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" ( 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


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

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

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 ( 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!