Thursday, May 20, 2010

Put on the Happy Face

This was a good day. The kindergartners did a fantastic job at their graduation -- they all knew their parts, sang loud and didn't get too wiggly. They were even very excited and appreciative of the props and decorations -- "Mrs. C, that looks soooo good!" one of them told me. The parents were happy and the cookies were delicious -- all in all, a great time

But tonight I have that icky feeling/attitude I get a lot these days. Just plain old low, you know? It's hard work, putting on the happy face for the kids and my family and "rising to the occasion", as my Grandma P. would put it. It makes me tired and sad.

I don't know what would fix it; "The Office" didn't help much, neither did a little knitting.

I do think some sunshine for more than a few minutes a day would help. My dear husband being home would help. A cure for cancer would help.

Is that asking too much?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Better Busy Than Bored

That was Lynne's college motto. (I think I even cross-stitched a little picture for her that featured that sentiment!)

While I would love to be bored, just for a little while, it doesn't look like I will have the opportunity any time soon. Here are some things I have been up to:

Votives for the St. A seniors:

I used the amazing Cricut to cut the letters out of vinyl to create a stencil, stuck the vinyl to the votives ($2 each at WM -- what a bargain!) then brushed on glass etching goop ($19 for a small bottle -- not such a bargain.) After 5 minutes, you rinse off the goop, remove the stencil and viola, a cute gift.

After Prom

Thanks to some pretty talented parents with long-range vision, and after lots of paint on lots of cardboard, the commons area of our high school gym was transformed into a medieval castle, complete with a gazebo created from carpet rolls.
I spent weeks painting cardboard without a clue as to how this was all going to come together, but in the end, it was beautiful. This is the gate I painted: And, even though I had asked Will to take a moment to notice the decorations, I don't think he did. So here is the picture for all posterity (or at least for my 7 blog readers.)
Coconut Cake for Joannie's Birthday

Another America's Test Kitchen "oh my gosh this is the best I've ever tasted" recipe.

And finally, The Love Bus

This started out as a little joke, as most things do in the school kitchen, and evolved into a project. Actually, I tapped into my inner graffiti artist, and thanks to the ease of spray paint, the painting only took two afternoons. I still have some details I would like to add, but the bus has been quite busy, between the prom, a golf outing and transporting a bridal party from the wedding to the reception last night.

I cut these letters out with the Cricut, too. How in the world did buses ever get decorated without a Cricut?


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day Moment

At last night's 5:00 Mass, we had some visitors at church.

We knew they were visitors because A) this is a small town, B) they were standing in the back before mass began, looking unsure of what to do or where to go and C) they didn't look like us.

Before you think I'm awful, let me explain -- most of the women in the congregation have pulled out their colorful spring/summer wardrobe -- cute little jackets, dresses and shirts in pinks, bright greens and blues.

But this mom and her two daughters wore heavy, felted sweaters, straight wool skirts and clunky shoes, looking not just like they were from another season, but from another generation -- the mom's thin, gaunt face reminded me of the dust bowl travelers of The Grapes of Wrath.

I said hello as I passed them on my way up front; the girls both smiled sweetly and the mom nodded her head and said "God bless you."

I didn't notice where they sat, or if they even stayed for mass; I was fighting hard to stay focused on the music, as I was still a little foggy from staying up until 4 AM at the after prom that morning. And, I knew that Father Dan was going to make the announcement as to whether or not he will be staying at St. A (he is, and the church erupted into applause and a few tears. A very happy moment).

So it took me completely by surprise, when, near the end of the petitions, the mother spoke out; there was an uncomfortable little shuffle in the pews -- while this is a common and lovely practice in many churches, it's not a very Catholic thing to do. I could barely make out what she said, but caught the words "homeless" and "children." Dave the lector was cool; when she was finished, he simply added, "We pray to the Lord," and we responded in kind. Father quickly and quietly swept down to her pew, had a word with her and came back to continue mass.

Afterward, I was putting away the music, closing up the keyboard and talking with a few people when I noticed the crowd around the woman and her daughters; by the time I got there, Father had his arm around her, she had two handfuls of money, accommodations for the night and we knew her story -- she and her husband (who had waited in the car because he didn't think he was clean enough for church), were jobless, homeless and on their way to Oregon with their kids.
That is a long, long way from here.

When I went out to my car, I watched as the girls went skipping down the sidewalk, hand in hand. Mom followed them smiling. Good stuff.

I don't know how they found St. A or how they knew there was church at 5 on Saturday evening.

But I do know that they came to the right place.


Friday, May 7, 2010

Prom Night, 2010

How did this happen?
Will and Becca, friends since babyhood.
A nice group of kids.

I'm posting this while sitting on the edge of my chair -- there are severe storm and tornado warnings, and these kids are just now on their way home from supper in Louisville. I had hoped to get a nap in before going in to work at the After Prom, but it's not happening!

Looking for a little weather/safety peace.

Update -- they made it back and forth from dinner just fine, avoiding the bad weather, then had a good time at the prom (Branden, the boy on the left was prom king) and after prom. Will had his AAU state meeting Saturday AM, and wrestled well, considering he hadn't slept in 28 hours!