Sunday, December 24, 2006

Happy Birthday Matthew!!

Today is Matthew's Birthday! I feel really happy this morning. He loved his presents, and we have friends coming over this afternoon for pizza and custard, and it's going to be lots of fun.

But mostly I'm thankful for Matthew. Since he's 29-here are 29 things I like about him:

1. He drums on everything.
2. He likes to cook fancy things with lots of instructions.
3. He works hard.
4. He thinks things through.
5. He doesn't get angry very often.
6. He's a funny writer.
7. He makes me laugh.
8. He always wears his sweatband when he plays ping pong.
9. He laughs at my jokes.
10. He plays with Anna.
11. He is willing to take Anna on long trips.
12. He's a great daddy.
13. He loves his brothers and sisters and parents.
14. He is generous.
15. He is dedicated to music.
16. He loves my family too.
17. He's a great big brother to Abby and Susan.
18. He takes wonderful pictures of Anna.
19. He's a good dancer.
20. He watches movies and TV that I like and doesn't make me watch his.
21. He loves to shop for Anna.
22. He sings along to the radio loudly.
23. He misses me when he's gone.
24. He loves K-State.
25. He let me choose the rocks for the fireplace.
26. He likes foreign movies.
27. He's gotten much better at giving presents.
28. He's a member of NARP.
29. He vacuums.

Now, I would really like it if we could get 29 comments from those reading. What do you like about Matthew?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Matthew's Birthday

We'll celebrate Matthew's Birthday after Church on Sunday at our house, with make-your-own-pizzas and custard. Can you please comment and let me know if you think you can make it or not?


Here's what's happening


Thursday, December 21, 7:00ish

I haven't heard from some of you, but we can always try to get together another time if some people can't do this (ie Katrina, maybe stuck in Denver)

Just come out to our house around 7:00 (after you've had dinner) and we'll talk and play games, etc. You can bring a snack or a drink to share if you'd like.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A Christmas get-together


Chelsea wants to be sure that we all hang out sometime while she's here, so we can hang out at our house some evening if we can work it out. Katrina gets home on the 21st, sometime after that would be good. K and C are both leaving on the 1st, sometime before that would be good. Matthew's playing at Henk's Upholstery on the 31st, all are invited, but that night's out. So what are your schedules? Can we find a time?

Also-all friends are invited to Matthew's Birthday celebration on the 24th at around 12:30, lunch provided, at our house.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

My kind of day

A few quick notes before I forget them again. I meant to tell this story from school this morning--2nd grade. I'll use fake names just in case. Alan had a little wooden cross that he got at church last night in his pocket, but he kept taking it out and playing with it. When they were standing in line to go out to recess after my class, Carlos said to the teacher "Look what Alan has". Alan showed it to the teacher and she said "I see". Carlos said "It's a cross, it's for killing vampire bats" The teacher, with amazing self control, said that she didn't think that's why they gave it to him at church. There was a heated debate for a minute or so about whether or not vampire bats were real, and then they went to recess. It made me laugh.

We had a great afternoon, all three being productive. Matthew worked on a Christmas gift for me, I worked on one, and Anna made some gifts too! Tonight Anna and I might relax, or we might work more. I haven't decided.

Slicing and dicing

This weekend, at Daniel and Sarah's house, I got to watch Sarah cut up an apple. It was like art. I want to learn how to be in the kitchen with that much confidence. There is a local chef who sometimes offers little classes through the college, but they're always things like "slow cooker magic" or "easy weeknight dinners". I wish that she would offer a class on the little kitchen prep things that chefs do so well. That would be super fun for me.

I've been working on a big Christmas gift, so I won't be able to post pictures until after the holiday, but I do think that it is coming along nicely. I'm trying to be careful and not skip steps like I usually do.

I made my first pot holder, but I didn't put enough stuff in the middle, so I think it's actually pretty dangerous to have hanging around the kitchen, masquerading as a pot holder, but actually not protecting you from heat. Like a wolf in sheep's clothing.

I also made Shannon a little cover for her table, but I didn't take a picture of it.

I have my gifting almost all done, which is nice. Once I finish this project I'm working on, I'm looking forward to trying to bake some new things. I talked with Sarah about truffles, I think I'm going to try those, and I need to get started baking bread. I haven't ever, but I think once I do it, I'll be able to incorporate it into my regular baking life. Mom bakes bread ALL the time. I should be able to do that too. And there' nothing better than fresh bread, right out of the oven, making the house smell like home.

At school, I'm teaching the kids El Burrito Sabanero. (Does anyone know the meaning of the word "sabanero"? I can't figure it out) It's a carol about a donkey going to Bethlehem, a very common Mexican carol theme. During Kindergarten today, as we were all singing, I looked around at the kids, singing happily in Spanish, and remembered again that I have the very best job in the entire world.

Hope your day is also great.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Christmas music must haves

I should be doing my Monday chores (Tidy, Laundry, Dust, Water plants, Kitchen) while Anna is napping, or working on Christmas gifts, but I have been thinking about helping all of you who don't have 52 Christmas CD's to know which ones are really very important and good. I am going to try to make the list all linky.

These are not in order of importance. They are all important.

1. Over the Rhine "The Darkest Night of the Year" (Oh! When I made this linky, I discovered they came out with a new Christmas CD!!! This one is my very favorite, so I'm so excited, my heart is beating fast, I know I'm not supposed to, but, I bought it. I'll let you know if it's also wonderful.)

2. Chris Rice "The Living Room Sessions Christmas" It's all piano music, very simple and calm and nice. I like to play it during dinner.

3. Martina McBride "White Christmas" She doesn't fuss with the songs too much, and has such a nice voice. I love her "O Holy Night".

4. Johnny Cash "Christmas with Johnny Cash" So many nice Johnny songs, "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day", "The Gifts They Gave", and some nice spoken word bits too.

5. Johnny Cash "Country Christmas" This one's with the Carter Family, and there's a hilarious rendition of "Figgy Pudding".

6. Martha's Trouble "Christmas Lights" I got this one new this year, and I love it. It's soft and very pretty, acoustic with interesting vocals.

7. Vince Guaraldi Trio "A Charlie Brown Christmas" Happy, especially good for baking cookies.

8. "Elf Soundtrack" It has some songs that no one else does, and is very peppy. Also it's a little longer, which is nice because most Christmas Albums are very short.

9. John Jonethis "The Ultimate Lounge Christmas" I bought this because it was cheap, but I love this CD. I'm not sure how to describe it. It's just a really nice, normal Christmas Album, with regular versions of everything, easy to sing with. I couldn't find a link to buy it, but there were several ways to download it.

10. Burl Ives "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" It's so good and happy and classic. You'll love it.

11. Bing Crosby "White Christmas" Surely you all have this, but if you don't, you must. If I had to take only one Christmas album with me to a desert island, it would be this one.

12. Jaci Velasquez "Navidad" It's in Spanish (The first half) and I really like it. Linda thinks it's overly emotional, and the second half (in English) I don't like so much, but I love the first part.

***And now two that I think Matthew would pick.***

13. VeggieTales "A Very Veggie Christmas" It's silly and fun.

14. Various Artists "Happy Christmas Volume 3" It's a little more rock-y, I do like it. We haven't heard the other volumes. Maybe we should get those too...

There--Only 14 must haves. What would you add?

Friday, December 01, 2006

How was school today?

A few quick notes before I'm off to bed in the freezing bedroom. (New energy efficient heating procedures = flannel jammies and frozen breath) We're going to Salina tomorrow for a farmer meeting. Anna and I will be girls about town, shopping and lunching and having fun together. I really like hanging out with her. I didn't expect that out of mama-hood. I didn't know she'd be my friend.

And then we get to see Daniel and Sarah and baby Phinn, who I am growing more and more attached to. And then Susan has all day Saturday!! Lots of food and TV will ensue.

Today at school several nice things happened.
1. In 1st grade, I called on David, but David wasn't there today. The kids said "David no está" That's natural, impromptu language use!!!!

2. In 3rd, 4th, and Kindergarten, they were so excited about the lesson I had to try to calm them down. Not "naughty noise", just genuine enthusiasm for learning!

3. In 1st and 2nd grade, the kids read books they wrote themselves. In Spanish.

4. I think I found a curriculum I want to use and the district offered to pay for it, so I don't have to worry about taking money from the school. No more making EVERYTHING up myself!

5. When talking to my principal, she mentioned that one of the parents who was very anti-Spanish when we started went to the Superintendent this week to urge him to continue and expand the program because she was so happy with it.

Yay for Elementary Foreign Language!

Monday, November 27, 2006

I'm trying out the id photo thing.

My Christmas Projects

Here's what I made last week. I gave it to Katrina for her Birthday. It's a wall hanging or table topper. I don't remember the name of the pattern right now.

I bought a couple of months ago a 10 lb box of scrap fabric on eBay (with shipping, about 1$ a pound), and I'm using up all of the Christmas fabrics that came in the box. I have two more little things to do and I'll be done with those.

The box was a wonderful investment, I've already had such fun with it.

In other ridiculous news, I've almost finished wrapping my Christmas presents. Not all of them, but all of them that I've already purchased. It's terribly early. It's not even December yet. I'm a crazy person. But that leaves lots of time to work on my quilting projects and I like to have a clean table for that, so maybe it's not too awful.

And I ripped the music off of all 52 of our Christmas CD's onto the computer, so we can listen to a super mega mix of Christmas music. I wonder if there's a way to find out how many hours total there are?

Goal for this year after Christmas: Don't buy any Christmas CD's.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

A Start

I've been thinking that I'd like a place to talk about other things that aren't necessarily fit for the sad blog. And everyone's here now, so this is a good place. This may be updated, may be neglected. We'll see what happens.

Today I'm happy because I started a Christmas quilting project and I'm pretty happy with it so far. I'm surprised I like quilting, because of the precision required, but if you choose your patterns carefully and aren't too picky, then even an anti-perfectionist like me can be happy. I'm always surprised when I start something how much I like it. Sewing provides, for me, the perfect time to think things through. I guess that's because I'm not paying too much attention to detail. But I think a handmade project should look home made, and not perfect like a machine. No one would ever confuse my work with something machine made. :)

And I talked to Chelsea for a long time on the phone tonight, and that was wonderful. I miss her, but I'm glad she's back in the country and we can talk for an hour and a half. And she'll be home for Christmas!