Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Treadmill and Grandma

YEAH! My treadmill finally arrived yesterday, and my wonderful hubby and oldest daughter put it together last night. I got home from youngest daughter's basketball practice and it was put together. I walked half a mile on it last night and then ran two miles on it this morning. It was so great! I love it. I am contemplating another run tonight! Just a little one. :) I have last month's Runner's World magazine to peruse while I'm running-to inspire me, too. :) Although, this morning's experience convinced me that my thighs have gotten a tad chunky and I have gotten out of shape very quickly. It's true what they say: it takes you half as long to get out of shape as it does to get in shape. If it takes me four weeks to get back into running shape, it takes me two to lose it. Yuck. Anyway, I informed my hubby last night that I was training for October's marathon, again, and he is unsure I will have the time...Although, now I have a treadmill. I can run anytime! :) A two hour run at four am? No problem. ;) Ok, maybe not anytime, I do value my sleep! :)
On other fronts, for the first time, we have allowed our girls to watch American Idol. It's on past their bedtimes, but we compromise and extend their bedtime a bit: the youngest goes to bed at 8 and the oldest is in bed at 8, but reads until 8:30. So, we let them stay up until 9. Idol isn't over until later, but they get to see who they missed on the "recap". We aren't good singers, but enjoy critiquing the contestants on the show. :) The girls have their favorites and hate to miss it.
Tonight I am heading to church, again, to make calls to members. My job is to tell them who I am, then ask if they have any informational changes, prayer concerns, concerns about our church or anything else they'd like the church staff to be informed of. Last week it took me an hour and a half to contact fifty people/families, and I enjoyed talking to the many people.
I sub again this Thursday and Friday, in the same classroom both days, for kindergarten. It's a class I've never subbed for before, but a teacher I know and respect will be right next door in the connecting kindergarten room for the morning.
Yesterday, I finished cataloging all my children's books into library thing. Phew! :) Now, I am ready for them to be used in a classroom!! :)
I am about to begin reading "In an Instant: A Family's Journey of Love and Healing" by Bob and Lee Woodruff with my husband. It just sounds like a wonderful book! I will let you know after I've read it.
We headed to my husband's grandparents' this past weekend. His paternal grandmother has had some health issues, leading up to not remembering her sons, being belligerent at the hospital and having to be put in a 24hour care nursing home. At first her doctors thought it was a stroke or a series of strokes, then Alzheimer's, but they still weren't sure. They then thought possibly a deficit of potassium. Well, when she arrived at the nursing home, she was in a wheelchair and couldn't get up on her own. A week later, when we saw her this weekend, she remembered all four of us, the girls' grades at school, even and could walk by herself to the lobby and back! It was an amazing recovery thus far, and hopefully it continues. She was in excellent spirits and seemed very tenacious, and positive, to leave this nursing home "asap"! :) Her physical therapy (an hour a day for arms and leg strength and dexterity, as well as to regain better balance)has done wonders, and she really likes the man who gives her therapy for her legs. She says he's nice and funny. :) To "inform" (because my hubby is a very linear thinker and likes blogs to be for the world to share information :)) here are links about Alzheimer's Disease and potassium deficit.
That is all of my information for today. I hope you are well, reader.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

On the mend

The family is now on the mend...hopefully! I mentioned that both of our girls weren't feeling too great. My youngest had the pink eye and the flu, then our oldest had "a bug" and then the flu last week. Two to three days ago, my husband came down with the flu. I have taken care of them all, woken up in the night with all of them, and thought I was cruising along. Then late morning today, I began to get the headache that my husband started with. I was supposed to go with them to a local college basketball game, as a family, but stayed home and slept a bit instead. I disliked not being with them, but they had a good time without me. And I got the rest I needed to begin to feel better, although I am not feeling great, yet. As you know, I like to "inform" in my blogs, my husband suggests blogs are for information, here is an article on how to stop the spread of germs and keep you from getting the germs while you care for others:
I am so happy that my family is feeling better.

I'm very thankful, too, that my husband is ok. He was in an accident last week. He stopped at a red light, second in line, leaned ahead to change the radio and that was when the car behind him ran into the back of him. There was little or no visible damage on any of the three cars, thankfully, and the lady who hit my husband was very apologetic. My husband thought she was probably distracted: she was in her pajamas, hurrying to get her kids to school, with a dog loose in the car. Thankfully everyone was ok, no airbags were deployed and my husband went on to work. When he called, the tone of his voice made my stomach drop and my heart jump into my throat.

I am subbing this week, and am excited about it! It's a fifth grade class I've subbed for previously, but it was back in November. I know that fifth graders gradually change throughout the schoolyear, so I'm interested to see their changes since I was there last. I've noticed that some students who have waved, and said hello when they've seen me at school, have lately looked around to see who is looking before they wave. :)

I also have to attend church on the same day, well, in the evening, to make calls to our current members. I look forward to making the calls. I have to go to the church to make the calls. I'm not sure what I need to say, but I do know I call current members.

We have had interesting weather these last few weeks. I mentioned in a previous post that we had had no snow days/weather days in three years. A few weeks ago, we had four. Last week we had two. Snow coming in is flurries today, but those should stop this weekend...but the girls have tomorrow off due to President's Day. So, another break/three day weekend. It's nice to be home with my girls. I will be baking cookies with/for them tomorrow if I don't have the full blown flu! :) I'm leaning towards oatmeal scotchies or chocolate chip cookies! See the recipes below and have a great week!
Oatmeal Scotchies:
Chocolate Chip Cookies:

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Midnight Illness

We had, for the first time in 2 to 3 years, two days off from school, due to the bitter cold temps. So, Monday and Tuesday here, just the girls and I, was fun, just hanging out, and then snow started last night. We were all hopeful that the weather would be fun enough to play in today, and just a tiny bit hopeful, but realistically doubtful, that there would be another day off.
At 2am, my youngest began her bout with the flu. This continued until about 4:30am. In between two bouts, I ran to the local grocery at 3am. There were no customers, which is unusual for our all grocery that is open 24 hours. There were quite a few shelf stackers from multiple companies, though. Anyway, I picked up gatorade, sprite, saltines, ritz type crackers, pretzels and bread. The foods and drinks the kids have when they're sick. At 4:30, I fell into bed exhausted, with school still not closed. I was supposed to sub today, so I called the school and left them an apologetic message that our girl had the flu and I'd be staying home with her. At 6 they canceled school due to the snow and roads not being cleared. We probably could've done with a two hour delay, but it worked best for us. Thank the Lord for little blessings. So, we three girls stayed home fighting germs, getting in a little nap. So far, no bouts in the bathroom for my little girl, thankfully, and hopefully that is it! :) Fingers crossed!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Multiple Trains of Thought!

I have multiple things, as I sit here at my laptop, that I would like to blog about. Who knows if you readers will find them interesting or not, but I felt the need to blog-and yes, inform. :)
First, my youngest daughter got an ant farm for her birthday. When I thought of ant farms, I assumed they had a queen, were an ant colony, etc. After some research, this is not so. When you receive an ant farm, it comes ant-less. You must send in an order form and order them. However, they won't send you a queen, because you are across state lines (unless you live in ID, I believe). They fear the queen might escape and "cross contaminate" the ant kingdom, creating havoc in the bug world, such as the ash borer went crazy here in the United States. Also, the queen produces thousands, if not tens of thousands, of eggs, so your tiny ant farm couldn't hold all of them. So, you can 1) order these live ants, receive a package of 25-30 live ants in the mail, and have them only live one to three months 2) go out in the spring and try/hope to catch a live "princess" (fertile female on her way to start her own colony as queen) and begin a colony, or 3) dig some up out of your yard or garden, keeping in mind that you will be destroying the colony which you took them from. So, we opted for number 1. We received the ants, which came with a paper that read, "DO NOT TOUCH THESE ANTS!" It went to so far as to say that if any escaped, not to try to save them but to kill them with a spoon or other utensil immediately! So, the ant farm didn't travel up to my daughter's room, it stayed in the kitchen so she didn't knock it off and scatter these "poisonous" ants everywhere. :) So, I learned quite a bit about ants. We are now about to the end of the three month period, seeing them die off a few each day. My family mocked my learning about ants, but I say you learn something new everyday and keep your brain active. This may even prove useful in the future classroom! :)
Next, we went to the chili cook off party last night. We didn't win any prizes, but we had an ok time. :) Our soup was the best with the additions we provided, but most judges (other cooks and guests) said they didn't want to put in the effort to include the ingredients. They just wanted to plop the soup into the bowl, taste, and be onto the next sample. Bummer, because with avocado, cilantro and lime juice (you wouldn't think this would be good in chili, but it is!) it tastes superb. :) Here's the recipe:
Taco Soup
makes 4 to 6 servings
olive oil cooking spray
1/2 pound ground beef round
1 cup chopped onion
1 can (14.5 ounces) Mexican Style diced tomatoes with liquid
1 can (15.5 ounces) light red kidney beans with liquid
1 can (11 ounces) corn kernels with liquid
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 package (1.25 ounces) taco seasoning
1 avocado, peeled, sliced
1 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican cheese blend
1/4 cup fresh cilanto sprigs
1 lime, cut into slices
tortilla chips

Spray saucepan with cooking spray. Place it over medium high heat. Crumble in bee and break it up, cooking for 30 seconds. Add the onion, and continue to cook, stirring until the beef browns all over and is cooked through and the onion softens, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, beans, and corn with their liquids, tomato sauce and taco seasoning. Fill the tomato sauce can with water and add that liquid to the pan, then stir. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover the pan and simmer 15 minutes. Ladle soup into serving bowls and pass the avocado slices, sour cream, cheese, cilantro, lime wedges, and tortilla chips separately.
Note: We doubled the recipe last night, using one can of black beans instead of two kidney beans, and only one can of corn. Also, the rules state that you can't use prepackaged seasoning, so I looked on for a taco seasoning.

The past few days we've been researching treadmills, which I have found very fun. I tried several and researched them. Today we ordered the sole f80. Free shipping and no sales tax! :)
I am very excited to be able to run at home. It's still dark here, the only morning time I can run and I don't feel comfortable on the dark bike path by myself. I also don't have a lot of time I can run, unless I go to bed at 8pm and get up at 5am, so this will be good, to run at home! :)

My husband found a site: where you can catalog your books, so I'm going to do that. I'm excited to catalog my books for a classroom, and books I have here, too!

That's all for now. Have a good week!

Thursday, February 01, 2007


This week, I signed up for my first class to renew my teaching license, which expires in August. If I let it expire, I will have to take standardized tests again to get a new one, or I can just take a few classes (6 semester hour or 9 quarter hour credits) to renew before August. Teaching full time helps to renew, as well as teacher work days/conferences and workshops. The first class I'm taking is classroom computer integration. I'm looking forward to it.
Also, this week, I updated my resume, which hadn't truly been done in years. It was fun, and nerve-wracking all at once. Fun because of new possibilities I could imagine. Nerve-wracking because I haven't taught, aside from subbing in ten years. My husband told me I should post the resume on the blog, but I thought that would oppose my theory of trying to be "anonymous" without locators, and I don't need criticism from people I don't know! :) It makes me nervous enough for him to look at it! :) I will be a wreck when prospective employers look at it! :)
I just keep thinking over how much my girls need me, how much we still talk, how I will lose those things when I leave for work super early, and work into the afternoon or evening if I get a full time job. I worry that I won't be here for them as much I need to be. I know they're both in school all day and don't need me as often, but when they come home, that's when they need me, to tell me about their day, talk about what's bothering them, or concerning them. I don't want to miss out on those things and have them get into trouble or feel like we're not there for them. My husband says it will all work out, that we love our girls and will always work to be here for them. And I love teaching kids! It truly has been my life's goal and purpose, after being a good mother and wife. But, is it the right time, yet? I just keep praying that I'm guided by the One-who-loves-us into the right direction, and that I can hear Him in my decision.
On a different note, my oldest has, very unusually requested staying home and a doctor's appt. today. She says she can't swallow and has gone back to bed. Often, when I ask her if she feels bad enough to stay home and see a doctor, she says no and is fine by the time she has to walk to the bus. Today she was not. So, another trip to the doctor instead of having morning tea with a dear friend of mine, which saddens me, as I don't see her often enough. :) Hopefully, the doctor has appointments today and isn't totally booked! :)
Saturday, if everyone is healthy, the girls will be staying with my husband's parents and we'll be heading to the chili cook-off! Last year, we took venison chili-see previous posts, but this year we're taking "taco soup" and making it a chili. I will post the recipe soon.
That's all for today. I hope life is treating you well, dear reader.