Friday, December 31, 2010

Last Finish of 2010



This is my last finish of the year 2010 for me. I just finished it an hour or so ago. Once I finally sat down to stitching again I already had this kitted up, so Pumpkins For Sale by LHN is what I decided to stitch!

I have been sick this vacation with a sinus infection, and finally got some meds yesterday. Mostly this last week I have been just lying around the house. I am feeling so much better! Today when I woke up I needed to make a Wal-Mart run to get some snacks for Jonathon's sleepover tonight, when I came home he and I went downstairs to conquer the basement mess. The living room area needed to be cleaned up and the storage room weeded out. It did not take long when we where working together, but while we were cleaning out I found a rubbermaid full of craft stuff and this was what I found...



I had forgot all about doing these! I guess I will need to find some way to get all of these finished.

Speaking of finishing projects Hobby Lobby had a framing sale this week, so I drug myself down there Wednesday to take three projects to have framed. Then I promptly came home and made a doctor's appointment.

All in all I have the Christmas stuff 99% stowed away, a clean storage room, a clean living room in the basement, so I am pretty happy with my vacation. We still have the dreaded toy room and Jonathon's bedroom to go through, but that is for another day. I have a lot of things to drop off at the shed. A church near our home has a little shed that is unlocked and people can drop off clothes and other things there, they go through them and use them as they see fit.

I hope you all have a wonderful new year. We will celebrating at home as Jonathon is having three friends over to spend the night!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas



This is a photo of the church that we attend. The parish always does a wonderful job of decorating for holidays such as Christmas and Easter. Every year we have a Christmas Eve Mass as we share a priest with the neighboring town. We always have a wonderful Mass with beautiful music. For a small parish we have some wonderfully talented musicians.



Here is the boy and his little dachshund, Murphy. Murphy got quite an assortment of doggy toys for Christmas. She was truly excited by all of them and was just like a kid when opening her presents, in true childlike fashion she liked the bows, paper, and boxes best of all.



The man of the house got an emergency weather radio. This is what you get someone when you can not think of another thing to get them. At first he didn't know what it was, which surprised me. When he found out he loved it! We have been listening to weather reports non stop. It really does not take too much to keep this guy happy!

Well, Christmas has come and gone for another year. We still have the decorations up and all, this year for Christmas I got some new Vera Bradley things in Very Berry Paisley. On the day after Thanksgiving my mom got me some things from the Vera Bradley store in Grapevine, Texas. She included the free tote she got in my box, and lo and behold my cousin Kathy sent me a cosmetic bag in the same pattern! I also got a sore throat, earache, fever, etc. I have spent most of today laying on the couch with my blanket. I finally came to the conclusion I wouldn't feel any worse up doing some things here and there than I do lying around.

I am going to spend the next day or so cleaning out drawers and other places in our house. I will either make a large deposit at our local thrift shop or drop it all off at Goodwill when I go to Hobby Lobby later this week. We just have so much stuff clothes wise. You don't make that much having a rummage sale, so I figure if you just give them away at least someone is getting some good out of them. I can always find someone to take Jonathon's hand-me-downs off my hands. We are also going to clean out some toys from the toy room and find a good home for them. I am sure that there are some daycare or pre schools that could use them. I probably should have done that before Christmas, but every time I open that door and look in I end just closing it and walking away.

Have a wonderful week.

Friday, December 24, 2010

From My House To Yours



May your Christmas be merry and blessed, full of family, food, laughter and love. May your new year be prosperous and fulfilling, and most of all, my your hands stitch many beautiful treasures that will fill your hours with pleasure!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

I Am...



as you can see one of the world's messiest cooks. This is just the beginning of marathon cinnamon roll making yesterday. I started at 11 in the morning and got done about 5. I still have cookies to bake for school on Wednesday, as the student council needs about 800 cookies for that day, and we have a luncheon on Tuesday that I need to cook something for. Then I have to make a treat for whichever class has the highest percentage of students with their AR goal. Last weekend I made five cream cheese filled pumpkin rolls, not one of them came out of the pan in one piece! In fact, the one we ended up eating I had to put together like a jigsaw puzzle! I am tired of cooking! So tonight is sandwiches and chips!

We are skipping the church's covered dish dinner tonight. We had breakfast at church this morning. I really just want to sit and do nothing. Last night the three of us all went to basement and watched Christmas With The Kranks, I finally bought the DVD this year. I love that movie! I couldn't believe in all the times I have watched it on TV that Dan said he had never seen it. I just love the scene where Jamie Lee Curtis chases that canned ham across the parking lot and it gets ran over by a semi! I know it will probably never be considered a cinematic classic, but I think it does prove a point that we get so wrapped up in the idea of what Christmas is about, instead of just enjoying the season.

Wednesday Christmas break starts, so if you are looking for me on Thursday I will be on the end of the couch with an icy diet coke, stitching and watching my soaps. My Christmas is never complete unless I am there when the Horton's put their ornaments on the tree. I know silly, huh? When I was a little kid my grandma babysat us and she watched that soap, so the Horton's and I have had Christmas for about 40+ years!

Have a super week! See you soon!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Applesauce Cake In a Jar

Yes, ladies and gentlemen the Stitchin Schoolmarm does bake from time to time. This little project makes wonderful Christmas gifts and gives your home a nice spicy smell of Christmas while baking. I am trying to channel my inner pioneer woman and show you some baking pics, however, in my efforts to just get this project done I did not take pictures of the entire procedure, but perhaps the recipe below will help explain.



Here is my oh-so-serious model holding up the final product!



See how easily it slides out of the jar!



Slicing for eating! The best part!

I got this from a friend, who got her copy from a friend. You will need wide mouth canning jars with rings and flats as you will seal the bread in the jar as if you were canning.

2/3 cup shortening (I use butter flavor Crisco)
2 2/3 cups of sugar
4 eggs
2 cups of applesauce (I don't think it matters if you use sweetened or unsweetened)
3 1/8 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground cloves
2/3 cups of water
2 tsp soda
2/3 cups nuts (optional)
8- 1-pint wide mouth canning jars

Cream shortening with sugar. Beat in eggs, applesauce and water. Sift dry ingredients together. Blend in dry ingredients into the applesauce mixture. Pour into well- greased jars, filling 1/2 go 2/3 full. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove 1 jar at a time, wipe seal edge clean, and put on dry canning lid and ring. If the cake has risen higher than the jar slice off the top of the cake and seal. Screw the ring on tightly. Sit upside down to cool. Put a little fabric cap and ribbon on the top and give as a tasty Christmas gift.

I have found that if you butter the jar instead of using Pam it makes the cake look a little prettier. I usually melt the butter and then coat the inside of the jar with a silicone pastry brush. Also the fatter and squattier(if that is a word) wide mouth canning jars work better in the oven, and are easier to balance on your oven racks. You shouldn't try to bake this on a baking sheet as it doesn't turn out as well as the baking sheet interferes with the heat distribution. Caution husbands and children not to run and make heavy footsteps in the area of the oven. Shut the oven door gently and try to avoid the temptation to keep opening the oven door to check until they are almost done. It could potentially spell disaster, trust me on that one.

Next up for baking this holiday season is Pioneer Woman's cinnamon rolls and red velvet cake, along with cream cheese filled pumpkin rolls!
Have a wonderful week.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving



We went to Dallas to visit my cousin and his family for the Thanksgiving holiday. We had tons of fun, eating, shopping, eating, going to the see the Cowboys play the Saints, eating, hanging out, visiting, reminicising, eating some more. My cousin's wife is the ultimate hostess always making sure everyone is comfortable and having a good time and not ever being hungry. She probably cooked enough to feed the Duggar family!

The picture above is of all three of us and Jackson outside the new Cowboys stadium. What a fun place to be! Those Saints's fans were quite a bunch to be around. They were always in groups chanting "Who dat!" Even though the Saints came out on top I was happy to just be there hanging out for the afternoon!

I got to go to the Vera Bradley store in Grapevine, another really neat place, but with a very long line.

We are down to fifteen days now before Christmas vacation from school. I have all the gifts bought but one and some stocking stuffers. Next I need to concentrate on our church clothes for Christmas Eve Mass, and some other church events coming up in the near future.

Have a wonderful holiday season!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Evan's (Charles') Stocking



So here it is--Evan's stocking. Yes, I have finally managed to finish a stitching project. It took a while as life seems to always throw a twist or turn into my plans along the way. Last week was our final city rec soccer game. We won first place in our division and were undefeated.

I have a crocheting project to finish and then a scrapbook. After that it will be back to stitching, I already have a project to start and I am anxiously awaiting the opportunity to get it started.

Today has been terrible weather wise. It had literally poured all day long. I had a workshop out of town I was attending, and the weather added about an hour's driving time. It is still raining and a cold front is supposed to move in later tonight. While I am all for cooler weather, I didn't really like driving in the rain today. At times I could hardly see where I was going, and even though I had on my car lights as it was fairly dark out for the middle of day, the lights only served to help other drivers see me on the road.

I am off to go and work on my crocheting project, my goal is to get this one finished by the end of the weekend.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Oh What a Day

So we have finally got a slow down of activities and I have been able to stitch a little bit here and there. I can see the end of the stocking that I am currently stitching on coming closer everyday. We have one soccer game left and then we will be free of activities for quite a awhile and for that I am very happy. We also have some fun Thanksgiving activities coming up here in a few weeks.

The school year is flying by and if there are many more days like today, well that is a very good thing. I came home today a little bit wore out and not much of a happy camper. Sometimes I think I care too much. Jonathon called on the way home and wanted to know if he could go over and start playing x-box. When he was told that no he could not he could go home and do his homework, that didn't go over well. I had to make it clear to him, that I was really about to the top of my tank with disrespectful kids, bad attitudes, and hateful tones of voice, so he was treading dangerously tonight, and I was in no mood to negotiate x-box playtime extensions at the moment.

The band at school today got the opportunity to go to a nearby city and hear their symphony orchestra play. Jonathon said that he liked it and had a good time, so I was happy to hear that. It never hurts to experience new things.

The one thing that has made me pretty happy here recently is the new television. This television gets some channels our old one didn't. Last Saturday I watched Alias Smith and Jones, Wagon Train, and today Adam 12. It can't get any better then Major Adams, Flint McCullough and Malloy and Reed. And if you are too young to know what I am talking about--have pity and don't tell me!

Have a great week.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Stitchin' Pics



These first two pics are of my newly framed pieces. Thanks to a custom frame sale at Hobby Lobby and a 40% off internet coupon.



And we have Reese's (Mary's) Shepherd Bush's stocking. She still needs a bow for her little ponytail, but we will get that before it wings it's way across the Pacific. I still have one more to do before this is mailed though. And right now I would like to say thanks to both Reese and Evan's mothers for not using any i's or l's in their names. It certainly makes centering the name a whole lot easier!



Now I am off to laundry, housework, a weekend of soccer games and hopefully some stithing!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Another Stocking Finished

Finally a another stitching project finished. I have one of the two Shepherd's Bush stockings I need to make finished. I will post a picture of it later this week. I have ironed it once, but since I don't use a hoop or q-snaps when I stitch it is pretty wrinkled.

Today we are off to our second soccer game of the weekend. Jonathon is playing with two teams this fall. Sadly, I have turned into one of those mothers I swore to never be--running from game to game, town to town. Fortunately we only have to travel two times, so it should not be too bad. The rest of the games are here in town. I guess that if this is what he wants to do, we will do it until he doesn't want to do it. It is better than sitting in front of the television playing x-box all weekend. But I sure am going to miss my Sunday afternoon football games and naps

School is in full swing for both of us now and Dan is still working road construction. I have a really good bunch of kids so far this year, hopefully that is still my opinion in May. Not starting until September feels kind of funny.

Jonathon is doing well in sixth grade, although, I have to say that I am less than impressed with the teachers this year. It seems that of the six three are very unorganized. Several parents have looked at the grades online to find their kids have a failing grade only to contact the teachers and look through the papers that have been handed back to find the paper graded a week or so ago, and the teacher just didn't record it. So right now we have a rubbermaid in the kitchen where all graded and returned papers go. I really think that if you can't keep track any better than that you should keep a hard copy grade book and put them on the computer from that. I have seen an improvement in this, however, because I think several parents have been e-mailing and complaining.

Fall is certainly in the air and feels so good! It is very nice and cool outside and I have to say I am looking forward to sitting out this afternoon at the game. Last weekend the sun was bright and the temps high and we played two games. Needless to say Dan and I came home looking like a couple of lobsters. He didn't wear a hat and the poor guy's bald spot was burned to a crisp!

Fall weather has me ready to start some vegetable beef soup and chili in the crock pots for a quick evening meal during the week. Last night we had chicken and noodles with mashed potatoes and bread fresh from the oven. Jonathon's friend is spending the weekend and Jonathon asked why I only cook awesome food when he is here. Here I thought I was a pretty awesome cook all the time, but I guess I am not!

Hope you all have a happy Monday and a great week.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Back to the Grind

So here we are in Stitchin Schoolmarm land with no stitching pics to show. I have been stitching, just don't have any proof of it to show you. We are both back to school and work right now. Jonathon is holding his own in sixth grade, while he is still at the elementary school for sixth grade it has been sort of a cultural shock. Gone are the teachers who mommy you along and you meet the teachers who expect you to be responsible and take care of stuff on your own. We have had a few bumps along the way here and there, but for the most part he does okay.

I seem to have some really nice kids this year. I suppose I too will have some bumps along the way, but seriously I am quite impressed with my students so far. This year brings some interesting changes for me though, I found out today that I will be team teaching with one of our special ed teachers the first hour of the day. I am sure this will have some growing pains along the way, but probably some learning opportunities. You can generally learn some tricks by watching another teacher here and there. The only downside of this is that with paras in the room, and attendant care workers there will four adults to 15 kids. I am not sure how that will all pan out in the long run.



The picture above although a bit dark is of Jonathon, his buddy Eric and former NFL Viking Cris Carter. To tell you the truth I was way more excited about Jonathon getting a chance to have his pic taken with Mr. Carter than he was, but what can I say I love football. Anyway, he has been in our fine little town the last two weekends to watch his son play for the local community college team. The son originally played for Ohio State as a freshman, but due to grades and rumor has it off the field problems he landed here. Anyway, you know me and my propensity for ...ummm I guess lack of a better term to hunt people down, it took me all four quarters to find him. He was very polite when asked for a picture with the kids. Thank goodness for I phones.

Until next time, have a wonderful week.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Home of a Needleworker

So it has been awhile since I updated my blog. My latest finish was Home of a Needleworker by LHN. It took me a little longer than I expected it would. I had several things around the house that I wanted to get done. I cleaned out drawers, went through Jonathon's clothes for hand me downs, and basically did several things that were big cleaning or organizing projects that needed to be done, and had been put off for quite awhile. That is one reason I was not stitching...The photo below is another reason. This little fellow came and spent a night and most of two days with us, he brought along his dad, sister, and grandma. We had a really nice visit and I totally fell in love with this little guy. He is five and no longer afraid of the dark according to him. He is so onery it is unbelieveable. I have always had a soft spot in my heart for onery little boys. Fortunately for me my mom's side of the family seems to only have that kind. I wanted to practice taking photos so I took him, his dad,sister, and Jonathon out to local tourist attraction to take some pics. I had to buy this kid a happy meal from McDonald's to get him to cooperate with me. He is proof that the apple didn't fall far from the tree this time around. When his dad was little my mom took him to have his pictures taken. His mom dressed him in Big Bird pants. Well, Will (aka the dad) was very mad because he hated those pants. The guy sat him down on this little fake log and put an outdoor scene behind him and asked if he could smile for the camera. Will replied very seriously, "I can, but I am not going to." and true to his word he is not smiling in any of those pictures. To get Will's son to smile, well we had to promise to go to McDonald's and Jonathon had to keep putting bunny ears on people.



Now for the cross-stitch project--this was a really simple stitch up. When I had the opportunity to sit and stitch for a period of time I got quite a bit done. I didn't have room to put both my first and last name as they were too long for the space, so I put my first and middle name on it. At first I thought it looked rather drab, but as you add the different shades of green and browns it actually turned out to be very striking.



Right now, we are enjoying joyously cool weather. The past two weeks we have had horribly hot weather. Last night it finally cooled down. I don't expect the hot weather is over, but it is a relief for a day or two.

Have a great week!

Friday, July 30, 2010

O' Holy Night



So here is my latest finish. This pattern worked up quite quickly as I started on the top section and finished each one completely before moving on to the next. The one thing I think would have made it better was if the fabric the shop sent was a little lighter in color. They knew what I was going to stitch on it, but I don't suppose that they can help the dye lot of their fabrics. I can't take all the credit for this one being finished so quickly, I have to give some credit to Discovery Channel. Their marathons of the Deadliest Catch gave me many hours of stitching. My new start is LHN Home of a Needleworker. It seems to be stitching up quite fast. I am not sure what will be next. I did break my promise to myself the other day and ordered yet more patterns.

Summer continues to roll on here. Jonathon starts scool in approximately two and one half weeks. I don't go back until August 27 and our kids come on September 1. It sort of seems surreal that the end of July is here and I am not rushing around getting stuff finished because school is getting started. We are slowly getting back in the groove of school like activities. We have a two day soccer camp next week and relatives coming to visit. The relatives at least makes me clean up the house really well.

I had a birthday recently and my mom bought me this smaller three drawer cabinet that is sort of ornate with the wood carvings on the front. You know you have too much cross-stitch stuff when the two biggest drawers only held your fabric. Thank you Silkweaver's FOMC.

Have I ever told you what a wonderful son I have? Last night I was sitting at the kitchen table thinking about finances and other stuff, feeling quite glum. He asked what was wrong and I told him I felt bad that he didn't get to do anything fun this summmer. He hugged me and said, "but I got to spend time with you."

I have several projects lined up for the next couple of days. I want to scrub the front of my kitchen cabinets with Murphy's Oil Soap, and clean out my closet, and the garage. Then there will be the bathrooms, basement, and bedding, vacuuming, mopping etc. for the company. I cleaned out all of Jonathon's drawers the other day and got the clothes out that he can no longer wear out for the hand me down tote. I also need to get some school stuff I bought organized, and finish a scrapbook, so I can put that stuff back where it belongs.

Have a wonderful weekend if you can in this heat.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Liberty Lane



Here is my latest cross-stitch finish. Liberty Lane by Country Cottage Needleworks. Sorry for the blurry photo, but at 1:30 am I guess perfection is hard to achieve. If you ever look at the pattern you will notice that I didn't do all the decorative stitching at the bottom by the words, because after a late night of stitching I noticed that my words were way off. There was no way I was going to rip them out, so I thought it would look best with just the words there.

The next photos are of Jonathon shooting some fireworks off in our front yard. I often wonder what sort of memories he will grow up with of the holidays. When I was growing we always had big family Christmases and 4th's, with grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins. It just seems that no one wants to do those sort of things any longer. Begin an only child his memories are going to be of very small holiday celebrations.

He may have nightmares of this 4th, however. First of all it rained, so when the rains stopped we managed to get the night works shot. We had very few and frankly, Jonathon had shot off so many little fireworks in the days before he had really lost interest. He is really very safe with the fireworks and calm about doing them and for that I am thankful. Needless to say not everyone is... I just don't think it is safe to let a five year old run around with a punk and allowing them to shoot off mortars without adult supervision. Let me also say I don't think adult supervision could be classified as sitting in the driveway watching this happen. That really sums up our evening of the 4th. No, I am not just a cranky, pre-menopausal, grouch, I just want everyone to have the same ten fingers, toes, etc. that they started the holiday evening with. Okay, there you have my rant. I don't think said parents read my blog and if they do that is fine with me because if they didn't get the message on the 4th then reading it here probably won't strike a chord either.






So here we are enjoying dinner on the 4th before the big shooting of the fireworks began. We had red velvet cupcakes, pulled pork sandwiches, fried potatoes, and jalapeno poppers. As you can see my husband is quite a healthy eater.

Tomorrow Jonathon and I are going to lunch with two of my students from last year. Jonathon is very excited to meet these students. They are from Iraq and two very nice young boys. Jonathon has heard many stories about them, and one time last year they wrote his name in Arabic and included a Muslim prayer written in Arabic and sent it to him. We are picking them up for lunch and some catching up.

We should finish our last ballgame Monday night. We had three make-up games due to rain. At first we, meaning hopeful parents, thought they wouldn't have to make them because they like the season to end before All-Stars start. But we are making them up. One mother said it was because in this age group they give out trophies for first, second, and third places. I was looking at the schedule and it looks pretty even to me, maybe there will three first place teams.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

America



Here is my second finish of the summer. It is titled "America" by LHN. I am not sure what I will start next, Lord knows I have several choices what with all the stash I have bought in the last eighteen months.

Summer is slowly winding it's way through June for us. Our next big event is the annual July 1 shoot 'em up with our friend Christopher. July 1 is the day that they start selling fireworks in our fair city. Every year on July 1, (after Jonathon's dentist appt.) I take Christopher and him to the fireworks stand. They come home and spend hours in the front yard shooting "stuff". The other night at the ballgame Christopher's mom said he had already told her that on July 1 he was coming to our house.

I have tried through the years to make my house a fun place, full of snacks for kids to hang out. It was all part of my master plan for the teenage years, which are quickly approaching. If our house becomes the hangout, then I won't be wondering where my kid is, and hopefully I will know what he is doing. Dan and I really enjoy Jonathon's friends and having them around the house.

We have two double headers this week then our baseball season will be finished. I am ready, although I must say our evenings at the ballpark are quite enjoyable for us as a family. I only wish the bleachers weren't so hard! And I am one of the lucky ones with a lot of padding.

Here's to a great weekend for everyone. Try to stay cool.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Brave Hearts Finished



I finished this piece two days ago. It is Brave Hearts by LHN. I have currently started America by LHN. I guess this post demonstrates the dangers of stitching blogs-- you see, therefore, you think you must stitch. I am trying my hardest this summer to stitch up some of the things I have bought and my WIP's. I have decided with the exception of thread I am buying anymore stitchy supplies until I have stitched those I bought this past year.

We had a double header Wednesday night. We won 1 and lost the other. Jonathon did really well, he did manage to get on base a couple of times. The neighbor kid aka Batman was also playing t-ball at the next game over, so between games mom and I went down and watched him bat. Of course when we got there he was busy in the dugout filling his ball glove with water. I asked what he was doing and he said--"Filling this up with water."

The weather here has been very hot and humid, so that is giving me lots of time to sit and stitch. Of course if you could see my house right now, well, it looks like I have been spending a lot of time sitting and stitching.

Murphy got her stitches out this morning at the vet's and she weighs a whooping 10 pounds. I had to laugh my cousin's daughter had a baby this morning and Murphy only outweighs the baby by 1 pound 2 ounces.

Here's to everyone having a safe and wonderful Father's Day weekend.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

News From the Homefront



Well, summer is in full swing here, or I should say summer is trying to be in full swing. We had four inches of rain Sunday night which canceled more baseball games. We should be like halfway through our schedule and here we have only played one game.
We have been spending time outside in the evening practicing our batting. One of his coaches recommended that we get an old tire and have him stand on it while batting, thus teaching him to keep his feet still and helping with balance. We also went and got this broomstick type bat and really small woffle balls, which are supposed to help. I don't know how much this has all helped, but we are definitely having fun with the practice and getting in a lot of family time without the x-box or the computer.



Of course no practice would be complete without Murphy the Diva lying right in the middle of everything relaxing.

I am busily stitching on my newest LHN design that I do not know the name of. It is almost finished and if I got off of the computer for one little bit it would probably be done. The design has the verse telling about the colors of the flag and what they mean. I am also currently crocheting an afghan for a Christmas gift.

Jonathon has had the summer bug that is going around. One day he had a fever of 101.7 and then it stayed low grade for the next couple of days. He was signed up to do a 5k that Saturday. When Saturday morning came around he said he wanted to participate, I think he wanted to run because he and a friend has signed up together. Wellllllll, that turned out not to be a good idea. It was very hot and humid that morning and he definitely wasn't up to running 3+ miles. He walked most of it- crossed the finish line- asked to go to McDonald's for breakfast-came home took a shower and laid on the couch the rest of the day.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Battle Hymn of the Republic



I'm baaaaaaack! I finally got around to finishing the BHotR, after several months of putting it off. So here you go. I am back where I started having a bunch of stuff backed up to frame, but hopefully HL will have some specials this summer.

School ended for both Jonathon and I the week before Memorial Day. I really enjoyed my students this year. Every year at the end of the year I "make" them write thank you notes--only we call them letters of gratitude- to two adults in the building for helping them get through middle school. It doesn't have to be a teacher necessairly, but just an adult who has made a connection to them. I always go through them sorting them and making sure they don't say something rude or inappropriate and have to redo the assignment. As usual there is always one that sticks out in your mind. This year one male student wrote a letter to the science teacher and I literally laughed out loud when I read it. The science teacher shows a video of a birth. One line in his letter referred to the video, and it went something like-- I will never forget the video of the live birth, that image is burned into my mind forever!

Jonathon did very well in school as usual. He participated in the school spelling bee this year and got 4th place with 46 kids participating. He tried out in his classroom, but then got stage fright and didn't want to do it, but I made him anyway and he was happy that he did. He also received rewards for his performance on the Kansas State Assessments.

Right now, he is busy with baseball and planning to run a 5K tomorrow with his friend. He also got x-box live last weekend. I resisted and resisted before finally giving in, so far, it has worked out okay, but he is spending way too much time playing video games! Of course I haven't been here a lot lately as I have had meetings with work, running here and there with my mom and getting some things taken care of. Next Monday and Tuesday should be the end of that.

Dan's work has picked up again after a long, slow winter. He worked twelve hours today, which will be nice on the checkbook balance.

I have started a LHN pattern, and of course I can't remember the name for the life of me. I am looking forward to be able to stitch and read stitching blogs and basically getting caught up this summer. I have been spending some time everyday getting some house project underway.

Have a great week and I hope life keeps you in stitches!

Monday, May 31, 2010

God Bless Those Who Serve.....



so that we may enjoy the freedoms given us by our forefathers.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sad Goodbyes and Happy Hellos

My aunt passed this last week after a nine month battle from lung cancer. Although we were all sad to not have her with us, we were also happy that her suffering had ended and she was no longer in pain. Her funeral was held on Thursday, and afterwards we all went to her house for lunch and visited for the remainder of the afternoon. Several of my cousins, whom we had not seen in years were there, hence the title Sad Goodbyes and Happy Hellos. I thought I would share some family pics and stories that made us laugh through the years.

My mom was one of six--my grandparents had seven kids in a nine-ten year time span. One child died as an infant. In old pictures of the six they often reminded us of the television show the little rascals. In some pictures they actually had a dog with a black ring around one eye just like the little rascals. Two of the most popular stories they always talk about is the peanut butter jelly sandwich saga,and the arson of my grandpa's only set of work clothes. My mother had the sandwich made on one slice of bread holding it on the palm of her hand, when Uncle Charlie smacked the underside of her hand flipping the sandwich onto Grandma's newly painted kitchen ceiling. They knew they were in trouble if they got caught. So to get the sandwich down they decided to get the broom and try to sweep it down. You can imagine how well that worked, just as you can probably imagine what happened when they were caught!

You can also probably imagine what it was like trying to provide for six kids at the tail end of the depression and beginning of WWII. My grandpa had one pair of work clothes and my grandmother used to soak them in white gasoline to get the oil out of them before washing them. One particular evening she soaked them and proceeded to hang them on the clothesline to dry before washing them. My Uncle Bob loved to play with fire and went to the trash burner, where ofcourse, trash was burning. Not able to resist the temptation he got a stick and poked around in the fire until he came up with a flame on the end of the stick. As he was running around the yard, He ran by the clothes line and he "accidentally" set the work clothes on fire. When my grandma came out of the house the only thing left on the clothes line was four charred clothes pins.

Below is a pic of my mom and her four remaining siblings.



Those are just a couple of the stories we laughed about that day. There are many more ofcourse. My aunt lived next door to my grandparents old place, so before everyone headed off to where they needed to be we wandered over that way had a photo of all the cousins in attendance taken in front of the old barn. The barn where my grandpa raised rabbits, next to his chicken coop, and near the garden spot where he always planted over a hundred tomatoe plants each summer.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Excited for May

May 27th that is. Yep! that is the last day for the kiddos at my school and I will be so happy to watch them march off to high school. They went for their two hour orientation today and all they could talk about upon their return was the food in the cafetria. I can see that the experience was really effective for them.

Not much has been going on in our household. I did make an executive decision here about fifteen minutes ago-- the house can stay dirty because I am taking the weekend off and stitching. I have been trying every night to come home and work on the house and get something done, but just decided that I was tired and wasn't going to do anything this weekend. So there!

My poor little aunt weighing less than 70 pounds still hangs on, so that ofcourse has been a huge concern for me as she is my mother's closet sibling in age. Being an only child I will never know what it means to lose a sibling, which makes it equally hard to deal with. I believe my mother and aunt are what many people refer to as "Irish twins". They will both be 66 for about two weeks from the last of May to the first of June.

I am so looking forward to the months of vacation and having the time to stitch and get things organized around here. I have tons of stitching projects I would like to get done, but I also see tons of new stuff that I can't wait to buy and stitch up.

I am going to check out a new stitching store at the end of May called Hearts Desire in Wichita. Memorial Day Weekend my mother, Jonathon and I will be going to Wichita to attend the ordination of a family friend as new priest in our diocese. I am kind of excited to get to go and be a part of this as I have never been to an ordination before.



... and just so this wouldn't be one long ugly post with no photos here is one of my guy and his dog. I have a love/hate relationship with this dog, and sometimes I still can't believe I let them talk me into having a dog, in the house to boot! I was never one of those animal lover type people, but I am learning, slowly but surely, to become one. She doesn't chew so much anymore, but she is ten times more trouble than Jonathon was as a baby and toddler. I think it would have been easier to have another kid, then get a dog.

Hope everyone has a nice relaxing weekend, with lots of sunshine and warm weather.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Reasons I Am Not Stitching.....



Saturday after soccer we went to "Ravens for the Cure" to run the 5K. He did fine running the race , but didn't place. Their age group divisions were pretty broad, but after playing forward, mid-fielder, etc during the soccer he was pretty wiped before he started.



We began our day about 8:45 where he played in a soccer game with some of his peeps. Check out the colors on these uniforms. WOW! And yes, that is my kid with his mouth wide open! I am absolutely positive he gets that from his dad.



This is a scene from the sleepover last Thursday. They are becoming less and less tolerant of me, my camera, and my big ideas for cute pictures. I made them do this particular shot about four times before I got the one I wanted. Someday they will appreciate me. I look at it this way, I am working on graduation presents for the year 2017.

Of course add to that two yards to mow, Murphy the wonder dog, and baseball is starting. It seems that once school gets out we go through about a two week period where we are just happy to stay home and enjoy being home.

My last two thoughts are things that have been on my mind here recently and I thought I should share them with you. My friend Sara became an aunt for the first time Sunday night about 9 to a beautiful little girl named Macy, weighing in at 7 pounds 10 ounces. So of course congrats to Sara and her family. Macy, you will have a lot of fun with that crazy gal for an aunt. I was getting tickled, she started texting about 3 she was so excited. The last text before the birth was about 6 where she was quick to point out that the baby would at least wait until after The Amazing Race was over. I told her to take a deep cleansing breath and find her focal point!

The other thought is if you have the time or inkling please remember my aunt, who in her last stages of lung cancer. As much as we don't want her to leave her earthly home we also don't want her to suffer. We could use all the prayers we could get right now. She is my mom's next younger sister, in fact at the end of May they are the same age for about 2 weeks, needless to say her children, grandchildren, siblings and extended family are very saddened by this.

Have a great week!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Eleven Years Ago....

Eleven years ago today Jonathon was born-weighing in at 10 pounds 15.5 ounces and 22.5 inches long. It is hard to believe that it has been that long, as the old saying goes it seems like only yesterday. We spent five years trying to conceive on our own and another five going to the doctor, so he was a true work in progress. When he was born he was, of course, the biggest baby in the nursery. In fact they had to go out and buy different diapers for him because the newborn diapers the hospital had were too little. When we first brought him home I wasn't quite sure what to do with him and now I am not sure what exactly to do without him.

We had a sleepover last night with four friends. It was one of those years that he couldn't exactly decide what he wanted to do, in the end we picked the sleep over. I was up at 3 am and they were still going strong, Dan got up at 5 to get ready for work and they were awake, but when he left at 6 they were all asleep. We got him a netbook for this birthday. I haven't really been a fan of him being on the computer as the location in our house isn't that great for keeping up with a kid. This way he can be in the living room with us while he is online.

In fact I am using the little thing right now. Our dear little dog has been on a chewing spree lately. Twice she chewed the phone cord going to the computer and then the other day she chewed the cord going to the keyboard--hence no blog updates for a long time.

I have been stitching on the LHN Battle Hymn and have it mostly done. I really like the muted colors used in this design. I have the flowers at the bottom to do and some on the top. The pattern is working up quite fast. I have a lot done considering I haven't been stitching that much.

We only have a measly 39 days of classes left. Although this count does not include weekends. Then let the marathon stitching begin.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

A Spring Break Finish



Well, not a lot happened on spring break for us, but I did manage to finish the Prairie Schooler July pattern. I was pretty pleased with the way this one turned out, although I don't really care for that gigantic bluebird on the top. I also started the LHN Battle Hymn pattern and am about 75% of the way done with this.

I got lots done around the house, cleaning, tidying up, etc. Jonathon spent the week just hanging out at home and going to soccer practice. Sometimes it is good to just relax.

We, of course like most of the Midwest got about a foot of snow on the first day of spring. It is almost melted though and didn't last long. I couldn't believe how green the grass underneath the snow was, I don't remember it being that green on Friday.

Have a great week.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Impatiently Waiting

Spring Break and major stitching time is right around the corner and I honestly can hardly wait. The kids at school are getting the spring fever buzz in anticipation for the big break. When they get this way all common sense goes out the door in a flash. Case in point--today one of them swallowed a pop tab. Mom had to come and get said child take them to the emergency room for x-rays. We don't have pop at school and generally don't allow it on the premises unless a teacher brings it for a reward. So you see the weeklong break can not come soon enough. God only knows what they will eat or ________ (let your imagination run free..)

Jonathon and I have some very simple plans-- we are going to hang out at home and do whatever we feel like when we feel like doing it. I bought myself a little present for spring break. Everyone has been laughing at me for it, but I got myself a collection of all of the Walton movies to watch. I can't wait for Saturday so I can get out my stitching and sit back and enjoy.

I don't have any stitching pics or updates to show as I spent most of last week trying to keep my knee propped up so the swelling from being on my feet all day would go down somewhat.

This weekend I my father-in-law turned 85. We had a celebration for him in the little town not far from where he was born and raised. Several old friends and family stopped by to wish him well and a good time was had by all. This is a picture of my husband, his siblings and their dad that was taken that day.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Stitching Update...



Here's a pic of my progress on the Prairie Schooler July pattern. I haven't got as much done as I would have liked. It finally dawned on me when I was stitching them, that the little stars and curly cues above the house are fireworks. I am a sharp one! I took two personal days on Thursday and Friday. I managed to get quite a lot done Thursday evening and Friday morning/afternoon before my unfortunate accident.

I guess perhaps I should rename this blog the Klutzy Stitcher. I picked Jonathon up after school in Friday. I was so tired when we got home I laid down on the couch and dozed off. My mom called me and I jumped up to get the phone and noticed the clock said 4:30 I thought in my sleepy stupor that I had forgotten to pick up Jonathon, so I ran towards the phone. I don't know what exactly happened but I fell and fell hard My knee is all swollen up, my arm and shoulder are banged up and my thumb on my stitching hand is jammed and swollen. Then yesterday I had to take the car to Joplin for a factory recall, (Dan had to work) and I really didn't want to reschedule, plus I needed to go to Sam's and stock up on some stuff. So Jonathon helped me hobble around Sam's and load stuff in and out of the cart. I am sure if I had just rescheduled the car appointment my knee would look wonderful or at least better, but I didn't reschedule. I am trying to keep a good eye on it though and take aspirin everyday after the last time I fell and that began the whole blood clot in the arm debacle. My schedule and checkbook really can't manage that again.

I also started kitting up several different cross stitch projects. Most of them are small and shouldn't take too long for me to get done, and someday I hope to get back of Lady Liberty and my Stoney Creek schoolhouse.

We are officially on the countdown for Spring Break here, even the neighbor kid aka Batman knows what Spring Break means and he is only in kindergarten.

Have a great week.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Wrinkly Report



This is my newsest project start the July pattern from Prairie Schooler. As you can tell I did not iron it before I took the picture, hence the title of my post. I started it a couple of weeks ago after I finished the Lizzie Kate pattern. This is going quite smoothly, those old lady magnifying glasses do wonders. Who would have ever thought that being able to see would make stitching so much easier??

We have been busy here at mi casa. Jonathon is playing basketball, which hasn't been that much fun so far. Remember those try-outs we have to insure parity in the league--well, one team is a traveling type situation and generally has beat every one by at least 40 plus points. We have played them in both games we have had so far. I just told Jonathon that now we were done with them and things would get better. Of course after the first quarter our boys just kind of went through the motions in both games. Besides that whoever said life was fair??? and if they did well, they were obviously lying.

I had conferences last week for two nights, then I had Friday off. I spent the day or most of it at Jon's school volunteering with the RIF program and helping with the Valentine party. I had never got to do RIF and I must say I was quite impressed with the whole affair, each child got a free book. I had a ball looking at all the different books. I kept thinking I should have taken in my notebook and wrote down titles. I use a lot of lower level children's books in my English class to introduce basic concepts, then move up to our level. In the afternoon we had the valentine's parties for each class. What a difference a good teacher in control of their class makes. Every one was so well-behaved and mannerly. They were a great group. I brought those little bottles of pop for their drinks and they really liked that.

My Valentines took me out Saturday night to the Tavern to eat. The meal was delicious as usual and we had a good time. There was a local doctor there with their sweetheart. I assume they recently got engaged, because some friends came in to surprise them, I really got a chuckle over what happened next. In the excitement of everything the doctor, their Valentine, and friends took off, leaving with out paying their bar bill. In our small town it is kind of like Cheers--where everybody knows your name. You could tell the hostess was majorily miffed, she called the manager over and was talking and waving her arms and pointing. She went to bathroom and looked for the doctor.

I also have to chime with the Spinster Stitcher's comments on the newscaster and their predictions of upcoming snowstorms, causing a general panic and people running amuck to stock up on things. That has happened twice here lately. Both times they were predicting somewhere near a foot of snow, possible power loss etc. and we got zip, nada, NOTHING! That is why I refuse to get all excited anymore. I mean seriously with all the modern technology???

This week we begin state testing here in the Sunflower State, I must say that I am totally looking forward to getting in that computer lab the end of this week and getting the whole thing behind us. My kiddos are ready and hopefully eager to get it done!

Have a great week!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Update Coming Soon...

when I get life by the horns and not the other way around. I have been doing a very little stitching, but after this weekend I hope things slow down to the speed limit at least.

Have a great Thursday!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Old Pieces, Newly Framed



First off, here we are working on that New Year's resolution to help others packing bags of supplies to be donated and sent to Haiti. Jonathon did these at home and I took them to work, my homeroom turned in about 30 bags total.



Here we have the Shepherd's Bush Nativity that I stitched years ago and just recently had framed. Next Christmas this will make its big debut. I wish you could see the frame better, it looks really nice. The frame has some gold around the inside edges, which is why I didn't have this piece matted.



This is also a Shepherd's Bush piece, but of course I don't have a clue what the name of it is. This piece has character! LOL If you look at the upper left corner you will see the colors have bled somewhat. This pattern called for overdyed thread, which was just becoming the rage back in those days (for me anyway). Long story short--three year olds holding a chicken leg near cross-stitch done in overdyed threads isn't a really good idea. Now granted the small greasy smudge his little finger left probably would not have even shown, but this hysterical mom ran to faucet to clean if off. I knew the thread wasn't colorfast, but for some reason I thought I could wash that small spot and not get the rest of it wet. Live and learn--to keep your cross-stitch put away when you aren't stitching.

Have a great week!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Not Much

Well, there isn't a whole lot going on here to post about. I did start a new stitching project, it the Prairie Schooler July pattern. I was moving right along on the whole thing until two things happened. 1) Murphy, the wonder dog chewed up all of the thread I was using at the current time, and 2) Dan became convinced that he was ill, so ill in fact that he could not take Jonathon to basketball practice. He has a cold and stuffy nose. I won't even mention the times I have had a cold and stuffy nose and went to work! Nope, I won't even go there! So needless to say I didn't stitch last night. Plus I did something I swore that I wasn't ever going to do in a hundred million years--I bought a pair of those magnifying glasses. Now I guess I am officially on my way to becoming a future senior citizen. But I guess at least I can see what I am stitching.

So there you have it, my life in paragraph. Hope the excitement doesn't cause too many problems.

Have a great week.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

1st Finish of the New Year



This afternoon while watching my Cowboys get trounced by Favre and the Vikings I finished Lizzie Kate's the ABC of Life. I really grew to love this pattern as I worked on it. At first I wasn't really impressed with the colors and you did a lot of stitching in brown, but as the whole thing emerged I thought the colors really complimented each other. Right now I am letting it hang for a few days to try and relax the remaining wrinkles. I don't use a hoop or a q-snap when I stitch so my stitching gets pretty wrinkled in the process. I ironed it good today, now I will let gravity work on it for awhile. I now will go back to my Shepherd's Bush "O' Holy Night".

I took two pieces to be framed last weekend and was quite happy when I walked into Hobby Lobby to find ready made open back frames 50% off as well as custom frames. When I left I felt like I had got the bargain of the year. I did these years ago when I was a SAHM. One of them is a SB Nativity Scene. Next year we will have a nativity on display. I always feel like a heathen when the priest talks about people who decorate, but don't have a nativity scene. That is one thing I am trying to do is get all of those finishes framed little by little. These should be ready next week and then I can take the ABC's to be framed.

I can't believe tomorrow is the 18th of January. Talk about time flying. I also think it is kind of odd that in the last month between Christmas vacation and snow days I have only worked eight days. That kind of sporadic working in the field of teaching doesn't do much for the motivation of either the teachers or students.

Have a great week!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Year of 2010

It seems everyone else's blogs are talking about their plans or resolutions for the new year. I always make ny resolutions with the best of intentions, but never seem to go very far in keeping them. The main resolution I have this year is to work on being healthier. Of course I chose this one for many reasons, I am only 46 years old, but every month I go to the pharmacy and pick up a bunch of prescriptions for myself and frankly I am too young to be doing this. I need to be able to run around and do things with my ten year old son and not be a couch potato. I need to be able to take him up the street this spring and have batting practice with him to help him out when he starts baseball. I need to be able to play catch with him. I also need to be able to take him to an amusement park and actually ride the rides with him. So that is the main number one goal this year.

I have others of course, like learning the relax. Not always having to be running here or there. I have tried working on this the past two weeks when I have been on vacation. I have tried to stay put and just enjoy the time and use it productively. Usually I have plans to go here and there while on vacation, then when it time to go back to work I am exhausted and wonder how those two weeks flew by so fast! I actually thought of this when we were on vacation in Chicago last year. When I go on vacation I like to be going and moving, usually our vacation are two or three days and I like to see everything I can in that time. I spend days making itineraries, making sure that we use every single solitary minute of the time we have. I have friend and they always have these nice relaxing vacations at the lake and they come home so at ease and happy. I usually come home from vacation wanting a vacation. So this year I going to learn to take the time to stop and smell the roses so to speak.

The last resolution I have is to do more for others. It occured to me when I asked Jonathon to set down and make a Christmas list this year and he couldn't think of a single thing to put on it, that we had gone over the edge. So this year he and I are going to work on doing things to help others. One of our first projects is to make things for the church bazaar coming up in October. It is a start and I have a few more ideas, and we will see how those work out.

Today we have basketball "try-outs". That is the term they use although the kids aren't actually trying out. It is more of a skills assessment to try and keep the teams somewhat even and competitive with one another. I am sort of wondering if it will be canceled because we got more snow and freezing rain last night.

Stitching pictures will be coming soon. I have been working hard on Lizzie's Kate ABC of Life and can feel my first finish of 2010 coming soon. And I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my Silver Needle order!

Have a great week.