Friday fun!

Hello everyone! Did you all have a great week? How are you all doing on your resolutions??? Still hanging in there? I am proud to say that I have 2 bags of clothing going to Goodwill – 1 bag in the “garage sale” section – and – drum roll please – I have 4 bags of things that went in the TRASH!! My closets are cleaner, more streamlined, organized AND – I love it! I also worked on my “stash” closet – I now have my yarn on the shelves – organized – I know, be still my heart!! I also have my sewing machine and sewing related items in there as well. AND – I have some paper craft things in a clear plastic box – all ready for me when I need to make a card quickly!! How about that ladies!! It felt so good – this weekend I am going to tackle my kitchen cupboards and the pantry!

I also brought some magazines I wanted to save for various reason downstairs and put them in a book shelf I was not using – decluttering is happening at the Christensen Huis!

I even worked on my half pi shawl this week a bit. I am almost done with section 2! And!! I went to SNB last night and had fun laughing with the ladies at Friends of Wool. It was Sue’s birthday and she brought goodies to eat!! A fun evening was had by all. The Afgan Class of 2006 was there with all their squares to work on assembly – I have to tell you, I was amazed with how beautiful their squares were. This caused me much excitement, because the Afgan Class of 2007 will meet in 2 weeks to start on their afgan journey – and I have a ticket for that trip!! There are several techniques that I do not know how to do that I will be learning this year! So, this class will continue to help me with my resolution of learning!

I did have a small breakdown on the yarn front. My daughter wants me to make a “shawl” for her birthday – I truly tried and swatched some yarn from my stash, but I did not have anything that I could get the perfect gauge with. I had to buy 2 skeins of yarn – but – I found it on sale at Friends of Wool – so I only paid $8 for it!! This did not break my budget at all!! I will be so excited to see my daughter’s face when she opens her gift! I shall try and post a photo of said shawl and daughter #1 after the 6th of February – which is her birthdate. Hold the phone – she will be 18 years old!!! I cannot believe this, because I swear she was just learning to walk yesterday!!! Where does the time go??

We are getting close to “reveal” time in SP9 – I have been having so much fun with my spoilee – I have been dropping hints the past couple of weeks – and we have been laughing and having so much fun together. She is an awesome pal! I am working on the finishing touches for her last package – she is a SAHM and she home schools her children! AND, her husband is in the Army. As the end of the month gets closer, I will post the link to her blog and ask you all to pop over and say hello to her!

Have an awesome weekend everyone!

First Friday!

First Friday!

Hello everyone and welcome to the First Friday of 2007! This is surely something to celebrate, right? How did Week 1 go for all of you? So far – so good here.

I have printed out my resolutions and put them in several places – in my planner for work, on the mirror in my bathroom, on the fridge in the kitchen. I think that this will help me stay focused on what is important to me this year – what I need to accomplish – where I want to go!

How are you all doing? Did you all fall the the Resolution Wagon? That is okay – get back on and try again! Be your own best supporter – not your worst enemy!

I am excited to have made it through a week of this New Year! I actually got out some yarn from my stash and cast on something for ME! I had gotten a gorgeous skein of Lorna’s Laces – Helen’s Lace last summer to make the Half Pi Shawl and I cast on this week! I have the first set of the pi completed and have started on set 2! I am in love with this yarn – it is amazing. I selected the Vera colourway – and I am so happy with my selection!

This picture does not do the yarn justice – it is knitting up beautifully – burgundy’s, rich browns, some amazing greens, and a dusky khaki – dyed perfectly! I will try and have my daughter get a picture of it next week and post my progress. If you have not knit this pattern – it is definately on my must knit list! I am flowing through the sections easily and can even knit while watching TV! So, I was so happy to pull this out of my stash and treat myself to this little gem. I did not realize that I had such a nice “stash store”!!

Speaking of “Stash Store” – on my plate for the weekend is to clean out and organize my stash closet – and my bedroom closets. There may be some destashing going on here next week, so be on the lookout for that!

So, there is my week one synopsis – drop me a note letting me know how you are all doing.

Have an awesome weekend everyone!

It's a New Year or Starting off on the right foot….

Hello everyone, Is your year starting off right? Or do you need to start again on the other foot? In an attempt to use the correct starting foot this year I have written down an actual plan. I know, stop the presses! This coming from a “shoot from the hip” kind of gal is a big reality check! I am a make no plans, go where you wanna go person. Well, that wasn’t working too well for me – too much lack of structure makes for too much room for error. In looking back at what worked in 2006 and what did not work – there was alot more that did not work than what did. Thus I knew that I needed some drastic changes. Now, I said to myself – this is the one thing you do well – change. So, go for change and do it right!

Now, how do you go from “fly by the seat of your pants” to “structure city”? Did I really want to live in “structure city”? Was there a happy inbetween place between the two? I believe that there is, and starting out with a plan is a good place to start!

I have divided my plan into two parts, the “me” part and the “homelife” part. I believe that by working on the things in each part, life will be so much better. After all, I am now 46 years old and I need to “get a life” or at least work on a new and improved one.

I will start with the “me” list:
1. I resolve to listen more and talk less!
Where did this come from you ask? Well, on New Years Eve – I discovered how much my kids and their friends had to say – and what they said when someone was really listening. I am sorry to say that I was a poor listener to my kids; oh I listened, but I knew what they were saying – or at least I assumed I did. No more assuming for me – I am working on listening – actively listening to what my kids are saying. You know the old addage – this is why our Good God gave us 2 ears and one mouth – we were supposed to use one more than the other. Lo and behold – I think I am getting it! This listening part also is going to help my spiritual life – I am going to listen more for what God is saying to me. I think that this focus will help me with my other resolutions.

2. I resolve to value me more!
This is going to be a challenge for me, but one that I will embrace. I need to become more healthy – no this is not a diet – I have failed at those for years. It is always the first resolution I have always made and the first resolution that I have always broken. I am not making a list to set myself up for failure – I am making a list to track my success! I want to be more healthy in many aspects of my life – from health and wellness to spirituality. I believe that resolutions 1 and 2 go hand in hand. I want to be fit mentally, physically, and spiritually – and this won’t happen without some work. My friend Lynne sent me a book last summer that I read and then did nothing with. She sent it for a reason – she knew what it was. Now, I am working on my prayer life – with a purpose – more value of me for me!

3. I resolve to knit an afgan for DD #1.
My Rachel will be leaving for college in August – and it will be here all to quickly! What better way to spend the time than knitting an afgan for her when she is far away. Something knit with love to wrap around her. I have signed up for an afgan class for some kindred spirit support and the inspiration to finish this afgan – there is a time frame to the class!! Which will lead me right to resolution #4….

4. I resolve to learn something NEW every day!
I know that it will be a challenge for me to go from “wherever the wind blows me” to “this is the plan” so in order to help my “free spirit” attitude – I have added in the importance of learning – and I will incorporate this into all parts of my life. Home and work, family and faith – there is so much to learn!

This moves me on to the “homelife” resolutions. These were not as fun as the self improvement ones – or maybe these are just more visible, measurable, verify-able!

1. Save more, spend less.
Simply said, incredibly hard to do. I am not a great saver – but I sure as heck am an amazing spender. With the changes in my life recently, I have discovered that one needs to have a measure of all things in their life for balance – and in order to have a balanced checkbook, one needs to spend less! I am working on this and have set in place the following things to help me accomplish this one important resolution!

2. Organize my knitting stash and knit from it!
No purchase of yarn, no exceptions. I have a good sized stash, and I am going to whittle it away. I have committed to this, and thus far it is working! I have pulled some fun yarns out and have been looking over patterns. This is so much fun – what I thought I would do when I bought the yarns and what new possibilites for that yarn are tremendously fun!!! I know my LYS will not be happy with this – I am sorry ladies – truly I am. This is important to me. When I have knit ALL my stash yarn, I will gladly buy more.

3. De-clutter my home.
Garage sale, donate, and toss are the categories! How freeing this will be!! I have alot of things that we don’t use, need, or want – I am going to find homes for them or sell them or throw them away… but they are not staying a the Christensen Huis any longer!!

4. More home cooked meals!
This will help with a healthier life style and with a healthier wallet! And, I will spend time listening to my kids as we prepare dinner together!!! I love how this plan is coming together, don’t you???

5. Prioritize time better.
People, I am the Chief Procrastinator! There is some sick part of me that believes that it is better if you are in a panic to complete a task. No more – there is a plan and I am sticking to it! As with budgeting money, my time is going to be budgeted as well. I have been working on this since the 1st and I know that after 30 days, this will be so much easier. This time management will help with all the other resolutions – and will help me be successful as I move forward into 2007.

I am excited and a bit anxious for what lays ahead – I shall keep you all posted on my progress.


Good Morning One and All! Hopefully none of you had too much New Year’s Eve cheer last night and are bright eyed and bushy tailed this morning!

The New Year dawned here gray and dreary outdoors but we are sunny and bright here inside at the Holland Huis – at least those of us who are up are bright and sunny! I hosted a small New Year’s get-together for my kids last evening. The ladies are up and the boys are still snoring away. I even got a good nights sleep – so there was not too much commotion last night! I have fresh turn overs and juice awaiting the sleeping giants!

So, it is the day of resolutions! Are you all ready? I know I am not! I have some that are easy, but others that are hard. I will share shortly – I have to get them from my brain onto paper!

I read a really great New Years post this morning at Felt Like Knitting so I thought that I would share my “Top Ten Reasons I Like Knit Blogging” – drum roll please…..
10. Podcasts!
9. Journaling – I have found this to be a wonderful way to keep track of thoughts and ideas.
8. Swaps, Exchanges, and KAL’s. This has been so much fun! I have especially enjoyed SP8 and 9 that I participated in in 2006. I have also met some awesome knitters in this process and I cherish their friendship! 7. Meeting other bloggers! This past summer I got to meet several fellow knit bloggers at Threadbear in Lansing. Laurie, Handknitter Sarah, Lynne from New York, Sharon, West Michigan Laura, and Susie all traveled over to Lansing for a day of knitting fun. I am hoping that 2007 will allow for meeting these lovely ladies again and that I will have the opportunity to meet more of my Knit Blogger Friends!
6. Discovering Etsy shops online! This has been amazing as I have found wonderful sources for amazing yarns. You are all so talented – and I am honored to be able to buy your yarns and knit them into something lovely for myself or my loved ones.
5. Stash explosion – see above!
4. Teaching knitting classes and taking knitting classes- although I am not in the same league as Handknitter Sarah – I have discovered that I love helping other knitters learn a new technique. I also have discovered that, while I am a fairly new knitter – I had my 2 year knitiversary in 2006, I love learning new techniques. On my calendar for 2006 is to join a group to knit an afgan one square a month and to tackle lace!
3. Discovering all the knitting helps there are online! From to all the other knitting help sites – what a treasure trove of amazing information.
2. Finding comfort in the camaraderie that exsists in the knitting community. This is a giving group of people – I am amazed. Here is to making 2007 as amazing!
and my number 1 reason I liked knit blogging this year…
1. Being inspired, sometimes amused, and always touched by reading what you are all doing in your lives. Thank you all so much for sharing!

Have a most Blessed New Year!

SP9 Questions

Here are my pals responses:

1. The oddest gift you have ever received (not asked for)
when I was 16, my parents gave me a complete set of luggage. i thought they were trying to tell me something…like to take a hike, get lost, or it was time to move
2) the oddest gift you ever asked for
a baby.
3) the oddest gift you ever gave
I would like to think I don’t give odd presents…but ummm….hmmmm…honestly I don’t know. I try to be so practical in gift giving.
4) the worse gift you ever got
Most certainly it would have to be the Precious moments Christmas wrapping paper that my MIL gave me one year. I do like PM and she thought I would enjoy the wrapping paper to use for the next year. Hey, it’s the same year she gave hubby a case of salad dressing. 🙂

My answers:

1. Boy, I had to think long and hard about this one – I think the oddest gift I ever received – that I did not ask for – was a George Foreman grill!

2. The oddest gift I ever asked for – hmmmm, some people would say that all the gifts I ask for are odd! 🙂 But, I suppose it would be the year I begged, and I mean begged – for a serger! All that begging must of worked, I got one!

3. The oddest gift I ever gave – hmmmmm, I guess there have been some odd things I have given – no fruit cake on the list though! I gave my first husband an antique “Santa” advertisement. He returned the “begging favor” and I got it for him!

4. The worst gift – hmmm, now this is really difficult, I am telling you – there has not been a gift that I felt was “worst” – oh, I know – the year someone gave me some really awful perfume – you know, the kind that if you have it on, it arrives days before you do!?!

I have to tell you all…. my spoilee has been a true blessing. She is an amazing mom…. She home schools their children, her spouse is in the military. They host “alone” military family members at their home for holidays. She is amazing – and more!! I could not have been more blessed to receive such an amazing pal. We are having an awesome time getting to know each other – I believe that this is the start of a friendship for life. Thank you SP9 for starting us on the path to friendship.

We have had an amazing time getting to know each other. 🙂

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