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!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Weekend Goodies

In an attempt to spice things up, I'm posting the story of my weekend through all the wonderful cuisine that it involved.

Pasta Salad- Friday night I attended the first installment of Jennifer's new "book club." She fixed a wonderful pasta salad with spinach, tomatoes, pine nuts, feta, and balsamic vinaigrette. I will get the recipe and post it on here in true Christina style. More importantly than the great dinner we had a great time visiting. Really hope we get together again.

Corn Dog- Saturday morning I woke early to accompany Erica to her first ever Fire Ant Festival parade. After the parade and 5 min of visiting the booths we headed over to the corn dog line and enjoyed a tasty festival favorite. Yum!

Shrimp- Saturday was also Mom's birthday. After giving up on Buffalo Wild Wings on the Boardwalk due to a crowd of LSU crazies we made our way to Red Lobster. When we see the Endless Shrimp commercials, Lydia and I can't get to the Lob fast enough. We hurriedly ordered our first selections and savored our salad and cheddar bay biscuits. Red Lobster- overall classic.

Gucci's- Marshall was blessed this weekend with a visit from the whole Trochta crew. After church today I was blessed to join them for lunch at Guccis. I honestly don't think I've ever had a Guccis meal that I didn't completely love. The lasagna, sausage, pizza, all wonderful! Sweet people and great food. I couldn't have been more prepared for my Sunday nap.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Pushing Forward

I want to take the time to apologize to my faithful fans (all 4 of you) for totally slacking on the blog this week. The reasons for my lack of posts are many. Last Saturday I woke up to a little sinus drainage. Went about my day no big deal. Sunday was not much better but as always, pushed forward. Monday came and I woke to full blown nastiness. I hurt all over, couldn't breathe, was cranky and tired. I made it to my first two classes and that was all I could take. I came home and got in bed until I decided that it was too close to time to actually be at work to call in so I gathered the strength to again push forward. After wiping the snotty noses of my 5 little darlings plus my own for the duration of the afternoon I decided to fore go Zumba and didn't move from my couch until about 10 when the cold meds kicked in. Lucky for me I didn't have any meetings or engagements on Tuesday which meant no alarm and plenty of peaceful sleep thanks again to the cold meds. I leisurely got up and showered and felt tons better. I knocked out several errands before getting a hair cut and heading to work. After work I drove to Shreveport for Lacy's birthday party at Tokyo, one of those cook in front of you Japanese restaurants. I am in love with Asian food and this was wonderful! We pretty much had the place to ourselves and had a lot of time to visit and catch up. It was a great time. I regret not making time for high school friends more. I'm working on it. Wednesday night I worked on finishing up all of my homework so that tonight I could make time to go to Longview. I was successful and finished everything including writing one of the greatest Social Studies lessons ever. I felt very accomplished. For all my hard work, I rewarded myself tonight (Thurs) with a night out on the town. After a lengthy trip to Target in which I perused the aisles in total bliss and relaxation, I met up with my very first non family member childhood best friend, Cody, who I haven't seen in a good 15 years. We talked for a long time and caught up on things. We've been messaging on Facebook planning to get together so I've been thinking about our friendship all those years ago. Here's the scoop. We went to Trinity together when we were 4 and he was my best friend. We both lived in Elysian Fields and were going to school in Marshall so our moms would take turns driving and picking up and such so we were kind of forced friends I guess. That year came and went and soon I was starting Kindergarten at Elysian Fields. I don't know if my mom prepared me for Cody's absence or not but school started and he was definitely not there. I missed him terribly. One day I was playing in the Green Center (if I remember correctly it was like a bunch of file folder and card games) by myself and missing Cody. All of a sudden I look up and Cody is walking through my classroom door! It was like a dream come true to my little 5 year old soul. I just knew that my wishes had come true! Looking back on it I know that our class was the only one with an opening or that our moms arranged it. Anyway, we were still friends but all the new excitement of Kindergarten brought new friends and we eventually drifted until sometime in first grade Cody moved and that was that. Fast forward about 15 years and I add him on Facebook, we message some, meet tonight, and had a great time. I'm looking forward to the weekend. I'm leaving tomorrow with a great group of gals for a children's ministry conference in Dallas. Should be educational and if nothing else a night away. Have a blessed weekend!