Thursday, December 24, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

So that's why.

At dinner--

Anna: Why did the chicken cross the road?
Linda: I don't know, why?
Anna: To get to the other side.
Linda: Oh! (laughs)
Anna: (shakes her head, comments) Chickens are curious.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Old Anna

Spencer put this up on youtube a couple of weeks ago. I had forgotten about it. Cute kid.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter 2010 List

So today's the first day of winter, which means it's time for another list. I didn't feel especially productive this fall, but I did most of what I wanted to do, which was a pleasant surprise.

Fall 2009 List
1. Binding on Susan's Quilt
2. Binding on Christmas Quilt
3. Shannon Quilt
4. Molly G Quilt
5. 1 Scrapbook project (see-trying to be more realistic)
6. Finish training and run in Laura K 10K (ran 5K, better than noK)
7. Can/preserve something from garden.
8. Run away with Anna at least once.
9. Go to bed before 11:00 on school nights. (many nights anyway)
10. Pray a novena (Rosary for 9 days in a row-never yet succeeded)
11. Help Linda organize.
12. Manhattan trip.
13. Redo Anna's room.

So, for this winter, I think it's a good idea to try to keep the list simple.
1. Graduation Gift
2. Read 3 books that Dad would approve of.
3. Build a room in the basement with Matthew.
4. Molly G Quilt
5. 1 Scrapbook Project (this is getting desperate)
6. 3 Baby Blankies
7. Trip with MJL
8. Do the 12 week challenge at the YMCA.(They closed the pool for a month for renovations-but I'm marking it off because I still did a pretty good job.)

And that's all I come up with for now!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Christmas Paper

Old paper goods, why do you taunt me?

Look at this old Christmas paper. It's pink! And it has such lovely winter scenes! I like the fireplace the best. Or maybe the ice skating, or the white oddly shaped Christmas Tree, or the Pilgrims eating dinner?
But I'm using it this year, dang it.

I find myself saying out loud, while wrapping gifts, "There's no reason to hoard ribbon. Just use it."

Anyone else have this problem?

Friday, December 18, 2009

Suzy Snowflake

For Linda. Happy Birthday!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Las Posadas (in English)

Las Posadas is a Mexican celebration beginning on the 16th of December and continuing until the 24th. "Posada" means "shelter" and so "Pedir Posadas" is "to ask for shelter", as Mary and Joseph did.

In a nutshell, it is a combination of caroling and a nativity play. Mary and Joseph, angels, sometimes a donkey, with a crowd of other guests, go from door to door singing and asking for shelter. No one will let them in. Sometimes there are "devils" at each house preventing their entry. Here's the song in English and Spanish, and a small video.

Finally, the poor pilgrims are allowed in, and a big party follows, with pinatas and tamales and fun. On the 24th, everyone would then head to church at midnight for the Misa del gallo (Mass of the rooster)(Midnight Mass).

The history of the piñata in the video from yesterday was new to me. He said that the piñata was a representation of sin, looking all pretty and fancy, and that the seven points represented the seven deadly sins. We are blindfolded when trying to hit the piñata to break it, because we have to rely on faith, and when it is finally broken, we are rewarded. Pretty neat! Those were some clever friars way back... whenever.

Pics from here and here and here and here (lots more information in these places too).

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Las Posadas

A really interesting video about the history of Las Posadas and Piñatas, in clear but quick Spanish. Tomorrow I'll explain in English.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

O Christmas Pink

And, of course, Pink.

I can't figure out how to capture the loveliness of the pink tree on film. I took these after dark, hoping to show you how it glows sweetly at night, but it looks more purple here.

I did a couple of extra things this year. I twisted white garland around the lights to cover up the green cord, and I strung another white garland through the middle of the tree. I'm really happy with how that came out. I used some pink ribbons I had, and I'm always on the lookout for new perfect pink ornaments, but I didn't find any this year.

I love my pink tree.

Monday, December 14, 2009

O Christmas Five

Crafting, Goodwill, Trips, Friends, and


We're happy and lucky to have some ornaments from Matthew's family. This Noel ball is one of my favorites.

My Mom gave us an ornament each year in our stockings, and wrote the date on them somewhere, so I have an ornament for every year, and her handwriting, which makes me happy.
Remember when Anna gave us all names from Pooh and we were only to refer to each other that way? We all have ornaments from that time. Here's me, Tigger, in 2007.

We also have lots of photo ornaments. Matthew in Kindergarten, Anna last year. Sometimes I think we're definitely going to need another tree. :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

O Christmas Four

Crafting, Goodwill, Trips,


This Hula Santa came from friends Jon and Kerri when they were stationed in Hawaii. It's funny that a Hula Santa could make anyone feel all proud and American, but he does.

This L is from one of my very favorite students ever, who gave it to Anna when she was born. Sweet Chris. :)

Katrina has given us many of the coolest ornaments on our tree, like this drum, which I took 5 pictures of, all blurry. Also a high hat on a stand that really works! Katrina's the best. :)

This football is from a "grown up" friend for our graduation from K-State. Donna and I share a great love for KSU football. This ornament reminds me of our young marrieds small group, and what a neat time that was.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

O Christmas Three

Crafting, Goodwill, and

I got this pretty one this summer at the Saturday Market in Eugene. I look at him and think about shopping with Katrina and Chelsea, and the beach, and hiking, and talking, and friends.
This little crab is from the trip we took to Baltimore when Anna was 6 months old, for the Foreign Language teachers convention. I think of the aquarium, and the Thanksgiving Parade on Anna's 6 month birthday, and Anna and Matthew exploring the town together.
I got this one on my big Southern road trip with Katrina, on a morning of trying to stay out of the sun because got such a sunburn the day before. What? Glitter sunscreen not that effective?

This one is from one of my running away trips with Anna, when we went to Dorothy's house last year. I remember parks and playing and laughing together.

Christmas ornaments are my favorite souvenirs.

Friday, December 11, 2009

O Christmas Two

So yesterday was crafting. Today...


There are so many wonderful and strange things to be found there.

Like this guy, who makes me laugh every year. Where did he come from? When and where was he appropriate?

Or this, my very first Flamingo ornament. Now I have lots, given to me over the years, but this first flamingo, he's special. I remember finding him and thinking. A flamingo for the Christmas Tree, found at Goodwill? What could be more perfect?

I got a whole box of these Straw ornaments from Czechoslovakia, and gave most of them away, but I kept one for myself.
And this is a Hallmark Keepsake ornament that I found brand new in the box. It has the year we moved into the house and everything (see the 2004 at the bottom of the door). I think I found it two years ago. It was very exciting.

Can you guess what's next?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

O Christmas Tree

I have decided that the Christmas Tree embodies everything I like about life.
I begin my illustration today with: Handmade Things
Wheat ornament made by my Grandma Anna

Boot ornament made by my Grandma Madge (maybe my favorite ornament)
Stocking made by Linda

Pinecone made by Abby, age 4?

Ridiculously huge snowflake made by me, who cannot seem to crochet things that are not scaled for giants.
More tomorrow...

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Internet meets real world

Last Friday I had one of those days that turns out entirely different than you expect. My plan was to go right home after school and get to work. I had a much better day instead.
First I had to go to town to pick up Anna, so I got to swim. I am really loving swimming every day. It's amazing that I never thought to join the YMCA before now. I swim a mile 3 times a week, and about 1000 yards the other days. If I time it right, I get done in time to change and watch the last 30 minutes of Days of Our Lives while walking on the treadmill, and then I pick up Anna from school.

Anyhoo-back to my day. Then Linda called and told me she was reading a poem at GCCC, and that I should go and meet Shauna and her family there. What a treat! I haven't seen Shauna in years, but we're connected via this wonderful Internet.
Here's Linda's poem, a delight as always.

Like Pudding by Linda Lobmeyer
It can be an instant sensation-
like pudding, like chocolate,
which tastes best from the instant,
or it can be like butterscotch,
which is much better from
the cook-n-serve (stirred
and stirred). Smooth,
spongy on top, sweet
on the tongue. It's simple
pleasure: love like pudding.
A heart reaches
for a spoon and punches
through the skin to eat mushiness.
We eat because it feels right.
We are happier than we were
without the pudding.

Then I got to chat with all of those fun people while Anna and the girls played at McDonalds, and then, tiring of that noisy place, we all gathered for dinner at my house. The girls (who never met, but have watched each other grow up on the blogs) had a wonderful time and the rest of us had some wine and conversation. What fun!

Way better than the day I had planned.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

6-Man Football

Last weekend we went to Plainview TX to watch nephews Luke and Levi play in the Texas State Playoffs against Garden City, TX. It was a cold game, but fun to see. Luke plays like all of my favorite football players, with an intensity that you can feel from the stands. I'd be proud to wear number 25.

Follett didn't win, so that was Luke's last High School game. I know that feeling, of working so hard in your senior year, devoting yourself entirely to a goal, and not making it there. I know how that hurts.
We're awfully proud of you.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Gift Tags

I think there are lots of neat things you could do with these.

And probably some one else more computer savvy than me would know how to put them into a PDF or something repeating so that you could just print them out and use them.
Sorry 'bout that.But aren't they pretty and oh so cute?
And now I can use them without fretting about it.
I am definitely re-using this one. I love it.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Teeny Spruce

Last year we got a little teeny live Christmas Tree, and then in the Spring we planted him outside. I thought, since he's a Christmas Tree, he ought to be decorated. We used twist ties to attach everything, we'll see how long it lasts.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009 (2)

8th Annual Alsop Thanksgiving Connect Four Tournament

Watch this video!!! (took me 3 days to get it loaded)

And a good time was had by all.