Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thought Provoking Thursdays with Sheena

So, Sheena's thrown down the gauntlet with her new Thought Provoking Thursdays.  I have two (sort-of)  problems with this: 
1) I give my brain a break during June, but seeing as it's almost July (How did that happen?), I should probably get back into practice.
2) I'm not a philosophical person.  I don't sit around and contemplate the universe or think about thinking or any of that, so I'm not entirely sure that my answers will be worth reading.  But, she's my friend, and when a friend comes up with something on her blog, you participate. 

So, here goes nothing!

1. What is the difference between living and existing?     

Existing is easy.  You wake up, you go about your day, you come home and go to sleep.  It requires very little thought or participation.  Living is hard.  It's messy.  It requires heart and faith, and at the end of the day, you may feel beaten and bruised.  But I've done both, and I will take living any day of the week.   

2. What small act of kindness were you once shown that you will never forget?        

This is a hard question, but it probably shouldn't be.  I love acts of kindness.  I don't know that I could pick just one, so here's a recent one.  The co-sponsor that I went on the Beta trip with surprised me by paying for my pedicure.  Now here's the funny part, I actually forgot about the pedi that I was supposed to get last Friday because Dad and I were busy working outside, so when she called to see if I had enjoyed it, she ended up having to spoil her own surprise.  But it's all fine because I rescheduled for this Friday!  And I love that she thought of doing something like that, even though I was just doing my job.  It made me really feel appreciated!

3. Do you see to believe or believe to see?     

I believe to see.  I don't think there's a harder concept to grasp than faith, because it is believing in the things you can't see.  But I do.  Were I being completely honest, I would say that it's much easier to believe in a time of crisis because then you want something to cling to.  I have a much harder time believing what I can't see in the day to day.  (Does that make any sense at all?)

 Anyway, hop over and join us!  Give your brain a workout...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 6/29

1. What makes you stand to your feet and cheer?

      I'm easily excitable, so lots of things.  But I love it when the underdog takes the day, in sports or in life!

2. What's your favorite patriotic song?

     My first thought was The National Anthem, because I've been singing it at ballgames and other events since I was a sophomore in high school.  But my favorite is probably "America, The Beautiful."  Its words are just so poetic.

3. Do you believe that opposites attract? If you have a significant other are you opposites?

    I do believe that opposites attract.  Opposite personalities tend to balance each other out, which keeps things interesting.  If you were with someone who only liked things you liked and always agreed with you, wouldn't you get bored?

4. You're going to get a behind the scenes look someplace...where would you like that someplace to be?

     I think I would want to go behind the scenes at a TV show, but I'm having a hard time deciding which one!  Grey's Anatomy would get me close to Patrick Dempsey and Eric Dane, so I guess I'll go with that!

5. How far would you have to travel to ride a carousel (merry-go-round)?

    Probably to an amusement park if the county fair's not in town, so three hours or so?  There may be one closer that I just don't know about.  I don't ride many carousels if you can't tell.

6. When was the last time you saw fireworks? What was the occasion? Do you enjoy fireworks?

      Last 4th of July or as we refer to it, Crystal's birthday!  We usually go out to the cemetery and watch them every year, at the end of our celebration.  I promise it's a lot more fun than it sounds! 

7. Of all the 'beauty products' you own, what item do you consider to be the most overpriced?

      Probably my moisturizer.  It's nothing fancy, but it's probably the most expensive thing I have. Well, until I hit Sephora again!

8. I can't believe it's almost July already!  How is it that the school year can seem so slow and the summer goes by so very fast?  While I'm always ready for a new year, I'm also okay with things slowing down just a bit!

Monday, June 27, 2011


Today, I've been feeling pretty nostalgic.  There are probably several reasons for this, but I will get to that.  First, I will show a lot of embarrassing pictures from high school.  I wasn't close friends with a lot of the girls I went to school with.  I mean, we were friends, but we didn't hang out on the weekends.  Weekends were reserved for my girls, who all went to a neighboring school.  This is the oldest picture I have of Kristi and Holly.  We were on the retreat I talked about here.  (And I won't bust her out, but the friend who made the sex comment is totally in the following picture!)
 Here's Kristi and her boyfriend (now husband) at the fair.  He was a part of our little circle too (in fact, it was hard to find pictures he wasn't in, as you will see!)
 And here I am with Nikki, who I've known since we played Barbie during Mass as little girls.  Well, I played with Barbies and she got in trouble for playing with me because she's older and was supposed to be paying attention!  (Please forgive me the overalls. It was 1997.)
 The Riverboat Ball was always one of the big events when we were in high school.  I never competed but all the other girls did.  It was a great excuse to get dressed up and dance.

Kristi's High School Graduation
 Please ignore Holly.  She doesn't mean to look like a supermodel, but seriously, she still does.  Luckily, it's the only annoying thing about her.
 I looked at these pictures (and a lot of other ones) today.  These girls were the ones who helped form me, just as much as Sheena and Crys did in my college years.  We shared experiences that were unique, amazing and sometimes, sad.  I've been thinking a lot about the girls in the pictures and what they would have to say about the women we've become.  It's such a crazy thing to think about.  We are all incredible women, if I do say so myself.  But I don't think the girls in the pictures could have possibly imagined the things that we'd face between then and now.  I don't know that they could have grasped the two marriages, four kids, countless dramas, small and large.  I don't think they would believe that we would grow apart for a while, and then back together a bit; how we'd live so close together, and have to plan to see each other in the midst of our crazy lives.  (Kristi and I had to go all the way to Nashville to get in a visit during Beta Convention, despite living just miles apart.)  I'd like to think the girls would be proud of us now.  I know I am. 

Of all the things that have happened, one we never would have imagined was losing one of our friends.  Five years ago today, Joda passed away from skin cancer.  She was pregnant when they found it, had a healthy baby girl, and then fought that cancer with everything she had.  Her loss will forever be one of the reasons I hate this awful disease.  I wasn't as close to her as the other girls because we didn't go to school together, but she was a part of us.  She came to the birthday parties, the proms, made memories with us.  She was funny and spirited, a great athlete, a wife and a mom and it's unfair that she isn't here with us.  And I just didn't want to let today go by without saying so out loud. 

Prayer Monday -- 6/27

I had planned to post later this morning, at a respectable hour after a restful night's sleep, but a pack of wild dogs behind the tire center had other plans.  So, here I am.

I'm not sure what I need this week.  Is that okay to admit?  Summer is slow for me, there's hardly anything going on.  Which means that there are few pressing needs in my life.  I guess that's good, right?  What I really need right now is focus.  In my walk with God, as I begin to work on curriculum for next year, as I work on trying to be healthy---lots and lots of focus. 

I also have one prayer request that I have to keep personal (because it's not mine to share) but is very close to my heart.  I pray that God will continue to work in that situation.

That's all I have.   If it wasn't 5:30, maybe I would have been more eloquent, but probably not.  Prayer Monday is an open group, so if you are interested, join us!  We'd love to have you!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Calling All Chefs...

I mentioned that I'm not really a cook (I just play one on TV--ha!), but I make a good cheesecake and a passable lasagna.

So, that bears the question, what do you make well?  And if you have something of that nature, would you share the recipe (or a link to the recipe on your blog) in the comments?  That is if it's not some kind of super secret family thing.  Wouldn't want anyone exiled.  Just looking for a few good recipes. 

Extra points if it's easy to make...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

A Little Beta Love

If you've never been used a hairdryer to dry wet paint on campaign signs, stuffed a sun costume with paper in a hotel parking lot in the middle of the night, or rode to what would normally be a vacation destination on a school bus, you might not get what I am about to say.  On Monday, I returned from the Jr. National Beta Club Convention in Nashville, TN with my students, co-sponsor, and several parents.  We had a great (and intermitently stressful) time, and it was worth every minute.

If you aren't from the Midwest or Southeast, you may not know what I'm even talking about.  The Beta Club is a society that celebrates both academic achievement and service to the community and the world at large.  We have conventions at the state level, but Nationals---it's a whole different beast.  For instance, this is one group's talent...
Yes, that is a to-scale Grand Old Opry set.  It would be important to note that this was not the stage for the convention.  They brought this and set it up just for their talent.  Nationals means business.
Thankfully, Nationals is a lot of fun, too!  The kids have a great time, and no matter how stressful that is to someone who likes a nice, neat vacation schedule where things run on time, it's worth it.  Every moment on the sweaty bus, every stuffed costume, and blow-dried sign means that a kid is getting a chance to see what they can accomplish if they just give it their all.  And besides, you can't beat the Opryland Hotel at night...

Friday, June 24, 2011

And Boy Are My Arms Tired...

My friend, Jessie, started a blog about gardening.  (You should totally go visit her.  She's really funny! And, Amber, that just leaves you in the non-blogger category, so get with it!)  And to her, and all of those like her, I say "Yay, You!"  Because I could take gardening or leave it, mostly leave it (or leaf it.  HA!).  I like being outside, as long as it's not too hot or too cold, there aren't too many bugs, the humidity is low and I'm not having to do any actual work.  But, some things just can't be ignored.  Such as:
And this was after Dad and I (mostly Dad) had worked on it for a while.  This ivy is evil.  You can't kill it (it's 40 years old), it smothers everything, and it will kill you sooner than it will come off the side of the house.  It's supposed to look like this:

See how it covers the base of the house and stays off the siding?  How's it's not growing into the gutter or inside a window and into my house?  (True story.) 
We carted off more of these piles than I care to admit, but it looks so much better.  I'm so thankful that my daddy was willing to come over and help (or do most of it, whatever!).  I promptly came in, took a shower and took a nap.  Let's just say that my next blog will not be about gardening.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I Want To Become A Coupon Queen!

I've decided that I am going to learn to save money.  Stop laughing.  I'm serious!  I have some things I have been wanting to do and until I save up some money I'm not going to be able to do any of them.  I'm not interested in being an extreme couponer, with 200 jars of mustard and 400 rolls of toilet paper in my back closet (who has that kind of room?), but I would like to make a dent in my grocery bills.  With that said, I need some help. 

What are some ways you all save money?  Are there online coupon sites that are better than others?  I'm dying to hear what everyone else does!  Help!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 6/22

1. Summer's here-whoohoo! What's your favorite sight, sound, AND smell associated with summer?

     This calls for a bulleted list:
  • Sight:  Lightning bugs in the tall grass
  • Sound:  Fireworks
  • Smell;  Sunscreen

2. Fireflies or lightning bugs...what are they called in your neck of the woods?
     I've always called them lightning bugs, but some people here say fireflies too.

3. What is something from the past week that reminded you of your childhood?
     Being with "my kids" for a few days can't help but make me think about what it was like to be the kid on the trip and not the adult in charge.  I didn't just go on Beta trips, but church trips and all kinds of other things.  On one church trip when I was in high school, the last thing they told us before we got off the bus was that there were to be no guys in the girls' rooms or vice versa.  I think when we got caught there were 16 people in our room, at least half of them being boys.  Nothing happened, but I remember thinking it was all so funny (it still kind of is) and not getting why the adults were so uptight about it!  Needless to say, I get it now... 

4. Define 'the good life'.
    The good life is the life in which you are comfortable, where you have all the things you could possibly need, and most of your wants.  To me, the good life would be a house on the beach, good friends close by, and enough money to make working something I wanted to do, instead of something I had to do.  Everything after that would just be icing on the cake.

5. Tell us what we'd see if you took a snapshot of your desk/work space?
     If you were looking at my "fort" at work, your first thought would probably be "Where is her desk?"  Things are always in a thousand different piles, but I know where everything is.  I have a bullentin board behind me full of schedules, student artwork and funny little things I've clipped out.  I also have my computers, one for grades and one for my SMART board. 
     At home, you'd probably still wonder where the top of the desk is, but it's not quite as messy.  I have my computer, printers and all my other worldly goods there.  Plus, my handmade cabinet/desk full of treasures and my CD and DVD collections.

6. Peaches or watermelon...yes, you have to choose.
      Watermelon.  I love peaches, but there's just nothing quite as good as a cold watermelon on a warm summer day.

7. Ever been skinny dippin'? Is that too much for the Wednesday Hodgepodge? Rest assured we won't need details...unless of course you feel you must but remember, this is a family friendly blog so keep it G rated.
    I've never been skinny dippin'.  This is probably related directly to the fact that I have never been skinny.  Ha! 

8. I've spent this evening reading over old journal entries.  It's interesting to look back several years and see just where you were and how much or how little things have changed. 

I'm Back!

I just spent the last four days with junior high kids.  I realize that in my line of work this isn't abnormal, but this time I didn't get to send them home.  And for all the fun, being in charge of other humans that do not belong to you 24/7 can be equal parts awesome and stressful.   I have the best kids and they were very well behaved, but still...

I say all that to say that I have a post coming about our adventures.  I really do.  But today is all about recovery, and that means I will probably not get my cameras hooked up and images transferred and uploaded quite yet, but I want to share them with you this week, because unless you see it, it's hard to imagine how amazing things really were.  So, it's coming.  Just after my nap(s).

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Summer Book Reviews: Volume 1

I know that you sit up at night wondering what fine pieces of literature I am reading, right?  HA!  Here's a peek at a few books that I have made it through recently.  (You should see the stack I still have to read, hence this being Volume 1!)
If I hadn't already been convinced that Tina Fey is one of the smartest, funniest people on the planet, this book would have been more than enough evidence.  I read it in less than two days total, which is saying a lot for someone with the attention span of a fruit fly.  Whether she was talking about growing up, being the boss lady, or raising a child, I was consistently laughing out loud!  (Seriously, the cat was concerned.)  If you are looking for a memoir that reads like a beach read, this is where it's at.  

Technically, I finished this book in the winter and never wrote anything about it.  This is not a feel-good memoir, like Fey's, but it is one of the most beautiful eulogies I've ever read.  (Two Kisses for Maddy by Matt Logelin being the hallmark of this type of memoir.)  Sheffield is a writer for Rolling Stone, among other things, and he lost his wife tragically, much like Matt.  He mixes the mixed tapes he's created throughout his life with stories of his life, his wife, their love, and his loss.  It's a little heavy on the music references (sometimes I felt like I was completely uneducated about music), but it's still a very interesting and lovely read.
This is what I am currently reading, and it's never felt more timely with what is going on in the news.  Jennifer Weiner (ironic, right?) weaves a tale of a senator's sex scandal and how it affects the women in his life with great skill.  I'm only about halfway through, but it's proving to be a page-turner (which is great since I ended up spending so much time in the waiting room with grandma this week!).  I've read all of Jennifer's books and loved them, and I don't expect this will be much different!
My final book for this volume is Stacey Ballis' Good Enough To Eat.  Maybe it's just because I'm a chubby girl making my way in the world, but this book broke my heart and gave me hope.  It wasn't a comedy which is kind of what I was expecting (I loved the other Ballis book I've read, Sleepover), but instead was quiet and grace-filled.  It was a reminder that sometimes horrible things happen that we can't control, but what we must do is control our reactions to them.  The running joke between Amber and me is that we are friends like Stacey and her bestie, Jen Lancaster, and this book was a nice balance to Jen's fiction work, which I will review next time!

Your turn.  I'd love to hear what you have been reading!  Share in the comments!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 6/15

1. What is one thing on your bucket list? If you don't have a bucket list let's pretend you do.

      I definitely have a bucket list!  I'm not making very good progress on it at the moment.  Maybe that's something I can work on this summer.

2. What makes a good dad?

      I don't know about everyone else, but I think a good dad is there for his kids when they need him, even if it's something silly like loosening a screw or hanging pictures. 

3. Are you afraid of insects? Which ones?

     Bugs on the whole don't really annoy me.  I don't like anything that surprises me.  If I can see it coming, I can do something about it.  This is especially true of crickets, grasshoppers and anything that jumps.

4. We're barbecuing...what's on the grill at your house?

     Steak.  Or chicken.  Or both.  I also really like potatoes and veggies done on the grill.  But I don't actually have a grill, so why don't we go to your house?

5. Do you believe that playing is more important than winning?

    I think that it's important to give your all and not quit.  I also think that it's important to be a good winner.  I do not endorse this "everybody gets a trophy" mentality, however.  I think that some people are good at sports and others are good at other things.  If you love it, do it.  But, you also have to be realistic when it comes to things like playing time.

6. Do you tan? Use self tanners? Visit tanning salons? See your dermatologist at least once a year?

     I don't tan as in using a tanning bed, but I have used self-tanners once in a while.  I wear sunscreen if I know I am going to be outside at the pool or beach.  But I don't go to the dermatologist like I probably should.

7. Five years ago I would never imagine that today I would be okay with still being single

8.  This has been the week of unexpected adventures.  I'm a little concerned about what's going to happen next.

Busy, Busy

First of all, did you watch the Tonys?  Am I the only Midwestern girl who gets keyed up about this particular awads show?  How could you not be?  Did you see this...
Or this?
Or this? (Written by In The Heights writer, Lin-Manuel Miranda)

I am going to watch the whole thing with my sister tomorrow, but it was awesome!  Meanwhile, yesterday I took my grandma to the doctor and pretty much spent all day waiting.  She's 81, with a high fever, and we waited for almost three hours just to be seen by her doctor.  Apparently this isn't that odd at her doctor's office, but seriously!   I was glad to help, but it was really frustrating.  By the time I got home I didn't even feel well, and I was fine when we started!  (Hence, no post yesterday.)

This morning, I had a quick engagement session (which we thankfully got in before the rain!).  (Sneak peek to come soon!)  I also ran by work to pick up a couple of things and watching some of the final rehearsal of Beta skit practice.  National Convention starts on Friday!  I also finished Tina Fey's book, one by Stacey Ballis (Good Enough To Eat), and started Jennifer Weiner's Fly Away Home!  Needless to say you have some reviews coming this week too!

Lookout for Wednesday Hodgepodge tomorrow!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Important Life Lessons Learned This Weekend

  1. A clean house will put Delilah in a terrible mood.  (She is not a fan of change, nor losing her bed atop Mt. Laundry.)  Add company if you want to really hack her off.
  2. Never grocery shop when hungry.  You will buy more food than you could ever really need.  And then you will eat all of it.
  3. The perfect bread and oil recipe has to have a little bit of garlic salt.  And a lot of cheese.
  4. Sonic makes the best ice ever!   (But maybe buying three bags at once is unnecessary.)
  5. There is nothing better than wasting the morning watching sitcoms and eating cresent rolls with a bestie. 
  6. Day-old sangria is basically prison hooch.  Don't drink it, no matter how pretty and inviting it seems.
  7. If you ask God to come in a big way during the morning worship service, expect that He's going to show up. 
  8. Tina Fey is the funniest, smartest entertainer in the business.  Period.  And she also writes a pretty good book (review to come this week). 
  9. You can buy talent, but you can't buy heart (looking at you, Miami Heat).
  10. The best thing about summer vacation is the freedom for a little self-indulgence without guilt. 

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Goodbye Dinner

Friday meant it was time to say goodbye to this sweet baby and her mama.  We were so sad to see them go, but we know they were ready to get back home.  So, Thursday night we went to BHG to have a little send-off dinner.  Here's a quick glimpse.
 Amber's a litle scared of the wee babies which makes this a pretty big step.  Macy stayed knocked out the whole time and Amber didn't freak out or drop her, so it was a major success.
 Aunt Jessie was filling Macy's head full of excellent advice.  I, for one, can't wait until this kid can talk back!
It was so nice to have Tara with us for a whole month, and we are going to miss her (and Macy Jane) terribly!  Until next time, friend!

Friday, June 10, 2011

What I Really Need

I've said it before, but I live by the motto that I have better things to do than clean house.  That said, I've spent the better part of this week trying to get this poor, neglected house in order.  Some (Sheena) would say it's been neglected for most of the time I've lived here, but I will openly admit that the last six months have been pretty rough around here. 

When I'm at school from eight to up to twelve hours at a time five days a week, the very last thing I want to do when I get home is clean anything.  Dusting and vacuuming makes me sneeze.  I hate doing dishes (and don't have a dishwasher).  I don't do windows.  Bluh! 

So far, I'm fairly pleased with my progress.  I would have liked to have gotten a little more done, but I'm consoling myself with the idea that you can't get six months worth of dirty taken care of in five days or less.  I really admire all of you awesome bloggers who do it all, but what I'm really wishing for is a housekeeper! 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 6/8

1. Do you and your family enjoy camping? What do you enjoy most/like the least when it comes to family camping? When was the last time you camped?

    My people don't camp.  Period.  End of story.  If my parents suddenly wanted to go camping, I would insist they have a neuro exam.  My idea of camping is staying at a non-resort hotel.  If I ever did go camping, I would have to have a fully-stocked RV.  And would probably want to stay in it instead of doing whatever it is that campers do.  (Since I also don't enjoy swimming in lakes.)  I'm kind of high maintenance like that. 

But to all of you that do enjoy it--Camp On!

2. Did you attend a summer camp when you were a kid? Is that a happy or not so happy memory?

     I never attended a sleep-away kind of summer camp.  But I do have really fond memories of going to half-day summer camp (classes) at the local community college.   I learned a ton of fun things and met lots of other kids.  I think I went to them from the time I was in first or second grade until sixth. 

3. Over the course of your life, what have you probably spent more time pondering than anything else?

     Lately, it's been why people bother having kids if they have no real intention of disciplining/loving/taking care of them so they become productive members of society.  Kids need discipline.  If you want a friend, get a dog.

4. Which of the seven natural wonders of the world would you most like to see? There are many lists of 'wonders' but this is the standard natural wonder list-Mount Everest, The Great Barrier Reef, The Grand Canyon, Victoria Falls, The Harbor of Rio de Janerio, Paricutan Volcano and The Northern Lights.

      All of them!  Sign me up!  And give me the money to get there!  I adore going to new places, taking pictures of them and bringing them back into my life and my classroom.  I'd really only want to see Mt. Everest from a distance, though.  Much like I am not a runner, I'm not a climber.  I know you all are shocked. 

5. What was your first real job?

     My first real job was working as an assistant in my Auntie's office.  She paid me to help out in the summers until I was old enough to be a student worker.  I did that job from the time I was fourteen or fifteen through my first year of college.

6. Lemonade or Sweet tea...which do you prefer on a hot summer day?

     Sweet tea, which if I say it sounds more like sweettay.  Despite not being from the deep south, I have a very noticable accent, and it seems to always come out when I say sweet tea!  It's my favorite thing about summer for sure!

7. What is something that always brings a smile to your face?

      I love the sound of a little kid with the giggles.  They are just too funny and I can't help but laugh too.

8. My house is almost sorta kinda clean.  It makes me really happy to say that.  It was hideously neglected over the school year, partly because I don't have time and partly because I just hate housework and always find something better to do.  The chances of it staying that way are slim to none, but it will be good while it lasts.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Old Alabama

I'm obsessed with this new song from Brad Paisley.  I turn it up every time it comes on the radio, which considering it was at the top of the country charts this week, is pretty darn often.

First off, I love Alabama!  I remember being a little kid and listening to an Alabama cassette all the time.  "Roll On" will forever be my favorite song, but I love just about all of them.  (I've even seen them in concert!)  The way Brad Paisley mixes their signature mountain music in with his style, it's smart and funny (and kind of like Name That Tune)!   Plus, it's only funnier in video form because Brad Paisley gets cameos n one else does.  Anyway, I just thought I would share about something other than my weird music no one's ever heard of.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Prayer Monday -- June 6, 2011

I don't know about you all, but I have a room of shame.  It's full of all the boxes and general crap I don't have room for anywhere else in my house.  When I first moved in here it was a bedroom, but if that's true, what did I do with all of the extra stuff then?  Did I not have any extra stuff?  I can't believe that somehow. 

Anyway, in order to get my house in order, I'm having to start with the room of shame.  Isn't that how we are in a our walk with Christ?  We come to Him all full of excess stuff, with our doubts, our fears, our shame.  He wants to clean up the mess so that there's more room for all of the good stuff.  All we have to do is ask Him to do it, to turn over the keys to our heart's room of shame.  We want to believe that if we keep it shut tight, He can't see it.  But, we know better.  And once we allow Him in fully, what a blessing!  It doesn't mean that there's never any more clean up that takes place though.  I'm continually having to go around unlocking rooms and letting the Holy Clean-Up Crew do its work.  I can't imagine I'm alone in this.

Like Crys, I do want to take a minute and ask for prayers and traveling mercies for Tara and her sweet baby and family.  I'm so sad they are leaving, but I know that she's ready to get started on their life together back where they live.  I'm praising God for all the blessings--a healthy baby, a healthy mom, time together. 

I'm also really thankful for the women of our spring Bible study.  Though I am rarely good about completing my homework, I will say that if I had to miss a discussion with these godly women, my heart hurt.  I will so miss the sweetness of our time together each week.  I continue to pray that God will give each of us a heart like His. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Melting My Heart...

These tiny fingers...
And tiny toes...
This face...
If you need me, I'll be busy soaking up all the cuteness I can get until she goes home. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Because I Know It Was Keeping You Up At Night...

I'd just like to announce that I am in much better spirits today for several reasons.  So, allow me to provide a list:
  • My co-worker and friend's daughter, Moo to the blog world, came to visit my classroom yesterday.  She'll be a 2nd grader this fall and was reading up a storm.  After she told me what time it was, she announced, "I can tell time now, too, Aunt Katie."  And I proceeded to feel very old and very proud. 
  • After work, I made one of the best lasagna's I've ever put together and made a chocolate chip cheesecake with a chocolate top.  But I don't think this cooking thing is going to become a trend or anything!
  • I took said food to Tara's parents, so that we could visit and I could snuggle Macy Jane.  I cannot get enough of that sweet baby!  Last night, she and I got to have a good long talk about how much fun she's going to have with Aunt Katie when she comes back home because I am an excellent spoiler!
  • Today is the last day of school!!!  Have I mentioned how in need of summer break I am?  HA!  Even though I am going to spend a lot of time working on curriculum for next year, I'm looking forward tojust having some time for myself!
  • I have a schedule for today that includes (but is not limited to): getting off work at 10, going to a brunch for a retiring teacher, taking a nap, shopping, and having dinner with Amber.  I'd say, so far, so good!
  • Tomorrow I get to sleep in!  For as long as I want!  And then I am going to do laundry, which doesn't sound exciting, but considering how behind I am in that particular chore, having time to finally do more than one load at a time thrills my soul!  And I plan to watch a ton of movies while I do it.  I may get really crazy and start on reorganizing my storage room, but let's not get ahead of ourselves...

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Ms. M and The Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Mood

I am admittedly in a bad mood this morning.  I don't know if I should blame the lack of sleep, the lingering school days, or the children.  But either way, it's taking everything I have to keep it together today.  This has actually been a recurring issue since sometime last week if I were going to be completely honest. 

Now, I know, I know, we can control how we react to people or situations.  I get that.  Maybe I don't want to.   I'd rather be surly and grumpy and snappy.  I'm not not just in a bad mood, I'm almost reveling in it.  It's pretty awful to see it in print like that, but it's where I am.  Consider it me being real.

I'm grateful for so much, really and truly.  But at the moment, all I want to do is be a grump.  Anyone else?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge - 6/1/11

1. Have you ever been to the US capital-Washington DC? If so, what's your favorite site? If not, what would you most like to see on a visit to that city someday in the future? Is it even on your list of places to visit?

    I have, in fact, been to Washington DC and loved every minute of the trip!  I've talked about it before, but I went on a tour with a bunch of other teachers where I didn't know a single soul.  (And if you know me very well, you realize how far out of my comfort zone that was!)  I taught ESL classes at a local jail for a semester to make the money to go (which was an experience of itself, as I don't actually speak Spanish or Hindi).  It's hard to pick a favorite thing.  I loved the monuments, but I also really loved the Museum of American History.  (I'm a nerd that way!)  I would love to go back, because I didn't get to see near everything I would like to.

2. When did you last attend a wedding? Are there any weddings on your summer calendar? Were you a summer bride? If you're single, is summer the season of your dream wedding?

      I believe that the last wedding I attended was in the fall.  I do have a at least one wedding on my calendar for the summer, because I am doing the photography for it.  I will be attending several this fall as well.  My ideal time for a wedding would be in the fall, because I don't do heat well.  It's already been so hot here this year and it's not even technically summer yet!  Dislike!

3. What is your favorite way to eat strawberries?

      I like to eat strawberries cut up over homemade pie crust.  It makes me remember eating them in my grandma's kitchen every spring.  But I really like strawberries, so I will eat them just about any way.

4. What is one thing you are especially looking forward to this summer?

     I am looking forward to getting in the pool!  I love to swim and it looks like I am going to have my pool buddy back in a few weeks!  (Hi, Amber!)  I'm also looking forward to hanging out with my girlies at the wineries!

5. Do you use/like the self checker at the grocery store?

     No.  I absolutely despise it.  I have an entire rant about machines taking people's jobs and how it's really only an excuse for WalMart to have as few human checkers as possible.  It's also a hassle if you have a cart full of stuff, which I usually do.

6. Share a favorite piece of common sense advice.

     Be yourself.  It's become so cliche, but if you worry less about following the crowd or popular opinion and just do what feels authentic to you, you're so much happier in the long run. 

7. Barefoot, flip flops, tennis shoes, sassy sandals-your first choice for summertime?

     Flip flops!  I love a good sandal, but the majority of my summer shoes are just good old fashioned flip flops.

8. The four days of work after Memorial Day are the slowest of the year by far!  Having that taste of summer and then having it snatched away by my alarm clock is just cruel and unusual punishment!