Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Knitting Gal is having a contest!

Knitting Gal has reached over 1000 hits, and is celebrating with a Contest!

Go check it out! She seems to be quite popular!

backpost dishcloth

This is the latest dishcloth I've made, in different angles so the light reflects the texture. I sent this one away for my dishcloth pal, and of course forgot to post the photo. The photo just doesn't capture all the details as I see it in person. I really enjoyed this one, and it whipped up really quick! There are some fancy dishcloths I've crocheted, but frogged them as I really couldn't imagine anyone using them to wash anything with. I found this stitch in the perpetual crochet calendar, 365 Stitches.

part of the gift

These are the stitch markers that I ordered on Etsy for my secret pal in the Winter Doldrums gift exchange. She likes to make socks, so I think she will like these. I don't know if she has any yet, so hopefully they are well received.

Of course, the package is well on it's way, but I didn't post a photo yet so I thought I would do it now. I'm also learning how to post from flickr, and haven't done it yet, so here goes... (if you see the photo, it worked).

Thrills, Chills and Spills

This is what we went to see on the weekend. My littlest boy was thrilled to share his cotton candy.
All the proceeds of this event went to help a local long term care facility. Their favorite event was the hoola hoops girl;
she had at the end about 15 hoola hoops going, but they were moving too fast for the camera to capture.
The giant bag is a person inside; they tied it up at the top, and covered everything but the top with a sheet. When they uncovered the rest, she had escaped. The trampoline act was cool! I've never seen someone jump on a trampoline with fire swords before, which is something I would never dream to attempt.

My Little Shopping Spree!

For Christmas, I was given a $ Gift Card from one of my little munchkins (that's what I call the little ones I take care of - when I was little, our babysitter called us that and I really liked it so it stuck).  It was for which sells books online.  I couldn't decide on what books to select, so I hadn't used it... until now!  After reading various blogs, and going through the suggestions on my comments and emails, I have finally made up my mind and went on a little shopping spree!  Plus, they had a few books on sale on top of already good prices, and I ordered enough items to qualify for free shipping!  Did I tell you how much I love getting things in the mail?  By next week, I will have forgotten some of what I ordered, and will be delightfully surprised when they arrive in the mail!

What did I order?
1. Hip Knits!: 65 Easy Projects From Hot Designers
This one should be good for me - it says "Easy"
2. 2-at-a-time Socks: The Secret Of Knitting Two At Once On A Circular Needle
This one was on my secret pal's blog from the dishcloth swap.  I can't wait to try it out!
3. Knitting Rules!: The Yarn Harlot Unravels the Mysteries of Swatching, Stashing, Ribbing and Rolling
This one looked good for beginners
4. Friday Night Knitting Club
This one I heard about on a podcast from Lion Brand Yarn.  The author made this novel sound so intriguing!
5. The Little Abc Coloring Book 
this one's for my little boy

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Cross Border Shipping

I almost renamed Friday as Endless Errand Day.  But, we got it all done so I can enjoy my weekend.  To be truthful, my husband got most of it done for me, plus he brought me a Timmy's (Tim Horton's) coffee just the way I like it; half coffee, half hot chocolate.  MMMMMM!  I've tried getting a mocha latte at starbucks, but it doesn't seem the same to me.  Very strong taste.

As I was filing my paperwork, I noticed on my shipping receipt for my parcel that went out for the dishcloth exchange that there was an error.  Not an address error, thank goodness, but somehow I had posted the wrong dollar amount in the contents section.  I tried to use the new "Ship in a Click" on the Canada Post website to print off my shipping label. Their form took the number of items inside the package, times the value amount (I thought that was to be the total dollar value) and ended up showing the total as $89.00
So on the form I had filled out:
Items               Number of Items     Value
Knitting Supplies          4                       $
Dishcloths                    3                       $

I quickly glanced it over and figured they would do Total = Value of Knitting supplies + Value of Dishcloths, not Total = (4x$)+(3x$), which quadrupled the total value of the parcel.  Now, as anyone in Canada who has purchased an ebay item from outside Canada knows, duty fees are a dreadful thing.  I felt aweful for having made this horrible mistake, assuming my secret pal would now have to pay duty just to get her parcel!  In Canada, if you purchase anything from across the border that totals over $20 in Canadian dollars, you pay duty.  To make it worse, if it is sent by Fed Ex or UPS you pay a brokerage fee, even if there is no duty!  USPS is the best way to go, as they don't charge brokerage fees.  If you get a gift, the Canada Customs will allow for the total amount of the package to be less than $60.00 and not pay duty, as long as it is clearly marked 'gift' and not ordered directly from a company. 

I can't find any information as to the customs fees for items entering the US from Canada, other than a small article I found on Ebay.  I don't know for sure if this article is correct and up to date, but it mentioned there was a personal gift allowance of $100.  Whew!  What a relief!  I was feeling so horrible - imagine if you sent someone a nice gift and then had to make them pay a duty fee to get it.  If any of my 'anonymous' pals know about this and can confirm, that would be greatly appreciated!  Have you had a problem receiving shipments from Canada to the United States?  Please let me know!

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Almost out of here!

My last Etsy package arrived yesterday, for my secret pal. The photo of these stitch markers on Etsy didn't do them justice - they are so much more beautiful in person. It's almost a shame I have to give them away. My secret pal will just love them, I know it! On her blog, she mentioned how much she likes yellow flowers, so I just had to get these when I saw them on Etsy. I believe the sellers name is sunneshine Etsy. She has lots of great stuff. I can't wait to see how my swap pal likes her gift!

I'm going to be risky and post a photo of it, since I don't believe she is looking for me in the blogs. There are so many to go through! I was hoping to read all the blogs before the swap ended, but I then I land on an interesting blog and have to read the whole thing... very time consuming, and fun! I'm looking forward to reading my secret pal's blog when it's been revealed to me!

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Defeat the Winter Doldrums

Edited to Add:  This post was found in my drafts folder, I apologize for not noticing before that it hadn't been published. 

I was just going out to pick up the kids from school, and the mail lady knocked on my door. Look what she brought...

I was so excited! I told her it must be from my secret pal, so she told me to open it upside down if I don't want to read the label and find out what's inside (customs form has to declare contents).
Then my husband looks at the box and says, "It's from..."
"DON"T tell me!", I shouted back. "I have to go pick up the kids still, and I want it to be a surprise! I'll open it when I get back!"
When I came back, I got out the camera, and wouldn't you know it? Murphy's law kicked into play - my batteries were fully drained. OH NO! I wanted to take photos, so I had to recharge my batteries.
Talk about a build up of suspense!!! Finally, the batteries were charged, and the kids and I could hardly wait to see what was inside the largest box I have ever gotten in the mail!

The gift bag inside was so cute! Little fuzzy animals everywhere! I wondered what was inside, and by now my little 4 year old was exploding with excitement.
What's in it?

Look at this! A lovely gift basket! Full of goodies! Who was it from???
Not the yarn fairy... (though if there was one, this would be her)
My secret pal for Defeat the Winter Doldrums is....

Brenda W.!!!!
Mamere knits too much

I finally know her identity!
The funny thing is, I've been checking out various blogs from the Winter Doldrums swap and I had no idea it was her!
I read her blog a few times and she never gave herself away!
What a great secret pal!
Ok, I know you all want to see what's inside that huge goodie bag, so I'll show you:

Three beautifully wrapped dishcloths, a very nice card Brenda thoughtfully wrote for me, and a whole pile of goodies!
The funny thing is, I opened it upside down (so I wouldn't spoil the surprise by looking at the shipping label)
and all the goodies were still in the basket! I guess that bag came in real handy!

The first lovely item to come out of the basket was this fine handcrafted cucumber & aloe soap, made by Arcadia Aromatics.

Next were the delicately wrapped dishcloths.
Wow! Now I see why some people don't want to actually wash dishes with hand knitted dish cloths; they are so nice to look at!
The first one is an angel; I was actually admiring this one when I saw this one on a website once. Now I have my very own!

The next one is an adorable beetle or lady bug (my friend and I were debating on it, but I like either prospect).

And look at this! Isn't it amazing? I'm so spoiled! I'm not going to wash dishes with this one! It's going to have a place of honor on the counter, just underneath my coffee mug!
What a wonderful way to start my mornings, with a hot cup of coffee/tea so beautifully displayed!
It's too bad you can only look at this picture; you can't touch it and feel how wonderfully soft the cotton is!
The detaling is so lovely! Brenda, please forgive me if I took this the wrong way (upside down?). It looks so pretty from either side.

Then there was this; a pair of Clover Bamboo knitting needles just for me!!! I KNOW Brenda was reading my blog!
I can't tell you how much I've been wanting to try out a pair of these! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

So by now, I'm jumping up and down and giggling with glee, and my kids are wondering if it's my birthday. It might as well be!
Underneath is the cute card she got me, letting me know her true identity! When I found out it was "mamere knits too much" I had to go and tell my husband!
I have a wonderful friend, who is also an honorable "mamere" to my youngest, as she was so kind to step in and be my birthing coach when my husband fell ill with food poisoning (That is a whole other story by itself, LOL).
So to my child, she has earned the endearing title of "mamere". It was an intriguing coincidence that my secret pal should have the same nickname.

I can't wait to use these gorgeous needles!

Talk about having your cake and eating it, too! What a dream!
My secret pal really went to town!
I have not been able to find this cotton anywhere yet, and keep reading everyone's blogs about how fabulous this cotton is.
Now I see why! It's so delectable!
Not only was I overly spoiled with many skiens of Sugar 'n Cream cotton, in all these yummy colors, but Brenda was so sweet to send them in this delightful basket to store my new stash in!
I am so spoiled! I'm going to so enjoy perusing my new stash to decide on what one to use first! I've got my new yarn basket proudly boasting in the living room, for all to see!

Here's a closer shot, so you can see all the different flavors of Sugar 'n Cream that I was spoiled with!

I don't know why, but I am quite taken with this one in particular:
I'm sorry the picture just doesn't do it justice. It makes me feel calm and serene just holding it... something I likely need.
I'm going to love knitting with it! On the label it says it's called "Soft Ecru", and it's slightly lighter than the cream color.

So, altogether for a group shot of all my new goodies? Here it is!

What a great experience this has been! I've had such a great time spoiling my secret pal, Alaina,
and being spoiled myself by Brenda W. She's left me a few clues here and there in my emails, but I never did figure it was her.
I will keep an eye out for the next round!
Now I'm off to write a thank you note to Brenda, who has outdone herself!

Thinking of knitting this bag...

I got this pattern from
It's in the easy category, and I love how there is a needle incorporated in the pattern! Although I have to wonder wether it might fall out or not? Haven't decided what color yarn to use; I'll have to check my stash and see if there is anything not saved for a project.

Here is the website I got it from, hope the link works.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Buy yarn and save the rainforest, good deal!

I bought this today on The Rainforest Site and saved 2290 feet of rain forest!
They have all sorts of things there to buy, and apparently when you buy something, a certain amount goes towards saving the rain forests. They also have one of those 'click a day' button where a sponsor donates money if you click on the button once a day.

I thought this item might make a cute gift for someone, if I don't use it myself. It might just sit there as a great decoration! A new centerpiece for my countertop!

Monday, 18 February 2008

Huge Sale at Michaels!

I don't know if their sales are the same in the US as in Canada, but for the next 2 weeks there are quite a few types of yarn on sale.  I went there Saturday and couldn't believe the stuff I got! I  stumbled on something cute for the something T category for the Scavenger Hunt Swap.  I now have all my Scavenger Hunt items ready to go!  I purchased my shipping boxes at the postal store, have little gift bags for the items to go in.  I had so much fun with the Dishcloth swap and Scavenger Hunt Swap, that I ended up mistakenly purchasing items for both swaps in the Scavenger Hunt categories... something local, something funny, something hard, something round, etc.  I realized that I didn't need all those categories for the dishcloth swap, and had a little laugh at myself. 

When I was at the store, I was looking for some double pointed needles for the mitten pattern my upstream spoilee emailed to my secret email addy.  I would love to make a pair of mittens.  Another customer at the store pointed out that since I am a beginner, I should start with something simpler, like a scarf or a hat.  

While I was there, I picked up one of those Nifty Knitters for my boys to use.  They've been showing a lot of interest in my yarn stash.  My 11 year old made a few crochet chains the other day, and now wants to learn more.  So I showed him how to use the Nifty Knitter, and within minutes he made a few rows.  Then he cast off, and called it a blue and white snake.  Very cute.  I'm not sure if it's possible to purl on a nifty knitter, but there are lots of possibilities for him to try.  My husband would like the boys to make a sweater for our new stuffed animal, El Toro of Love (Valentine's gift from Hallmark).  The kids like having accessories for their stuffed animals.

New Question:

How do you keep track of your rows when doing patterns?

Do you make charts?
Do you print off the  pattern and check off the rows?  Strike them off as you go?
Do you use an abacus?
Spreadsheet on the computer?

What's your favorite way of keeping track?

Topic #5 - Defeat the Winter Doldrums

If money were no object, and the day was just perfect - not to hot, not too cold, sun shining, slight breeze - how would you spend a perfect day out that had been given to you in the middle of a cold and blustery winter?

I would go to Prince Edward Island and take a tour, watch their Anne of Green Gables play, and wander through Lover's Lane.  Assuming it was a beautiful warm day, I would explore the forests and smell all the flowers.  I would take my time and enjoy the outdoors.  Maybe there would even be some butterflies!

Friday, 15 February 2008

Spiderman afghan!

Isn't this so cool? I found it on a blog I just now checked out. Wow! My kids saw it and said, "I want one!"
Can you guess what colors of yarn I'll be getting at Michaels tomorrow? Have to finish my other WIP's first, though.
Need to get those vests done before winter is over! LOL

Visiting blogs today

Tonight I'm goint to catch up on some Dishcloth swap blog reading, as well as some blogs on the Scavenger Hunt Swap.  I'm trying to get through the list alphabetically.  I'm still way back at the beginning.  I've checked out a few other blogs out of order, like knit fit, and a few others after reading about them on the scavenger hunt's page (contest for listing your favorite blogs).  I'm finally done the A's and B's on the dishcloth swap (love that Coffee Yarn blog layout!).  I keep losing my place on the Scavenger hunt list of blogs, so I've read a few over - that's okay, as there's always something new to read on them.  I'm not sure if I will actually get through the entire lists, but I am hoping to.

There is one exception,  I will not be reading any blogs whose name starts with "K".  I don't want to spoil anything, and I have an idea that one of my secret pal's names starts with a K.  I deleted the post as soon as I saw there was a name accidentally on it, but tried not to look at the name.  Thankfully, I am really bad at names (not always a good thing, but here it works well) so that's all I remember.  So if you are reading this, "K" a.k.a. secret pal, I will not spoil the fun by cheating.  I'll wait like a good spoilee for my package to arrive and then learn who you are.  Then I will go straight away to your blog and find out more about you!  And as for my other secret pal, a.k.a. "secr3t pal", I have no idea who you are!

For the dishcloth exchange blogs, I'm going to try and read through the C's today - there are so many of them!  for the Scavenger blogs, I thought they were out of order but now I see they are backwards alphabetical.  So I'm going to start at the bottom and try and get A - C/D done as I know I haven't read the bottom listed names yet.

Hey - it's Friday!  Hope you've all had a good week!  Plans for the weekend?  Michaels is having a huge yarn sale tomorrow, so I'm going to double check my lists and make sure I haven't missed anything.  There are a couple of items I was having doubts about, so this gives me one more chance to finish everything up before I am due to ship on Monday... hope my Etsy items get here in time!  I just want to make sure the shipping gets there on time.  Perhaps I should double check how fast expresspost might arrive there.  Cheers!

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

I tried sending my secret pal a Valentine's ecard, but Hallmark's website was jammed most of the day.  I figure they don't have a big enough server to handle all the traffic they were getting.

So to everyone who didn't get a card from me today, I wish you a terrific Valentine's Day!

Bonus:  my husband bought me a box of Pot of Gold.  I opened it up, and it has my absolute favourite piece of chocolate in the world (that I have tasted thus far).  Coffee Creme!  Oh, so good!  MMMMMMM!  This particular piece is only in one kind of Pot of Gold that I'm aware of;  their Milk Chocolate collection, although I LOVE dark chocolate.  I can't remember if the dark chocolate collection had the coffee creme of not?  But it's ooooo soooo gooood!  I savored the one little piece, and will wait till later before having another.  It would be so cool if Pot of Gold let you custom order just the pieces you liked best, but then would you share your box with other people?  Ha ha ha.  That's why they put so many different kinds in the box, so you will share the pieces you didn't try to claim for yourself!

Have a great day, everyone!

Monday, 11 February 2008

finished dishcloth

Here are some new photos - the quality isn't the best, as I only used the computer's camera instead of my camera. I didn't want to hunt for the USB cord to connect the camera to the computer for uploading.
So, the first photo is the Super Sox - that's the one skein of yarn that I picked up for myself (while shopping for my secret pal)to try making a pair of socks one day. You can't really tell from the photo, but the yarn is very soft, and has nice rich tones of hunter green and some dark blues, and some auburn.

The next photo should be the newest dishcloth I've just finished for the Defeat the Winter Doldrums dishcloth swap. It's a double woven knitting pattern. It's got some intereted colors in it.

After that we have the moose dishcloth. I took two photos with slightly different lighting angles. I hope you can see the shape!

The kitty cat is a photo I stumbled upon while looking for knitted sweater pictures. What a cutie!

Weekly Topic #4

" Defeat the Winter Doldrums" for some of us we get the doldrums and others don't. For the ones who get doldrums what helps you get rid of them? For the ones who don't get the doldrums, what helps you keep them away?

I usually call them the Winter Blahs. Sometimes I get them, but they don't last too long. Most of our relatives are out of town, so we don't visit them as much during the winter, as well as friends who live out of town. Hot chocolate helps. We rent more movies, put on the fire place, and usually order in food more rather than dining out. My husband likes to order Swiss Chalet. I try to get a few new slow cooker recipes to try - I love soup! My husband likes a good beef stew. I like to knit or crochet warm winter accessories whilte it's still cold out. Winter is so much cozier that way. Last year I had made my first hat and matching scarf, and everytime I wear it, I don't mind going out in the cold. I would love to knit a pair of mittens - haven't done that yet. I found the best pair of mittens in college at a store. The looked hand made, though I don't remember if they were. The pattern looked so cheerful. They were large enough for me to wear another whole pair of mittens inside. All my buddies in college saw them, and ran out to get a pair for themselves. So we had a little mitten posse going on. I'm certain we had the warmest hands of anyone on campus! There were no winter blahs that year! If I ever see a pair like that again, I will have to get the pattern and make me a fun pair of mitts!

Saturday, 9 February 2008

Cloth and Clay

That's the name of the LYS I went to today!  Wow!  It looked so delightful, but I couldn't stay long.  The plan was to have my husband take the boys out to lunch whilst I explored this wonderful new discovery.  But unfortunately, they could not find anything for them to do and came back to see if I was done shopping.  By then I had just finished paying for the purchases I had made for my secret pals, but didn't get to browse around for fun.  I promised that I wouldn't get anything for myself on this visit, and somehow ended up getting a skein of sock yarn (everything today was 20% off, which they said only happens every February).  The silly thing is, I have never made socks, don't have sock needles, patterns, or whatever else it is that you need to make socks.  Why on earth did I buy sock yarn?  I was buying a skien of it for my secret pal, and it looked so intriguing that for some reason I found myself grabbing an extra one for myself.  The sales lady didn't mind adding another item to my bill - which was substantially higher than what I was supposed to spend even with the discount.  But I wanted to make sure I had everything on my list, and I'm sure the gifts will be well liked.  As it is typical of me, I forgot that I already had certain things picked out (but didn't check it off my category for the scavenger hunt), and then purchased something else for that category.  So I have a few extra trinkets to put in the gift pack.  I also found the cutest soap for my spoilee in the dishchloth swap!  I am so thrilled to have taken care of it early!  The only thing I have to do now, is pick out a nice card for them, a box to wrap everything in, and finish knitting my dishcloths!  Silly me, I accidentally gave away one of the dish cloths I had made for the dishcloth swap to my sister - she really liked it.  I can whip up a new one.  I am trying to make a new pattern tonight - a double woven dishcloth.  I have already frogged it about 3 or 4 times!  I am on line 7 now.  I will take some photos tomorrow to show you some of the stuff I got! 

The Weekend is here!

Last night I went out with my old college friend to a ladies' game night.  There was a large room with lots of round tables.  Ladies brought their own board games, cards, and crocano (spelling?) tables.  There was also lots of refreshments like tea, hot chocolate, flavored water and an old fashioned pop corn machine like at the theatres.  This was my first time at a games night.  I haven't played crocano since high school; although I was terrible at first, we had a hoot. Most of us at my table were terrible at first.  I actually shot the disk and it rickocheted off the table.  We had a good time.

Today I am brining my boys to a birthday party, then I am hoping to go to the other local yarn store that I have not yet been to.  I will bring my lists with me, so I have all the possible information I could use to find things for my spoilees.  I have printed off their questionnaires, and wrote down a few points I have gathered from reading their posts.  I also printed off the scavenger hunt and dishcloth swap requirements, so that I don't accidentally leave anything out.  I can't wait for my Etsy stuff to arrive!  Still, I don't know what category I will fit most of it under, I just think my secret pal will love the stuff I've picked out!
I'll post a picture when it arrives.

It's supposed to snow more today.  I'm hoping not too much until after I get home again.  It would be aweful if I didn't get to go the the LYS today!!!

If I do make it there, I'm sure you'll see another post from me later with a report of all the goodies that I saw!  From what I'm told, they stock over 1200 different types of yarn!
I'm really excited! 

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Dishcloth swap topic # 3

Please post a picture of your yarn stash for making dishcloths and the notions you use on them. So, 2 pics 1 of dishcloth yarn stash and 1 of your notions you use for making dishcloths.

This is a photo of my knitting suitcase. This was my suitcase as a child, recently given to me again by my sister. I had no idea it was still around! We very seldom went away anywhere with it, but had a lot of fun packing things in it and pretending to go away. Have you ever seen that episode where Mr. Bean packs his suitcase for vacation? I really like that one. My little suitcase has a nice wide pocket in the back for knitting needles to fit in.

Inside my suitcase are all my dishcloth yarns. All of them are Bernat brand, as I have not found any other brand locally for dishcloths, but I've found that Bernat and Patons brands are both made locally so that's pretty neat. I love any color of dishcloth yarn. I love working with cotton yarn. I would love to try some of that Sugar and Cream yarn that everyone else uses, but have never seen any at my local yarn store. There is one other store in my area that I just found out about on the weekend. I would like to go there this week, but the weather might not permit it. We are supposed to have a huge snowstorm tonight, so it might have to wait till the weekend. I can't wait to go there!

Okay, so as for notions: I don't have any. Unless that includes needles. I have 3 sets of needles; size 4.5mm, 5.0mm, 6.0mm. I do not have any knitting stitch markers; I have some Lion brand crochet plastic stitch markers.

That's my stash!

Hope you are having a great day!

Saturday, 2 February 2008

Ravelry, Here I Come!

Guess what?  I just got my email invitation to join Ravelry!!!  Whoo Hoo!!! I am so excited!

Tonight I will be touring Ravelry, and finishing my Moose dishcloth that I'm making for my Winter Doldrums secret pal.  I had to frog the last 10 rows;  I couldn't figure out why it was turning out so funny until I had a friend take a look at it.  She said I had been doing my purls backwards somehow.  I think I was wrapping the yarn around the needle the wrong way when purling.  I was knitting while watching a movie last night, and I must have become distracted and goofed up.  We had a good laugh over it. :)

Friday, 1 February 2008

To Knit a Sweater

I found this pattern of a lovely sweater that I think I would like to try to knit.  I realized when looking at the pattern that there are some things I still need to learn before I make a sweater.  I'm curious how others tackled their first knit object that was bigger than a dishcloth?  Learn to knit book?  Class?  Friend?  Knit Along group? I would love to be able to knit a sweater before sweater season is over.  I may have to crochet one just to get it done - I'm much faster with the hook.  There are so many more gorgeous patterns out there for sweaters to knit than to crochet.  Which a real motivator for me to learn knitting.

I've noticed on my dishcloth that I am knitting that my purls are loose and my knits are tight. Strange or what?  I'll have to work on that this weekend.  That, and I am hoping to finish my sister's rainbow scarf as well as the camo vest I'm half done.  I was hoping on going to the local yarn store, but with this snow I am going no where!  We had lots of fun making snow forts today, though!  Have a great weekend! 


We are expected to get over 25 cm (9.84 inches) of snow today, so all the schools are cancelled!  There is a beatiful snowfall going on outside my window.  I love when it snows all day, especially when I have no where to go.  So I will be making snow forts in the back yard with the kids today, making extra arts and crafts (maybe some finger painting as well), and we'll be baking some chocolate chip banana muffins!  MMMMMMM!  That's one thing we do almost every time there is a NO school day.  Of course, being home schooled, my own children could still technically do school work on a day when other schools are cancelled.  But being that I do home child care and will have a full house of excited children, there would be too many distractions for them.  So I tell them that when their friends get a 'snow day',  they can have one, too.  We still do Reading Buddies and story time with the whole group of kids, creative writing, and sometimes I throw in a bit of a science lesson as well.  I find that the children really enjoy earth sciences, so when I am teaching my children a lesson on invertibrates, or we are discussing different types of rocks, etc. they have their eyes glued to the pictures or objects we are using for the lesson.  Right now we are on a unit about spiders and the children love to learn new creepy things!  I couldn't believe that the Daddy Longlegs isn't really a spider!  According to our science book,  it only has one body section so it is not classified as a spider even though it has eight legs.  That was my favourite spider as a child, so I was disappointed to find that out.  It's still in the class of arachnids, along with scorpions, ticks, and mites (yuck).  I actually have fun learning all those cool things that you might only use on Jeopardy, but would also come in handy on a nature hike or camping.  I have to do a section with slugs and leeches in a few weeks - gross!  I might let my husband do that one, but the kids certainly like watching me squirm when I have to discuss something I find creepy.  I think the reaction must help them retain memory better, because they seem to master those topics very well!

It's been a fast-flying week!  I can't believe it's Friday already!  I'm going to go enjoy a cup of Stash Chai tea with milk, and get out our painting smocks!  Hope you all drive safe today, and have fun!  I dare you to toss a snowball or make a snowman today!  Ok, you can knit or crochet a snowman, too.  That counts.

P.S.  Thanks to everyone for being sooo helpful by answering my technical questions in the previosu posts.  You are wonderful!