Giveaway Winner and other random things

Congratulations to Jenna and Savannah!  I will be sending you the yarn once I have your addresses.  Please let me know where to send it.

I have been absent from blogging this week because I’ve been quite busy.  Actually, I’m trying to decide if I want to continue to blog.  I’m working part time, caring for my family and house, seeking to minister to and encourage all of the wonderful people God has put in my life…and all of my “spare” time is spent crocheting.  This week I made so many new projects…several scarves, a few hats, even a tank top for my daughter (which came out too small because I didn’t measure correctly, but will make a lovely baby dress for my neice!).  But I haven’t had time to take pics and post them.  Which makes me wonder if I really should continue this blog.

I’m not ready to give it up yet.  Maybe I’ll even post pics of my work tomorrow.  But I’m really trying to decide if working on this blog is the best use of my time.

Well, we’ll see how this week goes!

Published in: on July 28, 2008 at 12:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Why my husband loves his GPS more than me…

Because of Ben’s brain damage, he can’t get anywhere without his GPS.  We are so thankful to God for this amazing technology. I don’t think Ben could function well without it.  If Ben doesn’t have his GPS, he invariably calls me on his cell phone and asks, “Where’s Costco?” or, “how do I get home from Trader Joe’s?”  So actually I thank God for GPSs (is there a plural for GPS?) and cell phones, both which make Ben’s life not only better, but immeasurably easier.

Ben got his first GPS three years ago after it was clear that he couldn’t drive to and from work without getting lost.  Our Care Group from church bought it for him.  It was a Garmin, and was stolen out of his car when he parked in the city a few months ago.  We replaced it immediately (the next day, actually; I’m not kidding when I say that he relies on it almost as much as he relies on me!) with another Garmin.  For years he has called  it “Mrs. Garmin,” and he often speaks lovingly of the disembodied voice in his car who unfailingly and uncomplainingly helps him get where he needs to go.

So today I’m posting my first Top Ten list:

Top Ten Reasons why my Husband Loves Mrs. Garmin More than He Loves Me

10. She always speaks in a kind and measured tone of voice

9. She tells him what to do but doesn’t try to micromanage how he does it

8. She never gets angry when he doesn’t do what she says

7. She never starts her directions by saying, “I’ve told you this at least ten times before!”

6. She tells him what to do, but never asks him to do anything for her

5. She doesn’t get upset if he doesn’t remember her birthday

4. She doesn’t repeat herself more than necessary

3. She comes with an adjustable volume button

2. She never gets frustrated with him when he tunes her out

and, the number one reason why my husband loves his GPS more than he loves me:

1. She’s always right!

Published in: on July 17, 2008 at 2:41 pm  Comments (2)  

Penguin, and…a giveaway!

I made this fun penguin with the simple pattern from the Lionbrand website.

I used Caron SS Quick yarn, which I bought just to try. I love using chunky yarn to make animals. But I wasn’t really into the SS Quick. Unfortunately, when I ordered the blue yarn online, I accidentally put in the number 12 instead of the number 2 (please tell me I’m not the only one who does these things!). Then life got busy and I forgot to return the yarn (please, also tell me I’m not the only one who does these things!).

So…today I’m hosting my first blog giveaway. Just leave a comment in the comments section (along with your email address), and let me know what you would make with 2 -4 skeins of blue mint Simply Soft Quick yarn. I will choose 2 – 3 winners and send the yarn to you. Giveaway ends Tuesday, July 22nd at midnight.

Oh, and if you decide you want to make a blue penguin, you can find the pattern here.

Published in: on July 15, 2008 at 11:07 am  Comments (9)  

Happy 16th Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary, Love. 16 years. Wow. I never imagined that I would be more in love after 16 years of marriage than I was at our wedding. You are an amazing gift from God to me.

The above pic was taken at our local 6 Flags. We went their with the kids for our anniversary, and had a great time. Except…

They had a “game” where you could win a prize if the girl working at the booth guessed your age incorrectly. I’ve always looked much younger than I am. So I ran up to the booth, filled with confidence that I would win. “Go ahead and guess my age,” I said. I even took off my sunglasses so she could see my eyes and skin clearly.

I won the prize. But not the way I wanted.

She guessed that I was 43.

I’m 39.

Here’s a picture of me with my prize. I named him “Forty Threety Bird.”

Published in: on July 14, 2008 at 2:35 pm  Comments (1)  

Weekly Menu

Monday: Pizza

Tuesday: Cabernet Roast, Honey Glazed Carrots, Garlic Green Beans, grilled flatbread

Wednesday: Chicken and spinach quesadillas

Thursday: Cobb Salad

Friday: Linguine Amatriciana

Saturday: Chicken with warm black bean salsa, Rice, Green Salad

Sunday: Chicken Nachos

Published in: on July 14, 2008 at 11:09 am  Leave a Comment  

Living with Memory Loss

Ben’s memory loss primarily affects his visual memory. (I didn’t realize there were so many different types of memory before all this, either!). What this means is that he doesn’t “see” memories in his mind. So he may remember details of a conversation, but he doesn’t always remember who the conversation was with. Or when it happened.

We’ve labeled all the kitchen cabinets in our house so Ben can find things more easily. But this still doesn’t stop him from asking, “Honey, where do we keep the small plates?” Of course, now that the cabinets are labeled, I can answer, “In the cabinet marked ‘small plates,’ dear.” But I’ve found that this usually doesn’t help him too much.

Recently I found myself upset because my favorite towel was always wet after I got out of the shower. I asked Ben several times not to use my towel, because I like to dry off with a dry towel. After this happened a few times, Ben looked at me and said in utter sincerity and embarrassment, “Nancy, when I get out of the shower, I don’t remember which towel is yours and which is mine.”

It never occurred to me that memory is used for so many things.

That night, I took a Sharpie marker and wrote “BEN” repeatedly on both ends of his towels.

We’ve had to adapt a lot.

Often, the cries of our heart are similar to those in 2 Chronicles: “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

Published in: on July 10, 2008 at 11:02 am  Comments (1)  

Amnesia (or, what happened to Ben)

I mentioned a few times that I’m planning on writing the story of my husband’s amnesia. I’m still trying to keep it SHORT and interesting. But here’s a teaser…

My husband starting having seizures in his sleep two weeks before our wedding. Over the years, he continued having occasional seizures in his sleep.

Four years ago, when I was seven months pregnant with our third child, Ben suffered a series of seizures (9 grand mal seizures, to be exact), what is called status epilepticus.

I am eager to share with you about the many ways that God was evident in my life during this time. I have never before called anyone (other than an ambulance) when Ben had a seizure before. But that night, after Ben’s first seizure, I called a dear friend whose husband I knew was away on business. We had no idea that this was more than a single seizure. But at 2 in the morning, my friend called my neighbors, our pastor, and the members of our Care Group.

I was surrounded by friends when the ER doctor told me that Ben’s heart had stopped for 4 1/2 minutes, and that they were going to keep him unconscious on a respirator for a few days to try to heal his aspirated lung.

When Ben woke up, he was groggy and confused (but alive!!).  His confusion was obvious right away, particularly because he couldn’t remember how many children we had until I showed him their photos.  And he refused to believe that I was pregnant (although I was 7 months pregnant and big as a house!).  Each time I told him I was pregnant, he responded differently.  One time he teared up and said, “Congratulations!”  Another time he adamantly insisted that I wasn’t pregnant.  “What’s THIS?” I asked, pointing to my belly.  “Fat!” he replied!  Over time, we realized that he had lost about 4 years of his working memory.  What a surprise when he came home and discovered that our 5 year old daughter was reading!

Praise God that Ben’s brain has been healing over the past 4 years.  He continues to struggle with short-term memory.  But his sense of humor and wonderful trust in God help us daily to face life with joy and with faith.

I will post more on this another day.  Just wanted to give you a brief history so you can understand when I mention what it’s like to live with an amnesiac!

Published in: on July 9, 2008 at 1:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Robot

I decided to make this robot for Joel after we saw the pattern online. He’s been looking forward to getting it (for his 7th birthday), and planned on naming him Wall*e. But after seeing the movie on Sunday, Joel decided he wasn’t really too into Wally. So he named him Louie.

I used Caron SS and a G hook. I think the dark grey is some kind of wool blend. It was the only dark grey I could find in the summer.

Happy Birthday, Joel!

Published in: on July 9, 2008 at 1:00 pm  Comments (1)  

Purse Pattern

Here’s the pattern for the purse I made for my MIL:

Nancy’s Purse
Using double strands of cotton yarn

With A:
Rnd 1:     Ch22, sc into 2nd ch from hook, 1sc each into next 19chs, 3sc into last ch.  Working on the other side of ch,1sc each into next 19chs, 2sc into last st
(same st where 2sc were made at the beginning of work), sl st to 1st sc to join (44sc)
Rnd 2 :      Ch2, hdc into same st, 1hdc each into next 19sts, work (2hdc each into next st) 3 times,  1hdc each into next 19sts, 2hdc each into last 2sts, sl st to 2nd ch to join (50sts)
Rnd 3 :     Ch1, 2sc into same st, 1sc each into next 20sts, work (2sc into next st, 1sc into next st)  3 times, 1sc each into next 19sts, work (2sc into next st, 1sc into next st) twice.  Sl st to 1st sc to join (56sc)
Rnd 4 :     Ch2, hdc into same st, 1hdc each into next 21sts, work (2hdc into next st, 1hdc each into next 2sts) 3 times, 1 hdc each into next 19sts, work (2hdc into next st, 1hdc each into next 2sts) twice.  Sl st to 2nd ch to join. (62sts)
Rnd 5 :     Ch1, 2sc into same st, 1sc each around.  Sl st to 1st sc to join. (63sts)
Rnd 6 :     Working in back loops only, ch2, 1hdc into each back loop around, sl st to 2nd ch to join.
Rnd 7 & 8 :     Working in both loops, ch2, 1hdc into each st around, sl st to 2nd ch to join.
Row 9 – 10:  hdc around.

Join color B
Round 11:  sc around.  Join with ss.  Ch. 1.  TURN.
Round 12:    *sc in 1st hdc.  Treble crochet in next hdc.   Repeat around.
Round 13 – ??:  repeat rows 9 and 10.
I did 16 rows of color B.  Continue until purse is ALMOST the desired size you want.

Join color A
Do 2 rows of:  sc around one row.  Then hdc around for 2 rows.

Extra sturdy bottom: Repeat rounds 1 – 5, then sc around, attaching to empty loop from row 6 of base.

Handle : (make 2)
Rnd 1 : Ch65, sc into 2nd ch from hook, 1ss into next 62ch, 3ss into last ch, working on the other side of chain, sl st. all the way around both sides of chain.
Then, add one sc in each ss all the way around.  Fasten off.

Button cover :
Rnd 1 : Make a loop and into this loop, ch1, 8sc into loop, sl st to 1st sc to join. (8sc)
Rnd 2 : Ch1, 2sc each into each st around, sl st to 1st sc to join. (16sc)
Rnd 3 : Ch1, 1sc into each st around, sl st to 1st sc to join. (16sc)
Put button to working piece to cover button with the following rounds.
Rnd 4 : Ch1, dec sc around, sl st to 1st sc to join. (8sc)
Rnd 5 : Ch1, dec sc around, sl st to end.  Break off yarn and leave a long tail for sewing button to bag.

Button loop:
Join yarn to back of bag at second to last round, with sl st.  Ch20, sl st into same same again.

There you go!  My first free pattern.

Published in: on July 9, 2008 at 11:15 am  Comments (1)  

The Three Bears

When I’m not working on birthday presents, I’ve been making these small bears lately. I love the pattern because I can make a bear in one night. It’s quick and really cute. I hope to make many of these and just keep them on hand to give as gifts as needed.

I’ve been experimenting with different yarn choices. Here’s what I made recently:

1. Made with Softee Chunky and a J hook (thanks, Dara, for suggesting I make him so many different colors!)

2. Made with BabyLash yarn and a J hook. He’s going to be a baby shower present for a friend who’s due next week:

3. Made with some soft, fuzzy yarn I bought at JoAnn (forget the name). I love the look and feel of the yarn, but haven’t liked anything I’ve made with it! I’m naming this the Abominable Snow Bear!

I also made one in dark brown, which I gave to my dad for his birthday.

I’ll be making more of these this week. I want to try using some other yarn, and make a few new rainbow bears as well.

Which do you like the best?

Published in: on July 9, 2008 at 11:01 am  Leave a Comment