28 December 2010

Happy bday, Mom...

Today is my mother's birthday...There's lots to thank her for, but most recent on the list is the wonderful meal she put together, the cozy house decorated to welcome us all and the myriad gifts she and my dad gave us on Christmas in Rogers. Hope she's out enjoying her special day and that we see her again soon...


The holidays were just lovely...I'm left with lots to catch up on around the house and on the blog. I don't know when I'll take my decorations down--they're not bothering me yet--but thought I'd capture some of the look here. Last year I did a similar arrangement but used some vintage blue touches. This year I kept the dining room simple, with only glittery gold and greenery.

We're home today savoring our time off school, trying to avoid makeup and showers and the outside world for a day...

12 December 2010

Seasonal sparkle, shopping, snow

This little silver tree ($8 @ Walmart) sparkles in my office/craft room, which is currently Gift Wrap Central. Ryan and I had several hours to ourselves yesterday and we were able to finish up almost all of our Christmas shopping, so I'll spend much of today packaging all we found. Black and white may not seem all that Christmasy, but I'm in love with the polka dot paper and ribbon I found at Hobby Lobby. We've got a thin dusting of snow on the ground this morning, which leaves me itching for a snow day or two from school. Highly improbable. The wind is piercing out there today but we'll probably venture out for lunch and maybe Santa pictures and a few other gifts before the 49ers play at 3.

05 December 2010

{Pool} Party Time

Macauley turned 8 (!) on Friday, and we celebrated BIG time at Chesterfield Family Center with a pool party and then pizza and cake in one of their activity rooms. This is the first year I can really remember Macauley being into his birthday so much, totally into the planning of the party and what was going to happen and, clearly, into choosing the theme: Over-the-Top SpongeBob.

Thank goodness for Megan's mom, Melissa, who took all these pictures for me. Not only is my camera MIA after Macauley borrowed it to take pictures of a bunch of stuff last weekend, but also because I was too busy.

The kids swam for about an hour while some of the parents and Ryan supervised below and the rest of us adults watched from the activity room above.

Things got wild when the party moved upstairs...the pizza went fast and my calm went faster--lots of excited, hungry kids.

We went with these delicious "cakepops" this year, made by a girl I play bunco with (yes--I have recently joined a neighborhood bunco group that meets one Monday a month). I managed to salvage only a few for us to bring home--they are so good. So good.

Things hit maximum rowdiness when Macauley opened his gifts. What a lucky boy to have so many, but he got pretty stressed out when the crowd kept mobbing him for a closer look and to get their hands on everything no matter how many times I asked them to stay in their seats.

Overall I think it was a success despite wearing us all out, but I did learn some key lessons for the future from this party:
  1. Don't invite the whole class next year. They might all show up! Last year, only 4 of the 22 kids in class did but this year almost all of them did, and combined with the kids from our neighborhood we invited, I had a room full. Plus some of the kids seemed to be there for the party rather than for Macauley, which maybe is okay. Or maybe not.
  2. Don' t put the take home favor cups I arranged so neatly out at the place settings. They were all dumped and rooted through and then who knows what actually ended up going home with the kids.
  3. Order more pizza and/or bring side items as reinforcement. Most second grade boys plow through much more food than mine does.
  4. Open the gifts at home later and send really nice thank you notes to avoid the chaos...or invite less people to hold back.
  5. Don't leave a handful of balloons to float around the room as decor unless I want 3-4 larger boys who can reach the strings to pull them down and chase each other around the room, ask if they can have them and wrap the strings around each other's necks.
  6. And finally, an affirmation of what I was already quite aware of: I am so glad I teach high school and not elementary.
I really wanted to give my sweet boy a great party. 8 just seems so big...

04 December 2010

27 November 2010

I like this...

I've never done an advent calendar before, but if I were going to, I'd love to use this one I just saw in the Pottery Barn catalogue. Perhaps it will go on sale after Christmas then I spend a whole year thinking about what to fill it with the next time the holiday rolls around...


My favorite find from shopping with my mom a couple of weeks ago is this weathered bench I got at Riverview--such an interesting height. I was drawn to the mix of old wood and chippy white paint, and I'm loving it in my entry hall with our stockings above it. I also picked up several spools of (possibly vintage, at least vintage-looking) gold ribbon to wrap gifts with this year. When Lane was in town this week we hit Hobby Lobby's wrapping paper sale and I got some pretty gold brocade paper as well as some black and silver polka dot papers that will look pretty under my black tree in the living room. Now I just need to start buying some of these gifts that need wrapping...

25 November 2010

I've got it good...

I've got so much to be grateful for, such a charmed life...Today will be a fun day--a ridiculously abundant meal at Ryan's parents in Bolivar, the women in the dining room after for board games, then back to our house for movies and whatever else we choose to do or not do to fill three more days off work. We had storms last night and the rain is still coming down today. It's cold outside but Michael will have the wood stove going, I just know it. I wish I could be with my mom and dad and sisters today, too, not to mention the bevy of cousins and aunts and uncles I grew up celebrating holidays with in my grandparents' tiny little house, but I hope they know I am thankful for them and wish them a day as happy as mine will be.

Happy Thanksgiving...

24 November 2010

Curious for Christmas

After a full and fun day of flea markets and the tearoom in Ozark with my mom a couple of Fridays ago, I took off for KC with Lindsay to visit Lane. We shopped (and ate) 'til we dropped all that Saturday, and our first stop was Curious Sofa in Prairie Village. Next stop: Country Club Plaza.

I got a couple of gifts for one of my friends, as well as this glittery treetopper and the sweet little festive bird ornament. I had gotten these mini chalkboard stockings there on clearance last year--I put them out a few days ago with the names of our pets: Booker T. the black lab mix, Maya Angelou the black outdoor kitty, and Alice and Avrie, the old indoor girls.

We had such a nice trip. Thanks to Lindsay's friend we got a great rate at the Courtyard Marriott in Overland Park and talked Lane into staying there with us instead of her house just up the road. We went to a Japanese grill place called Kyoto Friday night and went twice to breakfast at Le Peep. Both delicious. We went to a late dinner at The Melting Pot on the Plaza Saturday night for fondue. Today Lane is in town, so the sisters meet again. Not sure what we'll do this afternoon, but I imagine eating and shopping will be somewhere on the agenda. Per usual.

22 November 2010

Oh yes I did

Despite all sorts of commentaries in the local paper and on the radio about how decorating for Christmas early totally discounts Thanksgiving, I forged ahead and put up most of my things this past weekend. We are having guests for dinner tomorrow night and I was ready for some sparkle. And I promise I will still enjoy and appreciate Thanksgiving to the fullest. Really. Last week I had somewhere to be every night after school and I worked on cleaning out drawers and scooting stuff around in the house all weekend. Today I spent almost 2 hours grocery shopping for the events we've got going on this week and headed for the doors only to find a major monsoon had swept in while I rolled my cart around all that time. I was stranded for a bit, but finally made a run for it knowing I had lots to do before neighborhood bunco across the street tonight. I've just felt busy, busy for days now. So one thing I will be thankful for come Thursday is a chance to just hang out and slow down. I'm so looking forward to a five day break from work and hope to read and craft and watch TV and sleep in...

11 November 2010

I am reminded...

We had a Veterans Day assembly at school today, the first one I remember us ever having. I headed toward the gym with a bit of anxiety. I knew I'd start thinking of my sweet grandfathers who fought in World War 2 and that my eyes would probably well up with tears. While I am a rather emotional person, I just didn't want to cry at work in front of my colleagues and 1,800 teenagers.

I did okay until the marching band played and I was hit by a memory I hadn't thought of in a long time. I think it was the year Ryan and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary. We met my parents and grandparents in Eureka Springs and went to the local auditorium for a concert. My mother was in a little community choir, and if I remember right, they were doing a patriotic-themed show. They sang a montage of the songs for each branch of the military and asked veterans in the audience to stand when their branch's song came up. I still clearly see my little Papaw, survivor of the Bataan Death March and three and a half years as a prisoner of the Japanese, stand up during the Army's song. This sweet man, not much taller than I, had braved the horrors of war and come through on the other side...became a father and a grandfather, a great-grandfather even...became this proud and brave but older man standing in a tiny theatre in Arkansas with others who had done the same. He's been gone since 2004.

Our band did something similar at school this morning, and I couldn't even look down to the gym floor to see which men and women stood when. I just missed my Papaw so badly at that moment, and if I looked I would have cried. Hard. But I'll be thinking of him all day today, and my Grandpa Jude, too. I, of course, have much respect and appreciation for all who have served this way, but it's those two soldiers who I'll always have the most for...my love and affection besides.

06 November 2010

Fingers crossed

Just came across this beautiful bag from French Larkspur being given away over at The Adventures of Stig and Lolo. I'm in love! So if I don't win the giveaway, Ryan, this is at the top of my Christmas list...

P.S. I finally took the time to figure out how to put links in my posts. Why did I wait so long? Silly.


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