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...