31 May 2016

Memorial Day and the Weekend

Wow! The month flew by! We celebrated my oldest daughter's birthday. We went to Pennsylvania to go to an amusement park. We have been working on finishing up school. My girls and husband went to a baseball game. We have been busy and having fun.

With the end of school, we have been signing up for Reading programs at our libraries (yep, I said libraries). We usually finish the one with the Lebanon Public Library very quickly. So, I learned to sign the girls up for other library reading programs. The best thing is that the girls do enjoy reading and they like reading programs and going to things at different libraries. I sign them up for many different things, just so they can get around other kids.

Reading Programs near Lebanon, OH:
Lebanon Public Library This is a fast finish program and you get a free shirt at the end. It is for kids only up to age 18. The theme this year is Legos. Basically, under a certain age is 20 books, over a certain age is every 50 pages 20 times. Basically 2 very big books (think "Harry Potter" or "Percy Jackson", anything over 500 or 600 pages).
Dayton Metro Public Library This one gives prizes based on hours read and you can borrow from any in the network (they have a lot and different locations have different books). Teens and Adults can log online and 6th and under have papers to fill out. Nice prizes. Don't forget to check out their adult activities! Quick note: Adults get for borrowed items vs hours. Teens and kids are for hours.
Cincinnati Hamilton County Public Library This also can be done online, but they don't give cards to kids (yep, they don't give to kids, I should know, my kids weren't allowed to have cards and if you log your kids reading along with yours you finish very quickly). I tried to sign up all the kids under my card, but it wouldn't allow it and after being frustrated, I quit.
Washington Centerville Public Library Teens can log books online and they have some fun prize choices. Kids from birth to 5th grade have to fill out papers and turn them in at the library, but they have fun prizes, too. My kids are in heaven that they can log in books from home.
Mary L Cook Public Library Adults get an entry when they borrow books. Kids get an entry when they borrow books, teens keep track of the books they read on paperwork in the teen room. They have chances for prizes and they get bonuses for coming in weekly.
Mason Public Library This is the main page. They have something for kids and teens in the summer and reading program for adults in the winter.

All of these libraries have digital collections and you can borrow a book online and send to a Kindle or a tablet or computer. Check them out! If you aren't close to any of these libraries....no worries, check out the library near you! They are great place and the people who work there are wonderful and fun.

They are looking forward to the summer. We will play in the water in the pool across the street. We will go to library programs, read books and see the grandfathers. We are also supposed to walk in a parade to support their cousin, Matt Wahlert. He is running for office for State Representative for the 32nd District in OH. I think this is good for them. They get learn how much he has to do to get people to listen to his ideas and agree he should be in office.

We are going to a concert to see the Youth CYSO perform for Memorial Day. We still need to wander up to see my husband's aunt and down to see a wonderful families that I call my own.

I am still working on cleaning out my email, I had quite a few removed, but then I was not able to work on it, the number went up again. But I figure a little every day, will make it happen. I get frustrated easily that our wifi runs slow. I can go to other places and it works fine.

White As Snow Cable Knit Throw
Wavy Shell Afghan
Magical Mist Throw
Offset Shells Afghan
Rainbow Chevron Afghan

Dynamite Market Bag
Market Tote Bag
Rainbow Pocket Market Bag - this is from Moogly Blog and is a pattern that I keep saving to my blog...why? Because I really like the looks of the market bag. I would like to make several for myself and many as gifts for friends.
Rainbow Runner Tote Bag - This is also from Moogly Blog and I think I have saved it a few times as well.
Toy Basket

Hand Sanitizer Cozy cute way to carry hand sanitizer...if you go places with kids and have run into a bathroom that had no more soap, this works.

Starfish Dishcloth - this one looks so fun
Rainbow Sherbet Dishcloth
Citrus Slice Dishcloth
Cookie Jar Dishcloth

Sunshine and Shells Hat
Lazy River Beanie
Rainbow Hood for Tots
Entrelac Hat

Just for Fun:
Roll Up Checker Board - you can use pennies and nickels as the checkers.

Blueberry Bush Summer Shawl

Pansy Path Socks

Corner Square
Little Dahlia Square
Owl Square

20 May 2016

Middle of May

Last year, for my daughters' birthdays, we didn't celebrate. We didn't do our usual, the whole day is her day celebration. Why? My mom was in the hospital and getting too far away was stressful for me and for my husband. So this year was make up for last year. The girls combined their choices and decided that they wanted to go to Hershey and make a chocolate bar and ride roller coasters. Hershey is in Pennsylvania and is a wonderful place to spend time. We went to the main building and signed the girls up to make chocolate bars and they went in and made their bars and came out and couldn't find us. This prompted them to send us a text message and one to start trying to call us, but the noise level was so high she couldn't hear us answer our phones. So I went in search of them and brought them over to where we had been waiting and my wonderful, loving husband got them drinks. After they had hydrated, and had some chocolate (yep, I bought a small bag of chocolates and divvied them up), they were in a mood to go over the amusement park. They loved the rides. There were some for everyone and they rode roller coasters and rides that allowed them to see the whole park and we walked and walked and walked. We even went to Zoo America! What a nice little zoo. Yes, it is little and your pass to the amusement park is the pass for the zoo, too. The bears were my absolute favorite! They were active and would sit and wave. They were so fun to watch. The zoo stays mostly to North American animals. That made it fun. The girls got to see road runners and partridges and so many other animals that we hadn't seen at a zoo yet.

We came home and started working on all the things we needed to work on, which means I don't have a lot of time on the computer to clear out my emails, so they are growing again, but I plan on trying to get to the computer before the girls in the morning and just do a little at a time. Between that and getting the rest of my mom's recipes onto the blog for her recipes, I will be busy.

Striped Star Afghan
Bright Ripple Throw
Parcheesi Afghan
Eliot Square
Yo yo square

Breaking Bad Bear - actually it is quite cute.
Owl Stuffy

Cat Bed - I have 4 cats. I really think I need a few beds for the cats.

Summer Crochet Tote
Crochet Coin Purse Fair Isle Technique
Owl Pouch
Plastic Bag Keeper - I need to make a dozen of these! For me, for friends. Who doesn't have plastic bags from a store. We use the plastic bags to clean up after the dog, but I have started collecting some of the bags, to make plarn with, yep, I did that!
Water Bottle Holder - Summer is upon us and if you have kids you usually don't have extra hands, but this would be a great way for the kids and anyone else to carry water with them, to stay hydrated.
Crochet Stash Baskets - a great way to store things, use up yarn and have something that will be easy to clean.
Crochet Bathroom Set - sort of like the stash baskets, but these would be for the bathroom.
Ereader Cozy - Many people have ereaders or tablets, if you use a thick yarn it could help keep the ereader safe.

Crochet Icicle Angels

Swiffer Cover - I love these. I made one for myself and liked it. I made another (was supposed to be for me), but I left it at a friend's house. Well worth it!

Crochet Unicorn Hat
Sunset Slouchy Hat
Rainbow Beanie
Slouchy Hat
Montera Slouch Hat - This is a free pattern, but you have to log in and "buy" it, but well worth it.
Slouchy Hat - Listed also as Fair Verona Slouchy Beret
Ava Hat for toddlers or babies
Mini Brim Hat - my oldest girl would love this hat.
Puppy Dog Ear Flap Hat - my cousin's son would love this hat. He is just a little guy, so it would be perfect for him.
Baby Bird Hat 6 - 12 months old.
Circus Scrap Hat
Dad hat - good for any man in your life....your father, husband, boyfriend (it is not a sweater and therefore okay to make as a gift), son, nephew.
Fox Hat - baby (I know a baby or two who could use a new hat)
Bloomin' Purple Beanie

Braided Winter Headband

Just for Fun:
Gratitude Stones
Indoor Fairy Garden - I have seen this many times over the last year, but this was in my email from January 2014 (remember I mentioned my email box was "full" and I needed to empty it).
Draft Dodger - cute long dog shaped stuffy that you can put in front of doors or windows to keep the cold out and the heat in.
Slow Cooker Cupcake Cozy - this is from Moogly blog and covers a round medium sized crock pot.
Tissue Box Cover - My grandmother used to make these. They were so fun. I wish I had taken time to sit with her and learn how she did it, because they didn't look like this. She was so very talented.
Crochet Windsock
Kid's Crown - seeing these a lot this year, too for babies.

Beginner Mittens
Ailhbe Fingerless Mitts
Toasty Fingerless Mitts
Social Media Mitts
Stashbuster Mittens
Toddler Mittens - Yep, I think I need to make a few of these, too, for the cousin's kids.

Candy Stripe Scarf
Dragon Stitch Scarf
Flower Motif Scarf
Subway Scarf
Colorful Block Scarf
Old Flames Scarf

Flower Triangle Shawl
Summer Morning Shawl
Silk Handmaiden Wrap
Mystic Forest Shawl

Women's Loafer Slippers - you can print a pdf form of the pattern for $1.50, or just print the whole things for free, without a pdf.
Rainbow Sherbert Socks
Yoga Socks

06 May 2016

Mr Lemoncello and Dr Libris

Chris Grabenstein, wrote three books that are a lot of fun to read. The first book that I read by him was "Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library." The story follows a group of pre-teens who get invited to a "lock-in" at the library that just opened. Mr. Lemoncello is an eccentric millionaire who was upset that his favorite place (the library) had been closed and torn down. So he rebuilt the library with many improvements. At the end of the book, is a list of books that mentioned or were used as an inspiration to write the book. Very fun.

I noticed in the book that Chris Grabenstein had written, "The Island of Dr. Libris." Loved this story, too. A young man and his mother are on vacation at the cabin of Dr. X. Libris (have to read the story to get the joke on this one). There isn't a television or video games and the young man has to read books from Dr. Libris library. He finds a key to a section of books and as he reads, he hears noises from the island. He goes to investigate and finds that what he read has come to life on the island. But what does he need to do to save his family and friends. This book also has a list of books at the very end that were mentioned or used as an inspiration.

Then we (my children and I) found that Chris Grabenstein had written a follow up to "Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library." We found "Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics." Fun and interesting. Learning to get along with others and helping each other. This book, also, has list of books at the back. I think they are something that would help inspire a child or children to read some serious classics.

05 May 2016

How I Choose Books

I was looking at books that I have read and I realized I have an unusual way of choosing a book to read. I was looking at the books by Donna Andrews. The first book I borrowed written by her was "Crouching Buzzard Leaping Loons." It was fun and enjoyable and the cover art was goofy. It was a cozy mystery. So, yes, I chose the book on the title alone and the art work on the cover! After I read this book, I borrowed the rest of the books by her and read them all! Loved the stories. I am waiting for the next book to come out.

Another set of books I picked up just for the title alone was "The Gunn Zoo Mysteries." These were written by Betty Webb. I picked up the book because of the title, "The Koala of Death." I am sorry, it made me laugh. Loved the story and read the whole series, too. Great reads. There are some things that I know other zoos do not do because it is considered dangerous. But it was a fun read. It is another series of books that I recommend.

I also borrowed a book by Dorothy Cannell, called, "How to Murder the Man of Your Dreams." It was another title that just made me laugh. It raised eyebrows when I borrowed and I pointed out that it was just funny. The librarians told me the names of some other books with funny titles. One suggested by "She Needed Killing" by Bill Fitts.

I was talking with my girls about how much fun walking the stacks of a library can be. You can find a book and find something wonderful, just by looking at the book. If you want to find a book for me, it can be one of my favorite authors (and even Agatha Christie comes into that list). It can have a fun or funny picture. Or how I have picked up books, a funny, laugh out loud title!

I have discovered Camille Minichino because of the titles of her book, starting with "The Helium Murder." I have read one of her other books, "The Oxygen Murder." I really want to read the rest of her books in this grouping.

I found "Book Clubbed" by Lorna Barrett and loved the story. Now I am working my way through her series, too.

I spend a lot of time at the library. I take my children to book clubs (for their age groups) and I take them to events (for their age group) and I get to spend a lot of time walking through the books and finding fun books. In fact, I found Joanna Carl and her Chocolate series. I am loving "The Chocolate Frog Frame-Up." I think I will be reading as many of her books as I can.

Another fun group of stories comes from Peggy Webb. The first book I read from her was "Elvis and the Blue Christmas Corpse." I have read a couple of her others books and got one for my Kindle (for free) from Amazon. They are fun stories and Elvis is a dog who is supposed to be the reincarnation of Elvis Presley.

So how do you choose books? What books do you recommend?

03 May 2016

"Rule of Three" Trilogy

"Rule of Three" by Eric Walters, was an assigned book in the book club my daughters participate in. They attend a Teen Book Club at one of our local libraries and the librarian who runs the program assigns different books each month to the teens and they read and discuss the books. 

I try very hard to read the books my girls are reading and once and awhile I find a book that really starts me thinking. This was one of those books. I really enjoyed the story and enjoyed the book. Basically, while everyone is going about their daily lives, suddenly everything that runs by computer (and in today's world what isn't) stops working. Nothing works, runs or can be used if it had a computer for a brain. But one young man has a very old car is able to help his friends get home and they learn that a neighbor has been preparing for this eventuality. He helps his community to become able to survive. They build walls and form patrols and bring in people who can help with different tasks to keep the community alive. 

Recently, I learned that Eric Walters had written two more books as a follow up to the first. I devoured the 2nd and 3rd books of this series. They are "Fight for Power" and "Will to Survive." I highly recommend these books to everyone. Very thought provoking and powerful stories. 

01 May 2016

May and Flying Pig and Socks

OMG! May 1st, it is here! My oldest will be 14. My sister-in-law, aunt and many others are having birthdays. My sister and her husband will have an anniversary and my nephew will be leaving for 3 years to teach English. To that end, he requested that I make him socks. A simple request and one that intend to get finished with before he leaves. The best part is that they are small and portable. The bad thing, I can't knit when I am driving and I can't knit socks when my husband is driving...I guess I will knit in all the in between places. He needs to have a pair of socks to take with him. I will make him another pair and send them to him, but I need at least one pair for him before he leaves. My emails are filling up again. I just need to find time to sit and got through them and reduce. I was doing okay, but there is so little time with everything else that I do. It may not seem like a lot to many, but it can get overwhelming at times. But I just want to make time to do a little every day.

Today, my girls, husband and I worked a water stop at the Flying Pig Marathon. They had a good time and the new shoes helped my ankles a little, but they are still not stable and I did get hurt at one point. I ended up resting the ankles for a bit and then got up and worked a little more. The day started wet and dreary, but got better as it progressed. The sun came out and the day warmed up. It was fun, fun cheering the runners, telling them they only had 4 more miles to go. This is not the 1st marathon we have worked, it is actually our 5th! Our 3rd time at the Pig. We have helped at a few others, when my brother-in-law called for extra bodies to come out and help. We do enjoy the time at the runs and we do enjoy cheering for others to achieve their goals. I really hope that the one couple who were running their 1st ever marathon (without training) made it all the way and that they are actually okay. I know that the husband was having trouble, but his wife was with him and they were doing this together, good job.

We have so much planned for the month. We will be celebrating the girls birthday by going to the Hershey Amusement Park and Zoo America! The girls are so excited about this trip.

We will be finishing up our school year and since we went with traditional homeschooling, we will have to do some testing at the end of the month.

Traditional Cable Knit Afghan
Cinnamon Twist Afghan
Lizard Ridge Afghan - I like the name and the pictures are really intriguing.
Marshmallow Fluff Afghan

100 Books to Change Life and/or Thinking

District 12 Cowl Wrap - Reference would be to the book "The Hunger Games."

Cross Stitch:
Dated Angel Ornament

Crochet Brioche Hat
Quick Kids Hat
Very Hungry Caterpillar Hat for child
Driggs Avenue Hattitude

Just for Fun:
Flower in a Pot
Irish Rose
Mr and Mrs Snowman
Crochet Frosty the Snowman
Crochet Orchid

Tea Cozy Links
20 Cat Patterns

How to Make Classic French Macarons

Basic Cable Scarf
Bluebird Scarf

So Simple Shawl
Simple Lace Shawl
Amazing Mitred Shawl - this is one that I want to make, as it has a skill that I want to master in it.

Twisted Socks this is from the blog by Chicken Stitches. She is a very talented knitter/crocheter. Love looking at what she is making and her patterns are so well written.