Wednesday, October 31, 2007


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


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'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.


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 ( 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 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.