Sunday, December 31, 2006

a big girl and a new year

I don't post about just one child very often, but this has been a big weekend for a little redhead. Morgan took her first communion from her grandfather in Wichita this morning. She was so excited. The poor thing has been so patient. She wanted her Grandpa to serve her first communion, and this required waiting until he returned from Iraq. There simply is no relationship in this world like that between a granddaughter and her grandfather.

This precious little redhead has more hugs than any one person I know. At almost 8 years old, she still readily finds a lap and a snuggle. This could be one of my favorite traits of hers! Her pureness and sweetness of heart makes me hopeful and happy about the new year. Thanks for everything my wee little red.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

life as i know it may return soon!

Christmas has come and gone, and can I say that I am sorta relieved? I feel like such a grinch saying that. As some of you know, my husband Will was hospitalized for Ulcerative Colitis for 13 days (which included Nutcracker and Christmas). We are thrilled to have hime home, but it has been an interesting Christmas season to say the least. I suppose it really focused us on what is really important. The absence of a family member at this time of year was stark to say the least. Thank goodness for family. We will be celebrating a belated Christmas with Will's family this weekend, and my family still got together on Christmas day. Just wasn't the same. We really want to thank those who sustained us through the holidays. The visits from clergy at St Davids, good friends, and co workers.

And I did manage a few crafted gifts! Not as many as I was planning, but a few. Blankets for the girls and a handbag for a friend. Made another bag for my mom, but didn't get a pic before it went out! I can't wait for the rhythm of our lives to come back. Chaos has ruled the day lately, and I am a creature of rhythm. Our normal lives are busy, but its a sort of controlled chaos. joys of my everyday chaos!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

a year in the life

Here we go. Thought I might try and do something fun! Beki, who has inspired me a great deal lately, had this idea first. So wonderful, I think it needs to be repeated. It has been an eventful year in the Wise household. With Will's illness, it continues to challenge and focus us daily. The changing of the year gives me the chance to look back at what was important, funny, and just blog worthy. Here are the first posts from each month of this year!

January: Welcome to 2006!

February: There is nothing better in this life than playing in a blanket fort with your three year old son.

March: We had a fabulous time at our church last night for Shrove Tuesday

April: What a weekend! It was amazing! We have been blessed the past two weekends with our families.

May: This is one of the funniest commercials I have ever seen!

June: The Clematis finally bloomed!

July: We had a great trip to Ashland Nebraska this weekend.

August: Just got home late last night from our vacation in Colorado.

September: When pipe cleaner crafts go horribly wrong!

October: Happy birthday small boy!

November: Can anyone say sugar hangover?!

December: On the first day of Christmas...

Sooooooooo there you have it. Some funny stuff, some serious stuff, some boring stuff. Life.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

quilts for the kims

I don't know about anyone else, but this story really got me. I was glued to the tv and the reports for days. I got this helpless feeling, wanting to help but not knowing how. Then I came across this site while reading Beki's blog. What a perfect way to wrap those babes in care from all over the country. I think they are looking for a few more folks to make squares, so all you crafty gals should take a peek over there! Even if you are not crafty, there are other ways to help as well.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

nutcracker preview

The Nutcracker season will be over in a few short days, so if you are in the area...come and see! Dress rehearsal and pictures were tonight. Its hard to explain the enormity of this production. The kids are a part of the auxiliary cast. There is a company professional dancers for most of the major roles, but the expectations on the aux cast are just as high.

This is a pic of Morgan with a buddy who has been in the past 4 Nutcrackers with her. If you look closely you can see that his hair is every bit as red as hers! He plays the trumpeter during the battle scene and Morgan is the mouse who wakes up Clara (Sarah below plays Clara).

Just wanted to add a brag shot to a disjointed, tired and rambling post. Morgan's hair has to be "just so" to fit under the hood of her costume. A bun makes them look like cone headed mice! She got a kick out of the braids, and I think they will last for a few days. Well, off to bed. I have ringlets to curl in the morning and the show must go on!

Monday, December 11, 2006

a busy weekend

Twas a few weeks before Christmas and in Kansas...I HAVE NO CHRISTMAS PRESENTS DONE! Ok, I feel better now. That was the feeling before the weekend. Those precious few days produced toe warmers for ballerinas,

rice and lavender filled flannel neck wraps (these can be warmed or cooled and smell heavenly)

and a brown and green bag. This is the first of several I have plans to complete this week. I like the pattern for this bag so far. It's simple and durable and stylish. The brown and lime green combo is one of my favorites as of late.

And did I mention that the girls had their liturgical ballet recital on Friday night? And Nutcracker practice? May be going a bit crazy over here. The recital was amazing though. Abby's group pulled off a very difficult dance flawlessly. Morgan is the youngest member of this group, and the general consensus was that she stole the show. She is just so tiny and the choreographer played to the cute factor.

Back to the sewing machine for me. I only wish there were elves upstairs cleaning my house and doing my laundry right now! I can handle the crafting, its the other stuff I could use a whole army of elves to help with this time of year!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

hail the conquering hero!

He's finally home!!! Can't believe it. Thirty pounds lighter and quite a bit tanner. Seven months in Iraq will do that to you. The kiddos were beside themselves with excitement for the week leading up to him coming home. Morgan told people from school to church to the mall parking lot that her grandpa was coming home. I want to thank all of you out there who prayed for him on his deployment. Your support and concern have touched us all. So now we just have to fatten him up a bit and get on with being a family. Welcome home pops.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


Its a funny thing...waiting. As hectic as my life is these days, it seems to be full of waiting. Waiting for the girls to get out of school. Waiting at the dance studio. Waiting for the copy machine at the church. It was really starting to annoy me. I have a hard time with idle waste of time. I could be sewing, cleaning, or even doing laundry. I get antsy having to wait all of the time. The last week I have looked at this time a bit differently. Today is the 6th day of advent. We are waiting for the birth of our Lord. That's a way to put it in perspective. I'm trying to this time of waiting and make the most of it. I can sing a song with my little man while we wait for the bell to ring at school. I can work on my Christmas cards while I wait on the rehearsals for Nutcracker to be done, and think about how grateful I am to have all of these wonderful people in my life. So here I am, waiting and thanking God for all of my blessings this day.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


This is my first year helping in the costume department for Nutcracker. THAT is a job I will never want. I have enjoyed fixing hems, sewing on buttons and adding sparkling doo dads. This production has hundreds of costumes, and that just doesn't sound like fun.

This one was a dress from the party scene. Uh oh...better run. Nutcracker practice in 15 minutes. And so it goes!

Friday, December 01, 2006

on the first day of christmas...

I randomly subscribed to the 12 days of cookies offered through the Food Network last year and I swear I loved every one of them! Today I got the first one for this year. I haven't made them yet, but I'm pretty sure they are on the menu this weekend! Check out the recipe for these cool little black tie cookies! Click on the banner to sign up for yourself and check out some of the past recipes!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

my athlete...sorta

So we haven't yet figured out whether Abby is truly enjoying the sport of volleyball, or if its just social hour. She has been playing on a Parks and Rec team for the first time this year. She runs, she does her drills, she is even begging for a $40 volleyball she MUST have! Some of these girls have been playing for a few years and can serve the ball overhand so hard I couldn't hit it! All that being said, she is a ballerina. She jammed her finger the other night and I thought it would be the end. The shoes, the shorts, and the tiny embroidery on the tank all have to match...for practice.

I'm really not making fun of my oldest...really. The blessings for this season have actually been many. She has a great group of friends (by the way...who knew that 9 year old girls giggle constantly, must have cell phones, and listen to ipods?). They are all wonderful influences and support each other like only girls can. Plus she is trying something athletic other than dance. And having the time of her life.

Monday, November 27, 2006

swap from new zealand

I was so excited when I opened up my mailbox this afternoon to find a parcel marked from New Zealand! Melissa and I worked out a swap during the past month or so. I sent off a few things from Kansas and she returned with treasures from Nelson, New Zealand! She sent some awesome fabrics, beads for the girls (which they quickly claimed and made into bracelets), some sweets for Parker, and baby shoes for my sister's new babe! I can't tell you how much I loved everything! The shoes are too cute and reversible...I even loved the bags! Such a talented gal! Thanks for making my day Melissa!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

its beginning to look a lot like christmas

I love this time of year. Watching the kids decorate the tree. Abby has been reciting lines from the Christmas pageant all weekend. Nutcracker. Christmas recitals. It has to be the busiest time of the year for us, but I wouldn't have it any other way! This project took about 5 hours longer than I thought it would. All afternoon and most of the evening. They are Advent stockings.

There is one stocking per child per week of advent. I think I will add small treat or toy or note every day. I'll let you know how it works out. I got the idea from this gal. Great blog if you get a chance to read it every once in a while! Happy almost advent everyone!

Friday, November 24, 2006

two turkeys, lots of family, and a trip to the emergency room

Yes friends, you heard it right. The Wise family made its first trip into the emergency room for stitches. I've had my money on Parker being the first for quite some time now. Oh the drama. Lets start at the beginning.

Thanksgiving day couldn't have been more delightful. We were blessed with friends and family all day. Will cooked a turkey in the smoker, and I did the traditional bird in the roaster. Lovely. Food. Family. Football. Chiefs even won the game. What a perfect day. The kids played outside (70 + degrees in Kansas) most of the day. Mark Hood and Don and Marcie Davidson joined us as well. All was calm. Peaceful. Nice.

Then came today. The adrenaline started early in the day. My sister-in-law Jan, my niece Torey, and I braved Target at 6am. Good deals, but you feel a bit like a hunter. Only the strong survive the day after Thanksgiving shopping. Next came the mall. You have to hit all of the stores you need before the early bird specials expire. It really is a workout.

Then came the phone call. The phone call you never want to get when you are out without children. It was my husband. His voice was pretty frantic on the other line. I heard whimpers in the background. Heart racing. He said he had tried to stop the bleeding. That was all I needed to here. Luckily we don't live far from the mall. The poor guy was the casualty of a fight between his sisters. Something about a chair being in the way of the television. Pushing the chair back and forth and eventually onto Parker's head.

He was a trooper. The doc in the emergency room said he needed a few stitches, but she thought she would be able to use dermabond. The link says "no pain". I have to say after 20 seconds it must really sting. Poor thing.

So there it is. The girls are waiting on him hand and foot. Serious guilt. Enough drama.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

a baby shower

...for my baby sister. What a fun we had in KC. Or should I say, what a fun day I had in Kansas City. Managed to get out of the house for the whole afternoon BY MYSELF!!!!! I swear to you, I haven't had lunch with my mother and sister without a child for 10 years! How special! The picture above is three of the craftiest gals I know! Hannah and her perfect little Arlo, my sis Kerry, and Lynn. Look at that sister of mine...she's been the best aunt. She's an absolute natural!

This bag was made by Lynn. I LOVE it. Its the nappy bag from Amy Butler! Could you get a cooler bag!? I swear are awesome. And Hannah made an E (for sister's last name), yes I said an E! I didn't get a picture, but I can't even imagine how it is possible to sew and stuff a stylized "E". Perfect vintage fabric as well. It was great to see old friends and meet new ones. Kerry wore this great black dress, so you have to really pay attention to this picture to see how adorable that belly is!

Hope you all had as wonderful of weekends as I did!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

pain in the neck

The past few days have been tense to say the least. As if running a house with four other people in it (and those people's said laundry, dishes, and eating needs) weren't keeping me busy enough, I have been volunteering in the church office as it is getting up and running. So, in comes crafting. I have been craving a heated pouch for neck since a friend loaned me hers after my surgery in may. Nothing clears my head like sitting in front of my machine these days.

This neck warmer is filled with rice and can be refrigerated as well if a cool pack is needed. I even made an extra, for one of my many friends with a tense neck these days.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

pin cushion

This was going to be my post on friday, but I thought it was more important for me to post about our church. It is such a huge part of our lives. I'll keep you guys up to date as things move forward with that.

This was a project I had been meaning to finish for awhile, but it got stacked with the rest of my good intentions for a few weeks! I found the easiest tutorial here.

This is my general workspace, much to my dear husband's pleasure, in the dining room. This room flows from one of my favorite rooms to the kitchen rather well and seems to be a buzz of activity all of the time.

Friday, November 10, 2006

a sad day

Today was a sad day for us. I received a phone call early this morning informing me that our beloved church was on fire. I wasn't prepared for what I saw. This place has embraced my family for the past few years. The community is beyond my description. As I pulled up to the church and the smoke was billowing out, I felt like someone could have knocked me over with a feather. The air was cold and biting, the smell of smoke was dense and choking. It was a feeling of grief. As if a member of our family was dying before me.

As I walked closer to the church, I noticed a large group of people standing in the bank parking lot across the street. There were about 100 parishioners huddling together. This is the church, I thought. This is the community that embraced us. This is the family that has been with us. This is the spirit that binds us together. And Christ was with us today. From the workers in the bank that kept us warm, to the brave firefighters that tried to save all that they could, to the Salvation Army workers that fed us throughout the day. God in all his grace shown through these people. And He will be with us as a family and as a community as we rebuild and grieve, and heal.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

corners of my home

This is one of my favorite spots. A million reasons why. The sun comes so gently through that window. The hundreds of hours spent holding babies in that chair. No television in this room. The many conversations with family and friends. Watching my nephew walk for the first time. Admiring my father's laugh when my brother tells a story. Serious talks with my loving husband. Plans for the future. Remembering the past. Homework on the floor. My husband shopping on the couch (our tradition of me buying his clothes and then him giving the thumbs up or down from the comfort of the couch). This corner can be at once a place of solitude and relaxation and the hub of our family.

Monday, November 06, 2006

productive weekend

It really was a productive weekend! The picture above is from one of the hundreds of fountains in Kansas City. I loved the vivid autumn leaves in the water. The change of the seasons in Kansas in one of my favorite parts of living here. You never really get bored with the weather because it is constantly changing. Not long before posts of snow and cold will weave into this blog.

I did get some sewing done this weekend as well. I finished up a few baby blankets that are being sent off later today and some kiddie hot/cold packs. These are made with rice and scented with eucalyptus and mint. Thought that combo might be nice for cold season. If you heat them up, the wet heat and the eucalyptus should help clear up chest tightness on the little ones. We really struggle with that during the cold months in this house.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

fun on the plaza

I love Kansas City. I love my sister. Can you think of a better day? The autumn weather was perfect. A bit of a nip in the air, but not quite cold yet. The Country Club Plaza (for those not from the kc area) is a shopping district...the shopping district in Kansas City. It is a historic section of town with amazing fountains and winding streets. Every store you could want is here! We had the most amazing gelato (thanks Kerry), registered for baby gifts, and had a great lunch. Part of the fun is just walking through the streets and window shopping! And don't get me started on Christmas! I really do miss living in KC sometimes. The cultural aspects alone are worth missing.

Our longest stop of the day was at Pottery Barn Kids. I love this store! Kerry registered for some great stuff (if you are a friend of Kerry's you can access her registry online) for sweet little Baby Eddy. The kids had a blast playing with the different wooden toys and props. Parker was especially fond of this puppet show stage and a magic set. Maybe some good Christmas gift ideas there. I know there are no crafty goodies, no major kiddo milestones in this post, but today was a great day. I really need to take note more often of the really great days. Thanks Kerry, thanks for sharing your day and your city with us.

Friday, November 03, 2006

wip friday

Where to begin...oh where to begin! This is about half of the fabric earmarked for current projects! Other projects need finishing touches (finished pics coming soon). I went to three fabric stores yesterday and was simply so overwhelmed I am going to have to go back. I have a tendency to shop with a notepad and find the patterns I like, jot them down, and wait f or them to go on sale (or get a mailer coupon). Much to my surprise all three stores had almost everything on my list on sale! This is actually much more difficult for me. I stood in front of bolts on top of bolts, contemplating which ones would go home with me. The result of this shopping trip was surprising. I came home with very little. The circus fabric for a baby blanket, the ballet fabric for Nutcracker gifts, and some Christmas fabric for gift pouches. All told, about $10. I knew I would need to go home, let all of the goodness soak in, and then go back. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Can anyone say sugar hangover?! I didn't know if I was going to be able to peel the kiddos out of bed this morning or not! This is our first Halloween in a kid rich neighborhood. What an experience. The kids were blissfully unaware of the 34 degree temperature (an item I was acutely aware of...i drew the walking straw and Will drew the handing out candy straw). They ran from house to house, at one point even screaming at the witch who came to life when the kids tried to get a piece of her candy (creative neighbors). Parker made the first round, but headed home for some cartoons early (smart boy).

The girlies had parties at school yesterday as well. All of the grades paraded their costumes. Fall cupcakes, punch in dry ice, and candy, candy, and more candy. There is more candy in my house right now than I buy in an entire year! Hope everone had a safe and happy Halloween!

Monday, October 30, 2006

the day before

What a difference a day makes. 75 degrees today in Topeka. But is the midwest...oh yes, it will be 45 degrees and windy tomorrow! What a great Halloween! I have a sick little red head home from school today. Hopefully she will be fine for all of the festivities tomorrow! Is it bad that I have no plans yet for what I'm making the kiddos for school? I'm thinking orange rice krispie treats for Parker and iced sugar cookis for the girls. Dunno yet. I'm sure whatever I end up with will be on the blog later! Wish me luck! I need to take the boy outside so we can enjoy this last little bit of indian summer!