Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Best Friends

Tonight is B1's first middle school dance! Here is a picture of her and her best friend outside our house before they left. Her mom was taking them and I am going to pick them up later. They sure grow up fast!

And here is a picture of me with one of my best friends. She also teaches math at Triad. We are wearing Eastern Illinois University alumni T-shirts. We are both very proud of the fact that we are EIU graduates! Today was twin day at school.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Gym Decorations

Here is a picture of the main decorations in the gym on Saturday night. As I said, the theme was Mardi Gras and I think the decorations turned out beautifully. This picture reminds me of something you might see in Vegas! The colors were awesome. Try to look closely to see it all or click on the picture to enlarge it.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Spirit Week

Sorry I haven't posted much lately. I can say I have been busy (which is true) but aren't we all? The days fly by and before I know it, I need to get in bed. I'm not one of those people who can stay up until 12:00 or 1:00 on a school night. I must get at least 6.5 hours of sleep each night, and I try to shoot for more.

This week at school will be crazy. It's Homecoming Spirit Week. We have a Mardi Gras theme going this year and tomorrow is "Mardi Gras Monday." I don't really have anything very exciting to wear tomorrow other than a green shirt and some beads. Tuesday is "Twos Day" so one of my best friends and I are dressing in college alumni shirts (she and I attended the same college but not at the same time). We will also both wear similar pants and shoes. Wednesday is "Wake Up and Go" day and it's one of my favorites. I am seriously thinking about doing just that.....waking up and going. No shower, no make-up, glasses instead of my contacts, just brush my hair and my teeth and of course put on a bra! Otherwise, it's off to school in PJ pants I go! Thursday is "Theatrical Thursday" and I think I'm going to reprise my role as one of the nerds from "Revenge of the Nerds." I dressed in this costume several years ago and it was a pretty good one. I'll wear old dark rimmed glasses, part my hair on the side and gel it down, a plaid shirt with my pants hiked up high and either a nerdy looking belt or suspenders. Also a pen protector in my pocket and some kind of nerdy looking shoes. Then Friday of course is spirit day and I will be decked out in total Triad garb. I'll try to post some pictures this week!

Happy almost-Monday!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Dogsitting and Good Food!

My mom's health is improving all the time now and she is back to work this school year. She still has to take a lot of medication but thanks to the doctors at Barnes, her life is slowly getting back to normal. So.......my parents got a new puppy the day after Labor Day. Their previous dog died back in May, during a time when my mom was at a low with her health. His name was Oscar and he was 13 years old. He had a good life but it's still hard to say goodbye to a great pet. The new puppy's name is Rusty. Both are miniature dachshunds. We got to babysit Rusty this past weekend while my parents were away for 2 days/1 night. What a cutie he is! We just love him! This little face is just irresistable!

On Saturday night, I ate dinner at the Top of the St. Louis Riverfront (Millennium Hotel) with three girlfriends. We had been planning this dinner for quite a while now and it was really nice. We were there for 3.5 hours and the time went by quickly. It gave each course time to settle before the next arrived and it gave us good, quality time to visit with each other. We are all moms of young children and a night like that is certainly welcome once in a while! We rotated a little over 2 times so we got to see the entire St. Louis skyline from all 360 degrees. I had goat cheese and mushroom strudel as an appetizer, field greens for my salad, a steak with garlic butter sauce for my dinner, and the three of us shared black and white cheesecake for dessert. Yumm-O!
The St. Louis Riverfront is under water right now because of Hurricane Ike. If you are not familiar with St. Louis, you may not know what you are looking at here, but this is the south leg of the Gateway Arch and as you can see, the water is pretty high on the trees in the background.....almost to the leaves! The road that runs along the riverfront is completely under water right now, for the 3rd time this season.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

You Find Out Who Your Friends Are

You find out who your friends are
Somebody's gonna drop everything
Run out and crank up their car
Hit the gas, get there fast
Never stop to think 'what's in it for me?' or 'it's way too far'
They just show on up with their big old heart
You find out who your friends are
(lyrics from a Tracy Lawrence song)

Well, we certainly found out who our friends are this past weekend.

Hurricane Ike made its way up into the midwest and on Sunday morning, we got some pretty HEAVY rain. I was in the basement showering and when I was done, I noticed that the shower water was not draining as fast as usual. Then, a minute or two later, I heard the toilet make some weird kind of "bloop" sound and no one had used it! Then I noticed water seeping UP through the drain in the middle of the floor. Not good. I yell for Hubby to come downstairs and I guess he could tell by my voice that something was wrong so he came running......

He decided to plunge the drain in the floor and raw sewage pretty much came flooding out of it. Yeah. So B1 and B2 scrambled around the room taking things out and as far away from the drain as possible. Hubby got the shop vac and began cleaning up that mess while I drove the girls to Sunday School (right down the road). I came back, and just a few minutes later, the alarm was going off near the sump pump, indicating that the water level in there was too high. So Hubby and I went into pretty much full "panic" mode. He started shop vac-ing, I started scrambling for something to pour the shop vac water into because we couldn't pour it back down the drain (which still wasn't draining). We both got on our phones and began calling people for help.

As it turned out, eight other friends and family came rushing over to our house. We carried buckets and buckets of water from the sump pump (ground water by now, no more sewage) up the stairs and out the door, dumping it down the driveway. Finally, we got a little smarter and did an assembly line type of thing so everyone wouldn't have to continue going up and down the stairs. Hubby manned the shop vac with one other person helping him, friend Mike ran to a nearby town to get some equipment he thought would help, and brother-in-law Randy brought some kind of machine that we eventually got set up outside which pumped the water from the sump pump up through a tube and out into the ditch. Whew.

We were all seriously dripping with sweat by the time the water slowed down. The problem is that our basement has been waterproofed. This means that any water that comes in through the walls is channeled through little tunnels in the floor and all towards the sump pump. The problem was that with all that rain, the sump pump couldn't handle all that water. This happened to us once before but we didn't catch it that time until all the damage was done. This time, we got lucky. We are now in the market for a second sump pump to hopefully alleviate this problem if it arises again!

Thank goodness for good friends!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Friday Night and Food

First, a few pics from last night's football game. We lost to Mt. Vernon, 28-7. It wasn't a fun game to watch.The team and poms lined up during the National Anthem.
Poms with their "THS" letters - I always think this looks so cool!
B1 with a friend standing along the fence watching the game.
B2 in the bleachers.
And now.....I got this list from Casa Christy. It's a list of random strange foods. The ones highlighted are the ones I've eaten/tried. Looking at this list, I am not a very worldly taster I guess!
1. Venison
2. Nettle Tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding - One of my very favorite things, ever.
7. Cheese fondue - at The Melting Pot
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho --Grand
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo Gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart - in Washington DC
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters - just to make my dad happy!
29. Baklava
30. Bagna Cauda - OMG I love this stuff at the Collinsville Italianfest every year! And that is coming up next weekend!!!! YAY!!!
31. Wasabi peas - these things are a pretty darn good snack! I just got turned onto them last year from a fellow teacher.
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl - no but one of my favorite meals to purchase at school is French onion soup in the bread bowl. It's seriously better than Bread Co.'s! For real!
33. Salted Lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float -and coke floats, and all that jazz
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects - yeah, but not on purpose!
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle - not yet but I want to have some in the Germany pavillion on my next trip to WDW!
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV - I HATE beer!
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Beef Tongue - no, but my grandmother would make this often. She loved tongue sandwiches.
70. Chitterlings
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail - at a restaurant in Quebec City, Canada when I was 19 years old
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom Yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Shark
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo Chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole Poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

7 Years

As some of you know, I am a sucker for "meme" posts.....you know, the kind where I answer a bunch of questions about ME. One of those questions often asked is something like "What TV show/movie could you watch over and over?" Around this time of the year, there are many documentaries on TV about 9/11 and when I see one of those, my eyes are glued.

I found one the other night while channel surfing. It was a play-by-play of every minute of that morning, beginning with the times when the terrorists most likely entered the airports. I can't imagine what it was like being on one of those planes. They interviewed a flight attendant and her voice was amazingly calm. I couldn't believe it. How sad listening to her voice on the recording, knowing what was going to happen to her in a matter of minutes.

As always, tomorrow I will proudly wear red, white and blue to school. I will encourage my children to do the same and saying the pledge tomorrow morning will probably choke me up a bit. 9/11/01.....WE WILL REMEMBER.

Monday, September 8, 2008

It's Podcast Day!

Today is the day that Bruce and I are featured on "Be Our Guest Podcast." We discussed the Disney Cruise. If you are interested in listening to what we had to say, go here and click on "Listen NOW!" We are episode #51 (today's episode). Click on the grey arrow. The actual podcast is 36.31 minutes long.

We are planning another cruise for the end of July, 2011. As of now, I believe that some friends of ours who live in Florida, my cousin, her family, and her parents (my aunt and uncle), and my parents are going to go too. We are hoping that some more of our friends choose to come along also. It would be so neat if we knew many people on the ship!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

7th Hour Prep! Yippeeeee!!!

Alrighty then.....another school year has finally officially started! I am teaching 3 sections of Algebra 1B this year and 2 sections of Geometry. I have taught both classes in the past, but it's been about 5 years since I've taught Geometry. There are certain chapters in the book that I really enjoy teaching (quadrilaterals, circles, and trig functions with right triangles for sure). I almost always end up really liking the Algebra 1B classes as well even though they are a bit higher maintenance than Geometry. I got lucky this year and my schedule includes 7th hour prep! My schedule is: 1st hour Geometry, 2nd hour Algebra 1B, 3rd hour Algebra 1B, 4A lunch, 4B homeroom (study hall), 5th hour Geometry, 6th hour Algebra 1B, 7th hour prep (free hour). I have NEVER had my prep during 7th hour in the past. I have always wanted that prep time but never been lucky enough to get it. Until this year. I am very happy with my schedule. Tomorrow is our first home football game of the season, against Collinsville. We lost last Friday to Chatham Glenwood. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better outcome. Happy weekend!