Find Me on Etsy!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day 19--Thankful for 3 Day Cheerleaders

The 3 Day is an amazing experience...for three days, you are truly treated as a rockstar. Everyone appreciates your efforts for the Cure and there is a special camaraderie between the walkers and their fans (the cheerleaders).

The cheerleaders work almost as hard as the walkers...driving from location to location, blaring upbeat music, handing out candies, cookies and occasionally, "adult" beverages.

The men cheerleaders are expecially welcome. Pretty much if you are a guy on the course or besides it, you are going to get fawned over and adored by the walkers. After 60 miles, any man in pink looks freakin' HAWT ;0)

The lady cheerleaders are just as welcome. You start to look for your "favorite" ones, take pictures of THEM and with them and talk about them in the months following, wondering if you'll see them again the next year.

It gets a tad bit raunchy but it's all in good hearted fun.

Quite possibly, the San Jose and San Diego cops who escort the walkers on bikes through out the whole city are the favorites of the walkers. They are hot, fun, crazy, very hot, and did I mention extremely HOT?! LOL

The year I cheered, I went all out the final day to get their attention. It made me laugh. Made them laugh. Made the walkers laugh and cheer. That's what it's all about.

My hat is off to you cheerleaders that are down on the course this year. Those walkers couldn't keep going without you!

Day 18--Thankful for 3 Day Walkers

Our family changed forever when my aunt died. We've adjusted and life does go on but there's a hole from a piece of our lives that will never quite be filled.

I've walked in two Breast Cancer 3 Days and cheered another year. Each experience has been life changing.

I've come to realize that every year brings new challenges and plans, and this year I'm not participating. I miss it. I know it will feel even more special when I either walk it or cheer for it.

I am SO THANKFUL for the men and women who are out there, for the time and money they've investing in training. For the sacrifices they've made to fundraise and walk 60 miles to help find a Cure.

My heart salutes you. Keep one foot in front of the other, cupcakes...rock the Walk!

Day 17--Thankful for Creativity

Clearly, I love crafts! I can't draw more than stick figures so I never thought of myself as creative until I took a child development art class and I realized the obvious...there's so much more to creativity than drawing. My mind set completely changed. Put the right medium in my hands and I can make a gorgeous scrapbook page or hand knit blanket. There are just moments that I NEED to make things, it both soothing and exciting. I'm so thankful that I have the free time and the means in which to buy the materials I need and so thankful for the joy it brings in my life.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day 16--Music

I usually have lyrics on my mind. I've often sung in the church choir and do my share of singing in the choir. So often in my life, a song will come a long and be a "theme" for something that is going on in my life. I love music. It lifts my soul. It can make me cry. It can take me to a moment in time when I first heard it. It's almost magic. I can't imagine my life without it. Today I am thankful for music and it's impact on my life and well being. :0)

Day 15--Happy 42nd Anniversary to my Folks have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health...

I'm thankful for my parents who are celebrating 42 years of married life together. They are truly an example of staying faithful and committed to the wedding vows they made so long ago. My mom had just turned 18 and my dad was just 19 when they met and decided to get married. A tour to Vietnam before they took their vows, three daughters plus a pregnancy that ended in a miscarriage, a son-in-law, four granddaughters, countless pets and two grandcats later, and they are still going strong. Thanks for the good example, folks!

Day 14--Thankful for the End of Monday ;0)

I love to sing. I'm not great but I can usually carry a tune fairly well. For New Year's Eve last year, I went out with friends downtown and for the first time, rang in the New Year in a club. They had karaoke but because it was to a live band, the song list was limited. The tune I felt most comfortable with from the list (of what wasn't already butchered, I mean, sung ;0) was "Manic Monday." The only catch was that the band had lost the words. I ended up googling the lyrics from my phone and while they were in about font size 4, I could still read them. Yes, I sang the words from my phone!

It was a lot of fun and I got nice feedback, but isn't that how Mondays are? Crazy, nothing goes as planned, pitch hitting just to get through the day? As I left work last Friday I realized that Monday was set up to be humdinger and there was nothing I could do but try to enjoy the weekend while it lasted. It fortunately wasn't as bad as it could have been but honestly, the most I could think to be thankful for this morning was that there would at least be an end to the day. Not particularly deep but it is what it is ;0)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day 13--Words of Wisdom

Years ago, I attended Bible college and studied the entire Bible (can you pronounce "Pentateuch? lol). But it wasn't until after I graduated that I began the habit of reading through the Bible every year that I began truly retaining what it says.

Today, I need wisdom and patience. A reminder to be wise and to not be hasty. I put in a call to my mom. She mostly listened, sympathized and advised not acting irrationally. LOL Words of wisdom. And when all else fails, these words never fail to enter my mind when I've just almost given up on certain things.

   Love never gives up.
   Love cares more for others than for self.
   Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
   Love doesn't strut,
   Doesn't have a swelled head,
   Doesn't force itself on others,
   Isn't always "me first,"
   Doesn't fly off the handle,
   Doesn't keep score of the sins of others,
   Doesn't revel when others grovel,
   Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
   Puts up with anything,
   Trusts God always,
   Always looks for the best,
   Never looks back,
   But keeps going to the end. (1 Cor. 13:4-7)

Sigh. Well, if I MUST be confronted by clear thinking, I suppose the inspired Word of God will do ;0) Today, I am thankful for wisdom giving me the chance to make some second thoughts. 

The Stockings were Hung by the Chimney with Care...

My grandma has been making tiny stockings simply forever at Christmas time. (The best thing about how she makes them is that she adds a little cash when she hands them out ;0) Mine are poor stockings, they will just have candy. LOL)

I was so excited to learn how to create a heel. This isn't a sock pattern since you sew up the bottom and the back but I figure I am at least on my way to getting more knitting skills under my yarn belt. She makes them with sport weight yarn and makes them on smaller needles to make them tiny. My love for plus size yarn and big needles has created a slightly bigger stocking.

Cast on 20 stitches in white
Knit 8 rows (I knit 16 so the cuff can fold over)
Switch to red, knit 16 rows in stockinette
On red row 17, knit the first 7 stitches onto a stitch holder

Knit the middle six stitches in stockinette for 8 rows (while the last seven stitches just hang out on the needle unknitted. Cut yarn.

 Knit the seven stitches from the holder, then pick up eight stitches from the side of the instep.
Note: there will be a kind of "U" shape between the stitches that were on the holder and the six in the middle that were knitted to form the instep, or, heel. Using your left needle, start at the top right of the U shape and pick up 8 stitches as you go around.

Knit the six stitches in the middle and then pick up eight more stitches on the other side of the instep using the same technique.
Knit the remaining seven stitches.
You should have 36 stitches. Purl your way back. Then knit six (sometimes I knit eight) rows of stockinette. Bind off.
Sew up bottom and side seam.

The stocking on the left was done with size 3 yarn (micro spun for the red and rayon for the white), the one on the left with worsted weight (using the same size needle, #8).

I'm still learning how to pick up stitches on the instep without creating big holes but with each one and I getting better! (Note, my mom did the instep pick ups on the size 3 yarn model ;0)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Octavia the Octopus

My last class project was a small stuffed animal, an octopus to be exact. I wasn't sure I'd be into making a stuffed animal but it was quite fun. Plus, I need some experience with piecing parts together to get ready to finish the Bella scarf (yes, it is still not done!). To give credit where credit is due, the pattern comes from AuntyNicky at Haun'Knitit.

In making the tentacles, you cast on 50 and knit the stitch in the BACK. This was new to me but easy enough.

On the way back, you knit the first 30 and then knit 2tog the rest of the way. This makes the tentacles curl.

The body was easy enough. Lots of knitting two together to decrease after you make the bulk of the body. Then you sew the seam, sew a kind of drawstring on the bottom, stuff it and then pull it closed. I sewed my tentacles on before I stuffed it. I also added button eyes and picked up a few stitches on the top to make an Icord so she can dangle if she wants to.

Of course, Phat cat "had" to help me. And then, viola, Octavia was done! She's somewhat asymetrical but I am happy with my first stuffed animal attempt!

Day 12--My sisters

For my whole life, I've been one of three...or more accurately, Three of Three ;0) Three Kuyper girls. Three Kuyper sisters. I followed behind and yet insisted on blazing a trail of my own.

 Notably known for my unusual fashion sense and my infectious laugh, for years I still felt like I was Rachel or Karyn's sister, instead of myself.

Now of course, I see how different the three of us are and I laugh to think that I was ever worried about standing out on my own. 

 We've fought, we've laughed, we've made each other cry, we've cried on each others shoulders...all the things that sisters do. I used to wish that I was an only child, now I can't imagine my life without them.

Day 11--Thankful for Veterans

I've heard that only two people have died for me. One is Jesus and the other is a soldier. One died for my soul and one died for my freedom. Today is Veteran's Day and I am reminded once again, freedom does not come free. Men and women have died protecting life and liberty and I am utterly grateful.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day 10--Oh Brother!

I come from a family of girls so guy humor is a little foreign to me in the same way I don't get the British comedies my oldest sister loves so much. Working in the IT industry (doing non-techy stuff) means I work with a lot of guys. I'm not sure if tech humor is slightly off or if it's guy humor in general that is weird. Fortunately, I was in youth ministry for nine years with youth groups that were dominated in attendance by the male gender and that has helped bridge the gap from my comfort zone of female bonding and talks about PMS, boys and "how I feel/what is he thinking" conversations.

Today I struggled again to feel thankful. It's pretty much attitude combined with the unfortunate monthly hormonal craze...but there were the guys. Just being guys and today it's what I needed to snap out of my funk. I even got some pretty funny observations about the male mind and some stuff I'd dealt with the other day (a guy I used to date casually on and off called to see if I was still together with SPW). They made me laugh and I realized how thankful I am for them in all of their XY weirdness. They might be from Mars but at least they make me laugh. Thank goodness for brothers!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Day 9--Not Feeling the Thankfulness

I wasn't really feeling the thankfulness this morning or for most of the day...I am glad that every day is new and fresh because tomorrow I'll hopefully wake up with a new perspective. "The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning. Great is Thy faithfulness, O God."

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day 8 Thankful for a Good Man

On my first date with SPW, we went to Old Town Temecula and went antiquing and craft store shopping. He went willingly. That alone ensured him a 2nd date, lol. We went out more but timing was bad and I broke things off. Six weeks later I was having a lousy day. Just stupid things I'd done had caught up with me and I was trying to make some phone calls to work things out. I dialed his number trying to call someone else and didn't leave a message when I got his voice mail. But he called me back. We talked on my lunch break and I admitted how dumb I'd been. At the end of the call, he still asked me out. And that's when I realized that he liked me for who I was. I'm always worried about what I'm doing or not doing, so that expression of interest in a time where any other guy would have wished me the best and gone on my way, spoke volumes. The 100 miles between us is still the challenge it was this summer but I realize that it is worth it.

Last night I got some texts from a guy I used to date casually. He's nice enough but it made me realize how fortunate I am to have a really good man in my life. There are lots of guys out there looking for a date. SPW is honestly looking for a relationship. Sadly, he doesn't feel so fondly about my cats as he does me. BUT, I figure I have to have someone in my life who keeps me from being the crazy cat lady!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Day 7--Thankful for my Job

I come from a long line of farmers. From men and women who worked from sun up to sun down providing for their families through the strength of their bodies and will to survive. Both of my grandmas chose not to marry farmers, purposely I believe, but the stories remain. Some of my dad's fondest childhood memories was helping his grandpa DeVries on the family farm.

I don't know if I have a green thumb but I'm decent at keeping plants alive. My patio and balcony are filled with flowers. I love the beauty of the colors. The very colors that inspire my scrapbooking and knitting. Maybe one day the dream job of running a craft business will make itself into some kind of reality. In the meantime, I'm thankful to have a job  that I am good at, that pays my bills and keeps me challenged to improve.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day 6-My Extended Family

My extended family is gi-normous. Counting my mom's cousins, it's just huge. Some of them are much closer in age to me than to my mom so it's almost like having a second set of cousins. I love how much they embrace us. They are just good people.

It was the Race for the Cure day in San Diego. Always a little bittersweet, since ultimately we lost my mom's sister and aunt to Breast Cancer. But still always moving to see all of the survivors there. One of my mom's cousin's is currently fighting breast cancer. Several of her 14 siblings (I told you my mom had a lot of cousins!) formed a team to walk today. I walked by them and actually recognized them on the walk. Did I tell you that there were over 16,000 people there? 16,000 people and I find my family. Amazing ;0)

Go Team Rachel the are all beautiful indeed!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Day 5--A Warm Cozy Apartment

It was nice to stay in bed this morning. Not everyone is so fortunate to have a roof over their heads and a bed to sleep in. It was pretty chilly for Southern California this morning so I've gotten out my room heater and the down comforter from storage. I am so fortunate to have such luxuries. I even had my snuggly fur babies insist on joining me. It was hard to get out of bed and get going today. I am thankful and blessed!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Day 4--Books

My grandma was a still a teacher in many ways! She taught early elementary for many years. She is still a kid magnet, too. The other day we were in Wendy's and I could hear her giggling as various children went up to her...just drawn in by her warmth and genuine love.

My grandma always read to her grandkids. My parents read to us quite a bit as well, I believe inspired by how much my grandma read to children. I absolutely love to read and I tribute my grandma for creating a family of readers.

My nieces love to read and they love to read to their Nana. A actually learned to read as Nana read to her and sounded out the words one by one.

Reading opens up so many doors. There are so many adventures to be found behind the pages of a book.

Of course, my grandma not only gave her family a love for reading but a love for crafting, knitting in particular. My mom and I took my grandma to the local knitting store YfY and in no time at all, she'd befriended several knitters, including one newbie, and was sharing patterns and ideas with them. I love my grandma and her infectious spirit...when I "grow up" I want to be just like her! ;0)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Day 3--Friends

I am so thankful for friends...the ones I've grown up with, the ones the have been through all sorts of seasons of my life with me, that have laughed and cried with me, that are loyal, faithful and true.

I think the best part of friendship is that they deepen as you grow. The way I made and kept friends changed in college but then I've only learned more about being a good friend in the years since.

I love taking pictures when we are together but sometimes, you can't capture the moment with simply a picture. It's sharing the memory together that binds you to one another.

The Bible says it well when it says...two are better than one...I believe we were created to be in friendship and relationships with one another. You might just have one or two close friends, you might be able to make friends with an entire room of people in just a doesn't matter how many you have, it's that you have them, I think!

I was especially fortunate tonight to share margaritas and Mexican food with some new friends my mom and I made in our knitting class. Such a fun group of ladies. They've kept us laughing for the past month and a half. I will miss them over the holidays but hope we'll reunite in the advanced class next January. Our teacher got a group picture, I'll post it when she sends it out via email.

So my readers, is there a friend that you are specifically thankful for today?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Day 2--My Fur Babies

In fall of 2007, I had just moved to a pet friendly apartment and decided to adopt...either one grown lap kitty or two kittens that would grow up together. When I saw my Phat Cat's face peering up at me from the local shelter's picture website, my heart was claimed. The next morning I went and picked him up and brought him home a pretty sister, The Princess.

They can drive me absolutely crazy. There are few things I can do without them trailing around, getting into everything that I am trying to craft. The closet, where the yarn lives, is now a BANNED area because they just get into my stuff.
But I love them and am simply thankful for their company. They might be crazy cats but they are mine and I am theirs. :0)

Days of Gratitude and Thankfulness--Day 1--My Family

A neat trend on Facebook during the month of November is to spend each day saying what you are thankful for...I've decided to actively participate this year and will tailor my general thankfulness with a crafty edge as much as possible on this blog.

I am one day behind...I didn't think to blog my thankfulness until today ;0)

Day 1--I am thankful for my family and the time we will get to spend together soon.

Last summer, my middle sister moved her family to Arizona when her husband got a job teaching on an Apache Reservation. Two weeks after her third child was born! We miss them so much and it's hard missing out on the baby growing up. She keeps a weekly photo blog which is AWESOME but nothing beats seeing someone in person. The new tradition is that she hosts Thanksgiving and we all drive out to Arizona to be a family united and to eat LOTS of food!

The only bummer is that it's too much of a drive for my grandma to come. We'd be more than happy to make a route with lots of stops for her but at 88, if she decides it's too much, well, I think we should respect her decision. We will miss her, though I know my cousin and his family will make sure she's taken care of.

I have been meaning to post this pictures of my nieces, the fourth generation of knitters, learning how to knit from my grandma a few years ago. Then I have one of two of them knitting that I just took recently. I'm thankful for my family and for the creativeness and craftiness that flows through it. A family that knits to together knits themselves together as a closer knit family ;0)

E learned to knit when she was 7! Grandma taught her even before mom and I picked it up.

 G learning on big needles. She's now progressed to make a scarf for her older half-sister!

A learning from her Nana, the master knitter of the family (over 70 years!)

I love to watch my grandma's hands knit and hear the clacking of her needles.

  Hand knit hats were a big hit for Christmas last year! Here's mom, dad and I being pirates, just a goofy thing that we like to do in our family!

  E working on a sock last Christmas.

E & G knitting 2009

E and G knitting, how time FLIES!

I can't believe how grownup my nieces are here. I'm so glad that they are carrying on a family tradition. Now to just get my sisters into knitting...