Thursday, December 27, 2007

and a merry christmas to all

I don't know about anyone else, but we had a spectacular Christmas this year. We had the opportunity to see every single person in our family except one! That is a miracle considering the size of our families! And we even had a visit from Santa! My sweet nephew Charlie was NOT impressed. Check out the pictures on Flickr to get the whole story. So many good was hard to choose! The pic above is my boy and his grandfather. And Santa making his exit! The one below is of my sweet sister Kerry comforting Charlie. I love this pic because it shows how awesome of a mom she really is. Chaos is surrounding them, yet she is comforting her Santa traumatized babe like they were the only ones in the world. Sigh.

And these are Parker's blocks. Yes Parker's. Abby is in love with them. A budding architect for sure. You MUST check out the rest of these pics on Flickr. The thing ends up about 6.5 feet tall. So fun!
How were your holidays?

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

its over

A big thank you to everyone who has listened to me rant like a lunatic for the past month. My sanity (relative term) has returned. Nutcracker is over for this year. This is an amazing time of year for us, but I was in a coma Monday after all was said and done. The girls were amazing. The whole production was amazing. The picture above is from snow scene. The artistic director let me take some amazing photos during rehearsals all week. More on Flickr if you are interested.

Of course I had to post pics of the girls. Morgan was the Trumpeter in the Battle scene (a pretty decent solo) and a Polichinette in the Dream Scene. Abby had her first Pointe part this year as an angel. She took my breathe away. How could she be getting so grown up?

And the sweet Miss Lori braved the snow and drove in from Lawrence with her super sweet family! Now on to Christmas. Sigh. I love this time of year!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

i think we'll stay in today

I suppose God has his ways of slowing us down this time of year. We woke up this morning to sheets of icy draped over our little piece of Kansas. Nutcracker is this upcoming weekend and this little day of peace and quiet is welcomed. The kids and I are watching the Polar Express and drinking hot chocolate today. Perfect.

I can't for the life of me figure out what to get our almost 11 year old daughter. She wants a cell phone or a laptop. After a bit of nudging I got her to make a realistic list last night that included her own bakeware, a sewing machine, and ballet "stuff". I can work with that. What I want to leave you with is the list that Parker made. Mind you Santa has been done shopping for this kid for a month.

1. Rocket ship with BIG windows
2. Jet pack
3. Boy Christmas tree (apparently ours are too feminine)
4. Chocolate toy
5. Toy kitchen
6. Another shirt
7. Drink holder
8. Piano

Poor kid. I didn't get him a single thing on his list. Sigh. I missed the mark on the jet pack. Staying warm in our new light wale cord blanket today!

Thursday, November 29, 2007


I love when things come together and there is a sense of peace in my life. An awful lot of folks spend the holidays running this way and that and not really enjoying any of it. Not me. Not this year. I'm not saying that I am sitting at home meditating on the couch with bon bons and a glass of wine (hmmm that doesn't sound half bad). Not so much. But I have embraced the craziness of my life. Is Nutcracker crazy and full of four hour rehearsals? Of course. But what an amazing production to be a part of every year. Are there ten million things going on with moving back into our church after the fire at Christmas time? Yup. But we are coming home. And don't I have piles of hand made gifts yet to make? Duh. But I managed to piece together a Nutcracker throw for the girls to use during rehearsals at the theatre. And that gives me peace. Hope you all are enjoying the rhythm of the season.

Friday, November 23, 2007


All of the things to be thankful for. I don't even know where to start. It is often overwhelming to really think about all of the wonderful things that God has placed in my life. Health...check (unlike last year). Safety...check. Happiness...double check! My family...that one is obvious. I have an amazing family. My dear hubby and kids make every day such an adventure in love. And our extended families as well. I mean, I have a sister and mom who rock out the whole family thing! But I'm also very grateful for the opportunities that have been in my life as of late. Opportunities to serve and be a part f our community in a real and vibrant way. The March of Dimes asked me to donate a few baskets for their big Gala this year as a silent auction item. To be able to craft and give to a worthwhile charity at the same time is a true blessing. So is the opportunity to service at our church. The time and ability to give back to those who have done so much for me and my family...well, I really struggle to find words to express it.

And I want to thank all of you for being in my life as well. The photo above is some recent awesomeness I have received in the mail. A fall swap package from Hjori in Wisconsin (seriously awesome cards)! An awesome necklace that I wear all of the time from Rachel in France! And the apron from Erin in Kentucky! That woman has mad skills! I know we all talk about our blog friends and how hard it is to describe them. But you all are a real and valued part of my life. Thanks.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

this time of year

Tis the season for Nutcracker. Did I mention that I designed all of the graphics and shirts and artwork this year? Yup. I did. And am therefore losing my sanity yet again!!! I adore being involved with this production (the only completely civic production in the midwest) and the girls have danced for the past 5 Nutcrackers. The shirts however were a bit overwhelming. Who knew they would order more than 600 shirts? That is three times the amount they sold last year! And who knew that they would have to be sorted and tagged in my living room!!! Whew! They are all done and out now. Just in time to make sure the artwork is accurate for the program. How do I get myself into these things? I have "sucker" permanently imprinted on my forehead.

On weeks like this my blogging seems to lag behind. The computer is downstairs and I haven't managed to make it down here in over a week. I generally read about 30 blogs a day. Give or take a few. Some I skim, some I look at the pics, and some I read religiously. I have not done ANY of that for a week and a half. I have 331 unread posts right now. God help me I'll get caught up!

And because we weren't busy enough, the first anniversary of our beloved church burning down was this weekend. Still seems surreal in so many ways. The girls were interviewed by the local their Nutcracker shirts of course. More pics and swap awesomeness and crafty goodness in the days to come...I promise! Don't give up on me!

Thursday, November 01, 2007


After feeling quite a bit like the grinch that stole Halloween (just couldn't get into it this year) I needed something to feed my creative soul. Don't get me wrong, I don't have any philosophical or religious opposition to Halloween, but my hubby was working and I just couldn't get into the spirit of it all. We went trick or treating, but since no one was home to hand out candy I have 25,000 calories of chocolate in my house. Sigh. I went to lunch with a dear friend who has taken on a local theatre for renovation. I had my camera with me (as always) and she opened up the former silent movie and vaudeville theatre for me to photograph. What a treat. The architectural detail was stunning and you could feel the life that had once lived and laughed in those walls. And to boot, they were hanging an exhibit in the foyer for their first Friday event! A full preview and I was stunned with the talent. Creative soul fed. Camera happy. Mama happy. No more grinch!

Friday, October 26, 2007


Quite a bit of newness going on around here these days. Anticipation of new projects. Which of course means new fabric, duh. A trip to Sarah's in Lawrence was just the fix I needed. You see that green fabric with the birds and the apples. I think it may be my favorite. I have no idea what it will become, but it was shouting my name. The birds are just killing me. And did I mention that I am finally learning to knit? I know I have sworn off knitting to this point, but I think I have the bug. I can't seem to put the needles down! Don't look too close at the bottom, its a bit wonky but I think I am getting the hang of it. Which of course means awesome new yarn as well!! And the one I have been putting off...the new Blackberry. I went back and forth on this one, but when I dropped my old phone in a puddle last week I new it was time. I am loving it, but there is a wee bit of a learning curve. And my VERY favorite new thing? My dear friend Lara's new babe Kaelyn. So, what's new with you?

Monday, October 22, 2007

family times

We returned home last night from an amazing trip to Dubuque, Iowa. My younger brother is attending seminary there currently. Eight hours in a car with my three kids, my sister and her baby, and my mother. Could have been a disaster, but it was purely delightful. The kids sang songs and played games to entertain the baby and I am pretty sure the DVD player and wireless headsets saved our sanity. It is a rare thing for my brother and sister and I to be in the same place at the same time. We are very close, but the stars have to align just right for us all to be in the same spot. The hiking, and shopping (Kerry and I found some sweet shops with antiques and a rockin quilt shop) and laughing made all of that driving worth while. There are scads more pics on flickr (click the icon on left).

This is the last post about my mouth as well (I promise). After my last post I developed a pretty massive infection. The entire right side of my face was swollen. My eye was swollen shut and I had swelling in my temple area that got pretty scary and very painful. After a massive dose of antibiotics (4000 mg a day) and a week of being completely out of service I am on the upswing. This was really very scary. Thanks for all of your kind words. I really have appreciated them. And thanks to my family for all of the help on the trip. I literally could not have made it without you!

Friday, October 12, 2007

baby love

Thanks a ton for all of the kind words over the past few posts. You guys really have no idea how much it means to see all of your thoughts and prayers in my little comment box. I am still a bit bruised and sore and swollen from the removal of my teeth (who has ever heard of a compression fracture in a tooth anyway). They took one on the top of the right side and the bottom of the left. I can effectively chew nothing. Sigh. So what have I been doing to ease the stress. Why sewing of course. And what better to sew than baby quilts for one of my favorite families. They will have 3 little gals 2 and under in under two weeks now! I surely don't know how she does it, but she is awesome! Its dark and cloudy and rainy here, so more sewing will likely be on tap for the weekend. Have a good one!

Monday, October 08, 2007

cali wedding

And now I can finally post pictures of these quilts!!! I HAVE been crafting SEE!!! But prying eyes read this blog!

We finally made it home!!! Thanks for all of the well wishes and help in searching for my sanity. Let me tell you, a weekend at a five star resort and a whole day in a spa helped quite a bit. I have NEVER done anything like this! This wedding was insane. The food was to die for and I can't even begin to tell you about the wedding itself. The view in the picture below...yup that is the wedding site. Overlooking the ocean. The entire length of the aisle was covered in red and orange rose petals. Stunning. We had our makeup done by a professional artist from Hollywood and our hair was done by the same guy that did Princess Diana's hair for 15 years. Totally spoiled. I will likely never see the likes of any of those things again, but it was an amazing ride. The quilts above were their wedding gifts. There is a fierce rivalry between the University of Missouri and the University of Kansas. Longest west of the Mississippi. Cris is from Missouri and my beloved Nat is from here in Kansas. I added a strip of Kansas fabric to his and a strip of Missouri to hers. They loved them.

And of course a trip like this couldn't be perfect. I had an earache yesterday that spread down my jaw line. Went to the dentist this morning to find out I have three - yes three - abscessed molars. They were fractured by my wisdom teeth and my former dentist failed to realize that. So in the past year I have been festering these dang teeth. Out they go tomorrow. In come some implants. Sigh. Keep me in your prayers ya'll.

Monday, October 01, 2007

its official

s A N I T blue y

I have never gone so long between posts. Anyone still reading out there? One would think that some major drama has unfolded in the two weeks between posts. But no. Just life. Just kids. And Nutcracker. And crazy trips. Sigh. Some days I feel like my life is going at a speed I can never catch. Laundry. Cooking. Quilts that need to be done by Wednesday. Running kids here and there. Cleaning. Graphics for t-shirts. DVDs for the church. Laundry. Packing. Pocket squares for a wedding. Drying the tears of a third grader who is having trouble with bullies at school. Consoling a fifth grader who doesn't want mama to leave (going to LA for five days). Laundry (wait, did I already say that one? probably needs repeating).

Then I visit my sweet dear friend who was just diagnosed with late stage ovarian cancer. Then I realize how trivial this all is.

If any of you can find my before mentioned sanity, would you please send it my way?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

east coast organ tour

I will warn you right now. this is a very heavy photo post. But I have had the most amazing past four days. I was priviledged enough to travel with a group from my church to visit various organs and organ builders on the eastern seaboard. The amount I learned in just a few days was amazing. Most of you remember this post in November of last year. As we look to rebuild our precious friend, it was time to start picking hte builder of her new organ.

We were greeted with tremendous hospitality by family in Virginia. Remember how much I love Kansas? Oh my. Virginia is more than my poor heart can handle. We stayed in the country at a home built pre civil war. Mountains. Antiques. Deer in the yard. Yup. In the back yard as I went for a walk.

The view from my room.

I never realized the craftsmanship that has to go into an organ. I've always appreciated their sound and link it to so many events in my life. Growing up in my dad's church. My wedding. My children's baptisms. Every Sunday. It is a part of my fiber. But the detail I never appreciated.
The pipes are all hand pounded and the very fraction of an inch can change the sound dramatically.

Richards and Fowkes at Westminster Presbyterian in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Morning in Staunton, Virginia.

Pipe forms.

Every key is pulled by mechanisms inside the box of an organ. And did I mention that most of these builders use no screws in the entire organ? Not one.

Taylor and Boody organ in Staunton, Virginia.

Unfinished organ at Taylor and Boody in Staunton, Virginia.

Hand Tools.

Martin Pasi organ in Solesbury, Pennsylvania.
I promise there will be hand made goodness coming in the near future. A few things are under wraps, and a ton of things are just not quite done!!!

Friday, September 14, 2007

kansas love

Have I ever told you all how much I love living in Kansas? I really have travelled or lived nearly everywhere in the United States. But there really is nowhere like Kansas. The people are amazing. Kind and generous. The whole state moves at a different pace. I was reminded of that this week when we headed to Hutchinson, Kansas to the Kansas State Fair. I know everyone has a State Fair. But I mean really, do you think anyone could do better than Kansas? The pictures above are the antique quilts on display. An entire hall of antique quilts. Need I say more? And the embroidery on that pillow is unbelievable. The girl who did this...11 years old. I kid you not.

And the food. Oh the food. We stopped in a small Amish community to have breakfast on the way into Hutch. Miss Mo ordered a cinnamon roll. It was bigger than her head. I think her brother's eyes popped out of his head. So good. It melted in my, I mean her, mouth. And of course we had to stop for some Call Hall ice cream. Fresh. Made. Ice. Cream. The blueberries in mine weren't even frozen. I have no idea how they do that. And did we eat only sugar you ask? We could have...yes we could have. But we still had some down home cooking to taste and Parker wanted to bring home that pumpkin. It weighed more than everyone in our family combined.

Did I mention that we saw the Governor of Kansas while we were there? She and my mama go way back. So cool. The folks were chattin it up like they were on the front porch of their house in the old neighborhood.
All in all is was a fabulous day. Yes it was Thursday. Yes we took the kids out of school. Yes it was educational (we did see a sculpture made out of 800 lbs of butter). Yes all three kids fell asleep as soon as we hit the car. I love it!

Sunday, September 09, 2007


I got talked into henna art this weekend by my cute little red headed eight year old! I am ever so glad she was persuasive. Our lives have been going a thousand miles an hour lately. School starting. Dance lessons starting. All aspects of our lives are hitting on every cylinder these days. That was why we jumped at the chance to wander over to Kansas City and attend the Renaissance Festival. I highly recommend it to all of you KC gals. And this gal is even performing next weekend! Belly dancing no less. It was nice to wander aimlessly and enjoy a beautiful day among the trees and princesses and fairies. And how I love that tiny little henna printed hand up there. She is my artist. My sewer. My light. She takes all things at a different pace, much unlike mine. She sees in between what the rest of us see. She sees the butterfly in the middle of a busy playground. She hears the music from a church during a school picnic. She feels when her mama needs a break and a kiss. Thanks for the inspiration, my crimson haired child.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

could be...

the sweetest babe I know. This - is my nephew Charlie. Say hello Charlie! I wanted to brush up on some black and white photos and Mr. Charles was oh so happy to accommodate me. His eyes, really are that dark. And he really is that cute in person! I usually see him about once a week (not quite often enough but it is an hour drive). And, oh yeah, I get to see my younger sister in the process. I feel ever so blessed to have a sister so close. She is awesome and sweet and compassionate and a great mama and CRAFTY!!!

He really is a serious babe. He investigates EVERYTHING!!! Especially his cousin Parker. He didn't even want to see that boy leave the room! He has the best fine motor skills I have ever seen on a guy so little! Play with the toy? Nah. The tag is way more fun!

Sweet, sweet Charlie boy. I hope you never lose those innocent brown eyes. However, judging by today, crawling is in your very near future. God help your mama!