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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Happy Christmas!

What an eventful year it has been for us.  Last year this time, I was writing you all about our upcoming move to England.  Come December, we will have been here for six months.  I've kept up on the blog about our adventures getting here and some of the things we've done and seen.  You can browse the blog links on the right to catch up.  Christmas cards, coming soon, will include all our new contact information.

For the most part, we are settled in and our small three floor house is feeling like home.  John is loving his job and we are making great friends.  I've always got some kind of project going, editing photos for posting and for the Etsy Shoppe or whipping up a crochet project, making Christmas cards.  I've been playing a little with creating my own patterns.  I was blown away with the response to my afghan pattern.  The Shoppe will be on vacation the month of December, so we can spend time enjoying the holidays with family and friends.  Please stop by for a visit in January.

John loves working here and has had some exciting things happening at work, but we'll have to save those stories for when we're in person.  He's been busy making traveling plans that I will be excited to share about once we return.  On the list is Belgium, Germany, and Paris.  We did finally find a home church as well and look forward to becoming more a part of that family in the coming year.  We have plans to celebrate Thanksgiving with a few neighbors next door with a full Thanksgiving dinner on the Saturday after Thanksgiving day.  Should be fun.

Like in the states, it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas out there on the streets.  All the stores are decorating and the towns are getting up their lights.  Can't wait to see London dressed for the season.  I've gone ahead a little early and got our small selection of decorations up.  I am missing all the things we left behind.  Our new Balsam Hill tree is beautiful and from a few feet away really does look real.  We are staying put for Christmas this year to experience an English holiday.  I know already, it's going to be hard being away from our big family celebrations.  But, we do have some plans including some Christmas Markets, the Christmas Ball, and a special Christmas Eve dinner booked at one of our favorite restaurants, Jamie Oliver's Italian.

The girl's are doing well.  Beki has a year and a half left in her teaching degree.  She'll be graduating May 2017.  She and Corey are renting a house in order to contain 3 cats and a dog.  Ari is enjoying her job at Starbucks.  She's the best barista I know.  She and Anthony are looking to move into a bigger place after the first of the year.  I miss them terribly and can't wait until they can come visit.  Our fur babies, Sapphie and Ebony, are well adjusted to life in England now.   Ebony is showing signs of being more out-going, even getting a little curious with visitors.  Sapphie, at fourteen, is too old to care anymore!

After almost 17 great years, our little Frosty boy just got too old and recently passed.  For all that knew him, he was adored.  I always said he was the best little dog any family could have, friendly, cute, and lovable.  He went through a lot with us, three moves, many Ohio trips, and growing up with the girls.  He was the best companion for all those lonely nights when John was away.  He will be truly missed and leaves a big whole in all our hearts.

Be sure to bookmark this link to stay up-to-date on all our adventures.  We miss everyone from the states and are hoping some of you are making plans to come visit!  Our door is always open and we've got a two bedroom suite all ready for guests.  Be sure to take advantage of this opportunity.  We'll only be here two and a half more short years.

Wishing you all a very "Happy Christmas" and a wonderful New Year!

John and Aimee

Friday, November 27, 2015

The Stockings Were Hung

After searching countless Pinterest photos to find a cute little stocking pattern, I gave up and created my own.  All the ones I could find were big or huge stockings.  I wanted a mini stocking, big enough to fill with some candy, but small enough to hang on the tree.  So here it is.  This pattern is available here at Raverly as a PDF download with additional pictures. 

Christmas Stocking 
Crochet Pattern
Hobby Lobby I Love That Cotton,
Color 1-Red, Color 2-Monkey Red
Aran yarn
Color 1-gray, Color 2-white, Color 3-red
Crochet Hook Size H
You can use any style of yarn for this pattern, just adapt hook size to yarn weight.
Size: About 10 inches long without tab
SS—Slip Stitch
SC—Single Crochet
HDC—Half Double Crochet
DC—Double Crochet
FPDC—Front Post Double Crochet
DC2Tog—Double Crochet 2 together

NOTES: CH 1 and CH 2 at the beginning of each round does not count as a stitch.
I start each row with my first stitch in the same stitch I joined in.
Row 10 of Sock Body only, you may need to start your first stitch in the next DC not
your joining stitch. I found that necessary in order to keep 24 stitches around. The rest
rows should work out fine.


Row 1: With Color 1, In Magic Ring, 6 SC, join to first CH. 6
Row 2: CH 2, 2 HDC in each SC. Join to top of CH. 12
Row 3: CH 2, (DC in first stitch, 2 DC in next stitch) 6 times. Join to top of CH. 18
Row 4: CH 2, (DC in first and second stitch, 2 DC in next stitch) 6 times. Join to top of CH. 24
Row 5-8: CH 2, DC in each stitch around. Join to top of CH. 24
At the end of Row 8, tie off and weave in end. Begin Heel.


Row 1: With color 2, attach yarn with a SS to the 7th stitch before previous row’s CH 2, SC, HDC, 8 DC, HDC, SC, SS.
Row 2: Turn, SS in second stitch from hook, SC, HDC, 6 DC, HDC, SC, SS.
Row 3: Turn, SS in second stitch from hook, SC, HDC, 4 DC, HDC, SC, SS.
Row 4: Turn, SS in second stitch from hook, SC HDC, 2 DC, HDC, SC, SS.  Tie off and weave in end.


Row 9: Attach Color 1 using a Standing DC or CH 2(this does not count as one of your stitches) in the second DC of the Heel’s Row 4. DC in next 6 stitches. DC decrease (DC2Tog) in next 2 stitches which should be the corner of heel and sock body. DC in next 11 stitches, DC decrease (DC2Tog) in next 2 stitches which should be the second corner of heel and sock body. DC in next 5 stitches. Join to Standing DC. 24
After Row 9, you should still have 24 stitches plus your Standing DC or CH 2.
Row 10-19: CH 2, DC in each stitch around. 24
At the end of Row 19, join Color 2. Tie off Color 1. Row 20: CH 2, DC in each stitch around. Join to top of CH. 24
Row 21: CH 2, turn and work in opposite direction to create ribbed cuff. In back loop only DC in each stitch around. Join to top of CH. 24
Row 22: CH 2, (FPDC in next stitch, DC in next stitch) 12 times. Join to top of CH. 24
Row 23-24: CH 2, (FPDC in next stitch, DC in next stitch) 12 times. Join to top of CH. 24
Row 25: CH 1, SC around. Join to top of CH. 24 (I used a third color for this row.)


CH 20, DC in third CH from hook. DC to end of CH. Tie off leaving a long enough tail to sew ends together and sew to stocking.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Bristol, England

When we went to visit Bath in September, we actually stayed at a Doubletree hotel located near Bristol.  So one of the days, we spent walking around Bristol.  We took a short river cruise, then walked up to see the Bristol Cathedral, which was gorgeous and did lunch at a local BBQ restaurant, the Spitfire.


Bristol Cathedral


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