Well, it's been a crazy end to the old year and an even crazier beginning to the new year!
We are STILL sending out Christmas items (Merry New Year!) because I ended up having to purchase a new-to-me van in the middle of the Christmas shopping season. Now we're playing catch-up on sending out gifts. But hey, you gotta take care of the necessary things you gotta take care of and just hope those family members understand.
My son's soccer team, Khaos, recently had their final game of the season. They were playing indoor for games so that kept us from freezing, but they were practicing outside and it's cold out there people. I call that dedication.
Now we're headed into popcorn basketball for the daughter. Since school hasn't been back in session for the new year due to snow days we don't know what team she is on and when they're going to practice. I'm ready to get back into a schedule that's not quite so chaotic.
We also added two more kitties to our household this past year. In June P-Dog™ rescued a little kitty in our backyard that had been hiding out in our shed. She was still so small I had to bottle feed her. By the time we decided we would try to find her another home my kids had named her, the dog was cuddled up mothering her and everyone was pretty much attached. The Dad™ ended up with the final say of "we're keeping her", so we did just that. Her name is Lizzie Wednesday.
The second one we found on a rainy night the first week of November. I've decided to believe he caught a ride into town on someone's engine, crawled out when the engine got cold and then got let behind. He was standing in the middle of the Subway parking lot when we stopped to get gas and The Blonde One™ nor myself were planning on leaving him there. He also had a pretty nasty gash in his leg so we brought him home, cleaned him up and doctored him. By the time his leg really started healing he already had a name and The Dad™ once again was attached so he stated "this is the LAST ONE! but we're keeping him." So we did and named him Duke (as in John Wayne).
P-Dog™ has been going everywhere with us. She hit the age of two in October and calmed down tremendously so I decided to start her for service dog training.
I'm training her for personal mobility and balance and she's doing a wonderful job.
I hope I never have to utilize her fully for what she is being trained, but in the event I do,
all the time and effort will be totally worth it.
A bonus…it really comes naturally for her and that just makes it so much easier
with which to deal!
We decided to try to get her into the water this summer and we finally succeeded. The closest local pool had a "Doggie Dive-In Day" before they closed it for the season so we took her for a swim. She didn't much care for the water, but introducing her to other dogs that did like the water helped tremendously.
But enough about our dog because my kids get teased enough that mom
loves the dog more than them even though they have admitted it would kill them
just as much as it would me if we lost her.
The Dad™ has just been busy at work and I'm just trying to get the house purged (FINALLY!!! Our trash guys I'm sure are beginning to hate me!) and back to all the mom stuff and creative things that I really want to get back to working on. Continue to come back and check up on me. I promised myself to keep up with my Frizzy Hair stuff better this year.
I feel a bit behind. We had a wonderful holiday season and the kiddos head back to school tomorrow to start a new quarter in the new year!
Right now while we're counting down the days until school starts we've been trying to purge our little house. Everyone hears we have 4 bedrooms and 2 baths and they think our house is HUGE. What most don't realize is my son's bedroom is smaller than my kitchen and that's not saying much since my kitchen can only handle one person at a time in it.
We house is about 1500 sq. ft. and sometimes we get so busy that it seems to get piled because we need to just stop and let go. The start of the new year is the perfect time to do that, but it's been challenging. I know I'm not the only parent with this problem, but I get tired of cleaning it all myself because my children seem to stand there with that "Where do I start?" look in their eyes.
We've devised a system where we work in 10-15 minute intervals (with a 5 minute break in there to access and look around) and it goes a little something like this:
Get a trash bag and throw away everything that is obviously trash. My kids have a nasty habit of saving EVERYTHING.
With a large storage container seat aside things you would like to keep
Find smaller storage containers and their lids (which have labels of what belongs in them) and start sorting what belongs in each
If it doesn't have a storage container put it in a bucket to be sorted later
Decide what we're really going to KEEP and what needs to be DONATED (to go live with someone else!)
Fold laundry and put it away (if we're not donating the items)
Sweep and mop the floors after everything has been put away
RELAX and be proud you've accomplished something
Now, we constantly have to break down into smaller tasks most of these chores. They've been working on one room for 4 days now and still aren't finished. Day one was just picking up the floor. Day two was clearing out the bookshelf corner. Day three was cleaning out the floor and shelves of the closet and today is getting EVERYTHING out from under the bed. I'm trying to not go in there and check on them constantly because I'm not sure I want to KNOW what is under the bed.
Not enough storage room is another problem. That is where we're forced to utilize our attic. Just don't forget that you stored things up there. That is why I like storage containers. You can find almost any size to fit anywhere and we stash them under beds, under hanging clothes in the closet and it also makes rotating things through the attic a whole lot easier than a cardboard box. Pest control is easier too!!!
But back to the fun stuff…
I am making headway in pattern writing process. It seems that has not been a priority and I apologize. The next thing I will be releasing will be an e-book of fingerless glove patterns that range from easy to intermediate and may be purchased individually or in a complete e-book. Those will definitely be available on Craftsy and Ravelry. I may even put them up for sale in my esty store.
I will also be making available for sale several items that are often requested for me to custom make. Most will already be made (as knitting and crocheting are therapy for my hands and arms) but custom orders are welcome as well.
I'm back to sketching the illustrations for the book, but none of what I've produced is at "finished" quality and I'm not even sure if some of them fit in to the story line so they may be used for a different book at a later date.
Also keep a look out for several projects and ideas we will be releasing throughout the new year. I will keep you up-to-date when we get closer to releasing those.
Hope your year is off to a great start. If it's not, keep your chin up and look to God…especially if you have frizzy hair on a sunny day!!!!
Okay, so on the front of posting more I'm doing a terrible job…I apologize.
The last week has been exhausting…
On top of myself having a life-altering change from 1000% stress to 0% and it causing my body to freak out and my getting sick, my entire household short of one ended up sharing the madness!!
I always tend to catch SOMETHING during the Christmas singing season (which around here is EARLY and over with quickly but I still enjoy participating!) It's just my body's way of telling me I need to slow down so I slept most of last week. I tried to get on here and post several times, but my arms hurt so badly I didn't even knit, let alone think of typing. My brain was also cloudy from all the meds and cough drops. YUCK!
Then my daughter ended up with a full blown case of strep!! FUN!! She spent two days running a 102º fever and upchucking and I'm not even sure she had eaten enough to warrant what I was cleaning up. YUCK!!!
Then The Hubs™ got it, but it was something else entirely different than even what I had or the daughter had. I got him his cold meds of choice and he was forced to go on his merry way to work. No laying around here. Suck it up and go because if you lay around here it will only gets worse (at least that was the pep talk I gave him!!! :)
The boy managed to come out of this sick period unscathed but that was a minor miracle. We are now back on the path of health and into routine but I'm seriously a whole week behind in work. I know I will catch up but it seems daunting nonetheless.
My brain is really excited. It's FRIDAY!!!! For some reason I have in my head that I will be knitting most of the weekend,which is probably true, but a few things have to be accomplished first! I have decided that we need to tackle the crazy chaos of our house one room at a time. Today is the kitchen. My goal before I go to bed is that every dish be either in the dishwasher (and it running!) or on the towel drying from being hand washed. This is a HUGE goal as I have never, even as a kid, liked doing dishes and it seems impossible for every dish in my kitchen to be clean all at once. I'm actually a HUGE advocate of the paper plate. I'm really trying harder to make a smaller footprint in the landfill so we are eating on our ceramic plates (for now!) It also seems that every time I do a cake or a specialty order, it takes longer to get the mess cleaned up. I don't know why, but I constantly go back to the kitchen and find yet ANOTHER cake pan or frosting something-or-other that never made it through the wash.
This week we have has several trying issues crop up as well. As the stress level in our household subsides, I guess my brain and my body have decided they don't remember how to operate. I've been running on stress adrenaline and lack of sleep and now that I'm sleeping, eating and not stressed I seem to be having emotional breakdowns. I've had several days where I couldn't stop crying and I have no reason to cry. It's very strange. I know I just need to give it to God and He will help me through, but sometimes that's easier said than done. I just have to keep hitting my knees in prayer though.
We had some excitement at school dealing with the teenager. I won't go into specifics, I just know that he is a good kid, but I'm not going to be that parent who says "My kid wouldn't do that!" The fact of the matter is he did do that and he got caught. The only thing that saved him was owning up to his mistake and taking responsibility for his actions. This also got him in less trouble when he got home.
Now what the boy actually did was not a huge major infraction, meaning not requiring expulsion, but it was disrespectful nonetheless and that is just not tolerated in this household. The teacher had every right to reprimand him and he took his punishment and corrected his behavior. I'm proud of that.
But I also applaud his standing up for himself. You see, my son is dyslexic and we have seen it all. We've gone 'round and 'round with our school, teachers, principles, superintendents, other parents, a couple of doctors, spent countless hours…actually we can account for it…4 hours a night screaming, crying and tearing out hair (mine not his!) and that was only spelling…never mind there's still math, social studies and science homework left to accomplish! The school is telling us to get a medical diagnosis (when it's really their job to test for this they just dont' want to spend the money) and our doctor who is laughing that our school would even suggest such a thing.
I miss his English teacher from last year who listened to a 12-year-old when he explained himself his problem and took responsibility for his own grades. It angers me greatly when a teacher won't listen to students who are genuinely trying. I guess it has become the norm for them to not care and just show up for the paycheck. I'm not saying every teacher is like that, but I'm finding that more and more of them are. I get tired of hearing that dyslexia is an excuse for not doing the work. It's super hard to do the work if you don't even understand it!
We're not rich or even well-to-do. We're like every other two-parent-working household in this country right now thankful we can pay the bills and still have food on the table. There was no way to privately have him assessed. We were having to find free or inexpensive ways to help him that wouldn't put pressure on our already fragile budget.
I had opportunity to hear Susan Barton speak at a neighboring school and I was overjoyed. You see, that year I had decided it was time for me to take the step to homeschool my kids even if it was for only a year or two and get my son back up to the grade level he should be. She applauded that. In fact, she said parents need to get control of the situation if the schools won't. I felt so relieved. She has helped our little family (without our spending a dime and just receiving her e-mail newsletter) in so many ways and she doesn't even know it.
Now if we could only curb the typical teenage outbursts and drama!!
Parenting a teenager isn't all bad and those of you who have made it through successfully know! I have only one year of this journey under my belt. Maybe I'll write a book about it along the way. A friend of mine suggested the book end with a stiff drink! I laugh but my choice wold be a thankful prayer to The Lord thanking Him for his guidance along the way!
But let's leave some other teenage talk for another time. I need to get off of here and go cook supper now.
Ya'll keep your chins up…even if you have frizzy hair on a sunny day!
Okay, so it's been a while since I've gotten on here. Life has been really crazy. I do apologize for not keeping everyone up-to-date with happenings.
On the Hutchings Household front…things have just kept piling on and it seems like I'm never caught up. I actually have thought about taking my vacation just to purge the house and do a little bit of painting and remodeling. That just never seems to work out either!!! Life is just too busy!!!
On the kids front…we have finished basketball (I think) and soccer and now we're trying to get into the holiday season. Music and band concerts are starting to take over!!!
My camera died in July and I have yet to replace it. I'm kind of being a bit picky since it will be an investment and probably the last camera I purchase for a while. So, needless to say, I haven't been taking too many pics to upload ANYWHERE lately!
On the crafty front…I'm almost booked solid for holiday knitting and I'm pretty sure that family gifts may have to be finished AFTER the big Christmas day at my mom's (which is usually around December 15th and too early!!!!) I did not do this intentionally but things are tight this year and every little bit helps!!!!
I'm also going to try to do better to post every couple of days. I've been working on some new patterns I need to get posted so everyone can start downloading those. They're not dolls, but I'm sure there will be some in the mix at some point!
I've also been finding some really cool projects to do with the kids and maybe you all would enjoy checking those out as well!
On the book front…I've decided that since I shelved it last year I'm not going to put a deadline or publish date on it. I wanted to have it finished well before now in time for holiday gift giving, but that's just not going to happen. I still have several illustrations to finish before I can put it together and as I've said in the past, they just cannot be forced. I'm going to just give it to God and let Him lead me through it. I will let everyone know when I get it sent in so you can order it!!
Hope everyone is enjoying the beginning of the holiday season and those of you who Black friday shopped survived it without casualty or injury. I personally don't Black Friday shop, but I have extended family who do!!
Oh, before I forget…I have a friend who turned me on to this if you're looking for a way to make a little extra cash this holiday season. It seems like we could all use a little extra these days.