Tuesday, June 30, 2009

And it begins

Today I spoke to the woman who will be Dante's tutor and set up their first session. She lives right next to my gym so I'll drop him off and go work out. I also was advised to call today and ask the principal if I can borrow the text book for next year, and good thing that I got this advice today because it was her last day. I'm on my way to being a manicuring slave, but it'll be well worth it when my son goes into 7th grade understanding what he's being taught. And while I was making phone calls today I called the LEA and left her a message expressing my concern that he passed math considering that every peace of information that came home showed him to be failing. I asked her to look at his teacher's grade book to prove how he passed, since i believe that they passed him so that they can get rid of me and avoid paying for his services. Little do they know that I'm now an informed parent with resources and it's not going to be so easy. If anything, they ticked me off further.

I checked the mail today and received my package from The Knitters Guild of America. It was just a print out in an envelope of several assignments. I was expecting a large package or something, (not sure why) so I was a little disappointed when I initially opened the envelope. After I had time to look over it, I felt a little apprehensive about my abilities. It's not enough to knit the 16 swatches, answer the 17 questions and turn in the research paper...it has to be done correctly and if it's not up to standards it will be sent back to be redone. I have a year from the date that I received the kit (today) to complete the assignments (also nerve wrecking...will I need a year?) and if it takes me over that I'll have to go online to see if the assignments have been revised and get a newer copy. This is something that I've wanted to do for a while but I feel a little insecure about it now. I'm sure that like most things, I'm making this way harder than it needs to be and once I learn to relax and simplify I'll do just fine.

In other news, Dante will be 12 on Sunday and he will be ordained into the Aaronic Priesthood on the same day. I can't really think about it too much because it really means a lot to me and I cry every time I think about it. I feel like I've accomplished something and that for all the screwing up I've done, I did something right. I can really feel how connected he is to God and I feel like all the struggling I've done, and all the times that I went to church even when I didn't feel like it have paid off and now I can see the start of the results from the seed that I planted 10 years ago. I'm going to have the priesthood in my home and my oldest son (whom I don't trust to take cookies out of the oven or use a steak knife) will have a great responsibility granted to him. I have to remember that he's capable of more than I give him credit for, and so are all of the rest of us. Our Heavenly Father knows that, and it's our duty to try to remember it ourselves. And with that, I'll get off my soap box and get ready to go to knitting group.

Monday, June 22, 2009

February Lady Sweater

Today I finished my February Lady Sweater and blocked it. It's mostly dry but it took longer than usual due to the strange weather we've been having here this month. Our computer said that it was 94 and sunny today but it was in the 60's and raining all day. This is not the type of weather that wet wool dries well in. Thankfully I considered this when I blocked it so I only pinned it down and sprayed it till it was damp. I think I'll be living in this tomorrow while I start the reading for next week's unit in school.

While I was in my seminar tonight, knitting on my newest project- Mina's Tuxedo Vest from Custom Knits, my teacher put me on the spot and mentioned that I had read the discussion questions for the unit and prepared answers to those questions as instructed. She asked me to tell the class where I had found those questions and said that next week she expected everyone to be prepared. I sort of felt bad, like I'd been a show-off and I'd become that kid we all hated in school who jacked the grading curve all the way up. But I only follow directions, so it's not like I'm doing anything special...or maybe I am? Who knows. I have to agree with my friend who recently told me that her husband (who is a teacher) feels that students now-a-days have a sense of entitlement about them. They act like it is the teachers job to teach them and that it's not in any way their job to learn. Really, it's both. Students need to take advantage of the resources available to them and ask questions if they don't understand something, and teachers need to provide those resources and be available to answer questions. If this happens...people learn stuff.

Off my soap box now. I heard from the local bank that I interviewed with and they want to extend a job offer. The position I applied for was a teller job, but they talked to me about being their head teller, which is a position that they were creating and in the middle of having approved. Over the last few weeks I've touched base with the hiring manager and they let me know that they were close to having that position up and running. Today I spoke to her and she said it was taking a bit longer and wanted to know if I was interested in coming aboard at a temp with a local agency until the position was finalized. The pay is within a dollar of what I was earning per hour after five years of being with my last bank and the job requires less stress and aggravation, plus it's just about at the level that I was at my last job. There are no benefits though the temp agency but I'm covered by my old employer for four months per the terms of my severance so that may not be an issue for another 12 weeks. I have to pray about it to see if I should take the offer. I like the job and the idea of it, the pay is close, and the hours will be the same, but I'm really starting to like being home with my kids and I don't know if I want to go back to work. I was really hoping that Aaron would find something before I heard back so that maybe I wouldn't have to go back but no such luck. So I guess I'll pray about it, and knit on my vest that I picked out to wear to this job that I'm not sure if I'll be taking, and see what happens from there.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

How do you eat a whale?

I don't know if anyone read Shel Sylverstein as a child but he had a poem about eating a whale and it basically said, one bite at a time. I may have bitten off more than I can chew with this one and I'm sure it will add unnecessary stress to my life, but I've decided to finally join the Knitters Guild of America and I've signed up for Level 1 of their Master Knitters program. This is an intensive correspondence course that will have me knitting several samples and completing research, and a written paper. After mailing back my work it will be graded and returned to me if anything needs adjustment. I won't be able to move on to Level 2 until I have passed Level 1. I've wanted to do this for five years and since I was paid out for my unused PTO and the extra week of PTO that I was purchasing, I decided to use that little bit extra to do something about it. Now when people tell me all the time that I should be selling my knitting, I can tell them that I'm in the process of improving my skill set so that I can make that happen. I feel very confident that by the time I finish this course I will have the knowledge necessary to be able to design my own patterns and then I will be able to sell my knitting because I won't be in danger of copy right infringement. I'm really excited about this and I can't wait for my kit to arrive in the mail. Maybe I'll get lucky and it will arrive during my week break between terms at Kaplan and I can spend some uninterrupted time going over it.

Today for father's day, I made my husband and boy a meat loaf with mashed potato's and a salad. They were all really impressed with the meat loaf, which I made from "The Book" and he suggested that we institute "Meat loaf Monday", which would be fine except that I've gone vegetarian and I just don't think I could struggle with the delightful smell of meat loaf coming from my oven once a week. I don't even like meat loaf but for some reason today I've been missing meat. I'm eating plenty of protein between lentil's, beans, peanut butter, and hummus but when I made my kids hot dogs for lunch (at the request of my very cranky 3-year old) I really wanted one, and again I don't even like hot dogs. Maybe I was being a bit cocky about how easy this switch off of meat has been for me and now I'm feeling it, or smelling it to be exact. I think I need to pick up some fish this week and that might take the edge off.

The FLS is cruising right along. I'm half way through the last sleeve right now and I hope to have it blocked and on my back by tomorrow, Tuesday at the latest. Then I have another sweater on deck but I've been asked by my mom to knit a pair of socks for my Grandmother, and my FIL needs a pair too, so I think the next two projects are going to be socks. Maybe I'll use the worsted weight Louet Gems I just got for practically nothing to knit his socks so that I can get them done quickly. I don't think that he'll ever wear them out of the house in shoes anyway so they don't really need to fit in his shoes. And Grandma has wool sensitivities so I'll be breaking into the cotton stash that I've been building up for my mom's socks. I don't usually deal with cotton, but I've been picking it up every time I find it on sale so that I can make her a new pair of socks, only I haven't had time to sit down and do that. I guess I do now though, and I do have a new book coming that's chocked full of great sock patterns so I think it won't be hard to get myself back in the sock knitting frame of mind.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The best day ever!

Today Alex and I went to breakfast with my husband's father & step-mother at I-Hop. Alex manhandled an order of stuffed french toast, some of my scrambled eggs, and about half of Weina's pancakes. Then we went to the mall where I found a plastic container large enough to hold two bags of cereal so that I can keep my Sam's Club cereals fresh and moth free. Then I went over to Fresh Purls on Hope St. in Providence and picked up 12 balls (yes...12) of cotton yarn and a copy of Interweave Knits Summer '08 for under 30$. They were having a sale on selected yarns of 75% off. Shut. Up.

Later I went with my friend Heather to meet up with other girls and head on over to the Comcast Center to see New Kids On The Block in concert. I've never been to a concert and I always wanted to see them when I was a kid so this was like a life long dream! It was the best show ever and I'm well on my way to having no voice but I had a blast. I even called my husband from the concert so he could hear all the commotion. Now I have to get into bed because I'm teaching a lesson on nails tomorrow for Enrichment and my ears are still buzzing.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wednesday Knitting night

Yesterday we pulled of our second weekly installment of the Wednesday Knitting/Crafting group. It was really great, just like I've always heard that knitting circles are supposed to be. There were about 9-10 of us there plus a brand new baby and there was knitting, crocheting, cross-stitching, heel-turning, and book perusing! And two different kinds of brownies. We talked and laughed and got loud sometimes, and the ladies gave me some really great advise regarding getting Dante what's called "extended year services" that he's supposed to be covered for under his IEP since he's failing math. I did call the school and left a message for the guidance counselor who was at a field trip and didn't call me after she got in. She'll be dealing with a very upset Mrs. Washington tomorrow and this will get sorted out.

I have a New Kids On The Block concert tomorrow, my first concert ever! Today I went out and got my hair cut and my brows waxed. I'm getting paid tomorrow so I'll have a little extra to take with me to the show. While I was out today, I stopped by Bella Yarns and picked up the buttons for my FLS and a hook closure for my Central Park Hoodie that I wear every day. I finally put a button and loop on it last week and it really makes the difference in how it stays in place but I decided that a metal decorative hook-eye dealie would look much better and more finished that my non-matching button and crochet loop-button hole. I also bought yarn for Mina's Tuxedo vest pattern from Custom Knits by Wendy Bernard. It will be lavander and I'm going to knit the pullover version rather than the cardigan version because it's just stunning! Now I just have to force myself to stay with my FLS until it's finished, and that shouldn't be much longer because I just started the first sleeve. Also on deck: Something Red, also from Knit and Tonic. I've been drooling over that one for years now so I finally bought it. And speaking of purchases, I just bought my own copy of Custom knits (this is borrowed), a copy of Cookie A's new sock book, and Fitted Knits. Lots of new patterns on the way courtesy of Knit Picks.com

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Monkey'n around

I finally gave in and knit another pair of Cookie A socks. I knit a pair of monkeys found at Knitty.com in a limited edition yarn from Skinny Sheep. They're much prettier than they look in the photo and they're really soft and comfortable (due to the yarn) and stretchy (due to the pattern). I can see how these can be addictive, they were a lot of fun to knit. I've got plans for a pair of purl-less monkeys as I've seen them around the web and they look fun too.
These only took just over a week to knit and I had them off the needles and on my feet before I knew what hit me.

I've been spending my time at home potty training, cooking, cleaning, and baking. My husband doesn't know what to think, lol. I've been trying to save money by making everything that I can from scratch at home (or near scratch). Alex got a cake with butter cream frosting from scratch and some cupcakes (boxed) with home made chocolate frosting. The cupcakes were a big hit, and after they were gone I had to break out the box of yellow cake I had in the cubbord and whip up another batch with the chocolate frosting I made before. I've also been baking bread and I made a good wheat bread, but it's heavier that my boys are used to for sandwiches and they don't really like it except as toast or dinner bread with butter on it. My friend Natalie gave me a link to her blog that has some really good recipes on it and I just make the curried lentils tonight. I've tasted it and I love it, but I've yet to serve it to my family. Hopefully they like it because I got sick this week and in my blessing I was told that I needed to cut out the meat so there will be lots more of these types of dishes as I embark on a vegetarian lifestyle...Heaven help me.

I've started another sweater in the last week as well, and I'm knitting the February Lady Sweater by Pamela Wynne of www.flintknits.com. This is knit from the top down so it really allows for being able to try on the sweater as you go to get a custom fit. So far so good for mine. I'm nearing the end of the body and will be picking up the sleeves soon. Wednesday night at my knitting group should be a good time to get some serious work on it and see how I like it.