Friday, May 30, 2008


It is shortly after midnight on May 30. I am 40 years old today. We are celebrating this weekend several times, which I am excited about. Tonight (Friday), Hubby, B1, B2, and I are going to the Cardinal baseball game. Before the game, we are going to meet 2 friends at the Spaghetti Factory, which is one of my favorite restaurants. I love going to the Cardinal game on my birthday! Growing up, my dad would try to get seats from his company every year on or as close to my birthday as possible so we could go. It was great.

Saturday night, some friends of ours are going out to the Landing to celebrate. We are going to start with dinner at Hannigan's and then play it by ear after that. Should be a fun time!

Sunday, my parents, brother, and the 4 of us are going to the Cheesecake Factory, another favorite restaurant of mine.

I have put together a list of some of the significant things that have happened in each of my 40 years thus far. They are:

1 – Celebrated my first birthday and probably began walking!
2 – My brother entered my life one month before my 2nd birthday
3 – I most likely began Sunday School sometime during this year. My Grandpa Jack died just before I turned 3. I wish I could remember him.....sounds like he was a great guy.
4 - Can't remember anything from this year.
5 – Began the thirteen looooong years of public school education!
6 – In first grade, I clearly remember an experience I had with math, grouping numbers by 10’s.
7 – In second grade, I had some trouble with separation anxiety at school and my teacher was so kind to me.
8 – I had Miss Becker for 3rd grade, a lady who had taught my parents as well! Also, we moved into the house where my parents still live.
9 – In fourth grade, I was Mrs. Cange’s “Student of the Week” during both the first week of school AND the last week of school. I was proud to be the very first one of the school year!
10 – In fifth grade, I got my first “C.” I was rather mortified and didn’t really like Mrs. Moore very much. The “C” was in social studies. My Grandpa Dotty died right at the end of 5th grade. He and my grandma built the house we currently live in.
11 – I remember that for my 11th birthday, my Grandma Philipine gave me a silver charm bracelet, which is still in my jewelry box today.
12 – I got contact lenses the summer after I turned twelve. I was also a cheerleader during this school year.
13 – Oh, the teenage years. I didn’t make cheerleading but I survived. Instead, I kept the stat book for the away basketball games. And I was salutatorian of my 8th grade class.
14 – The beginning of high school and going to school with kids from Marine and Troy, which was a HUGE switch for us St. Jacob kids!
15 – This was my sophomore year of high school. I had a boyfriend from St. Louis who I dated for almost a year.
16 – The driver’s license! It seems I was the one who drove on the weekends most of the time. My parents were cooler than my friends’ parents because all of them had to be home at midnight. I didn’t have to be home until 12:30. That way, since I was usually the one driving, I could take them home (most of the time in Troy) and still be home by my own curfew.
17 – My senior year of high school. I remember doing a lot of thinking about “life” during this time.
18 – Graduated from Triad and began attending Eastern Illinois University.
19 – This was the summer I began working at Dairy Queen in Highland and became friends with Hubby and many more people who are still a very vital part of my life.
20 – Hubby and I began dating a couple months before my 20th birthday.
21 – On my 21st birthday, I was still at EIU (the semester had ended and I was going to “intersession” which was a 3.5 week session during which time I took 2 classes). Hubby came up and visited me and we went to the local liquor store where I bought a bottle of wine. I think this day was one of the only times in my life when I actually WANTED to be carded!
22 – I graduated from EIU in December of this year.
23 – I started my first “real” job (post college) a few months before my 23rd birthday.
24 – Hubby and I got engaged on our 4th anniversary of dating, which was just a couple of months before my 24th birthday.
25 – We got married when I was 25.
26 – We moved into our current (and probably forever) house when I was 26 and we got our first pet, miniature dachshund Barney.
27 – I got pregnant with B1!
28 – I had B1!
29 – I began hating my job and Hubby began encouraging me to switch to a career in teaching.
30 – I got the best job in the world, teaching math at Triad High School!
31 – I got pregnant with AND had B2 during my 31st year.
32 – The new millennium and all the Y2K stuff, which didn’t happen
33 – This was 2001 and we all know what happened on 9/11 that year.
34 – B2 got pneumonia and had to spend a week at Cardinal Glennon. It wasn’t fun but I had full confidence in the doctors there and was never scared.
35 - We went to Walnut Grove, MN as a part of our vacation that summer. This town was made famous by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
36 – We went to Disney World and St. Petersburg, FL on vacation that summer – a trip I had literally been saving for since before B2 was conceived!
37 – We rented a cabin in Gatlinburg this summer and it was awesome!
38 – We went to Texas (Houston, San Antonio, and Dallas) this summer and had a better time than I think any of us expected
39 – My Grandma Philipine died in January of this year, Barney died in February, we got Shinza in April, and my mom got sick in December. We also went on vacation with my parents to Cedar Point, Cooperstown, and Niagara Falls, as well as 3 baseball stadiums along the way.
40 – My mom is slowly improving, which is the best birthday gift I could ask for.

I have had a great 40 years. I am such a lucky person to have a wonderful family, great friends, and a job I love (most days). I know I am truly blessed and hope that God gives me another 40 years to enjoy this life on earth.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


OK, so last night we went to see the new Indiana Jones movie. I hated it. Don't get me wrong; I know that if I hadn't seen it, I would have been wondering about it. So I am glad we went, but ticked at the fact that we spent so much $$$ for such a terrible movie (in my opinion). My favorite Indy movie was the 2nd one....."Temple of Doom." I remember loving that one with the little boy in it. I think I was probably in high school when I saw it and maybe my taste in movies has changed drastically since then.....I don't know. But last night I found myself rolling my eyes and saying things like "yeah, right" to myself almost the entire time. Halfway though I knew we had made a mistake. We took B1 and B2 to see it with us and all I can say is thank goodness for the popcorn or they would have been completely BORED. However, it was cheaper to pay their way into the movie than pay for a babysitter! My advice if you really want to see it is to wait for the rental!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day Sunday

Today was spent at the St. Louis Zoo with some old college friends of mine. Old friends are the best because you don't feel like you have to work so hard to please them.....they have been in your life long enough for you to know that even though you don't see each other more than about once a year, you can pretty much just pick up right where you left off. And our husbands and children just blend in with each other as well. It was nice. We visited the dinosaur exhibit and I managed to get sprayed in the face by one of them! We saw a good bit of the zoo in the 4 hours we were there. After leaving, we headed over to one of our very favorite restaurants just a block away from the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park. We love eating at Talayna's. I think we introduced my one friend to it when she was a student at Wash U and we have all been going there together ever since! They have the best house salad dressing! Hubby LOVES their lasagna. But nothing you order is ever bad. Yum yum yum!

I'm sorry I don't have any zoo pics to post. I took my film camera to the zoo today. I am saving for a new digital but don't quite have enough yet. Hopefully after my birthday on Friday, I will be there. Happy Memorial Day everyone!

Friday, May 23, 2008


Last summer, we made a deal with B1 and B2 that if they went to bed on time without being told for like 40 nights straight, we would take them fishing. Well, they did it but the school year crept up on us sooner than we had time to fish! So we finally got it in today, almost a year later. Anyway, the fish weren't biting today. Hubby was the only one of us that actually caught anything and his fish was pretty darn small! But oh well, we had fun anyway. We plan to try it again at a different lake next time.

On another note, my friend over at the prologue of my life is attempting to post a picture to her blog every day during the month of May. I think I am going to try to do the same during the month of June. We will see if I make it! I know I have been slacking here lately with my posts but now that school is out, I should have some more time to dedicate to my blog. Stay tuned.....

Friday, May 16, 2008

Summer Vacation Starts

Today was the last day of school for high school students. If they didn't have to take final exams, they were done on Wednesday. Us teachers have to go back on Monday, Tuesday (the report card day for the elementary and middle schoolers), and Wednesday. I have some meetings to attend on those days but I will basically just be wrapping things up. They will be easy, laid-back days. I may start to work on some lesson planning for next year. It just doesn't seem like summer vacation time yet though. Maybe that is because it is so early this year or maybe it's because the weather just doesn't seem summer-ish. When I think of summer vacation starting, I think of WANTING to be in the pool. And that just hasn't been the case this week. I can't imagine being in the pool! I would be freezing! I hope it warms up soon so my mood changes a bit.

I got the nicest card today from a student which was totally unexpected. Had someone told me during the first month of school that this girl would give me a card on the last day, I would have said they were crazy. But strange things happen. I e-mailed the girl's parents today too and told them how I felt about their daughter and then the mom e-mailed me back. She told me of what a terrible week she had been having (she shared details of this) and that my e-mail to her had completely made her day. She said she was going to print and frame it! Wow. Sometimes the little things can mean so much!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

What's up with the weather? Today's high was supposedly 57 but I don't think it made it that high. And the wind?!? It was just simply a miserable day outside. I can't remember a Mother's Day like this. Here are the gifts I received for Mother's Day: from Hubby and both girls I received a Disney Cruise Line book (so I can do even MORE reading about our upcoming trip), the 2nd season of Grey's Anatomy on DVD, a Molina (Cardinal) T-shirt, and a Cardinal bracelet that looks as if it was made from baseball leather. I had another bracelet just like it and I wore that one out. Funny thing about the Molina T-shirt.....I have shirts hanging in our basement with the names Vina, Grudzielanek, Rolen, and Eckstein on them. We joke that next year on Halloween, we are all 4 going to dress up like traded St. Louis Cardinals! Ha ha! Well, I like Yadier Molina now as well as Rick Ankiel so I hinted to Hubby that a Molina shirt would be nice (my birthday is also in May so he has more than one reason to buy me gifts!). But then again, I am almost afraid to get a shirt with someone's name on it because inevitably, they get traded.

HEY!!!! I need to get an Isringhausen shirt!! YEAH, then maybe they would trade or release him! That would be GREAT!

From B1, I got a real flower planted in a decorated pot and a fake hyacinth flower made from plastic 6-pack rings that her school recycles. It's really pretty cool looking and does look like an actual hyacinth. She spray painted it blue. From B2, I got a magnet of a picture of me and her that she also made at school. Those gifts are very special. I know someday when they are too "big" to make me things, I will miss it.

I went to graduation today at Triad. I haven't missed a graduation in my 10 years teaching (not even the year I gave birth a month before) and today's was a good ceremony. It always makes me feel good when the graduates applaud us teachers as we enter the gym. It makes me feel like what I do is really worth it. Then we went to dinner with my family at the same restaurant where we went on Easter. I had a stuffed pork chop which was really yummy! I hope all of you had a good Mother's Day as well!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

What Kind Of Car Are You?

Go here to see what kind of sports car you would be if your personality took on that of a car! I am a Honda S2000 I believe, which I am not so thrilled about, although the picture I saw wasn't so bad I guess. Aren't those practical cars? I guess that is OK, but one of my good friends was a Chevrolet Corvette and I am jealous. I LOVE Corvettes! I want to be one of those! Let me know how you turn out!

Saturday, May 3, 2008


Thursday night, the four of us went to Triad Middle School, where B1 will be attending 6th grade next year. This building was formerly Triad High School, where Hubby and I both attended for four years and where we graduated from high school.

We sat in the gym with many other parents of current 5th grade students and heard the principal explain policies, procedures, classes, rules, lunch options, pick-up an drop-off places, times, etc. It was informative although since I too teach in the district,we pretty much knew most of it already.

After the principal was through talking, he encouraged everyone to walk through the building, particularly the 6th grade wing. In doing so, Hubby and I each showed the girls where our locker during our high school years was located. Back then, you kept the same locker for all four years. The combination changed each year, but the locker itself remained the same. I have "visited" my old locker several times since high school (I taught for one year in that building when it was still a high school).

I have always known that mine was locker #611. But the other night, after I pointed out my old locker, Hubby walked a little further around the corner and straight up to his old locker. How weird is it that his locker was #711? Maybe I'm just weird and a strange "numbers kind of person" but I thought that this a pretty cool coincidence!! Also, I graduated in 1986 and hubby graduated in 1987. Is that weird? Or am I?