Sunday, September 25, 2011

Two Weekends, Two Trips (Part 2)

25/9/11
Kristen says...

For those of you who can count, and know that Part 1 should come before Part 2, please know that I do realize it appears that I can't count, but I can...I just want to write about Part 2 first, because it was the most recent and SOOOO FUN!!!

Look who I saw this weekend:
NEPHEWS!!!


Yep, Chris and I made a flying (haha) trip home this past weekend!

We left on Wednesday just after noon and just got back about 2 hours ago! With 6 hours of flying time and at least an hour layover in Atlanta both ways, that amounted to about 76 hours of wonderful Iowa-time!

Why did we make this trip? 1 word: HOMECOMING!

Now, normally we wouldn't have gone home for such a short time just for a parade and football game, but this Homecoming was a particularly special one...10 years ago when Chris played his senior year of high school football, he won an award called the Benz Award, which is considered to be "one of the oldest, if not the oldest high school football award in Iowa," and is kind of a big deal in Oskaloosa. It is given by the members of the team to the person who they feel is the best leader/most valuable player. It's been given every year since 1933, and this year the Athletic Booster club decided to invite all living winners of the award to come back and be recognized.

Originally we weren't going to go, because we live a long way away, it's expensive to go home, it wasn't really convenient for me to miss 2.5 days of work, etc etc, but Chris' parents got on the "You should come home" bandwagon and made our plane tickets an early Christmas present...so we decided to go. The best part of this arrangement (for me) was that my parents had no idea we were coming, and were TOTALLY surprised when we showed up! In fact, I was able to surprise all of my siblings but one, and I had to tell my older sister because otherwise she wasn't going to come home.

SO, we had a great weekend!

We got in VERY late on Wednesday night, then got up early on Thursday and spent the day in Des Moines...I was able to present some information to some 6th graders in my old school district and videotape a museum curator for my 6th graders back here, as well as hit up Target, and then we went back to Osky so we could say "Hi" to my parents (Surprise!) and Chris could ride in the Homecoming Parade:
I also took a minute to snap pics with my mommy (right) and mommy-in-law (left)!














That night my dad spoke at the coronation of the Homecoming king and queen (the queen, by the way, was my brother Daniel's sister-in-law!) so I got to spend some extra time with my mom, Uncle Charlie, and Grandma Foster.

On Friday we got up early (again) and Chris went back to Elementary School (his dad is a 4th grade teacher so he spent the day with him) and I spent the day with my nephews!!!

Ezra arrived first, and I have to say he is even cuter than he was over the summer (if that's possible!!) He had a variety of outfits over the 2 days I saw him, including a styling hoodie (the fall weather in Iowa was AWESOME!), a cute Chinese outfit my little sister brought him back from (you guessed it) China, and a couple cute t-shirts I brought him from Honduras...









Look who is (almost) walking!!























Turtle Face!!
He's so cute!! Even when he cries he's adorable!














An hour or so later my new nephew, Jackson, came rolling in and I got to meet him for the very first time!!! He was adorable too, and had very, very pretty blue eyes (when we got to see them--he's only 2 months old, so he slept a lot!) He also had a lot of outfits! I think both boys changed more times than I did this weekend!!








The many (ADORABLE) faces of Jackson!!








































(I'm not sure he was as excited to meet me as I was to meet him...at least he smiled at Chris!)

Friday night was the Homecoming game, which Osky won! They recognized the Benz Award winners at halftime...
They had a great turnout--I think over 30 of the winners came back for either the parade or the game, although Chris definitely came the farthest :) They had a big statue of the award on the float for the Benz winners, and brought it to the stadium for the game...great photo op!







(The numbers on the footballs say what year they won the award)














That night we had pizza at home (after the game tradition) and all stayed up until 1:30 AM just talking! It was the first time we'd been all together since June, and we think the first time we'd all sat at a football game together EVER! (Or at least since 1991, we're not totally sure!)

On Saturday we gathered for family pictures...it's always funny to see how we change from picture to picture...of course this time we had one more family member (Jackson) and another on the way...yep, I'm going to be an aunt AGAIN next spring!!! I love this being an aunt thing! :)
Big family keeps growing! Can't wait for the new niece/nephew!















Silly Siblings!

Finally, on Saturday afternoon my sister Michelle asked me to take some "fall" pictures of her family, and so I couldn't resist taking some extra shots of the beautiful Iowa fall...my dad has dedicated most of his 20 acres to Iowa-native prairie grasses, and they are at their most beautiful in the fall (as is Iowa, really!)




















"I love Iowa in the springtime, I love Iowa in the fall..."















It was a WONDERFUL (but fast!) trip home!
Incidentally, we also did a bit of Hondo-traveling the weekend before, during that same weekend of the five motifs...more on that (part 1) soon!
KF

Thursday, September 15, 2011

5 Motifs for a 5-Day Weekend! (Motifs #s 15-19!)

15/9/11
Kristen says...

Happy Honduran Independence Day! Today marks the 190th Anniversary of Honduras' independence from Spain, and the 2nd year in a row that I get a 5-day weekend from school! :)


I thought I would take this opportunity to catch up on some of the things I haven't been doing lately...SO, we currently have NO dirty laundry, there is fresh bread in the freezer, I've finished one book and started 2 more, AND, I started and finished 5 tatting motifs this afternoon!!!

I have quite a library of tatting books (and, to be honest, of books in general,) so I thought I would spend some time using them today...I've always really liked the little book called "Tatting: Patterns and Designs" by Gun Blomqvist and Elwy Persson because of the way they show images of their motifs:
It's like a progression, easier to harder or something. It makes me want to do them all in a row, which is what I did today :)
Number 1
Number 2Number 3Number 4
Number 5
It's my own progression! :)
We also have had some lovely weather on this 5-day weekend; lots of rain. And here in Honduras, rain means spectacular rainbows (as seen above and below):
Hope you're all having a great weekend!
KF

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Randomly Random

4/9/11
Kristen says...

Hello Everybody! Thanks for any silent support you may have thrown my way for my Spanish quiz on Thursday...I am happy to report I did quite well:
Chris was in Washington D.C. all last week for a work conference (lucky duck!) so I stuck my 110% quiz on the new fridge so he could ooh and ahh when he got home today...
It was a long week without him, even though a colleague did come stay with me to keep me company, and Princess came to stay with Pip. Apparently Pip is not excited about being left behind all the time, and wants to come with us on our next trip:
No, we did not put him in the suitcase: he did that all on his own :)

Is my dog not the cutest thing in the world?! Anyway, he and Chris are now in the bedroom catching up on lost sleep and Princess is snuggling here with me on the couch...

Even though Chris was gone all week, so theoretically I should have had a lot of free time on my hands, I really didn't get much done in the way of tatting...I started on a new doily, but not much else...I'm only halfway through my 25 motif goal for the 25 Motif Challenge...I'd better get on that soon!

That's not to say I haven't been thinking about tatting lately, though. Quite the opposite, really. I was doing some tatting pdf searches the other day and came across an absolute gem: The Antique Pattern Library is AMAZING. If you are a tatter and haven't checked it out yet, I would go there right now! The only problem I'm having is that I can't seem to see them on my Mac, but they show up just fine on the PCs at school...I think I am going to take the pdfs to a printer and see how much it would cost me to have them printed...I'm guessing a lot?

I've also been doing a good amount of reading. Although I still prefer REAL books, owning a Kindle does have some positives...one of which is all the free classic books you get. While you could expect to pay anywhere from $3-$10+ for the classics at any bookstore (or have to return them after 2-3 weeks at any library,) with the Kindle I can download free, readable (albeit sometimes badly formatted) copies of almost any book you can think of whose original copyright has expired.

This has been awesome for me, the person who loves books but does crazy things like moves to Honduras and therefore doesn't have a lot of space for them...I think on my one Kindle I have over 500 books, which is how many I have on the groaning shelves in my childhood bedroom at home...

So I've been partaking in the classics (imagine Adam Sandler's voice from the movie"Bedtime Stories") for freeeee...ok, or better yet, just watch it yourself. (YouTube is amazing)

Anyway, I read "The Shuttle" by Frances Hodgson Burnett (author of "A Little Princess" and "The Secret Garden") a week or two ago... (by the way, who even knew that she wrote other books besides "Princess" and "Garden"? I didn't! I was pleasantly surprised, because "The Shuttle" was really awesome, and has inspired me to continue branching out into other classics by favorite authors!) Awesome book! So, so good! Read it! Now! What are you waiting for, it's freeeee for your Kindle/iPad/Nook/Kobe/other e-reader.

Yesterday I finished the "8 Cousins" and "Rose in Bloom" duo by Louisa May Alcott, and am contemplating moving on to "Little Women" or abandoning female authors for a while (I also read Wharton's "The Age of Innocence" on the way back from Iowa) and re-reading "Robinson Crusoe" or "The Swiss Family Robinson" (which, by the way, has a sequel, written by none other than Johanna Spyri, the author of "Heidi"...it's like 6 degrees of separation, classic literature style!) Or maybe I'll read a classic I've not read before, like "A Damsel in Distress" by P.G. Wodehouse or "The Book of Snobs" by William Makepeace Tackeray, or...

Where was I going with this again? Oh yes, I am an old person. I go to bed relatively early. I watch CBS Sunday Morning...and like it! I enjoy wearing crocheted vests purchased at the $1 store. (Seriously, a vest for a dollar. I'm in!) I tat, something which I am told by basically anyone who knows I do it that it's a "dying art," and now I'm revisiting the classics, which is affecting my speech patterns (I told Chris the other day that one of my students "wasn't best pleased" about something. He didn't believe it was a real phrase until I showed him in a book.) I enjoy having pictures like this in my bedroom:
I think the only thing that saves me from being a true old person (besides my age, which is 28 next month) is that I am doing some of these things digitally...I have been downloading tatting books and reading the classics on my Kindle, a sure sign I am at home in 2011, even if I don't totally belong (I get jealous of the women in the long flowing dresses of my "period" movies...I want every dress in Jo March's wardrobe, even the one with the burn in the back.)

Regardless (not irregardless, which I'm told my my friend the English teacher isn't real word), I am happy to live in a world of iPods and computers and the Internet and YouTube and Skype...I just wish we'd bring back 3-piece suits and fedoras for men and cloche hats and button-up boots for women (ok maybe not the button-up boots, I really enjoy wearing sandals 11 months out of the year!)

Well, I am going to quit wandering aimlessly through this blog post...and maybe go wake my husband up so I can spend some time with him :)

Hope you've had a great weekend, and are looking forward to a nice short week, those of you in the US (don't worry, I'm not jealous; we get a 5-day weekend next week due to Honduran Independence Day!!!)

KF