Monday, December 21, 2009

Happy Holidays!

After a nice, long family weekend, I am currently typing up my next blog entry. I am in the car, with no network to connect to the internet, but thought it would be a good use of time to blog! I know, I know, it took me long enough! :)

Our weekend was a family gift from my husband's parents. His siblings and their families were also on the trip. We all took a day of driving, went to Nashville, TN, and saw things like the Hermitage, General Jackson's showboat, Charlie Brown ice sculptures and the Opryland hotel. It was a wonderful weekend! We are on our long drive back.

On our last car trip I thought to download podcasts to listen to. I was just starting out with podcasts, so I only grabbed one or two I had seen suggested on scrapbookers' blogs. I enjoyed them immensely, and downloaded a few new ones for this long car trip. While on our trip, we talked about podcasts, and my brother-in-law mentioned that he listened to “things you should have learned in history class” or something like that and “how stuff is made”. Both had really interesting topics. I downloaded a few, but as of my writing this, I haven't listened to them, yet.

For our trip, I prepared the items from one of the contests I won; the scrapbooking kit. It had almost all the items for an embellished Christmas themed album, but needed some things cut on my big papercutter. So, the night before we left, I spent about 45 minutes cutting, assembling, and organizing each page's items into a plastic carrying box. Then, on the trip, with breaks here and there, and a little bit on the way home, I assembled it. It turned out very cute. I look forward to using it as my December Daily album for this year! Especially with the pictures from this weekend! :) It was a great prize! I wouldn't have purchased it on my own, but have loved it and hope to get more kits similar! I will be a regular on their site!

One of the breaks from the scrapbook that I took was to begin reading to my husband. I think I've mentioned before that on car trips we both enjoy Nicholas Sparks books. We've read several to each other since we have been married. On car trips we start them, taking turns driving/reading, and then we are far enough into the book that we can't put it down and read it in the evenings once we're home. If it's a real page turner, we “steal” it from each other and devour it in our spare moments! :) The one we've currently started is the Last Song. I had bought it a few car trips ago, but we didn't get it started. Then, we went to see The Princess and the Frog, and there was a preview for a movie that was based on the book. Now, I have those movie characters in my head when I read it. Blech. ;) I much prefer to form my own pictures in my head before I see a movie! :)

I am ready for the holidays! We have just a few gifts-one we've been looking for all over, but have had a hard time finding. We also have a few things for the great grandparents. But everything else is bought, wrapped and I'm pleased with. Ahhh. :) Maybe I can get a few moments to scrapbook? A little gift to myself, now that the contest scrapbook kit got my creative juices flowing?

This week, as we lead into Christmas, I have baking to do, the last gifts, listed above, and some family time. I look forward to that. I also need to make sure I call my parents and grandparents, since I haven't and feel as though I should do it more often. Then I will need to deliver the previously mentioned baked goods to neighbors and friends.

I have been exercising nicely, as of late. I ran Thursday and Friday of last week, even though the temps were low. Then, Saturday we were driving. Sunday, my oldest daughter and I got up early and used the hotel's exercise room. We worked out; I made myself tired. Today, Monday, we're traveling again. But, back to it again tomorrow. Those were specific attempts at exercise. We also walked around, to most of our destinations this weekend, and at most of our destinations, so I felt good about that, as well. Although, the eating made it all come out in a wash, I think. ;)

Hopefully I really will write again soon! :) Thanks for sticking in there and reading my rare posts! ;) Happy Holidays to you, Reader.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I am not usually a contest/drawing winner. Until last month, I hadn't won a thing, although I had entered in many drawings on my favorite sites when they had "giveaways". Well, last month, I won here and then today I discovered I won a giveaway here, too! What a wonderful surprise! The first prize I won will be a gift to someone else this Christmas and today's will be a gift to me! :)

A few of you commented on my mood in the last post. Things were a bit down and overwhelmed! The down was due to sadness of loss of life in our community. The two who died were my daughters' ages, the oldest attending the school where my oldest goes to school. My girls didn't know them, but it was a tragedy felt by all in our community. It made me ache with sadness for their mother-and to think that the holidays approaching won't be any easier, worse in fact.

The overwhelmed feeling comes from the holidays coming faster! At the time of my last post I really hadn't gotten much done at all. Now, I feel better, but things still aren't complete. We went to see my family in my home state last weekend, as we did two weeks prior, too. This coming weekend we are getting together with my husband's family, more on that later.

I have not scrapbooked at all. I wish I had. I have that creative itch I get when I look over my magazines full of ideas! However, each time I think about it, in the office painted a beautiful turquoise... {insert happy sigh, here} I remember all I have to do for the holidays and weekend... etc!

Running has been sparse, but I have walked a bit, with my husband and youngest daughter. Yesterday's weather was a bit warmer, perfect for walking in fact.

Have subbed a lot less, due to blocking off a few days last week so I could catch up a bit, and this week is the last week for schools in the area to be in session, so most teachers aren't taking off/in need of a sub. Which is ok with me! :)

I have gotten some baking in, and am looking forward to doing more soon! Then delivering the goodies to neighbors.

That is all for now! Thanks for stopping by! :)

Friday, December 04, 2009


Hello! I'm sure it seems as though I've been hibernating since I haven't posted in ages again! I have actually had a lot on my mind/list to blog, but when I sit down to blog, I think that I don't have time to get it all down. I will start with a few little things today and try to spread posts out-post more often. :)

I met Molly for dinner a while back, and her lovely daughter, too, while she was in the area. I enjoyed the evening immensely. I could have conversed with them longer! :) Such wonderfully nice ladies! Sitting down with her felt like like I'd known her for ages.

Running has been virtually nonexistent this week, although I did run a few times last week-only twice this week and once was on the dreadful treadmill so I didn't get very far. Blah.

I have been in a bad state in the arena of eating. The cold weather is moving in and this time of year always moves me into hibernation zone where I want to eat every nonhealthy thing in site and have no ambition to exercise!

I have been subbing on a daily basis, as usual, which leaves nothing done at home... That has me feeling overwhelmed about the pending holidays! :) I have started a spreadsheet called "tasks" and I continue to add new tasks, but get to delete the old as I complete them. I don't have the usual suspects on it like "laundry" or "groceries". These are things I'd like to see done a few days after I place them on the list.

Traditionally speaking, we used to have an advent tree-a wooden tree that played music similar to a music box. We got it when my youngest was an infant. It had finally broken down last year. This year, I didn't think of it until December first, we had no advent counters! I saw this one, and am using paper strips instead of ribbon, and have printed out the ornaments. Better late than never?

That is all for today. I hope you are well, dear reader, and are enjoying this holiday season!

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Have been thinking a lot lately about de-cluttering. On this site there is a post about the 27 most important rules to keeping a house. I liked some of them. I'm an "organizer"... this site (I think in a previous article I read) suggested "Don't organize"... throw away and then you won't have as much to find a place for... :)
On this site Get Organized, they have 52 challenges (1 per week). One was to throw away 50 things, and I'm in the mood to purge, so I'm doing that after I post! :)
On this blog the writer has a "Finish it Friday" where she lists things she needs to get done over the weekend, holds herself accountable, checks in on Monday and reports what got done over the weekend. I like that idea and feel the need to make my own Finish it Friday lists, too! :) Last weekend, due to my illness, one of mine was "recuperate". :) My list for this weekend is much longer. I have felt inspired today to get things done. I made a list from the upstairs to the basement of places clutter goes to die... I am working on them this weekend.

On a sweet note, I have had my "office" in our dining room space for quite a while. We have always talked about it becoming a dining room and getting a table big enough to seat guests... I knew my space was temporary. We talked about moving it downstairs to the basement, but I like nature and light. I felt sad. Then my husband said I could have his office space! I felt awful! He needs a "man room" in a house full of women! :)) He came up with a plan to redo our room, which has plenty of space, for a nook for himself, and for me to turn his office into my own office/scrapbooking space... :) To keep all our paperwork in one organized spot, all my supplies on one floor of the house... wow. A dream. Do I dare get excited, or will the cheapskate in me rear its ugly head and tell me things are cheaper as is. Although, I'm planning on checking out and selling the stuff I'd nolonger use.... It's exciting, but it comes with a bit of guilt. I'm kicking him out of his space? Hmmm, so much for the giving me of the last post!! ;)


So many things to write about in the last month. Many unrelated, many linked...

It is November and here in the states we celebrate Thanksgiving this month. It reminds us (or we try to not get bogged down with holiday visits and preparation, while remembering) to be thankful. As regular readers know, in our family, we do a thankful feather letter each year and place the feathers we receive on our gourd turkey (who is holding up nicely, even after losing his head a few years ago! :)) We have the letters sent out and have received one back thus far. Along the same lines, I read this in a friend's post on Facebook: "Every day this month until Thanksgiving, think of one thing that you are thankful for and post it as your status. "Today I am thankful for..." The longer you do it the harder it gets! Now if you think you can do it, then repost this message as your status to invite others to take the challenge, then post what you are thankful for today." I have posted this over the last three days, which is when I first read it, along with some blessings I think of such as my health, Veterans (yesterday was Veteran's Day here in the US) and the internet which connects me to family and friends who I don't see often enough-or some of you I've never met, but am sure I would enjoy in person! :)

I felt really blessed about my health since having the flu. I wasn't tested officially, but was diagnosed with "the flu", but the symptoms weren't like any flu I've experienced, so we are figuring it was H1N1. I haven't been sick sick like that in so many years-and this kept me down for weeks! I slept but still was too exhausted to do anything. The next week I continued the cough that came with it and it developed into bronchitis! I was sick essentially for three and a half weeks! That was after rest, antibiotics and steroids! I was too week and feeling so unwell that I didn't blog or scrapbook! :) I am feeling much better now and realized that I take my good health for granted!

I was up to running four days a week and really feeling good about it until that bout with the flu/bronchitis, so I will have to start again! I did get to yoga this week which was wonderful! :)

I have been subbing in the same classroom for three weeks, a fifth grade math class, and it's been nice to build a relationship with the kids. I will be back for 7 more school days, it appears, and be done at Thanksgiving break. That has filled my days (and I had to miss two of my scheduled days due to my illness!) and I feel behind on all that needs to be done at home.

My parents came down for a visit over Halloween. It was our youngest daughter's last year for trick-or-treat. We have several people in the neighborhood who still go out for candy even older, but we don't. Our kids don't eat that much candy and enjoy giving it out to all the kids we know, so we are done with creating clever costumes. :) I always enjoyed it, but we have a time limit. :) Our youngest has discovered the "secrets of the holidays" so that is another stage of life they have grown out of. It's sad for me-but a relief, also to not have those added details.

Both girls have gotten good grades this grading period and we're proud of them! I hope they continue to enjoy school and work hard.

A neighbor of my grandparents, and a nice member of my family's community passed away this week after cancer ravaged her. Sad that she had such an awful illness. My parents said they went to the funeral home visitation in the evening and they waited an hour to get in-a line was out and around the building. They said over one visitation period 280 people signed the guestbook-and if even some of those were couples, wow! It has had me thinking that I hope I make such a connection, a difference in people's lives. Not that I feel the need for "major recognition in death!" I just mean, I hope I leave such a positive impact on people's lives, a warmth in them. Now, to remember that, who I want to be, not getting caught up in "things"... especially with the holiday chaos lurking around the corner...

Thanksgiving Blessings to you, Reader!! :)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Long Time

It's been a long time between posts, again. I've been subbing between 3 and 5 days per week every week. When I found out I wasn't going to have a full time job this fall, I thought I would have "some time off"... I even made a list of "things to do this fall". I haven't gotten to that list. It is entirely possible that I will work all the way Thanksgiving, as well.

Today was the marathon that was my goal this year. I think I set it in early 2009. Since having the stress fracture, however, I was unable to run in it. It's been about 15 weeks since I had to stop running. I have been running slowly, but surely, three times a week. The last few Saturdays I got in four miles, too. A few of those runs per week, have been with my husband. We talk about our day and vent our minor frustrations, enjoy the exercise. Today we tackled 5 miles. We actually went down to cheer on our runner friends at the marathon, and then were inspired to get a "long" run in, too. :) It was nowhere near that marathon distance... and all that rethinking I did about wanting to be a marathoner since the fracture disappeared, went away when I viewed those hard working runners. This was the first time I was at the marathon as a spectator. It think I bored my entire family with my "insight" into the feelings of the runners. In April I will be 35, a baby, I know ;), but halfway between 30 and 40, and I'm thinking of trying my third marathon... We'll see.

I watched both of our daughters compete yesterday, our youngest played soccer and then we headed to our oldest daughter's high school league cross country running meet. They both worked hard and ended the days with smiles. :) I was very proud of them-and VERY cold! It was a very windy and cold day, here, although there wasn't any snow, luckily. :)

I haven't gotten any scrapbooking in. Once I get home from being gone all day and make dinner, there's housework or laundry to do, that is more pressing. Then, when I can sit down, I'm too tired to create. I need to work on that. :) I truly enjoy being creative, preserving our families memories, so I need to add that to my "to-do" list. :)

I have been enjoying the football on tv-I love this season. :) I have also enjoyed my mac, which was a gift from my husband. I like it so much better than my old pcs.

I have cut back on coffee-I was doing well at first. I decided if another marathon was in my future, I would cut back. I went Mon-Thurs with no coffee, but then broke down grabbing a few Fri-today. I also gave up wine Mon-Wed, but also caved in... I'm working on healthier habits! Evening snacking is a big problem for me, after our kids go to bed.

I hope all of you are well, resisting any kinds of flu! So far, we've been clear, here, but I am in contact with so many kids... I hope I can resist it all winter!! :)

Wednesday, September 09, 2009


I know you're incredibly surprised that I have blogged again so soon! :) A few random things I thought I'd post:

I have an afternoon of subbing planned on Friday in my youngest daughter's class. I'm glad she doesn't mind me being there! :)

I ran today, again, for 2 miles. The lack of fitness is frustrating for me. The amount of recovery time after is also frustrating, but understandable since I took 7 weeks off from most exercise altogether.

Last week I had done so well, with running or exercising each day, and given up my evening snacks. This week, however was sliding downhill quickly. I ended up snacking every night this week, thus far, hoping to stop myself tonight... We'll see. :) I did run, so that is better than snacking with no exercise, right? :)

I heard this week that doctors in the US are predicting more illness this year. I wonder why that is. More germs out there that can resist antibiotics? Less people learning to wash hands? Why?

We host our oldest daughter's running team this weekend for dinner, so I'm planning for that, but I wanted to take a break and wish all readers well this week! Thanks for visiting!

Monday, September 07, 2009


Another three weeks have zipped by since I last posted! Wow!

I never did end up with a full time job for the fall. I have, however, done some subbing already. In the last 8 school days, I have subbed 3 1/2 of them! I don't have any long-term assignments scheduled, however I do have two three-day jobs scheduled into the first week of October. So, it's kept me busy and in the schools. They've been personal teacher requests, not the generic jobs I pick up online, which is nice for the ego that was bruised the last time I posted. :) I am also applying to be a substitute in the other local districts, within a half hour of driving around here. Maybe it will turn into a full time position in another district eventually. I've been living by the motto "God needs good substitutes, too" in my mind since I've not gotten a full time job. :) Please, Reader Friends, in the future, remind me of how very much I wanted a full time job when I'm frazzled from the busy-ness of it all: the planning, grading, worrying about my students and how best to teach and encourage them! :) Right now it all sounds delightful! :)

On the "back to running" front, I have been going to the gym in the (early!) mornings and doing 20 minutes on the elliptical machine (burning about enough calories to allow myself that morning iced latte). I have also gone on two short runs, one with my husband in the evening while we chatted about our days-so slow enough to chat and not be out of breath. The other was Saturday, at halftime of our team's football game. It was about 1.6 miles, nice and easy. I was elated to be out and running. I had no pain or swelling either time, which is great news. No worries, now friends, I'm not planning on the marathon or half marathon next month! :) Just easing my way back into it and enjoying the fun of it-the reason I started doing it to begin with. Sometimes, during marathon training, it begins to feel draining, like a job one doesn't like, following the schedule instead of the enjoyment.

Still reading The Omnivore's Dilemma. Just haven't had the time I thought I would with subbing and getting up so early to go to the gym doesn't allow me to stay up later in the evenings to read. My eyes just get too tired. I am still enjoying the book.

Our oldest daughter is enjoying her first year in high school, thus far. She runs her first race next week, after being off for her own stress fractured foot. Her practices have been progressing nicely. We host this week's dinner the night before the meet, getting all the girls on the team together for a good meal, including pasta! Pray for no rain on Friday! :)) We're planning on outside activities, so we hope it works out!

Our younger daughter will play in her first regular game (instead of a four game tournament) this coming weekend, as well. She has thoroughly enjoyed her school year thus far, too. She's been elected captain for the Friday "safety patrol" which is crossing guards at the school. She's so excited!

It is rainy, here, and Labor Day, so no work for most people. No mail or school, and no work for my husband.. well at his workplace. :) He's working a bit in his home office, currently. However, I'm sure I can convince him to take an afternoon nap while listening to the drizzle outside... :) I hope you have a peaceful, positive day! :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

The End of August??

I sat down to blog and realized I hadn't blogged since early August... and it's the end of August already! The summer has gone rather quickly!

I interviewed for one long-term subbing position and one full-time position, but didn't get either job, which is really disheartening, a rather stiff blow to the ego. I just keep reminding myself that God is in it and He will find me a job when the time is right. It's tough, though.

I got the ok from the running doctor to start the "back to running program". This week and next I can do the elliptical machine. So much better than doing nothing. It won't be running for a few weeks, as I've been instructed to do walking, then the elliptical, then slow jogging... But I will get back to it. The question is, as a marathoner or a half marathoner? It's a tough decision. I've done the marathon, I've enjoyed it-just check back to my old running posts-but it has also wreaked havoc on my body. I have overcome some of the issues, and I know that is some of the pride that comes with running... However, I get really down when an injury knocks me out, like this year-I had come halfway with these long distances and sometimes I wonder if my little body enjoys this. So, I could still get in the longer distances, the physical work, the fitness, while doing the half marathons? Or am I too hooked, still wanting that third marathon and to do it in under four hours?

I have been reading two books lately, both of which are fascinating: The Omnivore's Dilemma and A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen. I'm not vegetarian-I like to eat meat-but the book has some really interesting recipes that I'm planning on trying. The Omnivore's Dilemma can get technical in some spots, but as I kept reading, I really enjoyed its information. I'm not finished with either book, however, which is a problem since they are library books that are due soon!

My husband and I will celebrate our fifteenth wedding anniversary this week. This past weekend we took a LONG drive to this inn, Murphin Ridge Inn, to celebrate with some relaxing time away. Wow. Breathtaking. Food was delicious, staff was wonderful, accommodations were very nice and clean. I can't recommend it enough. If you are in the area, or within a few hours' drive, a terrific way to relax and rejuvenate.

Now school activities begin in full swing. Last weekend our youngest had her first soccer tournament in the new league (new to her). She had two games Saturday and two games Sunday (thankfully the in-laws kept the girls over the weekend and took our youngest to her first three games, with us getting home in time to take her to the last one!) Our oldest will have high school cross country (high school?? ALREADY??) meets every Saturday until November... Yes, every Saturday until November. Most of those will also be soccer game days for our youngest, as well. This will be the first year where my husband and I will head in different directions, each of us missing one of the daughter's activities. This is tough for me. I'm used to getting to see each child, even if I have to drive with a lead foot here and there to make it.... It's the ages, I know, but it's a bit sad... :)

We've had a quick summer that included: trips to the pool-enough to pay for our membership this year- each daughter had camps, our trip, which was the first without the daughters since our tenth anniversary, rainy weather which was more like spring than summer until mid-August, two running injuries (one stress fracture for my oldest daughter and one for me), our first garden that produced yummy veggies, and job interviews!

I hope you have had a good season, wherever you are, and are looking ahead to another positive season in front of you!

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Hello, Thursday!

I know you've been waiting with baited breath, my oldest returned safely and soundly on Saturday eve. She called after they had a cell signal and said she'd had a lot of fun, couldn't believe it was already over, and now that she heard our voices, couldn't wait to be home! She loved the white water rafting the most! She also enjoyed the waterfall jumping, although they only got to do it once due to pending storms. She had a great week, and made new friends!!

Our youngest loved her writing camp and came home with many story ideas! She's been writing in her free time since!

We have been busy since I wrote last: Sunday we had "Food Network Star Finale" night. We have been watching the reality show all season as a family, choosing our favorites, people and food ideas! We chose an appetizer/new recipe and cooked it, to eat while we watched the finale. My youngest made a very spicy salsa, my oldest created a fruit dessert that sat in whipped cream in a chocolate cake cup and was glazed with a berry sauce. My husband made Mega Meatball Pizza and I made Antipasto Sausage Skewers which were both very good recipes! Last night I used the last of the leftovers from my appetizer, added chopped red onion, chopped green pepper and cream cheese, blended it all together and we ate it on crackers: YUM! :)

Monday night we went to the local fair, as I had won tickets on our local radio station to attend the concert there, and fair admission, for free. We all had fun!!

Tuesday, my dear cousin came through our spot in the midwest and spent the night. It was a quick visit, but a great one! It was so nice to see her.

Last night we sat and ate our crackers and dip by a fire in our fire pit. The kids got ready for bed and went off to dreamland, while my husband and I shared a glass of wine (Estancia Pinot Noir, which is great!) as the sun set and our fire burned. It was a wonderful evening!

No news on the running front. I see the doctor again on the 20th.

We head to see my family for a quick visit in the near future.

I haven't read much more in the The Sunday Philosophy Club, as we've been busy around here. I am hoping to read it on the drive to see family...

School is just around the corner, here. I have applied for the only job open in our local district, and didn't even get an interview, which was frustrating. However, I interview tomorrow for a long term sub job, which is better than the day to day assignments! I get to know the children much better in a setting like this! I'm hoping all goes well and that is where I will start the year. Fingers crossed! :)

I have a million things on my schedule today, so I will leave you after my long, rambling post. I hope your week is going well and your weekend looks bright ahead! :)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Still No Running

I met with the Dr. again today and he said still no running. He did say I could do a bit of biking, but I had to wear the lovely air cast/splint. I mistakenly thought "miraculous recovery" would come from him as I have had no pain. However, he squeezed it just right and I had "minimal pain, resulting in no running for three more weeks". Blech.

However, I have more to tell you about than my non-running. :)First, oldest daughter is off at her first "week long church camp". I miss her terribly, and due to their location with no cell service and calls going in or out only being emergencies, we haven't talked to her since Monday! She will be doing regular church activities like service projects, such as possibly helping people with home, etc, Bible Study, small group discussions, Worship time, etc... and then the other part of her camp is an "adventure camp" (Here I must ask REALLY? Can't your first camp experience be just going away and quietly reading or studying the Bible?? Adventure, too?? My poor mother's heart will crack, here! :) I know, Isabelle, and Molly, wait until they move away entirely... Ouch.) Anyway... by adventure I mean-these things are really on her schedule!-zip lines, white water rafting, waterfall jumping, and rock climbing! I'm sure she's having a wonderful time and is completely safe... gulp!

Meanwhile, our younger daughter has writing camp this week, all day, so she doesn't have as much time to miss her sister. :) She is at camp from 9-3:30 and takes a sack lunch. She is working on a "Writer's Idea Kit" or something like that. They have done some fun things, thus far, like a real life mystery where "detectives" come in and ask a lot of questions, find clues, etc. and then the writers/campers write their idea of what happened to the "stolen necklace". :) She's having a lot of fun!

So, yes, that means my days are "free" from 9-3:30. On Monday, my husband took the day off and we went to a city park, then the Chihuly glass exhibit at a local place-it was magnificent. Just absolutely beautiful glass works! Then we went to a later lunch, then took a nap! :) It was a wonderful day. Then Tuesday I got things done at home-nothing exciting, and yesterday I got groceries and made bread with them: 2 loaves strawberry bread, 2 loaves pumpkin bread and 2 loaves banana bread. I froze them, for when the weather is cooler. I have plans for more freezer meals, but I have to sort through the ones I want to make first so I don't have to buy 16 lbs of chicken or anything crazy! :)

Still nothing on the job-for-fall front, but I have applied for more positions and am praying on it.

I'm reading The Sunday Philosophy Club, currently. It talks about Edinburgh! And the main character's name is Isabele... coincidence? :)

Last, but not least, I won tickets to our local state fair/concert at the fair. Our local radio station had a contest, and for the first time ever, I won a contest. :)
4 tickets for Monday night! :)Something positive to start my day, for sure.

I hope you're having a winning day, too! :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Not so much running...

I ran on Tuesday, and was going for five miles, like the schedule required. I couldn't make it, due to increased pain in my left leg. I went to the doctor on Thursday and he said it was a "probable stress fracture" requiring "6 to 8 weeks" of no running. I go for X rays tomorrow, and then we'll go from there. It was very sore the last few days, even without running or doing any strenuous activities, so we'll see. I missed the group/long run on Saturday. Maybe this will get me back to the gym? Just to work on things other than legs? We'll see. I will post after the test results.
In other news, I just baked "Grandma Marie's Swedish Nut Cake". It is my husband's maternal great-grandmother's recipe. We are heading to a neighborhood party this afternoon and are to take a side dish or dessert. My husband decided to make a pasta salad and I decided to make a dessert. He said he was in the mood for this cake, and I haven't made it in ages. Here is the simple recipe:

Grandma Marie's Swedish Nut Cake

2 C sugar
2 eggs
20 oz crushed pineapple (do not drain!)
2 tsp baking soda
2 C flour
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 C walnuts (my husband's mother and I use chopped pecans)

Mix, by hand, all the above ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

8 oz. cream cheese
1 stick butter (both softened)
Mix these and then add
1 3/4 C powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 C pecans

Then spread onto cake while still warm.

I hope you are having a nice weekend. The weather here has been overcast, but the cool temperatures have been delightful; as opposed to the sweltering heat we had last week! :) I'm not running, but I'm sure God's in it. :) He always has a plan, and often it's different than mine! :)Take care!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Running and Things

Running has been plugging along, steadily. I finished a long 13 miles on Saturday, with a bit of soreness showing up yesterday. This Saturday we meet closer to my home, which is always nice for a change of pace.

I hosted scrapbooking this past weekend and tried two new recipes as snacks:
Grilled Chicken Spinach Quesadillas
Mascarpone Mini Cupcakes with Strawberry Glaze.
Both recipes turned out nicely. Neither were too difficult or time consuming, which are the best kind of recipes. :) I try to make "finger" foods, that are easy to eat as you start working on the scrapbooking. I didn't get too many pages finished while people were here, but I did finish a few more since I still have my things out in the living room. I broke out the dusty sewing machine for a few pages! :) That is about the only thing I have the patience to sew! :)
Neither of my girls has a camp/activity this week, so they were supposed to sleep in today... but that didn't happen. :) They were excited to get up and enjoy the day with "no place" to go. :)They are outside in the breezy, comfortable weather. :)

That is the latest from here. I hope you are well and things are going positively for you! :)


First I saw Thimbleanna's quilt. Lovely! Then, Molly's blog post, and photo of her wonderful first quilt, inspired me to post my own instead of commenting on her post. I am not a quilter. I have tried many styles of sewing and lack the generous helping of patience and determination that it requires to complete one... except the rag quilt. Sew diagonally from corner to corner, across squares of flannel and voila, a rag quilt that needn't be perfectly matched and ironed to meet up the corners "just so". I took this photo quite a while ago, why I took it on a bed (store bought) quilt, I do not know...
It is the one and only quilt I have finished, and it was completed in two days, with the help of my mom over Thanksgiving one year. It is very warm, and very comfortable, especially in the cold Midwest winters, without being too heavy as it sits in your lap. :) I enjoy it very much. :)

Monday, June 22, 2009


I haven't posted in a while... I was caught up in the busy activities of life! :) The summer vacation seems to be speeding by, but things have gotten done, too. :)
Running: I have kept up with the marathon training schedule very well, until the long run this weekend. I had family here Friday and Saturday, so I didn't get to the 11 scheduled. I tried to run it yesterday, but the only time I had was in the heat of the day... it was 85 and very humid. I ran 6 miles alone and then my husband was going to join me... When I grabbed some water at home, after the 6, I was very hot and not feeling too well. We started out for our last loop and I felt very ill, even sporting goose bumps on my arms! When that happens, you're way too hot, so the rest of the run was scrubbed for the day. I was broken-spirited, but my husband reminded me that I'm doing this for fun, not to hurt myself and it's important to listen to your body... so glad he was there as I walked the last little bit home.
Family: My parents came to visit this weekend! We had a wonderful time! At the local convention center there was a sewing gathering (actually, quilting, Thimbleanna and Molly! :)) and my mom is an avid quilter, so we went and walked-A LOT! :) We saw many finished quilts/competition entries, and many vendor booths. I bought some things... not quilting things, mind you, as I am not an accomplished seamstress like my mom. I bought some supplies to scrapbook with! :)
My husband had his birthday week, as I had mentioned previously, and I saved all the photos, notes and mementos, as well as a new letter from the two daughters and I, and compiled them into a "birthday week" album for Father's Day. Very fun. I hope he likes it. He seemed to when he opened it.:)
The two girls are enjoying summer break, although the oldest daughter is taking summer PE (summer gym class) so that it will free up a study hall for her next year. Otherwise, she'd have had band class and gym class, with no study hall (time to get work done, questions answered at school).
Our youngest and I have plans for some tennis and other fun things while the oldest is away at class. We have had some fun, so far! :)She has read like crazy, entering the summer reading program at the local library (a tradition of ours), already finishing the second recording sheet! She's found some great new books, and been inspired to write a book of her own, with chapters! :)
Home: I have gotten a lot of "chores" done in the almost-two weeks we've had off like cleaning under all the bathroom and kitchen sinks/in the cupboards, finished sealing the grout around the new tile and washing them down once more, cleaning and organizing two closets and our pantry, catching up on the laundry-really catching up like washing all our bed comforters and shower curtains, too!
Reading... I haven't read much at all, other than scrapbook idea magazines, but plan on it! :)
Blogs: I have been to some new and interesting sites lately:
The Simple Woman's Daybook
Apple + Orange
Creative Organizing-I especially liked this post about Finish-It-Friday, which inspired some of my tasks above! I plan on working on something every Friday!
Teaching jobs: I have applied for several, have either heard nothing or rejection on many of them, thus far. Frustrating, but still hopeful, and will wait and see...
Today: I am going to rearrange the furniture in the living room and my den. It's been in the current plan for a while, and the living room really needs a new plan! I also need to tend to the paper file/pile on my desk. I've kept up with the bills, but the "look at later" pile has grown too large!
That is all for now. I hope your week goes smoothly and positively! :)

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Birthdays, Training and the Bittersweet

My husband's birthday was yesterday. We've been celebrating "birthday week" by doing little things like taking him out to breakfast one day, meeting his family out to dinner yesterday, making homemade ice cream tonight, and giving him little gifts, like a book today. We have had fun spoiling him this week. :)
My training has gone well, still working towards the October marathon. Accomplished 9 miles last week and am heading toward 10 this Saturday. I've enjoyed it! Although my muscles are still tired from last week! :) It could also be the nice dressy sandals I teach in all day? :)
Speaking of school, today is bittersweet. My oldest daughter finishes up 8th grade and will plunge into high school next year! My youngest will finish up fourth grade and then will be in her last year of elementary school! It is also bittersweet for me to watch "my" fifth graders go. I've been subbing for them for 7 weeks and have grown rather attached. It is truly a nice group of children and I will be misty eyed today to see them leave elementary school. :)
I do, however, look forward to trips to the library and the pool, sitting out on the patio with a good book, and scrapbooking!! I have missed it due to the work I've put into planning and grading. Good things, but I'm glad to have summer vacations. :) I have applied to several places, but have not been called for interviews. Fingers crossed for a full time position next fall...

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Good morning!

I'm posting in the morning, on a Sunday. If you're reading this at another time, I apologize, and say, "Good Day". :)
Running has been going well. I have ran 5 of the last 7 days, including 8 miles yesterday. 8 is the longest I've ran in a while and I was a bit nervous. I attended the marathoners in training group yesterday, like I did a few summers ago. It was nice to see some familiar faces, even if I was in a slower pace group this year. I thought I'd listen to by body a bit better this year, so I'm not sidelined by injury like last year. I went slower, and felt pretty good! I'm a bit stiff in the calves, and knees today, but not in any pain.
I got all the housecleaning done yesterday, so today's schedule includes laundry, school plans for the last 7 days of the school year, grading a few papers, and scrapbooking! :) I went to someone's house Friday night and got a few pages done, but not as many as I'd have liked. Maybe it was all the snacking and visiting I did instead? :)
I'm not doing a lot of reading right now, due to all the school work that I've been doing, planning and grading. :)But I have snuck in a few pages of the Food Guide for Marathoners and the Women's Guide to Running. So far, there hasn't been any new information, but I'm not very far into it. I heard someone talking as we ran about this book and thought I would like to read it: 4 months to a 4 hour marathon, since my goal this year is to break 4 hours...
The family is doing great. Both daughters are ready to be on summer vacation, but we all still have 7 more days! :)
I saw this post and thought about "my flower petals". What would you put on your petals??
I hope you have a wonderful week, full of blessings!! :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Today was a long day.
I got up and ran this morning before school. This is usually when I have coffee, but today I knew it would be too hot after school to get in day-#4-in-a-row of running. So, no coffee and a run... I am a bit tired. While I was reading blogs, I was thinking how thankful I am to have my good health (knock on wood), my wonderful family and friends, to live in a great town, to teach with fabulous staff and great children, and the list was going on... Then I was thinking I am thankful:
winged things don't fly into my house... he's cute and all, but I would probably scare the poor thing to death!
we don't have these around to run across my feet... interesting to look at, and my daughters would be intrigued, but to be surprised by one doesn't sound fun...
My dog hasn't found my Burt's Bees lip balm... although one eats quite a bit of odd things...
Running's going well. Legs were a little sore today.
School's going pretty good, too. I have tons of papers to grade tonight.
Family is doing fine, although both of the girls are ready to have summer vacation. Their last day is the second week in June. Soccer and track are now both officially over.
I haven't had time to sit and read anything lately... not even book club books. I'm looking forward to reading or scrapbooking over the long weekend.
That's all for now. Hope you are doing well!

Monday, May 18, 2009


Nope, I haven't fallen off the face of the planet. :) It just seems that way when reading my posts, or lack thereof. :)
I officially started my marathon running today. I ran a nice paced four miles. And felt great after! :) Looking forward to being able to run all summer, hopefully, and to breaking four hours in October.
I have worked in my front perennial garden, adding some foxglove, which I didn't think I would have liked, in years past. I love it, and its placement is perfect. We also got a load of soil that helped the appearance and health of the plants, as well. We built our first garden box for vegetables this year. I always wish I'd planted one, but never take the time to do so. This year my husband made a box over Mother's Day weekend, that is 12 x 8, I think. And a couple feet high. I have cherry and grape tomatoes, big tomatoes, green sweet peppers and jalapeno peppers. I have cilantro and two hills; one for cucumbers and one for zucchini. I also have a pot on the patio with basil, cilantro and parsley. I hope it all fairs well. I have fond memories of my dad planting the garden, letting me help, and getting yummy tomatoes fresh from the garden! I loved to go out and look at it with him. I hope my girls have that same fun with me this summer. :)
Wine: I tried a new wine this week: Pinot Noir. I knew I liked red wines, but hadn't ventured outside of what I knew I liked. Then my in laws came over for Mother's day and brought some. It was very nice, smooth. I did know, however, that I liked malbecs, having learned about them for a wine party we had here once. I found that malbec was my favorite red. I tried a new one tonight: Terrazas de los Andes 2006. It was very good.
Teaching: My teaching is going well. I am learning so much. The staff there has helped me out when I've asked, the kids are adjusting and treating me more like their teacher, as opposed to a substitute teacher. :) I am enjoying it, now, just like I did the last two long-term jobs I've had. I just pray God has a full time job for me in the fall. I've heard it's going to be sparse job-wise, locally. I put a lot of energy into my jobs, so I haven't had much time to update the blog, or read the blogs I love like In This Life or Thimbleanna, lately.
Mother's Day: I hope all of you mothers had a wonderful Mother's Day! I certainly did! I received a Starbucks latte, and warm krispy kremes in bed (I'm not usually a huge fan of the extra sweet doughnuts, but warm, with my coffee, they were delectable!)I got gifts of lotion and chocolates! I enjoy chocolate, but haven't received it for a Mother's Day gift before. My husband and children got me a box of specially selected dark chocolates from the store in our local mall. They have been delicious!! I have eaten one about every other day. Yum! Good thing I'm running! :)
The weather is finally turning out to be nice, probably for about a week or so before it gets too hot! :)
Books: I'm reading the Food Guide for Marathoners, Nightmare at the Book Fair (which I'm reading to my class), and that is all I have had time to read since I've spent so much time grading and planning! :)
In the last month: Since I wrote last, we took a trip to Philadelphia, PA, and saw important parts of our nation's history, like the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Ben Franklin's home site, Betsy Ross's home, and other really interesting things! We had a really nice time! We have also been to several soccer games, track meets, and other kid friendly activities. :) I have enjoyed it, and this spring. Just sitting here feeling thankful for our family, our health, our friends, church and town... Just feeling very blessed. How about you? I hope you're enjoying that blessed feeling as you read this. Have a good week, Reader. :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I have been the long-term substitute for two days now. Things are going well. I am hoping to be able to come up with some fun activities for the next few days. I have a lot on my plate, at school and a busy week at home.
I ran twice on the beach on our trip last week, but haven't since, and have only been to the gym for my yoga class. I'm hoping my new plan (that I thought about tonight) will help me get back to it all. I feel and think better when I do. I just... well, feel more like myself.
It also helps when the sun is out. It's been hidden behind rainy clouds for the last three days, with more to come tomorrow. Then Thursday through Saturday is "supposed to be" clear and nice. :)
I hope it's sunny where you are... even if it's rainy outside. :)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Spring Break

Our spring break trip was wonderful. It was a bit windy on most days, but the sun and time to relax were lovely! I got a sunburn on Thursday, but thankfully it is a tan, now. That doesn't usually happen to me! :) I had actually taken the sunscreen (60+!:)) and just didn't realize the time was passing so quickly. Both my girls went the whole week without a red sunburn! I thought they were pink at one point, but it was from playing and getting warm, not the sun. They did get a bit of color, but no major tans. Regular readers know my skin/mole history has me a bit concerned about sun/sunscreen! :) We camped in our camper and had a delightful time with my in-laws. The new van pulled the camper very well, too. :)
While gone, I read The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks. Good book, if you like Nicholas Sparks. My husband and I took turns reading it aloud to each other unless the daughters were around, then we just took turns reading chapters.
When we returned home I had mounds of laundry to do, but am almost caught up, now. Of course I start my long-term sub job tomorrow, so we'll see how "caught up" the laundry stays. :) I'm nervous, hoping to do a great job planning, teaching and getting to know the students better. I'm very excited, too. :)
It's raining, here, and chilly, but is sure nice to be back home. :)
Have a great week, Reader! :)

Friday, April 10, 2009

New Blogs/Sites

Found these: (some great watches-esp in the blue section!)

Good Friday

We are taking a quick break amidst food preparation, packing, laundry, cleaning, and more. We have our camping trip soon. Working on all the planning, lists and preparing everything. We have a lot to do, still, but we're working on it.
Just feeling thankful for this "good" Friday, all those years ago, and an even better Sunday. Thankful for all He has given me: a wonderful family, the rain (even though it's chilly and that rain can soak clear through, it brings on the flowers!) the peace to study/believe/and pursue Him. Feeling very blessed. Hope you are, as well. Have a wonderful weekend/Easter, Readers!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Good Day!

Good morning, Reader! :) Hope you are smiling on this day, and that it is sunny where you are. Here, it is cloudy, raining and threatening snow flurries. Sadly, I didn't get a long run this past weekend and haven't run in about a week and a half! Have to be careful that I don't wait too long to get back to it! :) When we get a busy family schedule, though, that's what suffers, for now. :) I do keep up my weekly yoga, though. I enjoy it so very much! I have also cut back on my lattes! I was up to one per day! It's painful on the waistline and the wallet! But, I cut back to either no coffee or making regular coffee at home. Then neither the husband nor I slept well last night (actually, the husband didn't sleep well, thus his tossing and turning caused me not to sleep well, but it's neither here nor there. ;)) This caused me to want coffee to keep my eyes open! :)
I have gotten my time in with the Word this morning and liked today's Peace reference (Remember my word of the year? I chose peace. Then I looked in the concordance of my Bible and have been trying to read and write down a peace reference daily. Once I run out of them, as there aren't 365, I will go back and try memorizing them. :) Anyway... These two have become two of my new favorites.
Colossians 3:15 "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful."
2 Thessalonians 3:16 "Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you."

I also found a couple quotes that inspired me to live my day, today:

“Face your deficiencies and acknowledge them; but do not let them master you. Let them teach you patience, sweetness, insight... When we do the best we can, we never know what miracle is wrought in our life, or in the life of another. ” —Helen Keller (1880-1968), author, lecturer, activist

"The brook would lose its song if we removed the rocks." Wallace Stegner

“Confidence, like art, never comes from having all the answers; it comes from being open to all the questions.” —Earl Gray Stevens

I hope you, Reader, have a wonderful day and week ahead! :)

Sunday, April 05, 2009

The Weekend

Here it is, another weekend, too long since my last post. I've been subbing and running errands. I've also been trying to get some things ready in advance for our spring break trip. We'll be camping again, with my in laws on the beach. I so look forward to it, especially with snow in the forecast for tomorrow. I will be shivering and thinking of pending sunshine. :)
I did end up running a 7 miler the day after I posted last, but that is the max distance for me, so far. I've been to my yoga class, and will miss it the week we're gone on break.
I've been thinking of ideas and projects for the long term sub position that will start in just a few weeks. I finished reading the newest Laura Childs book: Oolong Dead, a Tea Shop Mystery. They're always a good, fast read, filled with details and descriptions about food that make me drool. ;) I'm still reading The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austin for our book club, also. For our trip I have The Lucky One and the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society to read on our trip, since I heard they both were good. I have a few others on reserve at the local library, but most are out to other people and may not arrive before we leave. I've reserved some classics like A Separate Peace and Of Mice and Men. I haven't read them since high school and I like the different perspective I have on books, now, reading them as an adult.
I've been on Facebook a bit here and there, but not very much lately; too busy, I guess. I did change my quote today, though. Here is the new one:
"True religion is real living; living with all one's soul, with all one's goodness and righteousness." -Albert Einstein
My girls started their spring sports seasons last week. My oldest is running track and my youngest is playing soccer. Both were excited to get started since they've had practices for a while. Now we're just all hoping for nicer weather for their competitions (and our viewing! :))
That is all I have for now. I have been reading blogs and enjoying them, just haven't had time to sit down and write my own, lately. I will try to post again before spring break. Hope you are well!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

New Things

I was interviewed for a long-term substitute teaching job a few weeks ago. Early in the week, I got a rejection email. I was pretty sad. My confidence sank. I wondered what had gone wrong. Then, after a series of events, I got a different long-term job. This one is at my daughter's school, in a grade where I know the kids, the staff and building policies. I like the staff, the kids, and am so happy to have the job. It is a situation where only God could have made it so perfect. :) My confidence feels better. :)
Today, after almost a year of talking about it, we went and got a new van. Our old van had hit the 105,000 miles mark and it was time for expensive service/repairs on it. So, we decided to dive in, and got another van. I like the room it has for hauling people, things and pop-up campers on pending camping trips. :) I like that it gives the girls space to have their own area without bothering each other, as well. :) We didn't get dvd player/tv/gps, etc. That isn't us, but it does have a few bells and whistles. I love its color. Our last van was white, and my husband's car is black, so it was fun to get a vehicle with color. :)
The sun was out today. It was still a bit windy, but sunny. I haven' t gotten the long run in, yet, but am hoping for tomorrow.
I will write more then! Hope your weekend is going well!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Hope your day is going well! This holiday means only, here in our house, that I make corned beef and cabbage every year. Its smell is wafting through the house as I type. (ahhh) I do not wear green or pinch those who don't and need to brush up on my "St. Patty's Day" facts, as I don't know where the holiday came from.
The weather is absolutely delightful, a sunny 69 degrees. (Great grilling weather, if it wasn't for the "holiday".) This morning, when it was 43 degrees, I went running, and got five wonderful miles in. I was scheduled to have jury duty, went at the appointed time and two hours later the cases were taken care of, without the need of jurors, so I got to come home.
Reading the Lost Memoirs of Jane Austin, currently. It's good so far. Finished Coraline and yikes, it was scary. I was not sure if I mentioned that I was reading it with my daughter for her book club. The last 6 chapters were what nightmares are made of.
We tried a new recipe this weekend, while watching college basketball: honey garlic chicken wings. They were good, but not so delicious that I would want to eat them every night.
It is March and that means "March Madness", my favorite time in sports. My husband and I would order pizza late in the night while watching the first weeks of the tournaments in college. We have a tentative plan for him to come home for lunch on Thurs or Fri to see the games over subs. It is a fun time of year.
I'm still running and working on watching what I eat, especially during the day. When I'm home and not subbing, I catch myself snacking, if there are goodies available. It's helped that I've given up wine and chips for Lent-it has been hard, though! I haven't been to the gym since last Thursday, but am hoping to go for yoga this evening, as I enjoy the class and teacher so much.
My bluebirds are still around, but I caught sparrows going in the birdhouse twice today... I've gone out and emptied their nests. I feel guilty doing so, ruining their hard work, but am still hoping the bluebirds will be able to move in... My pictures from last week didn't turn out too well, I'm afraid, but here's the best one.

Speaking of outdoors, the sounds of children playing kickball in our front yard is coming in through the windows; a great spring/summer sound.
Well, I'm off to do my daily devotional/Bible reading. I hope you've had a wonderful start to your week!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Signs of Spring

I have been running again, regularly, and the last few weekends I have gotten a six mile run in. Today the signs of pending spring were all around me. Cardinals, and wood thrush flitting about, no more juncos or titmouse-which are signs of winter, our winter birds. Yesterday I saw the most wonderful sight: a bluebird sitting on my bluebird house! I've had it up for three years or so, but the sparrows move in so quickly that the house is occupied before the bluebirds look for real estate. Last night, one flew in and one sat on top. I have photos but I cannot access my camera, more on that, later. I will be posting pictures! The singing of the birds as I ran was so delightful!
Another sign of spring: windows are all open in our house and it smells like spring, the sun is shining (although the weather report declares "not for long"! I hope they're wrong!) Kids are playing outside, and their sounds of enjoyment float in through the open windows.
My houseplants are showing signs of spring, as well. They lean towards the windows where there was once only gray murkiness, and now sun shines in! They all are leaning towards the nearest window and are a funny sight to see. I will take pictures when my camera returns.
My camera is at a local school building with my husband and youngest daughter. They are taking part in a Pinewood Derby (wooden cars made by the participants race to see who is the fastest.) We're hoping that their day goes well.
I have finished more books: I finished Garden Spells, O Little Town, and an in the midst of The Hemingses (still; it's a struggle for me), and The Big House. Reading anything good lately?
I hope you are all enjoying your own signs of spring, and hopefully pleasantness this weekend!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


It's cold, here in the midwest, and has been for the last few days. Brr. The cold that chills you deeply the moment you step outside, and no amount of warm coats or coffee can warm the inside of you. :)
The break between posts has been longer this time, but nothing fantastic has happened. Well, I shouldn't say that. Each day with my family is fantastic, the sermon on the last two Sundays really were fantastic, my youngest daughter sang at a school function on Saturday and she was fantastic...
But the schedule just keeps plugging along. I subbed in kindergarten two days last week and fourth grade Friday and yesterday. A big jump from kindergarten to fourth grade. It challenges me to reset my mind and expectations. Both classes were good while I was there.
I've been working out the gym a few days per week to help me get stronger. Not like huge bulky body builder muscles, just stronger to help me with that fall marathon in under four hours! :) I am running, but less than I was. I have enjoyed my time at the gym, especially the yoga class. I thought yoga was slow, boring and didn't challenge my body. Boy, was I wrong! I've gone the last two weeks, and am attending tonight, and the instructor had us sweating! I felt the soreness that comes from a good workout the next few days, as well. And I really enjoyed the instructor! :)
I'm still juggling my way through my book club book, the Hemingses. I have yet to get into a rhythm that has me chugging along and not wanting to put my book down.
I have started a book with my youngest daughter and her friend. The book is Coraline. It's what the newly released movie is based on. I had heard the book was better than the movie, so we thought we'd read it first. It's a bit spooky, but good thus far. We read about two chapters per week and then discuss it on Fridays. Last week's discussion introduced them to the idea of foreshadowing and they are enjoying thinking about the concept. :)
That's really all from here. My youngest is about done with basketball, and my oldest is about to begin track conditioning. So, another busy spring schedule is sneaking up on us! :)
Hope your week is going well!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

New Quote

Saw this quote a while back-so long ago, I don't remember where, and wrote it down. Then I stuck it in my purse. I cleaned out my purse today and found the paper I'd written it on. Again, I thought "I really like this"... So, wonderful readers, I thought I'd share. :))

"Don't just live the length of your life, live the width of it as well." Daniel S. Goldin

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


  • I did get some running in, before the weather got frigid again. Ahh, the sunshine was wonderful. I'm looking forward to more of the bright stuff again tomorrow! Although the temperature will not show that the glorious sun is out, I'm afraid. :)
  • I got to be a substitute teacher in a kindergarten class. Both morning and afternoon groups of children were wonderful!
  • My photo/canvas arrived in the mail today. A dear blog friend took a wonderful photo of the beach (she is extremely talented!) and I asked her if I could have/use it. I had it made into a canvas that arrived today. My original intent was to hang it in the green laundry room, to make me think I was at the beach instead of doing laundry... However, I love the looks and colors of it so much, I wish I could repaint other areas of my house to match. Considering all the painting I've done lately, I'm guessing the husband will say-it should still hang in the laundry room, and no more painting for awhile! :)
  • I am feeling terrible about neglecting something that I firmly believe in... Thank You notes. I always write them, but for some reason, the 2008 Christmas thank yous have not been written. How utterly awful of me.
  • I have gone over my notes for the Thirteenth Tale, so that I will be ready to post discussions on it next Friday, the first discussion of the Well Read Ladies Online Book Club.
  • I have The Hemingses here to start for our next discussion... It's size is daunting... the nonfiction-ness of it is intimidating... but I look forward to the brain-strengthening challenge.
  • I have spent too much time on Facebook, even posting photos of high school this week. Some scary photos... :) But they were me, back then. :) I have enjoyed connecting with far-away family, that I probably wouldn't be able to keep in touch with very well, otherwise.
  • My husband and I begin teaching Sunday School this weekend. I am very much looking forward to it! I'm EXCITED! :) Ahem... teaching does that to me, even if it is only an hour. :)
  • I ordered my youngest daughter some small, inexpensive cookie cutters, so she can make these valentines for school. (It is our tradition for the kids to make their school valentines instead of buying character valentines. We like to be crafty like that. ;))
  • I saw a video that was great. It was a 16 minute short movie, if you will, but worth every minute. It made me smile. I don't know how to post videos on my own blog, so you have to go to this site HERE to see it. The post that the video is on is called You... You are awesome. You should see it. :))
I hope you are having a wonderful day, and week, that is halfway over already! :) I hope, also, that you are smiling as you leave this blog. :))

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Our last two days have been filled with snow. On Tuesday night the flakes started. Small, fluttering flakes. Those flakes gradually increased in size and intensity. There was a break overnight, but that was for the freezing rain to come in and leave half an inch to an inch of ice in its wake. Then the snow came again. By ten that evening, schools had been canceled. About 500 area schools were closed, most of the schools in the state, actually. Even my husband stayed home during our level two snow emergency, and worked from home. He took a lunch break and we all shoveled the driveway, chipping away at the ice and snow, together. Today the kids were off from school, again, but the husband made the trek into work, arriving there safely. We are supposed to receive another inch of snow this afternoon/evening, as well. We have used up all our "calamity" days for the school year. The last day of school is supposed to be June 10, but if we miss any more days of school due to the weather, we will progress further into June to make them up. We three girls trudged out into the weather today in search of boots for my youngest daughter. She did not mention to me that her boots were WAY too small until Tuesday. Due to the recent weather, there were not very many pairs of boots to be found in the surrounding areas, let alone in her specific size. We did end up finding some men's boots small enough to fit her feet, and are exceptionally warm. When she came in today, I made this homemade hot chocolate with a few sprinkles of cinnamon, too. :)
Running... I went four good miles on Sunday, although all the paths and streets were covered in a thin layer of ice and snow on top of that. The flakes falling down that day were beautiful, but my knees did not like the sliding. I felt wonderful afterward, like I'd gotten in a great workout. Then, this new weather hit, and it isn't fit to be running outside without spikes on your shoes!
Since writing last, our countertop came in and looks great. We're waiting on someone to come do the tiled backsplash, though, so it's not quite complete, but getting there.
We had a busy weekend last week. Our "baby" girl, our oldest daughter, turned fourteen on Friday. We had family over that night for hamburgers, per her request, and homemade carrot cake for dessert. Then, Saturday morning, she wanted her hair cut for her birthday, a nice haircut. So, I took her and looks wonderful, although too old. :) Saturday we attended a wedding reception for a friend. Then we picked up a friend of our daughter's and took them both to "get their fingernails done"... which included painting their real nails, not applying fake ones. :) We ordered pizza, and the friend was picked up in time for us to attend church on Sunday. After church we signed up to be Sunday School teachers. I'm looking forward to it! What new challenges/adventures are you considering starting?
I have finished the book The Thirteenth Tale. I thought it started kind of slow, probably because it wasn't what I was expecting, but it definitely reeled me in as I read, and by the last third of the book I didn't want to put it down! Now I have to look over the questions in the back, so I feel ready to discuss it in the book club that is starting Feb 13. What are you reading?
I think that's it for us these last ten days. :) Hopefully you are well.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Fallen off

Seems as if I've fallen off my blog posts. I was doing so well for a while, posting frequently. Not much to say, as of late, I guess.
I am happy to report that it seems our countertop will arrive sooner than expected and is coming this Thursday! Just a few things left to complete the whole transformation: light fixtures and one other wall detail for now, I think.
The laundry room came out as nicely as I'd hoped, although I still have one photo/canvas detail to finish up and hang up. I was thinking this week that I feel blessed to be able to afford these things right now, in a bad economy.
Speaking of economy, looking forward to the inauguration this week. Hopefully wonderful changes ahead.
My family came down for the weekend and it was very nice, as always.
I haven't taught much lately, but I feel like I've gotten a lot done here at home. I rearranged my "office" and cleaned everything out. After painting the kitchen, my husband and I went through all the cupboards and got rid of a lot that we don't use. I also cleaned out the cupboards in the laundry room. We had a charity come on the 12th and pick up things, so we put out about 8 laundry baskets/trash bags full: clothes, kitchen items and more! It was such a nice feeling. Another charity is scheduled for rounds in our neighborhood on the 28th, I think, so I'm hoping to do basement purging and prepare another load! :) Just feeling like we have too much STUFF.
I've also updated my resume, with a few questions remaining, and am taking it to some new schools this week. Scary and exciting all at the same time. :)
I have been working on my one little word, "peace", this month. I looked up "peace" in the concordance of my Bible and have been reading a verse per day, along with the daily devotional and daily Bible reading. I'm still working on the book of Romans, right now, but am 2/3 the way done. I also ordered a peace ring from LizEaton, and a peace charm from Beautiful Soul. I ordered a "faith" charm last year from the same shop. I wore it everyday and really liked it.
I also saw this "butterfly chandelier"
in a pottery barn kids store this weekend, while shopping with my parents. I loved it, but thought 79 dollars was a lot. I thought I could do it myself, but it didn't turn out like I'd hoped. I couldn't find the metal hoops, so I bent metal hangers, which didn't come out large enough to get the full effect. I couldn't find a butterfly punch, so I used flowers, and on one daughter's I lined them up, and on one I didn't, so they look more like a round flower.

Our oldest daughter turns 14 this week! I look at her and she looks so much older these days.
The running had taken a toll on my knees, I think it's the extra weight I have on right now, or the getting older, I'm not sure. :) Anyway, I started walking, fast pace, at an incline, on the treadmill indoors, instead of out on the ice and below 0 temps, and I have felt pretty good. I'm looking forward to getting back outside and running more. I just don't like running on the treadmill.
I am about to start reading the Thirteenth Tale for the online book club I had mentioned previously. We start discussions the second week in February, if anyone is interested in joining.
That's about all the update from here. I hope you are well, and enjoying winter... :))

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

January 2-7

Since I posted last, our oldest had her wisdom teeth removed and recovered nicely. The first three days she was in a lot of pain, swelling, and had a hard time eating, but on the fourth day she was virtually back to normal! She takes an advil here and there, if she eats something particularly difficult, but other than that, she's done great! She's gone to school everyday this week!
We started repainting the kitchen that Friday afternoon, once our girl was settled, and got 99% of the first coat done. Then Saturday we did the second coat. I am so happy with the color! It's a burnt orange looking color and I really like it!
We got our countertop template made yesterday and were told the counter may be in on the 27th, which is earlier than expected! Yeah! :) Today we get the kitchen table and hall tree, but the baker's nook was damaged, so we won't get that until Monday.
I haven't had any sub jobs, so I've been working around here. Yesterday (all day!) I stripped the wallpaper out the laundry room and am going to prime and paint today. Yeah! If I make it look cheery in there, I won't mind doing laundry, right? ;) ha!
I have been running. I didn't run yesterday, but have run quite a bit before that. I got in 6 on Saturday, 3 on Sunday, 3.3 on Monday and then missed yesterday.
I get a newsletter from Real Simple magazine, and saw this which sounded like a good thing to do in the new year: 31 ideas for 31 days, some activities that will take fifteen minutes each, but will benefit/organize.
Hope your new year is off to a wonderful start! :))

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I hope it has started off wonderfully! We kicked off 2009 at the in laws', with kids, games and yummy snacks. We spent the night there, as is the new tradition, started in '08, and then headed home after breakfast. When we returned home, I put dinner on the stove to cook: our annual meal of corned beef and cabbage. We have cabbage on New Year's because it's a superstition that if you eat cabbage on the first day of the year, it will bring you good luck all year long.
We went, later in the day, to a furniture store and ordered a new cubby/hall tree for the entry by the garage door. This is where we all enter most, and the kids drop their school bags, we all leave our shoes... etc. It gets cluttered. Thus, the hall tree. We also ordered a kitchen table and a "baker's rack" to go with our "old world" decor. We've had our table for several years, after buying it used, and it's seen better days. We will be painting the kitchen soon. The company who is making our countertop will come to make a template on Tuesday, hopefully delivering the actual counter before the estimated 5 week date, and the furniture will be delivered Wednesday.
I have ran the last two days, since my last post, albeit slowly due to the awful winds we still have. The day before yesterday I could barely open my eyes in the wind and blowing snow, so I cut the run short. Today my eyes watered, but I ran the 4.25 miles, anyway. I have ran 6 out of the last 8 days, so I'm pretty happy with that. Now if I can just quit the Starbucks... I'm going to try. :)
Made any new year's resolutions? Or picked one little word? I am using "peace" this year. Last Sunday's sermon at church was about God's peace, how to work on it, like to avoid worry (I am a huge worrywart!) pray first. So I am sad to see "Faith" go as my word, but am ready to welcome and work on peace in my life, with less worry. We'll see how it works out tomorrow, while our oldest daughter is having surgery to remove her wisdom teeth. Speaking of, please keep her in your prayers and thoughts tomorrow morning, if you can. Thank you, Lanne for the email you sent to us about that! It was so thoughtful! :) And made us smile.
I hope you all ended 2008 nicely and are headed into the new year happily and healthy! :)