Wednesday, December 30, 2009

YooHoo! Calling all Stitchers!

If you are looking for a way to spend your Christmas cash the Silver Needle is having their annual New Year's Eve Sale. Go to their website and check out the details. I know I will be up and on the computer for the 6 AM CST time baragains!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Travelers...

Saturday afternoon we had visitors that we were expecting then some extra. We were very excited to see our cousins, aunt, and sister for my mom. One group was heading back to Texas after being in Kansas for the holidays and the other was heading to Kansas for the holidays. It just so happened that they all stopped at our house around the same time. It is truly a wonderful surprise to get to see family at Christmas. The teens that live in Texas year round were delighted to see the snow, so we of course had to venture out and take some pictures. The little guy in the front is so cute, I wish I could have kept him, but they wouldn't let me! He is four and absolutely onery and adorable!

Friday, December 25, 2009

A Very Vera Christmas

It was the day before Christmas when all through the house you could hear the sleet hitting the windows and the north winds howling. Thank goodness there was no mouse (that I am aware of...) The stockings were hung on the shelves with care. I was getting ready for a much needed shower, so I could wash my hair. When what to my wondering eyes should appear a big white Fed Ex truck without any reindeer. The Fed Ex guy dashed to door with a big box that said "Handle With Care" shoved the package in the door and ran off like he had seen a bear. Okay enough of the trying to rhyme words...the jist of this here story is I had the most fabulous VERA Christmas. The box was from Hawaii, where later last night my uncle reported that they had turned on their air conditioner. Inside the box was a huge Vera Bradley tote that will look quite lovely on my arm when my cross -stitch and I go out and about! My cross-stitch and I are rarely separated. It also had a shirt for Jonathon. All I can say is this--Christina and Kathy I was totally blown away and love the bag. Really you shouldn't have!

Later we went to my mom's to open gifts and she got me a VERA purse and cosmetic bag, and then this morning at home Dan got me a VERA purse and some matching acessories! I am in hog heaven. I can't wait to carry them all and show them off!

So I am going to leave all of you to go upstairs and try out my new stitching lamp, that my husband also got me!

The photo below is of the scene outside my door. Yesterday we had high winds and sleet all day and snow throughout the night. If you didn't have anywhere to go it was the perfect Christmas Eve scene complete with one of my favorite Christmas movies "Christmas With the Kranks!"

Have a wonderful Christmas evening, I am off to stitch and watch "Home Alone" for the umpteenth time.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas To All

To all of our family and friends our wish for you is a safe, happy, and wonderful holiday season.
Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Tis the Season

... to be busy! My vacation officially started at 3:00pm yesterday. Jonathon gets out in two days. Of course I don't think we will actually have a day to relax until maybe Wednesday. I still have a couple of baking things to do possibly. I was going to bake cinnamon rolls for his teacher, but I am sooooooooo tired of baking. So maybe I will just go and look for a really nice gift for her instead. Tonight we have church bingo and I have been cooking like a madwoman for that--I have 4 pies made, turkey salad for sandwiches, and a pot of ham and beans. Tomorrow is the church dinner, then Monday is the cup stacking tournament that Jonathon qualified for at school.

So yesterday everyone that met their AR goal earned a trip to the movies. We went to see Blindside with Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw. What a great movie! If you haven't had the chance to see it yet you should. Some people might get the idea that it is a football movie, but really it isn't--it is about family. I think it really shows what living your faith truly means. Not everyone has it in them to do what the Tuohy's did, but everyone can do something and trust me from a teacher's perspective there are a lot of Michael Oher's in the world. You just never know when that one little act of kindness will change someone's life. I was worried that the kids would think it was corny or whatever, but they didn't they cheered out loud in parts and clapped in others and some even cried.

Have a wonderful week.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Where's the Stitching?

So I suppose that all of you wondering what happened to the stitching on this blog. I am wondering if I will ever have the time to sit down and put needle and thread to fabric. I think it would be fair to say that my stitching progress or lack is all to be blamed on Pioneer Woman. I hope she is happy with herself about this! See, I used to make a bunch of "stuff" for Christmas and then take them to friends and family. But, then Sara got me hooked on Pioneer Woman. I found her cinnamon roll recipe, and decided that for once and all I was going to learn how to bake a decent cinnamon roll. Her recipe is so tasty and easy! Making them and giving them away makes me feel like a celebrity, as people carry on so about them.

This week I felt like the little engine that kept saying "I think I can, I think I can!" First off, I have had this sinus thing going on this week, I don't know if it is the common cold or something else, but I am pretty sure that Friday I ran a temp most of the day. Second, I had just a few little odds and ends to pick up here and there for Christmas, so I ran to Bartlesville to get that done Saturday. Jonathon was going to stay at a friend's house and then at the last minute decided to go. I actually was kind of excited he decided to go as he and I don't ever seem to get much time just the two of us. It was a wonderful time, he was foul Al the entire time. We were looking for dress shoes for him to wear to his band concert and Christmas Eve Mass. He is at the size where he can wear a very small men's size and they don't really carry a selection in boy's sizes that big. Well, they also don't carry very many men's shoes in that small of a size. So while the trip was productive it wasn't especially pleasant. The third reason I haven't got much stitching done is this.....

I decided that this year I was going to spend more time and effort in appreciating those who did nice things for me and reciprocate that kindness in some way. Early Saturday morning I started batch one. These weren't too bad as most of the recipients showed up at my door and picked them up. I cleaned up the kitchen from batch one and took off shopping, then came home to mix up batches two and three....

Here they are cooling on the kitchen table. After kitchen clean up part duex. My mom says I cook like my Grandma Hawkins, we were both very messy. Of course, Dan was none to happy to hear me say no I haven't cooked dinner, and no there are no cinnamon rolls here for you to eat. And truly, I didn't care. I shoved some money at him told him to go to Subway and get us dinner. "Our" cinnamon rolls finally got out of the oven at 10:15 pm.

This morning I got up early for Mass and tied pretty bows on all of them to make them look more "present-like". I even made a bow for the guy that lives at the farm! My mom's friend called and offered to adopt me if my mom ever wanted to get rid of me. She had eaten three of hers, but was going to start pacing herself with the rest. She better be careful what she wishes for!

I took one of the bigger pans to my aunt Artie. Artie has made me plenty of cinnamon rolls throughout the years. She also has taken on the planning of three fairly large family reunions. Every family has one person that leads that pack and on my dad's side of the family she is the go-to gal. Well, when my dad was alive every time Artie would bake cinnamon rolls my dad would show up at her house. believe me when he showed up he ate his fair share and then some. She didn't call and tell him, somehow he just knew she was baking them that day. He either had an spy on the inside, ESP, or the smeller of a bloodhound. Today she said eating them made her think of him so I guess that made my day yesterday very worthwhile. And I hope to not see another cinnamon until next Monday rolls around, when I start again.

Have a happy, stress-free, Christmas preparing week!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Holiday Home Tour IV

This is my last tree and picture, I promise. The tree in this picture has only red, gold, and ecru decorations on it. The gold decorations are another set from my mother. Now, at this point in time you must be thinking my mom buys a lot of Christmas decorations, and you are right. Last year she came to my house Thanksgiving weekend and I was sitting on the couch guzzling Diet Coke and sweating profusely, because my back was killing me and I needed a decorating breather. Afterall a fat girl can only run up and down the basement stairs so many times in one day carrying stuff before it becomes a medical emergency. She looks around and says "you know you could just put up one tree, you don't have to put them all over the house." Christmas Eve came and we are at her house opening gifts, I rarely get anything that I haven't gone with her to pick out, but there was one present that I had no idea what was in the box. I opened it up and it was a set of Christmas ornaments! Next year, I will probably put up another tree with Dan's growing set of K-state ornaments, guess who has been buying those?

On the stitching front I started a new SB's pattern to take a little break from the Lizzie Kate Abc's of Life. Ofcourse with all of these trees up my lamps are not in their usual position and I have trouble stitching in the bad lighting, but I am doing it anyway. Bad lighting is one thing to deal with, but having a dog that constantly thinks she has to sit on your lap is quite another, so needless to say I might have to move my base of operations from the corner of the couch to the kitchen table, or perhaps start up some covert stitching operations where the dog isn't for the foreseeable future.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Holiday Home Tour III

The last picture is from the parade last night. Of course I love anything with a flag, last year the local refinery had their community response vehicle in the parade with this huge flag and then they had their big flood light shining on it. I was really hoping that they would have it again this year and they did. I actually had my camera with me this year. On a dark cold night in real life it is a stunning sight. The light they have shining on it is so bright the street lights go out when they pass them on the parade route. This year I tired to take a photo of it, I didn't do a very good job, but here it is anyway.

The picture above is of another small tree. Every year my mom gives us these snowmen with our names on them and they are so small they get lost in the shuffle on the big tree, so this year we got the little guys a tree of their own.

Below is our big Christmas tree with all snowmen. When Jonathon was born I tried to start collecting decorations that were more kid-like and came up with snowmen. Every year I try to add an ornament or two to this tree.

Lastly, have you heard the song "Cryin' For Me" by Toby Keith? It is a beautiful song, and will probably make you cry. I saw the video this morning and when I got home from a donut run I came straight downstairs and downloaded it. The song is about Wayman Tisdale. Tisdale was a stand out basketball player for OU back in the eighties. He went on the play in the pros. When he retired from the NBA his music career in jazz began and he made quite a name for himself. Last year Tisdale died after a long battle with cancer. This is a song Toby Keith wrote about missing his friend. Check it out.

Have a great weekend, and may your days be merry.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Holiday Home Tour Day II

This a picture of the float Jon and his buddy rode on in the local Christmas Parade tonight. He is in the car that says the word POLAR on the side. This picture has absolutely nothing to do with my home decorations, but I thought I would share it with you. It was a very cold evening, but watching the parade was quite enjoyable. My friend Sara and I sat in the car and watched most of it from there and visited.

This is one of my small trees. It actually only has eight decorations. They are part of a set my mom got me for Christmas last year. They are egg shaped and each one plays a Christmas carol when they are opened. Next year I will try to add a few more things to this one to make it a little more interesting.

The last picture is of a stitched piece that I put out every year. I know that it was done approximately ten years ago. It is a Shepherd's Bush pattern. I have several SB pieces that I stitched through years, but have never had framed. Hopefully I can work on that throughout the next year.

So this concludes today's tour. I hope all of you are enjoying the season and your preparations are going smoothly. I think at this point aside from baking I am good to go.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Holiday Home Tour

Welcome to my home! I thought this would be a great time to show my Christmas decorations for the year 2009. Hopefully everyday for the next several days I will show you my different trees ranging from small to large. I put up six of them this year. First off this is my little Dallas Cowboy Christmas tree complete with Troy and Emmitt. Maybe this year when Tony Romo goes on sale for 75% off at the local Hallmark shop I will add him to next year's tree. But my heart will always belong to Troy. Before I bought one of those little trees that you stick in a pot I used my Troy Aikman jersey for a tree skirt.

This a picture of our Shepherd's Bush stockings that I made the year Jonathon was "in progress". I hang one up for my mom every year since she celebrates with us. As you can see they are not necessarily hung by the chimney, but by the built-in bookcase. I usually display all of the Christmas cards we receive on the blank spaces in the shelves. We have got a few so far, but hopefully by Christmas we will have several to put on display.

These are my stand up Santa's. I made these years ago before Jonathon, (isn't it odd when you have kids you start to divide your life into before and after?) each of these were made with different speciality threads. Some have wool, a suede like thread, alpaca wool, cashmere threads. People always see these and say "you should sell these!" I just have to laugh because they have no idea how much I have invested in these things. The one in the middle, with the little snowman beside him I like to affectionately call Charlie. Charlie was my mom's oldest brother. My dad died the week after I was engaged and Charlie walked me down the aisle four months later. He did a fine job as the night before he had on the job training with his own daughter. Charlie was killed when a transformer at work exploded and burned him badly. He lived 13 days and I spent many a late night that June stitching because I couldn't sleep. Several tears were shed while stitching this one. Every year when I pull this one out I send a little mental thought and hello to Charlie. As anyone who stitches knows it is great therapy for what ails you physically and spiritually.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

From Our House To Yours--Happy Thanksgiving!

Here's wishing everyone a blessed Thanksgiving filled with food, family, and fun.

What am I thankful for...

1. My husband, who puts up with Jonathon and I and all of our crazy ideas!

2. My wonderful son,who's just an overall good kid that continues to amaze me and fill me with pride everyday.

3. For my mom, not only does she work tirelessly to help me everyday, she also tries to help others who need it.

4. For all my friends that surround me rather in person or cyberspace.

5. I am very thankful that in this economy my husband found a decent job.

6. My co-workers, who work everyday to try to and shape the lives of the budding young adults we work with. Some times we succeed and most of the time we don't, but we all keep trying every day.

7. For the opportunity afforded me this past September to see all of my dad's brothers and sisters. And the chance to get reacquainted with cousins I hadn't seen in years.

8. For my students at school, who are responsible for probably 80% of the stress in my everyday life, but they also enrich my life. They make me laugh, sometimes they make me sad and exasperated. Then there are the times they teach me something (usually not some thing I ever wanted to learn). But I love 'em.

9. I am especially thankful after everything that has happened to us in the last two years we have persevered as a family. My friend's husband (hi Paul) told me at last year's parish covered dish dinner--"This isn't the worst thing that can happen to you, you will get past it." He was right, we aren't quite there, but everything is getting smaller in the rear view mirror.

10. For technology- advancements in medical science that is helping my aunt and has given my SIL a chance to see her four year grow up. For this computer who lets me meet new people everyday on my blog and for helping to keep in touch with others. Without the Internet I probably wouldn't get quite the friendly wave from the UPS guy every time he sees me (that's not always a good thing), but I wouldn't have the opportunity to know some great people I do. It has also allowed me to get to know several of my family members I never see a little better.

Now it is your turn. What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 23, 2009

A New Family Member

Meet Murphy our new family addition. She came to live with us yesterday afternoon via a family friend. Last night was interesting to say the least--Dan snoring on one side of me like a freight train and the dog "sleeping" in the bathroom carrying on like no body's business. It was sort of like having your newborn home the first night. You just want to sleep and they don't. So tomorrow night we are off to Petsmart to get the little lady something to sleep in. I think tonight she is going to bunk with Jonny in his room since she will lay and sleep quietly as long as she is with a human. So Spinster Stitcher maybe Murphy and Stewey can become pen pals.

Anywhoose tomorrow is my Friday and then I have a busy weekend coming up, but I will have a stitching pic believe it or not! And..... I have only had to rip this out one time so far, pretty good considering the last time I started this it ended up in the trash.

Have a great week and a happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

A Small Amount of Progress

Okay, so I have restarted the Lizzie Kate ABC's of Life pattern. I haven't got much done, but here is a glimpse of what is finished. I am taking it slow this time, not trying to hurry and make stupid mistakes again.

I haven't had a lot of time to sit and stitch here lately as it seems that life has been zipping by at record pace. Everytime I think I have a free weekend ahead, I don't. This coming weekend we have church bingo, and Jonathon is running in his first ever 5K race. I am excited to see him try this. He really seems to enjoy participating sports and I try to be supportive of the efforts and keep him encouraged.

I spent the day at home today as I had a doctor's appointment and had to have some fasting blood work done. While I was there I got both the flu shots offered. I guess I should be good for the rest of the flu season. Different sicknesses have been rampant in both my school and Jonathon's, so I feel fortunate that we have managed to avoid everything thus far.

I was going to do a lot of stitching today, but decided that I should really use the extra time to work on some holiday chores needing to be started. I made 4 pumpkin rolls with cream cheese filling. I think I will probably make some more as these make nice gifts, especially on the spur of the moment. They freeze really well and people love them.

We are having Thanksgiving dinner at our house. I don't know who or how many will be here, but I do know that no one will leave hungry. Hopefully, my Cowboys will eek out a victory that day.

Until next time, have a great week and stay healthy and safe.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Soccer, Pioneer Woman Etc.

First off the pics at the top-- We have Jon displaying his trophy that he won this morning along with all of his teammates. We captured the soccer championship for our league. This is the first time we have been on two championship teams in one year. We are on a roll.

The second picture is of him in his Halloween costume. Once again we chose an Army costume. Maybe someday he really will be a three star general, who knows?

As far a stitching pics go, well sit back because I have a sad story to tell you. I threw the project in the trash. Please note I have only done this once before in all the time I have been stitching. I was working on the Lizzie Kate ABC's of life. I don't know what in the world was wrong with me, but obviously I wasn't in the right mind to stitch or I had temporairly gone blind. I kept having to rip out and then Friday I found the real mistake, not the one I had been ripping out over and over. To make everything correct in the end would have been a major overhaul. So I just said some things that I can't print here because this is a family type blog rated G and they would not be appropriate. I have started again and will soon order myself some Cocoa Bean overdyed thread to replace nearly half of the kit's thread I ripped out over and over again and will be well on my way. Since I only have two letters done currently and the fact that were done in the half lit skating rink I decided to wait on the picture until I truly have something to show for my efforts.

Now on to my really big news. I saw Pioneer Woman! I also saw Marlboro Man, Betsy, Mike, and Baby Eliot. My buddy and fellow stalker friend, Sara, went to her cookbook signing in T-town last Tuesday night. We had a great time, ate some great food, laughed a lot all of which improved my general mental health over 100%. By the time we arrived at the book signing, like five to ten minutes late she had already sold out of her cookbooks, but hey we got to get a peek at her in real life and she did a little question and answer, so we were satisfied. Of course, my camera battery was dead, so we used Sara's camera and she is having trouble with something about getting them to me and I can't remember what the problem was, so someday I will post my pics here for you to see.

We are fast approaching the holidays and I am making plans. I got a couple of Christmas gifts bought this weekend and have been thinking of Christmas baking. I always have bigger plans than the possible time, but I guess that's alright.

Have a great week, and stay healthy. The flu bug is something awful around these parts right now.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Coming Soon.....

a stitching update with a picture. As soon as my eysight returns to normal after my recent addiction to Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook. It is an ugly addiction, I just played for like an hour. I have no idea where my kid is, or how the baked potatoes I should have put in the oven an hour ago are going to get cooked, if I don't get off of this computer and go to the kitchen.

Stay tuned, or not????

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Not A Lot of Stitching....

going on here. Just trying to get through the week and have things caught up for the weekends. The flu has hit Jon's school pretty bad this week. 151 were gone yesterday and 168 were absent today, that doesn't include teachers. So we are also trying to keep everyone well.

Anyway, this really hasn't bothered our attendance that much where I work. We seem to keep dodging the bullet somehow.

I do have an order coming from the Silver Needle. I would go and look at the site and think I didn't need anything I have enough, but finally I just said what the heck! and ordered it anyway.

Have a great week!

Monday, October 12, 2009

It's Neverending

I guess that is how I would describe life right now. It seems that we just run from one thing to another and then another. It finally got to the point that I stayed home from the football game Saturday just so I could be home. That doesn't happen very often. One of my favorite things to do is watch football and jump and scream like crazy--I don't care if it is in my living room or at an actual game. At times this has become an embarassing habit or mine for my husband and son to endure, but they are eventually getting used to it. It tends to make my mother down right mad at times, though, especially when we are on the phone and I scream bloody murder over something that happened. Anyway I digress from the subject at hand. We have just been busy and I am tired of it.

Jonathon had two sleepovers this weekend on Friday and Saturday nights, he did have a good time, but last night he didn't make it past 8:15 before he was hitting the hay.

I started a new stitching project, I tried to find the official name of it on the Silver Needle website so I didn't have to run upstairs and look, but I didn't see it one the sight. It is a Lizzie Kate pattern, one of the ABC patterns, not the Christmas one though. I hate going to the Silver Needle site, it always ends up costing me money. I see things I can't possibly live without. If you only knew how many unstitched things I have in my house I could not live without. One of these days though I am going to have it all stitched up. When I am about 125 years old I will have it done.

And, just so ou know I am going to be a Great Aunt for the second time either late tonight or sometime tomorrrow morning.

So on that note I will leave all of you to have a wonderful, happy week.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Aiden's Stocking

Here it is-dramatic pause- the finished product. Shelby and Aiden's stockings should be winging their way across the Pacific no later than Wednesday. They can pick them up at Grandpa and Grandma's house.

All of you have a great week.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Corn Maze Adventures

Getting started.

Which way do we go????

Corny and his pal Niblet. It isn't easy talking to ten year "cool" boys in to doing a photo like this, I did forget to mention I was putting it on the web for all to the world to see.

We headed up this afternoon to check out the corn maze. Both boys thought it was quite fun. I went through it for the short route and when we got to the end of that I took the first exit. They stayed in there and made it all the way to the other end taking the longer route. I was amazed at how well they did, they really worked together. When they came to a fork one would check out one direction, and then other would go the opposite way. Then they would figure out which way they needed to go. I kept thinking they would make good competitors on the Amazing Race.

Anyway, the house is almost clean, the laundry is almost done. We are waiting for the pizza delivery man, then we are heading up to the stadium for an evening of football. Hopefully, a winning evening, but this year that is always iffy.

Hopefully, I will have finished stocking to show off here soon. Have a good week.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Shelby's Stocking

Well, at long last a blog update. Here is a pic of the finished stocking. I am coming so close on the other stocking, but just not quite there yet. Hopefully, by the end of the week I will have the other stocking finished and ready to put in the mail at the beginning of next week.

Not much has been going on here in our neck of the woods, just work, school, and soccer. Jonathon's team is currently 2-1. They lost their first game on Saturday in overtime. Next week will be even busier with parent teacher conferences two nights, but the weekend will come around again.

I am ready to move on to a new project and let the stockings be until next fall, but we will see. The weather here has finally cleared and the rain seems to have gone away for awhile. My mums in the yard are loaded with blooms and should be gorgeous for the fall season. I can't believe how fast time is flying, it seems that we just started school and week before last was the midterm.

Jonathon finally decided what he wanted to be for Halloween, once again he has chosen an army man costume. He really never has been all that enthralled with the whole idea of Halloween. I think living in the country the first five years sort of burnt him out on the whole idea of trick or treating. Trick or treating when you live in the country involves lots of getting in and out of the car and time spent riding in a hot costume. We did the Kiddie Parade a couple of years when he was a toddler with my cousin's little boy, but after lugging Jonathon screaming at the top of his lungs practically the entire parade route, well Reid and I never really saw the joy in the whole adventure after that year. Least ways neither of us ever brought the idea up to one another again.

Well, I suppose I should get off of here and get things ready for another wild week.

Have a great week, and hope you get some stitching done!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Together Again

Today for the first time in probably 40-50 years all of my dad's living siblings were together in the same place at the same time. My uncles from Hawaii and France finally made it to Cherryvale at the same time. This picture of them isn't the best, but they had a good time taking it and giggling like kids. It surely did make me miss dad today, thinking about how much he would have enjoyed being there with everyone.

I didn't get the stockings finished, only one is done and I will have a pic of it later this week. The second one is well on its way to being finished. So instead of winging their way across the Pacific with grandparents of the recipients, they will be going in the mail soon. And I have been informed that I need to keep stitching because there will be two more to add to the family roster in the near future.

Have a great week.

Friday, September 11, 2009

God Bless The USA

I remember the events of 9-11 vividly. I was at home with a two year old. I turned on the TV right at the time the second plane flew into the towers. It seemed at the time that the entire world had gone mad. For awhile it seemed so surreal like it was happening to somewhere else in the world, not the US. We went to town to put gas in the car that afternoon. We were the only ones there and by the time we paid the police had been called to direct traffic. Just the uncertainty of the times made me nervous. Columbine happened 17 days after Jonathon was born and now this, I remember thinking--"what kind of world is my kid going to grow up in?"

The weekend after 9-11 when the NFL resumed their games we went to Dallas to see the Cowboys play the Chargers. It became more than just a Sunday afternoon getting to watch your favorite team play. Before the game they rolled out this flag held by the Dallas area firefighters, police, and EMS. The flag was a big as the football field. Martina McBride came out and started singing the national anthem. She actually had to stop her rendition a few bars in because the audience was singing also. She adjusted her singing to ours. I just remember not being able to sing because I was teary eyed just seeing the flag, hearing the people. They gave people hand held flags as they entered Texas Stadium. When the singing was over the Cowboy players burst through the tunnel with the first player carrying the flag. He was running so fast the flag was standing straight out behind him and the entire stadium was waving flags shouting USA! USA!

Now I look at the way things are going now and wonder why the American people can't stand up and support each other like we did during the OKC bombing and 9-11. We have people screaming at each other over health care, people not wanting their children be encouraged by our president to stay in school and become educated, congressmen disrespecting the highest office in our land. I hope today many Americans take the opportunity to be proud and remember what a great country we are and can be.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Hobby Lobby Stock Should Be Up....

as I picked these up yesterday and paid the bill. At least they are not as outrageous as the guy I used to take my stitching to for framing. He would not frame stuff unless you bought the frame from him, and it got pretty pricey sometimes. Actually the smaller piece cost more to frame than the LH piece because I had to have a cutom frame made for this. I usually get the ready made open back frames when they are 50%off there and that helps keep the cost down.

The newest news from our house is fifth grade band has started. Jonathon is playing a trumpet, I hope I survive the experience. He hasn't taken it to school yet as Tuesday is the official day for needing your instruments. They did, however, learn how to properly hold an instrument the other day. He has been tooting his horn ever since. When I came home from work on Thursday he blew in it to show me how well he could do it. Later I was downstairs reading stitching blogs, I had started laundry, and I heard this god awful sound. My first thought was "What is wrong with the washing machine?" Then I realized that it was my son, Louis Armstrong Jr.

Ofcourse Friday he had a friend over for the night. I got home from work and saw that his friend has brought his trumpet also. I must admit that getting a motel room crossed my mind, but they were so busy with their legos that they never had time to toot.

Now I am off to the couch to finish my stocking, and I am not kidding!

Have a super week!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Did I Really Say I Was Ready to Go Back to Work?

Well, here is the progress I have made on the current stocking. Not a lot of progress, it should be finished. The second week of September is my deadline for this stocking and another one as I don't want to mail these. If I have them done I can send them with their rightful (sort of) owners when we have a family reunion.

I also bought four gallons of paint to redo the living room/dining room area and I haven't even cracked the lids on them. I guess Labor Day weekend I will be painting and football gaming as the high school and community college both play at home that weekend.

It just seems that life has become oh so hectic here lately. We had open house last night, which I guess is a necessary thing, but hardly anyone ever shows up! Plus, we have to stand in front of the parents for ten minutes and tell them about our class. That is sort of nerve wracking. Not that I have any problems babbling on and on...but in the middle of the last group (we have six) I had my own private little summer right there on the spot. My hair was getting wet in the back, my shirt was sticking to me! I drove home with the air on high the entire way.

We also have church bingo again this weekend. It is only a few hours of volunteering on Saturday night, but you also have to bring a crock pot of something and pies and cakes for the concession stand, so it really turns into an all evening Friday/all morning Saturday thing. The car has to be taken to Joplin for the first oil change. Jonathon has soccer practice Friday night and then again Saturday morning. My house is filthy, in case your wondering. I know I said I was ready to get back into a routine, but I wondering--is it too late to change my mind???

BTW I do have some wonderful kiddos this year, they make my day!

Have a great week!

Monday, August 17, 2009

The First Day of the 20th Year

I can't hardly believe that one! That is how many years I have been teaching school. I have 68 little wonders, although they aren't that little. Today was one of the calmest first days I can remember at the middle school. As much as I was ready to go back to school and get some sort of routine started I really dread the whole rat race of things starting again. You know school, meetings, soccer practice, homework. There really isn't enough time in the day. It isn't as if we over schedule because the only activity Jonathon does during the fall is soccer.

I have been busy getting last minute things done to start the school year. I have every one's doctor appointments caught up and finished. I have been stitching on a stocking and should have a pic of my progress soon. Right now I am ripping out some of what I did last night. Usually I would say one stitch off doesn't really matter, but since this is in the row directly below where the name will be I decided that I should probably get it right.

Jonathon has meet the teacher Wednesday night and he starts school on Thursday. He had his annual back to school sleepover on Friday night. Not a peep of sleep was had until about 6:30 am Saturday, however, when I got up and saw all the snacks they had eaten in the course of the night a big sugar crash was bound to happen. Once one went to sleep they all seemed to drop off pretty fast.

Have a great week.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Looking for Pioneer Woman

Last year my friend Sara was telling me about this blog that she read on a regular basis called Pioneer Woman. I went there one evening and was hooked. I would love to provide the link, but you all know that I am technically challenged and I don't know how to do that. Anyway, back to the story, reading PW's blog became a daily event. I think sometimes I know more about her four punks, her brother Mike, Pesky Tim, beautiful Missy, and Cowboy Josh then some people I spend every day with. Anywhose.... she had posted about them participating in ranch rodeos. Well, she doesn't really live that far from me, probably about 100 miles give or take, but in our fair city this is fair and rodeo week. This week one of the featured attractions was a ranch rodeo. I called the fair board office and asked if a ranch of her name was listed among the participants. There was one, even though the first name was wrong Sara and I decided it must be a typo. That is when we lost common sense and went on a hunt for PW at the arena.

Sara was in her pajamas, cooking pork chops, mashed potatoes, and doing laundry. I was frying some potatoes and chicken legs. My mom finished watching my dinner. I put on some decent looking clothes, Sara turned off the pork chops and mashed potatoes. We headed off to the arena cameras in tow to find her. Well, we got there and it was hot, major hot. It turned out it wasn't her ranch, but a family member's ranch. This is according to my former fifth grader Wendy's dad. I interrogated him like a NY detective (a skill every middle school teacher possesses) to find out which family member's ranch was participating.

At this point in time, we decide that it hotter than hot and we are going home. I am sweating in places that I don't normally sweat in. We get to the car and I can't find my car keys. I am thinking that Dan is going to kill me if he has to drive out there and bring me keys. I had heard them say they had lost car keys turned in and luckily they were mine.

I wouldn't want all of you to think I go off hunting people down on a regular basis, but she is pretty awesome and I really wanted to see her and say, "I love your blog! My family love your cinnamon rolls, and jalapenos filled with cream cheese, wrapped in bacon and thrown on the grill." Seriously, the only other time I did something like this was in high school. I was in Wichita, Kansas at the Pizza Hut next to the Hilton Hotel, at CYO convention when a girl came in a said Billy Joel kissed her cheek and he is standing in front of the hotel. My friend Cindy and I jumped up (me in my brand new clogs that I had just bought at the mall), and took off running. I chased him across the parking lot through the hotel lobby and out the back door to get his autograph. Really I promise that 99% of the time I am a normal sane human who loves to spend her days stitching .

Have a great week.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

LHN Heart of America

This is my latest stitching finish. It is the LHN Heart of America. I had to change the colors on the words for this project because my linen was not dark enough to contrast with the white thread the pattern used. At first I tried to the use the blue found in the flag, I told myself when I started in that color no matter what it looked like I wasn't going to rip it out. But after getting a few letters of the word "freedom" done I could tell it was going to look awful, so I did rip it and decided to use the gold. The gold wasn't near as bold and garish looking and I was pretty pleased with the way it turned out.

Today is our twentieth wedding anniversary, and it has been a busy day. Jonathon and I had to get up at 5 am to get my mom to the eye doctor. It wasn't too bad as we were back home by 10. Then I totally forgot that today was one of the enrollment days for school, so I ran up and got him enrolled in fifth grade. Tonight we are going out to eat at a local steakhouse. Not that going out to eat is that big of a deal as we do it all the time, but for some reason that is what we always do to celebrate. Then tomorrow it is up and at it to take my mom back for her follow up appointment. I might stop at Hobby Lobby and see about getting Heart of America framed and the Stars and Stripes Forever that I did earlier in the year. Then I absolutely have to get to my school and get some work done in my classroom. I can't believe that I have not been there yet this summer. I guess I will plan on that for tomorrow afternoon. Friday I have to take the car to Joplin in the afternoon and that night we are babysitting the neighbor kid so his parents can go to a concert. Monday Jonathon has an appointment to get his immunizations updated, so time is running out. I like to go into my first three days of meetings and whatnot with all of my stuff already done, then I am not stressed out about everything that is not done.

Okay, I will stop there as I feel like a babbling idiot, and the more I think about everything going on in the next week the more frantic I feel!

Have a good week.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Keep Quiet or Not??

This is an opinion poll. Say you find out something that could be dangerous for someone else's child--teenager. Do you tell or not? Would you want someone to tell you?

Sunday, August 2, 2009


That sort of describes my mood here today. I have almost finished the Heart of America cross-stitch project. But mostly we haven't been doing a lot. I mean when the biggest thing you have to look forward to is Jon & Kate Plus Eight returning to the airwaves, well,it shows just how pitiful your life has become.

Last Friday Jonathon and I headed out for a day of shopping and got some wall decorations for the kitchen. While I liked everything we got, it was 50% off, I don't know... somehow when I walk in the kitchen the wall decor looks LARGE! I need to get paint and start painting the living room, but just haven't had to gumption to get started there. To top things off the service engine soon light is on in the new car. I suppose there is a trip to Joplin in my near future, like tomorrow, and two trips to Bartlesville this week with my mom.

Jonathon is having yet another sleepover. His bestest friend is off with his family for a week, and Jonathon doesn't quite know what to do with himself. He wanted to have a friend over, but just didn't know what to do. I had to remind him that he has more than one friend.

We are also in the process of planning a back to school sleepover. He has three friends down to invite. I plan on having it on the same weekend that we work bingo at the church, this way I will get everything over with at one time. Then hopefully we will be at the point of getting back into a routine of some sorts.

I will probably have pictures up soon of my completed Heart of America.

Have a good week.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My New Vera B. Bags

I actually celebrated my birthday when we were in Chicago. My mom didn't give me my present, which was money, until we came home. She knew I would probably spend it at the LEGO store on Jonny if she gave it to me in Chicago. I took the opportunity to enhance my Vera Bradley "collection" by adding the large tic tac tote, and backpack in the retiring pattern Frankly Scarlett. I also got myself a couple of little things. I didn't need much in the line of accessories because I already had a purse in this pattern and most of the matching stuff.

We have not been doing much since returning home from vacation. Yesterday we painted the kitchen. That may sound like a huge project, but there isn't a lot of wall space in there to paint. I had good help with the project. Jonathon spackled the nail holes while I taped off the trimming. Then while I trimmed he rolled the paint on for me. He is pretty good help for a ten year old boy.

When we bought this house the original owners had just repainted the entire inside and everything is white or off-white. We just aren't a family that can live in an off-white or white house. My plan is eventually to get the inside repainted some different colors. The kitchen color was not exactly what I expected (one of my former fifth graders mixed it for me, could that be why? Revenge for a b in spelling?), but once I get some things hung around it will tone the color down some.

Today I finally got some stitching in as I have been busy with little projects here and there. I finished straightening the garage up and doing what I thought was needed there. I also got my vocabulary folders for my next year kids all put together and assembled one sleepless night.

Next week will be a hectic week as well. My mom is having a cataract removed and that will be a couple of days of appointments, Jonathon needs to be enrolled in school then, and he also has a doctor's appointment to update some immunizations. By then it will be back to work for me.

Have a great week.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I decided to do Jonathon's ten year scrapbook online, I think I already discussed this. I spent two hours working on our vacation and did not hit save when I closed and it is ALL GONE! What was I thinking?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Honey, We're Home!

We just returned from our Chicago trip. I am only going to upload these pics, because in all I have about 200 and it is just too hard to choose them. This one was a favorite. It is of a lighthouse on Lake Michigan. It was taken during a sunset cruise on the lake Saturday night.
Now of course if you ask Jonny he would say this was the highlight of his trip, the Lego Store, he is making a little gift in this picture to take home to his friend.

We did a lot while we were there and the kids had many new experiences and maybe someday when Jonathon grows up he will know that there is a big wide world out there and he can go places and do things besides living in SE Kansas. We took city transportation, taxis and things that we don't have the opportunity to do around here. We went to the Hancock Observatory, the Museum of Science and Industry, the aquarium, and Navy Pier, they played on Ohio Street beach for a brief while, and of course spent time on Michigan Avenue, enjoyed a water taxi ride and sunset cruise on Lake Michigan. They saw the different versions of artwork featured, the street performers and enjoyed the shops on Michigan Avenue. We went to Fannie May's candy store and ate hand-dipped chocolates.

When we went to the pool at our hotel we could see the Hancock Tower on one side of us and the Sear Tower on the other side. We also had the unique "experience" of being in the city the day the name of the Sears Tower offically changed to Willis Tower.

It did feel good to sleep in my own bed last night, though it took me awhile to wind back down. I must say that I really needed the vacation to help get things in back in some sort of perspective. We haven't had good summers the past two years, in fact the past two summers were downright mind boggling stressful with the flood, losing income, Dan's parents losing everything they had, and everyone being switched around and sharing living space, added to that the chronic illnesses both of his parents were dealing with during the '07 flood. In '08 everything finally fell in like a house of cards with the farming operation, so this vacation was a good break for all of us. Even though we loved the trip we are ready to be home again.

Tomorrow I have to get busy cleaning the place up and getting things back in order, then I am starting to stitch again.

Have a great week.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

How To Beat A Heat Wave

We have had some pretty hot temps in Kansas this year. During June we had several triple digit days and the past week we have had them almost every day. Jonathon and his buddy spent most of the day Monday sacked out in the recliner in the basement playing video games and watching TV. They certainly looked relaxed when I sneaked down the stairs to get a picture of them.

I, on the other hand have been hibernating and stitching the days away. I have finished stocking number 4, and started the fifth one this year (the nineteenth in the total lineup), and worked for a couple of days on the LH Heart of America.

Have a great week.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Newly Framed Prairie Schooler

I picked this up at Hobby Lobby on Friday afternoon. Now I just have to wait until Thanksgiving to display it.

Have a great Sunday.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Almost Stocking..

Well, stocking number 4 is at an official standstill until the UPS man shows up with my order from the Silver Needle. As you can see there is just a little bit left to do and as soon as I get the missing thread it will be finished.

From the second picture you can tell that I am making very little progress on the LHN Heart of America design, but I guess a little progress is better than none.

I took my Prairie Schooler Thanksgiving piece to Hobby Lobby last week to have it framed. I didn't have mats put on it since it already had a border. Their pre-made frames were 50% off, so it didn't cost a lot to get it framed. It should be ready later this week.

I hope all of you are having a great week after the 4th.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Fourth of July Photos

Most of Dan's family was home for the fourth, well, actually all of the sisters and brothers made it at some point in the weekend, just at different times. We enjoyed eating lunch at Jack's Place in Liberty. That is a place you actually have to eat at to enjoy. We spent time at the farm shooting fireworks, grilling out at our house, shooting more fireworks, and Sunday evening Aunt Heather whipped everyone three times in the ever popular basketball game of PIG.

In the middle of all of this I did manage to make an order to the Silver Needle to get my thread along with fabric and charms to make two more stockings for two surprise recipients. I am kind of picky about who I cross-stitch for, it has to be someone I know will appreciate it and I think this will be the case.

Jonny and Abby

Our nephew Wyatt.

Our niece Kelley, her significant other James and their son Jameson.
James recently graduated from Yale and will attend law school in the fall.

Our neice Kimber and her husband Luis. They are expecting their first little one in October. Kimber, Wyatt, and Kelley are brothers and sisters. Their other brother Tyler did not make the trip with them.

Our nephew John.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Home Remedy for the 4th

I had to share this sure fire home remedy for those little burns you get when shooting fireworks. We use this all the time when we get small burns around the house. It is BALMEX, which to mothers of young ones is diaper rash cream. Case in point the picture above--burn sustained from some mishap while trying to blow bark off the tree with a firecracker. A little of the diaper rash medicine and the stinging is gone and the burn is no longer "hurting". The only reason the wound merits a band aid is because what self-respecting kid of this age would want to be seen in public with baby butt cream on his finger.

I am not proclaiming this is good for major burns, like you might get from the flamethrower made of two-liter bottles and marshmallow gun the above victim has on his back. I suspect this would even work for sunburns, although I haven't tried it because I never stay in the sun long enough to get a sunburn. I do, however, promise the first person I spy with a sunburn I will smear some of this on and let you know the results.

Have a great 4th if I don't talk to you before then!