Tuesday, November 28, 2006
I just found this adorable hat that I MUST knit. It's just too adorable to pass up. It can be my new "fall baby" baby gift. Here's a basic free pattern and another one with a cuter stem. And here's the best pic I found of it in action (stolen from the knitting wench) :) Actually the patterns are a little different so I think I'll play with it a bit and try to acheive the results in the photo. Although the cuter stem is just adorable!

This weekend is my chorus' annual Christmas in the Cathedral concert. It being my first year singing in this particular concert, I was expecting a "cathedral" not a real Cathedral. I just couldn't imagine we'd have such a thing in our small city and I not have known about it in the 17 years that I've lived here. So I'm driving to the "cathedral" and of course I'm just looking for a regular old church just a bit more ornate than usual, maybe even a little taller. And suddenly as I'm driving this appears before me.

I was astonished that it was right off of a road I've been down thousands of times and I hadn't even known it was there! Suddenly I was extremely excited about the upcoming concert, which I hadn't been because of the enormous amounts of practice that was scheduled for this week. Now it's more than worth it. The acoustics are amazing. It almost rivals the Carmina Burana concert we just did...almost :) So anyway here are some pics of St. Cecilia's Cathedral. And, yes, I do realize it's a very small cathedral comparitively but it's the first one I've ever been in and I have an appreciation for gorgeous architecture no matter the size. Although size helps ;P

This is the front alter, I really liked the sun detailing on the ceiling for some reason.

Actual alter.

This was my favorite part of the whole cathedral. I just loved the pairing of the crystal chandalier and the jeweled design on the ceiling.

Previously mentioned sun detailing

The organ loft where we start the concert

And finally a not-so-great picture of me and a couple of my favorite chorus girlies

Don't you just love my outfit?? I just got it in that day and just HAD to wear it, despite the pajamaness. I got plenty of comments so I suppose my chorus buddies love me despite my fashion failure. Ha!

Speaking of clothing I ended up going to kohls today with a $40 no purchase necessary coupon my mom gave me. Yay! She gave it to me because I drove her to the airport at 4:30 this morning. She knew I would have done it anyway, but it expires this weekend and she couldn't use it because she'd be gone. Plus for me!! Anyway, I was extremely happy with my purchase. I managed to get two pairs of jeans in a size smaller than I thought I was (yay for weight loss), a tank top, and a head band that was just perfect for the concert this weekend. No more hair in my eyes! So I suppose today has been one of my more enjoyable days :)


Posted by Elyse at 6:11 AM | 0 comments
Monday, November 27, 2006
I mentioned in a prior note that I was working on a double knitted blanket. It's going pretty well so far. no hang-ups yet but then again I haven't even gotten to the part where I knit the words into it yet. Soon though, I have about 4 inches til the real fun begins :) So anyway, here's my progress so far-

I used Lion Brand Jiffy in White and Light Pink.

I love Jiffy because it's soft and only about $2 a skein. Perfect for baby blankets since it seems like one always needs to be made!

Oh and on another note, I had been planning on maybe using our tax return to get a laptop in January for my writing but my husband, Mike, found something even better!

It's one of the newer PDAs (palm pilots). Mike said you can use Microsoft Word on it and when you connect it to your computer it automatically updates your work. If I get an idea in the middle of no where I can pull it out and just jot it down, no more trying to remember all my thoughts or writing on napkins. I'm so excited. It's perfect for my writing, plus no more carrying around a daily planner and address book. And you can get a keyboard that it docks into so I can type my writing just like on a laptop. I'm so excited. Wait, said that already huh? Well it just shows you how excited I really am! It is a little expensive but I'm looking at it like an investment towards my writing. Plus it's way less expensive then the laptops I was looking at. Besides, it has fingerprint identification! Who can resist that?? :) Technology is astounding.


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Posted by Elyse at 10:37 AM | 0 comments
Yesterday was a heartbreaking day for me. I volunteered in the nursery at church and ended up in the same room as Rayden my two year old. If you remember from my previous posts, Rayden is about to be tested for Autism which we're sure he has. My heart broke as I sat in the nursery room full of a dozen or so three year olds (Rayden turns three in January). Rayden wouldn't sit down for any of the craft, snack, or storytime. When I tried to get him to sit with me he'd arch his back and throw himself on the floor. The other adults in the room were very kind and kept telling me he could just play which I eventually just gave up and let him. I wasn't frustrated or annoyed with Rayden at all. I'm used to him acting that way, but dealing with it while twelve other kids his age sit nicely at the table, listening to the story, or putting stickers on their craft was just heartwrenching. And then something happened for the first time. It happens to all kids and parents dealing with Autism. I noticed the kids staring at him. At three years old they already could tell there was something different about him. It may sound minute, but realizing that it was just something I was going to have to get used to was really hard. But, no matter what, I'm still so thankful that he's mine, autism and all.



Posted by Elyse at 7:20 AM | 1 comments
Friday, November 24, 2006
Let's embark on the things that are going on in my life in more detail...

In the marriage area- My husband and I are very close, even though we have different hobbies, we invest in eachother's time. I always try to play the card games he likes with him and he has even attended my knitting group and learned to knit, which he caught onto quite quickly! We both enjoy watching professional wrestling together. I really enjoy having our friends over for the pay-per-views. That is one of the things I pride myself on; the fact that I can hang out with him and his(our) friends and just be one of the guys. I don't give myself the credit though, I know full well that we're just lucky to have such awesome friends.
There are some complications in our marriage though. My husband works part-time and goes to college full time so our time together (with three boys) is few and far between. In addition we currently live in the basement of my parents home until Mike graduates. It causes some bumps, you could say. I'm fortunate in having such a wonderful husband that I can talk to. We are luckily on the same side when it comes to my family and the things we need to discuss. But even then, living with your parents when you're an adult with three children is obviously not an ideal situation. It is definitely quite frustrating. Finally, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Mike should be graduating in either May or August, depending on availability of classes. There is a slight chance it will go one more semester in August but we are hoping that we can get a waiver so he can take one class and its prerequisite at the same time. I very much am looking forward to getting a house and being out on our own finally, as you can probably imagine.
I must also say, though, that we are deeply appreciative of the sacrifices my parents have made for us by letting us stay here. We will have a much better situation when Mike has a degree and doing it this way will save us a great amount of stress.

Moving on...the children area- My children are wonderful. I enjoy being a stay-at-home mom so much! My life had an emptiness until Mike and the boys came into it. As everyone knows motherhood is pure joy but comes with some stresses. Currently, we're having our two oldest children, Rashawn and Rayden, tested for Autism. I've worked with Autism in Special Ed classrooms every summer since I was 13 or 14 so I'm quite familiar with it. Basically, for me, the testing is just proceedural. I already know they have it, now it's just the question of where on the spectrum they are and how to deal with it to maximise their educational and social development.
Both boys are extremely high functional, they make brief eye contact regularly and are very affectionate. But the signs are there, even if I didn't recognize them right away. I was at a parent-teacher conference for Rashawn when the teacher said she had some concerns and wanted to pursue the testing. I was in a little bit of shock of course but I handled it as calmly as I could, carefully considering all of her examples of signs he showed. Then I went home, and started to observe him. It didn't take long to realize she was right. I think I was already convinced on the way home from the conference, but watching him just made it that much more convincing.
It was in watching Rashawn that I started to observe Rayden also. He has much more obvious signs and possibly has a little more profound case than Rashawn, while still being high functioning. He is very delayed in his speech and reacts to any stress such as noise in a more dramatic way. Although I'm very lucky that neither of them scream, because I think that is one of the greater stresses that comes with autism. Rayden will throw himself on the floor and we're having trouble with him hitting. Although it never hurts it's still something we need to take care of now. He's very cuddly and each time he reacts in these ways it's obvious that he's very stressed and doesn't know how to communicate it, which is a major part of autism.
Rayden was a bit harder to accept because of his history. When he was 7 mos. old he started having seizures and was diagnosed with Infantile Spasms, a rare form of epilepsy in infants. God blessed us unimaginally. The first medication we tried worked and even after we weened him off of it the seizures didn't return. Shortly after I went to a support group meeting and it was a very difficult experience. I saw all the children around me and not one had been completely cured with the medication. Some it worked for but not long term and others it had no affect at all. Each child had severe mental and /or physical development difficiencies. It was probably one of the hardest things, sitting in a room thinking how lucky I am when the ones around me are still struggling. An older sister of one of the kids asked her mother why it had worked for my son and not her brother. I couldn't bring myself to keep going to the meetings, it was much too heartwrenching. But even harder than that was the fear that began to grip me again of the seizures returning (it can happen anytime, even years and years from now). It eventually lessened more and more. My faith in God and my trust in him kept me from obsessing over it. But still, any rigid movment Rayden would make I would stop everything and just watch him to make sure he wasn't having a seizure. It was a difficult thing but we were blessed in it.
I am excited right now about Rayden starting school. He's going to be in Rashawn's class which gives me a two and a half hour break 3 days a week because Rion takes his nap at the same time. Ahhhhhh, sigh of relief.

On a happier note...knitting!- My knitting group that meets once a month is doing great. I just love sitting and hanging out with friends while we knit. it's slowly adding members, and I'm in no huge hurry, I know God will do what he wants with the group and I'll be happy with whatever happens with it. Eventually I would really like to start a knitting charity that knits and prays for people going through a tough time, but like I said, whatever God does with it will be just fine with me because I know his will is best.
Currently I'm working on a baby blanket for a friend. It's a technique that's really nice called double knitting. I can't wait to get to the more difficult part where I knit the baby's name, birthdate, and measurements into the blanket. My next project will be another baby blanket for a family member and then I plan on doing a more complicated sweater that has me really excited!Here's a picture-

Okay, enough with about the writing?- I'm really excited about what I'm doing with writing also. I'm working on a fantasy book series. I won't be able to give any details but I'm surprising even myself with how well it's coming together and I haven't even started the first page! I've just been writing notes because I want to have everything worked out so things connect throughout the series. I can't take credit for it though, because God has made it very clear that he's the one giving me ideas. I'll write something down that pops into my head and then I'll realize later on that it connects to something I wrote a long time ago. It's trully amazing. I'm so honored to have God working through me in such a way!

And the book of the day?? Well week or month, depending on time :)- I just finished The Lost Boy by Dave Pelzer and I'm running to the library today to pick up the third book in the trilogy, A Man Named Dave. Then it's on to Eragon by Christopher Paolini because fantasy is the best. And after that is a reread of Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns because I LOVED the book in high school and want to get even more out of it. You can also check out my current reads through the book club a friend and I created on facebook.

Link to Book Club

Another area at the weight- I'm in the process of losing all the weight I gained through 3 pregnancies. I'm happy so far with the results. I've lost 40 lbs and have 20 more until I reach my goal weight. I may lose a bit more after that but we'll just have to see how I feel.

One more thing...singing- I'm currently singing with the Symphonic Chorus in my city. We sing with the symphony probably 3 or 4 times a year at least. It's really been a great experience. We had 40 people selected from the chorus to join a few other university choirs and perform Carmina Burana with the symphony in the brand new concert hall in our city. It was amazing! I've wanted to do Carmina for years so it was a dream come true for sure. And it didn't disappoint one bit, the performance was absolutely incredible. I won't ever forget that experience. Right now we're about to hit rush week before our Christmas concert so life will be quite busy but after that we'll have a few weeks break for Christmas and New Year's. So that's the chorus end of singing. I have also been working with a wonderful man I've gotten very close to over the six or so years we've worked together. Mr. Price my vocal coach has become like a grandfather and mentor to me. I love him dearly. So it was hard when recent finances made me quit my lessons with him. I'm determined to go back though. I miss him so much! I"m realizing how much I trully cherish him both as a vocal coach and friend.

I suppose I should wrap it up. Thanks for reading!!


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Posted by Elyse at 3:00 PM | 0 comments
I'm a writer, knitter, singer, christian, wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend. This is my life....

January 18, 2003 I married my wonderful husband Mike who has turned my world from grey to blue. We have three beautiful children, Rashawn (4), Rayden (2), and Rion (1). I'm a stay-at-home mom and I trully love it. Once all the boys are in school I plan on working towards a major in creative writing (fiction). I also have an interest in directing theater so I may double major in that. Currently I'm singing with a group that sings with the city's symphony. It's a wonderful experience. Last weekend I was honored to perform Carmina Burana with 200 other voices and a full orchestra. It was the best concert I have ever taken part in.

My beliefs are the center point of my life, without God and all He has done for me I would be lost. I believe every word of the bible and have experienced God's work in my life to a point that it would be impossible for me to deny Him. I love the Lord with all my heart and even if my life crashed around me I would still be blessed because of his presence.

Right now I'm focused on my family, my God, my health, and my writing. In the health area I have recently lost 40lbs and have 20lbs more before I reach my goal weight. My writing is showing more promise than ever before which I can only attribute to God because I know that I don't have the natural ability to come up with all the ideas that I have concerning the book I'm working on. It has trully been amazing to see things connect within the story even before I was aware of it.

Now you may be wondering why I have called this blog The DivaKnitter Times if they are not the two things I focus on the most. Knitting and singing are the two things I do for pure enjoyment. They may be hard work, yes, but I love to do them and it never fails to release any tension I may have built up throughout the day. So there you have it, the life and times of a DivaKnitter.

Posted by Elyse at 2:57 PM | 0 comments