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. :)