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Still Here

Hey Everyone! (All three or four of you that read this!) I just wanted to let everyone know we are still alive and kicking. It’s the last week of school; life is crazy. I’m looking forward to summer, for sure, but it’s a bittersweet year. The kids I started out teaching my first year here and have taught a little bit each year are graduating. I feel like my babies are leaving me! I adore this class, and have always had a special bond with them. I’m really sad to see them go.

I thought I’d share pics of some of the flowers around our house since I haven’t managed to kill them yet. This is the prettiest the flowers have ever been. And I thought I had decided to dig all the roses up. But… maybe not.

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6 Comments

Posted by on May 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

New Light Fixture

About a year ago, our fridge died, and we bought a new fridge. When the Lowe’s people delivered it, they broke our light fixture in our entryway. We weren’t incredibly thrilled with the light fixture anyway, so it was a good excuse to get a new one. But, it wasn’t a priority. So, for the past year, we’ve had a light in our entryway that looked like this.

Yesterday, we finally bought a new fixture- and actually installed it the same day we bought it! I was so impressed that it didn’t sit in the box for another year before we (Jeff) did anything about it. Our entryway is really tall, and our ladder wasn’t tall enough, so our awesome neighbor, Jim, let us borrow his extra tall one. It’s great to have good neighbors! Here’s a picture of the finished product. The only down side is that it takes a much higher wattage light bulb, so it shows just how badly we need new carpet and flooring. Oh well, it will all happen in time!

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Posted by on April 24, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Field Trip

Yesterday I took my class on a field trip to a living history museum called Missouri Town 1855. There were three different people there that helped the kids learn about what life in 1855 in Missouri would have been like. We met the mercantile owner, the woman who trained the oxen, and the blacksmith. The blacksmith was my favorite, since that was the profession of some of my ancestors, the most recent being Grandpa Finke. I could just imagine him in his shop; the hot fire, the anvil, all the tools surrounding him, and the hot iron coming out of the fire, him working to shape it from a piece of iron into a useful tool.

There were also many things that reminded me of home on the farm. When I left home for college, I didn’t think I would miss farm life a whole lot, but as I’ve gotten older, I miss it more and more. I miss being able to sit outside and hear nothing but nature. I miss seeing the wide open sky, full of stars at night. I miss the old buildings, full of such amazing history.

Even though though I didn’t move to the farm until the 1990s, after it had been established for over 100 years, there were always remnants of our ancestors around. I think that’s what fascinates me so much now about the farm. I feel the need to go and take pictures, to preserve what I can of what seems like a foreign world, to walk and explore and imagine what it would have been like to fully live off the land before all the modern conveniences and distractions of this world took hold.

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The blacksmith making a gate hook

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The cluttered workbench in the blacksmith shop reminded me of the workbench in Grandpa Klaustermeier's shop

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The students learned all about the different animals used to help a Missouri farm run smoothly.

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The kids were able to pet the oxen, which our guide had raised from bottles. They were so calm!

 
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Posted by on April 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Closet Update

A few weeks ago, I posted about my horribly messy closet. Here are the piles of stuff I removed from the closet.

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Once I had everything out, I realized how incredibly yucky the walls inside of the closet looked. Since I had a quart of white-ish paint that I never used, I decided I would paint the inside of the closet. My husband’s statement of support was, “Good luck with that!” so I knew I was on my own.

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When I mentioned on Facebook that I was celebrating our three-year anniversary in the house by painting the inside of the closet, some people (my brother) seemed to think I was a little crazy, but I sure am glad I did. It was so easy, and fast, and makes the closet look so fresh now!

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I only put the things I wanted in the closet back. Instead of trying to find places for all the junk I don’t have any other spot for, I looked through my stuff and made a huge garage sale pile, and threw a lot of stuff away. Then I put like items together.

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All of my serving platters went on the very top shelf along with leftover baskets from last summer’s CSA experience. You’ll see more of those in a minute.

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I put all of the paper plates, cups, etc. in a crate. I put all of the cleaning supplies into a cardboard crate. It’s not a great fit, and I’m still looking for something that will work better, but it serves its purpose for now. I put our coffee maker and some measuring cups that are waiting to be used on that shelf, along with rubber gloves and some insecticide that Jeff likes to keep close by. I’m not crazy about it being in there, so I might have to find a better spot for it. I’ve been debating if that would be better under the sink, but that’s an organization project for another day.

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On the rack on the door, you see the little baskets from my CSA last summer. I kept them around knowing they would come in handy for something, and they really did! They fit perfectly in the door and allowed me to sort things into little containers by category such as batteries, small tools, flashlights, twist ties and zip ties, and so on. They also came in handy in my junk drawer reorganization, but that’s a different story.

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I left a great big spot, for my paper towels; even though I’m running low now, I usually buy big packs that last us a long time. I have two more crates: one for my plastic bags from the grocery store that we use to bring lunches to work, to line our trash cans, etc and one for rags. Both of the crates were totally overflowing so I took a bunch plastic bags to the grocery store to recycle. We use reusable bags when we remember to bring them to the store, but we forget often enough that we have a good supply of plastic. Tucked in between are the paper bags that we have. I went through the rags to find the most worn-out ones to get rid of. I still have a pile that I didn’t throw out and didn’t put back in the crate, either. I hate to throw them away, so I’m still trying to decide what to do with those. I’m open to suggestions! On the floor, I have my less-frequently used cookbooks. My more frequently used cookbooks are on my kitchen counter, but there is room for them on the floor in case I want to tuck them away for a special occasion. Also, our grilling utensils are in the case down there. That makes its home on our deck during grilling season.
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So there you have it, our organized closet! Jeff even helped a little bit by helping me get the shelves back in after the paint dried. It took less than 24 hours from start to finish, with 8 hours of sleep, some time to let the paint dry, and a visit to the gym and some internet time in between. If I had been able to do it start-to-finish without stopping, it probably would have taken two hours. There are still a few things I want to do to perfect it, so another update may be forthcoming.

I just open the closet up every once in a while and gaze into it to admire it and remind myself how good it feels to be organized.

Now, on to find a spot for all the stuff that has been relocated to the basement since I don’t want it in my closet anymore…

 
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Posted by on March 2, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Basketball

Last weekend, the 8th grade boys played in an invitational tournament in Topeka. The boys took first place! Some of the 8th graders I have had in some form since they were in 3rd grade, either full time as their teacher or part time English. I have really come to adore them! They applied for the Lutheran Nationals in Valparaiso, and find out later this week if they made it in. (They are really good, I hope they do!)

Here are some pics from their championship game. We are the ones in blue and white.

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Posted by on February 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Confession

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This is what my hall closet looks like right now. I’m so ashamed! This is one of many organizing projects I plan to take care of around the house. Consider these my “before” pictures. I just had to get this off my chest.

 
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Posted by on February 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Great weekend!

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My God-daughter Ruby

 

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Gus being a little silly

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Cara and Gus with their dog "Candy Cane"

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Cara and Kitty, Lil Jer

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Cara is on the right.

We are on our way back to Kansas City after having a fun filled weekend. We went and saw my friend Liz and her family, and then we had a surprise 40th birthday party for my big bro on Saturday night. My parents were there, on their way to Texas for some warmth for a few weeks. These are just a few pics from our fun weekend.

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2011 in Uncategorized