Sunday, December 30, 2007

Holidays

My mom is now home from the hospital after a 2-night stay again. She had to receive 2 more units of blood as well as platelets. We should find out today when her appointment is going to be at Barnes to see a hemotologist there and hopefully begin a treatment plan. So far, she is taking everything pretty darn well.

All in all, we had a pretty good Christmas. After 4pm church service, we celebrated with Hubby's side of the family on Christmas Eve (this is always held at our house) and had a good time. Every year, I plan to make less food than the year before and every year, it amazes me how much food ends up being in our house! I ask people to bring something and they end up bringing several things. But it's all yummy so that's great!

Then on Christmas Day, the 4 of us exchanged gifts in the morning and then went to Hubby's HUGE family dinner for lunch. We came back from there, spent an hour or so at my parents' house and then came home so Hubby and I could nap. We got up about 6:00 and decided to go to a movie! I've never been to a movie on Christmas before but let me tell ya, the movie theater was certainly a hoppin' place! I think it was one of the only places open for business so go figure. We had a quick bite at Jack-in-the-Box (one of the very few restaurants we found open)first and then of course also had popcorn at the movie. B1, B2, and I saw "Enchanted." B2 had already seen it at a birthday party but was willing to see it again. B1 wasn't so thrilled about this movie choice but we had to take what was appropriate and she ended up liking it, as did I. Cute movie. Hubby saw "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story." He didn't really say much about it.

We celebrated with my parents and brother on Dec. 26. Mom stayed on the couch most of the time but was at least sitting up and took part in the exchange as she always does. We did some family pictures in front of the tree as we always do too. The girls made out like bandits with their gifts from Santa and their grandparents. They really helped to keep our minds off of Mom because they don't realize how serious her condition is, so they go about being themselves, which is the best medicine to help me. Even when they fight, it's so "normal" that is makes me feel better! Weird, I know.

New Year's Plans: We are going bowling with 2 other families. We have done this several years now and we have a really good time. We rented 2 lanes from 7:00 - 12:30am. Everyone brings food to share and there are special prizes given during the evening, etc. I can proudly say that I have ALWAYS been with my kids at midnight on Dec. 31. We have a traditional "family kiss" that we do every year.....all 4 of us pressing our lips together at the stroke of midnight. I love it!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Prayers Please

Merry Christmas, everyone!

This year's Christmas has been kind of tough for me. My mom was diagnosed on Friday with a bone marrow condition. We don't know a lot about it yet as the doctors didn't have the full tests back. I am going to go with them back to the doctor on Thursday and hear everything he has to say as well as treatment options. My mom is very weak and anemic. She is also sad at the idea of not being on this earth as long as she has planned and would like. I am so very thankful that I have Hubby, B1, and B2 to help me though this, as well as many good friends and family members. I can't help/stop thinking about my dad though, who so far seems to be doing pretty well and is holding up. I don't know if he really is being strong or just trying to do so for the rest of us. I wish I could help him more but knowing my dad, he would think he was being a burden to me if he came to me to just cry. I also think about my brother, who isn't married and doesn't have a family to lean on other than my parents and the 4 of us. I know that God will help us though this and that He never gives people more than they can handle. I believe He chose our family to go through this for some reason, which someday I will know. But we could use some prayers right now, especially my mom and dad.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Interests

My kids are all into Webkinz right now. We have 4, but according to them, that's not enough I guess! I have seen the website and it really does look pretty cute. They even have a doggie treadmill and when the dog runs on it, it's adorable! I am thinking I will buy another for each of them for Christmas yet and put it in their stockings. They just recently (after I had the remainder of the shopping already done) became interested in them. There's always something new to spend money on, isn't there?

Hubby and I are going to go to the Blues game on Sunday. This will be our first for the year. I bought tickets from a teacher at school who had to sell them. I think they are pretty good seats, 5 rows off the ice! I've never sat in seats that good! Blues games are special for us because our first date was at a Blues game (3/26/88) and we got engaged at a Blues game exactly four years later (3/26/92). We are excited about our "date" and the girls are excited that they get to spend some time at the home of one of Hubby's basketball players!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Kitchen Pictures

These are the handles we (I) picked for the new cabinets. I chose to have these on both the door-style cabinets AND the drawers (turned the other way, of course) because from past experience, I have found that whenever we have knob-type hardware on drawers, they come loose too easily. Just my opinion.
This is (obviously) a close-up picture of the new countertop, which is wonderful in hiding anything I missed while wiping up!
This space is new storage area for us. Previously, this spot housed a microwave cart, microwave, and a little breakfast table with room enough for 2 to eat. Yeah, we have a lot of "junk" on our fridge, but I think it makes our kitchen look "homey"..... see the Wheaties box on the counter? The picture on it is of the 4 of us!
These pictures were taken in the fall, hence the pumpkin decorations in the window. You can see how our table (which is not new) matches pretty well with the new hardwood floor. The cabinet in the background belonged to my grandma. I like the way it looks in our kitchen.
The barstools basically replaced the breakfast table. They have come in very handy. The girls often eat their breakfast while "bellied-up" to the bar!
This is my favorite picture. I really like how the tile guy put some black accents in to tie the countertop, floor, and cabinets together. The stove is new as well as the microwave, which I like having above the stove. The sink is also new and cast iron, so it was REALLY HEAVY to bring into the house! We are very happy with everything. Although we added more storage space, I of course managed to fill pretty much every spot!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Busy Factor

I am sorry I haven't been posting much lately. The busy-factor of the season has gotten to me. And I was basically done Christmas shopping by December 1. But everything else is just crazy. Tonight, I thought about the fact that I pretty much have something to do every day from now until Dec. 26. Here is the schedule:

Tonight (Dec. 12): I went to the bowling alley in Florissant where I used to bowl in a league with one of my best friends. This was from my working in St. Louis days. It's become a tradition that I go there and we exchange gifts on a Wednesday shortly before Christmas. I can't go next Wednesday (see below as to why).

Dec. 13: I have a gingerbread house bought that B1, B2, and I will most likely decorate. We do this every year. They don't know I've purchased it and if time gets away, they'll never know the difference, but I hope to surprise them with that tomorrow evening. If we don't get it done tomorrow, I'll find time in the following week.

Dec. 14: B1 has piano lessons after school and then 2 basketball games, at 6:00 and 7:00pm. My Knights also play Highland, our biggest rival, at home.

Dec. 15: In the morning, B1 and B2 have practice for the church Christmas program. B1 has a basketball game at 1:00pm and at 5:00, four of her friends and one of B2's friends are coming over for B1's birthday party. We are going out for pizza and games and then back home for a slumber party.

Dec. 16: Church Christmas program and another basketball game for B1 in the afternoon.

Dec. 17: B1's "real" birthday. She will be 11. I plan to pick them both up after school and go to the rush hour show to see the Chipmunk movie. Then meet Hubby at Carlos O'Kelley's Restaurant for dinner. This is where she chose to go.

Dec. 18: Get my hair lowlighted after school.

Dec. 19: B2's gymnastics after school, meet Hubby for dinner, exchange kids, he takes B1 to pitching lessons, then I will come back home for a meeting at church which I MUST attend.

Dec. 20: make "cut-out" cookies with icing (B1 and B2 love this!)

Dec. 21: piano lessons again and then visit with Santa on the square in Highland.

Dec. 22: hopefully not a whole lot going on but I'd like to go to Alton and see the Christmas lights that night.

Dec. 23: start cooking for the next day.

Dec. 24: continue cooking, including the dressing for Christmas Day. Hubby's side of the family will come over around 5:00pm.

Dec. 25: Christmas morning at home, go to Hubby's big family dinner, go to my side's family dinner.

Dec. 26: celebrate with my parents and brother at my parents' house as we have done for several years now.

WHEW!

And that doesn't include ANYTHING I must do for school.

I really do promise that pictures of my ebay purchases and our kitchen will be on my site sometime soon. I just hate waiting for pictures to download!

Friday, December 7, 2007

First-Timer (literally!)

I kept the scoreboard tonight at our girls' basketball game! This was a new experience for me and I am happy to say that it went well. I only got "yelled at" once, from the opposing bench, when I didn't start the clock on time. I can live with that. Also, I accidently put up 11 fouls for the opposing team (Alton) when after 10 fouls, you don't need to put up any more. At the next stop in play, the ref told me in a funny, joking sort of voice "don't put up more than 10 fouls!" It makes it nice when the person sitting next to you keeping the book is someone you consider to be a friend and you help each other out (thank you, Judy!). Then, if one of you makes a mistake, it doesn't seem to be a big deal, you just help out your friend and correct it! I had a good time tonight and would happily do the job again if they need me to.

While I worked the 2 games, B1 and B2 had a good time playing school in my classroom (what better place to do so?). They love having access to the coloring tool on my computer and using the white board as well as the overhead projector. B1 claims she wants to be a teacher when she grows up so this is the perfect place to practice. I called my classroom phone from my cell at each halftime and between games to check on them and ask if they were getting along. They assured me they were but I have my doubts. At this moment, they are in one of those "I love my sister" modes though so Hubby and I are enjoying that. It's pretty rare these days!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Have and Have Not!

So, I like to buy and sell things on ebay. I recently (last Sunday) listed 18 items and by this past Sunday, had sold 15 of them. It was nothing major.....some older Hallmark ornaments I no longer want or need since we have SO MANY "must have" ornaments now, some kids' DVD movies and even some kids' VHS movies. Anyway, I made about $75, which I am happy with. But then of course, since my paypal account now had $$$ in it, I immedimately went shopping on ebay and found 3 items which cost more than the $75 I had made. Go figure. I will say that all 3 of these are Christmas items and I am very excited about all of them. I will be posting about them when they arrive, especially the one that cost the most! I am so excited about that one and I sure hope it meets my expectations! (Hint.....it has to do with fishnet stockings.....any ideas?)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Time To Make The Dressing

This will be the first year that I can ever remember that one of my grandmothers won't be making the dressing (yeah, for us it's dressing, not stuffing because we don't actually stuff it into the turkey) for Christmas dinner. See, my 2 grandmothers were cousins (which yes, makes my parents 3rd cousins, kind of gross I guess but it seems to have worked out and my brother and I have no birth defects!) and they followed the same recipe passed down from their grandmother, etc. One of them has always made the dressing for Christmas and usually, it was my paternal grandmother. But last year, she was dying of cancer and in the hospital on Christmas so my maternal grandmother made it. But this year, she has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and per her doctor, is forbidden to cook ever again. So this leaves the dressing problem.

My mom has the recipe on paper, which was actually written down by her aunt. I read it the other day and it's 5 pages long! She goes into great detail about how to grind the meat, dry the bread, etc. etc. etc. My mom prepares Christmas dinner every year for close to 30 people. She doesn't, however, have the energy to try to make the dressing. So she is checking into places where they might be able to have the dressing made and picked up on Christmas day. This is where I come into play. I thought about trying myself to make it this year. When I told my parents of this idea, I assumed that my dad would have a fit and tell me that I have too much else to do and that I shouldn't worry about it. But no, his reaction to me was to say "I wish you would."

My problem is that I would want to prepare the dressing the day before (the 24th) and on that day/evening, we have Hubby's side of the family over to our house for our celebration with them. I am pretty much busy cooking all day for that meal, which really isn't anything major though, but still takes time. I know that if I attempt to make the dressing, I will be on my feet all day and probably dead by the time comes to actually enjoy Christmas. Then again though, I will be off on the 23rd and I could prepare some of the dishes needed for the 24th on that day. Oh, what to do???

My parents have told me that the dressing "decision" is totally up to me. Either way, my mom is going to order the carry-out stuff, just in case I decide to try it and end up screwing it up. And if it turns out OK, then she will freeze the carry-out stuff in portions small enough for her and my dad for the next several months.

I really would like to try it and see if I'm up to the task. And if it turns out well, that's awesome, but if not, at least I tried. What do you all think?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Just a Few Things.....

I haven't posted in a few days.....been busy this week. I am back teaching all but one of my classes and it sure makes a difference in the amount of time I have to do things! Next week I'll be back full-time. I am lucky to have had a good student teacher.

Tonight, I prepared some snacks for a trivia night that Hubby and I are attending tomorrow night. We like going to trivia nights even though we aren't very good. We always have a good time with the friends we are with and the food is always good! Tonight I made beer bread, sun-dried tomato dip, BLT dip, and salsa from a Homemade Gourmet packet that I had in the cupboard. I also made a double batch of French onion soup and canned 6 pints of it. I like being able to can the soup rather than freeze it.

My hands have been chapped often lately. They actually hurt right now. I usually use Curel lotion before I go to bed and it seems like I can feel it working. They will feel better in the morning.

Tomorrow night is the one year anniversary of the ice storm which put so many people out of power for a week around here (only 18 hours for us, thank God!). I remember because my grandma's birthday was Dec. 1 and since we were all out of power that morning and there was no school, my entire family went out for breakfast that day to a place in Highland that actually did have power. Grandma died 1.5 months later. We miss her and will be thinking about her on Saturday.

Have a good weekend!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

2007 Christmas Light Display

Here is our house. We live in a small town but so far, I believe ours is the biggest light display.

I love our snowman! I have never seen any others exactly like him, with the birdhouse in one hand and the CARDINAL bird in the other! There are snowmen out there that are similar, but none exactly the same.

This is one of our new additions for this year.

And our other new addition, which we actually purchased on Dec. 26, 2006.

We obviously like colored as opposed to what my kids call "boring white" lights. I was very happy when we found colored icicle lights! I really do think they look so much prettier! We do have white lights on our downstairs tree though.

I love our tree! This picture certainly doesn't do it the justice it deserves. I love ornaments and every year on vacations we buy new ornaments from wherever we go. We also have all the traditional ornaments like "Baby's first, 2nd, etc. Christmas", the Hallmark ornaments we collect every year, and ornaments with pictures in them, etc, etc. The girls talked me into putting the town under the tree this year. I hadn't done that in a few years and it was a lot of fun doing it with them. They think it's pretty cool. Maybe I'll try to post some more close-up pictures of our town another time.
Oh, and by the way, congrats to the MISSOURI TIGERS on their victory last night. I really could care less about college football (or NFL too) but I like to see nearby teams do well!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

That Feeling in the Air!

So today went very well. Lots of food and more desserts than we would ever need but oh so yummy! I will need to exercise extra-hard tomorrow! After we left the Turkey Day festivities today, we drove to Edwardsville. Because the big meal was at noon and it was now like 5pm, we were starting to get a little hungry again. So it was snack time at Jack-In-The-Box because it was one of only a few places open with food. Then while looking at the newspaper there, we saw that the Tilles Park light display began last night. So off we went to St. Louis! I love the fact that my husband can be so spontaneous when the girls and I want to do something on a whim! The lights were very nice and the girls loved them. I hope they always get excited about Christmas. There is just some sort of feeling in the air at this time of the year that I can't describe, but I'm sure many people know what I mean. It's special and it's so great feeling this way!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I Am Thankful For:

My Thanksgiving vacation officially began at 3:15 today. And, at the risk of writing a post very similar to a friend's who I just read (I thought her post was a great idea), I am going to do one just the same:

Things I Am Thankful For:

1. My hubby, who is with me through thick and thin. He is the person I want to grow old with. He accepts me for all my moods, and that cannot be easy!

2. My children who are simply my gifts from God for now. I realize that He could call them home at any moment and I try to enjoy every possible second of my life with them in it.

3. A job I love. I have a quote hanging on my classrom wall that says "Choose a job you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life." That sums it up completely.

4. My parents who still know me better than I can believe! Last week one night, I wasn't feeling well. My dad called the house and all I said on the phone was "hello" and his immediate response to me was "what's wrong?" He could tell with only ONE WORD!

5. My dog. I am thankful that we found her. She is a sweetie and has been awesome since we got her in April.

6. The home we live in. It's small and cozy and so homey for us! As some country singer once sang....."love grows best in little houses with fewer walls to separate"......

7. Living in the midwest and in a small town. I have the best of both worlds at my fingertips...I could go to bed at night and not lock my doors (not that we ever really do that!) yet I have St. Louis only 30 minutes away. I also get to enjoy all 4 seasons here in the midwest, and therefore, I have a bigger wardrobe than if I lived somewhere like Florida! :-)

8. My mother-in-law who would do anything for any of us at a moment's notice. She really loves her family and as much as someone might tick her off sometimes, she would give the shirt off her back if one of us asked.

9. Heather for knowing me and not getting mad at me when I say things that I probably sometimes shouldn't.....Michelle for always sticking around and helping when everyone else has left, and for just being you.....Melissa for never judging me and bringing out that teacher spirit.....Deb for being my partner in crime this year (and hopefully many to come!).....Bonnie for looking out for my best interest.....Donna for just being you and giving me a backbone many years ago.....Katie for your honesty.....and so many more awesome friends that I am lucky to have as a part of my life.

10. Food.....all the wonderful things in this world to eat!

11. Country music.....the lyrics often make me emotional yet happy. It just hits home.

12. Extended family who I don't see often enough but who I think of more than you know.

I think that is enough for now. Have a safe, blessed Thanksgiving everyone!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Plans For The Weekend

Plans for the weekend? We don't have a whole lot going on this weekend. Tonight, I went to GCHS to watch my lady Knights play against Hubby's lady Warriors. Although Triad was winning through about 3 quarters, they ended up losing by just a couple points. Bummer. Seems like I never get the "bragging rights" when it comes to girls bball anymore. B2 came along with me to the game while B1 went to a church function with a friend. Tomorrow, Hubby will be gone ALL DAY and ALL NIGHT because it's the last day of the tournament and there is both a morning session and an evening session as well as his own practice. He won't be home until probably about 9:30pm or so.

So the girls and I are on our own. During the day, we will try to get most of the Christmas decorations up outside. B1 has basketball practice from 12 - 2 I think so I will have to run her to and from there. Then we will most likely go out somewhere for an early dinner. After that, I want to have a girls' movie night. Did any of you ever watch the movie called "The House Without A Christmas Tree" (http://www.dvdverdict.com/reviews/housewithoutchristmastree.php) when you were younger or growing up? I used to watch it with my mom and I loved it although it always made me sad until the end. I want to share this with my girls. The movie was made in the early 70's. I also had the book when I was young and I read it just about every Christmas. I hope my girls like it as much as I did and I hope it becomes something we can maybe watch every year together.

Sunday, the girls sing in church and then we will finish whatever we need Hubby's help with on the outside decorations. I hope he can get the icicle lights put up on the gutter Sunday too.

Next week: only 2 days of school and then 5 glorious days off!!! WHOO-HOO!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Drive Myself Crazy

For whatever reason, it seems like I stress myself out more and more every year about the holidays. It's like I want everything to be perfect that I dont' enjoy it as much as I would like. I LOVE Christmas, I really do. But I guess I want everyone else to love it as much as I do, so I try to make it too perfect or something. For example, my shopping is almost done, I have drug all the boxes containing Christmas decorations out and arranged them in 'order.' I have figured out which cookies I am going to make and what days I will bake them, I have wrapped most of the presents I have bought (except those for my kids from Santa), and I have even put some lights outside in the bushes. Our Christmas cards are almost done.....I make our cards and the actual card itself is done but I need to print out our letter and stuff the envelopes, which are already addressed and return-addressed. I have the stamps and stickers bought that I put on the back and can stick those on any time now. But I still feel like I am behind. Why am I so crazy about this stuff? I have this belief that our tree must be up no later than the Friday after Thanksgiving and that our outside lights must be lit that night for the first time. Which means that this weekend, I must finish the outside. I just want to be able to enjoy December and not have to do all this stuff when I really want to be driving around looking at light displays, visiting Santa, seeing Christmas-related movies and maybe even hearing some live music. I also want to enjoy the beginning of basketball season without constantly thinking about everything else I ought to be doing. I am so far ahead of the game than most people, yet I still drive myself crazy! AUGH!!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Countdowns

Until my oldest baby turns 11.....35 days (December 17)
Until the end of this semester.....26 school days (December 21)
Until Christmas.....43 days (December 25, of course!)
Until we leave for Disney '08.....8 months, 10 days (July 22)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Throttle Wide Open

Hubby and I traveled to Columbia, MO last night to see Dierks Bentley in his "Throttle Wide Open" concert. Thanks to my buddy Dan, we were also able to go backstage and have some pictures done with Dierks, which was awesome!
Hubby started liking Dierks Bentley when we saw him open once for George Strait. We thought he had a lot of energy on the stage and he always seems to be genuinely flattered with the attention he gets from the fans.

We actually had 'seats' where you stand in the pit right below the stage. However, being the almost-40 people that we are, and both having taught school all day long, we weren't sure we really wanted to stand among the young, whipper-snapper, beer-drinking, young-20-somethings.
So we noticed that just off to the side of the stage, there was a section that wasn't full. Hubby asked the usher if we could sit in the front row of this section and we were given permission. So basically, we had a front row seat on the side of the stage.
There was a ramp on each side of the stage on which Dierks and his band frequently performed, so we were seriously about 5 yards away from him at certain times!
The show ended just after 11:00pm. We drove out of Columbia and stopped for sodas and then headed home. We got home about 1:30am and went to bed shortly before 2:00. It was a fun evening!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Too Pretty To Eat? Nah!!!

Aren't these cookies pretty? In case you can't tell, they are spades, hearts, clubs, and diamonds! We are having a euchre party here Saturday night and tonight, the girls and I baked and decorated cookies! I even have a festive "card" platter on which I will serve the cookies!

Monday, November 5, 2007

So Many Questions!

I stole this "about me" from someone else's blog and changed it so it applies to me. It was about twice as long, if you can believe that, but I deleted a bunch of stuff. So please forgive me if there are any typos in it!

Oh, by the way, my sweater still smells awesome. I'm wearing it to school tomorrow since it's supposed to be pretty cold. I hope I smell The Melting Pot all day long!

Your full name: Beth A. ?????
Age: 39
Height: 5’4”
Natural hair color: brown
Eye color: brown
Number of siblings: 1
Glasses/contacts: Both. I wear my contacts probably 95% of the time.
Piercings: 3 holes in one ear and 2 in the other (the 3rd hold was on a whim in college). I only wear earrings in the bottom holes though.
Tattoos: no
Braces: Yep, from Dec. 23, 1982 until Oct. ?, 1985

FAVORITE:
Color: red
Singer: Kenny Chesney
Song: His song – “Never Gonna Feel This Way Again”
Video game – Ms. Pac Man and Donkey Kong (yeah, I’m a child of the 80’s)
TV show – Grey’s Anatomy and Friday Night Lights
Movie – The Silence of the Lambs
Book – I rarely read books but I recently finished “Prep” by Curtis Sittenfeld
Food – crab legs, turtle pie, steak, mushrooms, fajitas, wedding cake, chips and dip
Game on a cell phone – Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader
CD cover – Meatloaf’s “Bat out of Hell”
Flower – tulips
Scent – Buttercream candle
Animal - dog
Comic book – Richie Rich
Cereal – Fruity Pebbles (but I rarely eat them)
Website – ebay
Cartoon - The Far Side

DO YOU:
Play an instrument? Piano (took lessons for 10 years) but I’m not good anymore
Watch TV more than 60 hours a week? Um, not even close! Who could do that? Maybe 10 hours max
Like to sing? Like to, but can’t, so I do it when I’m alone. My husband says that he thought all women could sing until he met me! Thanks, Dear!
Have a job?yes
Have a cell phone? yes, don’t most people nowadays?
Like to play sports? Like to watch more than play
Have a boyfriend/girlfriend? Have many girlfriends and boys who are friends
Have a crush on someone? Yeah, Kenny Chesney, and Dierks Bentley isn’t bad either!
Live somewhere NOT in the United States? nope
Have more than 5 TVs in your house? Nope, 4
Have any special talents/skills? I can gleek on command
Exercise daily? Yeah, pretty much, or about 6 days/week, since March
Like school? Of course! I made it my career!
Sing the alphabet backwards? Why?
Stand on your tip toes without wearing shoes? yes
Speak any other languages? “Je ne parle pas Francaise” means “I don’t speak French”
Go a day without food? Preferably no, it shuts down your metabolism
Stay up for more than 24 hours? Again, preferably no
Read music, not just tabs? yes
Roll your tongue? yes
Eat a whole pizza? Probably, but I wouldn’t feel very well afterwards

HAVE YOU EVER:
Snuck out of the house? I don’t think so. But I went AWAY to college, so there were so many other things I did that my parents still don’t know about………
Cried to get out of trouble? yep
Gotten lost in your city? My “city” is 900 people big, so no
Seen a shooting star? I think so
Been to any other countries besides the United States? Mexico and Canada
Had a serious surgery? No
Stolen something important to someone else? no
Solved a Rubiks cube? No without taking it apart or changing the stickers
Gone out in public in your pajamas? Oh yes, I wore them to a movie once with my girls. They both wore theirs too and thought the whole thing was pretty cool. It was about 3 years ago and they still talk about it.
Cried over a girl? yes
Cried over a boy? yes
Kissed a random stranger? no
Hugged a random stranger? Probably while at a bar in college
Been in a fist fight? no
Been arrested? nope
Had alcohol? Duh!
Laughed and had milk come out of your nose? yes
Pushed all the buttons on an elevator? yes
Gone to school only to find you had the day off? No, I always know when the days off are!
Swore at your parents? Not to their face on purpose
Kicked a guy where it hurts? No, but I punched my husband there once
Been in love? yes
Been close to love? yes
Been to a casino? yes
Ran over an animal and killed it? yes
Broken a bone? No
Gotten stitches? no
Had a water balloon fight in winter? no
Drank a whole gallon of milk in one hour? no
Made homemade muffins? Homemade, no. From a box, yes.
Bitten someone? yes - hickey
Been to Disneyland/Disneyworld? Disney World, one of my favorite places on Earth!
More than 5 times? Exactly 5, #6 in summer, 2008
Been to Niagra Falls? Yes, 3 times, most recently summer, 2007
Burped in someone’s face? Yes, but not on purpose.
Gotten the chicken pox? Yes, in 1st grade.

WHEN’S THE LAST TIME YOU:
Brushed your teeth? This morning
Went to the bathroom? About an hour ago
Saw a movie in a theater? Oh boy, can’t remember exactly, sometime within the last 2 months
Read a book? About 2 days ago
Had a snow day? Last December
Had a party? Father’s Day, 2007 and having another this Saturday (Euchre party)
Had a slumber party? Loooonnnnnggggg time ago.
Made fun of someone? Yesterday, but always in a playful way
Tripped in front of someone? ??? as a teacher, we do these things often and just pretty much blow them off
Went to the grocery store? Friday night, Schnucks in Collinsville
Got sick? Really sick…..Christmas, 2005, I missed the entire day
Cursed? today

FRIENDSHIP:
How many friends do you have? What? I don’t know. I may consider some people friends who don’t consider me friends, etc! Dumb question, but I consider myself to have 4 best friends although there are many more close girlfriends
What are their names? Heather (my forever friend, the one who I have been friends with the longest (since 2nd grade) and knows just about everything about me), Michelle (my scrapbooking, our-husbands-grew-up-together, we-have-kids-around-the-same-ages, we-can-complain-about-our-husbands friend), Donna (who I used to work with and who I know would do anything for me or my family any time of the day or night), and Melissa (my Triad buddy who understands the whole teacher/student relationship thing and the school spirit thing…..also, I have known her my entire life although we weren’t friends that whole time)
Do you have a best friend? My “bestest” best friend is of course my husband
Have you ever liked one of your friends? Duh!
Do you have more guy friends or more girl friends? girl
Have you ever lost a friend? yes
Have you ever gone to an amusement park with a friend? yes
Have you ever gotten in a big argument with a friend? yes
What’s the nicest thing a friend has ever done for you? help me move
Do you miss any of your old friends? yes
What friend have you known the longest? Heather
Do you regret anything you’ve done to a friend? yes
If so, what is it? Fall of my senior year of high school when Debbie B and I stopped being friends because of a group of guys. How stupid we both were.
How often do you spend time with your friends? I see Melissa every day but everyone else I try to see as often as possible
Has a friend of yours ever died? no
What’s the dumbest thing you’ve done with a friend? Dumb but so fun….once on Christmas Eve, after we got off work at DQ (at like 4pm), before we went home to our families, a group of us went around various drive-thrus in Highland singing “We wish you a merry Christmas”
What do you think your friends think of you? I hope they like me!
Have you ever been in love? yes
If you have, with who? Hubby.
Are you single? no
Are you in a relationship? yes
If so, for how long? Since March 26, 1988 (the night we started dating)
Do you believe there is someone for everyone? yes
What is your idea of the best date? Dinner and probably a sports event
What was your first kiss like? 6th grade on a school bus on the way back from a boys’ basketball game. Some of us girls were playing “Truth or Dare” and Mark Gansmann was the only boy playing. He pretty much had to kiss all of us by the time the bus got back to school
How old were you when you got your first kiss? I guess 11
Do you think love is a load of crap? No way
What’s the best experience you’ve ever had with the opposite sex? Being in love.
Have you ever been dumped? yes
Have you ever dumped someone? yes

SILLY STUFF
What is your favorite genre of music? Country
What time is it now? 7:48pm
What day is it? Monday
When’s the last time you called someone? 4:00 this afternoon
Are you hungry? No
Whatcha doing? When I get done with this, going to finish dusting the living room
Do you like parades? yes
If you could have any magical power what would it be? The power to make time stand still
Have you ever had a picnic? yes
Did you ever have one of those skip-its when you were young? No, but B2 loves them and can do it very well
Are you wearing any socks right now? yep, black ones

WOULD YOU EVER:
Sky dive? possibly
Play strip poker? In the right situation, yes.
Run away? I don’t think so
Curse at a teacher? no
Not take a shower for a week? Not if I could help it
Ask someone out? Not right now
Lie to someone to make them think better of you? no
Visit a foreign country for more than a month? yes
Go scuba diving? yes
Write a book? no
Become a rockstar? Ha, no.

LAST QUESTIONS:
What shampoo do you use? Cheap stuff like Suave
What kind of computer do you have? At work, a Dell, at home, an HP
What grade are you in? high school – every day of my life
Do you like to throw popcorn at people in the movies? no
Or just make out? If I’m paying like $8.50 to go, I like to actually WATCH the movie!
How many posters do you have in your room? My bedroom at home, none. My classroom at school, probably about 30
How many cd’s do you have? Not many at all…..maybe 100-150
What time is it now? 7:55pm

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Fondue Fun

I had my Melting Pot (http://www.themeltingpot.com/) experience tonight with a good friend. I would have to say that my favorite course was the first one, the cheese. We chose the spinach/artichoke/white cheese combination and it was very tasty. We pretty much licked the bowl clean and probably could have eaten more of it. We both ordered caesar salads and really, we weren't impressed with the salad at all. Seriously, my mom's caesar salad (she uses the recipe from the Mayfair Hotel for the dressing) is a lot better than what we had tonight. Then we chose the Pacific Rim dinner for two as our main course. It came with beef, pork, chicken, duck, shrimp, and potstickers. I enjoyed all of the meat but would have left the pot stickers. My friend said she enjoyed all of it except maybe not so much the chicken. Finally, for dessert, we chose the cookies and cream marshmallow dream. It was basically melted milk chocolate with marshmallow swirled in and some oreo cookies crumbled in as well. They served marshmallows, bananas, strawberries, cheesecake, pound cake, and rice-krispie treats to dip. It was basically the same thing as dipping into a chocolate fountain. Overall, we are very glad we went and now we know what the experience was like. We don't feel like we have to rush back there again real soon though. I would like to try the Fiesta Cheese Fondue sometime.

When I changed into my PJ's tonight, I noticed that my sweater smells of the restaurant! It's a great smell that I hope is still there in the morning so I can share at least a little bit of my evening with my husband (who, by the way, wouldn't get his $$$ worth out of eating at The Melting Pot because he is so darn picky!). Instead of smelling like an ash tray, as you so often do after coming home from a night out, I smelled like yummy spices!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween Pics

Here is B1 with Shinza. B1 was a cheerleader and Shinza was a ballerina. B1 is in 5th grade this year. I remember that when I was in 5th grade, I went trick-or-treating for the first time with a friend instead of my parents. I enjoy going around town with my kids though so I'm glad that subject didn't arise with her. She did say that next year though, she wants to go to her grandparent's house and hand out candy. She likes seeing all the kids in their costumes, especially the little ones!
Here is B2, who was supposed to be Gabriella from "High School Musical." However, since her hair isn't exactly brunette, she didn't really look the part!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

10/31/07

Did the Halloween thing tonight with the girls, Hubby, and the dog, who was dressed in a doggie ballerina costume. I didn't realize they got as much candy as they did until we got home and dumped it out into a big bowl. It didn't seem like we really went to that many places but the amount of candy we have says otherwise. Pictures will follow tomorrow or Friday.

I get to start teaching 2 of my classes again on Monday. I am ready to get back into the everyday routine. My student teacher has been great though. She will continue teaching my Algebra 2 classes for 2 more weeks and then I'll take them back as well.

A friend and I are going to the Melting Pot on Saturday night. I am excited about that. I have never been there but have heard wonderful things about it. When I told Hubby awhile back that I wanted to go there, he decided it would be a better place for me to go with a friend. He is extremely picky and most likely wouldn't get his $$$ worth. Anyone been there? Any suggestions?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Endings.....Beginnings

Well, I traveled to and from Rock Island, Illinois today to watch our football team play and lose in the first round of the state playoffs. Bummer. Our season ended this year at 5-5. We left at 8:30 this morning and by 12:15, we were at a Taco Bell about 10 blocks from Augustana College's football stadium. There were 3 of us travling together (me, my friend Melissa who loves Triad football as much as me, and one of our former students who graduated last year) and we didn't make a single stop from where we started to Taco Bell! After we ate, we went to the Augustana/North Central football game for about an hour to watch another former Triad student play. Then we headed to Rock Island High School to watch our Knights. The stadium there was pretty darn huge! There were many Triad fans there, which was nice to see. We didn't play very well though and lost the game 49-17. It's always hard for me to watch the team do "we love football" (a chant developed by our team about 5 years ago) for the very last time of their season after their final loss, especially thinking about the seniors in the bunch who won't ever play football as a Triad Knight again. Even when they know it's the end, they still do it. On the way home, it was just me and Melissa chatting about everything under the sun while we listened to the radio. We stopped once in Galesburg for gas and then in Morton for dinner. We got home just after 10pm.

So now we move on to basketball.....

Friday, October 26, 2007

Stay at Home or Work?

A friend recently asked for opinions on being a stay-at-home-mom vs. a working mom. I was going to comment on her blog but realized that my comment would probably be long enough for my own post instead. So here goes:

I think that people need to make their own decision about which is best for themself and for their family. And....I don't think this decision can sometimes be made until after a baby is already born and the mom has to see how things go and how she feels. My mom was sort of both. She drove a bus and was gone in the mornings until about 9am. She was also gone in the afternoons when we first got home from school but was always back by about 4pm. It was pretty ideal. If we were sick, she either didn't work that day or once we got older, at least she was home during the majority of the day (she usually started her bus run at about 2pm).

I myself always knew that I would not be a SAHM. The first reason for this was driven by finances (of course!). I did manage to finagle part-time work though after B1's birth. I got off every day at 3:30 and was home in time to make dinner and for us to eat at a 'normal' hour. Before her birth, I didn't get home from work until 6 or sometimes 7pm. That sucked. By the time B2 came along, I was teaching and getting off work every day by 3:30ish. Now remember though, teachers bring work home. But the nice part is that we can schedule our own hours in the evening when it comes to grading papers, etc.

I NEED to work. I really mean that. I had postpartum depression and even now, every so often, I deal with slight anxiety/depression. This is hereditary on my mother's side of the family and I was lucky enough to inherit it. Hopefully our daughters will take after Hubby and his side of the family because they all seem to be a bit more 'normal.' Ha ha! But seriously, I do need to work. I need adult interaction. I also think that I appreciate the time I spend with my children more because I am not with them 24/7. I am a happier person because I work and therefore, my spirit when I am with my children is better than I am sure it would be if I didn't work.

We were very lucky with the daycare that we found for our children. I was never apprehensive about leaving them with anyone. This may come from living in a small town and knowing my daycare providers for many years before they were actually my employees. I don't know. But I always knew my kids were in good hands. I also think that it is good for kids to be around other children, and not just in a 'playgroup' setting, etc. They need to learn how to share, take turns, sleep in the same room, eat what is put in front of them, and many other traits that are taught in a daycare setting. They are also exposed to germs at these places, which in my opinion builds their immune systems. We can't let our children live in a bubble and try to protect them from every little thing. They are one day going to have to go to school (unless someone chooses to home-school, which is an area in which I have strong opinions) and we can't always keep them shaded from the 'big bad world.'

Once again though, people have to do what is right for their own situation. There are so many factors that must go into the decision. Someone once told me when I became a mom that if there is something I am not comfortable with, then don't do it. You know what feels right for you and you can't worry about what everyone else thinks. It's a decision to be made by you and your husband. You are the child's parents and must always be on the "same team" when it comes to raising that child. Hope this helps....

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thursday's 13 (#1).....Some of my favorite foods!

These are in no particular order.....


1. crab legs (anytime, anywhere) with plenty of melted butter

2. turtle pie from The House of Plenty in Highland, Illinois

3. my mom's caesar salad

4. spaghetti with mizithra cheese & browned butter from the Old Spaghetti Factory

5. chicken & dumplins prepared by my mother-in-law

6. fajita cheese crisp from Carlos O'Kelly's Mexican Restaurant

7. French Onion Soup (made by me from the recipe from Famous-Barr)

8. Nestle Toll House cookie dough (made fresh at home, not the stuff in the refrigerator section at the store)

9. the Cheddar Bay Biscuits from Red Lobster

10. a combination salad with house dressing from Talayna's restaurant in St. Louis

11. wedding cake (white with white icing, and not the fluffy whipped cream stuff either, I want the real icing with sugar and shortening in it!.....oh and give me a corner piece please!)

12. Triple Chocolate Utopia from Dairy Queen

13. just about any kind of chips and dip

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Today is my dad's 66th birthday. Gerald (Jerry) Earl Schmitt was born on 10/23/41 to Earl (Jack) Andrew Schmitt and Philipine Margaret (Becker) Schmitt. He was their only child. I guess my grandma (this is the one who passed away just this past January) was in the hospital for 12 days following my father's birth. She used to say that they laid bricks on her stomach during the days after he was born. I'm not sure the reasoning behind that. Maybe because of such a traumatic birth, they chose to only have 1 child: my dad.

Even though he is an only-child, I think he turned out pretty well and doesn't seem as if he was spoiled during his childhood, but I'm sure he probably was somewhat.

Here are just a few of my favorite memories (so far) of my dad:

* Being a little girl and my dad playing on the living room floor with me and my brother. He used to lift us up with his hands and feet and make us "fly" around the room. We used to call this the "elevator."

* When it would snow, he would purposely drive around corners here in town a little too fast and we would spin. My mom would say "Jerry!!!!"

* My brother and I got to go to game 6 of the 1982 World Series. We were in 7th (him) and 9th (me) grades at the time. We pretty much grew up going to Busch Stadium and in the early 80's, sending a 12 and 14-year old alone to a baseball game wasn't as big of a deal as it would be today. A day or two before, my dad brought home 2 world series tickets that somehow he had gotten at work. He put one ticket underneath my dinner plate and one underneath my brother's. When we lifted our plates to fill them, there were the tickets! Mom and Dad went to St. Louis that night as well, but didn't have tickets to get into the stadium. They instead watched the game (this was the one with a couple of rain delays totaling 2 hrs and 39 mins) from the Marriott Hotel across the street. About the 6th inning, someone was leaving the stadium and gave my dad his ticket stub. Dad then came into the stadium and to the seats where my brother and I were sitting, got one of our stubs, and went to get Mom. The Cardinals won the game that night. I remember my dad saying that he and Mom had already been to a world series game in their lives (in 1967 and 1968) and that my brother and I might "never get this chance again."

* In 1985, we took a vacation to California. My dad had always bought souvenir pennants for my brother on vacations, but this time, while were were in the Chinatown section of San Francisco, he bought me a knick-knack souvenir of a pagoda, which is still in the curio cabinet right down the hall from where I am sitting right now.

* On that same vacation, while we were in LA, my mom got a migraine headache. She and my grandma Philipine were in the back seat of the car resting while my brother, Dad, and I were in the front. We were driving to Dodger Stadium and my brother and I were reading the map. We read street after street in downtown LA accurately and easily got Dad to the stadium without getting lost. We were very proud of ourselves. Along the way, someone was selling HUGE balloons along the street. Dad stopped the car at a red light and bought 2 of them for us! They were enormous, like probably 8 feet long when you blew them up!

* While in college in the late 80's, I called home once and wanted to change my major from math to junior high education with an emphasis in math. (My math classes were kicking my butt at the time!) My dad would hear nothing of this. He told me that if it took me a little longer to get done with college, that was ok, that he would pay for me to stay there an extra semester.

* On New Year's Day, 1996, we were once again on a vacation in LA. We were searching out stars' homes. I was reading the map, telling Dad where to turn, which interstates to take, etc. I remember Grandma asking from the back seat "Jerry, doesn't driving around these roads make you nervous?" and Dad answered "not with Beth reading the map." That was a great compliment!

* During the first few months of B1's life, she wasn't real fond of my dad. She would cry whenever he held her. But he didn't care, he held her anyway. I have a great picture of my dad holding her at 3 months old, B1 screaming her head off and my dad laughing at the situation. It was breaking my heart at the time but people told me it wouldn't last and eventually she would love her Papa, and of course, they were right.

* The day B2 was born, my dad left school and stayed at the hospital the whole time, which was only about 5.5 hours. My mom was driving a school bus when B2 came into the world but my dad called her soon after from my hospital room. He then took a good look at B2 and declared that her ears were really close to her head (a good thing because my dad had a fear of her having ears that stuck out)!

* In March 2006, I fell at school and tore my ACL. One of my students called the office right after it happened and told them that I was hurt. My dad heard this on his walkie-talkie (Dad is a hall monitor at the high school where I teach....it's his "retired" job) and came rushing to my classroom. He was the first one I saw when I opened my eyes on my classroom floor and he was the one who took me to the emergency room.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD! I LOVE YOU!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

No No, Don't Go Play With The Black And White 'Kitty'!

Can anyone guess what this title means? Well, our dog got "skunked" on Wednesday night. Yeah, she really did. I have grown up with dogs and never experienced this before this week.

Here's what happened: B2 and I got home about 6:30pm from her gymnastics lesson and dinner out with Hubby and B1. Hubby and B1 were at B1's pitching lesson when it happened. Anyway, we were coming into the house from the garage as the garage door was going down. I thought the door was down far enough that Shinza would not be able to get underneath it, but no, I was wrong. I let her into the garage, thinking I would then put her out back in the fenced-in yard, but she slid under the garage door. Once in awhile, she does get out and usually the routine is that she runs as fast as she can around our house, around the far back yard, around the neighbor's house, into our front yard, and into our garage. We then put her out back into our fenced-in yard. But this time, by the time she got back to the front of our house, the garage door still wasn't up and I guess she got impatient waiting for it, so she took off again. This time she didn't come back.

I knew she would probably prowl around the neighborhood (this too has happened only a few times) but eventually come back home. We stood on the front steps calling for her for a little while and then finally gave that up. Then after about 20 minutes, we drove the car around just our neighborhood looking for her. Nothing. So we came back home, left the garage door up, and about 10 minutes later, she was back in our garage. I went over and immediately opened the screen door, letting her into the house. She runs past me and I smell the very distinctive odor. She heads into the living room and I yell at her to get back into the garage (the garage door is now shut). My mind is racing wondering what the heck I'm going to do to take care of this problem!

So she's in the garage and I go get online to try to find some remedies. Meanwhile, the smell is coming through the door and smelling up the kitchen and rest of the house! So now I put her out back and it's raining. But I figured that she's been out in the rain for 30-45 minutes anyway so it doesn't really matter. I found 2 remedies online. One said to do a bath in tomato juice. The other was a recipe of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and dish soap. I decided to do both. It also said to check for bites or scratches from the skunk, in case of rabies. Also to check her eyes to make sure she didn't get sprayed directly in the eyes. She didn't have any scratches or bites and her eyes were not watering or red so I was happy about that. She is up-to-date on her shots anyway but you can never be too safe.

So I call Hubby and leave him a voice mail about the good news. I tell him that he needs to go by Wal-Mart on his way home and pick up the necessary supplies along with rubber gloves. Here's the best part: when searching online, it said of course not to get any of the tomato juice or other recipe in the dog's eyes, nose, or mouth. So I searched for a solution to clean the face area that was safer. It said to use a douche! Yeah, a douche. So Hubby has to also buy a douche at Wal-Mart. Lucky him. He has never had a problem buying personal supplies for me if necessary so I didn't think this would be a big deal, which it wasn't. He did say, however, that the sales lady looked at him kind of weird when he informed her that the douche was for his dog! :-) Well, we used all the remedies and the next day her coat smelled better but not her face (darn douche didn't work anyway!). I gave her another bath today and did another dose of the hydrogen peroxide recipe. This time I used a washcloth and washed her face as best I could, being careful not to get anything into her eyes, etc. She still doesn't smell 100% better. Her face is still skunky. So we have an appointment on Thursday to take her to a grooming salon and have her professionally bathed, ears cleaned out, and nails clipped. What an experience!

Precious Moments

Last night, I accompanied my youngest daughter to the Hannah Montana concert along with some other moms and their daughters, and 2 additional little girls. My oldest daughter also got to go to the concert as part of a friend's birthday party. I wish I could have watched the show with both of them, but just knowing that they both were going to be able to see it made me happy. It truly was an awesome show! First, the Jonas Brothers performed and they came onto the stage by being lowered from a platform-type of thing from above. They sang for maybe 30 minutes tops. At intermission, we went out and bought Hannah souvenirs, cotton candy, and popcorn. Then we sat back down to await Hannah herself. But to my (and many other women about my age) surprise, Hannah's dad, Billy Ray Cyrus, made an appearance! He helps run the sound board for his daughter's show and just a few minutes before she was to come onstage, he came out to take his spot at the sound board. People began to get a bit frenzied, including the little girls because they know him as Miley's dad on the Hannah Montana television show. Billy Ray stood, turned in slow circles, and waved at the fans going crazy over him. But the real screaming came when Hannah came onstage. And high-pitched screaming it was! Ouch! She sang half the concert as Hannah and half as Miley, changing her clothes a total of 5 times. The final song (before the encore at least) was "Best of Both Worlds" and while she sang the song as Miley, a video screen of Hannah was right next to her so they"both" were singing the song. My daughter loved the show, jumping up and down and singing most all of the songs. Her wide eyes were so cute and watching her love it made me love it more.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

I Did It!

Well, guess what.....I finished reading a book last night! It only took me from mid-August to mid-October to read 403 pages! Ha ha! Yep, I seriously can't remember the last time I finished a real book with no pictures. You see, for whatever reason, I never became a reader. Oh, sure I read magazines (mostly "Soap Opera Digest," "People," and "Ladies Home Journal") all the time, but a real book is just not at the top of my list. I scrapbook. And I just don't have time for more than 1 time-consuming hobby! But anyway, with having a student teacher this semester, I have more time on my hands while I'm at school and I really can't do a whole lot of "hands-on" activities, so I decided to read. The book I finished last night is called Prep (http://www.curtissittenfeld.com/prep.htm) and it's written by Curtis Sittenfeld (a female). I really did enjoy the book. It's about a high school-age girl who goes away to a boarding school on the east coast. It explores all the things that go through her mind during these 4 years of high school and all of the fears that she faces. I could relate to much of her uneasiness and remember feeling some of the same things during my own high school days. By the time I finished it last night, I really didn't want the book to end. Today I went to our library to try to check out the next book written by the same author but our library did not have it on the shelves. They are going to borrow it from another library for me. Hopefully the next one will be just as good. This author I believe has only written 2 fiction books.

But anyway, I'm pretty proud of myself. I am enjoying this free time while it is lastimg. I do miss teaching my students and having more of a connection with them. But I also enjoy being able to do more things with my family in the evenings instead of having as much school work to do. I have A LOT of my Christmas shopping taken care of already (yeah, shoot me!) and I hope to be able to really enjoy the season this year instead of rushing through the month of December and having it be a big blur. I listed 19 items on e-bay tonight as well! The house really ought to be cleaned but.....you know.....I'll get to that later! :-)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

What A Show

The concert last night was WONDERFUL. Seriously, it was one of the best I have seen. The effects were top-notch. Their stage was huge, and the lighting throughout the show was like nothing I've experienced in the past. They had the main stage, of course, with a runway out into the crowd and the "pit" area where fans get to stand to watch the show. But at the other end of the arena, there was a small round stage as well, and when they started the show, the lead singer came up on an elevator-type of apparatus from this stage. The other 2 singers and band members were on the main stage. Then a bridge lowered so that the lead singer could walk to the main stage. Then throughout the show, they would walk back and forth across this bridge, which was about 10 feet higher than the audience, from one stage to the other. Also, the entire floor of the main stage lit up! And I don't mean little lights either; the whole floor was a light, and there were so many colors and designs and lights dancing to the music! They had a big screen behind the main stage on which they played videos for certain songs and on both sides of the main stage, there was a box-type of thing that raised maybe 10 feet into the air when one of the singers stood on it. Also, from the back of the stage a couple times during the evening, fireworks shot out! Towards the end of the show, during one of their songs (I don't remember which one), 6 US Marines came out onto the stage. That was touching and made me tear up. My favorite Rascal Flatts song is "The Broken Road" because it reminds me of a friend of mine. The very last song of the evening, during the encore, was "Life is a Highway." We had a really good time!

Friday, October 12, 2007

End of the Week

Spirit week is now officially over at Triad High School. The first quarter is over too and Monday begins the 2nd. Time has flown by so far this year. B1 has only 3/4 of a year left in elementary school before she becomes a middle-schooler. When did my child get so old? We won the Homecoming football game tonight by about 30 points; I don't know exactly. B1 and B2 both got to ride with me when I drove the golf cart with 2 kids from the Homecoming court on it in the halftime parade. They think that is cool.....everyone screaming at you from the stands as you pass by. I think it's pretty cool too. We forgot to take B2's asthma inhaler along tonight though and by the end of the game, she needed it. With the weather now finally cooler, I must remember to bring the inhaler with us for outside activities. Tomorrow night, I get to go to the Rascal Flatts concert with one of my best friends and to the Old Spaghetti Factory, one of my favorite places, before that! Good times!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Various Things Happening In Our Lives

* Hubby just called and asked me to TiVo the Blues game for him. However, this would interfere with my "Deal or No Deal" so he's going to have to watch it on an old-fashioned VCR tape instead, since we only have TiVo in the living room.

* I am of course very happy that the Cubs were eliminated from the postseason so quickly. Driving out of town tonight, I saw a red and blue sign next to someone's mailbox that had the big Cubs' "C" but then after that it was "hoke" and below, it read "An entire century of losers." Gotta love it!

*B1 is beginning pitching lessons tonight. She and hubby are there right now. I hope she likes it.

*It's quarter finals week at school. Last week sucked for me, preparing the finals and making them multiple choice (so you must essentially do each problem wrong 3 times, making the same sort of mistakes that the kids would make). But this week now is a breeze.....sit back, administer the final, watch for cheating (which is a bit harder in my class because I give a different version of the test to each row), and when they are all done, run the forms through a scantron machine! Oh yeah!

* The 4 of us ate dinner at Casa tonight. We haven't been there in a looooong time. I love their avacado-ranch dressing and hubby loves their salsa better than any other. We always eat too many chips and salsa when we are there.

* And thank goodness for some cooler weather! It feels so wonderful to actually shiver when I step outside!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Friday Night Lights

Whoo-hoo! Yes, we beat HIGHLAND tonight, 45-14!!! And they are supposedly good this year. Whatever. I'm not saying we're good (our record is 3-4 after tonight) but evidently we're good enought to beat Highland. I told my friend earlier this evening that it doesn't matter how bad of a season we might have, as long as we beat those "Dawgs," it's a good one. The best time though was the 2004 season when we beat them 62-0 on their homecoming night :-) Oh yeah! You just gotta love going to Highland the day after we beat them in any varsity sport, wearing all the Triad garb you can put on! I think tomorrow I need to go to Wal-Mart, Super Valu, Glik's, McDonald's, etc. etc. etc.........

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Gotta Buy the Lunch

Well, I got a visit at school today from my former student who I had the bet with about the Cubs and the Cardinals. He won the bet. (Check out my post September: Do or Die Time if you need a refresher.) I figured he would come sporting a Cubs shirt (and I actually considered wearing a Cardinal jersey today to combat that situation) but he spared me. We will most likely do lunch on one of the days when I have parent/teacher conferences and I will have to pay. I really can't stand the thought of the Cubs finishing higher than the Cards so I'm rooting hard now for the Arizona Diamondbacks. I love being able to abuse Cub fans about the fact that it's been 99 years since their team won a World Series!

Other than that, our visit was good. It's always nice to see former students, especially those who have taken a little piece of my heart. I really think I have the best job in the world.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Come On Folks, It's Not That Hard

I am not perfect, not by any stretch of the imagination. But one thing I strive to do (and I believe having this blog has made me improve in this area) is speak correctly and write correctly. If you research my past blogs, however, I am sure you will find some grammatical errors and/or misuse of the English language. But one thing I do know is that I know how to use the words your and you're correctly. Three times within the past week have I seen these words misspelled or used incorrectly. It. Drives. Me. Crazy!!!

First, in the senior hallway at school, someone hung signs (like they often do) wishing someone else a happy birthday. It was the birthday person's 18th birthday and the sign read "Your 18!" Yes, this was the SENIOR hallway; you would think these kids know better by now, wouldn't you? Second, at my workout facility, on the white board where announcements are posted, again, it said something like "Your Invited." When I noticed this, there were 3 other teachers there and someone else had the guts to say something about it, thank goodness! And third, an invitation that I received in the mail said.....now get this one....."Your'e Invited." AUGH!!!! It's not that hard, people.....Your shows possession or that something belongs to you. You're means "you are." That's it. The apostrophe takes the place of the 'a.'

After seeing the sign at school, I made a point of telling my math students that if I was hiring people and they wrote something, anything, on their job application like "your invited," I would immediately turn down their application.

Now, with my luck, my own daughters will be people who have issues getting this straight!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Pink and Blue

Here is B1 in her new bedroom in the basement. We finally got the shelves hung above the bed so she can put her little trinkets on them. She needs another stuffed animal for the bed, don't you think?

Dad loves the idea of putting Christmas lights on the pole in her room (not!) and she has her own little laundry hamper in the corner by the bulliten board.
Dierks Bentley, Martina McBride, Carrie Underwood, LeAnne Rimes, Kenny Chesney, and Gretchen Wilson. All of them are signed except Martina and Carrie.



Here is her nightstand with alarm clock, an Albert Pujols pennant, a Hannah Montana poster (we are all going to see her in 19 days), and her disco ball from Grandma and Grandpa S. The desk belonged to my grandma. We still need to get the chair upholstered with fabric more suitable for her. We also practiced opening and climbing out this window in case of emergency.



She tends to get hot very easily so since the ceiling is too low for a fan, she recently acquired a fan from Grandma F. And of course, a touch of "High School Musical" must be in the room!



B1's "new" dresser, our old one. It has lots of shelves for more stuff. The poster on the door is from Disney Channel's "Suite Life of Zack and Cody."





Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Awesome People To Eat With!

I have a great lunch hour this year! We have seven people, three of them being student teachers. A couple weeks ago, the four of us "regular" teachers decided to provide lunch for everyone. I made cheese soup, someone else brought Italian salad, someone else brought friendship bread, and the last one brought all the paper supplies. Today, all seven of us brought some ingredient for our own nachos! We had the works, from chips to meat to all the toppings including home-made salsa and guacamole! Tomorrow is bread bowl day! They are serving awesome soup in a bread bowl in the cafeteria this week and we are all going to go to the cafeteria (instead of the teacher's work room) to purchase a bread bowl with soup. Mine will contain French onion soup but they also serve cream of broccoli and potato.

I just noticed that I have written about food now in my last two posts! I guess I am hungry when I am on the computer!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I Can Live Another Year

Every year in September, Collinsville, IL has their annual Italianfest. And every year, I must go there and get an order of Bagna Cauda. Ever had it? It's a smelly concoction of butter, garlic, and anchovies.....and I think it is awesome. They serve it in a nacho container with the sauce in the small compartment and cabbage and french bread pieces in the large compartment. You dip the cabbage and bread into the butter mixture and enjoy. I remember the first time I saw this stuff, I wondered how someone could eat that! Then I was encouraged to try it, so I did. And. I. Fell. In. Love. Yum---yum---yum! Now, we have to go the Italianfest every year simply so I can get my Bagna Cauda. This year, we were very short on time and couldn't "do" the whole Italianfest thing like we have in the past. So, Hubby literally dropped me off 1 block from where the stand is always located, I walked to it, bought my Bagna Cauda, went around the block, got back into the car, and off we went to our next stop. But once I finished my treat (along with a Diet Coke), I promptly announced to him: "OK, I can live another year now." He smiled at me and said "well good." You just gotta love a guy who will take you out of the way to eat garlic and anchovies! :-)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

From Little Girl to Bride

I'm going to have to miss the football game tomorrow night. The daughter of one of my best friends is getting married. I worked with Donna (my awesome friend) at my first "real" job out of college, ITT Financial Services in Florissant, MO. I knew the day I met Donna that I needed to stay on her good side. She was the office assistant and one of those people who could make or break you at your job. I remember that I had only worked there for 2 months when secretary's day came along and I knew it was a must to get something for Donna! I can't remember what I got her or did for her that day, but I know she appreciated it and our friendship was formed. She is one of those people who would be there for me or for my family for anything. We don't see each other very often and certainly don't spend enough time together these days, but I know that when I need her, she will be there. I first met her daughter Stephanie when she was 9. Steph and my hubby used to go to Blues practices together and get autographs. Steph thought that was pretty cool back then. They would do that on days when there was no school but Donna and I still had to work. We were jealous. I've watched Steph grow up from elementary school to middle school, to her high school graduation and eventually college graduation. I saw her turn 21 a few years ago and will now see her become a bride. I can seriously remember back to what seems like only yesterday when Donna introduced me to her. Time flies. Donna has always been a single mom and I'm sure that Steph getting married will not be easy. But then again when you know that the people you love are happy, it somehow makes things more tolerable. So, happy almost wedding day, Steph! I'm sure you and your mom will both be beautiful and I wouldn't miss this occasion for the world! I love you both!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Weekend (so far) in Review

My weekend: Friday night football game at Waterloo. First win of the season for Triad, 30-16! Yay! Saturday we closed our pool with the help of some friends who came over to hold the cover in place. I am always glad when that job is done and it's one less thing I have to think about during the winter months (cleaning the pool and putting the chemicals in it). Then I went to a friend's house to help her move. We worked during the afternoon hours at both her old and new homes and then got cleaned up to go out. It was myself and 4 high school friends. We ate dinner at Tony's in Alton (yum!), went to the Alton Belle (where I actually won over $100!), and then to Wild Country in Collinsville, which I consider to be a mistake. The place was too smokey and I don't know the dances. It was also too loud that we couldn't talk to each other. Live and learn though. Came home and went to bed at 2am. Today I got up and got the girls off to Sunday School, got cleaned up and picked them up and hour later and then headed to St. Louis to a soccer game at SLU. One of my former students was playing there. She plays for SEMO. Now we are home and about ready to go to the park for a walk with our dog (the day is too perfect not to do this, it's 75 degrees!). Then at 6pm we are meeting some friends at Alfonzo's in Maryville for pizza, salad, and wings! These are my favorite wings of all and the salad is awesome as well! We are taking the guys who helped build B1's room out as a thank-you. (The room pics will be coming soon, but Hubby still needs to hang a couple shelves.) I still need to go through the girls' backpacks, check any homework they may have had, and check out the lunch situation for tomorrow (who's do I need to make?). I know that at MY school tomorrow (and all week), we have bread bowl soup.....YUM! So I'm buying tomorrow. That's all for now, hope all of you had a good weekend too.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

9/11/01.....WE WILL REMEMBER

Just sitting here wondering what I should post about tonight when I read Nancy's blog http://worldwiderolves.blogspot.com/. She too did the same thing I did. I reminded B1 last night that today would be 9/11 and that she should probably choose to wear something red/white/blue to school. No problem for her.....she wore a grey T-shirt with patriotic-colored butterflies and flowers on the front. I had my own clothes all picked out as well, navy capris and a golf-type shirt adorned with flags (by the way, the shirt is over 11 years old and B1 announced to me today that I looked like a grandma wearing it, but I really didn't care today). When B2 got up this morning and I went to pick out her clothes, I wasn't dressed for school myself yet and temporarily forgot the date. We picked out some peach/teal flowery skort outfit and she was already dressed in it when I remembered the date and told her that she should really wear a red T-shirt in her closet with a flag on it. She asked why. She was only 17 months old on 9/11/01 so my explanation to her was that 6 years ago was the day that the bad people drove planes into the buildings in New York other parts of our country and then she seemed to know what I was talking about. Anyway, she began to argue with me about what she was going to wear to school. I told her she could pick out her own pants but that I strongly suggested she wear the red flag T-shirt. I told her it was her choice but that a lot of people had died and many others were very sad because of what happened on this date and then I left the room. A minute or so later, I glanced down the hallway to her room, where the T-shirt had been hanging on the door handle. It was gone. She changed her clothes. Good for her.

Six years ago this morning, I was sitting in my classroom (hence the Alan Jackson song "Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning" and the line in that song that goes "teaching a class full of innocent children") when my dad (a hall monitor at the high school where I teach) came in and informed me of what had happened. For the rest of that school day and the following, almost all the teachers in my building had their TV's on all day long. I usually taught my lessons and then turned on the TV afterwards. Saying the pledge at school today brought tears to my eyes. I know we all remember where we were when we heard that news.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Our New Room

Here are the pics of our new bedroom. Well, it's not a new room of course, but it looks a lot different than it did 2 months ago! I wondered if I would like the color scheme that I picked out, and I ended up loving it. As you can see, I went with earth tones and had the hubby paint just one wall in a rust color while the other three are tan. I picked about eight different comforter prints in the JCPenney catalog and then had him narrow it to three that he could "live with" and then I picked the final selection. The comforter itself is SO soft and comfy! And.....we bought a pillow-top mattress, which I have absolutely fallen in love with. At first, I wondered if it would be too soft, but since the mattress underneath the pillow-top is firm, the back support is perfect. Here you can see that Shinza likes it too! We bought the wall decorations at Garden Ridge. We also ended up buying 2 nightstands because we each have our own alarm clocks and "stuff" that we wanted to store inside. The only piece of furniture from the set that we didn't buy was the bed. The one that came with the set had a head and foot board and our room just isn't big enough to feasibly hold that big of a bed. We could have made it work, but I know myself and I know that I would have constantly been running my knees and toes into that footboard, even though it would have looked so nice! Also though, the walkway area at the foot of the bed would have been just too narrow. So we took a piece of hardware from one of the dresser drawers and headed to the mattress section of the store to try to find just a headboard that would match. We succeeded and I am very pleased!



Here is a picture of my dresser. This is the piece of furniture that I am allowed to put my things in. It actually has 7 drawers, 2 of which are really deep.


This is the hubby's piece of furniture. I am not allowed to put anything in here because it's "his." He likes the armoire/drawer combination. In the armoire side, he has 3 nice tall shelves.

I will soon be posting pics of my new kitchen and eventually, B1's new bedroom!



Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Carrie, Shania, and of course.....Kenny

B2 had gymnastics tonight, which is in O'Fallon, IL. Afterwards, the 3 of us (me, her and B1) stopped for a bite to eat and just before getting on the interstate to head home, the Carrie Underwood song "Before He Cheats" came on the radio. So we sang it loudly in the car. As it ended, I heard the beginning of another familiar country song I hadn't heard in quite awhile. It was Shania Twain's "Any Man of Mine." I remember many years ago when this song first came out, I wasn't sure if I liked it or not, but it just sort of grew on me. My girls and I love to blast Shania in the car and when we can, we roll down the windows and let the air blow our hair everywhere while the radio is turned all the way up. We don't do this when Hubby/Dad is in the car because his ears can't seem to handle the loudness! As Shania's song ended, I turned and said to my girls "the only way this could get any better is if Kenny Chesney comes on next".....and guess what? Next song: KC's "Never Wanted Nothing More"! I put my hand up for B1 to high-five me as we drove down the road, radio still blasting! That was probably one of those moments with them that I will remember forever.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

September: Do or Die Time

I have a bet made with one of my former students who graduated this past May. He used to live in Chicago and hence, is a Cubs fan. Since my college days at Eastern Illinois University, I have hated all sports teams from Chicago, simply because there were so many people at EIU from Chicago and it seemed like 3 out of 4 of them were rude and disrespectful to those of us from "downstate" (and I HATE that term!). Anyway, back to my former student. He and his older brother love to teast me about the Cardinals, even though they both know that they are fighting a losing battle. This young man is currently in the Army Guard, stationed at Ft. Benning, GA. He left in June and I have received 7 letters from him so far. He will be back sometime later this month. I write to him as well, sending newspaper clippings, pictures, and other tidbits of interest in the envelopes along with my letters. While we were on vacation this summer, I sent him a post card from every one of our stops. Back in April, when school was still in, he started his badmouthing of the Cardinals. My traditional comeback to a Cubs fan is "see me in September." So, he and I made a bet: one of us would take the other to lunch depending on whichever team is higher in the standings come the end of the season. Seems like most season, the Cubs have been higher, and still are. However, during the past month, the Cardinals have moved from about 4 games to 2 games within reach of passing the Cubs. And we still have a month to go. With the Cards big win last night and their win again today, I thought we might be able to move within 1 game. But the Cubs won yesterday and today, had to come back in the late innings and win their game as well. We are going to the game tomorrow to cheer on our Cardinals. I look forward to watching baseball this final month of the season. I always enjoy following my Cardinals, but this year it's just a little more fun. I honestly don't have any hopes of postseason success (just making the playoffs would be a small miracle!), just as long as we end up higher than the Cubs, as we usually do!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Random Thoughts

Well, it's almost Labor Day weekend, the first official holiday weekend of the school year! Yippeee!!! And the great thing about THIS Labor Day weekend is that I/we already have 3 entire weeks of school completed! Next year at this time, we will only be beginning school, but this year, there are 3 weeks down and only 33 to go.

I realized yesterday that 11 months from right now, the 4 of us will be on our Disney Cruise. Yeah, I'm a bit excited about that but I wouldn't say that I "can't wait" because I most certainly can. There are many moments of life to live and hopefully lots of good things that are going to happen between now and 11 months from now. But I can still imagine what it's going to be like.............I just love Disney World and everything about it and I anticipate our Disney vacations more than any others. In addition to the cruise, we will also spend a good bit of time in all the Disney parks, water parks, and Universal! And the great part is that even after we get back home, there will still be a good 3 weeks of summer vacation left before school starts.

It was announced today at school that we will return to the regular schedule next week! Thank God! I really hate having to get my girls up at 5:40am. That's just not fair for a 10 and 7 year old. I am also happy for my own students; now they won't have to listen to me until 7:45am instead of 6:45! And tomorrow is "Football Friday," as B1, B2, and I like to call it. Triad plays at Collisnville tomorrow night. Hopefully we can secure a win after the week 1 loss to Chatham.

Looking forward to a somewhat relaxing weekend.....football tomorrow night, SLEEP on Saturday morning, a birthday party Saturday at noon, family party Saturday afternoon/evening, and ????? on Sunday and Monday. I am hoping the weather is nice enough to take the girls fishing on Sunday. They earned a fishing afternoon over the summer and still have not redeemed it.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Friendship Bread???

I have a student teacher this semester and today, she brought me a starter portion of "Amish Friendship Bread." I have heard of this in the past, but never actually tried it. I must admit that I am skeptical. Has anyone out there ever made this bread before? The bag she gave me contains a yellowish liquid that is made up of sugar, flour, eggs, and milk.......I think. I am NOT supposed to put this mixture in the fridge. Milk not in the fridge? Hmmm.......that just doesn't sound very appetizing. On Wednesday, I add some more sugar, flour, and milk again and still don't put it in the fridge. On Monday, Sept. 3, I add a bunch more ingredients, make up 4 new bags of "stuff" to give to other people who may want this goo, and then bake what I have left to make 2 loaves of supposedly very yummy bread. I just have issues with the thought of milk not being refrigerated. I am going to go ahead and proceed with the whole thing because I want to experience this and see what it's all about and see if the bread is as good as I have heard. But I still am a bit grossed out. What do you think?

Friday, August 24, 2007

1300+ Big Sighs All At Once

Yeah, so today during 6th hour, we hear the announcement that we will be CONTINUING our wonderful heat schedule for another week. Yep, that's right, I get to continue to start teaching at 6:45am for another week. My student teacher (who has about a 40 minute drive every morning) about had a coronary when she heard the news. And I swear that you could hear just about every student at Triad High School all sigh or cry at once. Honestly, now that I've sort of gotten used to the schedule, I don't mind it so much. I have a big chunk of my own day left even after the school day is over, which is nice. I'm not real fond of getting my own children up at 5:40am though so we can leave by 6:10. That part isn't fun at all. When I tucked them in just a little while ago, I reminded them that they could sleep until noon tomorrow if they wish, and even as young as they are, they were pretty darn happy about that!