Tag Archives: fall

Lows & Highs: Video Game Edition

Welcome to Lows & Highs, a Stories from the Stairs weekly-ish feature! Feel free to join in by posting your lows and highs from the week in the comments or by posting a link to your own lows and highs blog post.

 

Lows

My low this week was the way my lower back has been cramping and aching from hours of sitting on the floor and cutting tulle as well as bending over various projects to make my costume. (It is getting better now.) A second low was that Brian’s costume, ordered online, arrived and was uncomfortably short. With my rudimentary sewing skills, I was able to alter the costume so he could wear it but that was a whole unplanned costume project to squeeze in before Friday.

Luigi & Princess Peach Couple Costumes |StairStories.com

Highs

Our Halloween evening was fun! We hurried home after work and got dressed because one of us was sure trick-or-treaters would start coming at four-thirty or five. (The waves of costumed kids actually began later.) We tried to make our house look welcoming with the living room curtains open and the porch light on. As families came to the door, we greeted them in our costumes (Luigi and Princess Peach). Sometimes the little girls would shyly tell me they liked my costume when I complimented theirs. The boys were funnier, gaping at Brian and telling him things like, “I like your game, Luigi!” and “Luigi, you’re my favorite.” Occasionally, we heard voices of kids who could see in the window before they reached the door, “Hey, look! Luigi’s in there!” He was extremely popular with the over forty kids who stopped by.

Around 9:30, we left to set up our popcorn table at the college’s dance party and to surprise students with our costumes. My favorite reaction was Lindsey’s. She saw us standing behind the table and said something like, “Oh, wow, you guys! I mean you, oh, and you, and… oh my gosh, you guys are just so adorable!”

How was your week? Did you dress up for Halloween?

Luigi & Princess Peach Couple Costumes |StairStories.com

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under photos, stories

What I’m Into: October 2014

Techie

I finally got around to setting up custom typing shortcuts on my iPhone. They are marvelous for reducing the amount of typing I have to do!


DesignLoveFest has had some creatively artistic wallpapers lately that I’ve downloaded to use on my phone and computers.


I started a series this month, Abby’s Apps, about my favorite apps as part of 31 Days but did not post every day because things got hectic.
Reviews of iOS Apps | Abby's Apps at StairStories.com #31Days

Clothes

I made a purse! Okay, it is really more like I re-made a purse but I am very happy with the finished result. It originally weighed over two pounds – when it was completely empty! The new purse weighs a bit less than one pound. Now that is a healthy “diet.”

Purse Re-fashion | StairStories.comPurse Re-fashion | StairStories.com Purse Re-fashion | StairStories.com

I also made my costume for Halloween, which did not take any sewing, but involved lots of cutting and painting. We ordered Brian’s online because making it would have been outside the realm of my limited sewing skills. When it arrived, though, the costume fit uncomfortably and I spent an evening altering it anyway. Still, it was much easier than making the whole thing from scratch! If you are curious about our costumes, I will post photos on Twitter and Instagram tonight (Halloween night). We will be handing out popcorn at the college’s costume dance party and have refused to tell our students until then.

Food

We tried a frittata for the first time and it was a delicious way to use up some leftovers. with whole wheat spaghetti, ground turkey, baby ‘bella mushrooms, broccoli, and scallions.


Big batches of cinnamon syrup and gingerbread syrup always make coffee taste like fall to me!


I have been making apple chips for my snacks… and Cola’s. I read that dried apples make nice, healthy dog treats and store-bought treats concern me with what seems like a lack of quality control. Brian refuses to share my apple chip snacks because he thinks it is weird and gross that I make the same exact snack food for myself and our dog. What do you think?


Semi-homemade apple-cinnamon crescent rolls (of my own invented recipe) are a fast fall side dish or dessert.
Apple-Cinnamon Crescent Roll | StairStories.com

Watching

On TV: NCIS: LA has certainly had some fun twists this month! I will not give anything away but have enjoyed seeing more of Nell and Hetty’s character development. I am also enjoying Scorpion, about a team of almost antisocial geniuses who form a tight-knit group and end up working as government problem-solvers.

On Youtube: Consumer Reports channel, especially their “What to Get… & Forget” series. I also loved this sweet story that happens to be a scotch ad.


Friends

We held our Second Annual Classic Mystery Movie Night at Howe House this month. The Campus Christian Fellowship students come and bring friends for snacks and a movie that was probably made before I was born. The movie selection for the evening is never announced ahead of time because whoever is there at the beginning of the party gets to choose by consensus from the movies we provide. (This gets quite a few of them there “on time!”) This year, the three people who were at the previous Classic Mystery Movie Night wanted to watch Charade again and none of the others had seen it or had objections. Our CMMN may turn into an annual showing of Charade at this rate!
2014-10-24 19.45.11-12014-10-24 19.45.15

Two of our college students decided to be baptized this month!
2014-10-26 14.22.47 2014-10-12 16.34.15

We had twelve people eating pasta around our table for Sunday lunch last weekend but it was so crazy that I forgot to take a photo.


Around the House

Our adorable and [sometimes annoyingly] energetic pup is five months old now and has developed a bolder demeanor we are trying to train. We encourage chasing squirrels and rabbits out of the yard and discourage eating the tomatoes, tomato vines, and various other “people possessions.” We encourage making new friends and discourage jumping on people or furniture.
2014-10-25 17.41.07-12014-10-03 16.57.08-1

2014-10-11 16.46.43

Brian and I replaced the gutters along the front of our house so now there will not be a waterfall directly over the front door every time it rains. I really liked getting to climb up the ladder and use the drill to mount brackets while Brian handed me supplies. Even before our wedding, we agreed that I would get to do most ladder-climbing tasks because I enjoy it and Brian does not.

2014-10-17 15.51.38 2014-10-17 16.21.47 2014-10-18 16.59.09


What have you been into lately?


I am linking up with Leigh Kramer to share what I’ve been into lately.

2 Comments

Filed under celebrations, life, photos, stories

Lows & Highs: 31 Days & a Purse Remake

Welcome to Lows & Highs, a Stories from the Stairs weekly-ish feature! Feel free to join in by posting your lows and highs from the week in the comments or by posting a link to your own lows and highs blog post.

 

Low

If you have not noticed, I took an abrupt break from my 31 Days series, Abby’s Apps. I honestly lost interest in writing about apps every day and life got busy. After what I thought would be a one-day hiatus, I decided to stop altogether because I had other projects needing my attention. Instead, I plan to start writing about apps or other tech tips once a week.

 

High

I had a long weekend, thanks to parent-teacher conferences and teacher inservice days where school staff like me do not have to go to work. I spent most of the weekend sewing and cooking. I am thrilled to have finished my first purse refashion and my Halloween costume. The original purse was made of buttery-soft leather with heavy hardware; I loved the former but the latter kept me from enjoying it regularly. I removed the hardware and the leather that had holes from the hardware and remade the top and straps with this gray chevron/zig-zag fabric. In the end, I eliminated over half the original weight!

Refashioned Leather Purse |StairStories.com

I am not posting photos of my costume yet because Brian and I are keeping them secret from our college students until Friday. You can, however, see photos of our previous costumes: Waldo and Carmen Sandiego (2012), Mayhem and Flo (2013).

 

What craft or sewing projects have you been working on lately?

 

Leave a comment

Filed under life

Techie Tip of the Week

How to get same day Instagram prints | StairStories.com
 
 

 

Temporary Photo Wall Project
Our student ministry welcomed students back to campus last weekend. We had a table in the official check-in line and wanted to make our area look inviting. I printed photos from the past year and then Veronica and Lindsey arranged them on our photo wall. They were impressed when I told them Walgreens now lets customers upload and print photos from Instagram (with same day service). I ordered a number of photos from my Instagram feed and both I and the girls were impressed with the convenience and quality. One of them said, “Man, that is amazing! I’m going to print some tomorrow!”
 

 

 
2014-08-18 17.54.41

 

What I Did
From the Walgreens photo page, I logged into my Instagram account, selected the photos to print, and chose the sizes. I used 4×4 inch squares, but they also offer 8×8 inch ones too. Most Walgreens stores will offer same-day service for a little extra fee.
 
 

 

Discount
Walgreens often puts discount codes in banners at the top of the page. In addition, you can use RetailMeNot or its smart phone app to look up discount codes. I found a code for 50% off any photo order, but they change often.
 
 

 

Side Note
You can also upload photos from your computer or from your Facebook account. I have tried the former, but not the latter.
 
 

 

Disclaimer
Walgreens did not ask or pay me to recommend their photo service. I am simply sharing my experience with a business.

2 Comments

Filed under advice, photos, something to try

October Highlights

Where Does the Time Go?
Somehow October flew by and I have not been very inspired or prolific when it comes to writing of all sorts.

CCF Cookout
At the beginning of October, we had a CCF cookout complete with hot dog roasting and s’mores!
CCF Fall 2013 Cookout
Eli’s Birthday
Our nephew, Eli, turned one and we were able to visit the weekend before. He is curious and strong-willed, and very expressive. He went through a phase (and maybe is still in it) where he stared blankly at anyone trying to take his picture with a camera or phone. On this visit, though, I flipped the camera view on my phone so he could see our image while I took the photos and he had fun making these faces!
Eli Makes Faces

After five minutes, Eli figured out exactly where the camera lens was. Smart kid!

After five minutes, Eli figured out where the camera lens is. Smart kid!

Taking selfies with a cute nephew – Embarrassing or excusable? Vote in the comments!

Fall Break, Parents’ Visit, Snow
My parents came out to visit while Brian and I were on fall break. We wanted it to be a relaxing weekend for all of us but Dad and Brian finished their one project (replacing the furnace filters) and also tackled replacing bathroom outlets, removing and adjusting door hinges, and repairing a kitchen drawer support. Mom and I cooked, tidied, and did manicures.Mom & Abby Manis

We did squeeze in a fun dinner-and-games night with our friends Pennie and Clay, a movie night, and a yummy Chinese buffet lunch, too.
October snow!I had hoped to take our guests on some walking adventures through our local zoo and the nature preserve, but the first snow of the season arrived on October 18 and canceled our outdoor plans.

Pumpkin Patch
For one of our weekly dates, Brian took me to a pumpkin patch and corn maze. We wound our way through the maze and found all the markers, then took photos with some of the biggest pumpkins I have ever seen! Brian’s thumbs-up in the collage is because he ordered sweet tea at lunch and the waitress left him a glass and a pitcher full of tea. He was a happy guy!
Pumpkin Patch
Halloween
The CCF group helped serve snow cones at the college’s Halloween party. Brian was Mayhem from the Allstate commercials and I was Flo from Progressive. Rounding out our group of leaders, Clay was Jake from State Farm, Pennie was the Orbitz “clean it up!” girl.
Halloween 2013
Mayhem & FloFunny story: I sketched the lettering for my Flo apron on paper and then transferred the outline onto the apron and painted it in acrylic. When I was about halfway through painting (starting at the E and working backwards), Brian came over for a look and frowned.
“What’s wrong?”
“Um… you forgot the I.”
“What?!” I had a tiny bit of space between the S and V so I squeezed in the missing letter and moved on.

It so happened that my sister was on speaker phone when he told me and she thought it was hilarious because I am usually good at conventional spelling and she was a more phonetic speller as a kid.

Share your funny (mis)spelling story or tell about your Halloween costume.

2 Comments

Filed under celebrations, milestones, photos, stories

Lows & Highs: 8/14-8/20/13

I meant to have this post publish this morning, but completely forgot due to the craziness of Monday and Tuesday.

Low:
Mid-afternoon on Tuesday, I had a headache start and grow into a monster that lasted all evening. (Which I am sure contributed to my forgetting to schedule this post.) As best I can tell, I probably breathed some kind of weed pollen that did not agree with me. I am grateful it did not interfere with my new job though!

High:
I began my new job as an ESL paraprofessional on Tuesday and already love it! The staff and teachers have been helpful and friendly; I enjoy getting to know the students and their personalities, too.

What were your lows and highs from the past week?

Lows & Highs is a Stories from the Stairs weekly feature. Feel free to join in by posting your lows and highs in the comments or by posting a link to your lows and highs blog post.

Leave a comment

Filed under life, milestones

Lows & Highs: 11/28-12/4/12

Tuesday was our last campus Bible study for the semester. I know it makes me sound old, but where has the time gone?!

Low: Monday was a stressful and exhausting at work and then I left work and grew frustrated trying to finish my Teacher Work Sample (TWS) as my final project.

High: Tuesday I did the last proofread of my TWS and submitted it to my professor… My very last project of my very last class of the masters degree I have been working on for over three years.

I cannot put into words how excited and relieved I am!

 

What were your lows and highs from this week?

Lows & Highs is a Stories from the Stairs weekly feature. Feel free to join in by posting your lows and highs in the comments or by posting a link to your lows and highs blog post.

4 Comments

Filed under celebrations, milestones

Lows & Highs: 11/21-11/27/12

Why, yes, I did semi-unintentionally take Thanksgiving week off from blogging. It turned out to be a hectic week and posting was a low priority, but I’m back now!

Lows: 1) I traveled at least 1,958 miles by car last week. 2) My grandparents have a cat and, after two days of visiting them, I am still very congested.

Highs: 1) My car got repaired just in time for us to take it to Colorado. 2) I got to spend got to spend Thanksgiving visiting my mom’s side of the family with my parents, all my siblings, and their families. We had lots of fun and the allergies mentioned in my lows were worth the visit.

What were your lows and highs from Thanksgiving week?

 

Lows & Highs is a Stories from the Stairs weekly feature. Feel free to join in by posting your lows and highs in the comments or by posting a link to your lows and highs blog post.

2 Comments

Filed under celebrations, life

InstaFriday: Trying New Things

I have been busy with my normal life stuff and working on my Teacher Work Sample but I have been trying a few new things.

With all the below-freezing nights we have had here in Kansas lately, I made an attempt to bring some of my herb garden inside. Left to right: Mint was already in this pot, so I think it stands a good chance of survival. Parsley and rosemary will start from cuttings plus rooting hormone, according to my research, and so far they look okay. Chives are a type of bulb, I think, so I split the bunch in my garden and transplanted part of it (this approach has worked for me before).

I am also trying out washi tape* on some of the artsy pages of my journal.

In writing classes, they tell you to "Show, don't tell" which, come to think of it, is kind of ironic.Some of my best adventures began with "I don't really want to go but I know I need to" and ended with "I'm so glad I went."

What experiments or new-to-you products have you tried recently?

*Essentially decorative masking tape that originated in Japan.

2 Comments

Filed under photos, something to try

Lows & Highs: 10/30-11/5/12

Low: I could not think of a decent low for this week other than the same old pesky allergies that have been plaguing me.

Highs: One branch of my family congregated at my grandparents’ farm for a dinner to celebrate [early] Thanksgiving and fall birthdays. We added three new people since the last family gathering and it was the first time for Eli to meet this part of the extended family. My favorite parts were seeing Eli meet his great-grandma and sharing a family holiday with Brian for the first time.

Lows & Highs is a Stories from the Stairs weekly feature. Feel free to join in by posting your lows and highs in the comments or by posting a link to your lows and highs blog post.

Leave a comment

Filed under celebrations, milestones