Sunday, November 24, 2013

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Headless Canes and Shingles of Mint

How does one create a gingerbread house THIS cute!?
Well, let me tell you!

Stacie invited Sarah, Ruth Ann and I to join her at an event supporting the Parkinson Association for the Rockies.  Basically, we took over an Old Chicago's restaurant early Saturday morning, and joined a bunch of families to build gingerbread houses.  It was fantastic!  

We got the house marked with a cross.  Great start, wouldn't you say?

 These supplies were provided.  
Gum drops?  Wrapped candy?  Really now.

We came with MUCH better supplies from the Dollar Store.
And by better I mean glitter trees, yummy candy, presents...the good stuff.

 Sarah had seen a house online with a roof made out of sticks of gum.  Genius!  We cut the sticks into tiny pieces that looked like shingles.
Mint-smelling shingles.

 A million, mint-smelling shingles.  
EACH placed by hand.
Glad we brought extra frosting because we used ALL THREE packs of gum.

 Stacie LOVED the frosting pack.  NOT.
Seriously, how in the world does one operate that frosting bag without either squeezing frosting everywhere or keep the frosting from dripping out of the bag?!  Beats me.

 We cracked the candy cane heads off and used the straight part of the cane to outline the house.  I am shocked they stayed on - they were heavy!  

Oh, dear.   Who gave this woman the frosting squeezer?!

 No, really.

A ton of glee from Ruthi

 Looking great!  We added some random red berries to the roof for some color.  We even used FONDANT, a new word for Stac and NOT my favorite material.  The cupcake guys on TV make it look so easy, but that stuff is weird!

Note the lovely doorknob on our home.  I'm curious what's inside...

 We were able to use a pizza tray underneath for more yard space.
We covered it in sparkling, winter fabric, of course.
Because we're cool like that.

Sarah brought ice cubes for the 'fort' in the backyard. 
Held together by frosting.

 Oh, dear.  More frosting.  And lights.

Kris Kringle and the, Cross.

 A licorice path, more sprinkles, snowmen and gingerbread men.
Held together by, you guessed it, frosting.
(And hidden toothpicks.  Ouch.)

WOOHOO!  Check out the lights we hung around the outer fence.  LED loveliness!  And then we sprinkled powdered sugar over everything when we finished - a fresh, dusting of snow!

 Our rather competitive neighbors.  
(HOW could they not have SPELLED something 
with those letter cookies?!?  I couldn't have let that go!)

Mmmmm.   Marshmallows.   

Great roof - and easier than our shingles!

Seriously - a skating rink!?   Ideas for next year! 

 See?  They have a doorknob, too!

 Note the carefully placed chocolate balls placed along the bottom of the home.  Ruth Ann was VERY precise in her patterning...until Stacie realized we might run out of time if we continued our 'precision work'!  HA!  The rest of the chocolates were placed with speed (and looked just as great!)

  Sprinkle in a couple of friends...

....and you've got one, wonderful house
 Happy day!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Sometimes, Peace Comes

Sometimes, peace comes through prayer.
Sometimes, peace comes through walking.
Sometimes, peace comes through a bag full of candy from a friend! 

Sometimes, peace comes through delicious, goldfish crackers:  
"Just keep swimming..."  I was SO proud of my 112 choir members last week - when I was knocked out thanks to the flu (DURING choir), I pushed play on the CD and they just kept singing.   Bless their hearts, I'm down the hall tossing my breakfast, and I can still hear them singing "Ode to Joy"!  Goldfish for all!

Sometimes, peace comes through kid notes:  
While I take whole group questions during choir, I encourage kids who have individual questions to leave me a note on the board.  APPARENTLY, I was talking in the hallway!  Stinker

Sometimes, peace comes through humor:  
Practical jokes are best served with fresh bread.
And a shaker inside. 

Sometimes, peace comes through animals:
Hey!  I have a new fish!
Wait...dang it. 

Sometimes, peace comes through nature:
Creepy, cool sky. 

Sometimes, peace comes through potlucks:
Brad joined me for a Brunch for Veterans at church.

Sometimes, peace comes through t-shirts:
Andrew, the littlest Lutheran, joined us, too!

Sometimes, peace comes through snapshots:
Those eyes!

Sometimes, peace comes through selfies:
 We're not related or anything...!

Sometimes, peace comes through jewelry:
Monday's amazing fashion statement from Emma...

Sometimes peace comes through boots:
 ....and Brenda.

Sometimes, peace comes through turnips:
 "Ms. G!  Ms. G!  We have to sing my book!"
Happy to oblige, little man.  

And sometimes peace comes through one sleeping infant.  
Eat, sleep.  Eat, sleep.  What a life!
Peace out.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Baby Bean and Holding On

We've been waiting a long time for the littlest Bean to arrive...
9 months, to be exact!

Hooray!  Welcome, Michael Joseph!

Child of God, already washed in the waters!

So tiny, so delicate!

Precious little one.

The swirled metal on the elevator ride downstairs.  
A fitting visual for my emotions.  Sigh.  

More swirls.  The hospital chapel allowed a moment of pause after my visit with Michael and Nicole - I may have found a new way to experience a labyrinth, too:  raised paint on plexi-glass.  The paint was just high enough to keep my finger on track, letting me pray without having to concentrate so hard.  I need to figure out how to make one soon.

The swirling continued in my classroom this week, too, with kids tackling new technology projects.  I stand in awe at their creativity and ability to take what I give them in skeletal form and watch them breathe life and dimension into it!

And where better to lose your first tooth than in music class?

When Family Worship fell on Reformation Day, 
well, streamers simply had to be made.
I'm still brushing glitter off of EVERYTHING.
No, really.  Everything.

One congregant wondered if it was an impromptu reunion of
The Village People or just our darling Cherub Choir in costume!

And look who is home from the hospital already?!

Cuddled up close.

Those eyes.  Watching over her new little brother...

...and sending lots of video chats to Brenda!

And wearing her Preschool Halloween mask with joy!
(Look who is still wearing her Big Sister bracelet with such pride!)

Halloween in an elementary school is scary enough
without the children bringing their music teacher a spare eyeball!  

Princesses abound...

...and fairies fly about.

Even scarier...body parts in waiting rooms!
Anyone for some liver!?  What the what?!
Fearfully AND wonderfully,
Fearfully AND wonderfully.

Lots of prayers, one step at a time.

Church folks found this photo in a basement at my home church and gave it to my parents (who sent it to me).  The date said March 1981, so I was a little over 2 years old, and it looks like a typical, church potluck!

The brick has finally arrived and been placed!  There is a memorial garden at Hope Reformed Church in Sheboygan, and we wanted to give thanks for our family!

Every dinner at Chick-Fil-A is better with a deck of cards!

Please remind me to just give the children candy and games
next year and just skip the Carnival.  PLEASE.

For all the saints, who from their labors rest,
Who Thee by faith before the world confessed,
Thy Name, O Jesus, be forever blessed.
Alleluia, Alleluia!

O blest communion, fellowship divine!
We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;
Yet all are one in Thee, for all are Thine.
Alleluia, Alleluia!


I was really hoping for an outdoor fire drill on a cold day.

And a giant, inflatable Hamster ball to keep rolling past 
my classroom windows, filled with children.

And shards of broken glass in my sink. 

That day TOTALLY rocked.  

What a beautiful, autumnal twist on this verse.

More doors.  More paths.  More hallways.  Ugh.

 Curds make things better. 
Cheese makes everything better.
Bless you, Sarah, for bringing some home!

 Just your typical parachuters...OVER MY SCHOOL!
What the what?!

If I'm going to be drinking a ton of water,
then it's going to be PRETTY water, 
thank you very much. 

 I think the flu is awesome.

"...but I try to be as independent as I can.  I'm a positive person, 
and I just trust in the Lord and keep going."  
Sage advice from my grandmother.   Amen

 The littlest Bean and I.  Eyes open...

 ...and closed.

Holding on, indeed.