Monday, November 30, 2009

Darlin' (Christmas is Coming)

by Over the Rhine: Snow Angels

One of my favorite Christmas albums.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Elf booties

For sweet baby Joela's birthday I made a pair of elf booties. I made up the pattern myself, which was pretty fun. I wanted to put jingle bells on the toes, but couldn't figure out any way to make that not a choking hazard, since she likes to put her toes in her mouth.

I don't know why I couldn't get a good picture-here they are alone

And on some sweet baby feet. They're precious.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Joela!

Today our sweet girl cousin has her first birthday.

We're glad you're here!

(And Happy Thanksgiving!)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Napkin Rings

I wanted to make something with Anna for our Thanksgiving table (actually, I wanted to make about 5 things, but I'm trying to relax and not be so crazy), and as we were browsing around the Internet, I came across this idea for beaded napkin rings.
I knew we had some wooden beads in the basement, and some plastic lanyard cord, so we sat down and got to work.

They were pretty easy, I think it took us about an hour to make all six.
Anna's making some leaves with names on them to stick in them on the table as place cards.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Birthday House!

5 years ago today we moved into our house. That was a good day. It was exciting to put things away and know that they'd stay there forever.

These pictures are from the housewarming in January. In those first two months I made lots and lots of curtains. Last week I took them down and washed them. It may have been the first time I took them down. They were very dirty. It took FOREVER to iron them all, so it may well be another 5 years before I get up the gumption to do it again.

Here's the living room now. I knew the furniture was faded and crumpled, but boy! you can really tell when you put the two together like that.

And here you can see the two little schefflera that Mom air-layered for me from Grandma Madge's plants. I knew that they grew...but I didn't remember that they started out this small.

I feel pretty good about all that we've accomplished in the first five years. We have grass (though still weedy) and a shelter belt (started) and some shade trees planted (if they survive). We've painted our bedroom, both bathrooms, Anna's room, and the hallway. We painted the mudroom and put down flooring, and we built a whole room in the basement.
In thinking about all of this (and to pass the time as I ironed and ironed those silly curtains) I started to wonder what other things I ought to be doing in the house. Before this, I only lived in apartments, and moved out in fewer than five years, so the whole thing got a good cleaning then.
What all are you supposed to do when you stay in a place forever? Any help from the grown-ups out there?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Conversation

This week, when you're with your family, snuggled on the couch with full bellies, why not take a couple of minutes to ask your parents a few important questions? This is absolutely not an exhaustive list, just a couple of things to think about.

1. Where do they keep their important papers? Do they have a will, a living will, persons designated to make medical or financial decisions?

2. Do they have a plan for distributing valuable or sentimental items?

3. Where do they want to have the funeral? Burial or Cremation? Do they have cemetery plots somewhere? Do they have any specific requests for music or readings or memorial donations?

4. Is there anything else we ought to know?

I know, it's hard, but you can blame it on me, say I brought it up in the first place. Then you'll know some stuff, and in 40 or 50 years, when you need it, you'll already have the info. Just jot it down and stuff it into the "important papers" file at the back of your filing cabinet, and you won't have to think about it again for a long time.

And you'll all feel a little better when it's done.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Jenn Higerd

My friend Jennifer is one of 10 Women who are on display at the Arts Center on Main.


She's a ceramics artist with some very lovely work. See lots more here.


And I don't just think that because I like her.

She'll be on display through Christmas, so hop on down and buy something! (I, for example, would be very happy to unwrap a Cantaloupe bowl on Christmas morning).

All pictures (except that one above) stolen from Jennifer's website:

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Saint Nicholas Premier

This morning Anna and I are going to see this! I'm excited.

Friday, November 20, 2009

TV help

Faithful readers, facebook friends and acquaintances, random "next-bloggers",

I need your help.

We like to have our own TV marathon as a part of the Thanksgiving festivities. Last year we watched Monk, and it was great!

This year we didn't think ahead and watched Monk when it came out.

So now we need a TV show that we all will like, and that is Anna appropriate. (If you're wondering about Monk, we just sent her out of the room for the first five minutes of every show, and that worked pretty well).

It can be an old show or a new show, 30 minutes or an hour, maybe even a movie or just has to be good.

For reference, some family favorites include; Gilmore Girls, Monk, NCIS (not Anna appropriate, and too gory for MJL)...we like character driven shows, funny shows.

Any help?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Multiple Choice

I found this growing up out of the shower drain. It's wheat.

Is this...

a) evidence of extremely poor housekeeping?

b) a testament to my wonderfully green thumb?

c) a natural consequence of sharing a house with a farmer? (evidence required)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Christmas Lamb

Grammy Joan also found me a little cloth Christmas book kit. I would never buy a kit from Wal-mart, but as a gift, especially from a thrift store, I find these projects to be super fun.

They're quick and easy and I think I like the idea of the things finally being made. Someone bought these things, and then ran out of time.
I like being able to check things off of other people's lists.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"CAREFULLY stitch baby Jesus front to baby Jesus back"

Last year Grammy Joan found me a fun nativity set sewing kit at Goodwill. I started it last December, but didn't get it done. I was excited to find it in the Christmas craft box when I brought it up last week.

It's one of those projects that I thought would take forever, but actually didn't take long at all!

It makes me happy to think about playing with it for years and years and years.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Remember those craft kits I got from Goodwill?

I finished the dino ornaments! It was really fun, and got me interested in hand sewing and embroidery.

I'm still working on that counted cross stitch dino...not my favorite.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

"Winter Event"

Snow forecast for today! We've got the crops all in, TV to watch, cookie dough in the freezer.

I'd like to order a snow day please.

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Most afternoons/evenings when we get home, Anna goes straight to her room, shuts the door, and climbs up to her desk to work on something. She often runs in to ask to borrow my tape. She made this last week, all by herself.
I love it!

Friday, November 13, 2009



I'm not THAT late.

You want pictures? No complaining.

We're still in the age of the clenched teeth fake smile and camera avoidance, but she still managed to look pretty cute.

This is serious.Outside she demonstrated some more ballerina poses. She's learned all of the ballet she knows from Angelina Ballerina (A British mouse who dances. Anna, not knowing about foreign accents, came and told me the other day: "Mice say 'to-mah-to', instead of 'to-may-to'" ). I wore one of the extra moustaches. Too bad I couldn't find another one for Matthew.

Abby went trick or treating with us in town. She was a librarian. Anna was mostly excited about her glow stick.

Happy Halloween! :) On Friday the 13th!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Anna's always drawing and making things, which I love love love. And, proud Mama that I am, I think her drawings are pretty wonderful.
And stylish!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Nowadays at school we can't bring anything made at home to eat, only pre-packaged things. That makes sense as a teacher, but it's hard as a Mama, and especially for a Mama who's a "maker". It just didn't seem right to send treats to school for Halloween with nothing homemade.

So I made moustaches for her class! I stitched most of them while doing my "chat" for my current Master's class, which is one great advantage to internet learning. It's not really acceptable to stitch in regular class, even though I think I focus better if my hands are busy. But online, no one knows!

Isn't she sweet with a moustache?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Mystery Christmas Crochet Project

I've never done one of these before, but it sounds like fun, and I have some white yarn I've been needing to use in something... (All pictures from Sarah London)

Mystery Christmas Crochet Project.

The first installment of instructions just posted. Looks like we're starting with Granny Squares, which I'm especially excited about because I've never made any. I know! They're a crochet staple, but I've just never done one. Getting started tonight!

She has lovely step by step pictures and instructions, and says any shade of green will work, and any white yarn. Anyone else in?

Monday, November 09, 2009

Goodwill love

Last week Matthew took Anna on errands, so I had the chance to go to Goodwill by myself, a rare treat. Anna's pretty good at shopping at Goodwill, we usually fill the cart with kids books and that keeps her entertained, but it's still nice to be able to take as much time as I want, which is a lot of time.
On this particular trip, there was a huge basket full of craft kits. So exciting!
I've never done any counted cross-stitch, but this little Christmas dinosaur was so cute, surely I can manage him. Or Matthew can do it, I think he did cross-stitch in 4-H. (Is that embarrassing? I don't think so)
And, perfectly timed given my new fondness for felt, these sweet dinosaur ornaments.
The felt was all marked, with nice clear instructions and everything I would need, even a new needle!

And some glue...which was long ago past its time, but cute! Glu-bird. Sounds like a good name for a stuffed toy.

Sunday, November 08, 2009


One morning, after months of thinking wistfully, "I wish this new bathroom ipod dock had a radio too" I noticed the button that says "radio".

I'm not too good in the mornings.

So now as I'm getting ready I listen to Morning Edition, and sometimes I learn something about the world, as much as I try to ignore the news.

Last week though, there was a delightful story about Sufjan Stevens and some music about the BQE, the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

Click on it, listen to it, smile.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

My felt food

I've been listening to the old Craftsanity podcasts, and one was an interview with Lily Bean Market, delightful maker of felt food. I went to the website and found kits! I've been thinking about felt food, and thought it would be a great way to get started. It was wonderful fun. The kits came with clear instructions, and lovely wool felt. I would never buy wool felt on my own, because it's more expensive and we don't have any around here, but it was awfully nice to work with.

I started with Christmas Cookies. Anna's been playing with these so much! I made the candy cane myself out of some of the scraps from the other cookies. Anna thinks it needs another stripe.

Next up was donuts. I made the cookies and the donuts all in one afternoon/evening.
Then came the sandwich, including two slices of bread, cheese, ham, lettuce and tomato.

And finally a whole basket full of fruit.

I have some bits of the nice felt left over, and I've been looking at free patterns and plotting what to make next. She's supposed to get all of the rest of the food for Christmas, but I was too excited to only work on them when she was asleep, so she's seen all of the fruit. (Maybe she'll forget?)

Friday, November 06, 2009


We got to see U2 and The Black Eyed Peas in Norman on Sunday night. Oh my, it was wonderful. Unfortunately all of my pictures are blurry and my videos also include my enthusiastic singing along, which I am NOT going to post. :)
I was sick sick sick, but the adrenaline and excitement pulled me through. (When I got home I made it to the Dr... Two ear infections and a sinus infection. Now that's a fan!)

My friends Sarah and Jenny (I'm linking to facebook here, don't know if it will work) both have lovely pictures from the concert, but I never can manage that demure smile...

Thursday, November 05, 2009

OSU homecoming

Once in Oklahoma, we enjoyed the one of the best things about visiting Margaret...doing whatever they do.

So we all dressed up in Orange and went to the OSU homecoming parade. Did you know they say O...S...U...Go pokes!? It was very strange and felt a little odd for this KSU girl.

Anna had a great time, especially because she got to snuggle with Lainey.

Garth Brooks...and two other people (I know, it's terrible I can't even remember who they were! They were also famous) were the Parade Marshalls.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

A quest

Remember how a few weeks ago we went to Oklahoma?

At the very last minute (I was actually in the car, all packed, setting up the GPS) Matthew called to say the corn was too wet to cut and he could come too.

So we did a little exploring together for a change.

First we stopped in Cimarron for Ice Cream at Clark Pharmacy. Very fun and tasty.

Then we stopped in Meade for some dinner and some play time. I was not brave enough to walk on the highest of the balance beams, but Matthew was.

The park in Meade is outstanding! Two play areas, one new and neat and one old and neat. It was there that I hit upon Anna's Quest (Kansas Explorers have quests, things that they try to do in every county in KS).

We're going to play on a playground in every county in Kansas.

I'm excited.