Monday, December 29, 2008

Dec 26-29

Hello! It's been a few days.
Dec 26 we took our tree and holiday decor down, and in the evening headed to my parents' house. We stayed overnight, spent the day with family on the 27th, and then headed home in the evening, returning home about 9:30, 10 o'clock. It was a quick visit, which is always hard during the holidays.
The 28th, we went to church, headed to the in laws' for lunch, then the girls went with their aunt to see Bedtime Stories. They thought it was a cute movie. While they were gone, the husband and I went to Lowe's to plan how we'll spend our Christmas gift $. We are repainting the kitchen. It has needed it for a while. We are also getting new countertops, which won't arrive for around 5 weeks, but will look very nice when we get them! :) We had a lot of fun looking and are excited to get the process started. Then we went out to eat!
Today we met my mother and sister in law at a breakfast place, then headed to a bookstore (where we all had gift cards to spend), then onto the mall to have the daughters pick out an outfit with designated Christmas $. They also got to go to Target to use the rest on a toy/thing of their choosing, once the outfit had been purchased. We arrived home, the girls had lunch, then our youngest had a "playdate", so I took her there and then I got a run in! Garmin Girl beat me today, I might add, due to the wind that kicked my rear! :) I have ran 4 times in the last 6 days, and felt pretty good for most of them.
I also put out 75% of my snowmen decorations last night, but decided the 100% was overkill.
In my kitchen I have had cobalt blue glass for about 8 years. It is not staying in the "new" kitchen decor, so the hubby got all that down from the top of the cupboards last night. I still have that to clean and pack away today. It's a good feeling, the new plan . :)
I have also picked out my one little word for 2009, which I will talk about in another post.
Tomorrow we have no plans, so that is a good feeling, as well.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Did you know?

Did you know there is a "countdown" on the USA network website to countdown until the next half of the Psych season begins? It's like an advent calendar with clips, facts and a couple of laughs thrown in. My absolute favorite show! My in laws went to New York over Thanksgiving, for a quick vacation, and while there, they bought me this shirt. It is great! :) Can't wait till Psych starts on January 9! :)

Dec 25

Merry Christmas! {yawn}
The girls were "late" risers this year and only got up at 6:30. :) It wasn't around 5am like last year, which resulted in me sending them back to bed until 6! :) They opened their gifts from Santa, we had our traditional breakfast and were done by 8.
I ran yesterday. Probably will again today. Yesterday I got in 4.25 miles, with my new friend, Garmin Girl 1, my gift from the hubby. Who needs diamonds?? :) He looked for a good deal on different sites, better than what's listed on the garmin site. I'd like to help the economy, but wow! :)
My Nike watch quit, my Nike+ went out when keeping track of my time and distance... I still need the ipod for music, but the garmin helps me keep my time on task, and keeps track of my route. I need to keep working at my goals.
We ended up making 5 kinds of the cookies. We ran out of time with cleaning and cooking for the in laws to come last night. We made:
  • crab dip
  • spinach dip
  • cheese fondue
  • fruit salsa and cinnamon chips, they didn't have strawberries at the store, so we used a red pear and it was yummy!
  • store bought pimento cheese spread, and ham salad
  • lots of crackers, veggies, and bread to dip
  • and some wine. :)
The food turned out well, and then we headed to church. It was a lovely service. A good way to spend Christmas Eve.

Well, off for family time. :) Merry Christmas!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Dec 23 & 24

Our oldest does have to have her wisdom teeth out on Jan 2. Please keep her well being in your thoughts. She's anxious already. She's supposed to go back to school on Jan 5, so we're hoping she's feeling well enough, but we'll see. We don't want to rush anything!

We made four kinds of cookies, thus far, amidst other activities.

We are done with our shopping, but not quite all the wrapping.

Tonight we have my in laws (mother, father, grandmother and sister) over for the annual Christmas eve dinner. We try to do different things every year. This year is "appetizers/dips" and then we'll attend church.

I would also like to get a run in today, as well as all the cooking and cleaning... think it'll happen? :)

Yesterday we went out, picked up my youngest from a sleepover (her friend's birthday is so close to Christmas, but it all worked out for her to have her party and all her friends could come!), went to the in-laws to play with the nieces and nephews, as well as get two games of euchre in with my husband's grandma. Then we headed home, got a few things done here, and then headed back out to finish stocking stuffers for the in laws. We always do parents' stocking stuffers. :) Then we exchanged gifts!

I know, I know, it wasn't even Christmas eve! Here, the only gifts opened on Christmas morning are from Santa. So, we all exchange gifts on Christmas Eve day. Since my husband had to work today, he will get home just in time to sit down and eat. Then we'll head off to church, and then it will be time for them to nestle all snug in the basement (it's a tradition that they sleep together every Christmas Eve, and wake up on Christmas morning together). So, we really didn't have time to just open them together, the four of us, after last night. Thus, we opened them. We all gave each other really nice gifts.

Now I have a list a mile long of things I need to get done before family arrives tonight! Then why am I blogging, you ask? :) Well, to wish all of you a wonderful holiday and send the regular readers a great big hug! Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Dec 22

Yes, my cookie baking list is ambitious, we'll see if I actually accomplish it!
But, I'm going to try.

Today we have our oldest daughter's pre surgery appt for her wisdom teeth removal. We're hoping she doesn't have to have them removed considering the reason they gave us for removal was that the wisdom teeth were holding in her 12 yr molars. Two of her molars have begun to poke through in the last month, so... but they're both the bottom, so he may suggest just top removal? I would just like to hold off on surgeries if possible. :)

We also have to shop for a friend of my youngest daughter's, as her birthday is today and her party is tonight-an overnight.

We have a busy afternoon, as well.

We went to a women's college basketball game as a family yesterday, too. It was a rival game and our team won by twent points! It was a fun event for all of us, and our seats were pretty good!

Have also begun the thoughts on the "one little word" for 2009. Faith was my 2008 word and I really worked on it.

I am off to start the day! I hope your Monday is magnificent! :)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Cookies

The girls and I are planning on baking the next three days.
Here are our cookies we're hoping to make (we're planning on at least the first five kinds, then the others if we have time and supplies).
  1. Peanut Butter Pinwheels (my annual favorite)
  2. No bake cookies
  3. Candy Cane cookies
  4. Haystack cookies
  5. Grasshopper brownies (no grasshoppers were harmed in the making of this recipe)
  6. Peanut Butter Blossoms
  7. Chocolate Cheesecake Candy Cane Bars
  8. Mexican Wedding Cakes
  9. Sugar Cookies
  10. Jingle Jammin' Bars (I will have to type up the recipe later.)
  11. Buckeyes
What cookies are you making this year? Recipes you make every year?
Hope you enjoy these if you try them! :)

Dec 21

Our oldest daughter is healing. The weather is cold and windy. I need to get groceries-lots of them, including ingredients for Christmas cookies, and Christmas Eve dinner, as well as our annual Christmas Day meal. Our Christmas Day meal is a family tradition and it includes: sausage casserole (the casserole is made the day before so it can cook while the girls open Santa's gifts), cinnamon rolls (we tried making the husband's family recipe for about ten years and I wasn't successful, so I decided on Pillsbury :)), frozen fruit slush (we do this recipe with only frozen orange juice concentrate, not lemonade, which we let thaw while gifts are opened) and coffee! :)

I got in a 4.25 mile run yesterday. The wind and cold wore me out, but it felt good to finish it. I ran in a 8:16 per mile pace, and was very tired at the end.

The husband and I watched August Rush last night, and we both thought it was a wonderful movie. The music/soundtrack was excellent, as well.

We still have a little shopping to finish up and a few things to wrap, but other than that, baking cookies is all that is left on my list! :)

Tomorrow is the pre-surgery wisdom teeth appt for our oldest and our youngest has a birthday slumber party tomorrow night.

Hope your weekend is moving along nicely, but not too quickly! :)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Dec 20: Ouch!

I was the substitute for the class I did the longterm in, yesterday. Their winter party, a holiday movie, a book exchange, a spelling test, and wrapping their gifts for their parents meant a busy day. The kids were great, and I loved being back with them!
Then, on my way home I called my oldest, who arrives a few minutes earlier than I do, when I sub. She had been running on the treadmill, and was trying to pause the treadmill, hop off and answer the phone all at the same time. This resulted in an ouch! She fell and hit several places, with the belt still moving before the emergency key came out and stopped it. She has a raw spot on her knee, covering the kneecap, her whole shoulder, and her hand including knuckles. She also hit her head and face. The fall broke her glasses, and I thought she would have a black eye today. It's still red/bruised but in little spots. She has small bruises/red marks from just above her eyebrow to down mid cheek. She said her teeth were bleeding, so I was worried about that, but they don't seem to be discolored today (thank goodness!) Her lip is huge, however, the right side of her top lip is about 4-5 times bigger than the left side. She has the treadmill belt bump marks everywhere, too. She's sore today, but not as sore as I thought she'd be. She's lucky she didn't break anything! She will heal well, kids do, but I worried about her all evening! And we super glued her glasses back together. She's watching a Paula Dean cooking show right now.
We had a nice evening last night with my husband's family last night, pizza, singing, and games.
The night went quickly.
We don't have a lot going on this weekend, just wrapping, baking, cleaning, and healing! :)
I finished the book of Philippians yesterday and am starting on Romans, for my daily readings, now.
I hope your weekend has started off well!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Dec 19

I am subbing today for the class I was long-term in, this past fall. The teacher has the flu and will miss winter party day. It will be fun, and go by very fast, I think. I had planned to get all my cleaning and some wrapping done since it was my last day at home with no daughters here, but it didn't work out. I am tired, but looking forward to going to teach.

The party last night was very fun! I'm glad we got to go. There were a lot of nice people there.

Off to do my devotion. I hope you've had a wonderful week!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Just read a quote I liked:
"Use what talent you possess:
the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sang best."-Henry Van Dyke

Dec 18

It's difficult to post when you're feeling stuck in the rut of the daily grind. Sometimes when the hubby calls to check in/say hello, he asks what I've been up to. Well, the dishwasher, laundry, tidying up, girls' schedules, paperwork... You know, the usual. Those things don't make for an interesting post, either. :)
Tonight we're heading to a party given by one of my husband's coworkers. Should be interesting and hopefully fun.
Yesterday evening, while the husband was working late, I went through the scrapbook magazine issues I was behind on reading. I had three sitting here and hadn't cracked one of them. I read through them all, well, I read through the first one and a half, then skimmed through the next one and a half. I ripped out the ideas I liked and articles I wanted to read more of, then recycled the rest. I felt inspired to scrapbook. I have time during the day,while the laundry's spinning, etc, but I feel guilty. Just sitting down and doing something fun, a hobby, when there's always work that can be done around here.
I've already done my devotional, which wasn't as moving as yesterday's, but my daily reading was from one of my favorite chapters, that I've learned so far: Philippians 4. Awesome. It has always been a chapter that speaks to my heart. v6 starts with Do Not Worry... I'm a worrier.
It is almost time to take my youngest off to school. I hope you have a thoroughly good Thursday and it is filled with smiles.... One week until Christmas! :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Dec 17

The girls headed off late to school today. They had a two hour delay due to two fronts of ice that came through last night. The temp was above freezing, then, and salt trucks came through, so it was fine when they headed out.
I finally finished updating my address book. I had been working on rewriting some of the pages, getting rid of phone numbers/addresses that I didn't need, adding new family that I sent cards to this year, since they moved or were married. I had been writing all the changes on notepaper, and I had quite a stack now that Christmas cards were done.
I've done my devotional and Bible reading for the day. Some days it really speaks to me, and other times, it's a thought/reading to mull over. Today's spoke to a goal of mine, something I hope to live by, and pray about. The reading was Romans 1:11, which speaks to our lives having an affect on others, either positive or negative, whenever we come in contact with someone. The verse was about your spiritual blessing you impart to others, or is imparted to you. The devotional was a reminder to have a positive influence on all you encounter, because that is what will spread. Also, it said to work at giving blessings/being a blessing rather than expecting to receive blessings from others. I really liked the words, and the thoughts are still sticking with me, obviously. :)
Yesterday I also sorted through my many contacts/email addresses. I have several that I don't know, they were attached to things people sent me or a "reply all" was sent and then they were new contacts. I also had several that were three emails for the same person, but I sorted through all those as well.
I haven't subbed at all this week. I haven't ran at all this week, although I have eaten plenty. :) I finally tried the new rib recipe yesterday, and it turned out yummy. We ate that and baked sweet potatoes. I baked them just like regular potatoes and I put a bit of butter and a bit of brown sugar on it before I ate it. We had fruit salad, as well. I'm still not sure what we're having tonight, though. :)
I hope your week has gone well, thus far! Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dec 16

Not much new for today
  • Very cold here. Bad weather supposed to come in this afternoon.
  • Saw this site: and found it interesting.
  • Finished Christmas cards yesterday, bought stamps today and the last of them are sitting in the mailbox right now. Yeah! :)
  • Ate way too many chips last night, and haven't ran since last week...
I think that's it. Have a Terrific Tuesday! :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Busy Few Days

Dec 12 we all headed to my home state for my aunt's funeral. It was sad, obviously. Reminded me of how little I see family, and how much more I should. I was glad to be there for my grandmother (Dad's mom). Also made me wonder if this was just the beginning; as they are all in the same age group, some with health issues, the beginning of trips there for sadness...

Dec 13 we went out to the usual breakfast place with my grandparents, made two dishes to pass (my usual gooey bar recipe, doubled) headed off to my mother's mother's family get together. We had a nice Christmas visit with them, saw more people I hadn't seen in ages, but missed seeing my Uncle Duane who is ill.

After that party we ran some errands with my mom and dad, like to Meijer, Starbucks, all the necessities. :)

Then we headed to my Dad's Dad's party. (Yes, we got to see three branches from the family tree! :)) It was great to see this family, too. No, I wasn't tired of family, yet! We hadn't seen some of them in so long, and they hadn't seen my daughters! They couldn't believe how much they'd grown, and how little I still was! ;) It was good to chat with everyone, and trade photos and hugs, at all of the get togethers.

We headed back here after the party, arriving in our garage a little before midnight. Yawn! The girls were supposed to try to sleep on the way home, but didn't get much sleep in! :) I had read more At Home In Mitford to my husband as he drove. It made our trip go much faster!

Dec 14 We all slept in a little yesterday, cleaned house a little bit, the husband made a grocery run, headed to later church, went out for lunch, went home and finished up cooking, cleaning, and then our life/church group arrived for a potluck dinner. We made sloppy joes, fruit salad, finger veggies and dip, and other people brought the other goodies. We started at 4:30 and people stayed until almost 9! We had a wonderful time just visiting and laughing. A great holiday meal.

Dec 15 is today, and we have a busy afternoon! My youngest has piano, book club, basketball practice, and my oldest babysits the neighbor kids. I will be the "taxi driver". :) I also have wrapping and some shopping to finish.

I hope you have a wonderful day, this start of the week!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Book Club

The "Well Read Child" site author, Jill, will be hosting a book club, online, after the first of the year. I thought it'd be fun. You can read at your leisure without having to travel anywhere to discuss the book! :) Things are just getting started, so sign up if you're interested; You email Jill if you're interested, and books are just being suggested, right now. Our schedule can be busy around here, but I love reading and would enjoy an "assignment", to make me feel like I can sit and read-without feeling guilty! :) Join us if you're interested. Hope those regular readers can join! It'd be fun to read and discuss books! :)
Also, if you're not interested, but have a "great book" you have recently read and want to suggest, let me know! :)

Dec 11

We are planning on all heading in for the aunt's funeral, and staying over for the parties. Thank you for your hugs and concerns, blog friends.

I sat in on the conferences today and they all were delightful! It was terrific to see the students, and their parents, as well. It is such a warm and positive environment. The day did go by fast, and for dinner (there was a short break for dinner), some wonderful PTA ladies brought in delicious food! :) I had homemade baked ziti, garlic bread and potato casserole. :) Yum! I was thankful to observe the teacher's wonderful practices during the conference, and to be part of supporting her/the parents and students.

Have a good evening!

Dec 10

December 10 was busy, although I didn't accomplish too much. :) I met a friend at Starbucks, whom I haven't chatted with in quite a while. I think we last got together, for longer than five minutes, before school started in the fall. We've talked via email, but it's not the same. :) We sat yesterday for two hours. It was the kind of get together where you both talk and visit and then you are surprised by how much time has gone by!
I left there and went on to my husband's work, picked him up and we went to lunch. It was a great lunch at a place I hadn't been to before. Was nice to spend some time with him yesterday.
Then I went home, changed into dress clothes, saw the kids get home from school, and talked to them a bit. The I headed off to conferences. I enjoyed sitting with the teacher and inputting where necessary. The teacher, of course, did an excellent job and didn't need me there; she knows the kids already very well. It's nice to have the experience of seeing it done, though.
Sadly, my parents called last night to say a great aunt had died. She had had an episode of cancer, had treatments and beat it, but then it came back a lot more aggressively. She was just rediagnosed before Thanksgiving. The funeral is tomorrow, and I feel I should go. This causes some logistics to figure out. One of our daughters is off school, due to conferences. The other is not. My husband should be working. But we are planning on heading to state I grew up in, on Saturday for family Christmas parties, also. It's a three and a half hour drive, so it is a lot to drive it there and back tomorrow, and again on Saturday. So, I'm still thinking on the "how"...
Today will be filled with conferences, so I'm expecting the day to go fast. Last night flew by. :)
I'm trying a new ribs recipe today. I hope it turns out ok. :)
Have a great Thursday!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Dec 9

Today was a wonderful day. The teacher I was substituting for in the fall said I could come and read to the students whenever I'd like. I didn't have anything this morning, so I went. I was there a little less than an hour. I felt like a "rock star" when I entered the classroom. They shouted my name, hugged me, smiled, one asked if I could teach the rest of the day! :) I was glad to see them, too. I read them a book, visited with each child as they worked on morning seatwork. I was sad to leave all over again.
I got more Christmas cards done. I think I have about 80 completed and another 20 to go, possibly. I should be able to finish those up tomorrow and mail them out!
I got in a 4.04 mile run today, at around a 9 min. mile pace. It was raining which I like, but windy which I don't. :) It was nice to get a run in, anyway. :)
Then, this evening, we met some wonderful friends for dinner. We chatted at dinner over good food, and our kids visited, as well. Then we had them over at our house for another few hours of visiting.
I forgot to mention yesterday that I tried a new soup recipe. It was really very good, and quite easy! :) I t was taco soup, and on this rainy, cool day, it was the perfect lunch! :) I left out the olives because most of our family dislikes them. :)
I hope your day went well, too. Enjoy your Wednesday! :)

Monday, December 08, 2008

Dec 8

Hm, what fun things did we do today for the December Daily album...
Ran, not as far as I'd hoped, but I ended up on the dreadmill, blech. I don't like running on treadmills. It makes the time pass much slower, makes me feel slower, and I don't get to breathe fresh air! :) But, I ran.
I went to the dentist. Always fun... truly I do enjoy the "clean teeth" feeling. I brush, but the dental appointment is always so much nicer.
Laundry, some Christmas cards...catching up on emails, organizing computer's bookmarks, helped my daughter tea dye some paper. She has to write a journal from the perspective of someone from the American Revolution times. We dyed the paper to make it look aged. After she prints her paper on it, we might burn the edges here or there, also.
I saw that Runner Susan has some coupon information on her site, so I perused that, as well. Some very cool stuff.
In our newspaper this week they stated that happiness has been studied, and it seems that happiness spreads to people like flu. It spreads to one who spreads to others, who spreads... you get the idea. :) So, keep smiling! :)
Well, that is all the bland information I have for you this evening. I hope your Monday was wonderful!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Dec 7

The girls did great in their piano competition! I was very proud of each of them. However, the competition was supposed to last 1 1/2 to 2 hours. It lasted 2hours and 45 min. Which wouldn't have been bad, except we had to be there around 11:15, the girls started at 11:45, which meant a snack before but no lunch until 2:30 or so. We were all soooo hungry! :) But, we lived. :)
Then the lady inlaws and children came over and we had pizza, as well as a wonderful time! The men made it back safely, their team ending in victory, and happy to have had a relaxing day.
Today we started with church, and then in the afternoon we made the button trees. We were really happy with how they turned out... Although, they were VERY time consuming and used VERY many more buttons and pins than anticipated. My tree is below. :)
I hope you had a wonderful weekend! :)

Saturday, December 06, 2008

December 6

I only sent out three cards yesterday... not quite the 25 I had in mind, hm? :) Those that I write today while the girls are in their piano competitions, will probably not make it out before the mail goes today, thus I shall be sending out the last of the cards on Monday.
I subbed yesterday and the children were delightful! :) The time passed too quickly!
I plan on a craft today or tomorrow, and have one for the girls, as well. Last year we did the frames, this year we are doing button trees. It's fun doing a craft with them! :)
I got in a run yesterday. 3.3 miles at 8:45 pace. The snowflakes that were falling were feathery and stuck to my eyelashes. The temp before wind chill was 19, but I was determined to get out there and make my goals! :) Who knows when I will have time today, but I will try! :) Or this will be my day off and I hit the trail again tomorrow. Currently, it's 23 degrees right now. :)
I hope you are warm and well, reader.

Friday, December 05, 2008

December 5

My goal was to get 25 cards out per day, the first day I sent out 23 and yesterday I sent out 27! Yeah! Although, I have to sub this afternoon so I won't be getting as many done. I have to clean house this morning, too, as is my Friday morning ritual. :)
The beagle has been completely fine, even up to his usual mulch eating antics, yesterday. :)
The weekend plans are busy: the husband is going tomorrow to a college basketball tournament (two games) in another state with his father, brother, and brother's father in law. They leave at 9am and return at 9pm. Both girls have "scale olympics" for piano, where they play for judges tomorrow 11:15-1:15 or so. There is an auditorium where I have to sit and wait for them... although I do not get to hear them play, I just wait, which will be a great time for me to finish Christmas cards. :) My oldest did this two years ago, I think, and I finished quite a few cards that year. :) Only one problem, no beverages while in the auditorium waiting, so I will finish coffee in the car after getting them checked in at the registration table, then head to the auditorium. :) I also invited my mother in law and sister in law over for pizza tomorrow night, to pass the time, as well.
I am planning on getting a run in today at 11. I got the latest edition of Runner's World Magazine yesterday. It always inspires me to get back to running. It had a page on setting goals. It mentions telling others about your goals to hold yourself accountable to them. So, I have set mine.
  • Running 6 days per week by 4-24-2009 (my next birthday)
  • Running in the mornings-must make it a daily habit, because that's the time that works best for our family schedule.
  • Go to bed early (to get up early!)
  • Run a marathon in under four hours in 2009-probably the half in the spring and the full in October 2009
I set these yesterday and didn't get up today, thus the run at 11, which gives me time to drink my coffee this morning, get a run in and shower before reporting to the school office to sub. :)
Last night we went on a (very cold!) walk as a family in the dark. The dogs loved it. We went about 8 blocks, four out and four back. It was fun. I slept better last night than I had in a while. When we got home, our youngest made hot chocolate with marshmallows and, on her own, she drizzled chocolate syrup on the top-it was very pretty, restaurant looking! :)
That's all for this morning. I hope your week went well!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Just to get the day started

Some sites I'm looking at this morning:
  • Advent Conspiracy (Referred here to Stacy Julian's blog, am looking at it for the first time this morning.)
  • Running With Cancer (Way to go on finishing the Seattle Marathon, Michael!)
  • Addicted to Scrapbooking (sales and giveaways for the holidays)
  • Snapfish (Uploading pictures that I took of my nephews and niece when they came and played last night=lots of FUN! :))
  • Ali Edward's update on her December Daily (I wish I could be this creative and have it turn out so wonderfully!)
  • I've also done the usuals: email, Google Reader of my blogs I read daily, where I read arlo and janice comic, cnn, msnbc, espn, the sites I skim each morning.
The beagle is himself today, completely. I was warned yesterday by hubby (with info from coworkers) that this might be the first of many seizures... I wonder if he's had any before this, but I wasn't here to witness them due to subbing?

Will try to post more later.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Dec 3-Poor Dog

Today has been rather eventful. It didn't start out that way. All I had planned were the daily tasks (Molly, I just make lists, and yes frequently it's the same thing day after day! :) And no, I don't get everything done/organized all the time, I just keep trying. :)) I also had more Christmas cards on my list. I have planned that 25 per day should have them done by the weekend. Yesterday I wrote out 23, so I was close.
While I was working on some cards, our beagle got up, stopped oddly on the basement stairs (I was working in the basement and the dogs like to be by me when I'm home alone.) He stopped and looked like he was waving. Then he went into the kitchen and I heard him fall above me. I ran in to check on him and he was shaking, with a blank stare, couldn't stand. It seemed very much like a seizure. I was unnerved, which in turn unnerved our other dog, but I quickly shooed him away. I held the small dog until he seemed to calm, a bit. I tried to tempt him with a treat, which usually has him running to me, although today he didn't seem to even notice. I let him outside and he ran like his legs were on strings going in different directions, like he didn't have control of them. He "went" and then sat in the mulch shaking. I went out, got him, picked him up and carried him to a comforter we had in the basement. I checked on him throughout the morning, went to meet the hubby for lunch, came home. The dog always comes to greet me at the door (I really worked to overcome his indifference to me, and we've grown quite fond of each other. :)) He didn't come today after lunch. I was more worried, still. I went down and he didn't even lift his head. He didn't wag his tail, which is a signature response, as well. I talked to him, petted him, and he rested. Later, he snored, in a deep, deep sleep for quite a while. About four hours since beginning the episode, he got up, stretched, visited with my oldest daughter, now home from school, and I, and went to his pillow bed, where he lays now. Scary. Yes, he's a dog, but part of our family.
Although he has appreciated the attention, our other dog has not. He's barked at me, nudged me and let me know he did not like this a number of times, today. Today's photo for the December Daily scrapbook will be the dog/s, I think.Here is a photo of them last month. We have two beds, but they end up on the same one. :)
The lunch with the husband was very nice, and we went to Starbucks after, as well. Had a lovely time, kept me from worrying about the dog. However, I didn't get very many cards done today, although I did get some wrapping done.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Dec 2

Today, I organized presents, made a list of cookies that I want to bake this month-so a grocery purchase is now in order, started Christmas cards, just about finished laundry, ordered Chinese food for dinner (oh so bad for you, but delicious! :)) and got my devotional and Bible Study in. On a side note, I have been rereading At Home in Mitford (one of my most favorite books/series EVER!) and it encouraged me to read the book/s of Timothy, which I have never done. I spent some time in the Word today working on that, as well.
I watered our very thirsty, newly cut Christmas tree, too. So far it's drinking about two watering cans per day! :)
I also talked to my mom, who had her gallbladder removed yesterday. She's doing well and progressing nicely.
Just wanted to check in and say hello to the readers this evening. :)

December Dailies

Ok, I didn't make the November blog post per day. I'm shooting for December, now. Why should this be any easier, you ask, especially during a busy time of year?? Well, I am working on a "December Daily" album again this year. Last year's didn't turn out quite as I'd hoped. This year, I'm doing things a bit differently, but still trying to keep track of at least one thing per day. Yesterday, December 1, we started the Christmas Mystery, as I mentioned we would. We last read it three or four years ago. My youngest had forgotten all the details, and plot! So it will be fun to read again, this year. It is like an advent calendar with pages to read everyday of December, and bits of the story unfold each time. Wonderful book, and I recommend it to anyone to read as a family.
My albino squirrel is visiting again, today, with the dusting of snow, he is safer outside and enjoys the corn I put out! :) I'm not sure if he's technically albino or just white, but nonetheless, he's unusual. :) Here he/she is in October when I got better photos of him/her.I have a few goals for today, like working on the stack of Christmas cards, organizing presents, and baking, as well as laundry (when isn't that on my list??). I hope your December has started off wonderfully! :)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

End of November

It is already the last day of November, unbelievably. In the past week, we have gone and gotten my grandma, spent the week with her (and had a very nice time!), went up to my home state for Thanksgiving, had a great few days there (including shopping on the day after Thanksgiving!), came home, got all my Christmas decorations out yesterday, went and cut the tree with my husband's family today, and decorated said tree. The tradition for the tree, as I think I've mentioned before, is to meet at a coffee/doughnut place, go cut the trees, then head into a nearby town to a small town restaurant, have lunch, head home, the husband puts the angel and lights on the tree, and then the girls and I decorate it. This year the hubby's brother and his family were also able to come, which made it even more fun! :) Our tree wasn't so large this year, it's actually perfect! :)
So far, I don't have any jobs scheduled, except Dec. 10 and 11th, for conferences. I think I will be able to find plenty to do with the approaching holidays, though! :) I will keep looking, as well.
During last week, we had my grandmother here, and one night my husband's grandparents were visiting so we had them over for a big dinner. Tried a new recipe and it was a huge success: Huckleberry BBQ This recipe uses beef brisket, and we used pork shoulder. I cooked the pork on one day, in the crockpot for about 8 hours, then the next day put the pork, that had been pulled apart, in the sauce. We also made a pasta salad, baked potatoes, onion loaf with sauce, and apple fritters.
I haven't run in two weeks. I need to get back at it again.
I did reschedule oldest daughter's wisdom teeth removal for the 2nd of Jan. so she was relieved! :) Wouldn't have been a fun New Year's Eve, if I hadn't! :)
That's all for now! Happy (almost) December! :)

Saturday, November 22, 2008


It is Saturday, we've watched some football, the husband is napping and the girls are disagreeing... I mean playing together. :) I had scrapbooking here last night. I had fruits, vegetables, chips, and dips, as well as pumpkin gooey bars, crock pot berry cobbler, and corn chowder. I had a very nice time. I cooked and cleaned yesterday, to get the house ready and will only have to do a touch-up before church tomorrow. After church we drive to get Gram, and have her here until Thursday.
So far, we've received 9 of our 30 thankful feathers. The turkey is holding up well, with his new feet and wattle, as well as his repaired neck. :)
I was a substitute for fourth grade last week, and I liked something the teacher did. She read the children a chapter from a book (the book she'd chosen for a read aloud, reading them a chapter per day) and then they had to write down what they thought the chapter should be titled. They shared and talked about their perspectives. Then they had to write a paragraph using text-to-self perspective. It really got them thinking about how they related to the story, and how we read for fun, relating to situations or characters in the books.
I got my letter for jury duty, which will be scheduled after the holidays. I have never had to attend before. I receive the letter, but the trial is settled before I'm set to go. This time I have four different dates, so I'm guessing I will have to go to one of them; my civic duty.
My oldest daughter found out, last time she was at the orthodontist, that her wisdom teeth are blocking her twelve year molars, so she needs to have the wisdom teeth removed. I was scheduling the appt for over winter break... however the only day they had open was New Year's Eve. She's pretty annoyed that I scheduled it, then. She'd rather miss school, of course, but unless the husband disagrees, this is the plan. :)
Next week at this time, I think I will be putting up my Christmas items! :) I'm looking forward to getting our Christmas books out. :) We read a book that we've read twice before, the Christmas Mystery, and it's a great reminder of the holidays. A chapter per day, from Dec 1 to Dec 25, an advent book, so to speak. I look forward to reading it to the family on Dec. 1. :)
Well, enough for now. Hope you are well.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


We got our first Thankful Feather today! :) Yeah! It's funny to see our turkey with one yellow feather, but he looks healthy! :) Happy November! :)

So far, so good!

The week's going well, so far! :) I skipped ahead on my schedule over the weekend and just spent quite a bit of time organizing my scrapbooking supplies. I labeled everything and grouped things accordingly. I am really happy with the results. Now to sit down and find the time to use them! :) I spend the entire morning organizing one of our crawl spaces. I got rid of one big wooden chest with a crack in its lid, a set of file cabinets-too small to fit most documents, so I'm not sure as to why we bought it! :) Anyway, I also got rid of a garbage bag full of things that were there and never used. It looks nice and organized. I could really find things if I needed them! :)
Then I subbed in a fourth grade classroom in the afternoon. The kids were chatty, and wound up, but it was an ok day overall.
I ran yesterday again, but not today. Hoping to get another run in tomorrow! :)
Smiles to you, as we approach "hump day"! :)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Two Weekends

Two weekends in a row I got a nice, long run in. 6.2 last week, 5.04 this week. For those of you readers who are "tapering" from very long runs in your recent training history, I apologize. I mean to say, long for me currently. I will be working at it, and someday, anything under ten will be an easy run, once again. :) But today, I ran a good pace (8:40 per mile, I think) for the 38 degrees (before windchill) and rain/snow/sleet. :) And yes, I'm smiling. :)

We've had a great weekend, thus far, and hoping it continues. Hope you are having happiness, as well. :))

Friday, November 14, 2008


It's Friday, and the weekend is coming! :) All those things I didn't get done yesterday are awaiting me. Conferences went wonderfully. I am so proud of my student! :) I look forward to my younger daughter's conferences in December, as well. She is also a good student. That makes me very proud. :)
I did manage to get some things done yesterday, but not everything I had on the list. That's ok. Some of it is fun like organizing my scrapbook items. Since I hadn't done it in a while, I have things spread out everywhere. I need to reorganize. :)) But, I told myself that is a treat for after the crawlspaces are done. :)
I am off to first grade today, in the same school that I started the school year in, but in a different classroom. It's Friday and the weather's warm, so they should be able to get out at recess time and enjoy it! :)
We had a "growing older" dilemma here, this week. Our youngest has been in Girl Scouts since first grade. It's been a great thing for her. She has learned leadership skills, responsibility, empathy... all the skills Girl Scouts use. But, this year they changed the weekday that we met right before school started. We thought she'd still be able to attend, but soccer games were on Wednesdays, as well as our church youth group. She'd been looking forward to the church group, and now was unable to attend it due to the meetings. She would struggle each Wednesday, and we would, too. We told her she was becoming overscheduled on Wednesday and needed to make a choice. She cried, and I felt awful, but she chose to work on her faith journey and leave Girl Scouts. The leader generously offered for her just to attend the activities that she could, and miss meetings for a while, but that didn't seem fair to the girls who could attend every week...
So, tonight is her last Girl Scout activity. It's sad for both of us because she has worked hard over the years to complete so many things, individually and as part of the group, and she has learned so much about community and service. It's sad watching your kids grow up. I can't imagine if they move far away, like Isabelle's children or Molly's family. I'm not ready! WAIT, TIME!! :)
Speaking of time flying, I just read that it's only 41 days until Christmas??!! Usually I'm one of the people who is saying "It starts earlier and earlier in these stores. Pretty soon they'll be putting their Christmas stuff out in January, right after Christmas!" But this year I'm excited! :) Just the feel of the season, heck, I'm ready to play the music now! (But then I'd be tired of it before Christmas!:)) I have big plans. I made a note to my three family members asking what traditions were most important to them, so we're sure we get what is important to us during this season. We also discussed as a family that we need to volunteer our time to neighbors and friends: watching kids while parents wrap presents, playing with neighbors' pets if they're out late or for a few days, etc. What ways can we help others this holiday season? These things we're putting on a homemade advent calendar. Hopefully this way it's not "gimme gimme gimme" and it's more about being a good Christian citizen. I think I'm in the seasonal mood because last night the girls and I went shopping for our Samaritan's Purse Operation Christmas Child boxes. They have to be turned in to our church by Sunday so they can be mailed. It was really fun! :)

That's all for now! I hope you have a FANTASTIC FRIDAY! :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thursday's Thoughts

Well, here we are, over halfway through the week, already! :)
Yesterday I was a substitute teacher in third grade. As I do in all my new jobs, I took notes on things I like about the room/organization/information. Then, if I were lucky enough to get a job next year in that grade, I'd have some ideas to start on, or even in an interview. I got about a page and a half, and then we went to another third grade teacher's room for a half hour movie on mapping, where I got another page and a half of ideas! :) One thing, very fitting for the season, was a science discovery table. You usually see them in younger grades, but not in third. This table had gourds, small pumpkins, fruits of the season, magnifying glasses, other discovery tools for the kids to be "scientists" and observe. I thought what a great idea, to get them thinking about classifying things, thinking about differences, etc. You could change the items on the table according to the science unit or season, also.
Today is our oldest daughter's conference day. We'll go in at 9:30 and we will see all of her teachers, while our daughter leads us through the conference. It's a good way to get them to self evaluate, and the teachers give their input, as well! :) Our oldest received her grade card and a t-shirt from the school. The shirt said "Scholar Athlete" on the front and 3.5+ on the back for her gpa. It was something she was pretty proud of, as I think she should be! :) I thought it was a good way to encourage the students to keep working hard!
The turkey is holding up well with his new feet, waddle(it was also made of Crayola Model Magic and the hanging part broke off...), and neck glue. :) Paint touch-up is today.
I have big plans today! I am cleaning crawl spaces. I always say I'm going to and then I get in there and am overwhelmed, so I get back out! :) I have big plans in mind... like making my oldest daughter who is home today help me! ;) I'm sure she'll love it... although she might be happy to get back to school on Monday! :) I am really in a purging mood. I get that way when thinking about the holidays, how we don't need anything, how we have too much, etc. So, this year I'm acting on it, at least that's the plan. :)
I saw some holiday ideas/thoughts on Ali Edward's blog that were on simplifying, getting ready before Dec. 1 with all the things like shopping, organizing decorations, etc, so you could do things you really want to do but "never have time" like baking cookies. I love to do that, but "never have time" so, I'm working on that. I finished up my nieces and nephews' gifts yesterday. When they arrive in the mail, I just have to wrap and they'll be finished! I have one sister in law about done, also. Although that is where I stalled... :)
One other thing. I always do handwritten Christmas cards, and I mean a note in each one, not just signing my name. I also do a picture for each one. Last year I did 103 Christmas cards, and finally resorted to a typed, impersonal "newsletter" for them because I was subbing. I think I should cut back. Once, when we were married just a few years I said to my husband, "I think I'm going to cut back and not send to people who don't send to me." He replied, "Is that why you do Christmas cards? I thought you said you did them to let people know we love them and are thinking of them." First, he doesn't write any of them, but I do believe that. That's why I handwrite each one, a note, asking how they are, trying to let them know they were worth my time. But 103 or more? And just buying them is expensive. Even our discount stores have them 12 cards for 7 dollars... 9 boxes is 63 dollars, plus stamps and purchasing 100 photos of the family to go in each one. It adds up. But, a few dollars per person is worth it to let them know... or should be...?
Well, enough rambling. Off to get this day underway! :) I hope your week is running smoothly!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Ahh, the Turkey!

My gourd turkey lost his head yesterday, quite literally. My husband bumped him off the counter and his neck cracked off! We were able to superglue his head back on, but in the process his orange toes broke off, leaving him entirely unbalanced, which one would think happens to someone who loses their head! :) Anyway, I got the model magic today to replace his feet, and his head is staying on nicely. He'll look good-as-new once I do a little touch-up paint on the neck tomorrow.
After I sub, that is. I will be in the same school I've been in all year, with the wonderful staff, but in fourth grade. I have enjoyed most of my two days off, completing the majority of the things on my to-do-list, and some things that weren't, like starting our Christmas shopping! :) Also, I've always enjoyed picking my daughters up from school, walking home with them and hearing all about their day, their friends, etc. Now, I hardly get to get my oldest from middle school, and "good" is all I get from her except when I pry. :) I do, though; I work hard at getting info out of her. :) My youngest still enjoys talking to me and telling me about her day. So, the past two days we walked home in the chilly, (BRRR!) pending winter air and chatted.
I've updated my resume, written the principal a thank you note, begun the organization process of my scrapbook supplies... it seems I don't need any new for quite a while! :) I called my grandparents, and my mom, scheduled some lunch or dinner get togethers with friends I haven't talked to in quite some time, and got the thankful feathers out into the mailbox... where they await mailing due to the holiday of Veteran's Day. I hope you took time to thank a veteran you know for their service-for all our freedom! I put all my feather letters into the box forgetting that, even though the bright red "flag" is up, they won't be coming! :) Why is it called a flag, anyway? It doesn't really look like a flag these days, but maybe it once did... hm, research for another day... :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

The past five days

Well, it took me a few days to post again...
I finished up my long-term sub job, was sad to go and got a bit teary at the end. I thought to myself yesterday, now things I need to do tomorrow when I go in... oh, I don't go in tomorrow! I've checked the open sub jobs and there aren't any thus far.
So, I have a giant list I've made for myself for the day. I did include something for me, though: a haircut at 10:15. I got it cut a few weeks ago, but the girl talked me out of getting it as short as I wanted it. I haven't liked it since, so I'm going in to get it shorter, like I like it! :)
Yesterday I ran 6.2 miles and felt pretty good. The weather was in the forties and rainy, but after I warmed up during the first mile, I felt great. I ran at an 8:40 per mile pace.
My youngest daughter went with her dad to the grocery a few days ago. That is news because she normally hates to go. She rang the doorbell when she got home. At her Sunday school class they talked about gratitude and she had used her own money to get me a "thank you for all you do" card and roses! It was so sweet and a pleasant surprise! :) A photo is at your right.
Today I have odds and ends on my list, as always there is finishing the laundry-I'm almost caught up after a week of neglecting it! I also have to organize things, you know how I like to do that, regular readers. :) I wish I had an IKEA nearby so I could go buy organizer stuff... I'm sure I could find things elsewhere, but I'm really not in need of spending money right now! :) So, it is a great thing not to have an IKEA nearby! :)
Veteran's Day is tomorrow, and I got my cards out on Friday. However, the feathers... well, let's say I'm behind! Today. It's on the list! And I live by my lists! :)
I also have updating my resume, and researching espresso machines. I'd like one of my own, so I don't run out everyday, but some are so expensive! What's the necessity and what's "extra"?
Well, off to get ready for a busy day! :) I hope you have a wonderful start to your week!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Second post

I thought I'd post twice today to make up for not posting yesterday. :)
Lunch for teachers yesterday consisted of:
chicken and noodle casserole
fruit salad with apples, green grapes, golden raisins and dried cranberries
and pumpkin bread. This was the first time I'd made the bread and yum! I left out the pumpkin seeds from the spread, though.
The teachers seemed to really like it.

Subbing is done Friday, which is sad for me. I will miss having my "own" classroom with the same kids everyday, and knowing them each so well. The staff has been great, as well, encouraging me as if I were a full time staffer.

I do have a day set up Wed. and Fri next week, but nothing else on the horizon for now... We'll see.

Have a great day! :))


Yep, the 4th day of the month and I missed posting. Oops! I spent 6:35-7:45am at the polls yesterday morning (It was amazing to see so many people voting!), we to the teaching conference 8-12, had lunch at my house for other teachers, more conference 1-3:30, went home, said hello to the daughters-who helped tremendously with the lunch!-ran almost four miles, showered, went to dinner at a friends (the whole family went), came home and watched just about half an hour of election coverage and fell fast asleep... before 10, which is a rarity. I slept wonderfully and awoke to the confirmation of a historic new president. Hopefully he does great things in the four years to come! Historic indeed.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Another Day, Another Post!

Here I am again! By the end of November, you'll be sick of my postings! If you aren't already! :)
I finished the feather letter last night, but not the cutting of feathers and addressing envelopes. Looks like an activity for tonight. I think I figured 32 feathers this year. I wonder how many will be returned?

It's the beginning of the week and I thought I'd request prayers, if you are a pray-er.
These are a few of the people I'm praying for this week:
  • My friend Nikki who is undergoing radiation for her breast cancer a little bit longer. She should be done by the holidays!
  • My Uncle Duane who is undergoing medication for cancer, and his comfort, as well, please, as the medication doesn't sit well with him.
  • Cari, her recent surgeries and progression of her cancer.
  • Michael, whose tumor has returned and he has surgery on Dec. 11
  • Mikan, continued success with his growth!
I believe God hears us and does wonderful things, so I don't think it can hurt to add these people to prayer lists. :)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

The To-Do-List Update

I know you've all been clamoring to your computers to see an update about my to-do list. :) First, I have to start by saying that, as I finished yesterday's post the in-laws called and wanted to get together, with my brother-in-law, his wife and kids, the parent in-laws and us, to the new bookstore that was opening. So, we went. We had a great time, as usual, with them and I scheduled them as sitters for the evening. I added two things to my day's list: getting together with family, and a date with my husband, which was long overdue and thoroughly enjoyed!
However, these two included things left my list only partially done:
I finished all of cleaning the house, some laundry, all pulling out annuals and filling feeders. I put away the Halloween decorations and got out Thanksgiving decor, bathing dogs, ran 5 miles, picked up my dry cleaning, and blogged.
Today I went to church, spent some more family time at our favorite metro garden, which we haven't been to in ages. I got lots of nice photos. Then I cleaned the pantry, lazy susan and added cleaning out under the kitchen sink. I also made the m & m cookies, called my Gram and mom. I have a tentative menu for Tuesday's lunch and will be getting groceries tomorrow. :)
I have to write the Thankful feather letter tonight. :) And trace many feathers, address envelopes and get everything ready to send out.
Later this week I will also be writing and sending Veteran's Day cards. I need to mail them out on Friday so they get there on the right day. Longtime readers know I'm a fan of snail mail and letter writing, thus I feel it necessary to send out Veteran's Day cards. I hadn't mailed notes of that nature until 1998. I sent a heartfelt note letting my grandfather know I appreciated his service in WWII, and he died in December that year. I am still glad I sent that card and have sent one to the veterans I know since. I'm thankful for them, and am glad to let them know. :)
I've signed up for Nablopomo, so I'm trying to blog everyday... but I signed up for marathoners in training over the summer and that didn't help me keep running... :)
Thanks for stopping by, blog readers, and friends. :) Have a great week! :)

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Today's To-Do-List

After a busy week... end-of-season cross country banquets, band concerts, carving pumpkins, making Halloween costumes, Pumpkin Day at school, Halloween party at school, trick-or-treat last night... a very busy week, my at-home-to-do-list is rather large for today:
  1. clean house
  2. do laundry
  3. pull out annuals killed by the frosts last week
  4. fill bird and deer feeders
  5. bake m & m cookies (with m & ms leftover from Halloween candy)
  6. put Halloween decorations away (there aren't many, but it's time for them to disappear)
  7. get Thanksgiving stuff out (again, I'm not a big decorator with Thanksgiving stuff, but I have a few things, like our thankful turkey that I made last year)
  8. call Gram, my grandma who comes for a visit about every season, we have her visit for a week or so, but with all the subbing I've done, we haven't had her down, so I've got time planned; thus I need to call and make sure it works for her
  9. call parents to check in (Mom had arm surgery and has been progressing just like the dr predicted, although not fast enough for her, and I chat with my parents at least once a week)
  10. Write Thankful feather letter and make/get feathers ready to send out, as well as stamp and address envelopes. A yearly tradition I really love!
  11. week's menu and grocery, as well as lunch menu for Tuesday (Tuesday is a conference day for teachers in the district, due to voting polls in the school buildings, so 1000 teachers will be at the conference and needing a place to go for lunch. That means very busy restaurants, so I invited the first grade team I'm currently working with to come over to my house for lunch instead of worrying about going out. I'm right nearby the conference location. :) Now, to find some good recipes... :) )
  12. bathe dogs-they need it!
  13. clean pantry and lazy susan (it's that fall time of year when I get in a cleaning/purging mode. Last week I did my clothes, the shoe/coat closet, brought up winter things and put away warm weather shoes/sandals, and cleaned out some cupboards. I get like this a few times per year, and I have to take advantage of it while I feel like it! :)
  14. run (I've been running three times this week and last week was four, so I have to keep at it. Just running when I have time has been so nice! :))
  15. Pick up dry cleaning... it's been there a week and I haven't done it yet... :)
  16. Edit blog (check :))
I should be able to get that done before church at 5... right? :))
A few notes about our busy last week:
Pumpkin Day in the class I'm teaching was so fun! We had volunteers sign up, and each volunteer brought a pumpkin. We had enough for 2-4 kids in each group with a volunteer/pumpkin. The kids did things like estimate how much it weighed, then weighed it, estimated how many seeds were inside, then counted them as we carved, they estimated how many creases the pumpkin had, then counted them, etc. They had a great time! It took about an hour and fifteen minutes and the "pumpkin math" was so fun! :) Then I saved two seeds per child in case they wanted to plant them next year, roasted the rest and brought them in the next day for the kids to taste. It was a great day! :)
The Halloween party was fun, the room parents were in charge of coming up with the "centers" and the kids had a great time, but they were wound up all day! :) At this school the kids dress up and I dressed up. The first grade team of teachers were the "three little kittens". We wore black, donned some face painted whiskers, a headband with ears, a tail, and one mitten. The kids loved that I was a "black cat" but didn't know the nursery rhyme, so they didn't understand the one mitten. :)
We always try to make our kids' costumes, and this year was no different. Our oldest gave out candy instead of trick-or-treating, but our youngest needed a costume. So, after a few weeks of trying to come up with a good original idea (last year was grapes...) we decided on a jellyfish. I saw this jellyfish idea, but changed it a little. This idea had a clear umbrella, which could not be located within a ten mile radius, so we used a pink umbrella, varying lengths of bubble wrap for tentacles and glow necklaces woven into the those bubble wrap tentacles, as well as taped around the inside of the umbrella. She moved the umbrella as she walked and made it look like it was swimming. It was great fun! :)
That's all I have for today... I hope your week went well, was positive and the week ahead is good, as well!! :))


Today I was reading an editorial obituary about a former mayor. He was mayor of a big city near our suburb and I saw it as I perused the editorial cartoons. I was impressed by all the positives in difficult times the 78 year old man exhibited.
The article made me wonder what my obituary might say, or more to the point, how I would be remembered. I hope it's of a positive person who brought light and warmth to others. However, there are times when I don't exhibit those qualities...
Not to be morbid, but just to think of "what if this is my last day?"
The worst part for me is that when I see the less positive side of myself, it's usually with the ones who are nearest and dearest: my family. How ironic...
Anyway, just thinking about that editorial...and sat down the blog, and the thoughts collided. :)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Another Day

Yesterday was the marathon day. It passed, friends of mine did well. I ran 5 miles. My legs are tired today, making me thankful I didn't try thirteen/the half marathon! I wasn't prepared mentally or physically. I have enjoyed my last two runs. The leaves were falling in the breeze like snow. They covered the path, crunching with every step. The air smelled fresh and crisp. I ran 3.1 on Saturday. I always enjoy it when I do run, so why do I get out of the habit? My schedule changes and I do have children to drive everywhere, but is that a reason? I know other people who make their run a priority. Then the other things fit in around it.
School is still going well. I got a lot done on Friday. Some things I didn't intend to, they were ideas I had while I was there like a "volunteer bucket". Often when volunteers come, they come in the middle of a lesson you're teaching and you have to find or get or explain what you want them to do. I have a bin of things that will be set up in the hall for them. I set it all up on Friday and I'm pretty pleased with it. The teacher (who returns Nov.10) loved the idea, as well. I still brought some things home to finish up, but felt it was a productive day. Another busy week talking to the kids about pumpkins, fall and subtraction! :)
Hope you have many smiles today, Reader.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Again, my training slacked off so much that I am not doing the half marathon or full this coming weekend. I started the summer with big goals, but it didn't result in what I had hoped. This is a disappointment. I just knew that if I tried it, knowing that I hadn't run ten or more miles in over a month, that I wouldn't be able to do a job I was happy with. And I'd missed discounted registration prices so I would've had to pay 80 dollars... for a race I wasn't sure about. So, now I'm (yep, the title) disappointed.
In other news, Friday is a teacher work day, so I have a whole day to get prepared for the rest of my time in the class, organize, etc. Should be a productive day. I have been making a list of things to accomplish. I've implemented some new center ideas, so that has been fun. The kids are still great, and I still love the job. People are now asking me "what is next after this?" I do not have anything lined up and I worry about that. We'll see.
I must go now and prepare for the day.
Oh, I like "quiet music" for when the students should be quiet, so I found "Mozart for the Mind" on itunes, downloaded it, and made a cd for the classroom. It is great music! :) Just thought I'd share. :)
Hope you, Reader, are well.

Sunday, October 05, 2008


There's always bustle around here. Our youngest turns ten tomorrow, so this weekend was the family party. My family came down, and my in-laws all came over, as well. We had a very nice time. We made her favorite: breakfast burritos fixings, coffee cake and I tried a new recipe: Angel Lush Pineapple cake. Mine looked ok, a little lopsided, but it tasted yummy.
Running has been scarce to nonexistent. The half marathon is next Sunday and I'm still not totally convinced: I haven't run longer than ten miles, and haven't run much in the last three weeks.
Schoolwork still has to be done: grading and lesson creating, but I always enjoy it. The kids are still great and I'm really happy to be there. I'm lucky. Only one problem: the flu has been through three children in the class so far... I try to wash hands regularly, but I'm hoping it stays away! I don't want to have to get a "substitute for a substitute". :)
I can tell I've been really busy. I have four scrapbooking magazines full of ideas, waiting to be perused, but I have had too much to do. I also have tons of email to get through and reply to. For the first time in a long time, I haven't even gotten to read all my friends' blogs! Tonight, though, that is the goal, and I did read a few before composing this, as well.
My dryer finally "gave up the ghost" this week. My husband's been repairing it temporarily over the past few weeks. But it'd gotten so that it wouldn't get through one load before it broke again. So, we used his overtime $ and got a new washer and dryer at the same time. We got energy and water efficient models. We also got a bit of a deal: if you spent so much they were another percentage off, we got the floor models and we picked them up and installed them, so that made them cheaper. They weren't the prices you see on the link, for sure! They are pretty neat. And so far, I'm enjoying catching up on the LOADS of laundry that we hadn't done. Well, I like the cathing up part, anyway. :)
I haven't read anything since summer break, except my daily (or almost daily) Bible readings. I have "how to raise a teen with love and logic" to get started, from the library, but haven't sat down to read it. Maybe I will get it done by the second daughter? ;) Just kidding. :)
Well, off to get some work done. Hope you are well.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Not much time to blog these days. Hardly time to check email. Loving subbing. First graders are wonderful! I have a great group! My oldest daughter had a great cc meet and algebra test last week and my youngest had a great soccer game and math test, also! We are proud of them as students and as hard working athletes. And they're having fun! :) Staff meeting this morning, curriculum night Thursday, plus work in between. :) Husband's hard at work, and enjoying the way his product's going. Our youngest got sick yesterday, so husband is staying home with her today. That's always hard. It's my job to take care of them, but while subbing, not full time teaching, I have to go to work if I can while he stays home. Tough for me. Hoping she's better today.
My grandparents came for a visit over the weekend and got to see the girls' sporting events. Was a really nice weekend.
No running whatsoever right now. I go from one thing to the next and am exhausted. Not to mention I have a cold: in my chest, head, plugged ears, coughing, not sleeping=tired during the day... It makes me tired but I'm not taking any meds of any sort. But I will live. It's just a cold. :) Well, that's all for now. Just wanted to log on and say hello!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Love this!

I was in the midst of cleaning my desk, when I took a break to check my google reader for new posts. I saw this book excerpt in a post by Thimbleanna, and totally loved it. I printed this out to put on the fridge! :) Hope you get a smile! :) This excerpt is from Thimbleana's blog-thanks, Thimbleanna!

"It’s from The Twits by Roald Dahl and it’s describing Mrs. Twit. (Oh how we love Roald Dahl.)

But the funny thing is that Mrs. Twit wasn’t born ugly. She’d had quite a nice face when she was young. The ugliness had grown upon her year by year as she got older.

Why would that happen? I’ll tell you why.

If a person has ugly thoughts, it begins to show on the face. And when that person has ugly thoughts every day, every week, every year, the face gets uglier and uglier until it gets so ugly you can hardly bear to look at it.

A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely."

Here's to sharing sunbeams! :))

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Autumn is coming

I ran this morning and I could feel autumn approaching. I smelled the dry leaves; heard them crunch under my feet. Most neighborhoods were quiet, even at 8am. The sun started to come up; I saw the most beautiful sunrise over some water, and colorful clouds. Then, as quickly as it came, the clouds swooped in, gray and blue, and blocked it. I ran ten miles and I was so happy. The weather was wonderful, nice and cool. I ended my first ten miler since May, I think. Since then, I haven't ran over anything other than the 7 last week. Anyway, I ran at a 9:20 pace so I was pleased! I told myself this was the "do or quit" run. If I made it without collapsing at the end or walking during, then I was still shooting for the half marathon in October. I did. :) I'm pretty happy about that!
In other news, school has been great, exhausting but great! :) I love the kids, the school and my fellow teachers. I only get to sit at lunchtime, so I my feet are usually blistered or tired, however, the day goes SO fast! There's so much to get done! :) I went to two meetings last week, one on a new way to teach handwriting and one on the new assessments the schools are using to establish the children's current reading level. Both were really interesting! I enjoy learning the new ways to do things. :) And, the best part, I had two kids tell me on Friday that they weren't ready to go home because they were having fun learning! :) And I got hugs on their way out, too! :)
I am having dinner with a good friend tonight. We don't get to see each other much due to our kids and their schedules! :) So, that will be fun.
On the girls' schedules: cross country meets, piano lessons, soccer games, dentist appts, and one curriculum night.
In reading news, I found time to read a book this weekend: Chardonnay Charade. It's a wine mystery. Interesting, and a fast read.
That's all for now. Hope you are well, readers.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


I finished 7 miles today! 9 minute mile pace, so I was really happy! I didn't feel great and it wasn't as cool as it has been when I headed out. But, I did it! :) I'm not feeling totally like myself, but I do feel like I'm headed there.
Olypmic comments: Women's marathon, Deena Kastor, ugh. Looking for Ryan Hall or the other US men to pull out a medal!
School starts this week. I'm excited and nervous. I wonder if it's because I'm subbing in someone else's room, with their way of doing things, or if I will get excited and nervous each fall, starting with a new class?
Practices for my daughters have begun. Our oldest is running cross country, and has her first meet Tuesday. Our youngest started soccer, including an hour and a half of practice in the heat of the day today.
Our dogs went to the vet last week (thank you, dear husband-he took both dogs to one appt.) Our little chubby beagle has lost 8 pounds in a year! Woo hoo! He's still about 5 pounds overweight. He was like that when we got him, truly. :) He eats weird things all the time; anything he can find! Mulch, rubberbands, string, feathers, leaves, anything he finds! Yes, often he gets sick. The vet just said he's strange. :) Our weimaraner hates going to the vet, and they've never been mean to him or anything. He's just a spaz.
Two interesting finds this week: Baby Love Letters is a site with questions to get you thinking about letters to write to your children, to leave them/give to them. Pretty neat idea, even though I have kids not babies, it would still be neat to write to them. Grandkids, someday, too.
One article they referenced on Baby love letters was about a daughter who had letters from her dad. Appropriately named Letters from Dad.
Another interesting site: I've added Cari to my prayer list. Wow, an incredible woman, and fighter. Visit her site to be updated on her progress.
I have tons to do, kids to take places, get the food ready for life group tomorrow, among other things, but I already cleaned yesterday...
Have a great weekend!! :)

Monday, August 18, 2008


I took those few days of running off when I thought I had a stress fracture. Then I got some stretches from Momo, which also helped! My last few runs had been so wonderful! :) I ran six miles on Saturday at an 8:50 pace, which is an improvement from the last few months. Then today I ran 3.44 miles in 26 minutes. I biked 7 miles (to our local library and back) in 30 minutes, today, also. :) The weather has been wonderful, although it's supposed to get much warmer this week. I saw a baby bunny on the path this morning, and a bird chasing a moth. Not good for the moth, but interesting to watch! :)) Ahhh, a wonderful way to start my day!

I listened to the first half of the Great Gatsby this week. It's harder to listen to than To Kill a Mockingbird was. But still, it made my hour at the grocery go by much quicker. :) I got quite a few things so I can cook today/tomorrow meals to freeze.

I met with a principal for the long-term first grade subbing job last week. Wonderful lady, and the teacher was just as warm and welcoming. There hasn't been anything posted that I can apply for full time. Lots of jobs filled internally, I guess, as well as returning teachers from maternity leave. But this will be fun! Another first grade, starting out their first year as all-school-day-attenders. :) I should be done around Christmas. Just in time to do shopping? :))

We still are in need of about 10 postcards. We've done pretty well, though, as we have quite a few countries, too! It's been fun receiving them in the mail, looking at them, even the stamps!
We still need: Georgia, (which will probably be coming soon) Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska (we know someone visiting there next week, so we'll probably receive that soon), New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont (our daughter's friend is moving there soon, and have promised to send that one), and Wyoming. We have a postcard from almost every continent: several from the US, one from Canada, three from Africa, some great photo ones from Australia, one South America, two Europe and three from Asia. No Antarctica postcards, however. :)

My daughters and I start school next week. Can't believe summer's almost over already! We have school supplies, most school clothes for them finished. I'd like an outfit or two: wrinkle free! :) I organized my closet (and helped them do theirs!) last week. Lots of ironing to do! I need to get a few mix and match pieces, so I can spend little money, but not wear the same outfit day after day! :)

Well, I think that is all for now. Hope you are doing well!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Good news

Dr. seems to think it's not a stress fracture but is leaning towards shin splints! Yeah! :) The three days I took off seem to have had a positive effect. The husband and I ran a nice easy run yesterday for about half an hour and it went well. Just thought I'd update you!
Also, some good news, our family was baptized this weekend! I was "sprinkled" as a child, but the other three hadn't been. In our church the method of baptism is immersion, by your own choosing. So, my husband was first, and then he did the rest of us! It was amazing and a memory I will cherish forever! Just a wonderful blessing.
I finished To Kill A Mockingbird this weekend, while cooking for a reception we had here after the baptism (homemade apple coffeecake, two kinds of quiche/one with ham and one with bacon, a new muffin recipe, a fruit salad, and a different fruit salad with dressing were on the menu, as well as breakfast sausage, coffee, etc. :))
Anyway, I spent a lot of time Saturday cooking, and then got up early Sunday to finish up, and had downloaded the cds to my ipod. I listened and the time went quickly. I had read the book in high school, remembered that I liked it, but not the details and events. It was a fun "read" this time around, as well. :)

Friday, August 08, 2008

Dreading News...

Nothing life threatening, let me start off by saying, and that I know people have some very tough stuff in their lives. This isn't major, but it will be frustrating, if the dr is correct...
I went from pain when I ran in my leg to pain all the time. I headed to the dr, just to double check. Well, I really went so they could say, "just a little muscle strain, take a day or two off, advil, stretch and ice, and you're good to go"... but she said it sounds like a lovely stress fracture. She squeezed my leg and brought me close to tears. So, we chat a bit more. I had one, same place and other leg, back in tenth grade. Had to wear the big boot with the gear at the ankle. She said if that was recommended for me then, then it's entirely possible they might recommend it for me now... but that's IF it's a stress fracture. Got the X rays before the place closed this afternoon. They were supposed to call when they got the results of those and tell me how to proceed. If it didn't show up (stress fractures don't for a while) then I would get an MRI early next week. If it did, I proceed to orthopedic dr. Woo Hoo. I'm about to tear up thinking about it. For them to tell me to "not run" for 6-8 weeks. UGH! I'm so back in the habit, feeling stronger breathing-wise, and leg muscle strength. Had myself talked into the half marathon in the fall... We'll see. But the prognosis didn't sound good.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Nature Nut

This is why I love having my white picket fence garden out front. This was what I saw out my living room window, and tried so carefully to get a photo of. :) There were two of these finches in my Russian Sage. If only I could attract birds that ate Japanese beetles... :) Hope you're having a great week!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Wednesday Sisters

A book I finished this afternoon: the Wednesday Sisters.
It is by Meg Waite Clayton. Wonderful.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Quote to Ponder

Was reading Saving Planet Earth by Tony Juniper yesterday. Really a lot to think about, some of which is very overwhelming, but wonderful words and excellent photos. One of the last things I read was "In 1961, President Kennedy mobilized the United States of America to send a man to walk on the moon before the end of the 60s: It took nine years to do what most people thought was impossible. The saving of planet Earth requires such an effort, but is easily within the abilities of the human race." I loved that, and the words on the last page, that the power is in us, within our reach. Just an interesting book and I wanted to share.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Lovely Afternoon Surprise

I think I've mentioned before that my husband doesn't purchase flowers too often. "They just die" is his reasoning. I've only received them a handful of times in fourteen years. Yesterday, for no special reason, he got me flowers! A woman arrived at the door carrying them. I assumed she was bringing them to leave for a neighbor who wasn't home. However, the tag was for me! :) I think the rarity of flowers for me makes them more special. :)

Then, after dinner, some time at the pool with the girls, and getting the girls ready for bed, we walked to a nearby restaurant, just the husband and I (our girls are ok by themselves for 1 1/2 hours...) We had a drink and some appetizers and walked home. :) Was a wonderful evening. Something special. Still smiling and thought I'd share. :)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Camping and Other Adventures

Last weekend we went camping with my in laws. We had a wonderful time! We went a few hours to a campground on Lake Erie. We had some rain, but luckily we were in a pop-up instead of a tent! :) We spent time on the beach, biking, and traveled to some local sights. We saw Kelly's Island, Marblehead's lighthouse, among other things. We had a nice time just being together with family, too. We got great exercise, but ate a lot, too! :) My in laws made a blueberry cobbler in a dutch oven over the fire. YUM! We made a taco salad one night, very simple but yummy, and healthy, if you limit the dressing. We also tried a new dessert recipe: chocolate raspberry burritos. My husband was skeptical when I found and suggested it, but it was a great hit. We added mini marshmallows to the recipe. I went running one day; when I headed out at 6:30 it was sprinkling and the campground was quiet. When I got back, it was pouring and people were up and about. It was a wonderful rain run. Not too cold, not storming. It was perfect. Animals were out and about, but hardly any humans were stirring. :) Loved it!
I finished Beach House by Jane Green (a slow start, because I think I expected something different, but a good story once I got into it) and started The Art of Racing the Rain by Garth Stein. It's pretty good so far. I have them checked out from the library and, because they're new books, they are only out for 14 days, whereas the Suite Francaise book is out for much longer, as it is older. I still have it and am going to read it. :) I will keep you posted, Molly. :) Our trip to camping had a few hour ride both ways so I began reading aloud to the family. I'm reading a fun book, that has been a great read aloud thus far: The Name of this Book Is Secret. It's been quite funny and all of us are interested. I've been reading a chapter or two a night to the family since we've been back and the girls say "we can't be done; read one more chapter!" :)
Few little notes:
  • I have been running almost everyday and am enjoying it! :)
  • We're up to 39 state postcards! :)
  • Sadly, the Japanese beetles have returned. They've turned my beautiful daisies and purple coneflowers into brown, shrivels.
That's all my news for now. Thanks for reading!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Today's Run & Other Info

I got another 4 miler in. Still using my site and it's helping me watch what I eat better.
Also, some things I did today to help the environment:
  • Dried my laundry out on the patio, less electricity used by the drier (which is one of the biggest electricity devourers in our homes, and that electricity is produced by coal, a non-renewable resource)
  • Turned our air conditioning off, and when it's on, I leave it on 80, except overnight, when it's 72.
  • Haven't turned any lights on all day, and no tv. (We didn't watch tv at home all weekend!)
  • Recycled
  • Bought and ate organic meat, cheese and milk
  • Phased out plastic bags from our home. Using cloth bags (that we take back and forth) from our grocery and our library
  • Used organic shampoo and sunscreen, so that when I shower, my wastewater isn't contaminating the place it ends up. Many water treatment plants can't filter out all the make-up, hair and body products we use, so it ends up effecting wildlife (hmm, what does it do to us, then? :)
  • I haven't been blowdrying my hair, like I used to do daily, also an electricity sucker.
  • Empty the dehumidifier we have recently placed in our basement onto our plants instead of using more water from the tap/dumping the dehumidifier in the sink...
  • Planning our weekend trip to a state park this coming weekend, where we will be camping!!
  • Instead of driving to our local library (which is about 4 miles away) which we do multiple times per week, we're biking tomorrow! :)
  • I have avoided the highlights in my hair. Chemicals, right? I used to go every 6 to 8 weeks... I haven't been since April 8. I could probably use a trim, but I can ride my bike when I need one. :)
Now, I'm not saying I don't have a very long way to go, but I'm happy with the things we're implementing at home. We're trying, and we're trying to teach our kids. Think of the things you've done lately. Have any good tips to share?? I'd love to hear what you're doing! I hope you're well.

2 Books

Two must read books:
  1. 50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save the Earth by John Javna, Sophie Javna and Jesse Javna. A great read filled with tasks we can do to save the planet-if enough people read and try some of these it will make a big difference.
  2. Climate Solutions; what works, what doesn't and why A Citizen's Guide by Peter Barnes I haven't finished this book, so, I don't necessarily agree with all of it. My careful disclaimer. :)
I have read the save the Earth book and find a lot of the solutions very feasible. I read some of the climate book and find it necessary to stop our carbon production.

This leads me to my thoughts of our current president who thinks we should be offshore drilling... yes, ruining the environment further, for a short term resource, a non-renewable resource, instead of pushing our country into other sources...Why improve things, let's keep everything in its same state, after all, just a few more months as President, right?

Saturday, July 12, 2008


So far, we're up to 33 state postcards and 9 countries. Still having fun receiving them! :) We got Oregon today.
The girls, my hubby's mom and I saw the (American Girl) Kit Kittredge movie yesterday. Very nice movie! We all four liked it! We had a very nice day with my mother-in-law.
Today I really worked hard in the flower garden. Weeding, trimming, photographing toads... :) Yep, the nature lover in me.
Tonight we're off to dinner at the in laws' house. We're taking salad: Strawberry and Feta Salad.
I have been very good at keeping track of my calories on I said keeping track, not watching myself get fitter. :) I have been over my goal total almost everyday. But, I'm getting closer and closer to my goal everyday, as I become aware of the calories I burn vs. the calories in what I eat/drink.
I ran four times this week. Felt pretty good. Only about 4 miles each day. Wish Juls or Momo were closer so I could have a consistent running partner. :) Or Molly to walk with! :) I'll look into it, Momo. :)
That's all for now. Hope you're having a great weekend!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Who knew

Who knew there were so many calories in everything I enjoy eating? :) I read a post on Cathy Zielske's blog that talked about a great site. I can keep track of what I eat everyday, put in a weight goal (lose a pound per week, gain a pound per week, etc.), exercise, etc. And in a minimal amount of time. It's The Daily Plate. It's great. Inspires me to get more exercise. I did not pay to be a "gold member" and I like the services I get. I was snacking on some packs of peanut butter crackers... Um, about 200 calories and my Starbucks drink-the mid-size- is 160 calories! My four mile runs... that takes away 274 or so. Anyway, I've enjoyed taking a look at it, and I thought you might, too.
I'm reading a book I found in the "new" section at our library: Practically Perfect by Katie Fforde. It's pleasant so far. A quick read; I found it yesterday and am on chapter 6. My husband is listening to "Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follett on cd and is about three quarters of the way through. He's enjoying it. It's funny; he had heard from a friend how good it was, saw it at the library, started listening to it, and then we saw my mom over the weekend who had just started it because it was a "book club book".
I ran four miles yesterday and we went to the pool again. Both forms of exercise felt good... especially knowing I was erasing things I ate earlier. :))
My dear friend should have arrived back in England this week, here's to hoping she is there safe and sound.
Thanks, Christy, for the book suggestions! I picked up Suite Francaise at the library to read next! :) I am reserving the others. And I appreciated your reply to the "survey"! :))
My friend who had her surgery (due to breast cancer) is doing well. Thank you for your prayers. She was up and smiling yesterday when I picked up her two oldest kids. She's a tough, positive lady. Made me think my running boo-hoo's were pretty whiney and inconsequential, you know?
That's all for now. Hope you are well.