Thursday, November 27, 2008

So Much to Be Thankful For

Yesterday was a day full of blessings and thanks. It was a time of family and dear friends, good food and warm gatherings. In all, yesterday was a day to reflect on everything we are thankful for. Our family, our friends, health, good jobs, plenty of food, warm shelter, and our faith. And ...

A dining room table covered with stockings for Operation Holiday Stockings 2008. It has taken the past couple of days to sort through the stockings and items for the stockings but here they are ...
There are about 1200 on this table.
They are piled up high.
Becki and her friends and famiy decorate these stockings. I hope you can see the messages on the stockings which say "come home soon," "we miss you," "we love you," and "thank you."
Glenna, Mary Ann and May, all of Small Paws Rescue, knit these stockings for OHS.
Nadine continued sewing stockings for OHS. She wanted to make sure we had enough for our troops.
Emily was again busy crocheting stockings and sent these home with me.
Emily is another co-worker, and big supporter.
Emily's mom, Arlayne sewed these beautiful stockings for OHS. These are classics. Rumor has it Arlayne is a professional seamstress.
Sue knit more stockings and then brought out the sewing machine. We are sending a box of stockings to her son this year.
Angela and Soraya gathered up a group of family and friends and they decorated this beautiful bunch, again with dear messages for the troops.
Melinda sent another 50 sewn stockings. I had to leave them in the nice bundle she puts them in for mailing. Love it.
Girl Scout Troop 8411 in Seattle decorated these for our project and they are so dear.
Elaine continues to crochet. We are fondly calling her the "mad crocheter."
Nancy, from another law firm in our building, knit these up for us. Look at the "ho ho ho." Cute.
Then there is this pile of knit stockings from the Eastside Knitting Guild. I wasn't able to go on Monday so Toni took this picture with her cell phone and sent it to me. Susan went to the meeting and said that the knitters were knitting stockings and when they were done tossing them on this pile. There are 264 stockings in this pile, and in total the ESKG knit up 384 stockings. WOW!!!

Tomorrow is the stocking stuffing party, with Cynthia again providing her famous spaghetti dinner.

Today we are heading over to Edgar's Acres so Frank and John can see the new house, and so I can visit A Dropped Stitch for some yarn for Christmas gifts.



Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Latest on OHS 2008

We are heading to the end of this wonderful project for 2008. We have 965 soldiers at this count for whom we will be sending stockings to. So far we have gathered together 925 stockings with more coming in so that is covered (WOO HOO!!!!). We have received $1143 in donations so I think postage will be covered, but we may need to use some of the cash for more stuff to put into the stockings. We won't know that until the stocking stuffing party on the 29th.Ricardo from Ricardo's Terero Restaurant again donated mints for the project. These are chocolate mints and really, really good.
Elaine has been crocheting and sent in these beautiful stockings!
Nadine continues to be sewing up a storm making more stockings for us.
Cathi too continues to keep her sewing machine busy. Both ladies have told me to let them know if they need to sew some more. What wonderful ladies. Both have had a son deployed in Iraq, and are so grateful to have them him safe.

Even as crappy as I feel today (as of 3:58 a.m. yesterday, I've been sick with the bug, so much for a day off from work), I am full of the love and support from everyone who is participating in Operation Holiday Stockings 2008.

Well, I think I will go knit something really simple today. I think that is all my head can handle.



Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Stockings Keep Coming In!

The table is filling up, and this doesn't include the 400+ stockings done last Friday, and in bags waiting to be shipped. Sandra and her family decorated this beautiful group of stockings.
Debbie and her kids decorated some too, and they are so cute, and will be a big hit!
Diana M. sent these beautiful stockings this year. She would have knit more but her newest rescue pup thinks she should be holding him whenever she has a chance to sit.
My cousin Sam was busy again this year. Here are the darling stockings she crocheted for OHS.
The ladies of the service sorority Preceptor Alpha Nu of Beta Sigma Phi made these stockings and stuffed them. They also sent a LOT of beef jerky to send in each box.
Susan B. was busy knitting this year, and of course, added her personal touch to knit these beautiful stockings.
Lindalea of the ESKG knit these beauties for OHS.
I have received more and will post pictures later this week.

So far we have 860 stockings, and $1065.00 for postage and goodies. Right now we have a list of 888 soldiers, and I got a message from Fort Lewis asking if we can add some more smaller units. The answer, of course, will be yes. I'll let you all know how many when I find out. We have enough candy canes, but still need lip balm and personal care items.

The big stocking stuffing party will be on the 29th and then the packing and shipping begins.

Well, off to knit some more stockings. Thanks again to ALL of you who are participating this year. Our soldiers appreciate it.



Sunday, November 16, 2008

Update on OHS 2008 and Everything Else that's Going on Right Now

What a Week! The best part of this week was Friday. Deb and Sandra put together a stocking stuffing party for Operation Holiday Stockings 2008. It was held at work, and what a turn out. We started the day with opening up boxes and sacks full of stockings and items to go into the stockings.

This table full of stockings was done by a friend of Sandra's that has become a wonderful work horse for OHS 2008. Unfortunately I don't have her name right now but will follow up on that so we can say THANK YOU. She has been contacting various hotels downtown and sent a huge box of lotions from the Mayflower Park Hotel.
Barb and her grandsons got started on decorate some stockings for OHS 2008.
Ann knit up these beautiful stockings for us.

Cathi continues to knit and now is sewing up felt stockings for OHS 2008.

Melinda sent her package of stockings to me at work so we had those to include for the stuffing party. She is again working overtime on the sewing machine to send us these beautiful stockings!

At noon on Friday 14 women gathered in the conference room and started stuffing these stockings.
What a crew!!!! In 30 minutes they stuffed 440 stockings. THANK YOU!!!

Aren't these women beautiful? Look at the love and joy. I love each and everyone of them. Deb and Sandra are on the right. Deb's wearing the gray sweater and Sandra is wearing the brown. Thanks you two for putting this party together.

Yesterday David and I loaded up the dogs and went over to Edgar's Acres to check up on the new house. It was great. We found SUN and it was warm.
I was walking around the house looking through the windows. The carpet guy was there so he opened up one of the doors so I could peek inside (my feet were way too muddy to even think about going in). This is the view from the sun room looking toward my kitchen.
This is the sun room.
The mountains of dirt have been regraded back around the house so I could finally see what the front looks like.
I can hardly wait to get started on the front porch and flower beds.

This is the view from the side of the master beadroom. We will be putting a deck in this area, and it will wrap around the back, to the other side of the sun room.

The covered porch will be on this side.

The house is really shaping up nicely, which is more than we can say for the garden right now.

Wednesday night we had a rain and wind storm, and yes, we did get some damage. We have been very fortunate in the past, and we really did get off easy considering the flood damage many suffered from this storm.

We have to get a new roof. Stuff is now out of the closet in the office so they can access the attic, and
out of my closet since this is where I discovered the leak. Right now I have shoes and clothes all over the place. I went to put on a pair of shoes on Friday and could only locate one, so am wearing basically the same pair I've been wearing for the past few days.

We forgot to close the deck umbrella so now we are left with this. David is working on a plan to use this frame for pole beans next year.

Well, the sun is out and the dogs are in, so we are heading out to play.



Thursday, November 13, 2008


God has spoken and told me to calm down. The moms, sisters, aunts, grandmas, and friends have OHS 2008 under control. So much for my moment of panic. (I have one each year.) We are up to 526 stockings. I remembered I had a box of stockings left over which was a big help. We have raised $625.00 for postage and goodies. We will be sending stockings to 845 soldiers. Their holidays will be a bit brighter because of our efforts.
Nancy has been busy sewing again this year.

Cathi knit these beautiful stockings. Cathi's son has been deployed twice and is always a big supporter of this project.
Sue sent in these stockings. Her son is currently deployed to Iraq so these will be in his box. Aren't they beautiful? Certainly knit with love for her son and his fellow soldiers.
We have a sorority at Puget Sound University decorating stockings this year. This is their first installment. Thank you ladies.
Deb knit these stockings. I love the gold and silver bells sewn on the stockings knit in the camo yarn. What a classy touch.

Mel and her kids decorated these stockings for the troops. They each included a small gift in the stockings they did. These are precious.
The stuffing party at work is tomorrow so David and I stopped and picked up a HUGE BUNCH OF CANDY for the stockings. I took in about 220 stockings so I hope we will have enough of everything.,
Thanks to all of you for your support and participation. I'll try to do a better job of updating everyone. I'm not sure why I am so busy, but I am. Must be old age.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I'm trying not to panic

David and I have been busy communicating with the Family Resource representative at Fort Lewis. Since we first contacted them we have received numerous requests for stockings.

The requests are coming from and/or on behalf of the smaller units. We were told that the smaller units (some as small as 5 in the med corps.) are the units that are overlooked and don't receive anything over the holidays.

The requests coming from the commanding officers are so kind. It's their soldiers they care about. One officer has six medical units out in the field and he wanted to know if we could include these brave soldiers. Of course, we said yes.

I have received two requests from wives asking if we could put their husbands' unit on our list. Of course, we said yes.

One of our knitters has a nephew in Iraq, and of course, he is on our list.

In other words, we don't say no. We especially don't say no to the units that probably won't be included on another list.

Because we aren't saying no, we are now up to 850 soldiers to send stockings too.

I'm trying not to panic. I know for a fact a lot of stockings are coming in. I also know that knitters, crocheters, seamstresses, and anyone decorating stockings are coming through for these soldiers. They will not let them down.

I also know that the goodies for the stockings are coming, and we will be able to collect enough cash for the postage. So far we have $300.00, and the usual cost is around $1,000.00.

For all of you who pray, ... PRAY. Pray we can again make our goal so these soldiers know we care, and so the soldiers will have something from home for their holidays.

I am a very fortunate woman. Through this Operation Holiday Stockings I have gotten to know so many wonderful, warm, and giving people. Many of these dear people I have never met personally, only "electronically." I have seen the power of women to get a job done, a job done based solely on love.

If you need my mailing address please email me at ramsddjATaolDOTcom.

This coming Friday, Deb and Sandra have a stocking stuffing party planned at work. These two are tireless with this project, and have been since the very beginning. Thanks Deb and Sandra, you are gems, and I am so grateful for your support and hard work.

Well, off to update the Yahoo groups, and to send out emails to interested parties.



Monday, November 3, 2008

Yarn, Yarn and More Yarn

Last week I picked up a donation of yarn for Operation Holiday Stockings. Kona Bay Knitting in Seattle sent us over 100 skeins of yarn of all types and colors. In looking over their website, it looks like they sent packages of all of their yarns. A big Thank You Kona Bay.

I've already knit some stockings with the Cuddly yarn. It looks like I will be able to get four stockings per skein.
They came out really nice. They are a little smaller because the yarn is a light worsted weight, but I liked knitting with the yarn. I used size 7 needles.
Elaine, our crocheter extraordinaire, is in need of yarn. Elaine, here you go.

I think this will keep your crochet hook busy for a while. Let me know if you need more.

Many kind people have donated yarn in the last few years. We were beginning to run low so the new donation from Kona Bay will help out a lot.

I heard from the Family Coordinator at Fort Lewis today and we have two units in Iraq to which we will send stockings. This brings our current total of soldiers up to 675.

The next two weeks are going to be busy. We have 164 stockings on the dining room table, with at least 100 more coming in this week. We have collected $270 in postage donations, and lots of stocking stuffers.

According to the post office we need to have all of the boxes in the mail by December 5th.

Well, back to the knitting needles.