Thursday, December 29, 2011

Declutter 2012

Always in search of better organization and less clutter-here's a daily calendar I'm probably going to follow diligently for 2 weeks and then forget about.  But for two weeks...!

My Simpler Life

Good luck!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It's true

This made me cry today.  Babies talking about baby Jesus-too sweet.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Neighborly Christmas

Our almost-niece Jenna introduced us to the band Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors and we're hooked.

It's one of the Christmas Albums on heavy rotation this year.

Friday, December 16, 2011


Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day. — Henri Nouwen

Have you been looking at the Busted Halo Advent Calendar?  It's been fun.  

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fun from the Craft World

I've not been looking at my craft blogs lately, because there's no time and sometimes I feel overwhelmed with ideas and no time to see anything through. But tonight I played a little and look what I found.

1. They are going to have a Crafting reality show. I can hardly wait.

2.  This website makes me laugh a lot.  I especially like the one about stepping on a pin.

3.  There are too many wonderful things on the internet and too little time.  I'm off to go work on a real project now.  (But I should be off to bed)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Eternal Gifts

A new favorite Christmas song this year.

(The video has mostly pictures of Leigh Nash, so you might want to just listen while doing other things)

Eternal Gifts
Santa knows what I want for Christmas
but Jesus knows what I need
it can't be purchased wrapped up and placed
under an 8 foot tree

I need patience, kindness - virtues like these
to bend on my knee at the manger

Santa may bring these that last for a year
but eternal gifts come from the Savior

some days come where I'm plain selfish
I can't think of no one but me
then I think of all that I'm blessed with
and how it's always best to give than to receive

I need faithfulness, love, generosity
to open my home to a stranger

Santa may bring things that last for a year
but eternal gifts come from the Savior

I need patience, kindness, generosity
to bend on my knee at the manger

Santa may bring things that last for a year
but eternal gifts come from the Savior

Santa knows what I want for Christmas
but Jesus knows what I need

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Katie Giggles

After an escape, Katie enjoys being followed. Sorry for the shaky camera. It's hard to crawl and film!

Katie Escapes 2

This one is quite impressive. It took about 17 minutes (don't worry, the video's not that long). I sped up some of the footage and took some out. I think what's left is entertaining, but I won't be offended if that's just my Mommy bias and you're bored to bits. (But you don't have to tell me so).

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Katie's Escapes: 1

It's a constant battle to keep Katie contained.

She is beating us more and more these days.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thy children will swell the cry!

Another perk of the Rowing Reunion was that Katie and Anna got to go to their first game!It was really fun. Anna wondered when Willie would get to play.

She learned to do the Wabash and sing the Fight Song and Eat 'em up, Eat 'em up, KSU!

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.

Go Cats!

Monday, November 21, 2011

KSU Rowing Reunion 2011

Remember Labor Day Weekend? I went to Manhattan for the Rowing Reunion! Here are some pictures.With my Ford Hall roomie and rowing buddy Laura-in the amazing team center that they have out at the boathouse. With lockers! And showers! And a training room! And bathrooms!

It was fun to show Anna the boats. I'd never mentioned rowing to her-pretty foreign for a little farm girl.
I got to see Maggie! That was wonderful wonderful. I love that girl.

(I couldn't help but wear workout clothes to the boathouse-couldn't shake the feeling that I might end up running up and down the hill, which is paved now, by the way!).

Here are some of the "Hale Era" rowers-but not all of them. It was great to see these girls again.
Maggie and I got oars! Someday the basement will be all done and I think this will look super cool on the wall.

A bit more tomorrow. :)

Friday, November 18, 2011


I know it's old news, but I just finally got the chance to play around on Pinterest.

It's pretty fun.

I transferred all of my links (250+) from delicious and sorted them all into boards. I like it because I can see all of the projects, which hopefully will help me remember what I wanted to do. I also really like how easy it is to pin things-just add the "pin it" button to your bookmarks bar and you're set!

Here I am - if you're interested.

Fair warning--don't start playing if you're busy!

Monday, November 07, 2011

"after the wedding"

Today begins a magical time---I don't think there's a single person in my life who hasn't been put off with the phrase-"after the wedding". (Now Sus, don't feel bad-I loved helping make your day lovely and special) Here's a partial list of the things I'm now going to do:

1. Teach Anna to crochet.
2. Go to a Bible Study with one of the teachers from school.
3. Finish my class!
4. Put away the Halloween stuff.
5. See Katrina.
6. Call Chelsea back.
7. Play around on Pinterest.
8. Make Spencer's Quilt!
9. Get out Katie's next size of clothes.
10. Buy some pants that fit.
11. Change the battery in the smoke detector in my office so it quits that INFERNAL BEEPING!

The nice thing about being really busy is that normal busy all of a sudden feels luxurious. Aaahhh...

Friday, November 04, 2011

Wedding Week Countdown...1!

Tomorrow... Yay for Susan and Steven. And Go Cats!
(And who took all these lovely photos? This guy)

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Wedding Week Countdown...2!

2 days until English majors outnumber the rest of us.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Wedding Week Countdown...3!

This year our Thanksgiving bracket will have 7 players! 3 days...

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Wedding Week Countdown...4!

4 days until I get a new brother!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Wedding Week Countdown...5!

My sister's getting married!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Peanut Butter Challenge

This summer this giant tub of peanut butter showed up in my house. (You know how it is with big parties)
Of the 6 lbs, about a cup had been used.

I don't think you can read it, but it says "Best by November 2011". That's my kind of challenge.
We made about 200 of these cookies, and they were tasty, but that didn't use nearly enough.

So we started making corn flake cookies, a Grandma Anna staple. So yummy and easy.

We've tried 4 different recipes. (I need to just find Grandma Anna's recipe-I'm sure someone has it). This one is pretty good-but increase the corn flakes to 6 cups at least.

A couple more batches... I think we're going to make it!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Jackson Quilt

3 years ago I agreed to make a quilt for a sweet little boy.

His smart Mama asked lots of friends and family to decorate squares to welcome him.
(See anyone you know?)

Yay for baby boys and for getting things done!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Bearers of the Good News

I listened to a couple of wonderful podcast episodes last week.

I generally enjoy the Among Women podcast-a Catholic show that has interviews with all sorts of interesting women.

But these two I think were good enough to share. Dr. Mary Healy speaks about women in the Bible. Part 1 is from the Old Testament and Part 2 from the New. Each podcast is organized into 2 segments-in the first part Pat profiles a Saint, and in the second part is the talk from Dr. Healy. I thought it was fantastic.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

My third favorite season

The teachers at school love fall. It's not my favorite, but it does come before Christmas, and there's baking and Thanksgiving and football, I suppose.

Mostly, the best thing about fall is getting out my favorite pair of shoes.

I estimate that I've worn them at least 200 days a year for the past 12 years. 2400 days.

I love these shoes.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Some kind of irony

Something like 10 years ago I was setting the table in our little apartment on Hackberry and it occurred to me that our dishes were heavy, and that small children would not be able to help set the table if the dishes were too heavy. I started looking for a pretty set of plastic dishes at Goodwill.

I finally found them! A full set of eight - plates and little plates and bowls and cups and even a sugar and creamer.

I love them. I would wear them as clothes. I like to take them out just to look at them.

I have them in the pantry where Anna can reach, so she can help herself (and help me!)

Now, we've been so very fortunate, and in 12.5 years of marriage, we've only broken one bowl of our wedding dishes. (Knock on wood)

I've had my pretty pink plastic "safety" dishes for two weeks...

I'm down to 7 plates and 7 cups.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Shopping Bags!

For Susan's wedding shower, I wanted to make her some shopping bags. I've had the fabric for these for... 3 years? (So actually, I've been meaning to make her some bags forever, but the shower was a good motivator).

I ended up finishing them early in the morning with a baby alternately wrapped around my legs and sitting on my lap. (I timed myself as I was making them, got the last one sewn in 12 minutes!)

That's how easy they are to make. Here's a good tutorial. (It's a little fancier than mine-I don't have a pocket, and I just use webbing for the handles, or, as it was with these, whatever bits of anything that I had laying around. Some webbing, some ribbon, etc.)

They are truly lovely to shop with. So much nicer than plastic.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Baby Backpack

We used my old college backpack for Anna's diaper bag, and it was my plan to use it for Katie too, but after the third repair, I decided it was time to trade it in.

Luckily, we had another old backpack in the basement, so I just moved my Girl Scout Child Care badge and our Kansas Association of Wheat Growers patch to the new one and we're off!

On days when I have time for a tiny project, it feels like all is right with the world.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fall List 2011

I'm a bit behind on this post-For some reason 2 kiddos + working + Practicum + Susu's wedding = not very much time to play computer. Right now I'm enjoying a few minutes of playing in between printing research articles and cutting out tablecloths for the wedding while the two girls sleep and before responsible teacher self says that I have to go to bed too.

Summer 2011 List: (I did much better than I had anticipated!)
1. Finish organizing craft room!
2. Make Spencer's blanket.
3. Make Finney and Trisha's blanket.
4. Make something pretty with Abby for Lainey.
5. Make Anna Back to School Dress.
6. Anna Hall Photos
7. Anna 8X10's for year.
8. Finish Summer Class.
9. Plymell Spanish Facebook Page
10. Try to choose fun over "work"

Fall 2011 List:
1. Make things for Susu's wedding; Petticoat, veil, flowers, tablecloths; and have fun with sisters.
2. Finish MJL 12th anniversary present.
3. Spencer Quilt
4. Secret Sibling gift
5. File the giant pile of papers.
6. Finish Practicum.
7. Get out Baby Toys.
8. Lainey something with Abby.
9. Chelsea Wedding Book.
10. Pull some of the giant weeds.

I will be very happy if I get most of these things done. I will also try to remember what Fr. Rene said on Sunday-the Good is the enemy of the Best. I will not sacrifice what is best for what is merely good. (Best = snuggle cute girls, have fun with MJL, relax, enjoy this life, pray)

Happy Fall!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Quick Quilt

A long time ago I finished a quilt for a wedding that happened even longer ago.

A snuggly/picnic blanket.

Every quilt's cuter with a Katie on it.

Congratulations, Finney and Trisha!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Back to School Dress

We didn't quite get it done for the first day of school, but "Back to School" surely lasts for a couple of weeks, right?

This year, Anna helped make her dress! We made the Sophia Tunic Dress from SewSweet Patterns on Etsy. We took the sleeves off and made it a bit longer. She chose the fabric.
Anna sewed the shoulders and side seams all herself! (On my lap) She wanted to run the machine ALL by herself, but I'm not quite ready for that step.

I think she was pleased. I was thrilled. Someone to sew with! :)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A favorite cup.

Two years ago I bought some nice mugs from Goodwill to keep my Popsicle sticks in at school. (I have sticks for all of the students so I can call on people randomly.) One mug for each class, which was wonderful because then I had a reason to buy nice mugs at Goodwill.

I had a favorite.
One day I thought "I really really like this mug. I'm so glad I got it. It makes me happy every day." 2 seconds later I dropped it and it broke.

Last week I found one just like it at Goodwill. Thanks, world!

Monday, October 10, 2011

8 month Katie

 8 month Katie does not like to have her picture taken.

 She likes to MOVE.
Taking 8 month old portraits was a little difficult.
So we built a big tent.

Happy Birthday Katie!  (10/06/11)

Friday, August 19, 2011

GC Apology

Today I accidentally cut in front of someone at Dillons.

I say accidentally because surely I didn't mean to cut, right? I haven't been teaching elementary school for so long that I find cutting acceptable?

I was at the self check, and I had Katie on my hip and a container of Crisco in my hand and I was thinking to myself "Hurry!" because Katie was D.O.N.E. shopping and ready to let the world know.

So when the line opened, I zipped over and started to check out, realizing as I scanned my Crisco that I had been standing BEHIND someone else in line.

What do you do at this point? I figured it was quicker to just get out as soon as I could so I did, not EVEN turning around to apologize but just hustling out, head down. I've been feeling guilty ever since.

I'm sorry, man in Dillons buying a greeting card. I'm sorry, sweet hometown.

As penance I'm posting a link to a webpage where you can vote for a new logo and tagline for Garden City. And I'm not getting on my soapbox about hiring people from "bigger" places and how the entire culture has to change in order to change for the better and there's nothing wrong with living in a small place and if we don't figure out how to value that we will never lose the stigma that we perpetuate by hiring people from bigger places. I'm hardly going to talk about it at all.

I'm just going vote for a logo(#2) and tagline(below) and be happy about where I get to live. Logo Options

"Welcoming the World"

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Studio 3: Fabric

I spent a lot of time thinking about how to organize fabric.
Here's what I came up with: Small boxes for tiny scraps, medium boxes for larger cuts, and big boxes for things like old sheets and big or thick pieces. It's working right now, and I'm hoping that being able to see things will help me to use what I have. I'd like to get Mom's fabric stash from Dad's house and add it to mine, but I'm afraid I might have to use some things up before it'll fit...

The small bins are organized by color and fabric. That was Anna's idea. She arranged the boxes and then I put them up on the shelf.

I have ribbons and notions here too, and little room to grow, but not much!

Above the cutting/quilting table I have these great racks from The Container Store. The left side is fabric tools, the right side paper tools.

I especially like having my buttons in jars. That seems like an important part of a sewing room.