Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Eve Plan

Cannot believe it is Christmas Eve's Eve tonight. Our tradition for Christmas eve is to have my husband's parents and visiting grandparents over for dinner and candlelight church service. The grandparents won't be here this year as one grandmother isn't up for it and the others came for Thanksgiving. This year it will be my family of four and my in laws. We're going to church earlier, this year and cooking after. We're doing our own version of Chopped. I have the dessert course four secret ingredients bought, and my husband will do an appetizer and main course ingredients. Then he will have to cook dessert with his partner. We will draw partners, which will be three pairs. Then we will draw courses, except for my husband and his partner, who will do dessert, as I mentioned. Then we will make our course with our four surprise ingredients.

Our Christmas Eve tradition is to make something different than we have before. We've done fondues, appetizers, monte cristo sandwiches, roast beef, among other things. My husband and I enjoy watching food network channel shows together in the evening. Chopped is one of the shows we like to watch together, and as they reveal ingredients, decide if we have ideas for what we would cook with them... I usually have an idea to make with two of the ingredients... but then the third or fourth I am sure I would crack under the timed pressure! :) Just in case, my mother-in-law is bringing a basic salad. :)

As we get closer to the holiday, I wish my parents lived closer, so we could have them over to do fun things like this.

We made several goodies over the last few days. We covered pretzels with white chocolate, and melted Andes chocolate mints, we made peppermint patty brownies (brownie batter on the bottom of the pan, then patties, then more batter, basically) frosted sugar cookie cut-outs, peanut blossom cookies-some with chocolate kisses and some with peanut butter cups-, no bake cookies, and some peppermint/chocolate cookies we had premade dough for. We didn't make our traditional peanut butter pinwheels, peppermint candy cane cookies, jingle jammin bars or haystacks. We took a break this year (although peanut butter pinwheels are my favorite. :))

May you and yours have a wonderful, safe, blessed holiday season!! :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

One Little Word

I have, once again, been revisiting my "one little word". Here are some posts about my previous words: here and here.
My words in the past have been faith, peace, grace and this year I'm thinking Read.
I have forgone book reading for tv watching or computer/online reading, so I want to read more books, again.
I have forgone reading the scale as the numbers continue to climb.
I have not been reading the news or newspaper (except the comics) since I dislike news that makes me sad inside, but I do need to be more informed on our government-national and local-as well as other issues and things I can do about them.
I also need to get back to reading my Bible. I go in streaks. It's always something I want to do, and feel I need to do, but I haven't been picking it up lately. It would be such a good example for my girls, too.
I need to "read" pictures to get back to retelling a story-in my scrapbooking; it's a tremendous gift of memories to give my family.
I need to write down and read my goals, to become the person I want to be-the example, good wife, mother and teacher I want to be.

Have you given any thought to your one little word? Hope all is well, Dear Reader. :)

Hot Chocolate

Hello! It's been far too long since I posted. I haven't been sitting around, melancholy since my last post, just busy trying to finish up the last few days of school, and of course, getting ready for the holidays. I still have gifts to buy and to wrap... with less than a week to go! So, this post will be short, then hopefully I will get to add another later today. It's on my to-do list so it will get done, right? :) Saw this on another blog from Katie at the Daily Digi and loved the ideas! Which ones will you try? I thought some of the ingredients with a plain hot cocoa mix would be a nice hostess (or other) holiday gift, too! Enjoy, Dear Reader and Happy Holidays! :)

"This is the time of year when I (Katie) love to drink hot chocolate. My daughter and I often enjoy a cup at breakfast or as a late afternoon pick-me-up. One of our favorite parts of this routine has been to create new flavors by adding various mix-ins or combining more than one type of cocoa mix. Why not have a little fun?!

Here are some of our favorite mix-ins and mashups:

*Add a scoop of ice cream to a cup of steaming hot chocolate. It cools it right off and makes it extra creamy.
*Use sundae toppings to add a little flavor. We like a spoonful of caramel topping added into plain hot chocolate.
*Stir a spoonful of seedless raspberry or strawberry jam into a cup of hot cocoa. Raspberry is especially good with a darker chocolate.
*Squirt whipped cream (from a can) on top of the hot cocoa and add festive sprinkles.
*Add chocolate orange candy sticks (or a chocolate orange candy wedge) to a cup of warm cocoa and stir to melt.
*Cherry cordial Hershey kisses (only available at Christmas and Valentine’s Day) are also good stirred in and melted to either milk or dark hot chocolate.
*Mint chocolate chips are another great add-in.
*If a flavored cocoa mix is too strong, combine it with another flavor – such as Belgian dark chocolate mixed with French vanilla.
*Use flavored coffee creamers to mix in with hot cocoa.
*Cinnamon powder can be added to hot cocoa for a little extra flavor
*Chili powder or a shot of hot sauce can be added for an extra kick!
*Make hot cocoa with milk instead of water for a creamier treat.
*Buy seasonal marshmallow Peeps (we like snowmen) and float one on top of your hot chocolate.
*Use flavored marshmallows like strawberry or toasted coconut ones to add to a cup of cocoa.
*Experiment with a few drops of extracts like almond, orange, or raspberry.
*Add Andes mints or a York peppermint patty to a cup of hot chocolate and stir to melt.
*Stir your hot cocoa with a candy cane or add crushed candy cane pieces.
*Use a chocolate dipped spoon to stir hot chocolate.
*Garnish your hot cocoa with chocolate shavings and whipped cream.
*Buy some Mexican hot chocolate at a Mexican market or specialty grocery store. It’s delicious!
*If you are looking for a great recipe for homemade hot chocolate, Janet posted one last year so be sure to check it out.

Oh, and if you are wondering what the difference is between “hot chocolate” and “hot cocoa”, I found this tweet from Foodimentary – Did you know that “hot Cocoa” is cocoa powder and hot water while “hot Chocolate” has added milk or cream? I had no idea – Both are yummy in my book!"

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Sometimes the holiday time of year can be difficult. As I put out decorations, I am reminded of people who have gone before us. My mother's dad, Grandpa Red, has been gone since December 18, 1998. He was a great carpenter. He made us many pieces of furniture. He also made us a stable. My aunt, one of his daughters, made me some ceramic nativity items, and my grandpa made us the stable to fit them in. Every time I get it out I think of him, and think of how he'd enjoy our girls, and they him. A few things that were said this past Thanksgiving reminded me of him, and even though it's been 12 years, it can still sneak a few tears in on me. My husband's grandfather died that same time, that same year, but November 30. I used to send his grandmother a card to let her know I was thinking of her, but her memory and mind are clouded and muddled now. That is difficult, too. She sometimes thinks my father-in-law is in high school. She gets time and people confused. She's recently had visions of Grandpa. I hadn't known my husband's grandfather too long before he passed away, only about 4 1/2 years. My grandpa, though, I had stayed summers at his house while my parents were at work. He had a box of wood scraps, spare hammers and nails in his garage workshops for us to tinker with. I love the smell of all things woodshop: varnish, new wood, etc. The inside of my grandfather clock still smells new like wood and stain, and each time I open it to wind it I think of my grandfather. (I often think of my dad who learned some of his carpentry skills from my grandpa, too. :)) This time of year is hard, sometimes. Right now, I'm aging-well seeing others age. On one side of my family there are a lot of family members who are aging rapidly. One of them, my great uncle and godfather, passed away this fall and I know it will be very difficult for my aunt and cousin he has left behind. This was one of his favorite times of the year. He was a very faithful person and enjoyed celebrating the birth of our Lord. He liked the family get togethers, too. :) I have other happy thoughts, too, watching my girls grow and change through the years, traditions, and decorations made by wonderful family members who are living...I know we think of the good memories to keep the tears at bay, but sometimes, it's just difficult to stop these misty eyes.

Sorry to be so sad at this moment, just hit me these past few days.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Weekend Plans and past

It's another Saturday. The holidays have begun to arrive. We had Thanksgiving break/holiday, here. We went to see my family in another state on Wednesday morning and came home late Thursday night. My girls and I got up at 4:30 am to shop on Friday. Found lots of people and a few ok deals, but nothing awesome. :) I went with a list in mind and things in particular to look for. I found some of them and found some of them all bought up this year. Then we went to my husband's parents' for breakfast at 9, did a little more shopping (at the places that weren't open yet at 5!) then home to get out Christmas decorations. Today we went to my sister-in-law's to watch a college football game. My team won so I was delighted. :) Great way to end our regular season. :) We headed home, I wrapped the first few presents of the season, and then I sat down at my computer to pay bills and blog. :) Tomorrow we go on our annual tree cutting adventure. My husband's whole family is coming, even his sis and her new beau. :) YEAH! :) I don't know who is more excited, my mother-in-law or myself. :)

I have a finish it friday list and I have tackled almost everything on it:
*pay bills-check! :)
*tackle papers (magazine subscription gift renewals for Christmas gifts among them-check!)
*laundry (will this task ever go away? ;))
*clean house
*catch up on school documents, I worked on this some, on our drive to see my family. I don't have a lot to do, it's just time consuming with lots of documents open
*Christmas card letter-we all did a paragraph this year and I need my husband to do his part so I can input it and print them to get the cards out this week. :)

*scrapbook-will I get to it this week? :)
*read-haven't picked up my book since last weekend. Have a new book of the Bible for lifegroup to be working on, too, which is Ecclesiastes.
*cut and decorate tree :) All the other decorations are up!
*run-I haven't ran in a week! I did eat a healthy Thanksgiving meal, though! Uh-oh! :)
*Work on a blog topic list-I have a few ideas, but need more-so I don't just sit down and type up my to-do list! :)

How is your weekend progressing? Anything wonderful or fretful happening in your life? I hope all is positive and well with you, Reader.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

100 things about me as a reader

I saw posts here and here about 100 Things about me as a Reader and I thought it would be a great blog post. If you're reading this and you do a blog post about it, please let me know so I can see yours, too! :) I, like the two posts I listed, haven't thought of 100 yet, but loved the idea and have it on my mind. :)

Here are my first 20.
1. Nancy Drew and Trixie Beldon were the first mysteries I learned to enjoy. Then I discovered Dick Francis and John Grisham for a while. My current favorites are the Laura Childs mystery series.
2. My mom and Aunt Trudy were-and still are-inspiring readers. They devour books of all kinds and have for as long as I can remember.
3. I didn't frequent the library very often as a child, but it's a tradition we love as a family, now.
4. I like a wide variety of book genres.
5. My high school literature teacher LOVED books and savoring every detail. She encouraged me to do the same.
6. I started college as an English major. My first prof. squashed my joy for reading and writing for a while. She was a good squasher, not a good teacher. All things happen for a reason and I am much better suited as an elementary school teacher. :)
7. On a cool/snowy/rainy day I enjoy sitting in front of our fire place, on the floor, with my two dogs snuggled up beside me, reading a book.
8. I cannot skip ahead and read the ending of a book-unless it is the end of the book.
9. I feel guilty not finishing a book or reading more than one book at once.
10. I feel bad that I don't read enough nonfiction. I always think I'd like to, but when I start them, my attention wanes.
11. I loved reading Les Miserables and A Midsummer Night's Dream and then seeing them come alive on stage.
12. I have several "to read" books on my shelf in my office and I look forward to reading them, when I allow myself the time.
13. As a teacher and mom who loves to read, I also love children's books and young adults books.
14. I have been rereading classics and finding my perspective has changed in some ways. To Kill a Mockingbird is even more wonderful than I remembered, and the Great Gatsby, still good, but not great like I remember.
15. The Secret Garden and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn stand out in my mind as some of the greatest books I have ever read-that spoke to me more than others.
16. Two that didn't were My Antonia and David Copperfield.
17. The Mitford Series is a series that I can read over and over again, finding new things I like/notice each time.
18. I find myself reading more magazines than books lately.
19. I love being in a bookstore. It makes my heart happy that my husband and daughters like it, too.
20. One of the firest things I loved about my husband was that he loved to read, too. He was either reading a Grisham book or had just finished the very same book I was reading when we met. I remember going to his fraternity house to see him, on a night the house was having a party. I didn't see him anywhere at the party. His housemates said he was "probably reading". As they scoffed, I swooned. Sure enough. He was sitting in his room, reading a book. :))

That's all I have for today. What do you think of when you think of your reading self? :)

Happy Thanksgiving, Dear Reader. :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday Morning Minutes

Time to check in on my Finish it Friday checklist! :) I really worked hard at the list, since I knew I had to check in, here! :))

*catch up on laundry-Got all but a couple blankets and one set of sheets done. We are all caught up on clothes except for what we wore yesterday and today! :)
*pick up dry cleaning-I have to say I forgot about this on Saturday until they had closed and they weren't open on Sunday, however, I picked them up this afternoon! :)
*Schoolwork- I did some documentation for teachers, but did not fill in my timecard
*desk folders-I didn't finish this... still sitting here next to me
*purge something/some room. I went through some tubs in the basement crawl space, had the girls go through toys in the basement and went through the Thanksgiving and Halloween decorations as I put them back in to the crawl space. We took a van load of things to the charity where we give things away this afternoon!
*Another thing I added was to put stamps and return address labels on all of my Christmas card envelopes. I finished that. I still have to write up the letter, check recipient addresses, and get them finished, but I made a few steps. :))

*Run in the fundraiser 5K race for my daughter's cross country team-both girls and I went and helped set up at 7am on Saturday and cleaned up after we each ran. It was so nice! :) After donations were in, there will be $4000 in groceries donated to the local food bank! :)
*scrapbook something-:( my first sad face in the post. I didn't do this yet...
*spend 10-30 minutes in iphoto organizing good photos and purging bad photos-I did spend almost 20 minutes working on this, and am looking forward to doing it again soon. :)
*clean out emails by replying to friends/family-I did clean out my emails from my inbox-there were 168 total and now there are 50, after replies, deletions and emails I unsubscribed to (more purging! :)) I also caught up on most, not all, of the wonderful blogs I read. I even commented on some! :)
*Start reading a book-I finished reading Philippians for our life group meeting, and started rereading the second book in the Mitford series. I have loved this book since I was about halfway through the first book. I don't mind rereading them, and it's been such a long time since I read them. So, I started the second book. :)

That's all for today's post. Hoping to keep posting more often... but we are entering the holidays... :) Take care, Reader. :)
How did you do on your weekend to-do list? :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Finish It Friday!

On a blog, Simplify 101, the author talks about Finish It Fridays. I may have referenced it already, but it is still a nice idea. She checks in on Fridays with her "to-do" lists, play and chores. Then she checks in on Monday and lets the readers know what has been accomplished. It's a nice way to hold myself accountable, I think, so I have made a Finish it Friday post.

*catch up on laundry-no major weekend plans, so I have time to finally catch up! (general cleaning of the house, too...)
*pick up dry cleaning-I have two pairs of pants that were ready last Saturday but I keep forgetting to stop, until they're closed for the day.
*Schoolwork- I have some documentation for teachers that I wrote by hand, which I need to type up, and I have to fill in my timecard
*desk folders-I have folders I have been putting papers in "to-do-later" and later is this weekend.
*purge something/some room. I worked on my closet last weekend, hanging all the clothes with the hangers backwards, as I use them I put them back with the hangers the correct way and then, if by spring break, I haven't worn them, they go to a charity. :) It was a nice feeling. (What was not so nice was the clothes that don't fit anymore due to potato chip weight...)

*Run in the fundraiser 5K race for my daughter's cross country team-both girls and I are doing it tomorrow morning. I picked up our bib numbers last night. :)
*scrapbook something-anything! I have been wanting to, but haven't given myself permission to, but now that it's on my list, I have to. :))
*spend 10-30 minutes in iphoto organizing good photos and purging bad photos-yep, that's fun for me. :)
*clean out emails by replying to friends/family-I also enjoy this (regular readers know I have always loved to send cards, letters, etc, but have gotten shorter on time and fallen off-and send out some cards
*Start reading a book-been in the mood to read, my brain has been craving it, actually, but I have found other things to do (see scrapbooking above!)

So, it's "penciled in" and "down on paper". Fingers crossed it all gets done! :)) What's on your Finish it Friday list?

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Attention! Finally posting again! ;)

First, thankful feathers are sent and some received already! I say already because it still feels like September, not November! :) And, yes, Thanksgiving is here in a week from today. Wow. Time has truly gone even faster than years past, I think! I saw this wonderful gratitude idea that I think may become another holiday tradition at our house! Be sure to check out it's follow up post, also, that updates you on their gratitude progress.

I have not bought any Christmas gifts, yet, except for a small stocking stuffer or two for my daughters. I just haven't. Terrible, I know, when so many people are done already. My husband is of the mind-well we both have been for years, now-that we should exchange names with family instead of everyone buying for everyone. It is a topic for further discussion... I do have all our Christmas cards and address labels printed, so that's something.

Isabelle, speaking of holidays, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving when most stores in the US do some sort of a sale. A big sale, and often open very early (like 5am!) So, people take their ads, their shopping lists, arise at a very early hour to go get the best deals on those Christmas gifts. We have gone for years (picking up the family members around 5:30 or 6) simply for the fun of being together, more than the "deals". :) My mom, aunt, grandma, and more recently, my daughters and I, all go together, and go home around lunchtime. We have, in years past, shopped until dinner time, but most recent years we haven't had any serious deals we really needed that badly. :) It's a fun "girl" day. :) This year, the husband has to work (he works for someone who will be having sales/coupon codes/deals and he's a computer guy, so if there is an issue with said codes/sales, etc. he has to be available to help.)

I have been making a list of things to blog about for the future, so hopefully I can get back into the habit! :) I am thinking this about exercise, too! :)

Our life group has been taking a book from the Bible and reading it over the two weeks between meetings for discussion. This month is Philippians, which has been one of my favorites since I started to read the Bible on my own. Not reading anything other than that, and blog posts, and haven't gotten to read/reply to many of those lately, either!

We are having renovations done on our home, still. Extending our stoop/step to a full porch, siding and windows replaced (here's to lower heating bills! :)) and stone on the lower front of our house. I'm so happy with it. Just a few things to finish up. Except for the melting siding... Well, that's a story for another day!

Here's to a cohesive post next time, with more detail and expanding on one topic instead of random tidbits about everything. ;) Take care, and stay healthy, dear reader, as flu season is creeping in...

Saturday, October 30, 2010


I had to stay home from work yesterday, feeling "icky". I had lost my voice the night before, and then coughed during the night instead of sleeping. I tried to rest, but we're having construction done on our house, so the noise level wasn't what I required for daytime sleeping. My dogs were concerned that I wasn't safe with these new people on our property, so they were not conducive to daytime sleeping, either. Also, the construction fellows plugged all their equipment into one outlet and blew the fuse requiring me to answer the door (still in my pajamas and having no voice) to see what they needed. Last night I still coughed as much as I slept and today I have no energy. I'm not saying poor me, since there are people in the world with worse ailments, for sure. Just have that frustrated feeling: too much to do and too little time... combined with too little energy and too much coughing. :)

On a happier note, definitely not "Ick", I am enjoying my job so much! The kids are great, and they think working with me is fun (I think working with them is fun, too! :)) They all ask "when are you going to take me out and work with me??!" :) I hope they're learning a lot. I'm seeing progress, but I hope it continues. In my experience, thus far, I think they've gotten a concept down, they're showing great progress and then when I work with them again the next day it seems like it's disappeared somewhat... We'll see how it is going after a few more times and fingers crossed I find a way to make it stick better! :) I've thoroughly enjoyed working with a variety of ages (grades 2-5) and subject matter (Language arts of all kinds like writing, and reading fluency, and a variety of math topics like division, fractions, measurement, subtracting and basic facts, to name a few.)

Both of my girls' fall sports are over, which is a boost of time to our schedule. I've been thinking about the upcoming holidays... For the first time in quite a few years our plans have changed. We usually go to my parents' and visit my family over Thanksgiving and black Friday, and then stay home, visiting my husband's parents over Christmas. My husband's employer-well the company his company is consulting for-is requiring his services over black Friday... So, our plans are being reworked. Not sure how, yet, but they are. :) The thankful feathers are in process. :) Actually, I should be working on the letter to send out with the feathers right now... so I should sign off. I hope you are well, and your fall is going wonderfully, dear reader. :))

Monday, October 18, 2010

Half Marathon

My half marathon is complete!! Here's the rundown. :)
The day before the half marathon was our daughter's district meet for cross country, so I ran a bit around the course to cheer her on in a few different spots, although I tried not to run too much, to save energy for my race. Bad mom? :) That night same daughter had homecoming. Last year I picked her up from the dance and heard all about her evening in the car on the way home. I had hoped to do the same this year, but the dance didn't end until 11... and I was leaving home at 5:40am for my race the next day. I had gone to sleep earlier the night before and napped on Saturday. I thought I'd be ok, so I ended up picking her up. :) I heard about how fun the dance was, how she had a great time and it was so worth it! :) I went to bed shortly after we got home and could not sleep. I tried and tried, I tossed and turned, and groaned in frustration. The last time I checked the clock it was almost 12:45am. I fell asleep only to wake up again at 5 with the alarm. I ate two bites of far-too-ripe-banana and two pretzels. I took a few sips of water and got ready. I put on Garmin Girl so she could pace me, my ipod touch preloaded with songs to energize me should I need it, my compression sleeves (think compression socks like hospitals give people-they have saved me from shin splints!!) I also wore a running skirt-I don't love to run long in it, but I've had some serious ab/stomach issues lately (wasn't sure if it was muscle related or what) and last time I ran in the skirt, I had no ab issues... so it was on the list for race day. I got ready and headed across the street to my neighbors. He was driving down and running the full marathon. We are members of the same running group and met up at a hotel with them. They rent a meeting room so we can all hang out together, use the hotel's nice, clean bathrooms (normally, it's 40-something degrees and port-a-pots in the cold and dark are not ideal!) so it was a great way to prepare for the race.
The two times I've done the full marathon I have been so mental-thinking about the race, concentrating so much that I miss the "atmosphere" people talk about. This year, I enjoyed, I soaked it all in. :) There are so many bands along the race route-87 along the full marathon course! They were playing our local college's fight song, pep-you-up music like "I will survive!" I only listened to my ipod for about three songs. :) There were so many spectators rooting on "runners" if they didn't know a name. There were 15,000 people lined up at the start for the half and full marathon. 15,000. It was amazing. We were packed in like sardines, I couldn't have bent over to stretch we were so closely packed. It took me almost 10 minutes to get to the starting line after the gun went off! :)
The weather was perfect-cool but not freezing. I felt great, and on pace through mile 7, but at 8 I started to worry a bit about my ab issues. I plugged onward. I was frustrated through 8 and 9, but at 10, I thought "I only have a 5K left!" and ran with a smile. Seriously, one of my race photos shows me crossing the ten mile mark smiling! :) The course has all the runners running together until just before the half. Then the half marathoners head to the left and the full marathoners head to the right for a loop out it the other direction. In the two marathons, I heard the cheering as the half finishers completed their race and thought, woa, I still have 13 to go! This year I thought YEAH! :) My goal time was 2 hours or less and I ran in 1:54. I walked four steps just as I entered the last mile and headed up a hill and some man said, "Don't walk now, you're almost done! Come on!" He was smiling and waving at me. I began to run again and got the same teary emotional feeling I've gotten when I ran the full marathons. The MANY people who line the finish cheering with excitement for you. It's pretty cool.
I had a moment of ache at the start, a wonder if this would be as meaningful as the full, or would it be a letdown? It was wonderful. It was 13 instead of 26 miles, but it was wonderful. My body was exhausted, I had worked hard and run farther than most will ever attempt. It wasn't a "marathon" but I was happy! :)
We went out to dinner with my husband's family and sat for about an hour. When it was time to go my knees screamed! I woke a few times in the night with knees that felt like they'd been smashed by a sledgehammer! The next day my dress shoes up and down the stairs at work were very painful, but today I woke up fine. :) No knee pain. :) I felt so good I (crazily) went out for a run. I went about a mile and a half.
I am still smiling that I did it and feel so good right now-so different than after my full marathons! :) Just the joy of running; it makes me smile now. :) I have no idea if I will shoot for another full. I know that the half was a good distance for now. :)

Sunday, October 03, 2010


My posts have been so few. I apologize. I have been reading your posts, trying to comment. I've been off working, being a mom, getting my runs in (supposed to get 12-13 done today) and getting ready for our youngest daughter's birthday. She will be 12 this week. Parents always tell you how time flies, but you don't realize it until you have your own children and see them growing up before your eyes.
Our daughter wanted her room redone for her birthday so we began the emptying of furniture, tearing down wallpaper and cute flower borders yesterday. Then we spackled it, and began painting. The first coat looks good. Looking forward to getting that tackled today. Tonight is her party with my husband's family. We're doing tacos for dinner-one of her favorites. :) so, housecleaning will need to be finished today, too.
The job is going well. Spending a lot of time assessing to gather data. The data lets us know where the students are so we know which ones to focus on. I'm hoping to be able to work with those who really need help, and really make a difference. The school I'm back to really feels like home. The staff feel like family. I'm blessed to be a part of them. It's also good to see the kids I got to know last year.
Our oldest is enjoying high school, although she has a lot of tests, which she doesn't appreciate. :) She broke 22 minutes yesterday for her cross country time-that was her most recent goal, so she was pretty excited.
Our youngest is having fun in middle school. She is also happy playing soccer.
Hope you are well. I will try to post more often again! :)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

New Day

Hello! :) I have been meaning to post... just haven't gotten around to it. I've been:
*taking the girls school shopping
*grocery shopping
*using said groceries to make 7 chicken dishes to freeze for later in the schoolyear
*getting more groceries
*using said groceries to make 7 loaves of quick breads to freeze (like zucchini bread)
*seeing my oldest off to cross country running camp-she comes home tomorrow. She hasn't had cell coverage so we are very anxious to see/talk to her!
*enjoying time with our younger daughter, like taking her out for Mexican food, since our oldest doesn't enjoy it all that much and our youngest LOVES it.
*filling out school paperwork. We find out the schedule for our newly-minted-middle=schooler today and the schedule for our oldest after she returns home tomorrow.
*putting school dates on the calendar, like days off, early release, vacations, etc.
*planning all I can for my NEW JOB! :) Yep, I finally got a job. It's not a classroom teacher, but it's teaching kids and I'm very excited! I have to tell you my story: when I interviewed for a specific position (regular readers recall my interviewing and hoping?) the principal told me of another position that would be available. It felt like a "consolation prize" so to speak. I set it aside not to think about for a while. Then I called him in August. He told me about it and I was pretty excited... but unsure. I called my husband to talk over my thoughts. He had heard me talk of this when I was interviewing. Earlier in the day I called him, he had been talking with a coworker about his teacher wife and how she'd needed to something different than subbing before she got her job. This made my husband think, hm, if I heard about this job again, I should take it. So, he got back from lunch, talked to me and said he thought it was a sign-that I should apply for this. I put my name in, was interviewed and now have a job as an "alternative instructor". I will be blessed with the opportunity to work with kids who need intervention in areas they struggle with. Small groups and one-on-one, whatever the teacher would like. At this point, no specific age group, just K-5 and I'm really excited! :)) I meet with the principal and other alternative instructors on Friday and I'm looking forward to jumping in!

I'm still training for the half marathon-finished an eight miler on Saturday. Felt good, was in the time range I'd hoped. Nine miles on the schedule for this week!

I've been listening to some podcasts on digital scrapping and I'm pretty excited about doing that more, as well.

Hope your week is going smoothly! Halfway through! :)

Monday, August 02, 2010


Happy Monday! :) Hope this email finds you well.

Some fun things we've done over the last week:
*went to the zoo with family today
*my youngest built a fort out of our large stack of firewood, some tarps, she even sewed some flags and curtains for it, and it's the perfect reading spot. :)
*had some of my husband's family over for smoked pork and zucchini bake with zucchini from our garden!
*dreamt of renovations we'd like to have done to our home (wow, the list can get pretty long! ;))
*learned/played a new card game
*learned to digitally scrapbook (I've done a layout and have thought/planned several more!)
*I finished my Run Like a Mother book and it was great! (answers to previous questions about running posts: I think about different things... depends on the day. Often, I pray and think of all the things I'd like God to help me with and all the things I'm thankful for. I listen to music and when I'm tired I try to match my footsteps with the rhythm of the music. I look at the nature around me-I run on a path sometimes that is full of bunnies, birds chirping, elderly couples, and more! :) I also think about my plans for the half marathon, how I'm going to make it there, and how much I can eat that day due to burnt calories! :))
*Lately I've been reading posts about digital scrapbooking which has been a fun learning experience!
*We got to keep my niece for half a day last week and it was FUN! She's four and is such a cutie! :) Took her brothers to the zoo with us today and they were just as fun! :)
*Had two fires in our fire pit-one night I sat and enjoyed a chat with one of our dear neighbors beside a fire, which made a delightful evening.

I looked at the calendar this weekend and couldn't believe it's already August! I wondered where is our summer going! (I'm wondering, too, Thimbleanna!! :)) My girls start school three weeks and two days. I look ahead at our busy schedules and I wonder how I will finish my "summer to do list"!

I have often wondered, lately, where my path is leading, as you probably read in recent posts. Today I ran into a student I had last winter/spring. She wasn't happy to have me for a substitute, as, understandably, she had loved her teacher. She gave me stubbornness and obvious dislike at the beginning of my stay. She was sad to say goodbye to me at the end of the year. I really saw a change in her. Today, when I ran into her, she shouted my name, and ran up and hugged me, smiling to see me! It was then I remembered why I work so hard at teaching, even if it's subbing or long-term subbing. :) My heart smiled again. :) If God's plan is for me to be a substitute, then that's what I will be. :) I will touch lives... if only temporarily. :) I've said it before and I will say it again, I do not know where God's road map has me going-although I'd love to glance at it sometimes!-and I don't know where I'm headed, but I know He has a plan and He has me in His hands. :))

I hope you have a wonderful week and are smiling in your heart!! :))

Friday, July 30, 2010

More and Less

I've been thinking about my goals. It's 26 days until the local schools start. Whether I have a full time job or not, there are changes I want to make in myself. I made a short "more" and "less" list. What would be on your more and less list?

*Bible reading (I've gotten away from my daily reading, any reading for that matter. I started out the summer well...)
*sleep (I've been staying up later and later to watch t.v. It's spending time with my husband, but it's not always quality time. I'm still getting up at the same time and I'm tired.)
*planning ahead (often I don't put things on the calendar until the last minute. It would make things a lot easier if I put them on, give them thought ahead of time. Since deciding this, I put a few things on the calendar! :))
*scrapbooking (it sounds like a frivolous hobby, but I want our children and their children to be able to have stories and memories to share about us. I like capturing moments of time surrounding our girls who are growing too fast.)
*card/letter writing (letting those who are far away know I think of them, they are cared about)

*facebook/email/computer checking (lately, with summer vacation, the computer is in reach all the time. I check things far too frequently... often to find there isn't new information/emails/updates...)
*television (there are too many shows I watch that I don't need to...)
*eating out or throwing an unhealthy meal together (this could have been a more meal/menu planning and grocery shopping ahead...)
*less snacking, especially during the aforementioned tv time
*worrying (I mention it all the time, I am a worrier... it hasn't gotten me any closer to my goals...)

These are often on my lists... some for Lent, New Year's resolutions... but never on daily goal lists. I have run marathons-I set goals and I have achieved them. What's different about these goals? I don't make it a choice each and every day... I have my lists. I saw on an organizing website that you needed to post your goals so you would see them and think of them more often. I like the idea. :)

Hope all is well on this sunny Friday (well, it's sunny, here. It hasn't rained for days and isn't supposed to for the next week!)

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Hello, Readers. It's been a little while, again. Much going on, but at the same time, little...

My vegetable garden has not been fairing too well-too much sun and too many critters eating them-insects and mammals.

Our oldest daughter was set to get her driving temps last week. We went, she took the computarized test, she passed and onto the paperwork. We took everything in, but her birth certificate didn't specifically list her gender so it was unacceptable. We went back early this week with the only other copy we had and it didn't have the state's health department seal, so we have to go through a process to get a new copy mailed to us and take it back... She was sad. She was so looking forward to driving.

Our dog, the weimaraner, has become very skinny-losing a lot of weight. We took him to a vet who did blood tests, and the tests came back good-especially for a 10 year old big dog. Still, we wondered why the lack of interest in food and great loss of weight-he'd lost 14 pounds! We took him back on Tuesday and they sedated him to check his teeth, did some scans and swabs. We should know more tomorrow or Monday as to the results of those. It was rather strange around here without him on Tuesday. He came home groggy and stumbling around-very clingy after his visit. I dropped him off at 7am and he wasn't seen to until 2 or so-so he was hungry since he hadn't eaten since 7pm the night before, stuck in a kennel which he doesn't like and away from his family. He was a sad dog. He sure was happy to see us when we arrived to get him, though.

My husband hasn't been running much since my last post. He had fallen off a jet ski and bruised a rib, so that's taken a bit of the wind out of the sails. I'm still working on training for the half marathon, either way. Just will work out better for me, I think. I did 7 miles last weekend, again.

I have attempted digital scrapbooking since I posted last. I have a lot of work to do before I will be happy with a layout. Strange, how I was feeling good about paper and hands-on and now I feel new and uncertain. I am unsure of what to write and what to document first.

That isn't the only are of my life where I am uncertain. Still no word on a job for the fall and the pool is nearly dry of opportunities. Hopefully we'll see it pick up next week. I have heard jobs are scarce, it's not just me, but it's hard not to let it eat away at your self confidence. Someone important in my life says I need to find a new passion, something other than teaching since it's not looking good. I am wondering about this. Wouldn't it be hard just to pick up a new passion and set aside the old? I have heard from so many that I'm great at what I do-teaching, but that's in a substitute setting. Maybe it's just people being nice, saying what I want to hear... the little voice whispers these things to me. It's hard not to let it eat away at the faith that says God has a plan, He will guide me... where am I going? I feel nowhere... I'm trying to have hope. So many people have advice and opinions-just get a long term and that foot-in-the-door will get you there (I've had 4-5 long-term jobs, now...), just get into another district and that will help (done that, although my husband thinks not enough... but then what-how do I choose where to go? long-terms or daily jobs... one doesn't know.) It's difficult. The waiting and the worrying that I'm not good enough, that I'm stuck. Also, the not knowing what to do-get in a district where they know and like me well? Keep moving around so many know me and I will have opportunities? Just the politics and knowing the right people? Sigh...

I have felt tired, run down, lazy lately. It's affected my running and who I am, I think. I am beginning to wonder if it's this lack of confidence from the job... or the really hot weather? Am I just wilted? :) I have read several blogs, lately that have been balm to my soul-pictures and smiles in the words, too. :) This isn't the type of post I like to write-after all the title of the blog is positively mom-but sometimes it's just good to write about the things that are weighing on you. Although when I hit "publish post" I am filled with the sense of "you don't have it so bad! why are you posting that! many people have it much worse!"

Take care, blog readers. Things will perk up soon! :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


The running is still going about 4-5 days a week. Today was so nice. Some tired muscles, but no shin pain, so that was great! My "time" (I wear my garmin way too much and check her far too frequently on my runs...) was quicker than normal. I asked my husband over the weekend if he'd like to do the half-marathon. I would love to do it with him instead of the full alone. My body has felt too...injured this time around and I'm still so worried about injuring myself again. I enjoy the arduous training, the drained feeling from being worn out at the end of a double-digit milage run, but I worry. I'm a worrier naturally, so this area of my life is no different. My husband and I started this journey together, and he took the injury detour that year of my first marathon. He hasn't tackled it since. The marathon distance can be daunting. But we used to enjoy our runs together (at least that's how I remember five years ago. ;)) We'll see. I've been working on running for a few months, building up, but he's been working on getting started again-he's up to three miles without walking, so I'm pretty proud of him, hopeful and excited to have a partner in this journey.

I have been reading up on digital scrapping, but haven't tried anything yet. I'm a planner and I'm a bit intimidated as to where to start. So many albums to do, so many pictures and stories, but where to begin??

My girls seem to be growing up at the speed of light. Our oldest takes the written test for her temps on Friday. Then she will be able to start driving with us here and there. Our youngest has a writing camp this week with 6-8 graders. Strange to see her as a growing/preteen/middle schooler! :)

Hope all is going well for you this week! :)

Friday, July 16, 2010


It has been ages since I sat and typed up a post. I have thought many times over the last few weeks: I have to blog that! But, alas, I haven't gotten to it. We spent a little over a week out of town, driving the very long drive to Disney in Orlando. Then we spent 5 days there and headed back. It was a wonderful family vacation for the four of us. Although, I've felt lazy since we got home. No one to clean up after us and make our beds! :) We got a complimentary upgrade to a very fancy room. It was delightful, and I enjoyed being spoiled! :)

Running... I've been running. It's been an interesting process. I feel soreness, pain, fatigue... then I wonder what to push through (thus preparing me for a marathon!) and when to let my body/legs/immune system rest? Last year I pushed right into a broken leg, and I know I won't be winning any marathons, and sometimes I push myself so hard that I don't feel like myself (ie with patience) towards my family. I'm reading Run Like a Mother and it's very good. It's inspiring and I am enjoying it. I'm planning on reading Born to Run, as well, in the near future. I do enjoy reading about running. It makes me excited to lace up and get out there. I have had such sore shins, then when that seemed to finally lessen, my achilles hurt for a few days, as well as my calf muscle. Today I felt defeated when I ran only 7 of my suggested 10, but my stomach attacked around then and I stopped at home instead of continuing on for three more. It felt like the right decision at the time, but after I was kicking myself. I am training for the full marathon, but am wondering if the half is better for me, to get back to fun... I think I wonder this each time I begin marathon training and life gets in the way of me following the schedule exactly. But this year, I am wondering if my legs (and mind?) would enjoy doing a half or two before I get back to a full... I keep mulling it over-a mental game, a process... Keep running to get fit, for sure, but the rest will come. Oh, I did try a few portions of runs (half miles on four different occasions) barefoot and enjoyed it immensely! I stretched before and after and didn't seem to be in too much pain... no more than I had started the run with, anyway, with shoes on. That Barefoot Angie Bee has me really intrigued and inspired. :)

I've been researching digital scrapbooking. I'm often at my computer, and I love the ease of working with photos. I love the process of paper and creativity that scrapbooking brings, too, so I'm researching, learning, leaning towards a hybrid, possibly. I will keep you posted on how that works out.

It's been nice to be away from the worries of "a job or no job" for the fall. There haven't been any new openings posted. They usually open more up again, on Aug 1. We'll see... Until then, no worries... Which is easier said than done. I must keep praying. I have no idea what God has in store for me at this point.

I have so enjoyed reading blogs that I frequent. I try to comment, often, so the writers know I enjoy their musings, like, Isabelle, Momo, Juls, Kelly, Ali, Cathy and Thimbleanna, to name a few. I will try to post more, as well! :)

Hope your summer is going great! :)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Beautiful Women

Hello! :)
Yesterday I tried on bathing suits. Nothing in the sizes I've worn before fit me. Nothing in the next size up. I felt chubby. I've never been in such dislike with clothing or so down on myself. I moaned and groaned, complaining about my size-which is still smaller than most women, but part of that is because I'm short. ;) My daughters and husband were with me-all shopping. I was so frustrated and continued that down-trodden feeling until I read this...
At first, I read Kristin Armstrong's most recent article. I always love the honest and genuine way she writes about life and running. So, I read a few posts back and saw this one. I realized that I was showing my girls how to think about their bodies. I'm still a pretty small lady-just a winter of eating poorly, not exercising and recovering from the stress fracture have made me more plump than before, not the stick-skinny runner I've always been. And running is taking a while to fix these things-longer than it used to, because I'm getting older. I guess that is what mid-thirties begins to do to you? But my husband said I just looked "womanly" with "beautiful curves"... Not fat. Last time we visited my family, my grandmother said I was getting the family butt... then the clothes not fitting, and I was fit to be tied with the whole situation. But, then I realized that even if there's chubby in my total poundage, that's nothing to complain about! It's life and, wow, I'm ok with ME. :)
Now I need to find a way to insert that into some conversations with my daughters who will always need to know how beautiful they are... Being a beautiful woman isn't determined by our weight or what bathing suits we fit into or how we change as we get older. It's what kind of person we are and how much light we shine to others. :)

Thursday, June 17, 2010


"Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world." -Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A New Day

Seems like the rest so far this summer, with cloudy skies and high humidity. Same waiting on the results of my interviews... I find out tomorrow officially...

Our house is clean! We have been cleaning little bits over the last few weeks, busy with school and activities, but not a real, thorough housecleaning. It feels wonderful.

We three girls are trying to accomplish the same hair-do that the hairdresser created yesterday when we all got our haircuts. I took both girls to my hairdresser... well that was the plan anyway. She is great, but she has resigned to stay home with her own children... so, we had to try someone new. I told the girls we'd start the summer with "new hair"; that way it could grow out if we decided we didn't like it. My hair had grown to the point of pony-tail length-which is how I was wearing it each day. Now it is shorter than chin length. I am experiencing the "try-it-myself" stage which I am never successful at. I can never recreate the look I loved so much.

We are having my husband's grandparents over for "lupper" as he likes to call it-late lunch/supper. We are trying a couple new recipes (brave or silly? :)) And our house will need a few touch-ups, like the downstairs windows where the dogs insist on pressing their noses...right after I cleaned them! :)

I haven't tried barefoot running, yet. We'll see what becomes of that notion. Right now I'm trying to work my way back to daily running since my totals have been stuck at three times per week.

That's all for now. Hopefully I will get back to blogging regularly now that summer's here. :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Shoes or not shoes?

Been reading articles like this one: where it mentions this blog: Or reading this one,7120,s6-238-511--13381-0,00.html and some about these:
Also listening to my yoga teacher, when I was attending more regularly, about my feet being my center, they weren't made for shoes.
Granted, I love the feel of brand new running shoes. They make me say "AAHHH" when I wear them, but I am intrigued. I'm contemplating bike path runs without shoes. Hmm, still in the thinking stages, but to get rid of shin splints... might be worth a try. Although, I have learned from a friend's experience, a little at a time... adjust by breaking those vibrams in, right Juls? :)

Just thinking about it.

School's out, now. I have checked out, finished the schoolyear and already wonder what the students are doing. I can see my girls being silly, enjoying summer. :)) I have interviewed twice for the same position at the school where I did my longterm. Should know by Monday if I have it or not. Fingers crossed. We'll see where my God Positioning System has me next! :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Would love to

Would love to sit here and type up a long post, but I have grading to do. School only has 8 more days left, and I need to have everything graded, scores written in the grade book and then typed into the computer program before that last two-day week. I would love to do a "Week in the Life" series of photos, but haven't, yet. Thinking of starting tomorrow...Planted my annuals and vegetables on Sunday, they're enjoying our sunshine.
Hope you are well, healthy and in wonderful weather (it's sunny here but 90 degrees!)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Road Map

Sometimes, don't you wonder where God's road map will lead? I mean, I know the ultimate goal and destination: with Him. But, what detours am I taking and why? Why are the roads closed? Why did someone else swerve in my lane and cut me off? Why am I stuck in life's traffic? Wouldn't it be nice if He showed us the map/way... just a peek?

I guess that's Faith... trusting in Him when I can't see my road map...

Proverbs 3:5-7 (NIV)

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;

6 in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.

edited 5/21/2010:
I guess I have to rely on my God-positioning-system, hm? :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I love this site:
It's got Stacy Julian's ideas for "sprinkles"... positive ways to spread smiles, is how I like to think of them. I love them and wanted to share. I am always keeping my eye out for ways to spread positivity. Enjoy! Hope your week is going well! :)

Saturday, May 08, 2010


Last weekend was spent traveling to a soccer tournament for our youngest daughter. We traveled two hours to the tournament, watched her play two games in the rain, traveled back to teach Sunday School on Saturday night, then got up to do it again the next day. They ended up in the championship game, getting second. They played well and were worn out. We had to wait on the championship game for rain delays, and the game directly before us going into two overtimes and a shootout. It was a loooong game! Then we didn't get home until late. This week our younger daughter also had a game against a tough team. She got to play midfield instead of defense, which is normally her favorite position, but she really enjoyed it and is hoping to play again today in her game.

My oldest has had a few track meets since I posted last, trying all different races: the two mile, the one mile, the 800 and the 400. She got a PR (personal record) in the mile at 6:19. She was pleased and so were we! :) Faster than I could run! :)

We had another fire out back last night. It was a very windy evening, but the temps were right. We had a cold front and storms move through overnight and it will be chilly and dreary today. After lunch I'm going to go get 6 miles in, I hope, if the wind doesn't blow me away (or into exhaustion! :))

I haven't gotten caught up on grading yet. I'm not sure I will! :) But, I will try. Had to input grades for progress/interim reports on Thursday night and was up late doing so. Not sure if I've mentioned that I'm in this classroom until the end of the year, now. No prospects for full time employment in the fall, though.

We have tried some more of Jamie Oliver's recipes. All very good and none very time consuming. The girls picked out recipes from it to try next week. Now I have to shop for the food, though! :)

One last thing for today. Do you, regular readers, recall my goal not to buy scrapbook items for a year? I pledged to use what I had at home and nothing more. I haven't sat down and scrapbooked, due to the mounds of laundry and papers to grade, even though I'd really like to... but I subscribe to this blog and saw this wonderful paper. I'm about to cave. I love it all! But... am trying to resist.. for now... :) So, I'm posting about it. Send good vibes. I don't need to spend $ on supplies I'm not even using. There will be other cool stuff out there, when I get back to buying supplies again! :) (Right? ;))

Ok, that's all for now. I must go, eat lunch, do laundry, grade papers, etc... And Happy Mother's Day to all of you moms!! Hugs to you!

Monday, April 26, 2010


I tried a new recipe from Jamie Oliver's book. I found it here, on a newspaper's site, so I didn't have to type the whole thing. :) We served it with toasted bread, and apple slices on the side. YUM! :) The recipe says it takes 12 minutes... maybe for someone who cooks. My husband and I worked together and it took us 15, but that was the first time we'd made it, too. I will make it again! :)

Shrimp and Avocado With An Old-School Marie Rose Sauce

Adapted from Jamie's Food Revolution by Jamie Oliver. This dish reminds him of his childhood at the family pub. It's okay to use light mayonnaise. The avocados should be ripe but not too soft. You can use other types of fine sprouts.



1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 tbsp ketchup

2 tsp each: worcestershire sauce, whiskey

1 lemon

1/2 tsp sea salt

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Shrimp plate:

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 lb (450 g) large shrimp, peeled, deveined

3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

2 large cloves garlic, crushed, peeled

Sea salt and pepper to taste

2 large ripe avocados

1 oz (30 g) watercress sprouts (about 1 cup)

Paprika to taste


For sauce, stir together mayonnaise, ketchup, worcestershire and whiskey.

Halve the lemon lengthwise. Squeeze juice from half into mayonnaise mixture, making sure no seeds get in. Cut remaining half into 4 wedges and set aside. Add salt and pepper to mayonnaise mixture. Cover and refrigerate.

For shrimp plate, put flour in medium bowl. Dust shrimp with flour. Shake off excess.

Heat oil in large skillet on medium-high. Add garlic. Stir 10 seconds. Add shrimp. Stir and toss until pink, curled, opaque and barely cooked through, 1 to 2 minutes. Do not overcook. Remove from heat. Discard garlic. Sprinkle shrimp with salt and pepper.

Cut avocados in half. Twist to pull apart halves. Remove and discard pits. Use large spoon to scoop out flesh from each half, keeping them intact.

Put an avocado half on each of 4 serving plates. Pour sauce over avocado halves. Arrange sprouts over top. Place shrimp alongside. Sprinkle all over with paprika. Place a lemon wedge on each plate.

Makes 4 servings.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Happy Birthday! (to me ;))

I haven't been posting much lately. As you regular readers know (and moms! :)) We are in the midst of track season for my older daughter and soccer season for my younger daughter. Between their sports games and practices, my school and their piano lessons, our evenings are usually filled with something! :) This weekend was also busy with Me! :)

Friday, we went and got my oldest from her track meet, and went out to a burger restaurant we've never been to before, and shopped for school science project supplies. Then, Saturday, I got homemade doughnuts on my actual birthday, from my husband. I got a nice vase that has scented oil in it to match my office from my girls. I also got a hamster button for my classroom because I thought it'd be fun! :) Then we went and sat in the rain at a soccer game, stopped at Bob Evans for lunch, changed clothes and went to a contemporary Christian concert as a family. It was a tour with five bands. There was a wide variety in the music, but all of it was giving Him the glory. :) I also got many calls and facebook birthday wishes throughout the day. We finished off the evening, the husband and I, watching the Time Traveler's Wife, which was a good movie but an even better book.

Today we hung around home, except for a quick trip to the bookstore where I picked this book up and am excited to use it... after a trip to the grocery! :)

Then, to end our weekend, my in-laws took us out to dinner. YUM! :) I'm sure the fries aren't on Jamie's approved healthy eating list, but they were good!! :)

No long runs in this weekend. How awful of me. ;) But I sure had a great weekend.

I am still taking photos, and have started a week in the life photos, too... We'll see if I can get it done! :)
Hope you all have a wonderful week!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Purse Contents

I saw on a blog post today, here on Stacy Julian's blog, a post about what is in your purse. She talked about how it is us, it shows who we are by its contents. I enlisted the help of my youngest daughter to take a photo of me and then I emptied my purse. Wow, I had a lot stuffed in there! I thought it would be interesting to post here. (Actually I have a ton of other things I should be doing... but started the day with a great breakfast of pancakes, and checking blogs/email :))

Here's a photo of me without my face. :)

And the contents of my purse:

What's in my purse?
I have a bigger purse-I like to carry a lot of items, “just in case” someone needs them. :) This was a good reason to clean my purse! :)

(top left) I have some change that I didn't put into my wallet, so it was loose, and a phone number from a fellow teacher on a piece of paper. What it says about me? That I needed to clean my purse! :)

Next are my glasses: I wear them to see far away. It says I'm getting older.

My phone: I never thought I needed a phone with internet, etc. But, I love it! It says I like to be connected.

Gum: I like fresh breath-also, see green toothpick/floss items in the middle of the screen... I like my breath fresh...

Tissues: I have a daughter who gets bloody noses often, and a daughter who runs track in the chilly weather. We've all been known to need tissues...

Bottom right is my purse. Black matches everything, it's easy to carry, and holds all of my stuff...

Under the coins and paper on the top left are some green notecards that have some of my favorite Bible verses on them. When I'm having a frustrating day or just need some Word, I can pull them out.

There are two cough drops and a worther's candy. I like them when I have a cold but still have to talk all day to the kids.

There are two ponytail holders. For the first time in a while I have let my hair grown out long enough to put in a pony tail. I went to my hairdresser and this time I told her just a trim. She was encouraging and thought it would look cute! :) I love it right now.

Earphones: I can get podcasts on my phone, and I have music there. I can sit and listen to podcasts while I wait for an appointment, etc. The podcasts I've been listening to lately have been from , and

I have a little wallet (purple and striped w/ruler pattern) that I made, yep, sewed it with the help of my mom. It has little pockets for the gift cards and store discount cards that I don't use all the time. I can't leave them at home, just in case I decide to stop there...

Many pens... I like pens, and I never want to be caught without one. My girls always used to like to draw, or we'd play hangman or another word game, at restaurants while they waited for food, so I made sure I had supplies in my purse. They normally have their own pens or carry on conversations, now, but I still have to have them.

There are two Burt's Bees chapsticks. I love it, with its peppermint smell, and not too waxy feel.

Hand sanitizing gel and hand lotion for clean, soft hands.

Tide pen-never know when a stain will occur... I've had it in there for a while, after a coffee drip stained a shirt, but haven't used it at all since I put it in... my retentiveness causes me to keep it in there, for fear that if I take it out... a stain/spill will occur.

Advil-ahh a cure-all. :) Good for headaches, sore legs and knees, cramps...

Wallet: I love this wallet. I got it from etsy. You can't tell from the photo, but it is brown, with burnt orange and turquoise. It holds a lot and is sturdy.

Batteries-I love taking my camera everywhere and hate that “ah, I'm out of battery power just in time for the great shot!” feeling so, here they are...

Sunglasses, in case I am at a soccer game or on a long drive being blinded by the sun...

Keys-my car and house, including my weimaraner and Christian key chains

A “free coffee” coupon from Starbucks, a pad of sticky notes (I love sticky notes!) and a small notebook for notes and my to-do lists

The yellow thing by my purse is a bandaid holder. It's got a few alcohol-swabs and some bandaids.

One of the requests on Stacy's blog was to post what it says about you... most of these say I like to be prepared “just in case” and I like to be helpful. The bandaids are usually used by someone other than myself. :) I am a bit of a worrier and I worry about “things happening” and want to be prepared if I can. I'm also not a small purse for different occasions sort of girl. I don't grab just a couple things for each event. I keep it all in one, all the time. Sometimes I throw a magazine or paperback in, too. :) Lately I just haven't had time to sit and read, though! :)

For those of you readers who have made it through my long, silly post, thank you. I will use this in a scrapbook someday, when I get back to sitting down to scrapbook. I am still very busy with teaching and being a mom and wife. I love family time. I have mountains of laundry, and cleaning of course, but I am blessed with a great family that I am thrilled to have the time with. The teaching is going well. I've been there about 63 days and have become "official teacher" status. My title is no longer a "substitute". I am getting teacher salary and have earned a personal day and a sick day to take off, if needed. Hopefully it will help me get my foot in the door. We'll see. I hope you have a wonderful weekend! It's chilly here, so the soccer game viewing will be BRRR, but sunny. :)

If you have a purse or backpack handy, it just takes a bit of time, share with us, won't you? What does it say about you?

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Messages to check, also emails to check...
Typing still to do, as well as printing ABC books...
Soccer games to attend and daughters to catch up with...
Grading to complete...
Nothing for dinner, but all will be hungry soon...
Blog to type (see why I never "officially" sign up to do a "NABLOPOMO"? ;))
Friends to check in with....
Running to be done!

Feeling a bit overwhelmed and underachieving. :)

Thank goodness for
...friends who email in my class who finished the work/writing the ABC books
... a wonderful sunny day to watch soccer in and two wonderful daughters
...completed work and eyes to see it with
...the money and ability to find or buy something to eat
...internet and blog friends! :)
...friends to miss and who are missing me
...the ability to run when I get a chance! :)

Hope your week is chugging along smoothly! :)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Two slips

Yep, I missed the 12th and 13th. My students are making ABC books that we're sending to be made into "real books". We've been working on them for quite a while, and they need to be typed. Some of my students don't have computers, so I have been typing their books at home. It takes a while and by the time I finish I'm not looking forward to typing anything else! :)

I got a run in on Monday, but not on Tuesday, since my oldest daughter had a track meet last night. She ran the two mile and did pretty well for as windy as it was!

My youngest daughter had soccer practice and came home all grass stained and smiling. :) She has a game Thursday.

Only about 40 more days left in the schoolyear! Already! Time passes rather quickly these days...

I just read that Thimbleanna is opening a little store! How wonderful! I'm sure she'll do great! :) She just seems like that kind of person who will succeed and be smiling during everything! :) Congrats, good luck and keep smiling!! :)

Hope your week has gone well so far! Midway through today! :)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Back again with sunburn

I won't keep you with a long post-just a quick one as I almost forgot! :)

We have a fire going out back and red wine in a glass to relax before it's time to start another week.

We had a nice but fast weekend, and the weather tonight is perfect for a fire. :) Here are my feet and my wine as my husband gets ready to put more logs on.

My oldest ran a mile in 6:27 this weekend at a meet, I ran after I got home, the 6.5 with a long, steady hill later in the day... and put on no sunscreen- long-time readers know that is a "no-no" for me and my skin. Thus, I am a bit red today. Crispy, we'll say. Oops.

That's all for this evening, as my husband awaits at the fire. :) Have a great last few bits of your evening and hope you enjoy your week ahead!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Two posts?

I figure two posts in one day will cancel out the fact that I missed yesterday, right? ;)

I just had that bittersweet feeling I get sometimes. I don't think I've blogged about it, the saddest events of my life... So I will. Not to get sympathy or extra attention, but because it's on my mind and that's what my blog is: my thoughts when I sit to type-or thoughts I had a few days ago and forgot then... :)

I was reading the latest posts about the new addition to the Days family:
It made me say "aww, how sweet" and "what a beautiful baby"... but it made me sad that we never had a third child. We tried. We wanted more children.

We were expecting "Sam"- we never knew the gender and thought Sam would work. :) We lost Sam at 15 weeks of pregnancy. After having two flawless pregnancies with our girls, it was utter shock and devastation.

Then, right around our due date for Sam, we got pregnant with Sara. I was anxious and worried about how this pregnancy would end up, especially after losing Sam. Our doctor assured us that Sam was just our "odds catching up with us" and with no health issues, we should be fine. The first trimester came and passed, with baby Sara doing wonderfully! Ah, relief, I could stop worrying! Our girls were 3 and a 1/2 and 7. My husband and the girls painted the nursery yellow and we bought things for her room. We still weren't sure of her gender at this point. The girls were beyond excited, and so were we!

Then I felt like things weren't right. Oddly it was September 11. A year after the planes crashed on that sad day. I just felt like something was wrong. They told me to come in and we'd listen to the heart beat. They were sure it was just a worried mom feeling. My husband met me at the hospital, thank goodness. We listened, but they couldn't find a baby heartbeat. That's common, they told me. So, we did an ultrasound. We saw that her heart wasn't beating.

We went in on a Friday the 13th and delivered our third girl. So tiny and perfect, at 6 months of gestation. They were never sure what happened. They did tests on her, and on me, but came up with nothing. The delivering doctor said she thought the cord may have been around her neck, but my doctor wasn't so sure. It was awful.

Her nursery door stayed closed for several weeks, months. We took her room decor back to the store. The girls were devastated. I was... words cannot express how sad I was. The ache that filled my entire being. I cried almost everyday for months. That's when I started drinking wine at night, just to dull the thoughts and memories, hopes and dreams, as I went to sleep.

After a while, my husband wanted to try again. I just couldn't. I knew I'd be a worried mess and not a good mother to the two daughters I already had.

Sara would be in first grade, now. It's still painful and sad when I just think about it. Although, I don't think about the events as much, though I still think of her and what she'd be like.

There was a positive thing from all the sadness, though, as I look back, now, years later. My husband was brought to faith and I was brought back to faith-into a relationship with Christ-due to the depth of our sadness. I felt comforted by HIM. I know He is holding her, now. Someone once told me that wonderful things await us in Heaven... and that Jesus holds our babies that we can hold and smell and snuggle there-our own extra joy in Heaven... I hold onto that. And I received this picture and thought of our Sara, waiting for us...

I hope I didn't make you sad, Dear Reader, but let you know a different tidbit about me...


I was doing so well, and then I missed a day. OOps. Yesterday had no blog post (or picture of the day for that matter...) But I will continue onward. :)

Last night, after a busy day teaching and handing the grade cards out to go home... (fingers crossed that Monday and Tuesday have little or no parents complaint? ;)) We all went out to dinner at a nearby Italian place. It's a small, neighborhood restaurant (as I type that I thought, ugh, that is one of the few words I always misspell and I'm a good speller! but it is stuck in my brain incorrectly and I misspell it every time: restaraunt... anywho...) The food was delicious and my husband decided we should have a carafe of red house wine to go with our meal. Wow, that tired me out-red wine always makes me sleepy! We came home and watched Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, which is a wonderful show!! It has a great message. From the moment I saw it, I was hooked. We watched that and went to bed. I didn't even think about my daily blog post until this morning, because I never stepped into my office!

I didn't get a single run in all week: After school/work, the husband and I headed out to dinners while the girls were away, and then I enjoyed heading right home to see them on Thurs and Fri. I also had to run to the store, Wed. to grab groceries and I was making them, and their aunt, dinner.

Which reminds me, I saw a glimpse of a good idea on Cathy Zielske's blog, and thought about trying to recreate it. We had lean beef tacos, Spanish rice and fat free refried beans on Wed. and had many leftovers, so I had also bought a pork loin at the store on Wed. I put it in the crock pot on Thurs. to cook all day in green salsa-that's it- and shredded it when I got home to eat with the leftovers-tortillas, rice, etc. They were so good-and SUPER easy! (Wow, that was a long way to say, I tried a new recipe and we liked it... ;))

Back to the running, I'm planning on the hilly workout I did a few weeks ago that is about 6.5 today. I will have to do it after we head to our older daughter's track meet.

That is all for today, I think! I hope your weekend has started off wonderfully-ours has started with sunshine and no wind! :)

Thursday, April 08, 2010

April 8

Here I am, again! I am getting tired, this evening. I had a few ideas earlier today of things I'd like to blog about... but I didn't write them down so "poof" the ideas have disappeared into the abyss. I hope to remember them so I can post a good paragraph or two tomorrow! :)

Tomorrow is the end of the week! :)

Today was cold, rainy and dreary, contributing to the sleepy sluggish feeling I had all day...

I hope your day was beautiful and productive! :)

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

One Week

Today, a week's worth of consecutive posts are now here on my blog. I just finished reading another blog about the writer's mother. It made me stop and think about the mother I am. I hope my impatience doesn't show through more than the love and care. I also hope my job doesn't take up more of my time and energy than my beautiful daughters.

Those lovely girls are back home, again, after their three days with their aunt. Is so nice to hear their voices, their piano music and their laughter. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed my time with my husband-dinners out with conversation about our days-but I really am happy to see my girls home safe and sound. I am so proud of them, all they work hard to be. My husband, as well. I feel so truly blessed as I sit and think of them. I am thankful for His grace...

Today I finished up grade cards for the class I'm teaching. I am filled with such dread. I know there will be complaints from parents. Their kids didn't reach the expectations-mine or the parents-but I believe these grades are deserved and I have the grades in the grade book to back me up... still, I don't do well with conflict. I don't handle it very well. I feel sick already and the report cards don't go home until Friday! I have had a great past couple days with the kids-I've gotten back to my normal self, looking for those positive moments and know that I'm teaching them, and they will receive information and care from me. I know part of my fear is not being good enough for a full time job. When people ask me questions about where I want to teach or what age group, I say, "God will put me where He wants me to be". I sometimes forget to really believe it, though.

I hope your April is still moving along nicely! :)

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

April 6

I have been sitting at my computer working on inputting grades for a bit. It's more complicated than it should be, but works ok... if you know what you're doing! It's nice that I can do it from home. I called the teacher to make sure I was doing them correctly. I'm not done, and they have to be in by lunch tomorrow. Busy morning ahead! :)

Our girls are away for one more day and then they'll be home. I've sure missed them. Although I've enjoyed going out to dinner with my husband. I have eaten way too much and I haven't had time to get out and run since my 8 miler.

I do feel caught up on my grading and planning for now, though. :)

My flowers are continuing to come up nicely. I must resist the urge to go out and plant something-the last two years I saw so many people do it. We get sucked in by all the spring displays... new plants, fertilizer, etc... and then more frost comes and those same people are back at the store buying replacements. My dad always says wait until Mother's Day to plant something, and, even though he lives in a state North of us, I live by those words. The last two years they've helped me. :) Now, I just have to resist the urge to fill my garden with fresh, green color! I have already started thinking of my vegetable garden this year... less cherry/grape tomatoes and more of other things, like trying new leaf lettuce!

I hope your snow is melting, the sun is shining nicely (not too hot!) on you and you are smiling. :) I'm smiling at you! :)

Monday, April 05, 2010

April 5

Had nice day back to work; I sure enjoy the students. Looks like I will be there most of the spring now.

Then I got home and we went out to dinner-the girls are with their aunt, so we had dinner out. Luckily we used gift certificates we had gotten for Christmas. We won't be eating out at this restaurant without gift certificates! It was expensive. It tasted good and I am stuffed! I didn't run today but I wish I had! We had dessert and wine!

My husband has his eye on an ipad. He's thinking of getting one. He doesn't spend much on hobbies, so it would be nice for him to get what he'd like.

I'm getting ready to watch the championship basketball game this evening. Hoping for a good game.

Storms are rolling in tonight. The warm weather might move out for a few days.

That's about all for this evening. Nothing earth shattering, but a post. :) Will try to post more interesting info later. :)

Hope your week started off well!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

April 4

Wow, April 4th and back to subbing tomorrow. Had a nice Easter today, my husband's sister came over for dinner. The five of us ate a nice meal (cheesy potato casserole, green bean casserole, ham, brownies with raspberry preserves, and a fruit salad). Then we all sat out by the fire pit in the delightful weather. It's been a wonderful day.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

April 3

I ran 8 miles this morning. It's been about 8 months since I last ran that far. Wow. I was/am tired. My goal was to run 9 min. miles, which means a goal time of 1:12 or less. I ended up running 1:11. Phew. Then it got very windy, here, so I'm happy I got my run in instead of "doing it later". Storms and rain are supposed to be moving in. I also forgot to use my body glide since I didn't need it on my 6 and 7 milers. Oops. Ouch. Thighs wish I'd had it...

We went out to dinner as a family last night (Molly Bawn, it's where we met! :)) and headed to shop since it was a lovely evening and the mall is outdoor. I got a few new "spring" clothes to teach in. We also got some good deals on heavier clothes (sweatshirts) for a good price.

Tonight I will be parked in front of the tv during the Final Four basketball games. I enjoy them, although I am sad that the NCAA has decided to increase to 96 teams-that's crazy, in my opinion.

I hope you're having a wonderful day! :)

Friday, April 02, 2010


Question for you, blog readers:
Do you dye your eggs for Easter (or did you when your children were younger)?
Do you hard boil and then decorate or blow the inside out?
Do you paint or use traditional dye methods? Store bought or natural dyes?

We have tried multiple things over the years, and as the girls are older and craftier I was thinking of trying new things. Today we melted chocolate and decorated molds with them. However, I'm wondering if we'll do eggs...
In years past we've painted wooden eggs, made yarn eggs, dyed boiled eggs and dyed blown out eggs, which was my favorite of the options.

Hope all is well.

Day 2

Well, it's April 2 and I'm posting again. Wow, two days in a row, right? :)

I have already gotten my run in for the day. I went 3.5 miles. It is sunny and beautiful outside today.

I have also started "a picture a day". I've seen it done and thought I'll never get that done each day, however:
it's April, which is my birthday month and I'm going to be 35, so I'm thinking a picture a day for my 35th year-what I did each day. Sounds fun. We'll see. We already have so much going on, but a picture, that doesn't take long, does it? :)

While I'm posting all my goals, I'm also going to try not to buy another scrapbook supply (except glue, since I use it and run out) like paper and embellishments for the next year! I have a lot, here, and I just need to sit down and use it! :) We'll see how long that lasts... :) I have to go and unsubscribe to the few emails I get about "daily deals" and "scrapbook steals". No need to tempt myself! I love the new stuff, new ideas... but I have so much and I'm just not using it right now. So, unless I completely run out of supplies in the next year, this is it-no more supplies! I will keep you posted and let you know how that works out! :)

My oldest daughter is at track practice, none of us have school since it's Good Friday. The husband had to work, though. Maybe he'll come home early? The girls and I are going to go to the book store after the oldest returns home. They'll be riding in the car as they visit with their aunt next week, so it will be good for them to have something to read.

We also have spring cleaning to do. Yippee, but it needs to be done.

I think that's all for now. I hope your April is going smoothly thus far!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Happy Spring!

Today I've decided to try to post everyday in April. No April Fool's! :) I have thought of things each day, lately, that I wanted to post but never made myself take the time to do so. April is my birthday month, so I thought it was fitting. :)

I am running a lot more. I'm up to 7 miles for my long run as of last weekend. I've also been running 3-6 times per week-depending on our girls' schedules. We'll see if I can keep it up now that they're spring sports have started. :)

I am on spring break this week, but my girls aren't on spring break until next week. This is the first time we've not done a trip together in recent memory. It made me sad, but it's also nice for me to be able to be there for them like taking them to school, if they'd like. They will be home tomorrow for Good Friday, too, so we can have a day together. Next week they'll be visiting their aunt for a few days so they get to go somewhere! :)

The weather is beautiful here, supposed to be sunny and 70 degrees today. I went running but should have gone earlier as it was already too warm for me-not desert hot, I mean I just prefer it cooler. :)

I am still in the long-term subbing job in fourth grade and feeling like I'm finally settled in. At this point, it looks like I will be there until May. Grade cards go out next week so I finished up all the grading and am going to input them into the computer grading program this afternoon.

This morning I went to get my driver's license renewed. An ok picture, better than last year except for the increased weight and age! :)

I think that's all for now. I have to save some topics for the rest of the month! :) Have a great April 1, 2010!

Saturday, March 06, 2010


Current sounds:
*Helicopter overhead
*Dogs barking at said helicopter
*Daughters taking turns playing piano-love that!
*Squirting cleaners as I clean the bathroom (fun fun... I have other things I'd like to be doing, but need to cross this off my list first.)
*Husband typing on his computer trying to solve a work issue
*Washer chugging along (too much in the load? I have mounds of it to do and catch up from the week.

Soon we'll hear birds chirping and kids playing outside as the snow begins to melt and spring approaches...

Sunday, February 28, 2010


Hello, Reader! It's been a little while since I last posted. We have gotten more snow in the last few days, so the ground is all white, or dirty white where plows have scraped into piles. However, I smelled skunk last week. My grandfather says that is a sign that spring is around the corner. They quasi hibernate and when we smell them a lot around here, it's a sign that they feel it's safe to come out, that warmer weather, bringing their favorite foods, is on the way. Usually his farmer predictions are correct-more so than the weather men! :)

I've been running-around 3-4 days a week right now, and yoga on Tuesdays-very nice to get back to it! :) I haven't gone any further than four miles, usually stopping at 3.5, but I'm out there. I've lost a pound. A small hurdle, but I'm happy. I haven't had chips of any kind since Lent started, nor any alcohol. I gave them both up because they'd become bad habits as evening snacks every night! No wonder I gained weight! :) I haven't had evening snacks most nights, with crackers on a couple occasions. I've also been thinking about cutting back in other food areas, too! :)

I haven't picked up a book to read other than school items, and mostly it's been to grade or plan. It definitely keeps me busy. But, I'm hoping the greater the effort, the greater the reward and the more kids who learn what they need to know! :)

Not much more for now. Snow, work, family time (both girls have been busy with winter sports and activities!) and trying to get a run in.

I tried some new recipes this past two weeks. I will try to post them later today. I loved three of them, and was not fond of two. :)

Hope that you are well and under some sunny skies!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

New Office

So excited that all the furniture has been put together, put in place, and I love it. I have a lot of organization to do-especially with my scrapbooking items, but that has to wait until I'm caught up on grading, notes for parent/teacher conferences and lesson plans. :) Hopefully, today, though, while we're home on a snow day as we get even more snow, I can get caught up on all things (laundry, cleaning, school items and organizing the office... I'm sure there's more to do, but these are the immediate items on my list). I am still loving my colors-turquoise, black and white, and the arrangement seems to be working for me, so far. That's all for today. Stay warm and comfortable on this Tuesday, Readers, and stay safe. Without further ado, I present my office. :))

In the first photo, note the pic hanging on the wall upper right-my inspiration for colors. Got it off etsy & love it.

This bookshelf needs organization, but for now...

Here is the table where I plan on scrapbooking! :)

Here is where I have my items organized, such as paper and embellishments; still not a perfectly organized area, but eventually. :)

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Winter Wonderland

We got a lot of snow this weekend. Starting about noon on Friday, the flakes started falling and didn't stop until Saturday afternoon. I think we received about fourteen inches. The first day there were big, beautiful flakes, that made snow fun to play in. We shoveled the driveway into big snowballs, a snow fort and it was warm enough to enjoy being out in. On Saturday the wind became bitter cold. I got in part of my run outside, but the skin on my face paid for it-bitter wind burnt my skin into pink blotchiness. The girls didn't want to be out building or playing in it much, at first, but when friends called, they braved it for a while. We still have it all-it's not warm enough to melt, but the roads have been thoroughly cleared. We ended up shoveling three different times to get the driveway cleaned off. We're supposed to get about two more inches on Tuesday, on top of what we already have, since it still won't be warm enough to melt it. I think it's beautiful. :)

In other news, I picked my one little word, as I mentioned a few posts ago, and never even considered it is in one of my all time favorite songs: Amazing Grace. That song means so much to me that I can't sing the whole thing without tears. Today in church I began to sing and thought, "Hey, that's my 'one little word'".

My office is 90% put back together, all I need to do is have the husband put up a curtain rod and some pictures. I also have to organize my scrapbook supplies, but I am thinking that is a bigger job than I have with what's left of today... I also need to get the housecleaning done and schoolwork, as well.

I hope the weather has been kind to you, Reader, and your "one little word" is working out for you, motivating and encouraging you, too. :)