Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Olympic Torch Comes to Visit

With the Vancouver Olympics fast approaching, the Olympic Torch is making its way westwards back to Vancouver. Last night it stopped in my hometown and naturally, we had to go check out all the action.

We met up with two of the mascots (Miga - the black one who is an apparent snowboarder and Quatchi - the big brown furry one who is a hockey player!):

There were some fun little giveaways that the boys were happy to get - tambourines, small little Coke bottles that light up, and some bells that are often rung during luge and skeleton races (and probably bobsleigh as well...):

(DS #1, being a mature 13 year-old, refused to be photographed, so only DS #2 would pose!)

We did run across one of the torchbearers after the torch completed its run and he was kind enough to pose with my guys for a snap:

There was *such* a huge crowd around that I was unable to get our torcherbearer's name, but he was very kind. So, thank you number 192!

We had a great time, despite losing feeling in our toes - it was pretty darned cold! It was an awesome experience and one I hope my boys never forget!


 Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pretty things and some BIG news!

I have been pretty busy trying to get ready for Christmas - the tree is up but is lacking decorations. DH managed to get the lights on last night, but nothing else has made it out of the bins just yet. I'm baking like a madwoman - so far I've made 4 batches of fudge (2 peppermint, 1 cookies 'n creme & 1 chocolate orange), 1 batch of pumpkin gingerbread (yielding 2 yummy loaves), 1 batch of pumpkin pecan tassies, 1 batch of chocolate cherry squares, 2 double batches of chocolate pinwheel cookies and there's still more to go.........

Before the baking bonanza began, I did finish a few things off and what's even better - I can actually show pictures of them!

First up, my friend Barbara celebrated her birthday recently. She's a stitcher too, which is why I'm sure we're such buddies. Naturally, I had to stitch something for her birthday, so I took a stab at my very first 15-sided biscornu. I found the patterns from Stitch Creations and knew it would be the perfect thing. So, 15 20-stitch by 20-stitch squares later, I had this:

(sorry for the poor pictures, but the weather has turned cold and gloomy with little sun, so, you get what you get I'm afraid!)

Then came the challenge of cutting them apart and then putting them all back together into something cool. It wasn't as simple as it seemed and the first time I had it put together it looked dreadful. I discovered that there is a way to put it together so it looks right. So after some stitching, frogging and re-stitching, I managed to stuff and put a button on it. Here's a top view:

And from the side:

I still can't believe I managed to pull it off. Despite my error in assembly, it was a simple thing to put together and I wouldn't hesitate to do it again. On the up-side, Barbara really liked it.

I also finished a model. I was asked by the folks at BritStitch to stitch up a model for one of the pieces they sell. This piece is already available as it's from another design company, so I can show it now:

(no, it's not your eyes, it's crooked in the picture.... what can I say? I'm no photographer!)

This piece folds up and becomes a really neat looking dimensional piece:

This was a fun, easy stitch. My only complaint was the fact that I ran out of black (DMC 310) and the gold (the evil DMC 5282). I was able to pull from my stash to finish the piece. I have another copy of this kit to stitch for myself. I'll likely do it again at some point, but I'll skip the 'season's greetings' at the bottom and just continue the vine pattern. And I'll toss the 5282 into the nearest trash bin and substitute something that doesn't make me want to tear my hair out.

Now I guess I shouldn't put it off any longer and I had better tell you the BIG news. I'm really quite excited about it. I was asked to help organize something way back in October and I dragged my friend Barbara into this adventure with me. I didn't know if we'd manage it or if it would actually get off the ground. Last week the contract was signed, the flyers have gone out and it's official. Barbara and I are organzing Gitta's Getaway - Gitta's first ever stitching retreat! I started a blog specifically about the Getaway - it'll be a place where I'll post announcements about what we're up to and where stitchers can get info about the getaway itself. We're going to be staying close to the shop for our first retreat (and yes, before you ask, the next one will be moving out of town, but for now, we're a 20 minute walk from the shop!) at the gorgeous, luxurious Waterside Inn. We're planning lots of fun activities and time to stitch and hang out with other stitchers. We've even got some suprises up our sleeves, but I'm not going to give everything away here!

I still can't believe we're doing this - I've waited for years to go to a retreat and now I get to have a hand in making it happen!

In the meantime though, the oven beckons......


 Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Big 1-0!

'Tis a happy day in my little part of the world. We're celebrating one of the most special days in our little family's life. Today, my miracle baby turns 10. I look back at what we were looking at 10 years ago today:

I vividly remember looking at my little boy in his oxygen helmet and thinking 'You're alive, little one!' and being so full of joy and relief. I know the night after he was born I didn't sleep. I couldn't. I kept marveling at the fact that he'd beaten so many odds already and he wasn't even 24 hrs. old. I was terrified of what might come as we had no idea just what ordeals his birth defect would cause (7 surgeries later, I know!). I worried that he may have suffered some yet-unseen problem that we wouldn't know about until he was older. I was scared that I'd left him some awful genetic legacy - I'm adopted and at that point, I had not met my birthfamily so I had no clue what kind of genetic roulette I was playing.

Despite all that, it seems the heavens offered me the greatest gift of all. Not just another child to love. Not just someone who would surprise and amaze me at every turn. I've been offered a second child that would grow up just like everyone else - although just a little bit shorter than the rest (he's currently the size of an average 8 year old). What more could a mother ask for?

So today, we're celebrating my newly-minted 10 year old:

I couldn't be happier. The B painted this self-portrait at the beginning of the school year. I think he did a great job. Then again, I *am* his mom!

Happy Birthday little B. You made it! Love you lots!


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