Monday, January 30, 2012

Happy Kansas Day!

It was yesterday-but surely states deserve a Birthday Week just as much as the rest of us!

We had an incredible sunset here.  I just enjoyed it, didn't take any pictures of it.

Here's a super-tough KS day quiz.  

Good Luck!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Controversy = Comments

You know what I learned yesterday?  Controversy = comments.  And I like comments.

So...remember that Jesus video from last week?

Here's a rapping priest.

Happy Friday!  Comment away!  :)

Only...actually...yesterday everyone pretty much agreed with me and left nice comments.  so...maybe this is a bad idea...I"m nervous.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Not really that controversial, really.

Last week it seemed like everyone I knew liked this article about Motherhood.  Because so many people loved it, I know it really struck a chord-and I don't want to say that it was a bad article, or that people who liked it are bad and wrong.  And it could well be that I read it in a certain kind of mood and that is the problem.  I just have another idea-which can probably coexist.  

I liked the part at the end about Chronos time and Kairos time ( A LOT!), but I have some different thoughts about the rest of it. Not better thoughts.  Just different ones.

What if, when people who are older stop us in the store and tell us to enjoy every minute (which has never happened to me, by the way-am I scary looking?), what if it's not that they have forgotten how hard it is, but that they actually KNOW, better than we do, that this IS the best time of our life?  I hate to discount the wisdom of age, especially when it's a stranger, seeking me out, to tell me something wonderful.  I'd rather believe they know what they're talking about.

"Be happy, it's one way of being wise." -- Colette

And even though an all night puke fest is no picnic-what a gift of service, what a blessing of work. And maybe I can try to choose joy, and keep choosing it.  And when things are awful and terrible and icky and hard to bear, I can offer all of that up to heaven.

"The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions, and not on our circumstances.  We carry the seeds of one or the other about with us in our minds wherever we go."  --Martha Washington

Please don't think I do this well!  or often! (And feel free to smugly remind me of this when I stub my toe or spend any amount of time on the phone with customer service). It's just something I think about.  And then I read this article--maybe the problem is that we don't have ENOUGH children!  ;D

***EDIT***  Here's a post that has the same idea, but presented eloquently.  Via Clover Lane, one of my new favorites.  Thanks, Sarah, for the tip!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Cleaning Things

This year my January rampage hit the kitchen.  

 Looking at these clean cupboards makes me feel ridiculously happy.  

That's why I took pictures.  So I could look and smile and sigh.  

I love clean things.  :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

St. Francis de Sales

"Be who you are and be that well"

One of my resolutions for the year was to learn more about the Saints.  I decided we would do that by choosing a Saint each month and learning about him or her, what they did and taught, how they lived, etc.
"Be patient with everyone, but above all with thyself.  Do not be disheartened by your imperfections, but always rise up with fresh courage."

St. Francis de Sales is our January Saint, and today is his feast day.  St. Francis de Sales died in 1622 and is the patron of attorneys and educators and writers and the deaf.  He wrote Introduction to the Devout Life-which you can find for free! here in print and here as an audio version (read by a nice lady, not a machine.  I'm going to listen next week.)  Here's a nice (long) biography.  

"Nothing is so strong as gentleness.  Nothing so gentle as real strength."  

We've been reading this book
Set Your Heart Free (30 Days with a Great Spiritual Teacher)and really enjoying it.  It's very simple, practical, common sense advice and encouragement for living.

You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working; and just so you learn to love God and man by loving.  Begin as a mere apprentice and the very power of love will lead you on to become a master of the art.  

He's said so many things that I've loved for a long time that I never knew came from him.

"Bloom where you are planted."

That was one of my Mom's favorite sayings.  He said that!  I'm hoping that today I will have the chance to plant a little something with the girls and talk about that-blooming where we are planted.  Such a lovely image.

Do not fear what may happen tomorrow.  The same loving Father who cares for you today will care for you tomorrow and everyday.  Either He will shield you from suffering or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it.  Be at peace then and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginings.  

Thank you St. Francis de Sales, for your example and wisdom!  Happy Feast Day!

Monday, January 23, 2012


My new class started last week.  This is the super scary textbook.

Sociolingüistica y pragmática del español (Georgetown Studies in Spanish Linguistics series) (Spanish Edition)

This semester I have this class and I turn in my portfolio-my culminating activity for this Master's Degree.

As usual, I'm a panicky mess because it's the beginning of the semester and it's going to be really hard and I'm not going to have enough time and, and, and...

But I'm so close!  I have this semester and one next summer and that's all.

What will I do with all that time?  I have an idea...

Friday, January 20, 2012


My dear friend Chelsea is hosting a year long blog series:  52 Weeks to a Rejuvenated Spirit.  

Join me on a year long journey to rejuvenate your spirit and relationships.
Follow my blog and receive weekly tips on how to change your life and your relationships from the inside out.
The economy may be depressed, but our spirits don't have to be.
Find out how to mentally, emotionally & spiritually recharge yourself one step at a time.                        Chelsea E. Brandenburg, LMFT
*Photography by Beth Mercer

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Twisted Laundry

Help a girl out?

Every other time I was overalls, the hook gets caught on the lint trap and the entire load of laundry twists itself into a tight ball of wet clothes.  

What am I doing wrong?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Time for Christmas

At the beginning of December I was feeling rushed and overwhelmed and I wished for "Time" for Christmas.

Then, the week before Christmas, we got two snow days, and I got my wish.  It was delightful.  I didn't leave the house for a week and had time to make lots of  little presents for my family.

A camera case for Abby from an old sweater sleeve.
 Complete with a button I made myself!  I think I was using up the leftovers from a Sculpey project one day.
Hair Bows for Anna from some pretty bows I had been saving.
 But they fell apart right away so I need to rethink the barrette attachment...

A frame for Susan and Steven from the envelopes from their wedding.  I think it's fun to see all the familiar handwriting.

This funny little thing was from an earlier FAIL.  I was trying to make a pom pom from an old t-shirt.  It didn't work but then I put the pieces into a baby food jar and added googly eyes and it made me laugh.

I also made my Dad some hanging towels for the kitchen, and Anna made some ornaments, but I guess we didn't take pictures of those.

Time is the best gift of all.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I love January

The best thing about January?

I saw these plastic boxes on sale for $2, and I knew I wanted one, but I wasn't sure why yet.

Then I saw this on Pinterest.

Batteries in a plastic tackle box

And then I made my own.

And then-because it's January-I cleaned that yicky area behind the wooden screen.

It's yicky because usually I only clean JUST enough to keep me un-cranky.

But in January-extra bonus motivation comes from nowhere, and then cleaning yicky spaces is actually fun.

And THAT's the best thing about January.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Closet Cleaning

Yesterday MJL gave me such a wonderful January gift.

He cleaned out his closet with me.

2.5 bags, 2 boxes ready to go to someone who needs them more than us.

(And yes, that's my pink tree.  It's staying up through Valentines Day.  Because it's pink and pretty and MJL loves [and humors] me.)

Friday, January 13, 2012

When we feel guilty about disappointing our children.

"How we deal with the big disappointments in life depends a great deal on how the people who loved us helped us deal with smaller disappointments when we were little."

--Mr. Rogers

Thursday, January 12, 2012

When we feel guilty about saying no to activities.

"One thing is certain:  Children need lots of free, quiet time to get used to all that's developing within them.  Have you noticed that unhurried time by yourself or with someone you really trust can be the best setting for your own personal growth?  It's no different for children."
--Mr. Rogers

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

When we feel guilty about taking time to do what WE want to do.

"If you like to make things out of wood, or sew, or dance, or style people's hair, or dream up stories and act them out, or play the trumpet, or jump rope, or whatever you really love to do, and you love that in front of your children, that's going to be a far more important gift than anything you could ever give them wrapped up in a box with ribbons.  And what's more:  The last thing in the world you have to be is perfect at it.   It's the spirit that gives that kind of gift its wings."

--Mr. Rogers

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

When we feel guilty about not doing enough.

"Start by making your own home a place where happiness and love abound, through your love for each member of your family and for your neighbour.  Try to put in the hearts of your children a love for home.  Make them long to be with their families.  So much sin could be avoided if our people really love their homes. 
Mother Theresa

Monday, January 09, 2012

Pedaling for Environmental Education

My friend Lindsay, from KSU Rowing days, is biking across the USA.  And blogging about it here.  And stopping at my house!!!

Follow along!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012



1.  Focus on enjoying my time with the people I am blessed with.
2.  Forget about "shoulds" that are really not important.  Do not waste energy and time feeling guilty about ridiculous things.
3.  Learn some more about the Saints
4.  Pray daily and more.  Remember that something is better than nothing.  Use the moments I can find.
5.  Use my snippets of free time to do what I actually want to do.  Make things instead of reading about making things on the internet.
6.  Finish my Master's degree!  :)

Oh- and I want to make this too-hopefully in the month of January.
Pic and link  from Creating Clever via Craftzine

And-I would really like to make something each month-just a small seasonal thing-because that makes me happy-but I've got to remember that it should be fun-and not actually "necessary" or "important".