Saturday, July 28, 2012

Olympics and other things

I've been watching the Olympics all day long. It's crazy how this every-four-years international competition inspires me to watch and cheer during events that I would never normally sit down to see. Did you see the crash during the cycling this morning? How about watching Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh-Jennings win their 29th straight Olympic beach volleyball set? Or the British gymnast in tears after his routine in the opening round? Or Lochte blowing away the field (including Phelps, about whom they had just had a 20-minute segment on) in the 400 IM? It's just so much fun.

Sometimes I wish I had a fancy phone (meaning one that has internet) so I could have instagram and quickly post pictures from my phone on here, instead of always having to upload from my camera. But then I think about how it's $15/line, so $30/month, so $360 a year. And my mom and dad and grandma and grandpa still read, regardless of the number of pictures.

Anyway, here's a random picture of one of my new favorite things. It's the blanket on the twin bed in my sewing room. Grandma Donna gave it to me shortly before we were married because "it's your colors." (Our wedding colors were red, orange, and yellow. Yellow's been my favorite for many, many years.) I think it was from my Great-Grandma Susie, but I don't remember for sure - wish I'd written it down. It's been in the closet since we moved in; I had to take it out because it's just so happy. 

I did take a break from the Olympics this morning to pick up my sewing machine. I wasn't feeling motivated to start on the zippers today, though. Unfortunately, I forgot to send the bobbin case in with the machine, so I'm hoping that the bottom tension didn't need to be adjusted.

I have also been "buying" a lot of books for my Kindle (I can pack a lot lighter when going places!) - really, I almost always get free ones that I find through an app I have. About 1/3 of them turn out to be pretty awful (I suppose there's a reason they're free), but the rest are, at the very least, light and entertaining, which is my new criteria.

Tomorrow we are headed to a mini Zerger (Grandma Lu's siblings and offspring) Reunion. As always, it should be a good time. In just over one short week I have my first day back at work (training for LA teachers a week ahead of the official start of school). As much as I don't want summer to end, I guess it's just about that time...

Monday, July 23, 2012


I had a dream last night that I was in a giant game of solitaire on a giant Kindle Fire. Maybe I should play that a little less...

Anyway, random dreams aside... I have a few sewing projects that I wanted to finish before school started, mainly new cushions for my deck furniture. I didn't really sew anything for a long time this summer because my sewing room looked like this:

I think that, at this point, I had about five different projects going.

But then, we got my old bed from mom and dad to put in this room (so they could have the queen for their newly remodeled basement where guests actually stay)... and I decided it was time to clean up.

This is one of the pinterest projects I've been wanting to do for a while. It's foam core board cut into rectangles to make miniature bolts for my big pieces of fabric. I found the idea for it here.

The green crate has my finished-but-don't-know-what-to-do-with projects. 

The orange crate (and the JoAnn bag) has my in-progress projects.There are lots of those...

So I finished a couple of projects during/after this great clean-up.

And, just when extreme insanity motivation hit, and I decided to learn to sew a zipper for my deck furniture cushions, Brita the Bernina was down for the count. I oiled and cleaned and swapped out thread and needles, but she won't sew. Brad is taking her to the shop for me today (since he has class in Wichita, anyway). My fingers are crossed that it's a quick fix, especially because I hear they have a pretty long waiting list. I really hope I don't have to get a new machine. Brita has served me (and my grandma before me) very well.... since about 1974. :)

In the meantime, I'm stuck... which gives me time to do homework, work at school, clean the house, do laundry, work in the yard (just kidding - it's way too hot for that!), study for the Praxis...

Or maybe just read.

Friday, July 20, 2012


I've spent a lot of time in my new classroom the last few weeks. I'm trying to wrap my head around a new school and new people (granted, I've spent part of my time in this school for the past two years, so it's not totally new) - and around not seeing those I built strong relationships with over the past four years.

Transitions are tough, in any situation. But that's real life. Things change, whether you're the decision-maker or not. (I do like to chalk up my reluctance to face this transition to the fact that I was not the decision-maker, but I'm going to have to get over that sooner or later.)

We box up our things and sneak out the back door, thinking that if we don't have one final "goodbye" moment, things won't really change that much.

And we say we'll stay in touch, get together, talk, text, e-mail. Yet, in the midst of that very conversation, deep down we know that it probably won't really happen. Neither of us will really close the door, so to speak, or forget to talk, or neglect a reply to that text message on purpose. But it will happen. Life will get busy. Others will fill in our hours and days.

And, as much as I'd like to say it isn't, and as much as it makes the lump in my throat swell, that's okay. Life moves forward, and there are other places where I once belonged that I no longer feel as connected to. Someday, I will feel the same about the school where I started my teaching career.

I wrote a post in October of 2009. These words are a good reminder.

I broke... no, stretched... my ties to this place {Bethel}. Those connections I felt are weaker now.

Belonging is a funny thing. It changes, you know... obviously, or I wouldn't be posting this. Different places are for different times, different chapters, journeys, (insert another cliche of your choice here). Where you are matters, kind of like what you do matters. Almost as much as who you are matters - because even that develops as we move from place to place and grow. And my realizations this weekend make me so much more grateful for the places I do belong right now.  And especially for the one physical place where I always and forever will.

So, I will attempt to take this new transition in stride. I will cling to the friendships that will last, and I will let go of those that come to a natural end. I will search for a sense of belonging wherever I am. I will embrace new relationships, ever thankful for those I have who will always be part of me - whether left in my past or a part of my present.

"The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance." -Alan Watts

I will plunge into this new phase of my life, try to move with it, join the dance. Some days this will be hard. I have to acknowledge that and even embrace the difficult along with the easy.

The only problem is, I'm a terrible dancer. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

farm parodies

Just because these are fun, and I'm wishing I were as creative as these farm boys (the boys in the first video are Kansans)...

Monday, July 16, 2012

apple pie & other things

It's been too long, dear blog readers. Sorry about that... summer has turned out to be busier than I'd planned. I think we've only been home two weekends since school ended. The weeks are just as full. And here we are, only a few weekends from school starting.

I'm pretending that the thought of going back to work doesn't send me into a panic.There's just so much to do to get ready.

In these past few weeks we....

froze a lot of corn and peaches.

spent a lot of time working on classes.

spent time with our dog. (really, this is just here because it's a cute picture. she thinks we bought the nice, soft rug just for her.)

went to a wedding.

ran a 5K (well, I did) and went to some fun baseball/softball games (which Brad already posted about).

actually finished a pinterest project! 

got a clothesline. For the record, I don't recommend a retractable line. We ended up having to stretch it out all the way to keep it from sagging all the way to the ground. Ha! 

froze lots of applesauce and made an apple pie.

So that's life. Sort of. In a nutshell... There's still much on the list, but I'm not worried - if it doesn't get done, it doesn't get done. I always think I don't have much to do, but the little things tend to add up. I was hoping for a much more relaxing summer, but I'll have to take what I can get. Maybe another year?

Monday, July 9, 2012


*********Brad Post**********

So, this year to celebrate my birthday Megan convinced me that we should buy tickets to the Future's Game and the Legends and Celebrities Softball Game in Kansas City (and yes she was the one who had to convince me!). I said sure, since we were going to be in KC for a wedding anyway.

We started the 8th of July in the Power and Light district as Megan ran in the All Star Charity 5k. It was packed....guessing somewhere between 5,000 and 8,000 runners.

After she finished she was awarded a medal, just like everyone else......except George Brett handed her medal to her.

Yep, the Hall of Famer
The Pine Tar Guy
The guy with over 3000 hits.
Just the best player in the history of my favorite big deal.

Just to clarify, my birthday started out by waking up at 5:30 to watch Megan, who I love dearly, run in a 5k. Then she proceeds to interact with one of the my favorite player.


We met my buddy Todd for lunch at Waldo's Pizza in KC. Good pizza, and they have a Jamie Proof option (AKA they have a vegan option for my cool sister in law Jamie)! I always look forward to hanging out with Todd, we have known each other for almost 20 years (we even lived in two separate communities together growing up Kingman and Lyons). Todd and I spent our formative years playing basketball, mowing lawns, playing basketball, fishing, playing basketball, trading baseball cards, playing basketball, and mowing more lawns. He is like a brother to me (no offense to Justin, my actual brother, but at least Todd was born in the same millennium as me).

After lunch we arrived at the K. We surveyed the sponsor-fan area for a bit and then it was time for the game.

The Future's Game features the best players in the Minor Leagues and pits a USA team against a World team. The Royals were represented by three young prospects, the most out of any franchise.

Wil Myers - A power hitting outfielder and is widely considered the top minor league player in all of baseball.
 Yordano Ventura - A young Venezuelan pitcher who can throw 100 mph.
 Jake Odorizzi - One of the top pitching prospects in the minors.

To have the Future's Game in Kansas City means a lot to a life long Royals fan who has never really seen a winning team. I have always looked toward a brighter future, and I got to see part of it in Kansas City. The K was packed with similarly minded Royals fans this day and we gave these future Royals a standing ovation. I may be speaking out of turn, but I truly believe that something like this would only happen in Kansas City. I (we) desperately want to support a quality team, and I (we) feel like it is close.

Confession - I love mascots. I don't care if I am 27, I still get a kick out of them. But I would feel really weird if I were to stand in line with 4 year old children to get my photo with one.

After the youngsters were finished playing the Legends and Celebs got out there and played softball.

Bill Self

Eric Stonestreet "Cam" from Modern Family

 Matt Cassel - Great picture by Megan

 Mike Sweeney - Met him once and told him "My brother (4 at the time) wanted me to tell you that he likes it when you guys wear blue."
 Rickey Henderson - All Time Runs and Steals leader and Joe Carter - Played at WSU - won a World Series with a home run and ran around the bases like a kid.

I will admit that I was close to tears several times during this game.
This is why we love sports.
We all know sports can suck, they can provide examples of the worst in people (Sandusky, over bearing parents who push children to tears, corruption and greed in almost all levels, sexism, racism). But these moments, for me, provided more reason of why I am choosing to get a degree in sport management, maybe I can one day be a part of the good of sport.

1. George Brett stepping up to the plate for his first at bat. Standing ovation. - he said during an interview that he couldn't fathom 40,000 people showing up to watch them play a softball game.

2. One wounded veteran played on each team. Each of them was an amputee. When they were at bat they got a longer standing ovation than George Brett. Now I know I am a Mennonite and I know I am a pacifist, but I hope people understand that doesn't equal I am anti-military.

3.Mike Sweeney (long time Royal, actually met him once!) and Bill Self (KU basketball coach) hit back to back home runs!

I felt like a little kid again.
I felt like it was all for me (like children do).
I felt loved by my wife who also sees the value that sports can play in life, not just in the participation.
I felt lucky to have a friend who has been willing to put up with my weirdness for almost two decades.
I felt lucky that my wife goes to games with me (several hours before the game starts).
I felt loved by my family, Beatles Birthday Song, voicemail duets and solos (Cmon John!), doggy sitters.
I felt like a little kid again.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


My new goal in life, decided upon this afternoon, is to have one summer (maybe two, if I'm lucky) that doesn't involve daily hours (well, almost daily) of writing hypothetical program plans, budgets, library lessons, public relations campaigns, or discussion board posts and replies.

My new goal for the present is to finish my budget and program plan (both due the 15th) this week. I just started them today, so it's not likely. After those are in, I'm down to two big assignments for the summer semester. And then I have four hours left until graduation in December.

Until then, I may be conspicuously absent from this blog. Because I'll be under insane amounts of stress.

Or I may be conspicuously present on this blog. Because I'll be making my best attempts to avoid said assignments.

One of those.

It's good to have goals, right?