Monday, December 29, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For today, December 29, 2008

Outside me window...starry skies and crisp cold

I am thinking...what a day it's been! I love days when I wake in a totally different place from where you end up going to bed and I'm able to look back on a such a full day.

I am hoping...that the rest of the week is restful and productive

I am Nick and Nora night gown. I've never been a night gown kind of girl and would laugh at Chelsea last year when she got into them. I got my first one this year and have become quite fond of it. While it is long sleeved it's not floor length like I remember my great grandma wearing when I was little. It is quite stylish as far as night gowns go I would have to say.

I am thankful for...the time we spent in Abilene this weekend. Although that drive gets old, it's always worth it.

From the kitchen...Mom and Dad fixed some venison fajitas tonight. I went out for dinner so did not join them but the remnants are still on the counter. Everything else is all cleaned up.

I am creating... some storage solutions. My closet is a mess and I absolutely must get some things packed up and stored away else where before I move this weekend.

I am reading... ETBU Student Teaching Handbook. I will start it tomorrow.

I am hearing...Mystery Diagnosis on TV. Mom and I love to watch these shows and try to diagnose everyones ailments. When it's very obvious and we're right we feel really smart. My guess for this guy is West Nile Virus.

Around the house...Things have quieted down in the past few minutes since Dad has gone to bed. He's spent the evening telling us every detail of his weekend duck hunting trip. Lydia is babysitting and the cat and dog are resting.

One of my favorite things...nights out with girlfriends. I went out with Deanna tonight for the first time in way too long. We ate Mexican food, I took her to see the back house, picked up some things from Wal Mart and visited a lot. I love nights like that.

A few plans for the rest of the week... Mom and I are staying home together tomorrow. I plan to do some cleaning, packing, etc. Tomorrow night I'm keeping the Trueloves and then Wednesday night the Roths and Trueloves together. Thursday more time at home before starting the move to the back house over the weekend.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Lydia sitting in my lap in what is probably Christmas of 1993. The side pony tail accompanied by the large bow is a signature look of mine from those days.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas in Pictures

I'm home alone tonight as Mom is buying groceries while Lydia is at the movies and Dad is on a duck hunting trip. The house is in a disarray as the tree has been taken down but nothing else really has. There are a few boxes piled up by the back door and my Christmas presents are piled up by the love seat. Suit cases are out around the house as we're getting packed for a quick after Christmas trip to Abilene early in the morning. All of this is the sight of a Christmas come and gone. On an upbeat note we have many pictures to remember such a special time and it is my joy to share them with you now. Enjoy!

Our Christmas started last weekend on a little family weekend get away to the Gaylord in Grapevine. They have a fabulous ice sculpture exhibit and Mom hopes to make it a tradition to visit every year. Took so many pics that I had to be pick and choose. These are my favs.

Posing in front of the pretty (and warm!) fireplace

Lydia, Dad and I in the ice cave

The whole fam on the way out of ICE. Everything in this picture is ice, including my hands at this point.

Christmas Eve came and after the candle light service at church we went to Carthage to Uncle Jake and Aunt Lacy's for the Jones Christmas.

Mom and Aunt June looking on as Lydia opens her goodies

Aunt Lacy recovering from knee replacement and checking out her new slicer

We always open presents from Mom and Dad on Christmas Eve night. In our earlier years this would just be a few gifts as Santa would visit during the night. Now this is all of our gifts from them except for a few stocking goodies on Christmas morning.

Lydia and I with our treasures. I got a lot of teacher stuff and Lydia got a few things for her room and other various things she asked for.

Dad looking on as Mom digs into a gift

Dexter finally got the Santa that has been in his stocking for the past few weeks. He violently rips the stuffing out of any stuffed toy he gets and is content with playing with just the skin until Mom finally throws it away. Santa was still fairly stuffed in this pic but his remnants are laying beside me now wet, tattered and completely empty.

On Christmas day we headed back to Carthage to the Getsay's for the Thomas Christmas. We had a great lunch and opened the presents that our Secret Santa had selected for us. Aunt Kim had me and I received a beautiful jacket and more teacher stuff. She did good!

Baby Daisy in her Christmas best

Shelby and Dad looking on as Dale opens the cooler bag that I carefully picked out for him at Bass Pro the day after Thanksgiving

Daisy working on her present
Me checking out my classroom decor letters. So cute!

We were all so blessed not just materially but with such memorable time together as well. Can't wait to read of your families Christmas adventures!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Two Sleeps til Christmas!

Last night I had the best time with Cass and Ada. Conner ended up bailing on us and hanging out with grandma. We ate some pizza and cookies and watched Shrek the Halls and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Cass has really impressed me lately. He's really acting like a first grader. The door bell rang while we were working on dinner and since I didn't know who it could be I asked him to walk with me out to see who was there. It turned out to be a relative dropping off a gift and when I closed the door he asked, "Why did you need me?" I said "Well I guess because I didn't know who it was and didn't want to go by myself. I needed you with me." He perked up. He felt so grown.

After we were stuffed with more pizza and cookies than I would usually allow, the three of us were cuddled up in the den. Cass turned and said, "It's two sleeps til Christmas!" Ada and I started cheering and clapping and Cass looked back at me and with the sweetest smile said, "Merry Christmas Miss Lee Ann." "Merry Christmas to you too Cass-man"

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For today, Monday, December 22, 2008

Outside my window...It's cold! I personally haven't been out but it's that kind of cold that you can just look out and see.

I am thinking... that this little break of mine is getting shorter by the day. I wish it would just sloooooooow down a bit.

I am thankful for...Marcy and Brendan opening up their guest house to me. We spent part of the afternoon yesterday moving boxes of family mementos up the narrow windy stair case to the upstairs bedroom for storage to open up the bottom floor for me. I'm excited to finally have some space that's all my own, (even if Henry wants a sleepover or two) and be a little part of their family out in the back yard for a few months.

From my kitchen...nothing yet but I'm getting hungry! Mom is doing Christmas baking on Tuesday. We went out of town this weekend so shes running a little behind on the Christmas goodies. I might round up something today.

I am wearing...the same maroon long sleeve tee from last week, it's my favorite, and some blue pajama pants with showmen who are wearing bright colored sweaters, hats and scarves, riding on sleds. This will probably be what I will be wearing if you were to ask around 3:00 this afternoon as well.

I am creating...a student teaching wardrobe. This weekends shopping helped a lot! The Parks in Arlington has a huge Forever 21 and if I hadn't been so rushed by the family I could have stayed for hours. I got several tops and a pair of pants.Still looking for shoes. Will get on that after the holiday I guess.

I am keep Cass, Ada and Conner all together tonight. I haven't seen Conner in about three weeks and am so excited. It should be a good time.

I am reading...still nothing. I've really just needed a break. Don't judge.

I am hoping... that everyone has a lot of fantastic fun on our trip to Abilene this weekend. Christmas with that side of the family is going to indeed turn out better than expected.

I am hearing... Alvin and the Chipmunks. Such a sweet movie. "Dave,how do you feel about an indoor pool?" "Toaster waffles!" Love it!

Around the house...Mom cleaned a lot yesterday! Everything is tidy for Christmas.

One of my favorite things... Christmas snacks. Cookies, Chex mix, sausage balls, fudge, etc. Yummy!

A few plans for the rest of the week... a little bit of shopping tomorrow, Christmas festivities, Abilene on Saturday. Can't wait!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

A wine bottle Christmas tree at the Gaylord this weekend. So cool.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Favorite Christmas Clips

A short conversation at work led to the discovery that a dear coworker, who shall remain nameless, has never seen Christmas Vacation. This little talk got me to thinking about my favorite Christmas movies and it is with great joy that I share with you some of my favorite clips. The embed thing wouldn't work so you're going to have to click the link. I don't have time to figure out whats going on. Enjoy!

We didn't buy a lot of movies when I was growing up but I remember the day we purchased Home Alone on VHS. I love it to this day.

We've been watching Frosty at work a lot this week. So sweet!

This Sesame Street makes me cry. I know I'm a baby. Forward to about 4 min in to miss the singing. This is the best clip I could find. We have the Sesame Street Christmas special on VHS recorded right off of PBS by my grandma- the queen of VHS bootleg movies.

This is my all time favorite! I can't remember a time when I haven't watched Christmas Vacation. This is my favorite part!

There are so many more and I know I'm forgetting some good ones. What are yours?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What's wrong with the toilet?

Nap time has started 15 minutes early for the second day in a row. The quiet that has been afforded to us due to this pleasant phenomena has led us to discover that we have some kind of issue with the toilet and it continues to run. In turn our relaxation causes it to keep running as nobody is in the mood to get up and check it out. I guess sometimes you just need to slow down and hear the toilet.

I spent part of the morning shopping downtown. I had three special gifts to buy. I meandered through Charley and Bella's for the longest time sipping hot cider and contemplating the best buy. I ended up with this beautiful Santa for my boss to go with her blue Christmas decor. The kids all wanted to feel his fuzzy coat when she brought it in during lunch. We both cringed as little pizza sauce fingers reached up for just a little feel.

Next I picked out a ball with a hand painted Texas flag. We're doing an ornament exchange at a preschool only Christmas get together. The gal whose name I drew is from Utah so I wanted to give a little Texas to her tree. I've seen these ornaments for years and always wanted one. I guess giving one as a gift is close enough. Every year they also have some with the old court house on them. That's really what I want. Someday I'll start a collection.
Last but not least I went across the street to The Dressing Room and picked out a little lotion and lip balm set for the last special person. I ran into a friend and we visited while I looked. Time got away from me and before I knew it I was almost late for work, again. Going in there is such a great time. I'll finish off today shopping with Dad for Mom after work. I have some ideas but will not divulge them here since apparently she does look at this occasionally.
Ok so is it weird that I enjoy going to the dentist? I tell Chelsea this all the time and she can never understand. I'm going this afternoon and I'm excited because having my teeth cleaned is like a massage for my mouth. I could do without the scraping behind my permanent retainer but I love leaving there feeling so fresh and smooth. I've heard of these dental spas. I would be so up for that! Having my feet rubbed while I lay back in a massage chair with Carol cleaning my teeth. Ahhh lovely! Carol does fix me up that's for sure. If only she could just fix me up with her son...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Keeping the Spirit

Today started slow. I set my alarm so that I would have time to lounge around a little bit before getting ready for work. The lounging got out of hand a little bit and I ended up nearly running late, especially after I stopped at El Chico for a last minute gift card for my Secret Santa for the staff party tonight. Don't get me started on how long I think it should take to produce a gift card and how long it actually took the El Chico employees today.

Lunch is never good at work when I go into it frustrated. I don't know how many times I said "HURRY UP!" as children continued to fart around all over the room. When everyone finally got on their mats, I ended up turning Frosty off early and extending nap by a few minutes. I needed some time to get myself back together. It worked although I don't think anything short of three weeks will help much at this point. After work I visited with the Peteet's and picked up my lovely Christmas gift. After a quick run in Big Lots I headed to the party. It was good but I couldn't get home and into my pjs quick enough. Two more days of work and the true break begins. I'm trying to stay in good spirits and enjoy everything. My kid's tendency to tune out all words of instruction and take twice as long as usual to accomplish anything isn't helping. I'm trying.

I got a text from Kristen this afternoon asking for Rockette pics. As promised, here they are!


Toy soldiers. Mom's favorite

Christmas in NYC

Santas kept coming from everywhere and then they put them on the backdrop. My favorite

This nativity was absolutely beautiful! There were sheep, donkeys and camels, and children reading the Christmas story. So sweet.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Simple Womans Daybook

For today, Monday, December 15, 2008

Outside my window... An empty playground sits under a grey sky encompassed by near freezing temps

I am thinking...what am I going to do while the kids sleep today? I should probably put on my makeup and plan something for them to make/do this afternoon.

I am thankful for...the pay checks I deposited today. Some in savings and some in checking. It's a good feeling to be financially secure.

From my kitchen...nothing today. Dinner tonight will be take out or every man for himself as everyone will be doing their own thing.

I am wearing...jeans, a maroon long sleeve tee with a black puffy vest, my new gold and black necklace and some slip on Ugg knock offs.

I am creating...crafts for my class for the week. Apparently we're not going to have much outside time so it will be my job to keep everyone busy and in line.

I am see the Rockettes tonight with Mom.

I am reading...haven't started anything. I echo Christina. My brain is just tired.

I am hoping...that Christmas with my mom's side of the fam turns out better than I expect. It's the second Christmas without my grandma and it will be the first that my uncle and aunt in Abilene hasn't been here. I understand that they feel the need to begin their own traditions with their baby in their new home but I selfishly want them here. My other aunt is having a knee replacement so I don't even know what their status is going to be. Overall it's just much different from the Christmas' of my childhood.

I am hearing...silent sleeping children and the heater blowing in warm air to keep them toasty warm until they wake.

Around the house...the cat is probably destroying everything. I didn't take the time to lock him up. I really don't like that cat.

One of my favorite things...Christmas. I'm sure you could tell. I love the parties and special events but most importantly I love love love to talk about Christs birth with kids. It's the sweetest joy.

A few plans for the rest of the week... work and work parties, shopping with Dad, Dallas on Saturday and Sunday. I need to find time to help Marcy clean up the guest house, aka my new humble abode.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Savannah and I at the Christmas parade in what I believe would have been 2006. She was psycho over candy canes and yelled "CANNIES" though the whole thing.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Corn Dip

I'm posting this for Kristen but it's wonderful if you've never had it. This was the dip at my birthday party for those of you who were there.

Corn Dip
1 can Mexicorn- drained (it's a little can on the can veggie aisle)
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese

Mix together. It's better if you let it sit covered in the fridge for a little while if possible before you serve. Eat with corn tortilla chips (Plain Doritos or something similar)

Visions of Christmas

My week of joyous holiday cheer continued on to make for a wonderful weekend. Mom got me up early Saturday morning to help her finish up Christmas shopping. We stopped at Walgreens and printed Christmas cards, went to Academy for guy gifts, the mall for more gifts and an amazing sale at Bath and Body Works, Cheddars for lunch, Knowledge Nook because I can't stay away, and Fisherman's Market for fresh fish to cook tonight. We ended with grocery shopping back in Marshall. We got home and rested for just a few minutes until it was time to get ready for the parade. I had Cass and Ada and Lydia had her babysitting clients and we were honored to be able to watch the parade amongst friends and fellow Trinity family members on the square. We threw all the kids in the back of the truck and although they all ended up in the street before the hour long parade ended, everyone had a great time.

I'm posting pics from the weekend activities. There's a lot going on this week so I will try to keep the pictures coming of all the fun.

Kids watching the parade

Ada and Maggie

Olivia, Henry, and Maggie

The little Rudolphs headed to Taco Bell

Annabelle, Savannah, Christina, Meadow and Emily passing by in their float

The stars of the show

Friday, December 12, 2008

Dressing Up

Here lately I've really gotten out of the tee shirt rut I was stuck in. Yesterday I was going to wear a tee shirt to work and couldn't do it. My grandma always said that a lady should get up and get dressed in the morning, "put on her face" (aka makeup) and wash her hair even if she was just staying home because it makes you feel better about yourself. I'll be the first to admit that when I do get a day off I'm not up putting on my makeup but I understand exactly what she was talking about. I feel that since I am out and about all day and most importantly keeping peoples kids that I should look presentable and stylish. The downside of this new attitude is the cost of said stylishness. I went to The Dressing Room during my break today and spent most of what I made last night on a necklace. This will be the test to see if my mom really reads my blog. Whats the point in making money if you aren't using it to live and enjoy yourself? I enjoy myself when I feel pretty and apparently that costs money. There you have it.

Soooo speaking of new looks and such, you might I have noticed a new look around here. This was my nap time project today. I've been trying to create a unique signature look. I don't know if this was exactly what I had pictured but then again I'm not even sure what that was so this will do. I know the Roth kids are missing from the header. In my search of all of my pictures I have yet to find one of all three R's together. I'll be working on that.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Loving the Season

With school finished I'm having some time to finally get into the spirit of the season. Yesterday at work I only had our three girls stay until craft time and we finger painted giant Christmas trees to work on decorating the rest of this week and next. They had a great time and are so excited about our project. Today I brought all of my favorite children's Christmas books for us to start reading. The kids are all tucked in extra tight and napping in preparation of our exciting afternoon. I'm trying to not miss a moment and take it all in since this is my last Trinity Christmas. Speaking of taking it in, oh what a fabulous lunch we had today! Our cleaning lady prepared an authentic Mexican feast as a Christmas gift to us. We had tortillas, mole, rice, beans, guac, hot sauce, and some taquito things. It was all out of this world and homemade of course. We don't have the opportunity to visit with her a lot and she probably doesn't know much about us but I'm sure she could tell by the ever increasing size of our waist lines that a meal was the way to our hearts. Mrs. Silvia is truly a blessing.

Last night I had the pleasure of spending the evening with the Trueloves. The weather was nasty when Jennifer brought Cate to me at the preschool and we grabbed Maggie from her class and went to pick up Walt and go home. Despite the cold everybody was in happy spirits and we got home and ate a meal of gourmet fish sticks and Doritos before playing trains with Walt and cleaning up a slight slime mishap in the girls room. Jennifer got home and I got plenty of "bye bye meme" kisses and made the drive home to Elysian Fields. I've never been more relieved to be in my own bed.

Tonight Henry, Maggie, Cate and I are off to see the Budweiser Clydesdales. They come to town every other year for Wonderland and the parade. I've gone with my family every year they've come and it's slipped up on us this year and until Marcy mentioned it this morning I wasn't planning on going. The kids are excited and so am I.

I'm working Santa's Workshop again tomorrow night. Marcy seems to be raising quite a bit of money and I'm glad to be able to help her and CASA. My dad's company party is tomorrow night as well. My buddy Doug has been in charge of orchestrating the whole thing so I hope to be able to make an appearance there as well. My family has been so blessed in the past few years by Dad's job move. He had worked at his previous job my whole life and was constantly stressed about them not having enough work and the future of the company. He went to work for Lewis Engineering and it's truly been a blessing for the whole family.

Saturday night is the Christmas parade. It's a wonderful tradition for my family and for the last few years I've had friends and kids come with us too. This year I'll have Cass and Ada. I might see if Dad will take the truck down early enough to get us a good spot. It should be a good time.

I'm falling more in love with this time of year everyday. I'm so thankful for the family, friends and town God has given me to enjoy it all with.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

My Last Night

So just now as I pulled into the library parking lot and took my place it hit me very hard that this is my last night at school. Of course memories began to flood my mind and a few tears began to flow. It's been that kind of week really. It started on Monday when I worked the Christmas program practice with my class. I had just gone through the motions consoling the worried and disciplining the out of control when I looked up and the 4 year old class, my kids from last year that includes Maggie, Henry, Annabelle and Ada, were singing in their sweetest angelic voices "Thank you God for all the gifts you give us. Thank you God for all the gifts, you give us." I lost it. I felt a little silly and tried to move on and stay busy but the scene played over and over in my head for the rest of the day. After next week my class won't be my class anymore until I come back for a few weeks in May. The preschool has been huge in my life for three and a half years and even three day weekends are hard for me. This is going to be an adjustment.

As for my last night at school, I couldn't have spent it better. The big finale of the Christmas program was tonight. It was beautiful. As the opening remarks were given I looked around and saw Chelsea and Matt slipping in on the back row. How can I stay upset with her? I'm getting much better. We've had some good times over the past few days. After it was over and I came in from the cold, I watched a few episodes of The Office on the couch with Chelsea while I finished up all of the assignments that are due tomorrow in order for me to check out and be done. As I worked and IMed Cort on Facebook, we decided to go look at Christmas lights. That's kind of our thing I guess you could say. We drove around for a while before I decided that I needed to go to Wal-Mart and get a new laundry hamper to aid in the packing up of my room. I have a ton of dirty clothes and am becoming increasingly bothered by the week at having to carry all of my laundry down the stairs and out to the car in about 3 super heavy baskets, bags or hampers. I found a huge hamper with a lid on wheels! Let's just say I think it will be worth the money. On my way home I stopped off at the library to see Traci and decided to stay and blog on the faster computer. I have the finishing touches to put on my research paper, I have packing and cleaning still and must get a little rest before my test at 8:00 in the morning although I know it won't be much. I thought about doing some kind of Top 10 memory thing but there are too many to list and some that although they are classic college memories I'm too ashamed in my now adulthood to post them here. Ok no more sadness. I'm not even graduating yet. This isn't the time. Good night! My last night!

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For today, Monday, December 8, 2008

Outside my window...sun is shining on a cool crisp December morning in Marshall.

I am thinking... of my plan of action for the day. I need a pumpkin pie by 11:00. I guess I'll just run in Wal Mart. I've taken a shot to my domestic pride. I'm not a store bought pie kind of gal and if I do buy my sweet treat I want it to be in a little white box suited with a label from a little down town cafe. I'll make it up to them.

I am help the preschoolers practice for their Christmas program. I usually go to all of the programs but the Christmas one always falls during finals week were I have a little bit of free time in the mornings making me ever so available.

I am thankful for... Christmas break! Although I'll still be working for another week, there will be no school! The month holds so many fun adventures.

One of my favorite things...getting up in time to relax a bit. I'm a snooze hitter like no other and to actually turn off the alarm and have some time before actually having to get ready is very nice. I tend to actually run late on the days that I get up early. Go figure.

I am reading...nothing until I go home on Wednesday. Then it's back on the road with the Twilight saga.

Around the not as clean as it was last week. I have to pack my entire room up by Wednesday. Maybe I can find some friends to save the day. Hint hint....

From the kitchen...nothing of mine. Definitely not a pumpkin pie.

I am wearing... my favorite new Christmas plaid pj pants with a Marshall Mavs tee

I am hearing... absolute silence for what will quite possibly be the only time today.

A few plans for the rest of the, Christmas program, finish finals, move out. Too boring for details

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you... the finished Christmas tree that Mom, Lydia and I created. The best one yet in my opinion. I wish the pic had turned out clearer.

Click here for more Daybook fun!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I'll blog with you....

Savannah is sitting in my lap and as soon as the blogger page came up she said, "Is that your blog?"I said,"Yeah it is. Let's write." She replied with an excited, "Ok I'll blog with you!" So here we are. Savannah's blog...

aqkgdfjghvihnjbjkbhijlk;jk;juhll[chxsjl[lp-pholgp[jgd gokhopky-ky-kjlgokk' l/'lvflgo;kryo0[th
"I'm just going to type! I don't want to write my name. I love all those f's" Oh what fun!

In other news, Santas Workshop was a total joy last night. Bundled up families of all kinds came in out of the cold to write letters to Santa, make a toy, have their picture made and of course give $1 to CASA to sign Santa's List. There was a large elf crew assisting in the toy making and periodically they would jump up on their stools and break into song. Such a joyus time.

This morning I helped Mom and Lydia finish the Christmas decorating at home. There was way too much stuff for the places we had but we made it all work and with the purchase of some ribbon and other various decor this afternoon the tree will be complete and all work done.

Mark and Christina are off to a Christmas party and Savannah and I are going to join in on the trip to the pottery in a little while and will probably grab some dinner too. She quickly became bored with the whole blogging thing and has gone down to the sun room to work on her treasure map. I asked her if I could finish this before I joined her and she said, "Sure if I can have another snack." Sneaky little thing.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Faster than Phelps

Periodically Capital One sends Mom to various meetings about people skills and being a good manager, boss, etc. One of the last ones she attended involved some kind of personality test in which you were categorized as a doer, a follower, etc. and they were challenged to categorize themselves, their employees, and family. Mom told me later that night that she only had to read the first few characteristics under the doer list to know that was so me. Boy is it true! When working on our big unit project this semester I had to catch myself several times in the meetings as I was beginning to sound a bit too bossy, although I still wouldn't hold back much and would just begin my sentences with "I don't mean to be the boss, but...." Luckily for me I had the best group in the world and they would laugh and teasingly (I think) call me "the boss." If you listen in on a shopping trip between my sister and I, especially when Mom is present for me to feed off of, it won't be long before Lydia will proclaim the famous, "Shut up Lee Ann you're not my mom!" It's a classic.
All that said, you have to imagine that when the possibility of Chelsea and I moving off campus next semester came up, I jumped in a swam with it faster than Phelps. I was on a mission. I knew what I wanted and even though there was never a lease in my hand, I would remind classmates who suggested car pool arrangements for next semester and my boss who was looking for a place for a few coworkers to stay that I would be living off campus. I was figuratively out of there. Well this morning all reality hit and the dreams of off campus quiet and freedom came crashing around me as Chelsea revealed that she wouldn't be able to go in on the deal due to some unforeseen financial aid situation. I was really upset and hurt as I thought about all the time and stress I had put into this whole thing and how next year when I need a house more than likely there won't be one in that neighborhood, my dream neighborhood. As I thought about all of these things and was not happy with Chelsea, my best friend, I kept trying to remind myself that technically it was never a for sure thing and I had just made it that way in my mind. I should be used to this feeling as my strong willed personality has led me into it many many times and it has a prominent place in my life, although it hurts just as bad everytime.
On the bright side, it never lasts long. Rather it's disappointment from a car that I had picked out and didn't get or a boy who turned out to be a jerk, something better always comes along. I know plain and simple that God must have something better in store for me. I keep reminding myself that next fall when I really will have to get a house, that I'll be able to do it all on my own and that more than likely my bathroom won't have blue tile walls with mauve floors.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Does that include an Advil?

What a headache of a day it's been! Chelsea and I are still in the very midst of the house hunt. Yesterday we looked at a house on Shirley St. that we loved. It's yellow and cute in the perfect neighborhood (just 4 down from Christina!) This morning we checked it over again, met with the owner and the only thing keeping us from writing a check was him wanting to only do a year long lease. I understand this is pretty standard and I don't want to sound as if I have little faith that God is going to provide, it's just a big step. 6 months- I can do. We left there and called the owner of another prospective property and set up an appointment to meet at the house at 12:00. At 12:40 when she had yet to arrive we left and went on about our day. I heard from her at 4:00 to learn that she had forgotten our appointment. We'll try again tomorrow with her. After a long day of debate and discussion, we've decided on a few propositions to present to the Shirley St. house guy and see if we can make a deal tomorrow.
The figurative headache of the rental property market has created a very literal one that is pounding away as I sit in the library. There is a lot I should be working on but I finished the lesson plan I needed for tomorrow and for now that's all I can will myself to do. Getting down here was a chore in itself. I've watched at least 3 episodes of Reba, eaten 1 large bowel of spaghetti, and sent more text messages than I can count in the hours between work and homework. The dreary weather seems to be directing my thoughts toward a possible movie rental and early bed time. Oh, and an Advil.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Simple Womans Day Book

For today, Monday, December 1, 2008

Outside my window...the sky is dark and the air cold.

I am thinking...that there has to be something I have to do in the morning. Surely it's not possible that I'll be able to not set the alarm tonight.

I am bed when I finish this. I stayed up way too late last night and want to fully enjoy the benefits of sleeping in tomorrow.

I am thankful for... having my best friends back safely with me in Harrison County. Traci, Kristen and I spent all morning together in class, breakfast, class again and lunch and I couldn't have been happier. I missed them terribly over our short little break.

One of my favorite things...hanging out with the Roth kids. Marcy and Brendan both had meetings tonight and Jackson was out with a friend so Caroline, Henry and I shared in soup and bread for dinner while the radio played in the background and we all sang along to our favs while we visited and laughed. It was a great time.

I am reading...the research paper over and over again. One more short section and it will be dones-o. I'm waiting until it is finished before I begin the second book in the Twilight series. I learned today from a co-worker that the 4th book is the best so I'm ready to get there.

Around the house...everything is tidy for the most part. We just got back so all the junk that usually makes its way into the common areas is still neatly stashed away in our bedrooms.

From the kitchen...nothing. A trip to the grocery store is planned for tomorrow in order to stock up a few essentials to last us these last few days.

I am wearing... jeans, a purple long sleeve tee and a black and white paisley Forever 21 pull over with hair in the signature messy bun on top of my head.

I am hearing... the Dr. Phil episode that came on after the show I was watching when I started this. I usually don't watch it and if our cable was working I might would find the remote and change it but this episode has me somewhat intrigued. It's two women who married brothers, had children and divorced. Their ex husbands have now taken their children and left without a trace. I'm sure Dr. P will save the day.

A few plans for the rest of the and keeping Conner tomorrow. I haven't seen him in two weeks now and miss him like crazy! Wednesday night I'll work the CASA donation station at Santa's Workshop downtown (stop by and see Santa and give us a buck!) Dad's going out of town this weekend so I'm sure I'll be spending some time with Mom and then keeping Savannah on Saturday night. Don't forget the paper and other random assignments that need to be finished.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you... this image comes to mind each time I hear something about Twilight. Edward. Oh la la!

More Day Books!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tis' the Season!

It's a beautiful blustery day outside and inside I've set up shop at my parents bar to write this quick post and attempt to work on the never ending research paper. This holiday weekend has been eventful for lack of a better word. Wednesday night Lydia and I had both finished Twilight and decided to go watch the movie. I started out fine as the film rolled on and as the plot thickened I began to feel a little woozy. I tried to put my nausea in the back of my mind but it never went away. Finally, about 30 min from the end, I jumped up, ran down the dark stairs and made it to the trash can in the hallway before I lost my dinner. I was convinced to see the end of the movie and I really did feel better so I went back to my seat and finished out the show. The feeling better didn't last though and I was sick every hour until about 4:00 am Thursday. As my family bustled around the kitchen I stayed in bed willing myself to keep down sips of 7UP. I joined the crowd at the table for the blessing and gave myself 1 scoop of potatoes that I never touched and quickly bid everyone farewell and settled in for a long nap. I was able to eat an apple and grilled cheese sandwich later that night and was back to myself by Friday morning just in time to partake in the Black Friday festivities.
Lydia chickened out so Mom and I ventured out into the rain down the interstate at about 5:15 and made it to Bass Pro right after they opened at 6:00. We were in search of Christmas gifts for a long list of family members and a new GPS for Mom and Dad. We meandered through the crowd and left there with much success just as the sun was coming up. The day after Thanksgiving provides a great sale on Yankee Candles so Mom was egar to visit Ellis Pottery and select her favorite holiday scents. With candles in tow we stopped by the mall to investigate a few of the items that Lydia had indicated on her Christmas list and then made stops at JC Penny, Kirklands, Target, Sams and Wal Mart, before making it home and unloaded at about 1:00 and crashed for a long afternoon nap. As we rushed around Shreveport I couldn't help but think, how materialistic does this make me look? Do these people around me see a greedy $3 towel, $10 sweater snatching worldly girl who lives for nothing more than a good deal and the newest and best? As Mom and I visited and laughed while we looked for the treasures that would bring a smile the faces of our most beloved family members, I was reminded of how much I love the spirit of giving that the holidays bring and it quickly added to the happiness and fun of the day. The Lord definitely blesses me through the selecting and giving to my loved ones. What a great blessing!
That night Collin, Melissa and baby Tessa visited from Abilene. Tessa opened her first Christmas gifts and we visited for hours and caught up on time together. I woke up Saturday to find out that Lydia had come down with the stomach issues that I had just been relieved of, but she seemed much worse. I spent the day running errands and going to a birthday party with my aunt only to come home late in the afternoon to Mom very anxiously caring for Lydia, who had developed severe stomach pain and hadn't held down anything in over 12 hours, discussing going to the hospital as it was obvious she was becoming dehydrated quickly. We loaded up and I drove the ill one and the worried mother into town. We got into a room surprisingly quick and they began iv fluids and after a selection of tests and a few nausea meds, she was diagnosed with ovarian cysts, which we've both had before, and of course the stomach virus, we departed for home at about 1:00 am.
Today we're keeping it low key. We skipped all church activities and slept in. Lydia is much better but still resting on the couch. We're fixing to begin the Christmas decor project and Dad and I just took down the large collection of tubs and boxes of family Christmas treasures. The garage currently looks like a small family has packed their belongings and the moving truck will arrive soon. The kitchen is also in full swing as we prepare one last holiday weekend meal for the Abilene visitors and others to enjoy tonight. Following those festivities I will load up the Lexus, just as I did a little over a week ago, and depart for Marshall in anticipation of finishing this semester. The research paper is still lingering, cleaning and packing must be done, hopefully I'll hear from the girl about the potential rental property, the work schedule will continue and I have signed up for one night volunteering at Santa's Workshop helping Marcy out. What an exciting time of year!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bring on the Break

It's funny how I can escape out to my parents house and not open my computer once and never think once about it but when I'm in town I become extremely irritated over our poor internet service as if I can't live without it. That's been pretty much the scene for this Thanksgiving break so far. I've checked my email once but had to catch up on the blogs this morning as I lounged around at the Trueloves waiting for all three messy haired stinky breath children to make their way up to the den for snuggles and breakfast. I should have known that the break wouldn't be all sitting at the house in Elysian Fields and that I would have to work a little bit. The break so far has been glorious! Friday I made the 20 minute journey out to my parents house with a huge load of dirty clothes and the paperback copy of Twilight (I know I'm a little behind.) I enjoyed the quiet of being home alone and got a little nap before my family came in. After dinner we sat around the fire fit behind my dad's shop and visited until Mom and I got a little too chilly and opted to relax in the living room instead. Saturday morning I woke I hear that Doug had shot a deer and was fixing to be at the shop to clean it. I put on my boots and took coffee down to the busy deer processors and sat on the stool and visited while they worked. When Doug was off to the meat market to deliver his venison to be made into yummy smoked sausage, Mom, Dad and I were off to Lowes to get the supplies needed to finish off the bathroom remodel project that began a couple of weeks ago when Dad's two year temporary fix to a plumbing issue finally gave out. We picked out a new mirror, towel racks, etc. and it should all be installed and complete by tomorrow. Sunday was a great church day followed by an afternoon of napping and continued reading on Twilight. Monday I slept in and read the morning away before deciding I couldn't take another day in the house when this season of holidays allows for so much shopping. I showered and got dressed and was out the door to Shreveport. As I've explained to Mom, I think I would almost rather have an afternoon of shopping alone than a massage. It's pure relaxation. I meandered around World Market, did some hardcore purchasing in Target and got a few much needed things at the Hallmark Store. Overall it was very successful and I returned relaxed and care free. Today I'm in my pajamas still as I was up before dawn to drive to Jefferson. I planned on going back to sleep before the kids got up but it didn't happen. The girls are watching cartoons and when I finish this I'm going to go down the hall and listen at Walt's door for chatter indicating that he might be awake. We've got a pretty low key day planned and will probably only play outside and finish decorating the Christmas tree. I'll stop by the grocery store for Mom before going back home tonight to finish my book and do some more relaxing. I pray that you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Day So Full

Although my days are typically jam packed, it's been a while since I've had one quite this crazy busy. My alarm went off this morning around 6:40 and since I showered last night I hit the snooze a few times before I hit the off button with the intention of getting right up. About 20 minutes later I woke from a dead sleep in which I was dreaming I was picking out an outfit, and panicked. I rushed around and got out the door in a fairly reasonable time and made it to Sam Houston right as the bell rang. Rushing down the hall to my classroom took me back a little to the days of running down the hall in jr. high in order not to get a tardy. I fought the urge all day to leave early and powered through until 2:30. I grabbed a diet cherry coke from sonic (I'm working on it Christina I promise. I'm going home for Thanksgiving and Mom doesn't buy them so maybe that will do it) and then stopped by the preschool to retrieve my very generous Friends of Trinity Christmas bonus gift and took that puppy right to the bank. When I got home I decided the fore go the nap I so desperately longed for and worked on some homework while visiting with Randi and Chelsea who lounged carelessly in the living room. As usual time got away from me and before I knew it it was time to run off to Jefferson to keep my Truelove darlings. I rushed around (looking back on it, I'm not sure why we were in such a hurry...) and eventually got everybody something they wanted to eat between Walt's pitiful cries for Jennifer. I finally gave in and went on a mad search for a Thomas the train DVD in an attempt to hush him. Thank you Thomas for the quietness you afforded me tonight. After a fun giggly bubble laden bath of kiddos and some cookies from grandma we all gathered in the girls room for some play time. The kids played and I collapsed on the bed. I never went to sleep but pretended to in order to see Walt's reaction. When he noticed that I was "asleep" he stood in the middle of the room pointing at me and looking at the girls saying in a very concerned tone "MeMe night night, MeMe night night!"(MeMe is my new Walt given name by the way) It was priceless. Jenn and Kurt came home shortly and after a few slobbery snotty night night kisses, MeMe was on the road headed home to the list of assignments and chores that awaited before the beginning of the break of Thanksgiving. I have planned all week on possibly pulling an all nighter tonight. I'm pretty much finished with the results of my first of two themes for my action research paper and once I knock out the second and do a little cleaning up for room check and packing for my week in Elysian Fields, I'll be off to bed.
I'll always have busy days but the reality that this college kind of busy is drawing to an end is hitting me hard this week. It seems that everybody is starting to think about our time in school and it seems that we're definitely sharing memories and thoughts this week. I'll have a few take home finals to do when we get back before the end of the semester but for the most part this is pretty much my last hoo rah of homework, friends, and coffee filled nights. We'll still be college students next semester but without the demanding course loads and day to day classes. The change is bitter sweet. Ok maybe more like semi-dark chocolate sweet.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Poet Who Didn't Know It

So some of you have had the pleasure of hearing me discuss the sleeplessness that is plagued my bed this week. I don't know if it's the cold/allergies I've had, the stress that is building up as I fight to finish everything that needs to be turned in before Thanksgiving while trying not to ditch my friends, or if it's just the Diet Coke I've been consuming more so than usual. Whatever it is has got to go. I never have trouble sleeping and more times than not actually have trouble staying awake so this is totally new to me. In this wee hours of this morning as I lay here bright eyed in the darkness of my room I decided to try to tackle the poetry assignment that has to be turned in Friday morning. I am definitely not a poet so with the use of a few handy teacher websites and sites for kids poetry had me rolling. I'll have to say that when I did finally start getting sleepy I fought putting my computer up and thought ok just one more. Here's a few of them. Keep in mind that I pretty much just took the works of children, some more talented writers than I, and adapted them to fit me. It was pretty fun but I think that blogging is a better expression of my feelings for now so don't get used to this. By the way, I slept amazingly well from about 5:00 am until about 10:00. Maybe poetry is the key to insomnia. Ok here ya go:


Pink is feeling girly

Pink is strawberry limeade

Pink is a song that makes you dance in your room all alone

Pink is a new scarf on sale for $1

Pink is the perfect hair day

Pink is an outfit so great you don’t want to take it off

Pink is a new baby

Pink is laughing with friends over lunch

Pink is feeling accomplished

Pink is wearing a pair of heels all day long

Pink is a text message that makes you smile

Pink is a preschooler’s giggle

Pink is being me

I Can’t Sleep

It’s 5:00 AM and I can’t sleep

I see no point in counting sheep

For what’s the point in laying there

When thoughts in poetry I could share

There was a teacher from Texas

Who dreamed of a brand new Lexus

She opened her check

And said what the heck

Then went and ate tex-mexas

Friday, November 14, 2008

Office Duty

Here on this beautiful fall day, I find myself no place else but closely monitoring the office at the preschool. This isn't a big deal really. I greet parents who come in and make sure no creepers are roaming around. Knock on wood it's been quiet with no real need for me to even leave the desk except to fill my tea glass. What a lovely way to end the week as I say good bye to my sweeties as they bound off into the evening sun shine for their weekend adventures.
I have no real adventures of my own planned. Tonight Lydia and I are going out to dinner and tomorrow I will probably spend the day in the library piecing together various pieces of my research project. That is assuming I find the little notebook that contains ALL of my observations on which the paper is based. Oops. If the original observations are not located I will turn myself to bs mode and simply make some up. I have a pretty good memory and I can recreate them right? I would like to believe as much. Tomorrow night I plan to babysit the Roth offspring. God has provided an abundance of babysitting jobs this week and with sincere gratitude I put a little bit of money into my savings account this morning. I didn't know the account number nor could I locate an old receipt to get it off of. That tells you a little bit about how often I deposit.
The house search continues for Chelsea and I. I had a lead yesterday that Traci and I went and checked out because Chelsea was on the road to Houston. It was an older home that has been remodeled into what I think was 4 units. The current owners are doing yet more remodeling and although it's hard to picture the finished project I think it's going to turn into a really cute place. The downfalls include the lack of central heat and cool and the sharing of a back yard, car port, driveway and street parking space with 3 other individuals, families, or dirty old men. Not to mention that Dad wasn't impressed with the location. When he's forking over the dough, gotta play by his rules. Later in Wal Mart I ran into the lady who owns the house I mentioned in a previous post that served as a location concern as well. She told me more about it and it definitely deserves a tour. I've driven by several times and am beginning to feel more comfortable with the street and definitely want to check out the house when it's ready to show. Overall though I have faith that something will come along.
Parents are arriving by the herd and shipping the little ones out of here. It is a glorious sight I promise.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Girlfriends and Mexican Food

There is big news tonight for those of you following my progress in watching the entire series of Sex and the City. I completed it just a few minutes ago curled up in my bed just the way it all began. As the last episode ended I began to think of a very similar scene right here in Marshall. Kristen, Traci, Kelli and I went out for dinner tonight in celebration of finishing our unit. It was one of those times when nobody is in a rush and you just sit and stay together long after the bill has been paid. Just like Cari, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte, we're all in different stages of life with different issues and concerns. Kristen is married and trying to work out her schedule to finish school and move on with her life. Kelli is in a relationship and is unsure of where she'll be when adulthood hits following graduation in May. Traci has just finished an incredible college volleyball career and is on the verge of a new and exciting relationship while she tries to decide if she will follow her own dreams or the plans her family has for her. And you know me. I constantly juggle work, school, friends and family with a boy entering the picture on occasion. As always we shared stories and concerns about life, teaching, roommates, boys, and of course laughed a lot and ate. We took the long way home as we looked at a couple of perspective houses for Chelsea and I next semester and I eventually dropped everyone off and we all returned back to the normal life as we know it. It's hard to picture what life will look like in a year, but I can guarantee that whatever is in store we won't be able to face it without the help of our girlfriends!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Looking Forward

Another weekend is coming to an end and our little corner of the world rests in peaceful silence for the night. Chelsea has been working on complicated paper about the media's role in WWII and is at her honeys house spending some time. Randi hasn't felt well today so is hopefully sleeping off her ailments and will wake refreshed. Samantha has driven home a few times this weekend and has gone to bed earlier than I've known her to in a while. Now for me. I spend the whole day yesterday in Tyler with Mom. I had to take a certification test in the afternoon so we went over in time for that and she shopped while I tested. She picked me up and we went to eat and did a little more shopping. At Bath and Body Works I purchased my annual Christmas season shower gel and lotion. Twisted Peppermint was the selected fragrance. We've learned in our education and cognitive development classes that peppermint stimulates the brain. We'll see. I was beat after the drive home so I curled up early and watched the first few episodes of the 6th and final season of Sex and the City. The 6th season is long and broke into two parts so I still have a ways to go but I'm starting to think about how I'll miss it when its over. That sounds pathetic. I'll stop with that now. Anyway, after Sunday School today I went home to my parents house. They didn't make it to church this morning as they were home dealing with the aftermath of a flooded house due to the faucet in mine and Lydia's bathroom breaking off in the wall yesterday. I think Mom found some kind of guilty joy in getting the phone call from Dad telling her what had happened. The faucet has broken before and much to Mom's protest has been temporarily fixed for the last several years. I think it secretly made her day that Dad was the one who had to clean up the mess after she's told him over and over that the faucet needed to be fixed for good. Anyway, we lounged around and watched tv for most of the afternoon until I had to come back to town to finish my unit project. That's right. Our big unit project is due tomorrow and we finished tonight. We are very proud and plan to go out to dinner in celebration sometime this week. The end of the semester is in plain sight and I couldn't be more excited. I have a pretty big paper to finish up so after a few nights off this week to regroup from the unit I plan to get going on that and knock it out before coasting across the finish line and into the holidays. Chelsea and I continue to look for a house for next semester. We have a lead that I'll be looking into this week but some lingering questions on the safety of the neighborHOOD, if you catch what I mean, might shut that door on that one. If all fails we'll fall back to campus living but for now really long for the independence of our own place for our student teaching semester. It will be interesting to see what pans out. What exciting weeks await!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Torn Jeans and Broken Hearts

Following a busy week, I started the weekend off with 2 babysitting jobs on the calendar. Saturday I got up, ran errands, and then went to spend what I thought would be a relaxing afternoon keeping Marley. She was napping when I got there so I started some laundry and lightly snoozed on the couch until her mumbles woke me and I went to get her up. I picked out an outfit and bow, changed her and strapped her in her seat for a yummy afternoon snack. Now you must know that Sara had warned me that Marley had thrown up that morning but seemed to be fine. As she snacked on her gold fish I stepped into the laundry room to switch clothes out while keeping an eye on her. I walked back to the kitchen just in time for her to puke with great force all over herself and the kitchen. It was awful to look at the nasty mess I had to clean up but more awful to look into her big sweet eyes as she silently pleaded for help. I picked her up (resisting a hug and kiss) and rushed her to the bathroom. A bath cheers everybody up. After her bath she patiently watched tv in the living room as I tackled the clean up. It reminded me of being in elementary school, as either a student or teacher, and hearing the call over the intercom, "Can the custodian please report to room 10?" and everybody cringes as they know what awaits him. I kept waiting for him to show up. He never did. After that clean up and the clean up of the second puke attack, I rocked Marley until Sara and Annabelle returned. Exhausted, I went and spent the night at Mom and Dad's. Sunday afternoon, following a great morning at church, some play time with the Truelove kids and a short nap in my bed, I began getting ready for night church. As I threw on my favorite best jeans, my toe got caught in a small hole that had worn around the bottom and created a large tear right up the inseam. I was angry. I found something else to wear and left for church but with a bad attitude. I now needed to add a trip to Longview to the weeks list as I relied on that particular pair of jeans for several days wardrobe.
At church James and Stacia Runnels were sharing their families testimony through the illness of their 4th (of 5) daughter Rose. To shorten their story if you aren't familiar with it, Rose was born and appeared to be a perfect. After Stacia began to notice slight abnormalities as Rose grew older but failed to gain weight and thrive, the Dr's checked her out and found a hole in her heart caused by a very rare heart disease. The surgery was successful to repair it but at the time it was unknown that in a few short years Rose would need another operation to repair a lung issue secondary to her heart defect. Rose is now a healthy 5 year old. Their story of faith is truly remarkable. At the end of their story, James compared Roses "broken heart" to the broken hearts of the world. In Roses case a very talented surgeon fixed her heart but Jesus is the ultimate great physician who, with loving grace, is able to fix any broke heart without fail every time. I was quickly burdened for these broken hearts and all of a sudden the torn jeans on the floor back in my room were way down on the list. I did find the opportunity to go to Longview this morning and returned with a great new pair of jeans. Life is good! A great week awaits!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fresh Air

What a breath of fresh air today has been! I'll begin by saying that yesterday pretty much sucked. It all began when I over slept and didn't have time to wash my hair before work. I quickly showered off and went to put on my makeup and my eyeliner would not twist up and was broken. Ok people, if I'm starting my day with no eye liner, its going to be rough. I rushed to work where I just went through the motions of my long morning with only 1 short break as we were short handed with two teachers out. I quickly moved on to work EE where one child threw a fit and another refused to eat making it difficult for me to offer the appropriate praise to the children acting normal. It was all pretty much a daze. The kids got on their mats and I decided that I would try to leave for the day when my co-teacher came in. I did so only to return home to a filthy kitchen that it was my duty to clean for the evenings impending room checks. I loudly slammed dishes around in the sink as the mess makers lounged in pj's on the couch. I got a 20 minute power nap before leaving early for my babysitting job and driving around town for a little while venting to my mom. Shortly after arriving to babysit as I shared a snack with Conner I received a test message from my boss informing me that in the madness of the lunch rush the assistant director of the preschools granddaughter's left over watermelon container was placed in her backpack instead of her lunch box and made a huge mess all over her stuff and mom was not happy. After texting back a quick I'm so sorry I scooped Conner up, took him to the front porch and sat in the crisp afternoon breeze. It is amazing how well babies feel our emotions. He sat quietly with his head leaned against my chest as if to say "You're perfect in my eyes." My eyes filled with tears as I contemplated my awful day and held him close. I forgot to mention that all day my finances were in the back of my head as pay day was 4 days away and I had less than $10 in the bank. My parents are always more than willing to help out but my stubborn pride and guilt from the weekends shopping usually prevents me from asking. I normally wouldn't have been paid for keeping Conner until after I kept him on Thursday which wasn't going to help me much. I contemplated asking for an advance but absolutely hate to do that. As Linsey came in she informed me that she didn't need me on Thursday but was going to go ahead and pay me for that day as well as both days next week. After a quick dinner I came to the library where I finished my unit lesson plans with ease, went to Walgreens where I got some new eyeliner, and then headed home where I cuddled in my bed and rested peacefully through the night.
Today was a great fresh start! I woke up on time, had a great hair day, and best of all new eyeliner. Classes were fun with friends. I completed another assignment this afternoon and am well on my way into another now. Work was extremely fun as we painted a pumpkin to display in the ETBU pumpkin display. It turned out precious. Pictures to come later. I took Henry home from school and chatted with Marcy while she fixed some pasta that she lovingly packed in a to-go box for me with corn, grapes and a brownie. I'm thinking about taking a bath later and going to bed early to finish the Sex and the City season I'm working on.
I've realized that it takes a day like yesterday for me to appreciate the wonderful days like today. As this new fall season begins, I pray that I can appreciate each day because like I've said before, I truly do have so much to be thankful for.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Bigger Than Big

So its 2:00 AM and can not seem to sleep for this song being stuck in my head (among other things.) A few weeks ago I think I posted that I was going to Dallas for a Sunday School conference. While there the company that put on the whole thing was selling their products and I grabbed a few things, including a preschool worship dvd. I didn't think much of it but did open it up and scan though it as I got ready for church the next morning. I quickly realized that this song was by far my favorite. As I've played the dvd daily at work since I've had it, the kids know every word to every song but this one must be repeated at least twice every day.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hear Ye Hear Ye

Chelsea and I had the pleasure of visiting the Texas Renaissance Festival in Magnolia this afternoon. We've been in Houston since Thursday night visiting with her family, shopping and eating. Today we sat around and discussed the days plans but couldn't come up with much. As we flipped though the newspaper at the kitchen table we came across the ad for the "ren fest" and decided we should head out there. This thing is stinking huge! The face painting lady informed me it was the biggest in the nation and by far the most beautiful. It was neat but I don't know if I would say beautiful. It takes a special person. Everything goes.
The live music stage. That lady on the bottom could dance!

We watched a show in this mud pit. Those two guys competed for their team in different little mud events. It was kind of gross.

Blocked by the tree are the people who were riding that elephant. We too could have taken a ride for $4 but the line was terribly long so we just watched. In this picture the elephant was going after some snacks a family had left sitting within his reach. He knocked everything onto the ground and made the girl pretty mad. I thought the little boy riding this alpaca was so sweet.

We ended our day at a jousting match in the arena. Our guy won. Very exciting.
If you're looking for an interesting cultural experience, lots of food and drink, entertainment and a lot of strange creepy people, check out the ren fest!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

All Aboard!

The beautiful weather brought with it an equally beautiful weekend. Friday night I left Marshall with Cate and Maggie in tow and headed to Jefferson to relieve Walt's sitter. The kids played outside until dark and I threw some flat bread pizzas together for dinner. After baths and some toy room playing we all settled in watching a movie. Cate quickly fell asleep on the couch and I soon took Maggie down and we got in the big bed. She chattered about life, excited to have me to herself, and asked for a story. I couldn't seem to find a happy medium between silly and scary that would suit her so I eventually turned on the TV and texted until I glanced over to her sleeping. I was exhausted and didn't wake up until about 7:30 when I heard Cate turning on the living room TV. I seized the opportunity for a quiet shower before Walt announced his awakening and requested to be removed from his bed. Our morning was leisurely as we watched cartoons and I prepared everybody and everything for our adventures. At about 9:30 we loaded up and met Mom and Lydia for the ETBU Homecoming Parade. While this is no Tournament of Roses it's no Fire Ant Festival either. Organizations put hours of work into planning and building and it pays off. The theme this year was Fairy Tales and as the Homecoming Queen passed by Maggie turned to Cate in amazement and said, "Look Cate its Sleeping Beauty!" The girls later told me that they couldn't name a favorite part, they liked it all. Walt just liked the band. After lunch at El Chico we headed down to the depot. Walt is a train nut and before we even got out of the van he was yelling "Choo choo" as rail cars passed by on the tracks. I was able to get him in his stroller and up to the fence quick enough to watch the train pass by. We explored for a while, reading the historical markers and checking out the station (see pics below) and gift shop. After everybody had selected their prize we headed home. Walt choo chooed all the way to Woodlawn before the days excitement caught up with him. When we got home I carried him to his bed and with a faint choo choo at the sight of a train on the floor, he was out. After everybody had rested, grandparents came for the kids and I was headed back to Marshall. Chelsea and I met some old friends and Chilis for a rita before I drove through the Peking drive thru and got a chicken friend rice. I put in a movie and fell asleep early.
Today, after a great church meeting, Mom, Lydia and I went to Shreveport to Sams. We love Sams. We eat the samples and comment on good deals but only really buy toilet paper, bottled water and trash bags among a few various other odds and ends. Today's selections included the Jon and Kate Gosselin book and Down by the Station and 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed in big book form. $8.00 a piece. Great deal for a teacher. We came home and visited and I eventually headed back to Marshall with a few cooler weather clothing items I dug out of the winder clothes bin.
Yesterday when I was loading up the kids leaving the depot, I visited with a member of our church family that I've known my whole life. She questioned who's kids I had and if I babysat often. I explained my situation with excitement as I'm always thrilled to show off the kids I have. She responded, "Well God is just really blessing you isn't he?" I said, "Yes mam very much." As I drove home in the quietness of a van filled with sleepy children, I thought about her comment. I thanked the Lord for the opportunities hes given me and asked him to forgive me when I haven't given him all the glory I should for my many many blessings. I also thanked him for sending that simple comment my way. As I see daily how blessed I am, it's the actual expression of my gratitude that seems to pass by in my busy days. I pray that rather I'm exploring the depot through the eyes of a 21 month old, disciplining children on the play ground who have chosen to play with sticks, or tiredly trying to keep up with demanding classes, that I will not fail to thank God for my eternal and wonderfully blessed earthly life.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Jenn's Pasta Salad

As promised here is the recipe for the pasta salad Jennifer made the other night. Ever since I got the email I've been really hungry for it and actually might make it just to have next week. Its good. You should try it.

Italian Market Pasta Salad
4 ounces packaged dry mafalda, large bow tie, or campanelle pasta ·
6 cups mesclun or other spring greens ·
1 cup grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, halved lengthwise ·
1/2 cup crumbled Gorgonzola, blue, or feta cheese (2 ounces) ·
3 tablespoons olive oil ·
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar or Balsamic vinegar ·
Salt and freshly ground black pepper ·
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

1. If using mafalda, break into irregular pieces, 2 to 3 inches long. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again.
2. In a large salad bowl, combine cooked pasta, mesclun or other spring greens, tomatoes, and cheese. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar, tossing to coat. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper.
3. Divide salad evenly among four dinner plates. Sprinkle with pine nuts. Makes 4 main-dish servings.


I currently find myself rested up and recovered from the two day celebration that was Chelsea's 21st birthday. In the early minutes of Tuesday morning we approached the entrance of the Horseshoe for her first legal 21 event. I flashed my id and moved forward. The guard carefully checked his watch and wished her a happy birthday before we were off to the slots. At one point while we were sitting side by side at the nickel slots I spun some fancy little symbol that set off a a wheel at the top. The lights flashed and a voice loudly announced "INSTANT SPIN WINNER!!!" We both froze as the little ball bounced around the wheel above our heads. I ended up winning a few hundred credits which in terms of nickel slots is about $12. Needless to say I kept playing and lost it all. After a run through the Whataburger we were home in bed by about 2:15. Last night after a long day at work on little sleep, we loaded up and went to Cheddars with Samantha. We sat around a table at the bar and Chelsea ordered her celebratory birthday margarita and I ordered my "it was a tough day with the 3 year olds" margarita and along with our onion rings, chicken, and veggies we were in business. We got home around 9:00 and I don't know if it was the effects of the giant Texas swirl rita or the 10 hour work day on 5 hrs sleep but I was down for the count. My great nights sleep was much needed! I got up an hour before class today and went to the library and got some work done that I had let slip due to all of the birthday outings. The rest of the week is going to involve a lot more homework and a lot less partying. Friday the Trueloves will be headed to Hot Springs which will provide me the opportunity for some Cate, Maggie and Walt quality time. Lots of playing. Can't wait!