YF Halloween 2011

Every year the Youth Fellowship (YF) kids host a Halloween party for the younger children in the congregation. It's a lot of fun and since I sit on the Youth Committee, I get to help out every year! This year there was a Tent of Horrors, lots of games, fires in the fireplaces, food, and lots of fun.

We have the party at the Octagon Shelter in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. It's a beautiful setting for the party and a great place to run around and have fun.

Here are some pictures from the party:

Beth setting up the Tent of Horrors

YF boys hanging streamers

Mr. Bill!

Mr. Read starting a fire in one of the fireplaces at the shelter

YF kids and Pastor Steve setting up one of the inside games

Mr. Read and his helpers getting the grill going for the hot dogs

Mr. Read and Little Red Riding Hood (who referred to me as Big Little Red Riding Hood)

Some of the girls all decked out in their costumes.

Pumpkins and fireplaces...what more could you need?

We loved this picture of the fire because if you look on the left you can see a phoenix-like shape. We had lots of fun taking pictures of the fire and seeing what shapes were in the pictures.

Kids guessing how many ghoulish goodies are in each container.

Zombie ballerina (who will soon be leaving us to go dance in Russia!).

The Indian Princess in her element.

Hot dogs roasting on an open fire. Oh...wait, it's chestnuts, right? :)

Kids in costumes having some dinner and decorating their treat bags.

More treat bag decorators.

This girl steals my heart. I love it when she gives me big squeezy hugs. :)

Sack race - some little guys needed a little help from the bigger guys. :) Teamwork, loving one another, and working together are the lessons we learn here.

The line of kids waiting their turn.

Raggedy Ann hopping along.

More teamwork. :)

P. Steve showing off his sack hopping skills.

Not sure what was going on here, but this group of sweeties was captivated and I couldn't help but snag a shot.

Lonely Island game.

Find the prize in the whipped cream!

Whipped cream faces!

The best one of them all.  Howard is such a good sport. And the sheer joy on his grandson's face is priceless.

So, there you have it. A few shots from our super fun Halloween Party. If you were there - thanks for sharing your day with us! It was a wonderful time of fun, fellowship, and joy.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Grandmother...what a big nose you have!!

When I was in kindergarten our class was tasked with the job of dressing up as our favorite story book character one day for school. Mrs. Parks, my kindergarten teacher (and my siblings' teacher as well) was THE most amazing teacher in the world. She was inspiring, loving, kind, generous, and made every child feel like they were one of a kind and oh so special to her - because they were. She was the inspiration and influence for my sister to become a teacher (and a wonderful one at that) and she was the inspiration for many other children to love learning. I wish every teacher were like her, because if they were, kids would love learning so much more and every 3rd grade class would have pumpkin math and science day like my sister's 3rd grade class has. (Speaking of which, today is pumpkin math and science day so I'm playing hooky from my real job to go play with a bunch of third graders, my sister, and a boat-load of pumpkins! Yeah!! Ok - back to the original story...)

I chose to dress up as Little Red Riding Hood and insisted my mother make me a red hooded cape. She did, of course, and I carried a basket (I'm quite sure it was a Longaberger - they're made in Ohio, you know!) full of goodies. This year for Halloween, I decided that I was going to dress up as Little Red Riding Hood again, some 20 years later. But we can't just stop there now, can we? No. Because I have this sweet dog who just loves when I dress him up so he had to be the Big Bad Wolf. :)

Yeah. That happened.

I made his granny cap from a piece of plaid fabric I had laying around. I simply cut a circle large enough to fit on his head, sewed a basting stitch (with my tension all the way up to 10) in a smaller circle in the middle, and let it ruffle itself a bit, then I pulled it tighter so there was a 'cap' part in the middle and the ruffle for the 'brim'. I made his glasses out of pipe cleaners and sewed them to the hat, then sewed a piece of elastic to the hat so I could put it over his head. His 'nightgown' is really a terry-cloth shirt that I altered to fit him a bit better, but I had to use his harness to keep the sleeves in check (see picture of him running below).

Grandmother, what a big nose you have!!

Grandmother, what big eyes you have!

Grandmother, what big ears you have!


I made the dress I'm wearing a long time ago from a sheet (sorry for the lack of photos of me in said dress - it's really tough to take a picture of yourself sometimes, and it's not easy to find a dog-less person to take a picture of you when you're at a dog park...heh). Well, it was actually a duvet cover that someone made out of sheets, so I deconstructed their construction and constructed it into something else. Ya follow? :) I partially used a pattern/tutorial from Fleece Fun for the hooded cape, and the wellies are a Target special from a couple years ago. :)

 We went to Akron Dog Park for their Howl-o-ween party and entered the costume contest. Unfortunately, we were beat out by a family who dressed up as a priest with bride & groom dogs and another family who dressed up as Michael Jackson and three zombies (2 zombie dogs, 1 zombie human) from Thriller. Oh well, we had fun!

Here are some of the other contenders:

Lobster Pug.

Where's Toby? and Chicken Pup.


Raj chasing a pumpkin.

There is a frog in the background on the left and a devil dog in the middle.

Horse-dog. (Which is kinda funny because the great dane down the street [Petey!] is frequently referred to as horse-dog around here and his owner is 'horse-dog guy'.)

After we played at the dog park, watched a demonstration from Akron Police Department's K-9 unit, and participated in the costume contest, we took our treats and went back home for a nap before the trick-or-treat began. Here's a sweet shot of us hanging out on the porch waiting to give massive amounts of sugar to strangers' children:

There's our handmade Halloween. :) I've already got ideas in the works for next year's costumes!! Gotta beat the Thriller family! We had a great weekend with some extra hiking and lots of family time. I hope you all did, too.

Love from our home to yours!



Writing challenge (yeah, still trying to finish this thing): Favorite tumblr.

Here are some of my favorite tumblrs. I'm not writing anything else because I have to get back to work and also finish making my list of things to get so I can finish making Halloween costumes for this year. I'm going to break out of the norm and NOT be a Browns fan this year like I am every other year. Hold your horses for Monday's post and I'll tell you what we're doing! :)

Is Ryan Gosling Cuter than a puppy: http://ryangoslingvspuppy.tumblr.com/

Suri's Burn Book: http://surisburnbook.tumblr.com/

Feminist Ryan Gosling: http://feministryangosling.tumblr.com/

Hipster Puppies: http://hipsterpuppies.tumblr.com/

Dads are the Original Hipsters: http://dadsaretheoriginalhipster.tumblr.com/

Wil Wheaton Super Teen: http://wilwheatonsuperteen.tumblr.com/

Deliberate Pixel (a good friend who shares awesome stuffs): http://deliberatepixel.tumblr.com/

Enjoy checking out some of my guilty pleasures. :)



October in Ohio

This was my weekend:

I hope yours was just as fun as ours was. :)



Rockabye, My Meighen Mine...

My earliest memory...

That's another toughie. I have a notoriously bad memory. I can remember all kinds of random useless pieces of information, but when it comes to a lot of important things, I seem to forget way too easily.

One of my earliest memories that I recall is my mother singing to me at bedtime. I used to make her sing the same 3 lullabies over and over again. When it was Dad's turn, he always changed the words. I tried to get her to sing Dad's versions, but she said she didn't know them. Yeah, right. ;)

My favorite ones that my mom sang were: Nina Nonna, Over in Killarney, and Rockabye. Nina Nonna is an Italian lullaby with very simple words (I'm not sure how the real words actually are, I just know how they sounded when she sang them - so feel free to comment the lyrics if you know them). Over in Killarney is an Irish lullaby she sang to me (I know that's not the actual name of the song, but I like calling it that better than 'Toora-Loora'). I love this one, and the The Irish Tenors released a recording of it and they did a great job, but no one tops my Momma. Last, but not least, Rockabye is one that my mom wrote for her babies. The first line is: 'Rockabye my (insert child's name here) mine, rockabye the stars do shine, rockabye and close your eyes, it's time for lullabies.'

So, all of that back story for this: I remember my mother singing lullabies to me. She sometimes got roped into 2 or 3 rounds of them, but she never complained. I always felt like it was our time. I felt closest to her when it was bedtime, especially if I knew she had to go somewhere after I was asleep (my sister is 10 years older than me and when I was little she was very involved in Job's Daughters so often, she and my mom had to leave to go to some Job's function after I went to sleep). If I stayed with my grandparents, her mom would sing me different ones that I loved just as much, and my dad's mom would read me stories, check for spiders, and tuck me in. But at home, that was our time. If it was Dad's turn, it was our time but he was always silly. Making up words to the songs and telling me silly stories about Raisin the Rabbit (which I still say he needs to turn into books because they were great stories!!).

I have good parents. I was not an easy child. I was (still am...) stubborn, hard-nosed, defiant, absent-minded, ADHD (unmedicated - still), persistent, and overly sensitive (still am). But my parents loved me for who I was and did their best. Did they get angry with me? Yeah. Did they get frustrated with me? Yeah. But did I ever doubt their love for me? No. Never.

My parents were as patient as they could be and I think I turned out ok. I love my family first and foremost. I do what I can to take care of the rest of the world. I have a giving heart and a loving spirit. I work hard and I try to fly right. I'm grateful to my parents for their lessons.

I'm also grateful to my Momma for teaching me those lullabies. I sing them to 'my babies'. The kids I babysit and my nieces, nephews, and goddaughter all have been graced with these lullabies. One of the girls I've been watching for 4 or 5 years now says 'I miss Meig and her yuyabies'. Yeah, that's pretty sweet, huh?

So, what's your earliest or fondest memory?

xo Meig

I'm makin' a tote!

Hi! Did you miss me? I'm sure you did.

Sorry I was away for so long. I had lots of things to do. One of them was getting ready for a craft show, and many more of them were trying to keep my house clean and get other projects completed.

I've decided that even though I still have a few things to make for other people, I am going to make something for myself. This something is a sweet scallops tote in the sew along at See Kate Sew.

I love Kate and everything about her blog/shop/space. She's such an awesome lady. Her patterns are so easy to follow, and her sewing tips on her site have been MORE than helpful on MORE than one occasion. She's also very accessible inasmuch as if you need help with something, shoot her an email and I guarantee she will get back to you as soon as she can because she cares. She's a really nice lady.

I own one of her smashed ruffle clutches and I looooove it.

I also was a pattern tester for her owls. So cute! So easy! Go buy the pattern. You won't regret it. :)

I also have the pattern (and the rights to sell) for her pleated camera strap cover. As soon as I find some spare minutes, you can bet those babies will be up in the shop and on our display table at the craft show.

So, go check out her awesomeness and feel free to keep checking back here for updates on my sweet scallops tote. I'll be sure and keep you posted. :)

I suppose this turned into a 'Kate is awesomeness, I love her and so should you' post, but eh, who cares. That's the truth.

Hi Kate! :)

xoxo Meig


Somewhere Over the Rainbow...

I know I’m skipping a few days here, but there are just some things that aren’t meant to be discussed and/or inapplicable. I don’t have my iPod anymore (I loaned it to a friend) so I use Spotify or Pandora to listen to music at work and when I’m in the car I usually listen to NPR or the local country/top 40s stations. Being a musician, I have a broad appreciation for all kinds of music and tend to have it going at all times because I love having that aural stimulation. Quite frankly, I’m sure none of you care about what I do all day long (get up, get dressed, take dog out, go to work, go home, take dog out, participate in evening plans, go to bed, repeat ad nauseum…) so I’m not going to bullet my day for you.

WOW. Where to start?! I want to visit everywhere. No joke. I wish I didn’t have a mortgage-worth of student loan debt so I could just pack up the dog and go all over the place checking things out. I love travelling and I miss living out of a suitcase.

Seriously though, some of the places I’d love to live would be back in the UK, Germany (hi Katja!! I miss you!), California (probably would prefer NorCal, but SoCal is where my family is), Indianapolis (I *love* that city so much and not just because I have friends and family there), Chicago (one of my FAVORITE places EVER – plus I’m a Cubs/Bears fan so it would be awesome), or New England somewhere (I like cwoffee and wadda a lot). Yeah, that’s a long list. Sorry, kids.

I suppose I can chitty chat about each one a bit. If you’ve hung in this long, maybe I can keep you a little longer?

The UK:

I lived in Brighton, England for 3 months when I was in college. That was some of the most fun I’ve ever had in my life. I really stepped out of my shell when I lived there. I could ride anywhere on public transport (loved it!) and experienced so many things. I would take the chance to move back in a heartbeat and honestly, I’d be a bar maid if I had to just so I could stay!


Nope, I don’t speak German, but I do have a dear friend who does!! I visited Munich twice during my stint in the UK and I loved it both times I went. I managed to master the public transport and even figured out how to purchase many things while there (including a dirndl dress and lederhosen for my niece/nephews). I think I’d be able to pick up German if I took some classes and was immersed in the language by living there. It would definitely be an adventure!


Yes, I hate sand. I hate the sun (well, I don’t hate it, I just burn waaaay too easily so I steer clear of it). I am not the top candidate for Cali weather, but 7 people I love so very dearly live there. 6 of them are related to me and 1 is one of the greatest friends a girl could ask for. I miss my Cali family so much. I wish this country wasn’t so daggone big so I could see them more. Which reminds me of how funny I think it is when others in smaller countries comment on how we have everything ‘super-sized’ here in the US…um…we ARE super-sized! Our country is HUGE compared to yours. lol (Photo is Crystal Cove State Park.)


I travel there a lot. Like 3-4 times a year a lot. My friends from Indy come visit me, too. But lots of the fun stuff that goes on there is what brings me to visit them more often than not. Yeah, the drive sucks by yourself, but now I take Raj with me (he gets to play with his girlfriend Daisy…heh heh) so I’m not so lonely on the drive over. I love everything about that city though (well, besides the sports – I’m still a Cleveland sports girl, no changing that!). So many good restaurants, neighborhoods, sights, sounds, and events. There is such a diverse culture there. I enjoy going out with my friends/family just as much as sitting on their front porch and neighborhood watching. Honestly, I’d be able to make myself very happy in a big old house in Indy. Maybe. ;)


Ahhh. The Windy City. Yep. I love that place. It’s one of my favorite places on earth. Since I’m a Cubs/Bears fan too (had to find another football team when the Browns were stolen…and my Aunt [God rest her sweet, sweet soul] was the inspiration for my love of the Cubbies), I love Chicago. I love everything about that city. Its size, its culture, its diversity, its history, its architecture, its everything. I just plain love Chicago. I love taking the train from my cousins’ house into the city and just wandering around aimlessly and exploring parts I’ve never seen before. I love that every time I visit I discover something new to love. So many museums and sights to see. Yep, I could spend my whole life there.

New England:
I have this fantasy that I love seafood (besides fish-fish because I actually *do* like real fish, just not other kinds of seafood) and that I would love to wander down the wharfs in my wellies and slicker on a cool New England morning, scone and coffee in hand, and going to meet Mr. Right…oh sorry, I forgot you all were reading this. I started daydreaming there. Forgive me? Back to the task at hand…I have always had a fascination with New England and the weather. I love the misty weather it’s so famous for and really could sit on my front porch with a scone and a coffee and be a happy camper. Will that ever happen? Eh, who knows. J

So, where are some places you’d love to visit or live? Share, please!!