Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Let's get this party started

I don't want this to be a negative post. But man, am I ready to see 2008 in my rear view mirror. There were some pretty tough moments from this past year. The kind you don't laugh about "one of these days." Ever. I know we're supposed to believe that everything happens for a reason, but I'd give anything to change the footprint of this year.

Having said that, there were some truly awesome moments as well. Alan finding a job in Midland rather than the transfer to Houston was such a lucky break. Getting a teaching position at what has so far been a great campus, and having a great fall semester with the kids has been wonderful. Our trip to Florida was so memorable, so much fun. Going to my sister's during the summer, which I could probably call an annual event now, is always a good time. (I can't wait for this summer's trip!) And I really feel blessed to have made several new friends this year.

Who knows what's in store this year. I just want to slow down and take it all in. Maybe if I slow down I'll do a better job keeping in touch with friends and family. We'll see...

Here's hoping you have a wonderful new year (and have fun ringing it in tonight)!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Playing with my toys

This was the year of technology-related gifts, thanks to my mother who is probably on a first name basis with many QVC employees. We now have a digital photo frame, digital photo key chain, digital photo and video album (wallet size), an HP Photosmart printer (fun!), a power stick, a power inverter...I'm sure I'm forgetting something. I really have no more excuses to not carry pictures of my family with me. Oh, and thanks to DeeBee I can now listen to my iPod in the car!

And then on the culinary side, Alan and I bought each other new cookware and knives, but I also got two new cookbooks and some stoneware. I'm going to use the stoneware today when I make my first cauliflower gratin (thanks, Barefoot Contessa!).

Mostly it's been fun to spend the short but sweet time with all of us together. With Addison living on her own now, it's rare we have those "family" moments. Hope you all have had a happy time with your families as well!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas 2008

Finally got the four of us together for our "annual" family portrait.



Then we had to include Junior in one:


And then for any of you who remember when I shared the "Chandler" pictures of Alan, this is for you. Be sure to click on it for the full effect:

Why we keep him

He's just so darn pretty. I kept this picture's settings to be giant-size when you click on it. You just gotta see those eyes up close.


I think he's part bobcat. Or lion:


It required a lot of will power on his part to not bite me during these shots.

Monday, December 22, 2008

No eggnog, please

This came from DeeBee's page, and it seems fun to play along for Christmas. Plus, I can pretend I have something to blog about when I really don't.

1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I like to wrap, and I always choose a theme/color, but that in no way means I go to a lot of trouble to gift wrap. Wrapping paper and name tags are about all I do!

2. Real tree or Artificial? One year Alan and I had a real tree, and we won't do that again any time soon. Some day I should tell the story of how Alan disposed of that tree.

3. When do you put up the tree? After Thanksgiving when I have time.

4. When do you take the tree down? I leave it up until right before New Year's.

5. Do you like eggnog? Hate it.

6. Favorite gift received as a child? I got this lime green bean bag one year, and I might have cried.

7. Hardest person to buy for? Father-in-law

8. Easiest person to buy for? Addison and Bailey

9. Do you have a nativity scene? No, but I think they're sweet.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail, but I didn't get around to it this year.

11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? In 6th grade we had a gift exchange, and I drew the biggest box as my gift. All the kids had been dying to see what was in that BIG box. It was a plastic red piggy bank, and everybody laughed! I felt kind of sorry for the girl who brought it, but come on...it was ugly.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie? "Rudolph" because I know every line, and it brings back a lot of memories with the girls.

13. When do you start shopping? November, early December.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I think I've regifted a gift card.

15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Mashed potatoes, corn, green beans, rolls

16. Color lights on tree? White

17. Favorite Christmas song? O Holy Night

18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? I'm with DeeBee. I don't believe in packing up the kids and taking them away from home for Christmas.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixin, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and of course Rudolph.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star? I don't do a tree topper. Just makes the tree seem off-balance.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? We work it around the girls, their dad, whomever.

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? The long-ass lines at Kohls!

23. Favorite ornament theme or color? I've done a mixture of bronze, cream, gold and glass the last couple of years, but I'm really liking the jewel tones that are out there!

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? I just answered this on #15.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year? I want one of those things to convert VHS tapes (like my home movies) to DVD, but it's too expensive.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Happy feet

It's December 20th and I just walked outside barefoot. And took my sweet time. And it was NICE. Some things about West Texas, like our winters, do not in fact suck.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Countdown

I've been looking forward to tomorrow (today actually) all week, and not just because there are moments I want to dropkick those kids out the door for the Christmas break. I really do look forward to those days where I get to relax and enjoy the time with the kiddos, and not worry about test scores and silly mandates from the district. We get to have FUN tomorrow and have a Christmas-packed half-day of school!

Now if I could just get some sleep and be AWAKE for tomorrow.

Whoopsie!

Here's how the lights looked...


...before I ran over one of the strands. Guess Alan will be replacing a string on his day off tomorrow.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Ick

It's going to be a quiet weekend. Alan has the stomach bug and is quarantined to the bedroom. I'm not going within 10 feet of him. How I haven't gotten it the past few weeks is beyond me, since I've been around countless kids with high fever and vomiting. (Teaching is such a glamorous career.)

So, I think I'll continue with Christmas shopping and work on the mountain of paperwork from school.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Lights and Mischief

We might have a new holiday tradition...Alan and Bailey putting up the Christmas lights. This is our first time to hang lights outside, but I can't show a picture yet because I think Alan is on a roll and may be adding much more.



And for those who enjoy the Junior videos, here's one of him playing with the giant toy we apparently bought just for him - the Christmas tree. This shows a major differences between cats and dogs. Dogs will run and act guilty if they're caught doing something wrong; cats will continue right in front of you just for spite. Or is that just Junior?

video

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Oh, Christmas Tree!

Aaah, yes. Who doesn't love assembling the Christmas tree and meticulously arranging the lights, only to be left with a strand that stops working.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

"We're not in Kansas anymore."

I guess I took a complete break from everything over the Thanksgiving break, including blogging. We spent the past few days at Karl and Ashley's house and got to see almost all of Alan's extended family. We did what most people did - ate, watched football, and of course shopped:



Austin and Ashtyn loved Bailey, and I know she'd say the feeling was mutual. They were so sweet. Here's some pretty serious Wii playing with Austin, Bailey, and Alan:



Karl and Ashley were awesome hosts, but I bet they're glad to have their house back to normal. I know I'm looking forward to being back in my own bed tonight. I have an interesting week that starts with jury duty tomorrow followed by decorating for Christmas (with Junior's help) tomorrow night, so I'm guessing it'll be a more blog worthy week.

Friday, November 21, 2008

I'll take this, thanks.

Junior approves of the new dining table and has claimed it as his domain. It's a good thing this table is ginormous to accomodate his weight. Perhaps some day when we have chairs, he'll lose his right to sit on furniture where we EAT.

Friday, November 14, 2008

It hurts so good!

I can't remember if I've mentioned it, but recently we joined the gym. I've dragged Bailey to spin class, body pump, and I've tried Zumba on my own. We've also gone a couple times just to run on the treadmills.

I probably shouldn't point out things that make me look old, but oh well. During spin class I did something to my knee and was up that night for three hours due to the sheer PAIN. After Zumba, I could still feel the muscle soreness after 5 days. Wednesday, Bailey and I went to Body Pump, and here I am two days later up at 5:00 a.m. taking two Advil. Body Pump uses free weights and whatever you call it - a barbell? As we were leaving the class, I literally could not lift my arm high enough to talk on my cell phone. I had to bend my head DOWN to the phone. Bailey and I were laughing so hard at how our muscles were reacting, particularly when we had to walk down the stairs to the lobby of the gym.

Bailey is suggesting swimming next, and I am all for that. A nice warm pool to soothe these aching muscles.

Tomorrow is a 5K that I'm not ready for, but I might attempt anyway. It's strictly for girls and women, and the motto is "run like a girl." I can do that! But only if these muscles have recovered some. Still...it's a GOOD PAIN!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank You!

Just wanted to say thanks to our veterans out there, and especially the ones I can call family!



Our school made a wall of fame, so I placed "bricks" with Dale's, Leigh's, and Karl's names on it. We went outside by the flagpole for a short memorial, and I thought it was sweet to see such a large group of kids saying the pledge (even if they don't know where their hearts are). We say the pledge every day in class, but it's not something most of us do on a regular basis. We have some kids that don't recite the pledge because of religious reasons, which sometimes annoys me, but I guess I appreciate that we live in a country where they're allowed to honor their beliefs.



Just thought the photos were cute and wanted to share!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Kaboom!

We got up early to go watch this:

video

The sound from the explosives was as cool as the implosion itself. But the eerie part was afterwards when the dust cloud started coming towards us. Made me think of 9-11.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

My fellow Americans...

Well, I guess I'm off to vote here in a little while. I know a lot of people who voted early, but I don't like to do that. I like the energy of the actual day! For me, it's that one special day where you feel very patriotic and very much a citizen! And trust me, I only "get into it" on this one day. I don't follow the campaigns very closely, I don't watch the debates, I just don't like either candidate by the time election day comes around. But you know what I do like? I like my money. And even though it won't matter, I've got to go vote to have a voice on what I think about people who want to "redistribute" MY money.

Have fun watching all the hoopla tonight!

Saturday, November 01, 2008

A Murderer and a Martian


That's me as Lizzie Borden, trying to convey my "I'm in a daze because I just hacked up my parents" look, and Alan as Marvin the Martian, obviously. Alan's costume was pretty darn cool. And pretty darn time-consuming to create. He pulled it off pretty nicely!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Calgon, please.

Oh lordy, what a long week already. I need a mini-vacation. Tomorrow will be another long day, and how fortunate that I can't sleep! Ugh. And Halloween? Man, who knew it was so time consuming! Alan and I have put many hours into our costumes already, and we're not even finished. But it'll all be fun in the end. Lots of pictures for the blog, I'm sure!

Monday, October 27, 2008

The old yeller dog

I cried in front of my homeroom class today.

At the end of every day we have Read Aloud, where I read a chapter book to them. It's my special time of the day with my homeroom. We sit on the carpet at the reading center, we turn off the lights except for a cozy lamp, and they sometimes draw what they "see" in their heads. For the past three weeks, we've been reading Old Yeller. I told them early on that I was probably going to cry at the end, which wasn't giving anything away, since the main character tells you on the very first page that he kills his dog.

Knowing we were almost to that part today, my eyes had already glanced ahead at the exact part on the page where it happens. So there I am, two paragraphs before, having to stop and take deep breaths. Of course some of the kids thought it was amusing that I was getting upset, while others were chastising the ones who were making fun of me! And then there was the little girl sitting at my feet who was crying before I was. But I trudged on and with my voice breaking up read the line, "so I put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger." Here came the tears! I was thankful for the dimmed lights - ha.

But seriously, what is it about a dying dog that brings out more emotion than a dying human?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

In Time for Halloween

Anyone who lives in West Texas knows that real estate prices have been ridiculously high for a while. Midlanders aren't going through the economic doom that much of the country is experiencing. In fact, the economy is pretty sweet around here. It's hard to find a home that hasn't already been snatched up within hours of being put on the market. So it was no surprise to us to see the "sold" sign on the house next door within 24 hours of being listed.

What did surprise us, however, was that the owners were already selling the home. They just bought it about a year ago, did a LOT of renovating, and looked to be a young couple who were settling down for a while. So why move so quickly?

The previous owner was an elderly lady who had been living alone for quite some time after her husband died. Her health was not good, but she was still able to live on her own and had friends and family visit frequently. Alan went over there a couple times to help her with things like lighting the pilot light, but we didn't have a lot of contact with her. One night, a little over a year ago, I woke up to flashing lights coming through our bedroom window. Out front were several emergency vehicles, one of which was an ambulance. We learned over the next couple of days that the woman had fallen, hit her head, and died.

So back to today. From talking to neighbors, Alan learned that the couple is moving because of the GHOST. The husband is gone a lot, and the wife is afraid to be home alone because of certain disturbances...like faucets being turned on and off. When Alan told me, my eyes lit up! I was so excited to be next door to a haunted house! That is, until I started hearing unusual noises the past few nights and began wondering if she's visiting her neighbors. Doo-doo-doo-doo, doo-doo-doo-doo.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

P-U

Did you know that if you cook vegetable soup with lots of cabbage all night long in your crock pot, that when you wake the next morning your whole house will smell like poo? Me neither!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Feeling maternal

I think anytime someone starts a blog with, "I had this dream last night...," readers instantly yawn and move on because who wants to hear about a dream? It's REALLY not that interesting to ANYONE other than yourself. You are the only one to whom it seems real. Good thing it's my blog page and I can do what I want. :-)

So I had this dream last night that I was in Wal-Mart with a group of young kids that I was semi-responsible for, like a school field trip or something. One kindergarten boy cut his foot, because he was running around in his socks through the metal clothes racks. He was bleeding pretty badly, so I picked him up and we headed to the nurses' clinic in the Wal-Mart. Yeah, you know, those nurses' clinics in every Wal-Mart. By the time I walked in the clinic, the little boy was now a baby about 9 months old. When I realize that I had accidently picked up someone's baby, I start to panic and head back out into the store. I'm thinking, "oh my God, someone's going to think I kidnapped their baby!"

But no parents were frantically looking for their child, no Adam alerts called out, nothing. I was still very panicked and spent the next 2-3 hours with this baby looking for the mom or dad. How could they not be looking for him? Then the Wal-Mart becomes a restaurant at night that is closing soon, and none of the staff seem concerned at all about my situation. Actually, they seem annoyed that I won't go home.

One thing I keep thinking during the dream is how cute the baby is, how good he's being, how nice it is to hold a baby again....and how PLEASE GOD LET ME FIND HIS PARENTS because I don't want to keep him!

The dream just struck me as funny, because Alan and I recently kept sweet little Holden for Brandi and Luke for a couple days. It was so fun, and we really enjoyed our weekend with him! And I really missed him just a few days later!

I think most women naturally reach an age at which they don't have yearnings to have babies anymore. I reached that age many, many years ago, yet it was still possible if Alan and I ever changed our minds. But we haven't, and we WON'T. The life that we see just around the corner looks pretty sweet. And then there'll be grandchildren to satisfy those maternal instincts. Babysitting suits me just fine.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bottoms up!

How do I love thee, Nyquil, let me count the ways:

  1. You make me feel better every time, regardless of how sick I am.
  2. You're made with alcohol.
  3. You make my leg jitters go away.
  4. You allow me to sleep until 8:00 or 9:00 a.m. This is impossible without you!
  5. You could taste much worst.
  6. Your commercials do not irritate me or gross me out.
  7. I mentioned the alcohol already, didn't I? Oh well, it's worth mentioning again because it's the only alcohol I've had in weeks.

And now it's time for another swig, and of course, bedtime. :-)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Maybe Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle?

I need ideas. I have to dress up as a storybook character for Halloween at my school. So far I've thought of Mary Poppins, Ms. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus series, Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn, Little Red Riding Hood (Bailey's suggestion), and...yeah that's about it. I teach Reading and can't think of a good storybook character. Help!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Okay, I'll Play!

DeeBee tagged me to play a game called Seven Facts or something like that. Of course I'll play! Why would I go get ready for work when I can be goofing off on the computer?

Seven Weird or Random facts about me:

1. Clowns creep me out.

2. I live with a mean cat that attacks and bites me almost daily.

3. I can't eat at Quiznos because of a weird Hobbit-looking troll of a man that was sitting next to me at a Quiznos once. It was the first time I had ever been there, and I've never been back. You just had to see him. But I've really worked on my issues with dwarfs and am a big fan of "Little People, Big World." So don't hate me.

4. I don't like tags - on clothes, blankets, pillows, whatever. I cut off every pillow tag the moment that pillow enters the house, and I can't have a blanket/sheet/throw tag near my face.

5. I broke my arm when I was 6 or 7. My parents didn't realize it for a week. ha.

6. I'm stealing an idea from DeeBee here and mentioning a recurring dream I always have: tornadoes. I have so many tornado dreams, and they're usually very cool. I'm fascinated with tornadoes.

7. I went to Europe when I was 15 with complete strangers, except for my French teacher who I didn't want to know any better.

Okay, I'll tag a few others:

Elizabeth, Just South of Sanity
Melissa, New Leaves in March
Naomi, blog it on your myspace!
Brandi, ditto

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Out with the old...

The past week or so we've replaced a few old things with items of this century. The plain, white toaster that probably cost $10 at the time, has been replaced with one that does more than I'm sure is necessary. And the hand-me-down coffee pot that did its job just fine but just wasn't pretty enough, now has a large, stainless steel, programmable version sitting in its former spot on the counter. But most importantly, the ugly black and grey computer chair that stabbed you in the elbows because the armrest padding had disintegrated somewhere, is now replaced with this:



As if we didn't spend enough time on the computer.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Baby Talk

Nope, that's not something Alan and I are "in" to. But hey, if you and yours do that, more power to you. Actually we're babysitting a one-year old for our really good friends this weekend, and I'm so excited! To think of taking care of someone innocent, someone who won't roll his eyes, who won't stay out late or do anything involving the police, and who generally won't make me worry is going to be so fun! I can't wait.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Tuna Casserole

It's perhaps my favorite comfort food, and yeah, it doesn't hurt that it's extremely easy to make. I don't why or when I started having mine with a sour pickle, but it's a must-have accompaniment! I add whatever cheese I have on hand that needs to be used up - this time it was sharp cheddar, gruyere, and a small amount of Velveeta. I also add cream of mushroom soup, sour cream, milk and butter, and always have to have crushed Lay's potato chips on top. Any interesting recipes out there for this simple classic?

Sunday, October 05, 2008

"Autumn" if your hoity-toity

I love the beginning of Fall. It's 68 degrees this morning, the wind is blowing, it's cloudy, and there's a hint of rain. We all know it won't really rain, but the suggestion of it is still a welcome change. Alan and I went for a short bike ride and just took cinammon rolls out of the oven, so it even smells like Fall! As much as I like the summer and will soon be wishing it were back, I think the beginning of every season is awesome.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Update

Daddy is home and doing much better, although I find it disconcerting that there is still no diagnosis for the mysterious autoimmune disease they say he has. It was pretty touch and go there for a couple days, but he's home and even back on his exercise bike! I guess the good news is that they've ruled out any serious issues with his heart. However they discovered he has an enlarged heart and diabetes on top of the prostate cancer that he's been dealing with for a few years now. But my dad is a positive person, deeply religious, and proof that attitude is everything.

Neglect and Renewal

I'm usually particular about having grass and weeds in my flower beds, not to mention renegade vines, but being preoccupied with other things has really taken a toll on our yard and landscaping. Ouch.



I just haven't had the desire or motivation to do anything outside, and the mosquitoes and flies have only been adding to my list of excuses. I haven't even taken the time to fill a jug of water and nourish my potted plants. Poor babies!





So I awoke today with a renewed sense of Destroy and Conquer! The vines are gone, the invasive grass and weeds have been chemically altered (sorry, Mother Earth), and the plants are finally watered. I may even buy some pretty fall mums today and get back to a once favorite pasttime.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Eighteen

Happy Birthday, Addison!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Daddy

My dad is really ill. I'd like to be the kind of person that wholeheartedly believes in the power of prayer, but I'm only 75% there most of the time. So whatever you want to call it - prayer, positive thinking, best wishes, I don't care...send them his way?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Bright Spots

Here are some things in the near future I'm looking forward to:
  • The Cowboys game tomorrow
  • The "Taste of Home" show (in person!) Tuesday night with Brandi
  • The season finale of "Paranormal" Monday night
  • The season premier of "The Office" on Thursday
  • A date with Alan to see "Ghost Town" (hint, hint)
  • Addison's 18th Birthday
Thanks for letting me think out loud. I just needed to stop and take inventory!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Four Foods on Friday

DeeBee participates in "Four Foods on Friday" every week, so I decided to join in this time. Mostly, I can't sleep and need something to do! If you want to play, go to Fun, Crafts, and Recipes.

#1. Share a recipe for something Italian.

FRIED RAVIOLI

Man, that Giada De Laurentiis knows what the heck she's doing. I watched her make this on Everyday Italian, and it's been a house favorite ever since!

Olive oil, for frying
1 cup buttermilk
2 cups Italian-style bread crumbs
1 box store-bought cheese ravioli (about 24 ravioli)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 jar store bought marinara sauce, heated, for dipping

Pour enough olive oil into a large frying pan to reach a depth of 2 inches. Heat the oil over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 325 degrees F. While the oil is heating, put the buttermilk and the bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Working in batches, dip ravioli in buttermilk to coat completely. Allow the excess buttermilk to drip back into the bowl. Dredge ravioli in the bread crumbs. Place the ravioli on a baking sheet, and continue with the remaining ravioli.
When the oil is hot, fry the ravioli in batches, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried ravioli to paper towels to drain.
Sprinkle the fried ravioli with Parmesan and serve with a bowl of warmed marinara sauce for dipping.

#2. Jam, jelly, preserves, marmalade, fruit butter or butter. What’s on your toast or bread? I like all of the above but usually have strawberry preserves or grape jam in the fridge. My favorite guilty pleasure is to have butter AND jam on toast. You might see some butter in my preserves jar and some preserves in my butter container. Oops.

#3. What’s your favorite Kellogg’s product? I have to go with good ole' Frosted Flakes.

#4. Do you like liver? What about liverwurst? Honestly, I don't want to know if I like it or not. I won't try either. Have you seen how much blood liver holds? Gross.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

"Irie, Mahn"

I should apologize for worrying people. I hadn't been blogging lately and sort of felt like I should explain why. But it's kind of crappy to tell people something bad is going on, and then not tell what it is. I was pissy and frustrated, yet trying to throw some dark humor into the situation. Only DeeBee (my sister) knew me well enough to know that. And okay, I suppose the Big Man might know me pretty well, too, and therefore forgave my irritation. I didn't, however, exaggerate in the least. It's been a rough few weeks.

On the plus side though, I absolutely love my job. I'm not being a workaholic about it, because home is where I need to be right now and will be as much as possible. I'll admit though that I have a stack of papers to grade over there on the couch...so much so that Alan knew he had the freedom to go hang out with friends tonight! ha. But I love the kids and love what I'm doing. This is what I imagined about teaching.

And on another happy note, Addison is a college student! She enrolled at Midland College this semester and is taking core classes until she figures out what she wants to do. Even if she decides that college is not for her, I'm proud of her for giving it a try.

So I guess what I'm saying on this September 11th, is that even on the darkest days, life will continue the following day and we'll be just fine. If you've never read September 12th: We Knew We Would Be Alright written and illustrated by elementary-age kids, go get it! It's an awesome book.

Monday, September 08, 2008

"Dear God, it's me, Tanya"

Hi there. We need to talk. I'm sure you probably say that everyday, but I can't hear you, being the mere mortal that I am. You may need to speak a little louder. Anyway...my plate is full, my heart is heavy, and I'm really tired. But you already knew that.

Amen.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Status

I reach these points where I can't post a single thing, and usually it's because I'm either too wrapped up in something uninteresting like my job, or I'm consumed by things I can't talk about on the internet. Or worse, I'm just plain ole BORING. Lately it's been a combination of all three. I don't know when I'll get back into the swing of things.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ready for Friday

I'm having a good week, am loving my job and all 55 kids, but I is pooped. So we're headed out to dinner tonight with good friends, where I'll indulge in fried catfish and fun conversation. More when I've had a good night's sleep...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Room 204


Well, the time has come. "Meet the Teacher" night has passed, the room is ready, the pencils and crayons and glue and scissors are organized, and the door is decorated. Now all I need is a weekend of sleep and good thoughts, and I think I'll be ready.

Hash #8

Alright, I'm back I think. Life's challenges forced me to take a little sabbatical for a while. I'm just going to post some pictures from the last hash, which we hosted Saturday evening. I think it was the best hash yet, because of the trail, the weather, the company, and the good times. Click on each picture for a closer view.


Luke (and Holden), Brandi, Jason, Jackie, James, Naomi, Stephen, Alan, & Richard


Alan and Naomi


Jason and Jackie in the parking garage


We were kind of tired at this point. That's Luke, me, Jason, and Jackie.


Some of the trail symbols.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I is educated

I've spent the past couple of days playing musical chairs in what I thought was a class for adults. You know, if you want teachers to feel like professionals, don't treat them like children. I don't need to pretend I'm a statue, build anything with paper plates and cups, or sit in a circle and talk about my feelings, but I've done more than my share of that over the summer. Just hand me the book and let me go teach. I got it, thanks.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Nevermind

Recently I've been thinking I should get my hair cut short again, and then I go back through pictures and see this:

YOWZA! I'm thinking, NO.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The girls

I suppose it's another mom thing, but there's just something about seeing your kids together, like this, that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. When you have more than one child, you essentially are giving them the irreplacable gift of each other. Yeah, it's a little melodramatic, but true!

Monday, August 11, 2008

A much needed manicure

Most of our weekend consisted of yard work, and we'd let so many things go that there was a ton to do. Between the potato vine explosion and the passion vine that intrudes on anything in its path, it was like Little Shop of Horrors in the backyard. This is the potato vine "under control," but that's a relative term:



We also replaced the mulch in all the flower beds, both front and back, which ended up being two trips to Home Depot and 15 bags of mulch. I'm going to pass on telling about my Home Depot experience, for now. Anyway, I like the new dark brown:



But sometimes the best things in nature are those that happen naturally. We inherited this old chair when we bought the house, but I had nothing to do with the Morning Glory that popped up this year and made its claim:



Sweet!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

My Chandler

If you've seen every episode of Friends like I have (and several more than once), then surely you know the one where Chandler and Monica try to have engagement pictures taken, but Chandler can't for the life of him take a decent picture. His smile was always contorted, or he smiled at the completely wrong time, or he just couldn't smile period. Well it seems Alan has developed what we call "The Chandler Syndrome." Used to, Alan smiled so much in every picture that it looked more like he was laughing. So we were kind enough to make him feel really self-conscious about it, and now he's thinking way too hard about what to do!









You should see the ones I deleted on the spot.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Graced with his presence

Been kind of busy with work this week, so today's another picture day. I snapped this photo yesterday, because it's rare that Junior will lie this close to anyone for more than 30 seconds, and this lasted maybe 15 minutes.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Inventory

It might be time to reevaluate how much cereal we eat. OR, not let Alan go to the grocery store by himself. I'm leaning towards the latter. We have thirteen boxes for three people. And I've been so busy eating my senior-citizen-high-fiber cereal, that I've lost track of how old that box of Frosted Flakes is.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Check it off!

Haven't you made that list in your head of the things you must do before you die? You're lying if you say you haven't. Well for me, going to a Braves game in Atlanta was on my list, so I felt pretty fortunate this weekend to be spending two days at Turner Field. It was awesome!

They played the Brewers, which meant we got to see Prince Fielder hit three homeruns and C.C. Sabathia pitch nearly nine innings on Saturday. Which really means nothing if you're not a baseball fan.



My partner in crime...wouldn't have been the same going with anyone other than Alan:



We put some time into making these signs and never made it on the Game Vision board! Seriously, I could write a whole post on the making of the signs. We planned, argued, debated, analyzed, argued some more, and finally compromised. Our seats on this day were nowhere near a camera man, which made all the difference. We tried to get the FOX camera guy to see us, but oh well...Alan still had fun showing our sign to any and EVERYONE throughout the day.



Good ole Bobby Cox!


Jeff Francoeur's not having his best season right now, but he's still awesome to watch in the outfield:

And lastly, my hero, Chipper Jones (that's him facing the camera). Did I mention that I didn't want to wait this late in the season to go to a game, soley because I WAS AFRAID CHIPPER WOULD GET HURT? Going in August was Alan's idea. THANKS.



It was a great trip, and the scenery wasn't too bad either (I spied a tree or two.) Something else interesting about being there was that we were definitely minorities, ethnically speaking. And you know, that's kind of a cool thing to experience. However, that one brief period when we were lost in the hood and could only think of all those episodes of The First 48 that were filmed IN ATLANTA...yeah, that was a little uncomfortable.

Hopefully it wasn't our last trip to Atlanta for a game, but at least now I can die peacefully. :-)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Almost time

I realize my excitement may be corny, but I've been having a good time getting my FIRST room ready for the new school year. Despite the miserable heat (no a/c in the summer at most schools - poor custodians!), it's been fun to make the room my own, as simple a room as it is. I still need to do my door and a little more organizing, but I'm getting there.

DeeBee found some quotes about reading for me (I'm primarily a Reading teacher this year), so I put several throughout the room. Aaaww...look at my cute little Reading Center!



I need some more pillows (and need to toss that dirty one - gross!), but it's coming along. And I know my excitement will dwindle, but I hope it's a while before that happens...