Saturday, January 31, 2009


Anna had her first sleepover last Thursday. Cousin Cephas came out to spend the night, since he didn't have school on Friday. They had a fantastic time.

Watching Robin Hood.

Not going to sleep.

Playing with puzzles in the morning.

What fun it must be to grow up with cousins so close.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Sewing Contest

Singer Sewing with Nature Contest

Entries due 2/5/09

Not much time...I keep waiting for inspiration...any ideas?

I want to be a runner up-I'd love a dress form.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

148 years of fun

Happy Kansas Day!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Fun on the Farm

Jeanette and Eric and Jonathan are here from Oregon, and so we have lots of fun and visitors and family together time at the farm. A random sampling...

Cephas, standing on a water jug, wearing ski mittens, looking at himself in a mirror.

Poppa Marion with Joela.

Grammy Joan with Joela.
Recycled fruit in the fruit bowl.

Plates rescued from the trash by our left coasties.

Cousins being cute.

Linda bringing big hair back.

Happy Birthday Jeanette! We're so glad you're here.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

25 Random Things

I got tagged on Facebook, and figured I'd double up.

1. I'm particular about sock height. Too low, and my ankles get cold, too high, and it bugs me.
2. I love my bed.
3. I sleep in earplugs.
4. I'm afraid my memory is poor.
5. I like to pray the rosary.
6. I can drink a Route 44 Diet Coke from Sonic in 30 minutes.
7. Sometimes I get overwhelmed by all of the crafting possibilities in the world.
8. I tend to do things too quickly.
9. Cold weather sucks my will to live.
10. Being around babies doesn't make me want one.
11. I love giving presents.
12. I love sending mail.
13. I like to decorate the house a little for each month.
14. I don't like to watch TV.
15. I don't like movies much either.
16. I like to read silly books that don't make me think.
17. I feel a little guilty about #16.
18. I speak without thinking.
19. I'm a night owl.
20. I'm testing myself to see how long I can update the blog everyday. I've been going since October 20, 2008.
21. I always put off going to the bathroom.
22. I can't stand having hair in my face.
23. I'm too self-centered.
24. I like to bake.
25. I like music and movies I'd never like otherwise if they're in Spanish.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Glory Be

I have been really loving this prayer lately, and Matthew didn't know it-so I thought I'd share.

The Glory Be

Glory Be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end.


A little about it.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Craftster Best of 2008

Just in case it's not one of your homepage tabs...

Craftster Best of 2008

There are so many amazing things in this list. So many things to try.

I need an extra life.

Anyone want to try to make these with me?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I love podcasts

One of my favorite things about the ipod Matthew gave me last year for my birthday is all of the podcasts.

I listen to the Daily Audio Bible in the mornings when I jog, and though it's ridiculously dramatic, it's a nice way to finally meet the omnipresent goal of getting through the whole book in one year. I just listen to the Bible part, and skip over his analysis at the end.

This American Life is always fun too.

Poetry Off the Shelf is great because I get to listen to all different kinds of poetry and hear the writers talk about it, what it means and where it comes from, and I feel like I'm learning something.

My newest favorite is The Spanish Podcast, because I get to learn all about culture and phrases and, best of all, really hear lots of the subjunctive tense. I think maybe I'll finally start to get that into my head. And it's from Spain, so it's a different accent than I'm used to hearing, with the vosotros and everything.

What are your favorites?

Friday, January 23, 2009

I crochet...

And sometimes I think knitters are crazy.

These are portraits of people wearing clothing made from the hair of their dogs, which was spun into yarn and then knitted into garments.


(Thanks to CRAFT and If It's Hip, It's Here ...which contains some objectionable content)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Martha Stewart Cooking School

On the rare occasions that I have 5 or 10 minutes with nothing pressing to do, I've really enjoyed sitting down with my newest cookbook:

I've only just finished the introduction. I learned all about the different tools and pots and pans I should have in the kitchen, how to use knives, what different herbs and spices are and how to use them. The pictures are lovely.
The first section is all about making soup, and I've been thinking we need to have more soup in our lives, so hopefully I'll get the chance to try to make my own stock and all of that. Fun fun!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

First Flush

I was thinking I ought to go ahead and gush about how wonderful and amazing and fun it is to have started my first class in the MATL, because I know someday I'll just be wanting it to be over and I'll think "ugh" homework, etc.

But for now! La-de-da! I'm in school! I'm reading and learning things!

Aside from the intermittent terror-with online classes, that old nightmare of forgetting completely about a class or test or assignment seems COMPLETELY possible. And what if my brain has atrophied completely after years of skimming chick-lit? There is a sort of happy ending when reading about second language acquisition theory, but it's not quite the same.

This first class is FL 664 Second Language Acquisition Theory and Practice. We're learning about the difference between learning and acquiring a second language, about the psychological history of SLA research, about methods and approaches to teaching language.

Before I went to college, Dad told me about how it was going to be-all people who were really interested, highly motivated, similar to me. He said I'd get to learn about things that were just exactly what I was interested in, instead of messing around with everything.We were both a little disappointed when I came home the first time and told him it was nothing like that.

But this! This feels like that. We're all language people, all language teachers, all dreaming of starting to learn another one, just for fun. We all get excited and care deeply about how to motivate kids to really acquire language.

And where else in the world, would my textbook contain the following quote:

"Language may not be merely a vital link in the social side of intellectual development, it may be the very foundation of intelligence itself" (Oller, 1981)
(yikes, I'm going to have to learn all over again about citing and stuff)

It made me giggle when I read it.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Secret Joys

You know those cheesy silly catalogs that come in the mail?

I can't throw them away without looking through them first. I love looking at all of the ridiculous things available for purchase.

Like this:

and this:

and all of these:

and I secretly want this, and this.

Go on, dish. What's your secret fun?

Monday, January 19, 2009


I had a technology inservice on Friday, and we learned to use MovieMaker. It was a fun and helpful lesson, they gave us all of the things needed to make a video, and then showed us how to do it. I tried to use MovieMaker to make my Mom video in December, but got frustrated. I might try again now.

It was pretty simple, and I have loads of ideas for more things I could do with it for the kids.

Anyhoo, for MLK day, here's the video I made.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

I decked the hall...

With Eminence Blue from Behr.
I'm not sure what it is about Matthew leaving town. It makes sense for me to do lots of projects when he takes Anna with him, but what kind of crazy person decides to paint with a three year old?
Here's a before, but after I took down the pictures. What a boring hall, eh?
Anna helped me wash the walls, after changing into painting clothes. She was VERY excited.
Here she's helping me with the tape. She held the tape, then I took some off, put it up, and she gently tapped it down. it worked pretty well. Then I actually let her paint some, but didn't take any pictures because of the hovering. She did a wonderful job and didn't spill or get any on the wood or in her hair or anything. Then she happily went to bed, and I finished up. This morning I took down the tape and put the pictures back up. Less than 24 hours! Can you see the blue? I think it's nice, but the "Kitchen and Bath" paint that I got shows the roller marks more than what I used in the bedroom. Good thing there are lots of pictures in the hall, and who looks at the walls when they're walking around, anyway?

I'm happy with it, but I think for the Laundry and the Kitchen I might have to do the taping and let Mr. Perfectionist do the painting. He's a good painter.

A project together? I wonder how that would work...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Mantel Saga Continues...

I found some LED garland and some silver garland on the super Christmas clearance, and spread it around. During the day, there's silver snow, at at night, the ground glows eerily. It makes me giggle. Here's a dark photo, but you get the idea.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Accidental Perfection

I've often thought that the problem with loving your job is that you always feel that there's more you could be doing. Surfeit of ideas, deficit of time. I generally end up teaching by the seat of my pants.

Thursday, in 4th and 5th grade, we had an accidentally fantastic lesson. We're learning about food, and some other items, and stores. I had some posters for stores that I made when I was at the High School, so I pulled those out. We reviewed the vocab flash cards, gave each table a store, decided what store they would be sold in, and then talked for a minute about the peso versus the dollar.

Then we had some more time, so...

I gave each table a whiteboard and a marker and had them set prices and make a price list.

Then I remembered that I had some pesos back in my office, so I gave them a minute to write and went back to fetch them.

We counted out the money together, and then I went shopping. The kids got really excited, and started trying to sell me their items. I passed by the tables if they weren't speaking Spanish, telling them: "Lo siento, no hablo ingles" In seconds, the ENTIRE CLASS was engaged, in the language, trying to get me to buy whatever they had. It was loud and crazy and exactly what you would experience in a Mexican market.

Then at the end we had a discussion about culture, and the markets in Mexico, and the kids who have been to Mexico got to tell their classmates about it, and they all got to see the coins, and they're begging to go shopping themselves.

I wish I could plan a lesson like that, instead of just stumbling into it.

But I'll take it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


For Christmas Margaret gave me this beautiful embroidery collage for my sewing room. Isn't it sweet? Hopefully Anna and Matthew will go away sometime this winter for a few days, I want to reorganize and paint the whole room, I think I could use these girls as inspiration.

(photo from doe-c-doe)
The artist is from Wichita! Here's her blog, and her etsy shop.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

African Proverb--

"He who runs away and escapes is clever"

Last weekend on the way home from school I thought: "There's nothing going on, Matthew still can't play for church because of his finger...we should run away."

So we did. This time we left Anna with Grammy Joan and Poppa Marion and headed to Wichita. Totally different from my usual escapes, this time Matthew and I were focused on being lazy in the Big City.

We ate Chipotle, watched cable, shopped a teensy bit, went to the super cool car wash, crashed The Wheatland Mission, and saw LOTS of friends. Still not everyone we would have liked to, but seeing Heath and Jenny, Kent and Jenni, and Matt and Michele was just what the doctor ordered.

On the way home I read the Wichita magazine that was in our hotel room, and was irritated with this paragraph in an article about the rebuilding efforts in Greensburg.

--Greensburg lies 110 miles west of Wichita. You get there on a two-lane strech of U.S. Highway 54 that snakes through dusty antique towns and sprawling milo fields. The shoulder is littered with road kill and tumbleweeds. The sky is endless. The clouds are epic. The sky touches everything.--

Come on!

But being irritated does nothing-so let me just encourage you to visit some of the wonderful country west of Wichita, or south or north or east. Or cool things in Wichita.

How about 2009 is the year of the local escape!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Fun Poem

I like to listen to poetry podcasts. I think I heard this one on "Poetry Off the Shelf", but I can't be sure. I thought it was fun.

by Peter Pereira

If you believe in the magic of language,
then Elvis really Lives
and Princess Diana foretold I end as car spin.
If you believe the letters themselves
contain a power within them,
then you understand
what makes outside tedious,
how desperation becomes a rope ends it.
The circular logic that allows senator to become treason,
and treason to become atoners.
That eleven plus two is twelve plus one,
and an admirer is also married.
That if you could just rearrange things the right way
you’d find your true life,
the right path, the answer to your questions:
you’d understand how the Titanic
turns into that ice tin,
and debit card becomes bad credit.
How listen is the same as silent,
and not one letter separates stained from sainted.

Peter Pereira, "Anagrammer" from What's Written on the Body (Copper Canyon Press, 2007). www.coppercanyonpress.orgSource: Poetry (September 2003).

Monday, January 12, 2009

Bake It Pretty

Before Christmas I entered a drawing on the Bake it Pretty website, and I won!

It was very exciting. I got Abby and me each a cupcake decorating kit, and decorated the cupcakes for Matthew and Joe's Birthday party with one of the tips. It was very easy and LOADS of fun. Truly. I want to make cupcakes all of the time now.

I'm trying to cut down on blog reading, but I really like the shop blog, and her personal blog is pretty too.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

8 Wonders of Kansas Commerce

Here's the link to find out about the 8 Wonders of Kansas Commerce and vote for your favorites.

We have until February 17, 2009 to vote, so there's not much time to visit, but you can read all about them and make plans for the future.

I've been to Brant's Meat Market in Lucas, and of course I know about Brookover, but many of the others are new to me.

Yay Kansas!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Friday, January 09, 2009

January Rampage, III

I finally got all of the Christmas stuff put away. As I was carrying box after box into the basement, I thought about how a rational person would think that this was crazy, and would probably resolve not to do so much next year. I kept waiting to feel that way, but mostly I just felt excited to do it all again.

I moved into the kitchen and ran into two more messes: The freezer:
And the pantry:

And that was it for that day. I was tired.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

January Rampage, continued

After the linen closet mess, I went back to folding clothes, and found myself straightening the closet. I didn't take pictures of that.

Then I started to put away the Christmas stuff, and tripped over something on the back porch, which looked like this:
Fast forward through the crazy...

It does make me happy, but I think days like this are hard on my family.

It didn't stop here...

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

January Rampage

We didn't make it to Streit Christmas Saturday in Salina, because little Anna had a bad cold. I had a big list of things I wanted to get done, but kept getting sidetracked by messes. This happens to me sometimes. Is it common?
I went to put a towel away and found this:The next thing I knew, everything was out in the hall, being sorted and tidied. This is not the best way to get a lot of things done.
But it is nice at the end. Once this starts, I know I'm in trouble for awhile. Stay tuned to see what else fell into my path...

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Happy Birthday Abby!

We celebrated Abby's 14th Birthday a little early, so that Susan could be with us. Everyone came out to our house and we had "crispy meat", french fries, and green beans with cheese. Abby's choice. She baked and decorated her own cake. She's been our cake lady for years now. We played Wii, with only a few minor injuries, opened presents, and ate cake. I can't believe this sweet girl is 14!

Love you!

Monday, January 05, 2009

I hate the January Mantel

I hated it last year too...and then liked it a little...

And this year I hate it again.
I don't know if I need a completely new approach or if nothing will look good after the holly jolly fullness of Christmas.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

New Year's Eve

We spent New Year's Eve with Dad and Abby and Susan and Steven, but on the way into town we noticed the new A&W was open! We had to stop and try it out.

Here's Matthew with the still-sealed ketchup. It was really fun to be part of their first crowd, all of the workers still trying to figure out what to do. Anna chose the corn dog bites, and I had a corn dog too. Matthew had a cheeseburger of some sort, I think. You can tell it was very tasty.

Anna had a good time with her toy, a miniature root beer mug.

On the way out we had to stop for a picture with the big bear, and we rang the bell, because "our visit was swell"

It was a fun New Year's surprise.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Mary vs Martha

Last week at BCC Jeff spoke about Mary and Martha, that same old story about the one who does too much and the one who's relaxing. I always have trouble with this story-wondering-if Martha's really supposed to do less, that's fine, but then WHO is going to do everything?

I tried the past few days to do less, but now the house is messy and I feel cranky.

In this new year, I'm going to try to do less and enjoy more, but it's hard. How do you know what's fun and what's obligation and what's important and what's not?

I took 10 blogs off of my reader. That ought to save a few minutes a day.

Any help?

Friday, January 02, 2009

Twirled Treasures

We got pretty things for Emily at TwirledTreasures, where she makes jewelery out of paper! Quilling is something I've never tried, but it sure is pretty.

(Photos from Twirled Treasures)

Thursday, January 01, 2009

A Resolution

I'm usually making a zillion resolutions, but this year I don't feel like it.

Here's mine.

I will try to do more of what I know is right and less of what I know is not.

That's it.

Not measurable or clear or any of those goal setting things, but one I feel good about for 2009.