Saturday, January 8, 2011

Ma, Lookee What I Made!

Ok, this is a first for me. I have a dear friend, Suzan, who asked me to make her a Yarmulke. I don't know if any of you out there have ever looked for patterns for knitting one of those, but they're few and far between, even with Google and the internet.

I had been busy knitting with some lovely yarn that I bought a few months ago. My son Timothy will be leaving in three short days to go to Egypt for a semester, to study abroad. Some of the things he needs to take are small gifts for people while he's there. So I was using this lovely yarn to make a scarf for him to take as a gift. The scarf reached its proper length, and I had some yarn left, so I promptly began a hat to go with it.

As I got some length on the hat, I realized I wouldn't after all have enough yarn to finish a proper hat with it! Suzan had asked for the yarmulke a few months back, so I just changed my goal midstream and continued knitting, not a hat now, but a yarmulke.

And I'm so proud of how it turned out! No pattern, just my design. It's a very simple design, but who wants a complicated design with hand-dyed yarn from Chile? Anyway, this is my first post with a pattern completely wrought by yours truly! I hope you like it!

Here are the instructions, if you would like to make one. I must say that this is such a comfortable little hat that I really didn't want to take it off!


Yarn: Araucania, color Aysen (no. 827), 1 skein (If you will start with this project, you will have enough left for a nice matching scarf made with the same rib. I started with the scarf, and had to end the hat with a little bit of a scrap of other yarn. You can see it in one of the pictures!)

Needles: size 9 16" circular and DPN's, or size for gauge

Gauge: 5 sts/in. in K1 tbl, P1 rib pattern

This particular hat was knit to fit a 20" head, but it fits me, too, and my head is 22", so it has a lot of give. This is due to the very stretchy rib.

CO 100 sts on the circular needles, and join, being careful not to twist the stitches.

Row 1: *K1tbl (through back loop), P1* repeat around

Rep row 1 until work measures 3 in. from CO edge.

Place marker at end/beginning of row (if you haven't already).

Make 1 row of purl sts all around to delineate the crown of the cap.

Begin decreasing:

*K18, K2 tog, PM (place marker)* around

K 1 row

Dec row: *K to 2 sts before marker, K2 tog* around

Repeat dec row.

K 1 row

K 3 dec rows.

*K5, k2 tog, PM, K5 K2 tog, slip marker* around

K to 2 sts before marker, K2 tog

Repeat last row until there is only one stitch between markers. Remove markers at this time, and continue K2 tog until only 8 sts are left. Cut the yarn with a long tail and thread a blunt needle with it. Run it through rem sts twice, and draw it together. Use the yarn to pull together any gaps left at the end, and weave the ends through the knitting.

Friday, July 23, 2010

My Tribute

The earliest memory I have of interacting with my Dad was sitting on his lap. I would sit there, and read to him, and he would teach me new words. This was before I turned five.

My dad was a maverick. He always went where God led him.

God gave him a special love for little brown Mexican children, and he went to Mexico. He always loved the little children, and they would gather around him. They knew he loved them. They would hang off the jeep as he drove through the colonia. He would buy them cookies and candy, so impractical for kids who didn't have enough to eat. But they loved it. He taught them songs about Jesus. Some of those kids are are in their upper 40's now, and they still remember the songs that Daddy taught them.

He touched so many lives. I have run across people in the most unlikely places who knew him way back when.

He went for a hunting trip one time in the mountains of Durango, and wound up being invited to preach in a little town, so he went. Later he took flying lessons so he could get there in a much shorter time. Then he took mechanic lessons so that he could put back together the airplane if he had to. He had to many times.

After that first village experience, people from other villages began to invite him to preach in their villages. And so it went. He would ask people to clear a landing strip for him, basically to clear it of rocks. When I flew with him to these remote mountain villages, he would try to point out the landing strips to me, but I never could see them. Somehow he did. And sometimes he would have to fly over the strip to scare away the cows that were standing on it in his way.

Sometimes he banged up the airplane. One time he brought the airplane home in pieces in the back of a big truck, and put it back together in our living room. I remember playing around the airplane pieces.

I remember loving to fly with my daddy. I remember the intense roar of the engine. We didn't have earphones. I loved singing on those trips, 'cause no one could hear me, not even myself. I remember loving to see the mountains under us, and never feeling afraid. I always wondered why some people would throw up in his airplane. The mountain people threw up a lot. He carried them in if they were sick, or for other emergency reasons.

When we flew home, Daddy would fly over our house. Our dog Tina would start to bark and run around in circles. Mom would grab a kitchen towel, run outside, and wave it at him to tell him she saw him. Then she would go pick him up at Bill Brown's ranch, where Bill let him land and keep the plane.

My daddy was a wallbuilder. He was a church planter. He loved people who were small and inconsequential, who didn't have any power or influence. No one can say how much of a difference his life made yet, but eternity will show it.

He was flawed, as all of us are, but he was faithful, and he was fun-loving. After suffering for 15 years with Parkinson's, today he is dancing a jig and flying with Jesus.

I love you, Daddy, and I will miss you, but I'm glad you are where you are now. Thanks for the reading time together. Thanks for showing me how to be committed to a life calling. I'm glad you were my Daddy.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Trip to Lebanon in pictures

Today I don't have anything on my main "to do" list. No one is coming, I don't have to get groceries, and I don't have to go anywhere else (except the bank, and that chore will be short). So you will get the update with pictures that you've been waiting for. Hope you like it.

On May 6 Jackie and I left on our adventure. Last year I went to Lebanon by myself to deliver a baby, and I kept feeling like I had left my pocket handkerchief at home. (I think that's from The Hobbit. If not, then it's from The Fellowship of the Ring. Timothy will know.) Well, when we left together, I discovered that I didn't feel that way this time. I realized that Jackie is my pocket handkerchief! I loved that he and I went together on this adventure.

We drove to San Antonio and Emily took us out to eat Greek food (we realized the irony of eating Middle Eastern food right before we left for Lebanon, and laughed together!) and then drove us to the airport. I love the San Antonio airport. The lady at the check-in desk put us in adjoining seats all the way to Beirut. (That wasn't the case when we left Beirut; we were booked in separate seats all the way home. But we still managed to sit together!)

The trip was basically smooth, and we arrived in Beirut at about 11:15 pm local time on May 7. Jason was there to meet us, and we drove to Tyre, arriving there at about 1 am on May 8. He told us that this time was going to be different, that he thought Jenna was going to take her time getting here. I hugged Sarah briefly in the hallway in the dark before we all went to bed.

We spent the next week seeing the sights of Lebanon. First we went to the Cedar Tree Reserve. There aren't many cedar trees left in Lebanon, but they are trying to remedy that. Cedars are funny. The young trees don't look like the mature ones. I'm not sure at what point they change, but they really do change.

In the picture above, you can see the mature tree in the middle, and the young trees all around. Isn't the change strange?
"Our family" in the cedar trees of Lebanon.

After the cedars, we ate in Saida, the old Bible town of Sidon. This is the outdoor cafe at which we ate, and Jackie with the plates after we had eaten already! Not much left, I'm afraid.

Above is the outdoor cafe.

Across the street from it is a Crusader Castle/Fort. (If you stop to think about it, Crusader ruins are some of the more recent ruins in this area, from 1100-1200 AD.)

Next we visited a big mosque in Saida, and Sarah and I had to cover up, so we borrowed scarves from the gatekeeper.
Jackie took an amazing shot of the interior of the mosque with this lone praying man.

The next day was the day Jackie got sick, and he was sick all night and stayed in bed all the next day. Be thankful I don't have pictures.

The following day, Wednesday, we went to the beach.

Above is the city of Tyre.

This is as "uncovered" as Sarah gets to go swimming. Jude is in the foreground with the red flowered shorts.

I was showing a little more leg, but I didn't have very specific instructions about swimming attire, so I think I did pretty well overall.

Jackie and I went walking around the city by ourselves some. We went to a certain part of the beach and picked up old pieces of pottery that wash up from the old ruins of Tyre and from wrecks of ships off the coast. We walked around the souk, the marketplace, one day with Brenda. We walked around the old Roman bath ruins with Danny. Jason took us to the Hippodrome and the via Romana one day, and another he took us to the lighthouse and by the Tyre shipbuilder. Dani took us down some alleyways that made us think we were in old-time Bible days because they were soooo narrow. They felt like donkey trails, and probably were. Now they're paved. We sat in on several English classes and talked some with the students. And Jason took us to another Crusader Castle, this one where we could get a view of Mt. Hermon.

The grounds of the Roman baths.

Picking up pottery pieces.

On Saturday we went back to the beach and met all kinds of other friends there. It was really fun! Jackie felt good enough that he played ultimate frisbee with some of the other people. I enjoyed the wonderful ocean. We both got too much sun. Afterwards, we went back to Jason and Sarah's house and ordered pizza, and a bunch of other people came over and helped us eat it. Around 6 pm, most everyone was going home. It had been quite a day. But it was not over. Sarah started cleaning house! Finally, about 10 pm, I told her it was time to quit, but she kept vacuuming, saying she would feel better if it was done. She was having contractions.

She went to bed soon after, and woke up in labor at 1:30 am. It was May 16. Jason got me up at 3:30 or so, and when I checked her at 4 am, she was well on her way to having baby Jenna! It was a wonderful birth for Sarah. It went so smoothly and quickly. She didn't have any trouble pushing as she had done for Jude's birth. Baby Jenna was born at 6:14 am, and Jude woke up about 5 minutes later! It was really really special to me to be there for this birth! And now I will have to leave the three days of Ireland for another post. This takes a lot of time....

Beautiful babies!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Picture of Baby Jenna!

Ok, everybody, here's the picture! Full head of hair, 8 lbs 10 oz, lovely lovely baby girl born at home in Tyre!


Jenna made her entrance into this world this morning Lebanon time at 6:14 a.m.

Her mom went into labor at 1:30 a.m., so it was a perfect labor -- not too long, not too short. She was born at home! She weighs 8 lbs. 10 oz and is 21 3/4 inches long. Mom and baby and Daddy are resting, and Jude is with some friends, playing. Jackie is helping some people move into a new apartment, and I'm going to go lie down, like the Kerners....

Everyone is very, very happy that Jenna is here! Sarah was delighted with her birth! We know that it's all good when the baby is born healthy and whole, but this was even more special, and we know Who to thank. We give praise to God that we came to Lebanon in good time and had some wonderful days showing Jackie the sights and getting to visit with friends that I made last year.

I will post a picture later. Thank you all for praying.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Jackie's Better

Better than what, you may ask? Better than he was yesterday. He had a bad stomach flu or virus or food poisoning. Anyway, it hit him on Monday night during a prayer time we were having with our friends. And he spent all night miserable, then the next day (yesterday), in bed all day. Yuck!

He was better by last night, and this morning was good enough that we went to the beach. We jumped a few waves and searched for a few shells before he spent the rest of the time sitting on the sand. But he got out. And he's better. And I'm so glad.

We came on home for lunch and fixed Mexican food!! I brought some tortillas with me and we had tacos, and I fixed some Mexican rice, too. Jason and Sarah loved it, and so did we! Jude didn't get much to eat, because he was so tired that he fell asleep as soon as he was cleaned up.

Anyway, I thought I would let everyone know that Jackie's better. I had posted on Facebook that he was sick. Thank you for praying.

I will continue to keep you posted as to baby. Right now there's no news. Baby Jenna hasn't arrived. The birth pool is patched and ready to go, the heating pad has been tried and found true, and we played in the ocean today, so maybe we'll have a baby tomorrow...

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Lebanese doings

Hi everybody!

Today we went to see the cedars of Lebanon. Jackie says that ranks right up there with the Great Wall of China and Mt. Rushmore. It was an all-day trip, sort of. We started out around 11:30 after a breakfast of Belgian waffles and fresh strawberries and cream, or peanut butter and maple syrup.

The trip to the cedar reserve was north and east of Saida, the old-time Bible town of Sidon. The old cedars are amazing. We got some pictures, but they don't do the trees justice.

We came back to Saida and had a wonderful dinner/supper at around 4 pm. We had fresh fried fish (each of us had one whole fish), french fries, salad, hummus, baba ganoush, tahine, and fresh juice (orange and mango). It was an open-air restaurant, and everyone around us was smoking water pipes. It was a Sunday afternoon, and all the families were out.

Then we walked on the corniche, the sea wall, took a picture or two of a crusader castle(!), and went into a big mosque.

No baby yet. Sarah is lovely, 9 months pregnant. Will update later. Much love to all.