Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Merry Refrigerator!

On Christmas Eve, about 11:30, I was piddling a little on the computer while Matthew was at the farm with his family. At first I thought my new Christmas jammies smelled really bad, and then my nose perked up enough to know that there was something else going on.

I walked out into the living room, hazy with smoke, and identified the smell as "electrical fire". So I called the farm and asked Matthew to come home.

He did, and we wandered around turning things off and touching outlets and trying to figure out what was going on. (We crossed the refrigerator off the list of possibilities early since it sounded like it was still running fine.) Not being able to find anything, we started to get more worried about the possibility of fire inside a wall.

So we called the farm and asked them to bring over the fire extinguisher from the combine and Matthew went out to the shop to get the ladder.

While he was gone, a whole crew of brothers and brothers-in-law and nephews armed with hoses came bustling in and went to work.

(I know MJL has a big family, but it still surprised me to see so much help come through the door. It's awfully nice to have so many big strong men and boys come to your aid).

We searched the attic, the basement, moved the piano, climbed up to check the lights, and still found nothing. (I saw "we", but mostly I just tried to keep my big belly out of the way. It's harder than you might think).

Finally we narrowed the smell to the kitchen, and sometime around 1:00 Matthew found the burned out wires on the back of the refrigerator. It was really really nice to find the problem, though losing the fridge and freezer the night before Christmas was not ideal. Anna slept through the whole thing.

We spent a happy Christmas ignoring the problem and throwing some stuff into a cooler.

We spent Sunday identifying the problem (compressor), pricing parts and repairs ($), and convincing cranky Betsy that the best option was to buy a new fridge, even though her parent's fridge has lasted 35+ years. hmph. Anna passed the time playing "Christmas Eve" in her new doll house - where all of the dolls run around saying "The fridge is on fire! The fridge is on fire!"

We spent Monday picking it out.

We spent Tuesday waiting for it.

And now it already seems like it belongs. And I like it. It's a little bigger, and I'm hoping the black handles and silver front won't show farm dirt as much as the white one did.

Merry Christmas! Would you like a cold glass of milk?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Whoa, Mama.

I'm beginning to think the only thing keeping me from the nesting CRAZINESS was Christmas.

I woke up on the 26th feeling panicked and haven't stopped yet.

Deep breaths, lots of prayers, MUST SIT DOWN.


Monday, December 27, 2010

Photo tips

Craft has started their Best of 2010 lists-I thought these were particularly timely for several of us. :)

In unrelated news, today we're picking out a new fridge. I'm feeling kind of cranky about that. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be able to tell the whole story with a funny, positive spin.


Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Matthew.

It's going to be a great year.

Feliz cumpleaƱos, mi amor.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Cutie booties

Tummy got another gift in the mail this week.

These sweet booties from Darci & co. Thanks a bunch! I love them.

They're adorable, though the thought of tiny feet to go inside them does make my stomach churn a bit. :)

So far-we have ready for Tummy's arrival... 2 blankets, a pair of booties, and a mended backpack. ...

And two coats of mud on the ceiling of the room, one coat on the walls. My cautiously optimistic estimate is that in 2 weeks we'll be able to start moving rooms around. That'll be 37 weeks. Here's hoping Tummy's willing to stay put a while longer.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Angel Ornament Done!

Last night, as I watched BOTH of my teams (USM Golden Eagles and KSU Wildcats) lose their games, I finished my sweet angel ornament.

She took forever, but I very much enjoyed making her. That's unusual for me. I usually like things to go fast. Maybe it was all of the switching colors and sequins, maybe it was because sequins are shiny, I'm not sure. She'll be in my stocking as my ornament for the year, and I think I'll keep the kit out and work on another one for next year.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter List

Didn't do as well on the Fall list this year, all that sickness slowed me down, and probably I should add "grow a baby" and give myself some credit for that. Here's how it came out.

Fall 2010 List

1. Anna Fans Book; three years. I did all 5 years, so that was good.
2. Go through baby clothes 0-6 months.
3. Find baby equipment and clean. I can't really get out the baby stuff until there's a place to put it. And that's not up to me. We're getting there.
4. Design Anna Room. 99% done.
5. Design Craft Studio. I think I just need to get into the room first and see how my things fit.
6. Crochet Tummy Blanket. 65% done?
7. Finish Cabin Quilts. I finished Susan's, but not mine.
8. Keep up with Bible in a year and Prayer book. Bible yes, prayer book no.
9. SS Gift. Purchased, not hand made. :(
10. Make Mom's Bread. 4 loaves so far!
11. One Senior Gift. Not a lick of progress. :(
12. Tummy CD. 60% done?
13. Re-pot plants. Nope

So, not great, but that's how it goes sometimes.

Winter 2011 List

1. Enjoy Christmas.
2. Have a baby.
3. Get sub plans done.
4. Move MJL office.
<5. Move Craft Room.
6. Move Anna.
7. Set up Tummy's Room.
8. Make some things.
9. Enjoy being home with baby.
10. Spend good time with Anna.

I'm really trying to pare it down to the minimum this season. It'll be good for me.

Monday, December 20, 2010


I would really like to get this game for somebody (I'm pretty sure a non-blog reader) for Christmas.

But it's not available on Amazon or in any of the stores I've checked. If you're out shopping, and you think of it, want to look? Especially if you're coming to GC for Christmas or if you live in KS, shipping within the state is pretty quick. I'd make it worth your while. :)


Friday, December 17, 2010

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


St. Dominic's had Advent prayers from Henri Nouwen available for each family this year, and I have been really enjoying them. Especially this Christmas, waiting for Tummy, missing my Mama, trying to remember to create magic with Anna among the busyness, I appreciate this reminder.


"Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and shield. Our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you" (Psalm 33:20-22)

For those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, much in our fleeting lives is not passing but lasting, not dying but coming to life, not temporary but eternal. Amid the fragility of our lives, we have wonderful reason to hope.
Some call this hidden reality "grace," others "God's life in us," others still "the kingdom of God among us." Whatever the name you give, once you focus your eyes and ears on the precious center you start to realize that all the torrents of time and circumstance that roll over it serve only to polish it into a precious, imperishable gift. Anyone who believes, Jesus reminds us, has eternal life (John 6:40). That is the enormous revolution, that in this fleeting, temporary world he comes to plant the seed of eternal life. In many ways that is what is meant by the term the spiritual life-- the nurturing of the eternal amid the temporal, the lasting within the passing, God's presence in the human family. It is the life of the divine Spirit within us.
Become aware of this mysterious presence and life turns around. You sense joy even as others nurse complaints, you experience peace while the world conspires in war, and you find hope even when headlines broadcast despair. You discover a deep love even while the air around you seems pervaded by hatred.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fun wrapping

Last year was the first year that I decided to start looking for things to wrap in that I can use over and over. I gathered up all of the cute tins that were scattered about and claimed them as wrapping containers.

I also picked up some nice boxes after Christmas to add to the pile, and Abby and I finally finished those Dinosaur cross stitch bags that we were working on FOREVER.

It takes up some space in storage, but it is fun and quick for wrapping, and will be a fun tradition, I think.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

Thursday, December 09, 2010


Yesterday I turned in my final project for SPA 692; Spanish in the United States. It was a fun and interesting class, if occasionally frustrating.

I've now finished 6 of the 11 classes in my Master's Program. Over halfway there!

I did decide to take a class next semester- Options in Teaching Grammar -we'll see how that goes. :)

I've had another class with this professor, he's very organized and lets us know at the beginning of the semester all that will be required, on a week by week basis, so I think I'll be able to manage.

Or maybe I'm crazy. It's a possibility.

Yay for Christmas Break!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Mary and Elizabeth

My favorite part of the Christmas Story has always been when Mary goes to visit Elizabeth. Seen here: 6:30-7:14.

What's your favorite?

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Christmas Pillows

Every year I'm happy to put the Christmas Quilt I made on the bed, but it bothers me that I don't have Christmas Pillows to match. Finally this year I made some!

I had the green tree fabric in my Christmas stash, and backed them with left over red fleece from Anna's apple costume.

I found this giant Christmas scarf at Goodwill and backed it with some fusible fleece to make it sturdy. That took forever! I had some golden fabric in my Christmas box too, so no expense there.

But as I was feeling all self-congratulatory for using a 99 cent scarf to make my giant pillow cover, it occurred to me that I ought to also include the $7 for fusible fleece, and then it occurred to me that making Christmas Pillow Shams in the first place is not really all that thrifty, but it was fun, and they make me happy every day. So there.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Lucky Tummy

Talented Sarah made this lovely quilt for Tummy.

Matthew thinks from now on, all quilts should be Game Day quilts on the back.

I could look at it for hours, I keep finding new fabrics to love.

I'm so thankful for good friends.

As of right now, Tummy has two blankets ready and happily snuggled into the baby backpack, which I mended... Any day now, we'll get something else ready. Right?

Friday, December 03, 2010

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Sweet Potatoes

In Kindergarten, Anna drew a picture of her Thanksgiving plate and what she was looking forward to eating. Much to everyone's surprise, she included Sweet Potatoes, which have never been on the menu.
I decided to go ahead and look for a recipe and try it out.

I made this "Gourmet Sweet Potato Classic", which was a hit with everyone!...except Anna.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

For all those expectant Mamas

A new favorite Christmas Album! The Dawn of Grace--Sixpence None the Richer

Always a treat to find.

I feel your heart beating
Inside my own skin
And I think of Mary
In Bethlehem

That night in a stable
Our Saviour was born
Yes, we have so much
To be thankful for

On the last Christmas
The last Christmas
The last Christmas
Without you

They're choosing the colors
Preparing your room
For one day; Midsummer
The advent of you

Together we wait for
A heavenly gift
Is winter a wonder?
Enchanted that this is

The last Christmas
The last Christmas
The last Christmas
Without you

See the stars shining for above
Hear the singing
Praise to the Giver of Life and Love
Maker of Beautiful things..

I feel you heart beating
Inside my own skin
And I think of Mary
In Bethlehem

When darkness was shattered
The dawn of God's grace
And the journey'd begun
To the first Easter day

On the this Christmas
The last Christmas
The last Christmas
The very last Christmas

The last Christmas (x 3)
Without you

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My hero

Matthew got out the tall tall ladder and washed the windows and dusted the ceiling fans and changed the clock and even dusted my little birds.

This picture doesn't even show how scary it is when he cleaned the top window.

Happy Thanksgiving to me.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The latest project

I found another fun kit at Goodwill!

These angels are pretty labor intensive, with sequins and beads and embroidery and multiple layers of felt, but so far I'm having a good time, and it does keep me sitting down, which is good.

We'll see if I can get one done in time for the tree this year.

Monday, November 22, 2010

A gift for Tummy

This weekend we were blessed with a quick visit from some Texas friends. I didn't take any pictures of the kids playing or the parents talking, but lots of fun was had.

And Sara made me this wonderful blanket for Tummy.

It's the first gift I've received for Tummy, and makes the whole thing a lot more real.

I can't believe I'm really having a baby.

At the very least, we have this snuggly blankie to wrap him/her in. Thanks, Sara! It's lovely, lovely work.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Paris Addition

A couple of weeks ago I went to an auction. It's been a long time since I spent all day at the auction, crocheting and listening. It was a great day.

I didn't get much of what I wanted, but I did get this picture, taken by my dear friend Cathy, and beautifully framed.
It goes perfectly in the Paris bathroom. I'm glad I have a place for fancy things.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Kiki notebook

I wanted to make Katrina a really nice notebook for her birthday, so using what I learned making my notebook yesterday, I made another, a bit nicer.

This one has the cardboard all covered with construction paper, so you can't see the corrugated insides of the notebook.

More Richard Scarry, more plastic cover, with nice paper instead of old scratch paper on the inside, and two envelopes, one for small things and one for tall things.

And I scanned and printed the new Dillon's layout and put it in the back-because it is very annoying when you can't find the pickles. :)

A fun and pleasing project.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Christmas Notebook

I used up my last notebook just in time to make one for the Christmas season.

These cute kids were on the cover of a catalog I got in the mail. No sense in throwing them out!

These pages are from a Richard Scarry book that Anna destroyed one day years ago. It was on it's last legs anyway. I saved the pages to use for something, someday. A perfect backdrop for my carolers.

Matthew's Mom gave me a package of old overhead projector pages. A perfect plastic cover to keep everything nice!

This was a fun project, and helped me to perfect some things for a very special notebook. (coming tomorrow)

Friday, November 05, 2010


Because I was sick, I mostly just sat and watched all of the carving and scooping out of guts, but Matthew did clean one pumpkin for me so I got to make one too.

This is one of my favorite new fall traditions-Abby and Linda and Matthew and Betsy and Anna carving pumpkins on the porch at 5th St.