Friday, December 19, 2008

It's beginning to look alot like...

Christmas!!! And what an exciting Christmas season this has been. It's so much fun to have the little ones. Even though they still are too young to understand what the season is all about, it's fun to watch them looking at the lights. And it's fun to anticipate Christmas Day when we get to watch them opening their presents and playing with their new toys.
Zak and I are so greatful to have Ryder with us as well and to know that he is safe and happy and well adjusted.
We go back to court on January 30th and at that time, legal custody will be transferred to Zak. It is hard to know that his mother has to lose her parental rights, but unfortunately, that is what it has all come down to in order for Ryder to be in a safe, secure and loving environment. Without going into alot of detail, let it suffice to say that she is overwhelmed by her drug addictions, and all the love and help and treatment in the world has not been enough to save her, or pull her from the depths of her addictions.

Thanksgiving was busy this year as well. My family came from Illinois, so we had a houseful. Also, Lyllie's birthday was on Thanksgiving this year. It's hard to believe that she is a year old already...time has flown by too fast!!
Here are some Thanksgiving/birthday pics...

Our Birthday Princess

Ryder all dressed up for the big day!!

Ryder's Christmas Tree!

In other news...we have a new member in our family...
we got a sweet little baby lovebird who came home yesterday...

His name is "Baby" for now. I haven't come up with a name that I like, and neither has anyone else in my family come up with a name that I like, so I have been calling him Baby...guess that's because I like it...LOL!! He is just soooooo sweet. He is 6 weeks old, and is still being handfed twice a day. So that means that every morning and every evening, I mix him this special baby bird formula and feed him from a syringe. He is also starting to eat seeds and pellets quite well, so by next week he will probably be finished handfeeding.
Ryder likes to look at him, but he doesn't want to touch him or hold him. He's not quite sure what to think of him.
Roxy is very curious and interested in him, and she doesn't seem to mind sharing her mama as long as I make sure she knows that she is still the MAIN baby of the house and the light of my life.
I used to raise cockatiels, and handfeed them. I also had an African Gray parrot for about 4 years. However, when he started reaching maturity, he became aggressive, and I was unable to even open his cage door to feed him and clean out his cage. I ended up selling him back to the breeder, and he is now with a couple who had several other birds as well.
Anyway, now that I no longer have the cats (they went to a friend's house after we got Ryder), I have been rebitten by the bird bug. I always knew I would have at least one bird again someday. I just don't plan on breeding them again.
Here are a few more pics of the new "Baby"...

smiling for the camera...

snuggled up to his birdy blankie...yes, they actually make birdy blankies, and Baby loves his!!

Put the camera away now, mama...I go night-night!!

I hope everybody who reads this is having a joyful Christmas season so far.
And to those who have lost loved ones this past year, let your cherished memories carry you through this holiday season, and know that they are celebrating this Christmas in the presence of our Heavenly Father. We feel the loss of our PawPaw as this is our first holiday season without him, but we know he is close in our hearts and is sending us his love from heaven.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A Puky Day

So...yesterday Ryder woke up and was very fussy. Let me just say, he always wakes up I couldn't figure out what was wrong with him. Zak put him in his high chair and we gave him some cheerios and tried to feed him some yogurt...his usual morning fare...he wouldn't eat. just got mad and wiped the cheerios off his tray and onto the floor...Roxy was having a hayday!! She likes cheerios too. I decided that Ryder needed to go back to bed, so I fixed him a bottle and wrapped him up in a blanket...he likes to be swaddled up still in a blanket. I think it's a security issue for him. We sat down to rock and he drifted peacefully off to sleep...ahhhh--there is just nothing like a baby sleeping peacefully in your arms.
Well the sleep lasted for all of 3 minutes when suddenly Ryder's eyes opened wide, and the next thing I knew, he and i were covered in what seemed like gallons of puke!!!! I haven't been puked on like that since Zak and Aimee were little! and in the midst of all his morning fussiness, it never occured to me that he could be sick with the flu...sigh...the puking continued throughout the morning and into the afternoon...poor baby. and Zak had to work, so guess who was doing bucket loads of laundry and dealing with a sick little boy. It subsided by midafternoon, and gramma and Ryder just spent the day rocking and cuddling. He started drinking pedialyte last evening, and today has been eating ravenously! Thank God it was a short lived bug, and I hope that it doesn't hit again for a good long while!
he is sleeping now in his new bedroom. Zak got his room painted over the past couple of days--a pretty blue. We are going to decorate his room in Elmo because he just loves Elmo! He is getting Elmo live for Christmas. Every time we walk past Elmo live in the stores, he points and laughs and waits for us to push Elmo's foot. He just loves that thing!! I'll get some pics when we have his room all done and post them. We just wanted him to have a really happy room. He was living in a horrible dark dump of an apartment before, and we want everything here to be bright and happy for him!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

NO...I haven't fallen off the planet

I know it's been a very long time since I have blogged. I am going to try to get back to keeping up better here. It's been a very long, hard, chaotic summer. Very much a roller coaster ride.
To start--we all miss our PawPaw very much. I know he is in a better place now, and he is no longer in pain, and he is our angel watching over us all...but that doesn't fill the void his absence creates here. The void is only a physical one though...His spirit stays very close to all of us in our hearts.
After returning home from Illinois, because of some really horrible circumstances with Ryder's mom, he was placed in my son's custody. So...Ryder, Zak and I were all living in my one bedroom apartment. It was definitely a tad bit crowded. At least my apartment was fairly nice sized for one bedroom. Well, as the summer went on, it became more and more obvious that Ryder would be staying with Zak permanently, so after alot of contemplating and planning, Zak and I decided to find a 3 bedroom home for all of us rather than Zak and Ryder moving into a place of their own. We felt that by living together it would give Ryder more stability and security, which he really needs. So, we moved into our new home at the end of September!! It's quite nice and we have been working hard painting and fixing up to make it ours.
Lyllie is also doing very well. I can't believe she will be a year old already on Thanksgiving day!!! Where has the time gone? Speaking of which...our new house is 5 minutes away from my daughter's house, so I get to spend alot more time with her and Lyllie as well. Before the move, we were 15 miles aprt, but getting there in Minneapolis traffic could take anywhere from 40 minutes to over an hour. I love being this close to all of my babies--big ones and little ones!!

I will leave you all with these updated pics and a video...

Our Little Lion...Ryder in his Halloween Costume

Lyllie...Our Little Diva Girl!!

That was a good Ice Cream Cone!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

thank you PawPaw...

Just a quick note to tell everyone that PawPaw passed away this morning at 9:40 AM. He was still here at home with all of us, and he got a send off filled with all of our love. It brings us all great peace to know that we fulfilled his final wish of remaining at home until the end. He held on much longer than we thought he would, and we know it's because he didn't want to leave us. He was a part of our lives for 18 years, but gave us a lifetime of love and wonderful memories. It still doesn't seem long enough, and I wish we could have had him longer so he could watch the great- grandbabies grow up as he did the grandbabies, but I am grateful for the time that we had him. i just wish he didn't have to go so soon. he left peacefully though, and we still feel his love all around us...but his chair looks so empty.
Thank you all for your care and support during this time.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Saying "HI!" and looking for hugs...

Hi friends...I'm in Illinois with my mom, stepdad and my brother's family right now. My stepdad is in the end stage of terminal cancer, and very close to starting the next part of his journey. We have hospice care for him now, and he is getting morphine and ativan every two hours. He has been more than a "stepfather" to me...he has been my daddy and PawPaw to my kids for the past 18 years, so it is very hard to watch him leaving us, and very hard to watch my mom go through this, as my grandma, her mom, just passed away less than two years ago. Even though I know he is not really leaving us, but continuing on in the next part of his soul's journey, it is still very hard. I hope I am keeping him comfortable. It brings us peace to know that he is at home with us, and not in a nursing home or hospital. When he takes his final breath, he will be surrounded by his family and those who love him.
Today my sister-in-law and I went to make all the funeral arrangements and cemetary arrangements so my mom wouldn't have to do that again. When my grandma passed away none of my mom's brother's (there are 5 of them) would help with arrangements, expenses, etc... so it was me and my mom and stepdad that did that, and now my mom doesn't have her husband by her side for support, so we went today so she wouldn't have to.
My kids and grandbabies weren't able to make the trip down with me...they were not able to get LOA's at work as I have been able to, so hopefully they will be able to join us for PawPaw's funeral. My hospital is very family oriented and very understanding in giving me the time off to be with my family right now. My mom really needs me right now, so I am glad that I could be here with her, but am very lonely for home and my kids and grandbabies.
I just wanted to come here and leave a note of what is going on, as this is my home on the web, and I feel a little less homesick, and a little less lonely being able to come here and share life, joy and sorrow with my friends. Thank you all for being a part of my journey here on earth, and sharing my pain and heartache.

A tribute to PawPaw with his great grandbabies...

PawPaw and Ryder

PawPaw and Lyllie

My niece Rylie and Ryder sitting with PawPaw...
he loves his grandbabies and great-grandbabies!! We know he will be our angel in heaven watching out over all his babies!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

My Mother's Day present

I got my Mother's Day present today, and even though it was a little bit late, it was well worth the wait. My wonderful children went in together and got me this beautiful Mother's Ring!!! It is white gold, and the stones are as follows...on the top is Aimee-amethyst, right is Zak-emerald, bottom is Ryder-smoky quartz, and left is Lyllie-citrine, and the middle is mine-pink tourmaline. Mine in the middle is kind of a place holder in case there are anymore babies, so we have a spot to put another stone. But I like the idea of keeping my stone in the middle surrounded by all of my babies!! I guess if there are going to be any more babies, they will need to born in one of the months already on my ring--LOL!! I was so moved that my children went in on this together for me. They know how very much I love all of them and what it means to me to be surrounded by my children and grandchildren, and the way the ring is designed symbolizes that to me. I feel that my family circle is complete!
This ring will never leave my finger, and I will treasure it and cherish it forever!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Christening Gown Update

I just wanted to give an update on Lyllie's Christening Gown...I now have the sleeves and neckline done. I'm very pleased with how it is turning out. We will have to get professional pics done for sure!! I can't help but wonder about the babies in future generations who will wear this gown. :) I have 7 inches to go on the skirt, and then the skirt edging. I will put beads into the edging also. The skirt will be 30 inches long which is heirloom length, and what Aimee wanted. Then I want to crochet little pink roses. One to go on the front above the skirt, and then I want to do little rosebuds all around the skirt.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Gramma has a new set of wheels!!!!

Yep--I do!!!!! Got me a new set of wheels!!! And ain't they fancy!?
I have decided that I am NOT going to pay $4.00/gallon for gas this summer, and it looks like that is where we are headed. So I did some is only 6.5 miles to work from my house, so I am going to bike to work this summer, and start biking alot of other places that I would normally drive to. The car will be parked in the garage except for when I have to do a large grocery shopping trip, or go out of town.

Now, 6.5 miles doesn't seem bad as far as the drive to work goes, but it's all the other running around too that really adds up quick and runs out the gas tank. So this is not only about biking to work, but about making a CONSCIOUS effort to not drive this summer and fall. I will even probably bike up until the first snowfall in the winter.
Way back in my younger years, I biked everywhere...including 10 miles to work everyday. Then up until a few years ago, I did biking for pleasure--around the lakes in Minneapolis, but just gradually kind of got away from it. So it's not like I'm getting on a bike for the first time in 20 years. I think I'm still young enough to build up the stamina for it again and the exercise will sure do me alot of good. Then I won't feel so guilty about all the time I sit knitting a crocheting:)
So--I got the bike yesterday. It is a nice bike but got a good deal. The seat in the picture is no longer on the bike however...I went to day to get a more comfortable and padded seat. The seat that the bike came with was hard on the tush!!:) The bike has front and rear shocks, and overall, it is a very comfortable ride. I just rode 5 miles today in 49 minutes...not too bad for an old gramma lady!:)
as for my crocheting...I have 21 inches done on the skirt of Lyllie's Christening gown. Today I am going to work on the sleeves. I want to get them done before the skirt gets any longer just for the ease of maneuvering the gown while working on the sleeves. Will post new updated pics of the gown soon!!!

Monday, May 5, 2008

I am posting a couple pics of Lyllie's Christening gown that I am crocheting. Just wanted to show the work I have done so far. I have a ways to go on the skirt yet, and the sleeves and neckline to do but it is working up fast, and I am happy with how it is turning out. It is actually a combination of three different patterns from Crochet Garden.

The top and lace overlay are from the "Princess of Twilight" dress pattern;
the skirt is from the "Seaside Fairy Sundress" pattern
and the sleeves will be from the "Fairytale Moments Keepsake dress" pattern

I will also make the headband from the Fairytale Moments set as it will be too warm for a hat I think, and the headband will be perfect to top off the set.

The stitches all seem to flow together nicely even though it is a combination of three different patterns and I am loving how it is turning out. I also am going to crochet little peach rosebuds to sew on the bodice and then it will have a peach ribbon around the bodice.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Lyllie in her sundress

Just wanted to post a few pics of Lyllie in her sundress!! My problem is that they are all so cute, I couldn't decide which ones to post. I won't bore you all with all 25 of them are four pics. Is she just not too cute!!! In the top pic it looks tight on her, but it really isn't-it's just the way Aimee was holding her.

Monday, April 28, 2008

A New Sundress for Lyllie

I just put the finishing touches on this little sundress for Lyllie tonight. It is the Little Maiden Sundress from Crochet Garden. I did it in Bernat Softee Baby. I've decided that my projects for the grandbabies are now going to all be done in acrylic except for very special occassion items.
The cable sweater that I made for Ryder that was done in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK has only been washed one time, and it is pilling really bad. I thought a higher quality yarn, aka more expensive yarn, wouldn't do that.

Anyway--I love how the dress turned out!! I especially love my little flowers on it. I made them with DMC Pearl Cotton. I will be making a hat to go with it as well as a little headband.
As far as the Christening Gown...I had a really good start on it--had the bodice done, and about 10 inches done on the skirt. I was making it in a 6 - 9 month size. Lyllie was still wearing 3 month size clothes about three weeks ago, and then she suddenly had a growth spurt...darn those babies anyway--they just don't stay little, do they!? Anyway--there is no way that gown will fit her in a month or two, so have to restart her gown, and am now looking at a couple other patterns in thread crochet, as I'm worried that yarn will be too hot, even if it is lightweight. So--we'll have to see what I decide about her gown. I'm waiting on a pattern that I ordered to get a better look at one that I am thinking of. Will let you all know what I decide. For now, I'm going to make the hat and headband to go with her little dress.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Face to Face with an Angel...

Some people only get to dream of angels...I have been blessed to meet one face to face...

This is Gary, and he is my real life angel...

I took Ryder down to his Great-Great Aunt Mary and Great-Great Uncle Ken's this weekend. Ryder stayed with them earlier this year for a few weeks, and they were missing him and wanted to spend time with him, so we went for the weekend. I got some work done on Lyllie's Christening Gown while they played with Ryder.
But for me the highlight of my weekend was meeting their son, Gary. Gary began having grand mal seizures when he was around 9 months old, and Ken and Mary were told it was "normal epilepsy" that Gary would outgrow by the age of 12. Well, it wasn't normal epilepsy. He was diagnosed with a syndrome. I don't remember the name of it though. And Gary hit a point as a young child where he lost all of his skills and regressed to about the level of a 9 month old baby. But that is only on the outside...
on the inside, Gary is a very wise angel. When he looks at you, he doesn't see the outside person...I could just feel it when he looked at me...he saw into the very depths of my soul, and when I look into Gary's eyes, I know I am in the presence of an angel. Gary personifies everything that is pure and good and beautiful not only in this world, but also the beauty of heaven. I have been so very blessed to get to meet him and spend time with him this weekend. He is unable to form words with his mouth, but he speaks volumes with his heart!! When one walks into his room, you can't help but to be filled with peace and quietness in your heart. All the pressures of the world just seem to fall away.
Mary and I believe that Gary and Ryder are "kindred souls". Ryder is mezmerized with Gary. I laid Ryder up on Gary's chest, and they just stared into each others eyes. Ryder was very still and very quiet, and he is NEVER still and quiet anymore, except for when he is sleeping. there was a definite feeling of communication between the two of them.
And whenever Ryder was near Gary's room, he just stare intently into the room and look at
Gary. When Gary was out with all of us in the living room, Ryder would watch him intently, and when Ryder would make noise, Gary would lift his head and look around for him. It's hard to put into words--but there is a soul connection between the two of them.
Thank you Ken and Mary for sharing your beautiful boy with me...
and Thank you so much, Gary, for the peace and love you've brought into my heart this weekend!! I Love You Soooooooo Very Much!!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Starting a New Project

I am getting ready to start a new is a Christening Gown for Lyllie. Aimee wants to have her Christening later this I have got to get busy. We looked at knitting patterns, and didn't find anything that I wanted to take on--I mean some of those gowns start with a cast on of over 500 stitches. Poor Lyllie would be 12 years old before I would get that finished!! LOL!!
Then I found this pattern...the dress is called Angel Song from Crochet Garden...and I fell in love with it. I am going to make the skirt longer so that it will be a gown. I am really excited about crocheting this even though I consider myself a knitter...I guess now I am going to be both a knitter and a crocheter...hope my knitting friends will still love me!!! LOL!!
Right now I am waiting for my crochet hook to "bake". I did the Sculpey Clay handle so my hand and wrist won't get sore, so that is in the oven for about another 15 minutes, then I have to wait for it to cool--sigh!!
I am really loving these patterns at Crochet Garden. I am also going to do this
Little Maiden Sundress as well this summer.
I have an afghan pattern as well from there to do for Ryder for his next "special blankie"called Afghan of the Sandman. And hopefully the designer, Lisa, will maybe put out some boy patterns too. Maybe a little short set or something. I do have some sweaters in the back of my mind for Ryder for next fall. I don't want him to feel left out!! But gosh--those little girl patterns are cute, and inspire me to crochet them!!
I will post pics of the Christening Gown as I progress on it!!
I just took Roxy on a long walk...our first long walk of the season, so she should be ready for a good long nap, and I can get lots done on the gown this afternoon :o)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Lyllie's Poncho Set

Just wanted to share some pics of Lyllie's poncho and hat set that I made. It is crocheted...gasp!!! yes--I said crocheted!! I hope my knitting needles don't find out I've been cheating on them. Sometimes I just like to meander off the knitting path--but not for long. I do enjoy crocheting at times, but not as much as I do knitting.

It's pretty, gramma, but how does it taste?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

My Crochet Hooks

I'm just posting a couple pics here for friends and family who have asked me about my crochet hooks. My right wrist and hand used to get very sore crocheting, and I have tried various ergonomic hooks, but they weren't comfortable, didn't feel right, and I just didn't enjoy using them...they alsodid not seem to help much with the pain and numbness I would get in my hand and fingers. So.... I made my own handles out of Sculpey Polymer Clay that you bake in the oven.
I squish the clay to get it warmed up and softened, then wrap around a metal crochet hook. Then I hold it the way that I do when I'm crocheting, and crochet a few stitches. This molds the clay to a perfect impression of my hand. Pop it in the oven at 275 degrees for 30 - 40 minutes, and I have a crochet hook handle that is custom made for me!!! With a very comfortable thumbrest.
They may not be the prettiest crochet hooks, but they are very comfortable and allow me to crochet all evening without pain.

This is a pic from the top. My thumb rests in that notch on the side. I hold my hooks like a pencil.

and this is the back side. You can see the notch in the top where my index finger rests...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Where was this thing...

when my kids were babies??!! Look how much fun Ryder is having in this thing!! His Gramma Jackie got this for him, and we all love it!! I am off this weekend to get one for Lyllie too.

and now check out this video...
he was 6 weeks old in this one. I can't believe how fast the year has flown by!!!

I know it's been awhile...

As I sit writing this today, my little Ryder is sitting in his jump-a-roo playing and singing and laughing. He is such a happy baby. I have him for the entire weekend!! Three weeks ago he, I and my shih tzu, Roxy drove to Illinois to visit my family. Ryder got to meet his great PawPaw for the first time...

Big Cousin Rylie, PawPaw and Ryder
PawPaw and Lyllie

PawPaw isn't doing well, his health has really taken a bad turn, so it was very important to all of us to get Ryder down there to meet him. My daughter Aimee had flown down a few weeks earlier with Lyllie so PawPaw could meet now he has been able to see both of his great grandbabies. Also--if he knew I posted these pics of him, he would ring my shhhhhhh!!! Nobody tell PawPaw!!!! These are very precious pictures to all of us. We all really love our PawPaw, and wish he was doing better...we don't want him to go...

When Aimee and Lyllie flew down, my mom had no idea they were coming, so she was really surprised. It did my mom a world of good to have them there as this has been very hard on her. My grandma, her mom, just passed away a year ago in September, and then three weeks later, PawPaw was diagnosed with a brain tumor and lung cancer.

Here is my mom when Aimee came walking in with the Lyllie...

What a wonderful surprise...great grandma meets Lyllie for the
first time...

Great Grandma, my niece, Rylie and Lyllie

Second cousins Rylie and Lyllie

I must say, Ryder did very well on the long car ride. We left just before nap time both ways, so I got half the drive in while he was sleeping both on the way down and on the way home. Then when he was awake, we stopped every two hours so he could get out and play and Roxy could go potty. It's normally an 8 hour drive, and this stretched it out into 10 hours, but overall it went very well. Was I ever nervous though driving that far with a baby!!

We were there over Easter, so Ryder got to go on his first Easter Egg hunt while we were there as well...

Ryder and Great Auntie Kari found an egg!!

Ryder's first Easter Egg

On the crafting front--I have been doing more crocheting than knitting. I am working on a log cabin afghan for me...done in squares to be crocheted together rather than one big square, and it is going to be huge...I want it to cover my whole bed and hang over the sides.

And I made this adorable hat for Ryder...

Ryder and his son, Zak...
two very handsome dudes!!! Just my opinion!

I also have made a super cute hat for Lyllie, and am just putting the finishing touches on a poncho, so will post pics of the outfit this evening, and will HOPEFULLY have pics of her wearing it to post after this weekend.

So I guess that is all for now. I just wanted to get caught up here, and am going to try to be better about posting just gets away from us sometimes!!

Great Grandma, Ryder and Great PawPaw

Monday, March 17, 2008

Lyllie Laughs!!

I finally have a way to carry my pictures with me and show them off. I know--it used to be we just had our film developed, then carried pics in our little mini albums to show off...but...this is the electronics age, and since all of my pics are now on my computer, it's really hard to lug around my computer and monitor to show them off-LOL!!

So....I got a great deal on a new phone this past week...a pink Palm now I can sync my pics from my computer into my phone, and have I had fun showing them off!!! The phone also takes pretty decent pics and I can upload them from my phone to my computer. I must say I have had a lot of fun figuring out this device. It is actually a PDA and a phone. I used to use a palm pilot all the time, so was pretty familiar with all the workings of it.

Here are some pics of Lyllie taken with the phone camera and uploaded to my computer...
She is really growing, and smiles and laughs all the time!! She has just started in with some great big belly laughs, and it makes me laugh just listening to her. She is such a joy!!!