Friday, December 30, 2011

five minute friday

The word of the week is: open.

I'm joining up at the gypsy mama, where you can find a collection of posts on the same word.

Open. Open to grace, and to others.

Open. And closed.

I was talking with my good friend, Roommate, last night, and I think that she finally found me to be as open as she needed me to be. Open, accepting, full of friendship, like I used to be with her.

About two months ago Roommate told me that she had started dating a girl, was being really quiet about it, not telling many people because it is the first time she has dated a girl, and also because of all the people who judge, and that she was unsure whether she wanted to open herself up to that kind of judgment. She said that she would answer any questions I had, and was very open with me. I was closed -- I made some sort of vaguely accepting comment, and proceeded to steer the conversation away from her news.

Over the past couple of months, I have become more open, more accepting of this change in my good friend. I firmly believe that God has created each and every human to be different from every other, and that when two women love each other, that God has created that relationship, just as God creates relationships between a man and a woman or between two men. The news was simply hard for me to hear because I had given Roommate the encouragement a couple of years before to start dating her last boyfriend. Not just any boyfriend, but a serious boyfriend; they discussed marriage several times, and their relationship fell apart when he began to date other women behind Roommate's back. It was hard for me to think that I had so strongly encouraged a relationship that was not at all my good friend's desire. It was hard for me to think that she had been hiding a part of herself from me. These thoughts were working to close our relationship.

But last night, it opened back up. Opening. Widening, growing in acceptance and understanding. Over the course of the past two months, I have seen roommate a few more times and had the opportunity to listen and observe and think and put pieces together. Through a conversation she had with another friend while in my kitchen, I learned that she really did appreciate her relationship with the previous boy, that she had truly loved him, and that I had no reason to be concerned about my role in the two of them starting that relationship. I have heard her say to others that she is concerned that her friends might treat her differently. She's right -- it is something different and new, but when we open up to it, it's really not that different, or that new, or anything that should change my own friendship with her.

I enjoy spending time with Roommate, whether she is dating a boy or dating a girl or single.

I enjoy talking with Roommate.

I enjoy going out and doing stuff with Roommate.

I enjoy the occasional walk.

I enjoy movie nights.

I enjoy cooking dinner.

I enjoy having a good friend who has known me well for many years, who is easy to talk to, who is trustworthy and dependable. Just because she is dating a woman instead of a man, none of those qualities have changed.

And so last night, I finally opened up a little bit more, and became more of the friend she has known for so long. I asked her about how they started dating, just like I would have done if she was dating a man. I asked her how she felt about the relationship, just like I would have if it were a new man in her life.

When I opened up, she was finally able to share with me the joy of being in a caring relationship, the excitement of first dates and holidays, the true concern about not being able to hold hands in public.

I opened my heart, and she opened hers, and now we are both assured that our friendship? It doesn't change because of who she dates.

(Um, I got started and didn't stop when the 5 minutes were over. I think that was 10).

Monday, December 26, 2011

the day after

We spent the day painting the bedroom. And sitting on the couch. And eating chex mix, minus the onion powder, plus a lot of worcestershire sauce. And poor sweet hubby bought three different blu-ray players, returning the first two for two different reasons....the first may not have worked correctly, while I may have complained that the second one was too complicated for me to figure out how to watch tv. Even though I tried to take back my tantrum, it was too late. Sweet hubby had already made up his mind to return it and find something less advanced. I'm pretty sure he actually told the people at the store when he returned it that there was nothing wrong with it, that it was simply too advanced for his wife.

The bedroom is now peach. I love it. There will be pictures soon-ish -- once the room is straightened back out and curtains re-hung and things like that.

We are going to have to wait on a trip to Chile. We both REALLY want to go, but neither of us finds the idea of always being limited in what we are able to do each day (within reason, of course) by the seemingly unreachable goal of saving up $6000 to blow on a three week trip over the summer. The plane tickets alone are close to $3000, and then, of course, there are the gifts to buy, and expenses while traveling, and when it is all said and done, we always go over whatever budget we manage to amass before the traveling takes place.

So we are still working towards that goal, but trying to back off of the urgency of the trip -- we will be there when we are there, and until then, we are here. And we might as well enjoy being here, since it's where we are.

Sweet hubby gave me a pretty necklace for Christmas, and after I woke up on Christmas morning earlier than planned from a nightmare, sweet hubby kept me company while I chopped vegetables, got ready for the day, and so on. We were only 20 minutes late to breakfast, partly because I had forgotten that we would need to move the presents from our house to my mama's house....Fortunately, we remembered at the last minute and loaded them into the car.

Mama's gift made her cry. I was glad to know that she really, truly, liked her gift -- rather than a simple "smile, nod, thank you" she kept looking at it over and over. I got her an Erin Condren calendar/notebook with pictures of the family on it. I have one that lists my favorite things, and it makes me happy to use it. I had been waiting to give her that present since November -- it was worth the wait.

Our little house looks like a storm has blown through -- between sweet kitty getting her head stuck in the handle of a grocery bag (and thinking the bag was attacking her) and running wild through the house, Christmas baking, veggie prep, painting the bedroom, and Christmas gifts arriving, every single surface is covered. Putting the house back in order will be quite the task -- much better to leave it for tomorrow.

So it is the day after, and the day of was a great day. We ate cinnamon rolls, breakfast casserole, grits, ambrosia....We opened stockings and Santa presents, we passed out gifts from under the tree, we cooked and baked all the while, and we made it (a few minutes late) to church. After church, we cooked and baked some more, cleaned up a little bit in the living room, then loaded up the cars and headed upstate to visit the rest of the family. We ate and ate and ate and ate, then played the pineapple game, then ate and ate and ate some more, then headed home late. Spending the holidays with my mama's family is always lots of fun, good company, and excellent food.

And all throughout the night before and the morning of, and even late at night after coming home, each time I picked up sweet kitty, I would hand her to sweet hubby, and tell him, "Merry Christmas! I got you this cat for Christmas!" and sweet hubby would smile and say "Thank you! I love it!". We celebrate sweet kitty's "birthday" (the day she arrived at our house, not the day she was born) on Christmas.

I hope that your Christmas was as lovely and family-and-friend filled as mine was.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

crafty-sneaky-time

It's time to get creative for sweet hubby's Christmas gift.

Officially, we told each other we are not exchanging gifts this year.

But I have a record to keep up -- there is always some sort of surprise for sweet hubby under the tree at my Mama's house. Last year, I painted him a picture, and we hung it in our dining room until a friend gave us a much bigger, better picture for my birthday.

The year before, I think I snuck a new camera under the tree.

And the year before that, I think, was the year I snuck the kitty into our lives....(And he thought he was getting a fishing pole, from the wrapping job I did!).

I can't remember everything, but there has always been something under the tree for him, when he is expecting either nothing (because we've agreed to do nothing for each other since in general there are so many gifts going on), or a specific item we've already talked about...And since I'm pretty sure there won't be plane tickets to
Chile materializing out of thin air within the next three days, I'm going to have to implement crafty-sneaky-time while he is at work today.

I've begun -- using found objects -- to create what I hope will become a great looking photo frame.

A few years ago, I found some discarded windows in the neighborhood (and yes, I did pick them up off a trash pile and take them home. Don't judge). They have sat, collecting dust, in our storage shed for a long time now, and sweet hubby has been after me to get rid of them.

In the same storage shed, we also have the leftover paint from our living room.

I found some scrub brushes, sponges, windex, and went at that frame -- it looks a little better now. I need to mix the paint back up, find a brush, and get started. While it dries, the plan is to get some of these great pictures printed, find some pretty paper for a matte, and somehow rig this thing to hang in our bedroom.

So for now, I leave you with pictures of myself and sweet hubby. Enjoy!




Tuesday, December 20, 2011

money money money

Must be funny....In the Rich Man's world.

(Just thinking of Abba).

No, really, I was just thinking how nice it would be to have any kind of surplus right now, to get some plane tickets for sweet hubby to see his family this summer. A few months ago I posted that I was going to be trying to get my finances back in order, so I thought perhaps a little update was over due.

I stink at getting my finances in order.

Some of the things I listed last time ARE helping, but some areas have not improved all that much.
For example, having a lower house payment is definitely helping.
We haven't gotten any better about cooking at home, and especially not about cooking meals that use same ingredients to use them up before they go bad. Does anyone want to volunteer to be my personal chef? I can't pay you, but I can tell everyone I know how amazing you are?

Knock on wood, but my car hasn't had major trouble for almost a month. (Last major trouble: brake lights quit working, meaning the driver is unable to shift gears since the car won't let one drive without brake lights). Unfortunately, sweet hubby's car is due for some serious maintenance last month, and we had to postpone that to let the finances build up a tiny bit.

Christmas is not helping, either. I did trim the gift list and came up with a great plan -- I made a huge batch of cookies, and as I need gifts for people, I'm sticking some in a bag and going with it. Not free, but not hugely expensive, either, and homemade, so....better than nothing. And they taste good.

The other thing that is not helping? We've lived in our house for many years (almost 5!) and we still haven't painted our bedroom. I'm determined that now is the time. I'm ridiculous. We lived with white walls for almost 5 years, and somehow I can't handle white walls any longer? We bought paint samples a few days ago, and I'm almost convinced of the color we want....we keep going back and forth between two of them. The problem is, though, that I can't just leave it at painting. We paint, and then I want new curtains (oh wait, I made them over Thanksgiving weekend!), new blinds (we didn't have blinds before), new lamps (grown up lamps, please!), a new chest of drawers (not bright blue this time?), to print and frame some pictures, and on and on and on. I want, I want, I want, and I'm already sick of thinking about it. But it is like a sickness.

And the big problem with buying Christmas presents and stuff to fix up the house?

Every dollar I spend is one more dollar I didn't save to use to send Sweet Hubby home this summer.

I am constantly torn between what will make our life nicer day-to-day, here, together, for our future, and what will make life bearable for the man who chose to leave his family so far away to be my family.

Just how long is too long to ask him to be away from his family? I think a year might be the limit. And we are quickly approaching two years (earliest projected visit is over the summer, and that's only if I can stop spending long enough to save up a ticket for him within the next month or so....).

If only tickets to Chile weren't $1,500 per person on the cheapest of flights available.....And that's only if you catch it on a good day....

Saturday, December 17, 2011

estoy...

despierta muy temprano, siendo que es mi primer día de vacaciones.

mirando un árbol bonito, adornado con cosas que me hacen recordar tiempos y personas bonitos.

pensando en todas las cosas que necesito hacer antes que se acaben las vacaciones.

preparandome para escribir un millón de tarjetas de gracias a mis estudiantes.

escribiendo un proyecto nuevo en donorschoose, porque me gustaría mucho criar huevos de gallina y tener pollitos en mi sala en la primavera.

sorprendida que la Navidad se celebra en solamente una semana más. ¿Dónde voló el tiempo?

esperando un poco más antes de comer más de las confecciones adictivas que son panecillos de canela.

calentita, con la gatita encima de mis piernas.

feliz que hay tiempo ahora para arreglar mi pieza, pintar, coser, y hacer proyectos de la casa en general.

ansiosa que no he comprado un regalo de Navidad para mi hermana, ni para esposito lindo.

triste que pasajes a Chile cuestan TANTO que no los podemos comprar, y que ya son 2 años que mi esposo no ha visto a su mamá y papá, y esposito lindo encontró el precio más barato que hemos visto en meses ayer....siempre con la esperanza que mágicamente tendremos dinero para un viaje.

ahorrando el dinero un poquito mejor, pero todavía nos faltan fondos de emergencia (los usamos recien para arreglar mi auto otra vez).

celebrando las luces del zoologico, y cena, y tiempo pasado junto con esposito lindo.

lista para empezar a correr 3 veces a la semana, otra vez, con la intención de correr 5K en enero y 10K en marzo.

pensando en tantas cosas diversas que es difícil saber dónde empezar.

Friday, December 16, 2011

five minute friday

Joining in for five minutes on the word "connected" at thegypsymama.com.

I am connected to people I don't know. I am connected to people I do know. I am connected, and yet, sometimes, many times, I feel so disconnected, too.

I was thinking about this the other day...yesterday...when I saw an acquaintance at a meeting after school. I met her through sweet hubby. He used to work with her (she changed jobs), and we occasionally saw each other at their work functions, or went to get tacos from the taco traila together.

The last time I saw her was in May, or June....And now here it is, December, and a totally unrelated event, that makes us re-connect....

Connections begin in funny ways, end in funny ways, and re-occur in unexpected ways, too. It is the connecting and the reconnecting that are happiest for me. The disconnecting? That is not so fun.

I have been struggling lately with a feeling of disconnect from a particular gorup of teachers at my school. I get along great and consider myself good friends with several of the teachers at my school who either teach or taught my grade level, or who currently teach on my hallway. I consider myself struggling to connect with the other teachers throughout the school who started teaching the same year that I did -- the other "young" teachers -- the ones in my age range. I have many friends who are older than me, but few who are younger. And it feels sad to me because they were friends before, easy to talk to, and all of that, and somehow, that simply slipped away. Disconnect.

Outside of school, disconnect, too, with the university church that used to be such a big part of my life (this was a chosen disconnect, but still hard to adjust to in real life).

Disconnect from friends whose lives are moving in a different direction than mine.

Disconnect from friends who are having babies before I am.

Disconnect from friends who are moving away, on to new places and jobs and things like that.

And through it all, connection, too. Connection that grows deeper and deeper with my sweet hubby. Connection that grows deeper and deeper to my family. Connection that grows deeper and deeper to the ones who are true friends, the ones who stick, regardless of the changes. Connection growing deeper and deeper to the ones who refuse to disconnect.

Monday, December 12, 2011

it feels like Christmas

I just received a notification that the first donation has been made to my new project....

It feels like Christmas!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

sooOoo Proud

Just a quick line to let you know that this handsome man?



He just found out he passed all of his classes this semester!



I am extremely proud of him for his hard work.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

i am...

feeling overwhelmed with the prospect of christmas shopping on my nonexistent budget and limited free time.

snuggling with the kitty and drinking a glass of wine.

full of yummy chicken putt-putt (pot pie, for those native english speakers who were never confused by the all too similar sounds of pot-pie and putt-putt in southern dialect to a native spanish speaker learning english).

tired after making yummy chicken putt-putt.

ready to have a sub in my classroom tomorrow while i work on translating skill-rating scales with the fourth and fifth grade immersion teachers.

not ready to have a sub in my classroom on tuesday and thursday next week.

ready for friday of next week -- movie and party day!

not so excited about monday and wednesday and trying to be productive and finish this plant adaptation unit, for the love of all things good, before the break....

so excited to be close to a big break, so that i can enjoy my job and be more focused again....

happy that the "december list" is being put into play by sweet hubby, too, and not just myself -- he grabbed the guitar and sat with me in the kitchen for a while (i was working on the putt-putt) and then we played the amazing labyrinth. Greatest game ever (ok, maybe not, but it does make one think). It's a family favorite.

feeling sore in my sides, from a good yoga class last night, with my mama.

staying up past my bedtime since i have a sub tomorrow.

dreading the drive back to ikea to return the blinds that i estimated incorrectly to be the appropriate size for the bedroom windows.

wishing money grew on trees. i'd plant that kind in my backyard and baby it like no other.

sort of sad that we haven't decorated for christmas yet. Sunday is the day. after church, the family will head to the farmer's market to load up on trees, wreaths,and garlands. Then the kitty will start sleeping under the tree, next to the nativity.

trying to remember if we've had the kitty for four years this christmas, or just three. I'm leaning towards four. We don't know her real birthday (at least I don't. Sweet hubby might.) so we just celebrate that she came to live at our house on Christmas day.

thankful for the kitty. She's pretty warm when she sleeps on me (like now).

looking for some motivation. for all that decorating. And sub-plan writing. And house-cleaning. And present-finding/buying/wrapping.

wishing I could just go to the beach.

ecstatic that sweet hubby offered to clean the kitchen. putt-putt involves so many more pots and dishes that i ever remember.

hoping someone, anyone, will donate to my classroom project.

content. i have just enough of what i need, and not too much of what i don't. it's quite the blessing.

madly in love with sweet hubby.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

it might not look like much yet....

But this looks like it will be a kid-favorite activity for the year....

Hopefully I'll remember to take pictures of our "chia" heads once they start to grow hair! (And hopefully that will be before Christmas break....otherwise, they'll take them home before they grow.



Monday, December 5, 2011

Wanna help me out?

If you make a donation to my project at donorschoose.org, it can be doubled through a matching grant! All you have to do is use the code SPARK.

Please help my students!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

weekend adventures



Thanksgiving was fun! We gathered (as usual) at my Aunt's house in the country. The little cousins ran around and played and had lots of fun. They always get together on the Wednesday before for a bit of fun in the country -- they roast hot dogs and make s'mores and try to sleep in tents. This year, the big girls succeeded. One of them even slept late-ish -- until 9:30 -- in the tent! The boys and the little girls ended up sleeping inside, after starting out in tents, too. After a lot of running around, the kids all ate first, close to noon. Once they had cleared out, the rest of the family was gathered up for dinner. We had a "kids" table in the kitchen, where the 20-40's adults sat, an "adults" table in the dining room, where the 60-95's sat, and a mixed table in the living room, with some from each age group. My Aunt had found place cards from a long time ago and mixed us all up -- somehow we usually end up sitting with our own little families, instead of mixing in with the other aunts and uncles and cousins. We ate three kinds of turkey (fried, smoked, oven roasted), sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, dressing, green bean casserole, asparagus casserole, corn, green salad, cranberry sauce (three kinds!), congealed salad, biscuits, sweet potato rolls....And for dessert, ginger puddings, chocolate tart, pumpkin pie, pumpkin crumble, pumpkin cheesecake, sugar cookies, and ice cream, with fresh whipped cream.

YUM.

Dinner was followed by the annual Thanksgiving walk, in which we all change into more comfortable clothes, put on walking shoes, and proceed to walk around in the country for at least 30 minutes. This way, we can justify round two (or three) on the desserts.

Then we played a game, supplied by the resident game supplier (one of my cousins), until it was time for supper. We ate thirds (or fourths) for supper.

Then it was time to head to the beach for the rest of the weekend. Unlike last year, I managed to keep my jeans buttoned the whole way. I think that means I did a better job of not eating everything in sight all day long.

And the beach was exceptional. It always is. Somehow it never, never, never disappoints. I truly believe that it is a magical place.

Sweet hubby and I seem to be making our own tradition of going to the beach after the family Thanksgiving festivities. We invited my parents along this time, but only my dad could come. He waited until Friday to come down, though.


And it was a busy weekend!

I made some new curtains for our bedroom and bathroom at home. I think I like them, but they are too long, for both rooms. And I need to iron them. They turned out a little bit more girly-frilly-fluffy than I anticipated. I think I will like them more once the room is painted. We're planning to paint over winter break from school -- a nice peachy color that will complement the duvet cover we already have, and look pretty with dark wood furniture, and give a beachy feel to the room. Since we love being at the beach so much, it would be nice to have something that feels light and airy in our bedroom.

And we went on an adventure to find carnivorous plants growing in the wild.
We had some help from a family that was already at the nature preserve -- we would never have found the venus fly traps without their help.
We didn't really know what to look for, and they are so much smaller and low to the ground than we were anticipating. We also wouldn't have found the purple pitcher plants without their help. The yellow pitcher plants were really the only ones that were easy to spot -- they grow so much taller than the other two. This was particularly interesting to me, as we are studying plants in 3rd grade, and carnivorous plants have some mighty nice adaptations going on.

We also took a long boat ride, the last for this year, as now the boat will be "winterized", and we worked some cross word puzzles together. Even sweet hubby is starting to get interested in the family-cross-word-puzzle-solving.

As usual, it was hard to leave for home.

We stopped by my grandma's house and packed up the 26 crystal goblets we had stumbled upon the last time we stopped by her empty house. Sweet hubby chose a turn table/radio combination that we'll have to find a place to store for a while. We opened all of the cabinets, drawers, and closets one last time to make sure that we hadn't overlooked anything else when we moved her out.

Overall, it was a fantastic weekend.

And so far, I'm 11/12 months complete on my New Year's Resolution -- So far, I've been to the beach at least once (sometimes more!) a month this year. Best resolution ever.

Friday, November 25, 2011

five minute friday

I am grateful for so many things, starting with my family and coming full circle at my family again. What would i do without them?

My family lives close by, and they help take care of us financially, spiritually, and in every way in between.

We eat Sunday dinner together after church.
My mama goes to yoga class with me.
My sister comes over to bake.
My brother tells us jokes and asks for haircuts.
My dad talks to me about money and makes me do crossword puzzles with him.
My mama takes me shopping.
My grandma just likes to show us off.

The things that i get to do with my family make me so grateful for them. Really, really grateful.

Sweet hubby is inviting me to dance. I'm pretty darn grateful for him, too.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Ginger Desserts



Also known as "Self Saucing Puddings," where "pudding" means cake.

My sister and I did a test run a few days ago, and decided that this recipe would work for our contribution to Thanksgiving dinner. I mean, with only five ingredients, how could we go wrong?

A little bit of self rising flour, brown sugar, butter, eggs, and ginger later, we had some very tasty little cakes in cute little tea cups. Forget using ramekins -- tea cups have handles!


For the actual day, though, we needed to make more cakes that tea cups (I only have 12 fiesta tea cups -- I think 12 is actually a lot, most days!). We decided to use some small latte bowls, too. And when we had just a little bit more batter from our third recipe, we decided to use a large tea cup, too. (That large tea cup? It will be staying at home for Thanksgiving. No one needs that much of any one dessert one Thanksgiving day.)

They smell good and look pretty too! I'm so excited to share them with the family!

thankful

that my sister canceled our running date.
I'm still not over the cold from 2 weeks ago. Gross.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

thankful

for sweet hubby, and the millions of things he does each day to make my life nicer.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Saturday, November 19, 2011

thankful

to be aware of people beyond the numbers.

please read this and this.

And cry, like I did.

Then pray.

Friday, November 18, 2011

thankful

for friends to share dinner with.
and a mom to shop at target with.
and the free speech to use bad grammar. with.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

i am...

thankful. for lots of things.

tired out after a long day of kids and plants and multiplication and perimeter and guidance lessons at school.

recovering from a now 8-day old cold.

sad and frustrated for a good friend, whose husband just found out he doesn't get to start the job he thought he would be starting in December.

praying for my friend and her husband to see and understand God's bigger plan for them.

hungry for some supper, happy that sweet hubby is in charge of fixing it.

listening to the rain begin as the season goes back to being coldish.

skipping yoga. yoga + snot = not pleasant.

excited to hear sweet hubby sing in his school chorus concert tomorrow night. excited also that my parents will be there, even though they both told sweet hubby they had other plans.

relieved to have gotten my donors choose thank you packet completed on time, since the deadline is tomorrow and I thought it was Friday.

ready for interim reports to go home the monday after thanksgiving. Who the heck scheduled interims to go home on the day after a holiday?

totally psyched about a night in! (monday: shopping for the little girl my circle adopted for christmas, tuesday: dinner with work buddies, candle wrapping with the church ladies, thursday: sweet hubby's concert).

constantly checking the mail to see if my new erin condren calendar has come home yet.

eating too much halloween candy, since only 6 trick or treaters came to our house.

glad that the car place that does all of our car repairs didn't charge for fixing the hole left by a roofing nail in my front tire.

counting down -- only four more school days until Thanksgiving. and i WILL start giving thanks the minute that fourth school day is over!

what are you doing?

thankful

my voice is returning!

Monday, November 14, 2011

thankful

for good friends and their precious babies!

We had a great weekend playing with my good friend from college's two year old and two month old. Such precious little beings!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

thankful

for administrators at my school who believe in me and trust me to do my job.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

thankful

for the minute clinic near my school, and a practically nonexistent wait time today.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

thankful

for my circle, circle 9.

for fellowship with other women who believe in Jesus and are in my age group.

Monday, November 7, 2011

thankful

that sweet hubby went to the store and is now cooking corn chowder!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

thankful

to be a part of the joy as two young people join their lives in marriage.

Best wishes to Bess and Tsilavo!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

five minute friday

Joining up at the gypsy mama. Yesterday was five minute friday. Five minutes on the word Remember.

Remember when we first met? Remember how I was sort of unhappy to be where I was, and it was obvious to everyone who met me? Remember how you were wearing a yellow pullover? And had a mustache and goatee?



Remember how I used to sit outside under that tree, on that bench, wearing my polka-dotted skirt, drawing in my journal?

Remember how you tried to teach me to play guitar? Remember those long bus rides to la toma? Remember how you tricked me into thinking we were almost to Iquique so I wouldn't get off the bus after 25 hours?



Remember how I greeted you at the airport? Remember how much we fought on the phone before you came? Remember how hard it was to meet everyone at church? Remember how you used to ride the bike to school? Remember how much you hated September?

Remember how much I loved you then? Remember how much I love you still? Do you remember?

I remember how you wrote me notes. I remember how you used to call and hang up, just so your name would flash across the screen on my phone. I remember how you scratched my head that night when I wanted to go home. I remember how you helped me celebrate Christmas and Thanksgiving away from my first family. I remember how you heated up water for me to bathe. I remember.

I remember, and I smile. Because all of these things that I remember, they make me yours. They make you mine. They make us, us.

I like to remember these things. They make me smile.



Sweet hubby, I'm thankful that I listened to God when he said to go, even though I wanted to stay.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

piñatas

¡Qué divertido!

Y salieron super fáciles hacer.

Durante la semana antes, junté cajas vacías de pañuelos. Las otras maestras en mi escuela me ayudaron con esto -- mágicamente aparecieron en mi caja en la oficina.

Yo mandé un mensaje a los padres de mis estudiantes, y mandaron bolsas y bolsas y bolsas de dulces a la escuela (usamos algunos de los dulces para celebrar Halloween).

Estudié unas piñatas que mi mamita linda me había regalado. Tenían un parte plástico para colgarse. Compré las cosas plásticas que normalmente se usan para juntar alambres y cables y cosas así.

Con tijeras, hice agujeros en un lado de la caja, formé un círculo con el plástico, y las cajas estaban listas.

En la mañana, juntamos dos grupos de estudiantes. Les expliqué que necesitaban poner los dulces adentro, cerrar la caja con cinta, adornarla con papel, y dejar la parte plástica afuera.

20 minutos era perfecto para ésta actividad. Trabajaron en grupos de 6 a 8 niños. Después de 20 minutos, cambiamos grupos y repetimos la actividad, y después una vez más. Al final habían 12 piñatas pequeñas.

Después de almuerzo, con la ayuda de la maestra de educación física, rompimos todas las piñatas. Hecho y destruido todo en un día....pero lo disfrutamos al máximo. La maestra de educación física había preparado cuatro estaciones para las piñatas. Dividimos los niños y empezamos a batearlas. Los niños estaban bien entretenidos y las maestras también.

Tendré que ver si la maestra con una cámara me puede pasar fotos de las piñatas. ¡Es una actividad para repetir!

thankful

for compliments on clothes I made myself, that the compliment giver doesn't know I've made myself.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

thankful

for Susan, who is always ready to answer a million questions, calm me down, and help keep crazy piñata-makers under control.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I am...

snuggled with the kitty in sweet hubby's chair, listening to the motor run.

thinking about what to wear to church this morning, since it actually feels like fall outside.

happy we won the game last night, but mostly because sweet hubby and my mama are happy.

dreaming up decorating schemes for my bedroom, which I'll probably paint over Christmas break.

wishing I had a ton of money to buy pretty curtains like these but thinking I'll end up sewing some (easier and cheaper) curtains instead.

marveling at the peachy-pink insides of the shells we found in grandma's boathouse last weekend, so incredibly shiny and smooth, strong yet delicate.

not really looking forward to re-organizing the pantry this afternoon.

hoping sweet hubby will keep his word anf clean out his side of the closet today.

looking forward to Sunday dinner.

preparing myself mentally to see grandma's "E.T." hand (she was taking Plavix and banged her hand....).

thankful that sweet hubby helped me take a bunch of random things to me classroom yesterday, including the sole surviving pepper plant from my birthday, which currently has 13 baby peppers growing on it (it's convenient that we are getting ready to study plant adaptations!) and basil plants that have been living in ziplock bags for a more than a month.

excited about trying to make 15 minute piñatas at school on Wednesday (with 6 successive groups of kids!), but haven't quite figured out all the details (we'll be using empty kleenex boxes, newspaper, glue sticks, candy, and zip ties....the real question in how to get the zip ties through the boxes, wrapped in newspaper, in order to quickly change the piñatas after they are busted open? Because the plan is to have lots of little piñatas with a zip-tie loop to be able to quickly hook on and off the next piñata. Lots of little piñatas means more kids can make them and break them. Any ideas? I'm thinking about asking my mama for an ice-pick to poke holes....Or pre-zip-tying them, and having the newspaper wrapping exclude the hanger-side....)

thrilled to be directing a wedding next weekend for a girl I knew when she was seven.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

more china?

No....
but when we stopped by Grandma's house on the way home from the beach with my dad last weekend, we found a few treasures hidden in cabinets, closets, and drawers we thought we had cleaned out.

We found an old boy scout log book.

We found financial papers from 2001.

We found nice kitchen toys (I finally have a good ladle! Thanks grandma!).

We found 26 crystal wine glasses.

Guess I'll need to do some rearranging pretty soon. You know, like the next time we get snow days, or something.

But seriously? 26 more crystal glasses?

Is this an alternate universe?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

money talk (and other things, too)


source

Um, I hate money.

A lot.

I hate that it is so necessary for everything in life.
I hate that it is so hard to come by.
I hate that it is so easy to let go of.
I hate that it is somehow allowed to control so much of my life, my attitude, and my decisions.

I have been having a hard couple months with money. (Read: there is too little coming in and too much going out and not a whole lot of control being exercised in the few areas where it could/should be...)

Wait....let's back up....It's been a rough summer-into-fall with money.

In the past four months:
1. Sweet hubby's car had some major repairs done
2. My car had some major repairs done
3. We replaced a hot water heater
4. We had our house broken into, and had to replace a computer (the tv is just gone, folks, just gone, and we're using an older, smaller one in its place)
5. We apparently ate a whole lot of food and drove a whole lot of miles, judging from the combination of lots of grocery charges, restaurant charges, and gas purchases.
6. We depleted our emergency savings
7. We took a vacation or two that we really didn't deserve to take.
8. We sent some money to sweet hubby's parents, to help them buy a house. (No, we didn't buy a house for them. Just helped grow the down payment.)

So there is some honesty for you. Not very fun honesty, since recognizing a problem is supposed to be the first step in fixing it.

Here's the plan to fix this overspending problem, or at least to hopefully make it manageable again:
1. (done) refinance home loan. Monthly payments have been lowered beginning Nov. 1. That's this month, coming up, with a lower payment.
2. (done) new credit card, with cash/miles rewards instead of the old Target visa, which no longer gives us 10% discount cards. The monthly limit on the new card is lower, so we'll have to be more careful about when and where we spend on it.
3. stop taking vacations to places that aren't free (um, right. Should have been doing this all along.) Our next getaway weekends are planned for visiting friends (and staying at their houses) and to the beach (where the house is in the family).
4. stop eating out so often (this one has a lot to do with sweet hubby). We are working on making meal plans that recycle ingredients (that sounds bad) and involve cheaper foods. However, I insist on having fresh vegetables pretty regularly and sometimes our schedules seem to make cooking ridiculous. We have a bad habit of buying good food and it going bad before we eat it, due to poor planning on our part.
5. stop giving money to random things at school. Do you work in a school? Do you have 25 million things that all the other teachers seem to be donating money to ALL THE TIME? "Please bring 3 dollars to wear jeans on Wednesday" and "How much can you contribute to the United Way" and "Can you donate $5 to give an underprivileged child a gift certificate to the book fair" and "Can you give to this" "Can you give to that" "Please give" DRIVES ME CRAZY. As if teachers don't earn small enough salaries to begin with, then spend their money on their students buying materials, they are also asked to give money to a million other things at school. The plan: Part 1: think ahead on the materials front, and ask parents to save things and send them in as they can. I can find some storage space in my classroom....And I can afford not to buy the totally random stuff that being a fun teacher requires. Part 2: Say no. I simply will not be participating in giving to things that are not near and dear to my heart just because I feel pressured to do so at school.

6. Save, save, save. It seems there will be very few new clothes this fall, very few decorations, and the Christmas gift giving list will be trimmed as tight as it can be trimmed.

7. No more emergency spending! (Life, please cooperate. Water heater, thieves, cars, I am talking to you.)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

please pray

Please pray for the family of Terry DeVoe, who unexpectedly left this world for heaven on Wednesday.

His family is hurting.

Monday, October 17, 2011

out of the darkness




In April, a kid I knew from church committed suicide. He was 21, in college, brilliant, well liked, and apparently extremely lonely, sad, disturbed, and so much more.

He was never taught to seek help.

He was never taught to share the really hard stuff with others.

He was not old enough to have lived through really tough things to see that there usually is a light at the other end of the tunnel.

He was not old enough to have experienced the suicide of a loved one.

He was not thinking clearly enough to consider how hard every thing would be for his mama afterward.

He was not thinking clearly enough to consider how hard every thing would be for his daddy afterward.

He was not thinking clearly enough to consider the old folks at the nursing home he used to play music for, or the guys in prison he used to mentor, or the friends who counted on him for company.

He was not at a point in his life where he felt close enough to Jesus or anyone here on earth to feel the need to stay here.

Suicide is a scary answer. It terrifies those who are left behind.

Suicide is a sad answer. It induces weeping for months and years afterwards.

Suicide is a permanent answer to what are often temporary problems.

Though I did not know this kid well, his death has impacted me on a level that I have a hard time explaining.

Some days I feel as though I have been selected to be a prayer warrior for his mama. I had been feeling that way for a few weeks, remembering his mama to God, asking God to help her feel accompanied through these monthttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifhs of adjustment, these months of inconsolable forays into the world that no longer contains the kid who made up her days for 21 years. Though I don't know the mama very well, either, I have felt a real sense of need to pray for her.

Sweet hubby and I were sitting at lunch on Sunday when we received a text message from our Godmom about the Out of the Darkness walk going on that afternoon.

There was no hesitation. Of course I could skip an afternoon nap to walk with his mama.

And God was all over that invitation.

His mama had prepared lanyards for us to wear, not knowing how many people would show up to walk with her in her son's memory.

She did not have any extras.

She had prepared exactly the right number.

She had thought she would walk alone, but prepared to be accompanied.

Twelve of us walked together in a sea of people remembering their loved ones, all touched in a terrible way by suicide.

And while I'm sure it was good for that sweet mama to know that she is not the only one to suffer through this, she was present enough to recognize how awful it is that so many people have had to suffer through what she is suffering through now.

If you have a minute, please say a prayer for Elaine. She needs the extra strength. She needs the comfort that only Jesus can offer her, whether she is able to ask Jesus herself right now or not.

Monday, October 10, 2011

estoy...

disfrutando un día de flojera, con la gatita sentada encima de mis piernas por la quinta vez hoy.

feliz que mi esposito lindo es bueno para arreglar cosas, como mi maquina de coser que no quiso funcionar....solamente necesitaba una parte muy pequeña, que compré por $2.13, sin tener que pagar a alguien abrirme la maquina.

esperando a mi esposito lindo que necesita volver de su último clase, un grupo que está aprendiendo a tocar saxofón.

contenta que mi esposito lindo me informó de su 80 en la primera prueba (examen) de teoría, y también que ya está recibiendo tutoría de su profe para sacar una nota mejor en la proxima prueba.

cansada con el día gris y tanto flojera, pero feliz que no tuve que ir a la escuela hoy. A veces uno necesita un día personal para sentarse en su casa y no sentirse obligada a hacer nada, especialmente no lavar las sábanas, ni la ropa, ni hacer la comida, ni lavar la loza, ni desempacar la maleta.

sonriendo con el olor de salsa de manzanas que viene de mi cocina, hecho de las manzanas que buscamos en las montañas este fin de semana.

viendo noticias tristes de una niña que se mató por accidente con una pistola que encontró en el auto, y pensando en la tontería que es tener una pistola que una niña de seis años puede acceder.

pensando en pintar mi pieza, pero no puedo decidir en un color, sin tener que cambiar muchas cosas que ya están allí....amarillo? morado? rojo? (no, no rojo)....azul? gris? no sé todavía. Sé que es solamente pintura, pero el mover todo y desplazar a todo será mucho más que simplemente pintar. Y esposito lindo no pinta.

lista para empezar a cocinar una sopita de sobre para mi esposito lindo, que está en su clase pensando que va a tener que llegar a cocinar, aunque yo no he hecho nada hoy....quiero sorprenderle con la cena lista, después de su día largo de clase y trabajo.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

apple picking

So much fun! Sweet hubby and I are in the mountains for a weekend getaway and spent the afternoon picking apples, drinking cider slushies, and eating cider doughnuts.







And my personal favorite came from the bakery where we had lunch before the apple picking extravaganza.....

Sunday, October 2, 2011

long week

And long weeks are not nearly so fun as long weekends.

It was hard to adjust back to school, getting up super early after a tiny bit of jet lag and a the action packed traveling that was the family trip to Colorado. And I had a migraine, too, and one of my best friends broke up with her boyfriend, and I barely saw sweet hubby all week.

I also stepped out of my comfort zone a little bit at school to try some group work activities that could have gone a little better. But I stuck with it and the third day of group work, the kids actually worked a little bit better with their groups, paid a little bit more attention to what they were doing, and seemed to settle in a little more to the expectation that they would problem solve within their groups, rather than interrupting whatever group I was working with at the time.

This year at school (all six weeks of it so far) has been both rewarding and frustrating, but overall feels mostly frustrating. I woke up this morning with a long list of ideas swirling around in my head, and started writing them down. Two pages front and back of things that I either need to do or should have done at least three weeks ago, along with some ideas that are intended to problem solve other things that have been going on in the classroom. Yikes. That is a whole lot. So I also started a list of things that we've already done in the classroom that show we are making progress. It was shorter. But it was also written single space, and was more of a bullet-style list, since we've already done those things and I don't need to remember the details of each idea. It definitely helped me see that we've made some progress this year, compared to what we were able to do last year. And while I have this super long list of things that should have been done/could have been done/need to get done, I also have a relatively good grasp of time management when I am at school, combined with the ability to tell myself that what doesn't get done can be done tomorrow and what is most important needs to be done first.

Actually, I think I need to revisit that time management plan and get back on the wagon. I was really good about that my first year teaching, pretty good at it last year, and in general, this year, I've been truly struggling with prioritizing the to-do list.

I'm officially asking for help monitoring my time in the classroom. I'm going to ask my partner teacher and the other teachers on my hallway to make sure I leave the building by 4:30 each day. (I get there before 7:00. That is a sufficiently long day, especially when I am not paid for 2.5 of those hours.) And I usually have a pretty good habit of leaving schoolwork at school, although this weekend was clearly an exception. I spent several hours yesterday sewing eraser-bags for my students to hang from their desks, hopefully large enough to hold a white-board and marker, so that we can stop fighting over who gets to pass out the materials, which is driving me nuts.

So no lie, I'm feeling overwhelmed at school. We're all trying our hardest to use instructional strategies that let students have more control over how they are learning. Getting them to the point where they can simply go and do this, however, is apparently a long process that requires a great deal of work from the teacher. Currently, it is difficult to see the results in the classroom. Making the list of things we've already done this year, though, in only six weeks, compared to the little bit of this process that we did last year, is helping me to feel better about where we are going. I'm overwhelmed, but hopeful.

Monday, September 26, 2011

long weekend...

And, oh, wasn't it nice!

We got to see my cousin tie the knot. He looked handsome, and she looked beautiful, and they were so excited they were bouncing as they said their vows.


On Saturday, we got to see the Garden of the Gods. (After the family sunscreen session, of course!)




First trip to Colorado: success!

Friday, September 23, 2011

five minute friday

Joining in with the gypsy mama for five minute friday, on growing.

I am growing rounder, but for no reason. I am growing slower, but also for no reason. I am growing impatient and grouchy and annoyed with others, and usually for no other reason than what I want is not happening. I am growing impatient with God, thinking that what I want now is better than his timing. I am growing, slowly, in recognition of how wrong my thoughts are, my plans, my timing.

I am growing older, too. I am waiting. I growing to understand the decisions that other people sometimes make, the same ones that I have told myself time and time again that I would never make, and wondering whether my convictions are changing, and whether they should.

I am growing to wonder whether my convictions of old were ideas planted by God for me to do his work in the future, or whether they were silly ideals planted to make me doubt and doubt and doubt.

I am hopeful, and growing more and more hopeful still, that God is working in me and will grant me the desires of my heart when it is the right time, according to His plan, not mine. I'm growing patience and impatience all at once.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

i am...

listening to the deluge outside, glad not to be driving in it anymore.

being warmed up by a purring kitty on my lap.

curious about what sweet hubby meant when he said on the phone " recien vi una persona atropellada por un auto" and i said, "ok, te amo, chau".

exhausted by my kids at school, who are so smart that they think they don't need to listen to directions, and then ask a bajillion questions about what they are supposed to do.

dressed for yoga, the first exercise I'll do in a week. So much for running three times a week. I did better on vacation.

avoiding packing for my cousins wedding on Friday, since it seems like way too much work after writing sub plans for two days and plans for Monday when I get back, and cleaning up the classroom, and trying to remember all the details of our daily routine for someone who doesn't do it every day.

hopeful that this month might be the month, but really doubtful at the same time. I'd love to have prayers about it, accepting God's will and God's timing.

waiting on my mama to pick me up. I love that woman.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Public Service Announcement



For all of you who didn't happen to already know, today is a special day. September 18th -- the day that a group of Chileans first got together to form a "junta" to propose independence.

In all of Chile, families and friends are together, spit roasting baby goats or lambs, eating empanadas, drinking chicha, dancing the cueca, and having a fantastic time celebrating the anniversary of the first movements towards independence, which would later be declared on February 12th.

On a personal note, today is one of the days that my sweet hubby feels most homesick -- I think of it as similar to being away from home on Thanksgiving. Please pray for me to be patient, kind, loving, and understanding to him today, even more than most days.

¡Viva Chile!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

today...


Sweet hubby woke up early and went to school with me, to move things around and make copies and laminate stuff and cut it up and all of that. I wouldn't have gotten the same things done if he hadn't gone with me. I probably would have gotten my sub plans for next week done, though, which I'm sure my sub would have been happy with. Oh well.

I spent a lot of the afternoon with my mama. We made spaghetti sauce. Then I googled instructions for making chia heads. I think we're going to do this in my classroom. I think it will be fun. I really like how the roots show through the bottom, too. Learning about plant adaptations is a 3rd grade standard. It's totally legit. All I have to do is find a cheap source of knee-highs.

Then I went home while the sauce was simmering. Don't worry, my mama was still there to stir. I climbed into bed and shoved the kitty under the sheets. She didn't complain. She curled up beside me and took a nap while I read a book.

Sadly, I had to leave to can the sauce. My mama headed out to the game (go cocks!) and I boiled the sauce in a water bath for 35 minutes. I also got to have supper with my daddy. He was happy not to eat leftovers. I was happy to not eat alone, since sweet hubby is also at the game.

And now....Now. Once again, I'm sucked in to Glee. Too bad for that baby blanket I'm supposed to be finishing for the sweetest little boy who decided to come last night! (I'm sure he won't mind -- I'll get it into the mail soon. Or take it to him in person in a few weeks....)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Estoy...

tomando desayuno

mirando los cambios en el cielo mientras el mundo se despierta y el sol sube detrás del agua

triste que hoy es domingo, y hay que volver a la casa

feliz que puedo estar todavia en la playa

con pocas ganas de terminar la frasada que es un regalo para una de mis mejores amigas

esperando con dedos cruzados que la maquina de coser todavia funciona hoy

tratando de no hacer mucho ruido mientras esposito lindo sigue durmiendo

pensando que debo haber traido papeles de la escuela, pero no los traje.

contenta que jugamos "chicken pot pie", normalmente conocido como "putt putt" anoche, en una brisa rica, sin marcar puntos

un poco avergonzada por mi honestidad ayer, pero creo que honestidad es la mejor póliza.

pegandome sola por no haber traido la cámara

no muy feliz que la mayoría del día hoy está dedicado a limpiar la casa y prepararla para el invierno

emocianada que hasta el momento, todavia estoy cumpliendo mi resolución del año nuevo -- he venido a la playa por lo menos una vez cada mes en los últimos nueve meses.

dando gracias a Dios que siempre está conmigo y llenando mi vida con bendiciones

Saturday, September 10, 2011

five minute friday

In real life.... linking up at the gypsy mama.

In real life, I'd rather sit on the couch all day. But not everyday. Some days, I'd rather have free time and motivation and a project in front of me.

But I'd rather not have a project that makes me jealous.

In real life, the hardest projects for me to finish are the baby presents for my best friends, all entering the next stage of life without me.
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In real life, it is pretty dang hard to get upset for others about the poor timing of getting pregnant when they get that sweet reward at the end of it, then try to suggest that it's my turn next. What do they think? That they get to play God? That I don't pray every day to be ok with the timing of whatever blessing is bestowed upon me, whether I can get pregnant or not? Do they really think that I don't want a family? That always answering "We have a cat" is really so funny that I think I need to keep doing it?

In real life, there is a ridiculous amount of insensitivity to others, to predicting and requiring and prescribing a personal life that doesn't match up with real life circumstances, real life hopes, real life dreams and frustrations.

In real life, each day seems like just another day filled with uncertainty, not knowing, waiting, hoping, and often disappointment.

In real life, I'm usually content with my two person, one cat family, the kids I teach, and the other people and children who come in and out of my life, weaving their way into my days.

In real life, I'm still praying pretty hard for acceptance and appreciation of whatever God gives me, babies or not.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

i am...

watching some more Glee. For real.

getting tight already after a run and yoga tonight.

super excited about going to the beach this weekend, even though we have to do some winterizing of the house and lots of cleaning.

glad this has been a short week with a student half day, even though my kids aren't behavior problems this week.

feeling overwhelmed with all of the new requirements and deadlines at school for implementing RISC stuff this year, on top of putting all resources into Spanish and being encouraged to abandon the few that are already in Spanish.

proud of my kids for their "que hacer cuando no sabes que hacer" list, and hopeful that it won't take too long for them to get in the habit of using it.

listening to the washing machine, since sweet hubby is doing the laundry!

staring at my kitty and willing her to sit on me, but doubtful that she will this time of night.

going to bed late. again.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

pink things!

I have a new pink thing.

It is an old pink thing, but new to me.

It came off the side of the road last night, in the rain.

Sweet hubby wasn't very happy about it.

But I have biiiiiiiig plans for it.

Can you tell what my new-old pink thing is?



(um, yes, I'm aware that it is upside down. We picked it up in the rain. Not leaving it right side up to let the mosquitos breed....)

It's a sink! My parents' neighbors are doing some remodeling, and this gem was lying on the side of the road, waiting for the trash collectors to come by....

I had seen it more than once. But when my mama mentioned that trash pick up was today....I knew I couldn't just gaze at it lovingly anymore.

Sometime soon-ish sweet hubby and I will have a building project, and we'll figure out how to install it as an outdoor sink next to our storage shed, maybe with a nice counter-top height shelf and some cabinets underneath, for me to use to pretend that I know more about planting things.

I can't wait! I love pink things!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Five minute Friday...

On a Saturday night.

The theme this week is rest, and i'm linking up at thegypsymama.

Rest. What is that, really? Does anyone get any? Work hard, play hard, work hard, play hard. I feel like I haven't really rested in too long. But now, it is labor day weekend. A day off to rest from my labors. I brought my computer with me to the beach, as if i'm going to try to do some work. I might try, but if today was any indication, no work will be done.

Rest. The boat isn't working quite right, so no skiing.

Rest. My heels aren't working right, so maybe I should take some time off from running for a while. Probably not. I'm a glutton for punishment.

Rest. Take some time to sit on your hiney, soak up the sun, read a novel for fun, go visit the winery, and eat some cake. Rest. Rest rest rest.

Then go go go some more, do and go and do and go and rest.

The rest is still waiting for you, the rest is still left to come.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

decisions, decisions

I made some great decisions today.

I also made some not-so-great decisions today.

I decided to move the desks around in my classroom. Good decision.
I got frustrated with my kids for talking instead of listening to directions. Not-so-great.

I decided to go home "early" from school. Good decision.
I decided not to worry about what I'm teaching in math tomorrow, and so have very few plans. Not-so-clever.

I decided to skip car-rider duty since I had no planning time today, recess duty, and zero breaks from my students. Fantastic.
I used that time to check facebook. Dumb.

I decided to go to Bible study tonight. Excellent.
I decided to go for a run today, but have zero motivation. Not-so-great.

I decided to go to the beach the weekend after labor day with sweet hubby, just the two of us. Super-super-excited.
I decided we won't be acting as leaders for the university church we are leaders at on their retreat that same weekend. Feeling guilty.

I decided to get off my rear and do something active....starting now.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Este fin de semana

Este fin de semana ya no ha sido lo que yo esperaba, pero a la vez, ha sido más de lo que esperaba.

Yo pensé que dos buenas amigas iban a venir a visitar, que ibamos a celebrar el futuro casamiento de una, quedarnos despiertas hasta tarde, ver películas, reírnos, y todo. Pero poco a poco, los planes de este fin de semana se fueron cambiando.

Recibí un correo el miercoles en la mañana diciendo que la tienda de la familia de una de las niñas se había destruido por fuego, y que necesitaba estar con su familia ahora. Claro que si, son una familia bien apegada y en el momento de perder todo, es importante estar juntos.

Con la llegada de Irene, la otra amiga no puede volar, asi que no vendrá tampoco.

Mis planes cambiaron. En vez de estar en el auto 4 horas ayer, buscando a la amiga del aeropuerto, cancelé la cena con Roommate y salí con esposito lindo. Fuimos a un restauran nuevo, operado por algunos de sus amigos (esposito lindo hizo algunas instalaciones técnicas para ellos -- cosas con las computadoras y sistemas de radio). A cada rato, sus amigos pasaron a la mesa a ofrecernos más, y cuando trajeron la cuenta, su cena era gratis.

Después, fuimos a la iglesia, donde estaban haciendo una noche de películas. En vez de ver películas, con el grupo de gentes nuevas, jugamos el juego de la piña. Me encanta el juego de la piña. Tiene otros nombres, yo sé, pero en mi familia, pongamos las palabras en una piña. Empieza un poco como el juego taboo, en la primera ronda, y después se convierte a ser un poco más como charades. Y con un grupo de gente que no se conocen muy bien, puede ser una buena forma de hacerse reir, conocerse un poco mejor, y pasarlo bien sin tener demasiado tiempo para hacer preguntas personales y conversaciones extendidas con gente desconocida.

Predigo que voy a tener mucho más tiempo para relajarme este fin de semana que si mis amigas hubiesen venido. No quiero decir que no lo hubiese pasado bien con ellas....Pero a la vez estoy bien contenta que podré preocuparme un poco más de pasar tiempo con mi esposo, limpiar un poco a la cocina, salir a correr, y ver un poco de televisión.

Espero que tu también pases un buen fin de semana.

Friday, August 26, 2011

five minute friday

older....

I am older. I can tell it in the needed recovery time from running or yoga.

I can tell it when I get up at the first alarm chime in the morning, at 5:30, and wehn I'm ready for bed at 9:30 at night.

I can tell it when I think that kids and teenagers and college students are crazy for the choices they make.

But sometimes I can't tell it. I can't tell when I am supposed to cross the line and stop taking crazy vacations with too few plans.

I can't tell when I'm supposed to have the rhythm of always getting the dishwasher unloaded the same day it was run will fall into place.

I can't tell when things like the paperwork for refinancing a mortgage won't totally blow me away with their level of complexity and my own level of not understanding.

Someday, I keep thinking, I will know that I am older. And I will act like it. But so far, I can't seem to forget how young I still feel, how inexperienced, how naive, how stubbornly set in my own silly ways of thought, not able to recognize that there are bigger and better ways out there, sometimes even staring me in the face.

One day....I will be older, and it won't just be because I see grey hairs peaking at me in the mirror.

I'm sharing at the Gypsy Mama's five minute friday.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

i am...

still without consistent hot water at home. Sweet hubby has been making arrangements to have our water heater replaced, and it might be tomorrow.

exhausted -- I forgot how much energy teaching takes each day.

not quite back into a good routine -- I'm still going to bed too late, getting up too early.

annoyed with chatty chatty kids -- but happy they are not the behavioral problems I had to handle last year.

happy that my grad student friends are finally all back from their summer adventures (me too!).

watching a Glee marathon -- how did I miss this before?

debating going to Bible study tonight. I'll probably go for a little while, but not the whole time.

excited that the house is clean.

wishing the refrigerator would fill itself with healthy, easy to pack lunch foods. I think I'll have to go to the store later. Or tomorrow.

sooooooo glad to have sweet hubby home.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

first day!

And I like my students already!

This looks like it will be a very different year from last year, in the best possible way!

Monday, August 15, 2011

i am...

so glad that the presentation at school seemed to go well today, and that I didn't fall and bust it in my new blue suede shoes on the slippery tile floor.



relieved to have parent-and-student orientation over with.

sweaty and gross after a run, yet exceedingly proud of myself for running (jogging!) 35 minutes instead of just 30 today.

looking forward to supper with roommate tomorrow, and hopeful that I can talk her out of the meeting she has after supper.

thankful, thankful, thankful that my parents have agreed to let me drop by their house at 5am for the rest of this week for a quick shower before school, even though they have houseguests coming in.

anxious about the results of my almost 95 year old grandma's eye surgery this afternoon and whether she has found/will find a good attitude for recovery.

sad that sweet hubby is still in California because I miss his face.



glad to have one more day without students to get ready for the school year.

counting on having a better behaved group of students this year compared to last year.

watching Glee, season 1, though I should be getting clothes together for tomorrow morning.

trying to motivate myself to take a cold shower so that I can go to bed clean tonight....ok, here I go. Goodnight!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

My life is a joke.

One day up, the next day down. What a roller coaster. If it wasn't for real, I'd think I was making it up.

My first day back at school (without students) was Wednesday. Wednesday is the day my water heater decided not to heat the water any more. Wednesday is also the day roommate arrived to spend some time at my house before she moves into her new house tomorrow.

Did you catch that? The amazing combination of three factors that make my life somehow so much more complicated that it needs to be?

I can handle returning to school just fine. On its own.

I can handle a couple of days of cold showers. On their own.

I love having roommate stay at my house, but am less productive with her around.

Thursday morning, I was selected to be part of a small group presenting about the trip we took to Maine in May. And I spent almost all day at school, on Thursday, preparing for the presentation, rather than preparing for the upcoming school year.

Since I was at school all day Wednesday, I couldn't really do anything about the water heater.
I couldn't do much about it on Thursday, either.

Thursday night I went to lowe's. Their one tankless water heater was simply uninspiring. Sweet hubby, who is in California for another week, told me that home depot has more selection.

Friday, after school, I rushed to home depot.

They only had one tankless water heater, also. But they did have people asking if I needed help, which is better than lowes this time around.

They told me they would have to get my information and pass it on to the people who handle tankless water heater installation.

The people called and quoted me a price of twice what the water heater costs for its installation. But the guy who does the installation didn't call, like the other guy said he would on the phone.

Roommate helped me check on the water heater. The pilot light keeps going out. It occurred to me that the gas line is just under the kitchen window. You know, the one the burglar climbed through when my house was broken into a month ago? Who walked down the street with our tv under his arm? Yeah, that one.

He apparently stepped all over the gas lines and gas meter to get into the window. In the process, he managed to close the gas line valve, so hardly any gas has been moving into the water heater or the stove (but we've cooked so infrequently this summer we hadn't totally noticed). The gas line guy told me that there is no leak, but if the pilot light won't stay lit, it is a water heater problem rather than gas flow problem.

It's twelve hours after lighting the pilot light again, and there is some lukewarm water now. No hot water. I'm very doubtful that the pilot is still on at this point. We've already re-lit it four times in the past two days.

So it's the weekend, I have a random big presentation to make on Monday at school, parent orientation Monday night, and no hot water to shower in. Hot water is extremely important to me when I shower. Just ask sweet hubby, who has had to boil water for me in an electric kettle before, in other instances when other sources of hot water have not been available. Expecting to have hot water is such a mixed blessing.

Monday, August 8, 2011

close ups





When traveling, the best thing to take pictures of is the people.



The hardest thing to take pictures of?



Also, the people.



My travel buddies and I took a lot of self portraits.



These are the better ones.



Yes, even the funny ones....They are the better ones.



It would be helpful to have longer arms.



But my arms are short. That puts me very close in the view finder.



Short arms lead to fun memories, though, of taking silly self portraits.



And I definitely have lots of fun and funny memories.