Falling Asleep

My boys typically fall asleep with books in their hands. (Or books laying on their faces as my oldest guy just pointed out.) Anyway, back to my story…most nights I have to go into their rooms and put away the book and turn off the light. This is what greeted me one recent night.

toy gun, book

I love little boys.

(Yes, I know the picture is blurry. I thought something was wrong with my camera and that I would get to have to get a new camera. Turns out that the boys got the lens dirty the day they took some pictures with my camera. A little lens cleaning did the trick. Darn.)

YouTube Tuesday

I’ve noticed in my journeys around the Blog-o-sphere that many people have themes for their daily entries. There’s Works-for-Me-Wednesday over at Rocks in My Dryer, WordPress Wednesday at OMSH, and Wordless Wednesday. I’ve also seen Fun Friday (but can’t find it at the moment), and Fine Art Friday at Mental Multi Vitamin. I decided to join in on the fun with my own theme day post–YouTube Tuesday. (Yeah, I know, it’s not very original.)

Get ready to waste 15 minutes of your life. (I added them up–it’s exactly 15 minutes.)
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How did I miss this? Apparently this guy is a superstar. If you’ve had your head in the sand or, like me, have been busy changing diapers for the past 7 1/2 years, maybe this will be new for you. You’ll be singing all day long.

Here’s an acoustic version…

How about the Shaun Groves Version? (in Shaun Groves’s words: “Music by Shaun Groves…because I don’t rap.”)

And finally, from my sons’ favorite band…

Big Bad Baby Blanket

I just finished The Big Bad Baby Blanket after working on it for several years. Yes, I said years. It was worth the wait. It is a beautiful, warm blanket that we all fight over. My little guy, though, knows it’s his and protests loudly if someone else has his blanket.

The pattern is by Lisa Shobhana and it comes from this book by Deb Stoller. I knitted it with two strands of Patons Classic Wool Merino in Denim Marl held together. I didn’t worry about gauge since it’s a blanket.

Big Bad Baby Blanket, Stitch ‘n Bitch, Deb Stoller, Lisa Shobhana, BBBB
It starts out with a wide seed stitch border. I know a lot of knitters hate switching back and forth between knit and purl, but I’m a Continental knitter, and apparently it’s easier to do for us. (I don’t know how to knit English style, so I’m just going on what I’ve heard!) The center of the blanket is four squares made up of a knit-purl pattern.

Big Bad Baby Blanket, Stitch ‘n Bitch, Deb Stoller, Lisa Shobhana
Here it is about half-finished. See how the knit stitches in the right block go up and down and the purl stitches in the left block go side to side?

Big Bad Baby Blanket, Stitch ‘n Bitch, Deb Stoller, Lisa Shobhana, BBBB
After knitting half the blanket, you switch the knit-purl pattern to a purl-knit on. It makes this really neat center. This is my favorite part of the blanket.

Big Bad Baby Blanket, Stitch ‘n Bitch, Deb Stoller, Lisa Shobhana, BBBB
This blanket is about impossible to photograph well. It’s big and the stitches create a funky illusion that confuses the camera. Anyway, this is as close as I can get to a full picture. At least you can get a sense of the interior pattern and size.

The boys and I attempted to block it while MacGyver was on a trip, but I quickly discovered that it was a two person grownup job. I got it blocked enough to make the interior look great, but the border needs some work. Hopefully we can get to that soon.

Big Bad Baby Blanket, Stitch ‘n Bitch, Deb Stoller, Lisa Shobhana, BBBB
And here’s the wee recipient of the BBBB. He’s pretending to be asleep. He loves it.

Do you have any recent projects (knitting or otherwise) to share? I’d love to hear about them!

Mountain Sunrise

I am blessed to live in a beautiful area. Sometimes I even have to remind myself to look around! I try to remember that people come from all over to see what I get to see every day.

For instance…
WNC sunrise
This is what I see almost every morning out of my front windows. Gorgeous, isn’t it?

I love my mountains.

What Happens When Kids Get A Hold of the Camera

When kids get a hold of the camera, you usually get pictures like this
mess

and this.
Dixon

Or this series I call People Walking Away.
img_3668.jpg
img_3675.jpg
img_4783.jpg

And check out these portraits–
img_4813.jpg
img_4742.jpg
img_4835.jpg


Sometimes
, though, you get some gems like
Playmobil, pirate, toys, pirate ship
tree, sky
Sometimes you even get a good profile picture out of it.
profile

And sometimes you get a true treasure like this.
toys, toy car

We ♥ Moe’s

Do you have a Moe’s Southwest Grill nearby?

Moe’s, kid’s night

Because if you do, you need to get over there and eat some tasty grub.

Moe’s, kid’s night

Pronto.

Moe’s, kid’s night

Moe’s is yummy, but one of the reasons it’s such a hit in our family is

Moe’s, kid’s night

Kid’s Night. Kids eat free on Tuesday nights at our local establishment.

And it’s not just the free food that draws us there, either. They always have something fun for the kids like

Moe’s, face painting
face painting,

Moe’s, kid’s night

or a balloon artist.

Moe’s, kid’s night
Dad loves Moe’s kids night, (even though he may not look like it.)

The Best Trail Mix Ever

trail mix, cheez its, cashews, M&Ms, peanut butter chips, craisins, cheerios

I have three boys and they are always hungry. One of the biggest problems I face in my homeschool is food. This is how my day used to go…get up fix breakfast, eat breakfast, clean up breakfast, do a little school, fix snack, eat snack, clean up after snack, do a little more school, fix lunch, eat lunch, clean up after lunch. Well, you get the picture. I decided enough is enough, so since I can’t stop feeding them breakfast and lunch I decided that one thing I could do was tame the snack monster.

Now I’m not one of these people who believes kids shouldn’t have snacks. I think a healthy, well timed snack can help them do better with their school work and keep the grumpies away. The big question always is, what do I feed them for snack and how do I make it simple for me? The answer? Trail Mix. And not just any trail mix, you need to make The Best Trail Mix Ever.

Now snack time is so easy. I cut up an apple or two and give them a small portion of trail mix and they are good to go. Try it! Your kids (and you) will love it.

Ingredients
4 cups Honey-Nut Cheerios
4 cups Cheez Its
4 cups window pane pretzals (also known as snaps), broken into pieces*
2 cups cashews
2 cups M&Ms
2 cups peanut butter chips
2 cups craisins

Directions
Mix it all together in a very large pot and store in sealed containers.

trail mix, cheez its, cashews, M&Ms, peanut butter chips, craisins, cheerios
*Here’s the type of pretzals you need
trail mix, cheez its, cashews, M&Ms, peanut butter chips, craisins, cheerios

And this is about the size you need them to be. Just pinch them between your thumb and finger and they will snap into 2-4 pieces. If you don’t do this, the pretzals won’t mix well with everything else.

trail mix, cheez its, cashews, M&Ms, peanut butter chips, craisins, cheerios

I store mine in Tupperware cereal containers, but of course any sealed container works well.

This recipe is so simple and there are many variations to help keep it fresh and new each time you make it. There are tons of different types of Cheerios, Cheez-its, pretzals, nuts, craisins, and small candies you can try. The kids watched ET for the first time a couple of weeks ago and were begging to try Reese’s Pieces. So the next time I made the trail mix, I traded the peanut butter chips and M&Ms for Reese’s Pieces and chocolate chips. You could do plain or apple cinnamon Cheerios, white cheddar or spicy Cheez-its, there are even different flavored craisins. You could use Ritz Bits peanut butter crackers in place of the pretzals and peanut butter chips.

I’d love to hear if you make this! Enjoy!