Friday, October 31, 2008

This week and I, we weren't big fans of each other

Oh man oh man. It's 9:24 on Halloween night, and I'm thinking very seriously about heading to bed. It's been quite a week. It started with Monday and just kept going. Yesterday, it took me 45 minutes to get to work (I work approximately 14 minutes from my house), because of an I walked in just before the warning bell rang for first period. Then I have just been having really nasty headaches in strange parts of my head. And my eye was twitchy today. And my throat is raw. And I was a major discipliner today.

Okay...I'm done with complaining. Some really incredible things have happened this week too. We have gotten day after day of encouraging reports from North Carolina. Andy's Uncle Jim is recovering in some pretty incredible ways. Fifteen days ago, they were telling us he probably wouldn't live...and this week, he is moving both of his hands and feet, starting to sit up, and today he even was able to talk a little. Yesterday, he mouthed a smooch to his wife. I sat at my computer and just cried as I read that email. They moved him out of Intensive Care today, into the Progressive Care unit. The Lord is doing some seriously amazing things in his recovery--it's just so encouraging and exciting.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It was a case of the Mondays

Coming home Sunday night, I was all set to recount my fabulous weekend. But then, Monday hit. And I'll get back to the weekend on Wednesday or Thursday. Because I'm nothing if not living a little in the past.

So, most Mondays I wake up at 5:45 am. I check my email, I read a few blogs, I have my quiet time and I get ready for school. I leave the house at about 7. It's a good system.

Until you forget to turn your alarm clock on.

Which wouldn't be a big deal, except your husband didn't turn his alarm clock on either, because he thought yours was on...and he was sleeping on the couch because he had a nosebleed that wouldn't end the night before.

So wake up, and roll over. And see that the clock says 8:21!!!

And you hop out of bed and shout, because you are both late for work.

So there is much rushing and madness in the house...and you leave for work at 8:29, oh so thankful that you have a first period prep, and your classes don't arrive until 9:19.

And we'll just say things went sorta downhill from there.

I'm awfully glad it's Tuesday now. :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

This and That

This is going to be a bit of a hodge-podge post. A little bit of this and that. I'm just so darn excited about going to my mom and dad's tomorrow, I can't keep my brain straight!

Yesterday, I spent a lot of the evening prepping some meals for our freezer. I know that my schedule is going to get out of control in the next few weeks, so I thought it would be good for me to have some food in the freezer, ready to thaw and heat for those nights. So I put chicken enchiladas, King Ranch chicken, Mexican lasagna, and chicken and rice casserole in the freezer (using a whole cooked chicken :)) Here they all are in the fridge, cooling before making their way to the freezer.

At the finish of that, I was in need of some serious sugar, so I made these too! Let me tell you, those chocolate/carmel apples really hit the spot. All the spots. They weren't much to look at, but boy did they taste yummy.

Today, I got my hair redone. I got it cut a few weeks ago, and I loved it. But we had tried to add some red lowlights, and they didn't take. So I finally got back in today, and got my hair completely styled. The first picture is a few weeks ago before...the second is tonight with everything all done. Don't look too closely at my's naked. Or the camera beside my head. I'm a little ghetto.

After I got my hair done, I went to school, and I finally finished hanging Romeo and Juliet posters. I realized I never posted after pictures of my I took a few today. It's a little busy right now (it's what happens when you try to hang a whole grade level's worth of posters in one room), but you can get the main idea. Oh--and I'm posting a picture of the sign Andy made me for my rules.

That's why I'm the one they laugh at

There are about a million things I could write right now. Some of them serious, some of them not. My head is running at a million miles per hour, thinking about all the things I want to pack into this short little fall break. I have about three more posts in my head, and I'm sure I'll get to them eventually, but right now, I just want to tell you about how very brilliant I am. And that's not in any way sarcastic.

Two weeks ago, I had a meeting on Wednesday, and my gas tank was empty. Like, the little man in the dashboard was ready to come out and punch me in the nose empty. So, I had all of 24 minutes to get out of the school parking lot, to the gas station, and to the meeting place. Which shouldn't be a big deal, except that it took 17 minutes to get out of the parking lot. So I was a bit...distracted...when I was pumping my gas.

The next day, my service engine light came on. I told Andy about it every day for a week and a half, until he finally took it to Auto Zone so they could plug their handy little machine in it that would tell what was wrong with the engine. A free service that I love. Except for what the little machine told me. Can you guess? I didn't screw my gas cap back on, so it was creating a vacuum and messing with my engine. I was driving around for close to two weeks with my little door closed, but no gas cap on.

Needless to say, Andy laughed at me for quite some time.

Then yesterday, a man from the water softener place came out to change a filter. I thought it was in the little softener. Turns out it was in the little faucet that I thought was broken. He looked at me funny when I told him it didn't work. He asked me if we had just moved in....when I told him we'd lived here for a year, he looked at me funnier. The little faucet was turned off, and had been for a long time. All we had to do was flip a little switch. I think he thought I was an idiot....especially after he checked the water softener and saw that it was out of salt.

Then last night, I opened the kitchen window to let out some of the smoke that was in the kitchen (I overcooked some chicken) and left it open all night long. Which is why our furnace was working overtime this morning.

I'm 0-3 on looking like I know what I'm doing this week.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

In my head, it's Friday

First off, thanks to all for your prayers. Things are still rough, and Andy's uncle is going to have a long road of recovery ahead of him, but for now, things are looking somewhat encouraging.

Today was my last day of school before fall break. Students were only there a half-day, and that felt too long. I gave my students an essay test that lasted two they were itching to get out of my class, and I was itching for them to leave. In my head, I feel like it's Friday. I even feel tired like I do on Friday nights (though Tuesday does tend to be an awfully sleepy night most weeks). We went to the movies tonight, too, with some friends from church, because it's two dollar Tuesday at the theater downtown. So that made it feel even more like a weekend night--because we never do stuff like that!

I'm thrilled to have the next three days off. I plan to finish up my lesson plans for through the end of this trimester (November 19) and grade the essay tests. I want to get to school for a few hours and do some sorting and hanging (I'll try to remember my camera so I can finally take some pictures of my classroom). I would also like to get our flower beds ready for winter and a few meals in the freezer for the nights when I'm too tired to cook (I foresee several in the stretch between now and calendar is filling up FAST). And then, on Friday, we are going to my parents house for the weekend! I'm so excited. It's been a long time. And I can't wait. The only thing that would make it better was if sweet Lauren were home. But it's okay...we'll be home together at Thanksgiving :) And she's going to come stay with me for a weekend sometime next semester (can you believe that my VERY OWN SISTER has never spent the night at my house in the whole time I've been married?!?!?!?!)

Sweet, sweet fall break. I have been so ready for you.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Please Pray

Hey all...I just wanted to ask you for your prayers right now. Andy's uncle Jim fell off of a ladder on Thursday and injured his head. He survived surgery, which was not expected. He is currently in the hospital in pretty serious condition.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A sure sign it's been a long week....

You come home from school, and stand at your front door, trying to figure out why your key won't work.

About three minutes later, you realize that it's the key to your classroom, not your house.

I was all set to come in here and type just that...but I have another piece of evidence:

You walk into the house and head straight for the Cheetos you saved from last night's dinner (at Subway). When you realize your husband stole your saved Cheetos and ate them, you cry a little, because that was what got you through the long day and now it's gone.

Now I'm off to see if he finished off his jalapeno chips too.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

How old are you?

Last night, Andy and I were talking about the play Romeo and Juliet. I was telling him that we had just discussed in class the fact that we know that Juliet is only 13, and her mother tells her that she was her age when she had Juliet, making her 26 with a 13-year-old daughter.

I continued to tell him that the kids had a difficult time with that one, and that I did too...I explained to them that Juliet's mom was really just a few years older than me, and had a kid who was just a bit younger than them.

Andy said, "Right, because you're 24."

I stopped, and looked at him funny.

"I'm only 23. I won't be 24 until February."

"Wow. You are young."

Yup. Sure am. Thanks for remembering, old man.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Some of my more hidden traits...

In honor of just because, I thought I'd share with you a few things that not too many people know about me....So here we go:

1. I start each morning with a cup of coffee to perk me up (with creamer...I think we've covered that)....and end each day with a cup of tea, to wind down (it's the only way I can fall asleep well)

2. If I have a snack that's too salty, I need something sweet. If I have something too sweet, I need something salty. For balance, of course.

3. Every night, I have a few songs that I have to listen to before I go to bed: Mighty to Save by Laura Story, You're Not Alone by Meredith Andrews, and Hope Now by Addison Road. I don't own any of these songs, so I turn on the YouTube video of each to listen to them. Andy has recommended that maybe I just buy them.

4. I secretly want to be a runner. I'm so impressed by people that run. I want to do just hurts. I haven't figured out how to get past the burning in my chest thing. But I'm going to. Seriously.

5. I want to be able to do everything. I want to be a good wife, a wise steward of my resources, an excellent wife and homemaker....I want to be a great cook and baker, I want to have a beautiful and spotless home. I want to learn to sew, knit, and quilt. I want to be able to give beautifully handcrafted gifts and come up with creative ways to decorate. A lot of my days are spent trying to find reality in the middle of what I want. It's an interesting thing.

6. In the two and a half years I worked at Subway, I rarely ate the same thing twice in a row. And I almost always got the specialty breads. In recent months, however, I have reverted back to my original sandwich--the six inch turkey on wheat, which I really didn't get too often when I worked there.

7. Today I had to explain that "Give me my longsword ho!" did not mean that Lord Capulet was calling his wife a ho four different times. It was easily the most I have ever said the word ho in one day. Ho, ho, ho. Just call me Santa Claus.

8. I can never remember how to spell the word occurrence. I may have it wrong here. Spell checker kicked me and called me a loser when I tried to type it on a test this morning.

9. I have a slightly obsessive personality. It's difficult for me to just like something. I can watch the same movies over and over again, listen to the same song over and over, and watch television episodes repeatedly. I've done it for a long time: Grease, Angels in the Outfield, Gilmore Girls (which is in a class of its own...I've probably seen every episode a dozen times), The Office, Jon and Kate Plus 8, the Rent and Wicked soundtracks, Chris Tomlin's new cd, etc.

10. When I want to get someone's attention or make a point, I'll sing the words I want to say. It happens some at school. Sometimes I make up songs for Andy, too. He has asked me to stop (just kidding).

11. I don't remember learning the normal pre-K and K songs as a child (I'm sure I mama was a kindergarten teacher). What I do remember is singing The Beach Boys nonstop with my daddy at a very young age. In fact, I'll bet that if that cd is still in his car, we could rock out the next time I'm home. I do the high part, he does the low.

12. I desperately want to rock the boots/tights/skirt or dress look this winter. I just have to buy new boots, tights, and some more skirts and dresses. Sadly, every time I think I can do just that, something gets in the way. So I'm stuck with my sad old clothes instead.

13. I hate grocery shopping. It stresses me out to no end. And makes me irritated. I hate pushing the cart and getting stuck behind people. It's also irritating especially because I know exactly how much I may for each item, and I notice exactly how much those items have gone up in price recently. Velveeta cheese slices used to be 2.50; now they are 3.96. Even Aldi's prices have increased about 10-15 cents for most items.

14. Because I hate grocery shopping, I try to do it not very often. But it never works out. I'll write out a meal plan for everything I need for a few weeks, and something inevitably happens. We lose power for a week, and all my food goes bad. Or the store is out of six key ingredients, which necessitates a trip back. Or I'll think Andy has only gone through four slices of bread in one week, so he doesn't need a new loaf, and that very day he starts eating four pieces of toast each day. Or I just eat everything.

15. This is the last one. I am really, really focused. If I get it in my mind that I have to do something, I can't be dissuaded. If you ask me to do something when I'm already working on something, it's really difficult for me to switch gears. It happens a lot around the I'll be thinking I need to get something done in a certain order, and Andy will ask me to do something else, or just to let it go, and I can't. It's especially an issue at school. Students will interrupt my thought process, or ask me something when I'm working on something else (like taking attendance or helping someone else)...and I get so confused because I was so focused on the first thing that I can't begin to process the second.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Weekend: A Photo Essay

Today, I have spent most of the day with these since the first report card grades are due Tuesday:

I think I might have a problem. Yes, that is five bottles of creamer in my refrigerator. In my defense, the chocolate mint truffle is almost gone. And I wouldn't have bought the white chocolate raspberry, but MJ said that even if I had to spend my last dime to buy it, I needed it. That sounded like serious business...and I'm susceptible to the advice of others. So I have five bottles of creamer. And let's be honest, if Wal-Mart had the pumpkin spice, I would have bought it too.Last minute gifts for two girls in our Sunday School class that are moving away. Here they are all wrapped up.
The gift for Sister C. It's a picture frame that is serving as a dry erase board, I just put scrapbook paper behind it and tied a bow and hot glued it on. Then I added a dry erase marker with an eraser, and voila! The little notebook is just a mini composition book that I added scrapbook paper and ribbon to with Mod-Podge. The other kids in class then wrote a little message to each of the girls.
Sister B's gift. Same thing, but blue and brown.
And I finally hung the picture frame I got last month at Meijer. Again, no pictures. We have lots of pictures of strangers around our house. You can't really tell in this picture, but the mom in the top photo looks like what I imagine my friend Jami will look like in twenty years. It's crazy. I may mail it to her when I finally get a real picture in there. And I made that little plaque this afternoon. This is in our bedroom, when you first walk in...that wall the side of my closet.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Straight into the heart

Yesterday, I had my first formal evaluation at school. And it was one of the most encouraging conversations I have had in a very long time. Which is strange, because I have had so few conversations with this person, but he spoke straight to what has been on my heart, what I have been praying about and questioning over these past few weeks.

Essentially, I was told that I am doing a good job at my job. Which was good to hear, because I feel like I'm failing every day. He told me that there are things that he saw me doing that some third and fourth year teachers aren't doing yet. He told me a few things that I could try to make things flow a little easier and to keep everyone on task. All in all, he was very positive. It was the part that came next that was so encouraging.

Thursday night was our parent teacher conferences, and during that time I had a conversation with him where I had said that living here was definitely a transition and one that wasn't always easy. On Friday, after we finished my formal evalaution, he told me there was something else he wanted to talk to me about. Basically, after our conversation Thursday, he wanted me to know that he knows that I am in a rough spot. I live in this place that I don't neccessarily love, where I'm not as accustomed to the people and area and that's rough. I am teaching ninth grade, which is easily the most difficult age group to teach. Something about reaching high school makes a lot of kids difficult to handle. Then, what he said next nearly made me cry.

He told me this, "I just want you to know that I know that what you are dealing with is not easy. I know that it's hard. I don't want you, though, to question whether or not you should be in education. Whether it's here or somewhere else, I see a great future ahead of you in education. You have the potential to be a great teacher; don't let what's going on now get you down."

To be honest, I have been questioning a lot of things....I don't always sleep well at night and I can't seem to turn my brain off. It's always moving, always turning, and I feel worn out. There are days that I come home and I dread going back....but there are also days that I love what I'm doing. It was just so encouraging to hear someone tell me that they knew what I was feeling, and then to have that person give me the encouragement to keep plugging away. I walked back to my room, still on the verge of tears, just really thanking the Lord, because He gave me what I so perfectly needed through this human vessel.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Dear October

Dear October,

I'm rather excited to see you arrive. You caught me off guard this morning, and I was not dressed appropriately. It was okay, though, my room was a katrillion degrees, so I recovered quickly. I'll just have to get reaccquainted with my friends at again.

It's okay, though, October. I'm glad you're here. I'm glad that I could smell the fall in the air today. I'm glad that the leaves are starting to change, and that wearing sweaters and snuggly clothes is the name of the game. I'm excited to find some new boots and tights to wear to school. Could you talk to the stores about getting them in my price range?

I'm excited about the mums and the pumpkins. They make me so happy. Andy teased me last night as I squealed with joy at the sight..but you understand, October, I know you do. I'm excited to start having soup again--not much feels better than having a big pot of soup simmering on the stove. I'm excited about apple cider, pumpkin everything, and the return of warm drinks. I feel a bit sad that I may not get a caramel apple cider from the Oasis Cafe. I would love to get to Purdue some time to have that experience once more....I've been craving one so. I'm excited that Starbucks has Pumpkin Spice lattes, and I hope to get to a town where I can have one. I'm excited that holiday creamers are in the store, so I can experience a small bit of happiness each and every morning.

Oh, October, you are a special month. You are crisp and cool. You are one of the prettiest months of the year..not dreary like November or sweltering like August. You also contain one of my favorite times of the year--fall break! October, do you think if I go to my mom and dad's house for a day or two, my mom would take a personal day and go shopping with me?

I'm excited to take walks in the chilly air and to feel my nose turn icy. I'm excited to wander through the park, holding my husband's hand as we watch the leaves change. I'm excited that football season is in full swing, even though I think the game we're hoping to see live is in November. I'm excited that in three short weeks, soccer season will be over. I'm excited that next week is the start of a new six weeks at school, a sort of fresh start.

I'm glad to see you, October.



Last week, I started to feel kind of sick. This week, I feel like death warmed over.

On Sunday, after Sunday School, Andy had to take me home. I was, cold, nauseous, achy, sore throat and all. I never did feel better on Sunday.

On Monday, I had a conference in Indy for Academic Super Bowl coaches (why yes, I am the English ASB coach) and I made it through the day okay, but about 2, when we were getting ready to leave, the miserable headache reappeared. I pretty much spent my night doing nothing.

Yesterday was a different sort of day. I had my first observation, so I was kind of nervous. I don't know if I just wore myself out or what. It didn't help that I had been out of my room Monday, and I had a few situations to deal with. But I'll tell you what...I thought I was going to keel over at dinner last night. Andy and I went to Los Compadres (he called...and I begged to go out to eat) because we can't go to Tapatio's, because Alberto works there. Just kidding. I don't think Andy's ever been to Tapatio's. As we were eating our dinner, I started to go downhill fast. I only ate 1/3 of my meal (maybe less...which is unheard of for me). And I started to get sort of fuzzy feeling. When we got home, I laid down on the sofa and fell right to sleep. At 6:45. At 9, Andy moved me to the bed.

And now it's Wednesday, time to start a new day. I'm going to try to be a little more relaxed at school hopefully I won't knock myself out again. But I may be finding my way back to the sofa tonight. We'll see :)