Gracious. Time flies. And I'm not sure I've done a thing but it seems like I've been very very busy when you put it all down on paper (or the computer screen).
So let's see. February was filled with quite a bit of craziness. All of us had a mild case of the flu except the babies - they had flu shots so we were hopefully spared that misery. The last one to get sick was Katie and she stayed home from school with a headache one day.... I assumed because she was feeling left out from the real flu that makes you miss school. It took about a week before everyone had it that was going to get it.
In early February I got to enjoy practicing for Special Music at church with two of my favorite grrlfriends from the choir. I picked a song that they didn't know and we were singing acapella so it took a few good practice sessions to get it down - and wow - we had a lot of fun. Our day to sing was February 15th. We sang at both services and it turned out so nicely but at the end of the chorus for the last verse - about two measures from the end - I started thinking "oh no - this is the last time we'll sing this together" and I started to cry. I'm so silly that way - I never want it to be over. But that's okay - we're doing it again in June and I've already started picking the music - this time it will be a quartette. I'm going to see if I can get a friend of mine to video record it and maybe the others won't mind if I put it on youtube.
The big kids' dad came up from Texas for Valentine's weekend. Sunday morning I was surprised to see Benny and Suzannah come in for 2nd service at church and said they were getting away from Katie since she had been sick with the flu all weekend since Friday with fever and throwing up, etc. Her daddy had been with her thru the worst of it at their hotel (right down the street - don't ya know that makes a mama hurt hearing how uncomfortable they all must have been) and once I got home from church (after all the singing and crying) he was insisting that she go to the ER. I talked him out of it - it was just a relapse of the flu after all. She came home to my house Sunday and the other two stayed with their dad because they weren't due to come back until Monday. He called Monday saying we should take her to the doctor but her fever was down and she had started eating again - I didn't see a reason for her to see the doctor so he dropped off Benny and Suzannah and started for home. Finally around 3:00 Katie's fever started going up again and she complained of her ear hurting and one side of her stomach hurt. We called and had her at the doctor by 3:45. She was really miserable and seemed like the flu was hitting her HARD. The doctor poked around on her belly and ruled out appendix, then ruled out ear infection. He said it's probably just an awful case of the flu, so he did a flu test (who knew? must be a new thing). He came back five minutes later with a worried look. She didn't have the flu and we needed to figure out why she had a 103+ fever for three days. A urine test told it all: kidney infection. It was a sobering moment when he said "I can't let her go home."
So we spent three more days in the hospital with Katie on IV antibiotics and she was quite miserable most of that time and didn't want me to leave her side. She had an early introduction to things like IVs, having your blood drawn at 6am by someone who can't find your vein, peeing in a "hat", and various other joys of staying in the hospital.
That's kind of taken over our month, really. Recovering from those few days away from the house is always harder than you expect. While at the hospital I finished the body and sleeves of a youth size EPS cardigan. Just need to sit down and steek the front so I can knit on the button band. I started the 2nd mitten of a pair for Katie, but didn't get it finished - about to put in the waste yarn for the thumb on that one.
While at the hospital I got an email from my friend Shelly at Twist Yarn Shop revealing a plan for a series of lace knitting classes this summer. I responded with some ideas and by golly I've got a new series of classes that I'm preparing for! Lace I, II, and III! I guess everyone around is pretty excited about it because the first round of classes for all three are full! I've been busily knitting up store samples for the classes and am nearly half way through with the sample for Lace II - Branching Out in a lovely fingering weight alpaca. Lace III will be another Susan Lawrence pattern - a triangle lace shawl called "Spring Things" knit with a lovely colorway of Cascade Alpaca Lace called "Flax Heather". It's a honeybutter color with pink undertones. Gorgeous. And I'm choosing to knit the beaded pattern using peridot colored beads. After looking through the Ravelry projects for this pattern I think I want to make the next one (listen to me, ha) in white with yellow beads. I'm still on the hunt for just the most perfect beads - I need to check those projects pages again for bead suggestions.
So I'm knitting. The kids are well now, and growing like crazy crazy crazy. Jeff is working slightly less overtime right now which is a very happy thing. It still seems like we have less opportunity than ever for family meals with all of us together but I know that's what happens when a family grows and gets older and kids have so many activities.
Benny and Adam - the Arby's Boys
Benny is still working at Arby's. He joined a men's league basketball team and will have his last game next week. I'll be glad for that - he doesn't do much with it but he's been missing Wednesday night church which I think of as family time. He's working harder than ever at some of his classes in school this year. The sort of student that has never had to try very hard to get A's and has generally been an overachiever just to feel like he's doing something.... suddenly he has a few classes this year that don't just come naturally. He's growing and learning with this difficult situation and seems to be taking the challenge responsibly to turn his grade around without me having to get onto him TOO bad. We've had some serious discussions about expectations but if he's going to succeed in college away from home it has to be something he can do on his own. It's better to start with baby steps now than to breeze through high school and get hit between the eyes with it (hard work and difficult classes) in college.
Katie's blue glasses are a dead giveaway for which one is her in this picture. :)
Katie has gotten over the kidney infection with flying colors and started softball practice this week. She waffled a bit over what sport to participate in this spring and finally landed back with her old standby - softball. She played for many years in Texas and is really excited now to be back with the glove and ball and daily practices. She's about to die from the practices at this point, and told me today that I was not to allow her to quit for any reason, no matter how much she argues that she wants to quit. She said "I'm so worn out from practices right now that I would probably have already quit if it wasn't that you bought a nice glove and new cleats for me." ha Don't worry Katie, I won't let you quit.
Suzannah is enjoying a variety of activities and some of the privileges that come with "getting a little older than she was before". She has started spending more time with friends after school and on weekends and is a member of the church Mime Team which is a really awesome ministry. It's hard to explain but it's a great experience and I love watching their performances - generally a choreographed routine that uses a lot of sign language and mime moves to portray the message in Christian Praise Music. She's also proud to say that she has the best GPA of our three school kids so far this year!
Emeline should be heading up my ABC-along. They have covered one letter per week in preschool this year and she's on T this week! It's been fun for everyone in the family to help her think of what object to take for the "sharing box" at school based on the letter theme of the week. They also have a color, shape, and Bible story for each week. She is in "Cubbies" in the AWANA program on Wednesday nights at church and does a good job of memorizing her Bible verse every week if we do what we should as parents and help her out with it. She loves memorization and is such a sponge for all things Learning and School right now. She's excited to be turning 5 this summer - excited that she starts Kindergarten this fall - and is about to explode with happiness because she has a dentist appointment in 19 days!!! hehe She's crazy about going to the dentist!
Lila Pearl is hot on Emeline's heels for all things Learning! Yesterday she wrote her name. I nearly fell out of my chair. She wrote her name. She's three years old and hasn't even started preschool!! I know it's not like she's some genius but it's still amazing. And she's a potty trained Big Girl. That's kind of old news now but she still likes to demand a reward of chocolate when she poops in the potty. We should all get chocolate rewards for something, right?! heh
I went to my first Diabetes Education Class last Monday night. Whew. There's a lot to know. There's a lot to learn and it seems like everything is soooo serious. I think I've mostly been in denial about my diabetic diagnosis ever since I was told. But some of the facts and information I've been learning really put the seriousness in my face. I am still trying to lose weight. I haven't lost any in about a month, really - but I started yet another new weight loss plan this week. I'll let you know how it goes. It's hard to learn what you can't have - or can't have much of. It will get easier when I have lost some weight. And easier when I'm exercising more. I'm still going to the Y as often as I can but it was hard to get started again after Katie was in the hospital. The main thing that is hard to do is "take care of it NOW before it gets WORSE or you'll regret it LATER." That's like telling someone who is 5 lbs overweight that they should lose it now or they'll have 50 lbs to lose later. Hard concept to grasp, really, when you haven't been down the road yet. As much as I hate doing it, I'm listening to the doctors and doing what they tell me. Taking meds - but still exercising, trying to lose weight, and continuing to make a gradual lifestyle change for my family in the direction of eating healthier. I really do love whole wheat pasta. :)
Amid all of this, I'm working on a yarn order! And I got a note this week from a dear sweet lady in Sweden named Annelis who owns a yarn shop in Geneve, a French speaking part of Sweden, she says - and she has asked my permission to translate my Grrlfriend Market Bag pattern into French for her customers who aren't so familiar or comfortable with English knitting terms. I'm still amazed by that. The Grrlfriend Market Bag is a pattern I haven't mentioned much here on the blog but it was published last year in July if I remember correctly and was an instant hit on Ravelry. As of this writing it has been downloaded 2982 times and there are 233 projects listed on Ravelry (including my two).
For now I'm going to Knit (and dye!) On! Take Good Care of Every Little Thing! XOXOXOXOX