28 March 2011

My Family



On Friday we had our family pictures taken. My friend Brooke took them and I can't wait to see them when they are ready! Taking family pictures gave me an opportunity to explain to Big Sister about coordinating outfits and getting our hair just right. And also that she had no choice in what she wore. :) On a more serious note I explained to BS that this is a time when we get to document wheat our family looks like at a certain time in history. I take pictures of the kids all the time and T-Bone but rarely do we all 4 end up in a picture worth saving together.  It was a fun experience and I'm sure the pictures will turn out great.

Later, I read this article. You should read it too--go ahead, I'll wait. To summarize, she talks about how she is not the kind of feminist that we usually think of--looking for success and worth outside of the home. Instead she relishes the eternal role of wife, mother and woman as it was divinely arranged. She makes the point that the only way we can reach our full potential and do the most good in the world is in the family.

While this is a really great essay, it really didn't do anything new for me except put into words what I feel in the way toward feminism. It did however lead as a springboard in my thought process to the general and more broad topic of the family. My family in particular. I have a wonderful, hardworking and loving husband and two adorable children--if I do say so myself. T-Bone and I were married in the San Diego Temple and while this may not mean anything to some of you it means the world to me. It means that no matter what happens to either of us or our children in this life--if we are living a righteous and worthy life--we will live together forever. We were married for time and eternity. I treasure this.

Each day I look at my children and hope I'm teaching them the right things. I hope I am being a good example for them. I know I fall short many days--I'm nowhere near perfect--but I do my best. I believe in the principle of eternal families and that each member of the family has a special role to play. I believe that women were divinely designed to do what we do--bear and nurture our children--and that we can find pure joy in this endeavor.


I am grateful to be able to document our family on Saturday "officially" because it helps me remember what is really important in life. The Family.

16 March 2011

Conculsions

I've come to two conclusions lately:

First of all, it's important to have guests over for dinner at least once a month so that your family gets a well balanced meal at least that often instead of a here's-some-spaghetti-with-tomato-sauce-so-it's-balanced kind of meal.

And secondly, it's important to have people over to your house in a social setting (different from dinner) at least once a month so that it gets clean. And not just the things-moved-around-so-you-can-vacuum-the-crushed-goldfish-in-the-living-room kind of clean. I mean the kind of clean where you clean off the surfaces and actually put things where they go and not just in a pile somewhere for putting away later.

15 March 2011

Warm Souls: Help for Japan

I don't know about you but my eyes have been drawn to the devastation in Japan and my heart goes out to all the survivors and their families. I cannot imagine what they are going through over there. My aunt and uncle live in Tokyo right now and I just found out today they are going to Hawaii tomorrow. I can't be more relieved to know they are going to be away from all the terrible things that are happening. I wish that we could provide a way for everyone who wanted to leave to do so. But unfortunately, we can't. There are things we can do though: donate to the LDS Humanitarian Fund or another charity to help the recovery efforts. I would like to suggest another way if you don't want to donate money.

For the last two years our Stake has been making quilts to donate to those in need. We call it Warm Souls. We have donated over 150 tied quilts to people in our community and to the LDS Church. This is an ongoing project. Our Stake Relief Society President called the LDS Humanitarian Servies to ask what they would need during this disaster and they said quilts.

SO our efforts are needed once again, this time quickly! Right now we are in the gathering stage. We need FABRIC! Do you have stashes of fabric in a pile in your house that you don't know what to do with? I know I did. They can use all sizes but preferably cotton.  We also need twin size flat sheets (these are used as the backing for the quilts). If you or someone you know would like a way to help, please consider donating for Warm Souls! We want to make 100 quilts in 6 weeks!

Email me flipflopmamablog at gmail dot com if you want to help and I will get you more information and let's help the people of Japan!


13 March 2011

New Life

I'm totally a nerd for taking these pictures and especially for posting them on my blog, but here is what we found in our garden yesterday!

I am so excited!

12 March 2011

10 March 2011

Bulky King Charles Brocade Hat Pattern

My mother-in-law requested a blue hat made by me, so instead of just doing a boring plain beanie I decided to design it up a little. I decided on the King Charles Brocade pattern that I found on Knitting on the Net. I had to change the pattern a little because it is a flat pattern and I knitted this in the round.  Here is the pattern:

I don't have the measurements of the hat, but it will fit an average woman's head. It fit me perfect.


Supplies Needed:
**Needles: Size US 8 circulars for the brim, size US 10 circulars for the remainder of the hat, size US 10 dpns
**Tapestry needle for weaving in loose ends
**Bulky yarn--I used Bernat Softee Chunky in Faded Denim
**This pattern uses a multiple of 12 + 1 so if you want to make it bigger or smaller make sure your stitches follow that.


Helpful hint: This pattern uses alternating sections of knitting stitches and alternating purling/knitting stitches. Following the pattern can get a little tedious until you figure this out. Once you do you can just figure out the number of knitted stitches needed and alternating purl/knit stitches. So for example once you get past the first few "starting" stitches on Row 4 the pattern goes k3, p1k1p1. So you are knitting 3 then doing 3 stitches of the purl/knit pattern. Row 5 is k5, p1k1p1k1p1k1p1. So 5 knit stitches and then 7 repeats of the pattern. I hope this makes a little sense and doesn't make the pattern more confusing. It helped me not have to be constantly looking at the pattern for each row. Let me know if you have any questions!

Cast on 73 stitches and join in the round.
BRIM:
Knit around until brim measures 1 to 1 1/2 inches
Purl one round

HAT:
Row 1: k1, *p1, k9, p1, k1; rep from *
Row 2: p1, *k1, p1, k7, p1, k1, p1; rep from *
Row 3: k1, *p1, k1, p1, k5 (p1, k1) twice; rep from *
Row 4: k1, * (k1, p1) twice, k3, p1, k1, p1, k2; rep from *
Row 5: k1, *k2, (p1, k1) 3 times, p1, k3; rep from *
Row 6: k1, *k3, (p1, k1) twice, p1, k4; rep from *
Row 7: k1, *k4, p1, k1, p1, k5; rep from *
Row 8: Rep Row 6
Row 9: Rep Row 5
Row 10: Rep Row 4
Row 11: Rep Row 3
Row 12: Rep Row 2

Repeat these 12 rows twice and then I think I did 1 through 6 again (or until your desired length)
Purl one row

DECREASES:
Note: I did 6 rows of decreases without any knitted rows in between, but I think I would have alternated a decrease row and a knit row for the first three decreases next time to shape the crown a little better. You can do whatever you prefer. Change to dpns when needed.

Row 1: k2tog, k5, k2tog, *k6, k2tog* (The first k2tog on this row is so that instead of decreasing 73 stitches you are decreasing 72 so that it's even.)
Row 2: *k5, k2tog*
Row 3: *k4, k2tog*
Row 4: *k3, k2tog*
Row 5: *k2, k2tog*
Row 6: *k1, k2tog*
Row 7: k2tog around

Cut yarn, thread tapestry needle and draw through stitches left on needles.

Weave in loose strands and you're done!

Feel free to use my pattern for whatever purpose you wish, I just ask that you give me credit when you link to it or sell something made from it.

Happy Knitting!


05 March 2011

Planting Day!

Today we planted our garden! I know some of you may be thinking it is a little early--not being spring and all--but it was 75° at 9 o'clock this morning. What a gorgeous day!







We have to wait a few more weeks for a couple things like cantaloupe and carrots but today we planted everything else we wanted. Right now we have lettuce, strawberries, peas, beans, rosemary, cilantro, flat-leaf parsley and basil. I'm so excited!

01 March 2011

This is My Plan

The other day some scrambled egg dripped down the side of my oven--between my oven and my cabinets. I meant to clean it that night, but I forgot. I finally got around to it today. I pulled the oven out a few inches, discovered a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser I didn't know I had and went to work. I haven't used one of those in a long time and I was sure reminded of the cleaning power. I proceeded to clean many of the other surfaces in my kitchen that needed cleaning. And then I got to thinking as I always do when I use one of those. "What the heck is in these?" I'm convinced Mr. Clean is actually an alien and whatever is in those erasers is from a different planet.

But I didn't want to talk about Mr. Clean Magic Erasers today. I was using that to distract you--and probably me too--from my real purpose in blogging today. Unlike some fleeting blog post thoughts I usually have, I cannot get this out of my head. I want to talk about miscarriage.

I would be 7 months pregnant right now if I hadn't lost the last baby. To say that's it's been a journey since October would be the understatement of the year. My emotions have been everywhere. I have been completely distraught, unable to even stop crying for hours, to content and vaguely happy and everything in between. I knew that would happen. It's not like I haven't been through it before, but it still is such a different experience each time. I have dealt with each loss so individually--kind of like raising each kid. They are all different.

Anyway, yesterday I got to thinking about how far along I would have been and then I looked at Mr. Smiley. He isn't even two. He wants me to carry him a lot still. He is still so much a baby. I get to play with him and him alone most of the day. I have my full health and am able to do pretty much whatever we want together. I cannot even begin to imagine myself 7 months pregnant. I know I would be in pain. I know I would be huge and really not wanting to get on the floor to play trains or cars all morning. I would not be as patient as I am. I would not be as willing to hold him with one hand while I cook dinner with the other one so he can see everything that I'm doing. (The boy is obsessed with cooking) Things would be very different.

When I got pregnant we weren't actively trying to conceive. But we didn't want our second and third children to be 4 1/2 years apart like Big Sister and Mr. Smiley are so we were welcoming whatever came our way. I was nervous to say the least. All I had known up to this point was how to deal with the terrible two's and the terrible three's with no younger siblings. Mr. Smiley would just be heading down that path as the baby was born. However, I figured things would work out. When I lost that baby I was devastated, but as time has gone on I have realized that things have worked out. I still think of those babies I lost almost every day. They are a part of me and will be forever, but I believe there is a plan--an individual plan, just for me. I'm glad for the opportunity to be the best mom I can right now with Mr. Smiley and Big Sister. Pregnancy changes so much in me. It throws the whole family into a tizzy and I'm glad we are not living in a tizzy right now.

Despite the pain and heartache I've had to go through this is my plan and I'm okay with it.