, boiled peanuts, fresh squeezed lemonade, and more corn dogs, because one is never enough.

We'll definitely be back next year.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Cold Day at the Beach

It was colder than usual last weekend.  That didn't stop us from hitting the beach with grandma and grandpa.  Despite the chill we discovered there are lots of things you can do at the beach without actually getting in the water.

The wildlife was plentiful.  We even saw a pod of dolphins right off the shore.  It was AWESOME!

Building sand castles.

Did I mention it was cold?

Feeding the birds.  At one point they were flying by and eating the food right out of their hands.

They found so many shells, some of them were even inhabited.

If you look closely you can see the baby jellyfish we collected.  It doesn't have tentacles yet, so it can't sting.

Though we prefer our beach days to be warm it was good to discover the beach can be great even without the swimming.  I spent the day wrapped up in towels, but the kids didn't even want their jackets.  I guess the cold is relative when you're little and there's sand and shells under your feet.