Random Notions and Stories of Teaching

December 31, 2005

Happy New Year!

Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes,

Five hundred twenty-five thousand

Moments so dear.


Five hundred twenty-five thousand

Six hundred minutes

How do you measure, measure a year?


In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights

In cups of coffee

In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.


In five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes

How do you measure

A year in the life?


How about love?
How about love?
How about love? Measure in love

Seasons of love. Seasons of love.

Five hundred twenty-five thousand

Six hundred minutes!

Five hundred twenty-five thousand

Journeys to plan.


Five hundred twenty-five thousand

Six hundred minutes

How do you measure the life

Of a woman or a man?


In truths that she learned,

Or in times that he cried.

In bridges he burned,

Or the way that she died.


Oh you got to remember the love,

You know that love is a gift from up above

Share love, give love, spread love

Measure, measure your life in love.
© Rent, by Jonathan Larson


Wishing all my loyal readers (all five of you) a very happy new year. May your next five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes be better than this year's. I'm so happy I have met each and every one of you. Be safe. Be happy.
It's a rockin' New Year's Eve here at the our house.

Eat your hearts out, party animals. ;)
He sits more like a lady than I do!
Happy New Year everyone!

December 30, 2005

Hapy Anniversary!

Happy 5th Anniversary to The Hubby!
(oh yeah, and me too)

It has been a long 5 years. We've been through so much in such a short time, but it has really brought us closer together. I can honestly say we are better off now than we were 5 years ago. I can't wait to see what the next 5 years will bring.

I love you!

December 29, 2005

The Booty

No, not mine. The Christmas Booty.

It was a flurry of wrapping paper here Christmas morning. Basically, we were racing the clock for one of us getting sick(er). Good times, good times. But here is the lowdown:

The Hubby:
  • New tires for his car (boring, but needed)
  • The new Garth box set
  • Smithsonian Motor (something to build - from his parents)
  • Fancy, schmancy gloves (they're huge!)
  • A Fire to Win - coaching book
  • Soccer Pig bank
  • 20 Questions - one of the neatest games I've seen in years, the father-in-law thought it was great and he's not easily impressed
  • Other various soccer things - his presents definitely had a theme
Me:
  • A bunch of candles - pumpkin spice scented
  • Dish towels (they have a kitty like Socks on them and say, "Love Me, Love my Cat")
  • Two new cookbooks - Fix It and Forget it Lightly and a book of casseroles and slow cooker recipes
  • Harry Potter Scene It
  • Teacher Man
  • Favorite Brand Name Casseroles and Slow Cooker Recipes
  • A flashlight that never needs batteries and is indestructible - Oooo a challenge.
  • 2 cat calendars
  • Various stocking stuffers
Us:
  • Furniture
  • VCR
  • Digital Camera
The in-laws gave us money to get something for our anniversary, but we haven't decided what yet.

All in all, a good haul. We were very lucky this year.

Warther's...digitally

A quick video of one of Warther's huge train carvings. This train was carved out of ebony. The details (white parts) are in ivory. The letters at the bottom are hand carved ivory.


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We also got to see Mrs. Warther's button collection. Here are a few of my favorites (unsteady hand...sorry for the blurriness):



Warther did pliers of all sizes. Just a few of the ones we saw. My favorites are the ones carved from matchsticks. There was even a set of 6 carved out of a match. Teeny.



Can you believe these were carved BY HAND from a single piece of wood? No sawdust. No wood removed. Awesome.

This is Warther's World Famous Plier tree. 511 sets of pliers. It is unreal. He carved the stand it is in, too.

December 28, 2005

The in-laws have arrived! Yippee! I love when they come. It means two things.

#1 - Presents!

#2 - SHOPPING!

After quickly tearing through our Christmas gifts (gift update to come) we headed out to the mall. After a quick visit to my favorite clothing store (its just about the only place I can find fat lady clothes that actually fit me and I don't like like I'm 90). Add to this that I fit relatively well into a size smaller shirt (hot damn!). The Mother-in-Law bought me a new outfit. It's a really cute skirt and "jacket" (on sale). Black with white "confetti" and a "shell" to go under it. My shell is MUCH better than the one shown under the jacket. It just makes the whole top look better. Swishy! Yay! I like it so I guess that's all that matters.

Then we went to Linens 'n Things where we bought (and by we, I mean she) bargain table cloths. Oh and a Soccer Santa sporting The Hubby's high school jersey number, how could we resist!?

After we finished shopping we dined at my favorite restuarant and headed for the movies where we saw Cheaper By the Dozen 2. It was very cute. Yay for In-Laws first visit day. I still want to see The Family Stone (Dermot Mulroney....drool) and Rumor Has It. Not to worry, our anniversary is in a few days. Mwahahahahaha.

Tomorrow we are going here. I think Father-In-Law will enjoy it. Plus, I think it's really neat and you can buy really nice knives (sharpened left handed, just for me). Yes, I like museums too.
You Are Chubby Hubby Ice Cream

So there's more of you to love... a whole lot more!


Sometimes...the truth hurts. :)

December 26, 2005

A recap and a forecast

When we were little, my mom was very strict about my brother and I sharing. Sharing was polite. Sharing was what "nice" people did.

Mom and Dad shared their flu with me. Each had a different type of stomach flu, so lucky me - I got half of each.

When did my flu hit? You got it, Christmas lunch time. We had invited my cousin and his wife over for lunch. About a half hour before dinner time, I started feeling ill. By 3P.M., I was in bed, wishing I was dead.

Luckily, I made it through the night and after a rocky beginning this morning, I am feeling pretty good. You will be relieved to know that Ollie stuck by me all night, sleeping right next to me. The Hubby was ordered to the couch. Yes, my new couch that I swore we would not sleep on lasted 5 whole days without someone sleeping on it. This afternoon I found out something very bad. My new couch is SO COMFORTABLE to sleep on. The poor couch is doomed.

Tomorrow we are going to see Swing! I love going to Carousel. Maybe I am just a senior citizen in the body of a 25 year old, but you get dinner AND a musical/play. Hello!? What could be better than that? Did I mention they have a cheese plate that is WONDERFUL.

The Hubby said we can go see Seven Brides for Seven Brothers in March as our anniversary present (despite the fact he hates the movie). I love going places with The Hubby because he calls early enough that we get front row tables to enjoy the show. It's wonderful!

Thanks to everyone who has requested pictures. The in-laws arrive Wednesday so I can start working on them then.

Friday is our anniversary - so hopefully both of us will be feeling well enough to actually celebrate. Five years have just flown by.

December 24, 2005

Just got home from the emergency room. Long story short, Mom's blood sugar tanked again (49 this time), she fell out of bed, and we had to call the EMTs (yes, they remembered her from before). I rode with her in the ambulance. The EMT said they had had three calls on our road today. Three out of seven in fact. Don't know if they are counting Mom as one or two. :)

We got her blood sugar up and got her to eat some food. She will be eating every few hours today or her butt is going back to the hospital.

Didn't like the ER doctor. Snotty doc. Kiss my....um, anyway.

Dad now has the stomach flu so we're trying to watch him closely. Hopefully he won't get as bad.

I'm awake now so I think I will bake some more cookies and wrap some presents. Later we need to go back to the grocery store to get Mom some food. The doc said she could go off her diabetic diet. Yipee. Now only if she felt like eating.

My brother wasn't feeling well at the ER...but he feels better now. I am hoping that he isn't getting sick, because if he is - I am in big trouble. Keep your fingers crossed!

Speed blogging

Busy, busy, busy day.

Made:
Gingersnaps
Cherry Cherry Cookies
Mashmallow chocolate candy
Mints
Heaths
Chocolate covered pretzels
Spritz cookies (which I think are just the most awesome cookies ever - they shoot out of a gun!)

In between that, sandwich:
A trip to Giant Eagle to get the cherries I forgot yesterday
A stop to get suet for the Yorkshire pudding
A trip to the mall with my brother
2 loads of laundry
Cutting the trip to the mall short because my father called the ambulance for my mother.*
Racing home
A trip to Blockbuster with C to get movies for her clients
A trip to Acme to get pop....(soda to you strange folks :) )
Watching Deuce Bigelow

Yeah. I think I need to go to bed. More of the same tomorrow!

* My mother got the stomach flu yesterday. She had an eye doctor's appointment this afternoon. She's still not feeling well so she didn't want to eat anything before her eye doctor appointment in case it would make her sick again. Mind you, this morning when she checked her blood sugar it was 51.

Way.
Too.
Low.

So my brother and I leave to go to the mall (after her assuring us she was "fine"). The next thing we know we're racing home (hard to do in holiday traffic) because The Hubby had called to tell us that Dad has called the EMTs because Mom was "out of it".

On the way, home I said to my brother - she's either got that blood infection like she had last year or her sugar is too low. Her sugar was too low. 32. THIRTY `EFFIN TWO! The woman was in diabetic shock moving right along to a diabetic coma.

Thank goodness my dad got home when he did. Thank goodness. He called The Hubby after he called the EMTs. When my brother and I arrived home (somewhat after the "excitement") you could tell both The Hubby and Dad were upset. Hubby said he was afraid she'd had a stroke.


We were lucky this time.

Wanna bet Mom doesn't get left unsupervised for a loooooong time? (She'd just earned the privilege back after her stunt two years ago.)

Just one more thing for me to be thankful for this year. Hug your loved ones while you can.

December 22, 2005

Domesticated

Well, Christmas break is officially here. Yipee!

Today, I planned to get up early (7:30) and get to the grocery store. So I called my mother to make sure she was up and ready to go. She, however, has managed to catch the stomach flu from her little angels. Mother was a no-go on the shopping.

Luckily, my brother went with me. At 8, we left for the mall. We arrived around 9 (after a quick stop at the bank in town). Unfortunately, everywhere we needed to go didn't open until 10! Luckily, Best Buy was open as was Target. We checked Best Buy for Season Five of West Wing. We didn't get it because it was almost $50. Waaaay more expensive than I expected. We're thinking we may order it from Wal-Mart.com and just put a little slip in my father's stocking telling him it's coming.

After we finished all our mall area shopping we headed for the grocery store. We got just about everything we needed. I forgot a few...key things, but after a visit to the other grocery store I got everything...except a few things. Dang! Even with a list I forget!

We stopped at Wal-Mart for them to see what the heck is happening to my glasses. Apparently the coating is peeling off. Great. I need new glasses. Stupid Wal-Mart crap glasses.

This afternoon I made nut clusters using my cousin's recipe. They're ok. I think I needed to put more Spanish peanuts in.

After the nut clusters, I made some gingersnaps using my mother-in-law's recipe. They turned out very well so I may make some more here in a little bit.

Tomorrow someone has to go with mom to the eye doctor. Then I have presents to wrap. This should be the last of them, unless we get some more last minute stocking stuffers (which some people DESPERATELY need).

Cookies I hope to bake tomorrow:
Gingersnaps (if not tonight)
Snickerdoodles - perhaps with the cinnamon chips we found today
Spritz cookies
Cherry Cherry Cookies

Well, I am off to start another batch of Gingersnaps.

December 21, 2005

Well hell

Argh.

The warehouse just called. Apparently there is a "small tear" on the back of the right arm of my couch.

Crap.

They fixed it, but they want me to check it.


Then I have two choices:
  1. Receive some money back since the item is damaged.
  2. Opt to have them order a replacement piece of fabric for the arm and come out next week to fix it.
First instinct says I want a whole new arm piece. Honestly, I just want an undamaged couch.

I need my mommy's input. I need opinions. I hate making decisions.


Oh well, at least I am getting my furniture today. No more sitting on the floor for The Hubby. Yesterday, I found 13 flat sheets (all the same design) for all the furniture. Woohoo! I put four of them on the chair last night and they look really good! Yaaaaaaaaaaaay!

December 19, 2005

Get Your Pictures!

** This is a sticky post. New posts down below. **

In anticipation of my Christmas present from my in-laws (digital camera - yipeee!), I have decided to do a picture request.
Now here is your chance.

Want to see Ollie's favorite sleeping spot?
Lucy's favorite toy?
Want to see Socks being his buttheady self?

Something completely random?

The list goes on and on.

Leave me a request in the comments and I will spend all of my post Christmas time snapping photos.


I can hardly wait!
Prizes for the most original (ok, bizarre) requests.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Monday Madness

  1. Name 1 toy when you were younger that meant a lot to you. Probably my Glo-Worm. It was the best! A night light and a stuffed animal. My brother loved his, too.
  2. Name 2 games you enjoyed playing as a child. I loved playing T.V. tag (where you're safe if you name a different television show right before someone tags you) and we played "The Blob" in gym. That was kinda fun too. Oh Lord, I just admitted I had fun in gym class. Let me assure you, the fun ended after elementary school.
  3. Name 3 foods you didn't like as a child, but do now. Asparagus, meat loaf, peas, and onions.
  4. Name 4 foods you didn't like as a child and still don't like. Olives! Olives! Olives! Olives!

December 18, 2005

Pictures!

I am the most pathetic person ever, but I just love my new chair. (Just think how obnoxious I will be on Wednesday when the rest of it gets here.)

I was sold on the chair when I sat in it. Add to it that it is blue and well, there was no saving me. Blueeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Why does it matter that my chair is blue. No one will see most of its wonderful blue-ness because I am desperate to keep the cat hair off of my chair (it's already making me crazy) and have covered it with flat sheets. I hope to make it to Big Lots sometime before Wednesday so that I can buy cheap flat sheets to cover all the new furniture (I estimate that I will need 12 - 4 per chair and 4 for the couch). The cat hair is making me neurotic. Okay, okay - more neurotic.

Would you like to see it? I know you would.
This is the "big" space to the left of the Christmas tree. The other side isn't as big (as my wonderful brother - the OCD king pointed out) , but I think we can squeeze the other one in at a small angle. No biggie.

I am one of the unknowing souls that used to laugh at senior citizens whose furniture is covered in plastic. HOWEVER, it would seriously solve all my problems. This was the scene approximately 10 minutes after the delivery men left (just enough time for me to cover the chair).


There's already an Ollie dent in my chair cushion!
My chair is here! That isn't my exact chair, but it is the closest thing we could find.

I was a little miffed because they didn't deliver what they said they were going to deliver. Instead of the chair, ottoman, and couch I was expecting - we got a chair. That's it!

The good news is - we should be getting the other chair, ottoman, and couch on Wednesday! Yippeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

It's huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuge. It will be interesting to get two chairs and the Christmas tree in, but we can do it!

Going to go sit in my chair and shoo kitty cats off. They like it already. Uh-oh!

I swear, first cat hair I find on my chair, we're getting all three lion shaved.

December 16, 2005

21 Christmas Questions

Stolen from Chaos with Class.

1) What is your favorite Christmas scent? Apple cinnamon candles. Though I do enjoy baking smells (but I'm bakingly challenged).

2) What do you think is the most enjoyable thing to do in the snow? Uh...snow is enjoyable? Who knew! I do enjoy watching Lucy frollick in the snow. She's so silly.

3) If you were a photographer who was given the chance to go back in history to capture a Christmas photograph, where would you go and what would it be? It would have to be the "old" Christmas we used to do at my aunt's house or my parents- all of my mom's cousins and their kids were there and my uncle's family too. Even if Ross did steal my Atari (and yes, I still hold a grudge)!

4) Regardless of monetary value, what is the single most meaningful Christmas gift you've ever received? Hmmm...wow. Most meaningful. I have no idea.

5) If, like Santa, you could take a night flight in a sleigh over any city in the world, which city would you choose? Madrid

6) What ingredients go into your favorite Christmas drink or beverage? Cider - so, apples. NOT pasteurized though.

7) Do you prefer blinking or non-blinking Christmas lights? I like the racing lights. Ok, I love them. If I can't have racing lights (or lights that look like they're twinkling), then give me non-blinking.

8) Out of all the musical instruments, which one do you think is the most appropriate for the Christmas season? The clarinet! :) Actually, I really like organ music. I get a kick out of singing Handel's Messiah in a nice old church. Gives me chills. (I'm such a nerd)

9) At Christmas time, which do you honestly enjoy more, giving or receiving? Honestly, giving. I love when I can find *THE* perfect gift.

10) Do you have any ethnic or ancestral traditions that you honor during the Christmas season? Not really. We usually make Yorkshire pudding (that stuff is delicious) so I guess that would count.

11) Everyone in the office has been asked to place an ornament on the company Christmas tree that best represents him/herself. What would your ornament look like? It would be something Disney related and fun. Probably a simple set of ears like this (but in blue or silver):

12) If you could spend Christmas in any European country, which one would it be? Spain

13) If snow could fall in any flavor, what flavor would you choose?
Probably cherry. Oooo or pineapple!

14) What is the longest line you can remember waiting in during the Christmas season?
Probably the one at Sam's Club a few weeks back. Their lines are always super long. We probably waiting about 15 minutes.

15) If you could indulge in only one type of cookie this holiday season, which cookie would you be eating a lot of? Snickerdoodles! Yummmmmmmmmmmmm!

16) What gift have you wanted for years but still haven't received?
Digital camera

17) What aspect of preparing for Christmas do you like the most?
Getting a clean house and helping someone bake. When I'm in charge, disaster happens.

18) What is your favorite Christmas decoration in your home (your tree doesn't count!)? A musical figure. It's an old house with snow that plays, "Up on the Housetop".

19) If you had a great voice and could record a Christmas duet with any famous singer, whom would you choose as your singing partner?
Hmmm....Tim McGraw I guess (hubba, hubba).

20) If you could take a scenic drive anywhere in America this holiday season, where would you most want to drive?
Disney World! Seriously, probably somewhere mountainy - like Colorado.

21) What is the biggest change in your life since last Christmas?
The Hubby's new job. It's made a very positive impact on us all.

December 15, 2005

Another First

Somedays, you just have to wonder.

Last night, I had another "first" occur. My first phone call from a parent!

I was shocked seeing as I don't have my own classroom so I technically don't have any parents. Plus, my phone number, while listed in the phone book, is listed under my husband's name. You have a 25% chance of picking out number...nevermind that ours is first.

Anyway, I have never had this experience, and I do believe it is new for my mom too.

First, some background. The parents that called me is the mom that told me (when I subbed for her daughter's reading teacher in 1st grade) that her daughter liked me better than her real teacher - in front of another gossipy 1st grade teacher. Nice. She's also the parent that ratted out other kids on the field trip when we saw her at the craft show. She didn't even go! Finally, she is the parent that called to chew my mother out because someone stole her daughter's lunch out of her locker. The daughter never told anyone this happened - how can she deal with it if she doesn't know!?

Now that the scene is set...

Last night I am making some sour cream sugar cookie dough (I am so challenged baking wise) and the phone rings. I recognized the last name on the caller ID (God bless caller ID) but wasn't sure, so I made the hubby answer. Yup. It was for Mrs. Damn.

Apparently, this is my mother's head room mother (oy). After hearing all about the party and why she won't bring pizza and blah blah blah blah blah she tells me that she had asked my mother to ask each kid to bring in a dollar for the party. My mother being the sweetie she is, refuses to ask parents for money this time of year, even a dollar. So she send a $20 bill home with the student (she has 17 kids).

She sent it waaaaaaaaaaay to soon. The room mom is on to her little scheme. Here's the problem, the money is not for the party - the money is for a flower arrangement for my mother. The room mom refuses to use my mother's money to buy her own Christmas gift. The mom wanted me to confirm that this money was, indeed, from my mother.

Uhmmmmmmmmmmmm. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. *awkward*

Now, the room mom wants me to write up a little note and send it home with the kids, "secretly".

Wait...wait...wait. How did I get in the middle of this!?

Someone should inform this room mom that I don't keep things from my mother (and she hates surprises). When my mom got home I called her and informed her of my little discussion. I didn't tell her what the surprise gift was, but she knows something is going on. She's going to "think" on it. Ohhhhhhhh goody.

Oh, how did that parent get my number? My father gave it to her! I informed my mother that he must be trained better. If a parent called HER and asks for ME he doesn't know me. Duh.

December 13, 2005

Open Letter

Dear Jackass Making a Scene at the Grocery Store,

I suppose you are correct that pedestrians have the right of way in a crosswalk. However, you, in your store furnished motorized cart, are not a pedestrian.

Bursting out into the crosswalk without looking and then screaming at a car that squeals to a stop to avoid hitting you is quite asinine. Shouting obsenities and gesturing at the car does nothing to endear you to the numerous shoppers witnessing your childish temper. Furthermore, as the responsible party for two teenage children, you should be leading by example. Let me assure you that acting like a jackass is not the example you should be setting.

Whether you have the right of way or not, if that car were unable to stop for whatever reason, you would be seriously injured if not killed. So I reccommend you ask yourself just how important it is that you be right.

I will not mention the fact that it clearly states not to remove the motorized carts from the store, as you are obviously too important to follow rules. Thank you for making a dedicated employee waste their time retrieving your cart from the side of the handicapped parking space where you had illegally parked your grungy car. I only wish that a polite officer of the law had issued you a hefty ticket, but alas, not all Christmas wishes can come true.

I will leave you with this, Jackass. Grow up and have a Merry effin' Christmas!

Sincerely,
Me

Year in Review

The little brats angels shared their illness with me yesterday. Argh! I should have worn a mask. Even Airborne can't fend off the stomach flu. Gag. I did have to giggle when I heard about my mother telling them they've not only gotten their regular teacher sick, but me as well. Hehe. Poor kids.

In the spirit of reflection and brevity, here is my own year in review which I borrowed from Hillary...or was it Leesepea?

All you do is go through your archives and copy the first line (or lines) of the first post of every month, and viola! You've got a recap of your year. Click the titles to read the rest of the posts!

January
Have yet to discover the fun of blogging.

February
Drat!
Didn't work at all this week.

March
So...

So...had a first time happening for me in almost 2 years of subbing.

April
A Day with No Meltdowns!
In my mom's school, there is a special class for students who need that extra help behaviorly.
May
The Week in Review

I made it through 9 days with the same kids.

June

Ahhhhhhhh....
Sing with me now.... School's out for summer! School's out...for...eva!

July
Posting...or am I?

I swear I keep posting, but nothing shows up. Then I remember, duh, I didn't post anything I got caught up reading one of my favorite blogs (see list on the side).

August
Another week of the same old, same old

I apologize for not posting as much as I should, but the fact is, all I do is whine about not feeling well lately and I don't want people to stop coming.

September
Hmmm...

Which Harry Potter Character Am I? It could be worse!

October

Extra, Extra

Anger.
Rage.
Those are just a few of the words that could explain my emotions. Though they are understatements.

November
SSDD

Bitch.
Moan.
Really nothing new to report except a new health problem and another test I can't afford being ordered.

December
Monday Madness
First week participant in Monday Madness. Woohoo!

December 12, 2005

Amok, amok, amok

On Friday, my mom's fourth graders were decimated. By the end of the day, only 10 kids remained in school. There is a nasty flu bug running amok. Amok, amok, amok. Their teacher (one of my favorites to sub for) congratulated the 10 remaining kids for making it through the day.

However, I am off today to 4th grade with my surgical mask and my Airborn in hand. HOPEFULLY, I will make it through today without getting sick for the holidays (again)! Last time I went in for an ill teacher at the holidays, I ended up with pneumonia during my Christmas break. NOT fun.

December 11, 2005

Dare to Dream

Where are the female role models for children in sports? For most kids, they're hard to find.

Tonight, I watched Dare to Dream with the hubby. Dare to Dream is the story of the U.S. Women's Soccer Team.

Honestly, its a documentary. It talks about the 17 years these women played together before they got any kind of recognition. 17 years. That is dedication. That is perserverance. It was funny to see Mia Hamm at 15.

We taped it, so The Hubby could take it to work and let Head Coach see it. I can only hope they decide to show it to the girls next year. I have not one agile bone in my body and I was inspired.

I want these girls to succeed so badly. I want The Hubby and Head Coach to succeed so badly. I just want them to get it together.

I know soccer will never be huge in the United States, but these women deserve recognition. It was really neat to see these women encourage young girls. Telling them they can do whatever they can set their mind to doing. There aren't enough people telling young girls that these days.

Sheesh...I'm getting misty. I must be hormonal. :)

December 10, 2005

Squeeeeeeeeeeee!

My mother called this morning and said she and my father wanted to take us chair hunting. They have said they want to get me a new chair for our living room for Christmas. While this isn't as exciting as some Christmas gifts, it will be my first piece of "new" furniture as an adult. So, it is exciting for me.

Off we went to the mall. There is a La-Z-Boy store at the mall. I do believe I sat in every single chair in that store. It came down to two chairs I really liked. Both were what they call "chair and a half" models. They're huge. Roomy enough for The Hubby and I both to almost fit in this chair. H-U-G-E. However, one chair made a strange clanking noise whenever anyone sat in it. (The salesman couldn't even explain it) The other was microfiber, almost suede and with three cats, that is really not an option. I'm still having nightmares imagining the work involved in that chair. Plus, both were wayyyyy to expensive (in my opinion). I just can't picture myself being comfortable in a $800 chair. I'm not careful enough. I have cats. No.

We left the store hungry, dejected, and still no chair. After lunch at Eat and Park (don't even get me started on the rude people we encountered there...someone needs to teach them the concept of INDOOR voice) and a stop at a candy store to get melting chocolate and peppermint crunch to make candy, we were off again.

This time we headed to another store. My parents found their bedframe here and even though I wasn't psyched about the drive across the city, I figured, why not.

The moment I stepped in that store, I knew things were going to be different. Every way I turned, GORGEOUS furniture. Dino, our salesman told us to let him know if we found anything we liked, the store was set up in a big U so just pick a way and go. We wandered left because to the right was children's furniture. First, we saw a huge canopy king size bed that was just beautiful, but no chairs.


Then I spotted this cute blue chair with tan/taupe trim and an adorable ottoman. It was a chair and a half like I liked at La-Z-Boy and have I mentioned I LOVE blue? I jubilantly kicked the ottoman out of the way so I could sit down.

Oh.

My.

Gosh.

This is the chair. I want this chair. I NEED this chair. I never want to leave this chair.

While the salesman checked to see if it was in stock, I plunked my father down in it to "guard" it (hey, it's Christmas and people are RUTHLESS) and my mother and I went through the rest of the store trying chairs. In every chair it was the same thing, "I like the blue one better". It was decided, the blue chair would be mine. Mine. MINE! :)


Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, my mother offered this idea. "What about getting the matching couch too? You do have an anniversary coming up." She made a good point, if we don't get matching stuff now, we'll never find furniture that matches it perfectly. (Like she had to convince me)

Finally, my parents went to purchase the chair, ottoman, and couch. The Hubby and I sat in the display models and discussed how we were going to rearrange our living room to accomodate these new pieces. As we were leaving the store, my father hands the sales receipt to me and tells me to check it over. Oooookay. I stuck it in my purse and thought nothing more about it. Until he told me to check it carefully to make sure all the information was right.

Hmmm....I smell a rat. A sneaky, but sweet rat.


I dug through my purse and pulled out the two pink receipts that were stapled together. The first said just chair. So I figured there were seperate receipts for each item.

NOPE! The second said, chair, ottoman, and couch!

HOT DAMN! We have, not one, but TWO -
MATCHING chairs and a couch! Yipee!!

Holy heck, where are we going to put everything!?

December 09, 2005

What is your opinion?

First, my day. I wanted a snow day, even though I don't get paid and you know what, I think I would have been happier without that money in my pocket. Let me just say, I earned my money today. Today I had:
  • Breakfast duty
  • 4 classes, back to back
  • Lunch duty
  • 3 classes, back to back
  • Bus duty
My longest break was 15 minutes and that was my lunch period...and my lunch duty ran late. Grrrr. That kind of schedule should not be allowed. The morning wasn't bad. The activities the gym teacher left me were better for older kids. Mainly the transitioning from station to station. The first graders in the afternoon did not get it. They also did not shut. up. The longer I am away from my student teaching, the more I abhor kindergarten and first grade.

Shut up! Shut up! SHUT UP!

I think I'm better now.

Now, I need opinions.

Since I have not heard back about my CT scan, I made the hubby call them today. Apparently, I do NOT have a kidney stone. In fact, there is not calcium build up in my kidney or my bladder. (Yay!) However, the nurses say I should still go to my urologist appointment on the 28th, "just to be safe".

I am pissed. Yes, I will just go pick some money off my money tree and go to an appointment I probably don't need (a la endocrinologist). I am what you call a "self-pay" patient, which means I have to foot the bill for everything unless we qualify for low income help.

I feel like I am getting jerked around. I cannot STAND my doctor's replacement (she's the one who has upped my glucophage, which seems to be making my glucose levels worse...ordered all this kidney crap, etc.). But the fact remains that I am "spilling" protein somewhere. So here are my options (as I see them):

(a) Bite the bullet, pay the money, and go to the urologist. Deal with it as it comes from there.

(b) Call my doctor and the urologist on Monday and see if either has a recommendation (or if their recommendations are the same). Honestly, I doubt they will be able to give me any advice whatsoever. I just love HIPPA.

(c) Cancel my appointment with the urologist on the 28th, wait until my doc gets back from maternity leave (in January), discuss this entire thing with her, and go from there.

(d) Some unknown better option I haven't thought of yet.

What do you think?

December 08, 2005

Ouch

I had this big, long rant...post ready to write in my mind, but I am so exhausted that I just don't have the rant...post in me.

Today was a lot of fun. I enjoy being with the kid's in my mom's hall. For the most part, they're sweet kids. There are a couple of 4th graders that make me thankful I am not their classroom teacher. One class is a dilly. Oy. Even the parents that came to help her were great. Except one, at the end.

A permanent sub's husband came in (my mom has her daughter and I really like the kid; the permanent sub is nice too). He was a wonderful help during the candy factory. HOWEVER, he managed to rile the kids up right before the buses came. He was "tickling" them, picking one up and taking her to the trash (teasing), and just generally being a guy. Luckily, my mother held it together (she was getting some low blood sugar and really not feeling well) and I kept my mouth shut. As the husband of a teacher, he knows better. Shame on you.


The pizza's went over wonderfully. The kids just loved them. I took cheapie pictures and once I get them developed, scanned, and posted I will share. So in like 3 months when you have forgotten all about this. Viola! Pictures! Did I mention I really want a digital camera? I've been really good this year!

I am so tired and everything hurts. Gotta love "special" days. Oh well. Tomorrow, I am teaching gym. Woohoo! Right now, sweats and a sweatshirt sounds sooooooo good. However, I'll break down in the morning and wear professional clothes. Damn professionalism!

Finally...the "hidden" meaning behind my name. Snatched from Leesa.

Erin

From Ireland : Irish
You are both a visionary and a realist able to bring your dreams into a tangible form. Pioneering and ambitious you accept new challenges and the responsibilities which go with them willingly. Your sound judgement, resourcefulness and positive nature means that your progress in life is assured. Certainly your kindness and generosity to others and your inspirational manner attract success as well as many admirers.

December 07, 2005

Extreme

Woohoo! Last week they aired the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition that was filmed in Ohio (not too awfully far from me). It was wonderful. In fact, Jeff was on the radio today saying he wished he would have shaved so he wouldn't have looked like a hobo on tv. Heehee. Nice.

And guess what!? (Shelly, have you seen this?) Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is in Blacksburg this week! Woo-friggin-hoo! I'm so excited! I can't wait to see the show and all the Blacksburg landmarks that I miss.

Extreme Makeover visits Blacksburg!
I feel like a poodle, which is good, because I look like a poodle. If I owned a digital camera I would post a picture of my huge hair. Completely confused?

Yesterday, I got a perm. I always HATE my hair the first day of a perm. It's. HUGE. Plus, my hair dresser, miracle worker that she is, blow dried my hair. Frizz city!


Last night, I pulled as much of my hair back into a pony tail so I could sleep (I felt like I was being strangled by a huge frizzy hairball before I pulled it back). Apparently, I am a restless sleeper because when I awoke this morning I looked a tad crazy. Hopefully, things will look better after I shower this afternoon. Sheesh.

While the snow belt continues to get pounded with snow (they were predicting 15 inches overnight), we've yet to get anything. Usually when the snow belt gets a bunch of snow, we at least get a little. However, this time. Nothing. Oh don't misunderstand, the snow we did have isn't melting as it is 13
° outside. I was just hoping for a snow day or two. Love those snow days!

The only thing on my agenda today to get done, besides after-school tutoring, is to pick up some cookies. Fourteen dozen cookies to be exact. This makes me reaaaaallllly want a cookie right now but I am resisting. But really...they wouldn't miss just one, teensy, tiny dozen cookies, right?

The cookies are for my mother. Every other year the 3rd and 4th graders are her school visit a local candy factory. They see how the candy is made, get samples, and all kinds of fun stuff. Then before their holiday music program the entire hall (3rd and 4th grades) have a candy factory. In each room, students make a different candy. They then sell these candies before the music program and before school, I believe. It makes a great economics lesson. This years candy's are chocolate covered pretzel rods with sprinkles, snowmen (no idea), ting-a-ling (???), chocolate suckers, mints, buckeyes (hello, we are in Ohio), and pizzas.

These are no ordinary pizzas though. They're cookie pizzas! Here is a picture of one that is somewhat like what they're making. The ones the students will make won't have nuts due to the fear of someone having a nut allergy. I'll try to get a picture of one tomorrow (this is one of those times I really wish I had a digital camera). They're really neat.

Just in case anyone wants to try them on their own. Here's a vague, non-specific recipe.

Cookie Pizzas
  • 1 large sugar cookie (approx. 2 in. diameter)
  • strawberry jelly/jam
  • fruit roll-ups cut into circles (we used a circular cookie cutter)
  • shredded coconut OR shaved white chocolate (I say coconut, Mom says chocolate)
  • green gum drops sliced
Do I really need to give instructions? You just make it look like a pizza. :)

For lunch, I think I may try sweet and sour meatballs. They sound good. They look good and hey, I have premade meatballs in the fridge. I know, I know, premade food isn't good for you. I'm working on it.

Sorry, the pizza cookies got me started on a food tangent. I'm also thinking about searching for a sour cream sugar cookie recipe. In my defense, I have some sour cream that I need to use up.

December 05, 2005

Monday Madness!

First week participant in Monday Madness. Woohoo!

1. When is the last time you moved?
The last time I moved was in May of 2003. The Hubby was living in West Virginia and had finished his contract teaching at a local college. I had graduated from my 5 year master's program from
Tech. We combined those two households into my grandparents home in Ohio.

2. How many times in your life have you moved?
I've moved 5 times total. The first "move" I made was into a dorm at Virginia Tech. I count the 2 years of that as one move. Next, The Hubby and I moved into a tiny apartment across from campus. Then I moved half of our stuff to Salem, Virginia so I could finish my student teaching and be closer to the schools I was treaching in. The Hubby moved home to West Virginia where he had a job for the year. Finally, we both moved to Ohio.

3. In your opinion, what is the worst thing about moving?
Packing and unpacking. I hate to unpack a suitcase, let alone hundreds of boxes. In fact, I think I still have a box or two that is still packed from our move here.

4. What is the most exciting thing about moving?
Purging all the things I manage to keep that I don't honestly need. I'm such a packrat.

5. If you've lived in the same place all your life, do you plan to move in the future?
Until I went to college, I had lived in the same house all my life. In fact, my neighbors were family members. I really like most aspects of this kind of living. I don't like living in large cities where traffic noises and street lights shine in my window. I love listening to the frogs croak or the sheep baa as I fall asleep. Although moving is an option The Hubby and I have discussed, it's not something I want to do. However, it may be the only solution in both of us finding full-time work.

6. Do you WANT to move somewhere else; if so, where?
Not really. Yes, I live practically in the snow belt and see a lot of snow in the winter. Yes, some years it's hotter than hades here. However, I love living next door to my family. I wouldn't trade that for the world. I live in my grandfather's house which is full of wonderful memories. If my family were moving to the same area, perhaps.

December 04, 2005

Random Notions

Busy, busy weekend...

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Yesterday, The Hubby and I went recruiting. It was the best recruiting trip I have been on yet (well, Columbus doesn't count)! This event was held at an indoor sports dome. It was well organized and warm - for soccer in December.

There was a specific level, just for college coaches. On this level there were tables, chairs, "resumes" for each player, play schedules, pizza, and all the Gatorade one could ever hope to drink. I was impressed! Talk about treating the college coaches right. Did I mention we didn't have to pay to get in? Trust me, they got their money from the players who paid $75 to participate.

It was somewhat disappointing as there were only 36 girls participating (the men had 130). It was also disheartening that the best player at the seniors only combine was a junior. I don't ask.

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Today is the soccer banquet for The Hubby's team. I'm looking forward to it and dreading it. It's just how I am.

On the one hand, I enjoy spending time with The Hubby and I get to meet Head Coach's wife and three year old son. I'm also hoping I get to at least meet The Hubby's goalkeepers. I feel like I know these girls already but we've never actually been introduced.

On the other hand, I am not looking forward to being the biggest person in the room (college girls are amazingly skinny athletic). I am also nervous about meeting people. I hate that stuff. I'm a walking contradiction.

I'm always very nervous before these types of things. Then I force myself to go and generally end up having a good time. I'm always glad I went. I just try to psych myself out of going. Sheesh.

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After-school tutoring starts on Monday. I am very excited about it. First, because it supplements my income (meager as it has been this semester) and it's only an hour after school. Plus it gets me out of the house once a day and working. That in turn makes it easier for me to accept jobs. "I'm going to be out anyway." So yaaaaaaaaaay for tutoring!

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I had an interesting phone call on Friday. Well, several actually. The hospital's scheduling department called to schedule a kidney ultrasound. Say what? I just had one a few weeks ago. I scheduled it "just in case" (the scheduler's idea) and then immediately called my doctor's office.

I explained the situation to the chick that answered the phone. She went and got my chart and informed me that my doc's replacement had, in fact, written a script for a kidney ultrasound on the 29th. "They must not have been able to see something or something wasn't clear." Grrr. Fine.

I hung up with her and called The Hubby. His aunt is a nurse; he has been taught how to get things done, medically. The Hubby also found this strange and vowed to call the office and find out what was going on. After I called him, my mother called. We chatted a bit and I informed her of the situation. She agreed that it was weird.

Half an hour later, the phone rang again. It was the nurse from my doctor's office. Apparently, when I got the first ultrasound the hospital lost my script. So they needed a copy of the script. The nurse faxed them a copy of the script without writing "This is a copy" on it and they thought it was a new script. Grrrrrr... I told the nurse it wasn't her fault. Luckily, I don't need another ultrasound. She also said I should have the results of the ct scan early next week. Yay!

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Christmas shopping seems to be going well. We have no money, yet gifts seem to be working themselves out. Yay for that! Luckily, Christmas is low key around here. The family rule is once the cousins/neices and nephews turn 18, they no longer get presents from aunts, uncles, and cousins. It reduces a lot of stress, let me tell you.

Gifts to buy:
The Hubby
My mom
My dad - Mom has a family gift idea...it's good too
My brother
The Mother-in-law
The Father-in-law
Cards, if we decide to send them

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We got some lake effect snow last night. Not much, just 3-5 inches. I haven't been outside to see if its closer to three inches or to five inches. I figure The Hubby and I will figure it out as we're zipping down the driveway and trying not to get stuck.

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Also, the kitchen has been cleaned since Monday. Woohoo! The living room is semi-clean. I'm working on it. Yay me!

December 02, 2005

10 Random Things Meme

This is similar to a previous meme, but it's different. Snatched from pesky apostrophe.


TEN random things you might not know about me.
  1. The only bone I have ever broken is my right arm. I broke it in second grade during gymnastics class when I did a handstand without a spotter.
  2. I love my car. It's a 2000 Impala. I got it used. I used to be strictly Ford. Now, I *heart* Chevys.
  3. I joined Weight Watchers for the first time when I was in 4th grade.
  4. I wanted to be a marine biologist/trainer when I was in middle school.
  5. When it comes to gardening, I have a black thumb.
  6. I'd never been to a 'real' soccer game before this year when I went to see The Hubby's team.
  7. I love anything made from chocolate and peanut butter.
  8. I have never smoked or done any kind of drugs. Doctors find that hard to believe.
  9. I enjoy making up silly, anonymous fliers and putting them in neighbors mailboxes.
  10. My family's first pet (and my favorite out of my childhood pets) was a black lab named Montgomery Ward. We also had JC Penney, but they weren't as great as Monty.

NINE places I’ve visited

  1. Orlando, Florida
  2. Madrid, Spain
  3. Mexico City, Mexico
  4. Washington, D.C.
  5. Columbus, Ohio
  6. Super Small Town, Missouri
  7. Toledo, Ohio
  8. Savannah, Georgia
  9. Blacksburg, Virginia

EIGHT ways to win my heart

  1. Buy me flowers.
  2. Protect me.
  3. Take care of me.
  4. Read my mind.
  5. Have a sense of humor and laugh at my silliness.
  6. Enjoy chick flicks no matter how much you protest.
  7. Be jealous (within reason).
  8. Love Disney.

SEVEN things I want to do before I die

  1. Get a full-time, permanent teaching job.
  2. Visit all 50 states.
  3. Be a mom.
  4. Send my parents on a cruise somewhere exotic.
  5. Have enough money that I don't have to worry about money constantly.
  6. Visit Lisa in Spain.
  7. Visit Disney World again, with kids (and C), and go all out.

SIX things I’m afraid of

  1. Dark Rooms
  2. Something bad happening to The Hubby
  3. Large mean dogs
  4. Losing my job
  5. Not having enough money to pay my bills
  6. Dying

FIVE things I don’t like

  1. Olives, olives, olives.
  2. Bob Taft
  3. Icy roads
  4. Cat hair on evvvvvvvvvverything
  5. Intolerance of others
FOUR ways to turn me off
  1. Lie.
  2. Be intolerant of others.
  3. Be mean to others or animals.
  4. Curse like a sailor.
THREE Things I do every day
  1. Kiss The Hubby
  2. Feed the boys, Lulu, and the barn kitties.
  3. Check email.

TWO things that make me happy

  1. The Hubby
  2. Disney...anything Disney

ONE thing on my mind right now

  1. Why the hospital just called to schedule another kidney ultrasound? I just had one on the 14th!

December 01, 2005

Good grief!

So, today was the longest half day of work ever. Ev-er. Actually, the only part that seemed never ending was the last 15 minutes. Isn't that just how it is?

First, I have avoided subbing for this particular teacher because her room last year was consistently in chaos. I think its her teaching style. It works for her, but when a sub comes in, it does NOT work. I began to get a little, shall we say, alarmed when the classroom teacher mentioned as she threw on her coat that she has had some pretty bad luck with substitutes this year (and she was glad it was me). Oy.

Come to find out, last week they had a sub for two days in a row. The first day another teacher had to come down because they were running up and down the halls, screaming, out of their seats, etc. The second day the principal came in to "lay the smack down" (as The Hubby says). It was not effective. Greeeeeeeeeeeat.

As I walked into the cafeteria Miss Germany* immediately asked me if Classroom Teacher had "warned" me who to watch. Okay, first, allow me to digress. I can't decide whether to be annoyed when other teacher (classroom or otherwise) "warn" me about certain students. On the one hand, I appreciate knowing who potential behavior problems are and to watch them closely. On the other hand, I think it makes me treat those students differently.

So today I had a kleptomaniac, a liar, and a plain old obnoxious kid. The day went really well considering what I had been warned about. The Liar (not my name, Miss Germany's) had a rough time until after recess - he argued with kids, took forever to do each activity, spend 30 minutes searching for a pink crayon, etc. After recess, he was better. Until Miss Germany came in to check on them.

While I was lining kids up, The Liar was packing up. As I was checking the Klepto's bookbag (Miss Berlin ordered me to, since she steals stuff), I hear a hubbub beginning around the mailbox area. Apparently, The Liar has a Little Debbie oatmeal creme cookie. Another child swears it is hers. Well...who do you believe? Miss Germany put the cookie on the classroom teachers desk and said CT would deal with it tomorrow.

Well, at this point, The Liar now becomes The Hysterical Wailer. The H.W. sits down, clutching his bookbag, and proceeds to scream/wail hysterically (hence his name). I have exactly 5 minutes to get the class to the gym for dismissal. So I left The H.W. in Miss Germany's hands and took the children to the gym. Once I was satisfied that everyone had walked to their line and sat down, I returned to the classroom. As I walked back, one helpful student informed me that The H.W. was "having a meltdown". Was he ever!

There was no reasoning/talking to this child. Finally, Miss Berlin carried him to the gym to line up. She had no idea what bus he was to ride. As I raced back to the room to check, it hit me...he is in the bus line I am supposed to escort out. The bus line that just left! Shoot! The H.W. will not move. So Miss Germany picks him up and he finally stands. I get him walking down the hall toward his bus. Soooooooooooo sloooooooooooooooooowly. I swear the kid is going to miss his bus. The closer we get to the bus, the slower The H.W. walks.

Halfway down the hallway, Miss Germany disappears into her classroom. Gee, thanks lady! You set him off, not me! Mind you, this is after she shouted at him that if he "wouldn't lie all the time so they could believe what he said, this wouldn't have been a problem". Grrrr.

He all but sits down on the sidewalk (and it was snowing). He will not get on the bus. He will not talk to me, the other teacher there, or the bus driver.

The bus driver is shouting that he is holding up everything. Thanks. Finally, I made a decision. I picked up The H.W. and put him on the second step of the bus figuring he will walk up the steps himself from there.

Nope!

Eventually, I carried him up the steps and (gently) pushed him into the front seat. I didn't care if that was his assigned seat, all that mattered was that his butt was on the bus. Hopefully, he got off the bus at the other school and got home.

Never again. Never, ever again. Sheesh. Did I mention this was kindergarten!?

* Name has been changed