Friday, December 11, 2009

Cause I Teach Middle School...

I can:

~ Tell you all the different flavors of Axe body spray for men solely by their sent.

~ Speak fluent sarcasm. I've got the eye roll down too

~ Give you great gift ideas for either a teenage girl or guy. Girl...anything with Twilight or make-up (bonus points for anything that's sparkly). Boys...Axe body spray for men or flat brimmed hats.

~ Identify the names of songs that I have no desire to listen to. The same goes with the singers who sing them.

~ Say with confidence that middle school students should NOT have a cell phone of their own!

~ Persuade a 13 year old boy to clean something for a mere Jolly Rancher. (the blue flavor)

~ dream of the day when alcohol is allowed at the work-place. There are some days when a Tylenol just won't cut it and I need something just a little stronger...

~ Be cheered up immediately by a silly story or a kind gesture...yes they do happen!

~ Argue why there should NEVER be year-round-school. Spend 9 months in an 8th grade month 8 you are inches away from a break-down.

~ Know now that when my own kids are middle schoolers they will not like me. No cell phone of their own. No skimpy skirts or inappropriate shirts. I will not call a coach to tell him/her that my kid needs more playing time. I will not tell a teacher that my child's poor performance is the teacher's fault. I will not hold drinking parties for my kids and their friends. I will NOT be the cool mom... (and will be thanked for it later...Thank you mama Julie!)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Thank You... all the men and women who serve our country.

I lived for a while in Emporia, KS. The birth place of Veteran's day. Veteran's Day used to be called Armistice day, which celebrated the cease fire of WWI that is said to have occurred at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month. A business man in Emporia worked to get it changed to Veteran's Day in order to honor ALL veterans of the military. Because of this, Emporia takes great pride in Veteran's Day and everything is shut down. Businesses are not open, there is a very large parade and other events, and of course there is no school. Now, ever since having lived there I have always taken the stand that there should be no school, just like other national holidays.

Today was different. I went to school knowing that today would be a different type of school day. The kids were going through a health fair in the morning and then after lunch we were having a Veteran's day program to honor all those who have served or are currently serving our country. Little did I know just how powerful today would be.

At 12 we all gathered in the gym and welcomed local veterans into the gym with the band playing. We had Veterans from every war from WWII to one individual who was leaving at 2:00 TODAY for Afghanistan! They were all recognized, the choir sang the Star Spangled Banner, the band played, students read Veteran's Day essays, and many of us had to blink back tears throughout the presentation.

After this the students were lucky enough to be able to listen to our heroes speak about their experiences. We heard stories of years at sea carring bombs to the Pacific Islands, having to pull the bodies of fallen soldiers on the beaches of Normandy to be buried, flying aircraft in Vietnam, experiencing "friendly fire" and marching in the hot desert in Kuwait. WOW. What an awesome lesson our middle school kids learned today.

I now firmly believe that EVERY school should do something like this to honor our Veterans. If we would have let out school not one of those kids would have showed our soldiers the type of respect they saw today. What our teenagers learned today was far more important than any algebra problem or science experiment they would have done otherwise.

Far too often we take for granted the things that are most important...for all you who have served, are serving, or have lost loved ones, thank you.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Be careful what you say around your little ones...

Me: Hi "John" how are you?
"John" (Name has been changed to protect the innocent...or in this case, the cute kid): Hi
Me: Have you been practicing your 10 Commandments?
"John": Kind of.
Me: ok...why don't you give them a try.
"John": Well...I really only know the first one "You shall have no other gods besides me" and the 9th one "You shall not covet your neighbor's wife." Cause that's what our neighbor does!

I love 2nd graders!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Our Little Houdini

I awoke Tuesday morning to barking dogs. This is not unusual. Ethan and I live out in the country a bit and there are many things that grab the attention of our two "guard dogs." However this was different. This was louder. Hmmm...I wondered what had those to all wound up, so I got out of bed (moving rather slowly, as it was the 2nd day I was waking up with the flu) and checked out the window. All I could see without my glasses was some blur of a shape that looked to have four legs. Great. Some animal has our girls all excited and I'll never get back to sleep. I grab my glasses and go to the front door to see if I can't make out exactly what is causing all the commotion.

It was Breck!

How in the hell did she get out of our fenced in back yard???

After getting her safely back inside and causing enough commotion for Ethan to decide to come upstairs and see what was going on. (He slept downstairs while I was nice of him to give me the whole bed to myself!) He bundled up and went outside to investigate the situation and see how our little magician worked her way outside. All gates were closed. No chairs were next to the fence. Hmmm....

He decided that there was a tree branch that had grown low enough for her to use that to propel herself over the fence, and we decided to keep her inside the crate until he could cut down the branch.

True to his word, Ethan got the chainsaw from his parents house and cut the branch off the next day, and just to make sure the problem was solved we took Breck outside to see if she could still get out...

Yeah, she climbed the fence.

I'll tell you again...SHE CLIMBED THE FENCE!!!

There is roughly 1/2 acre of fenced in backyard for her to run and play in. There are many dogs who would give anything to have that much yard. Not Breck. She needed more.

We should have named her Houdini...

Friday, October 9, 2009

Wedding Planning Surprises

As I am in the middle of trying to plan my wedding I am finding out more and more that the "perfect wedding" I had in my mind as a kid sure has a lot more to it than just pretty dresses and matching colors. There is so much more to wedding planning than anyone can really tell you about. Here are just a few of the things I am finding out as I go...

~ EVERYTHING is expensive. That stupid TLC "Wedding Show" that had me hooked into watching and getting ideas when I was in my early 20s in college should really include the prices of these beautiful weddings they show. Cause I'm betting not one of them was less than 10,000.

~ You will constantly want to talk about it. I can't help it. I even make goals NOT to talk about it today...and at some point I mention something about it.

~ You will count down the months, weeks, and days. It's so corny...but true!

~ He might just care about helping with the planning. Mine does...and it's nice. :)

~ All the little tiny writing the petitions for Mass or feeding your bridal party lunch on the day of the wedding. (Good thing Bird got married a couple weeks ago so I could see what all I had to do)

~ Everyone will want to be invited. I've had people tell me they had marked the day down on their calendar so they would be sure to be there... How nice of them to remember my wedding day, but I hope they make other plans when they don't get an invite...

~ Apparently it is absolutely necessary for you to have background music while the guests wait at the reception hall for everyone to arrive.

~ The hard part about registering for gifts is actually picking the places you want stuff from. When Penny's has the bath towels you want and Wal-Mart has the shower curtain and Bed Bath and Beyond has the dishes and Sears has the grill and Target has the fire pit it sure makes it hard to narrow it down.

~ There are ultimately not enough of the "good" jobs for all your friends and family...someone has to be the guestbook!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Random Chatter

~ I only blogged one time in September. Where did this month go?

~ My nephew turned 2 today. He is getting so big and talking so much. It is so fun to watch them grow from a distance...

~ Why is it that the one night you actually want the volleyball games to go fast so you can get home in time for your TV show everything will be done in the universe's power to make sure that it runs as slow as possible and you end up late for your show and eating dinner at 8:15 at night.

~ I like to eat dinner as early as possible without seeming too weird...I don't like to eat past 7:00 or 7:30.

~ I'm coaching the JV volleyball girls this year and I find that no matter what level of girls you coach you will indubitably have drama, weenie-itis, and players that MUST leave practice early to go fix their hair for the football game.

~ Ethan and I are having our engagement pictures taken this weekend and I'm really excited. I think it will be a fun way to spend a Saturday evening along with dinner out downtown.

~ On Monday Ethan and I will have been seeing each other for 2 years...where does the time go.

~ My dad is planning on breeding our new puppy Copper. He is such a good looking and well-mannered dog that dad thinks he needs to help have puppies. I'm hoping that he helps have many litters and someday I can talk Ethan into getting one!

~ I came home tonight to a cleaned kitchen and laundry going. I love that man!

~ My friend Bridget, also known as "Bird" finally got married last weekend. It was such a beautiful wedding and everyone had such a good time. I am very happy for her and Ruben!

~ My mother has a facebook account... I helped her set it up...

~ I got my nails done again. It lasted about 2 months of not going in to have them all "prettied up." I am so glad that I have girly hands again and doubt that I will stop any time soon.

~ I know that I have plenty of time, but I just can't decide how I want to have my hair for my wedding... With the style of dress I have I really should probably have my hair up. But I just LOVE how pretty my hair is down. I guess I have a while to make that decision.

~ My sister is about to start her Senior year on the ESU basketball team. SENIOR! Wow.

~ HA! At the wedding last weekend my dad ended up taking over the bar tending... It was awesome!

~ We are in the process of redoing our bathroom. I will post before and after picture once we are finished. It will look so cool! I can't wait :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Vacation in the Rockies!

Two tickets to see the Colorado Rockies vs. Arizona Dimondbacks...two nights in The Curtis, the hippest hotel in Denver...dinner at various sports bars downtown...a drive through the mountains...First vacation away with Ethan...Priceless.

Ethan and I took our first vacation together over Labor Day weekend. He proposed the idea early in August when he was browsing the Rockies baseball team's website and noticed that they played at home that weekend. Ethan is a huge Rockies fan, but hadn't ever seen them play in Coors Field. I hadn't ever seen the mountains...or even set foot in Colorado for that matter, so it didn't take much to convince me that it would be a fun trip. A week later, we had tickets bought and hotel rooms booked. It was set.

We left early Saturday morning on our 8 hour jaunt across KS and most of Eastern Colorado. I started out driving since E had just come home from Lincoln the night before and was sick and tired of driving. We had all the necessary materials for a long car ride; GPS, DVDs, and snacks (pretzels and jolly ranchers). Unfortunately Dillons does not sell Mad Libs, so no fun word games for us. We quickly began the alphabet game (I won) and even saw a high speed car chase (going the other way). I also found out that Eastern Colorado is just as drab and boring as Western Kansas. 7 hours driving full of nothing but flat land for days...

Then finally I got to see my first glimpse of the mountains and Denver...unfortunately it was a cloudy day, so it wasn't too clear. We checked in to our hotel, The Curtis, located smack dab in the middle of down town, and is the "hippest hotel in Denver" (which we booked for a discount thanks to

The Rockies played on Saturday night, but we had tickets for the Sunday afternoon game. We decided to just go into one of the sports bars across from the stadium and have dinner, a beer (or three...) and watch the game. After 3 innings and eating an enormous amount of food we decided to walk off some of our chili fries and finish watching the game at the hotel. Well on our way out we got stopped by guys who were still trying to sell tickets. We talked them down from 10$ each to 5$ each and ended up going into Coors Stadium and watching 4 innings of the night game! What a fun, unexpected addition to our weekend!

Sunday we got up early and walked to church. From the outside of the building it looked like any normal Catholic Church, but when we walked in, both our mouths dropped. Gorgeous!

I am pretty easy going and don't usually have any real "demands" on things I want. (Ethan might tell you different...) but I knew that one thing I really wanted this weekend was a hot dog, peanuts, and a beer at the ball game. Well this was not going to be a problem, because Coors Field is a "fan friendly" stadium. You can bring in any food or drink as long is it's not alcohol or glass. We bought our hot dogs, peanuts, and waters outside the stadium for 1/2 the price and brought those into the game. The beer was bought inside the stadium (for a ridiculous price...but hey, it's our vacation!) It was a great day for baseball with 7 home runs between the two teams and a Rockies win of 13-5!

After the game Ethan suggested we take a drive out to the mountains so I could really get a good view of them up close and personal. We decided to drive out to Breckenridge and have dinner. It was beautiful, and such a great day. We stopped to take pictures and the mountains are just breathtaking! Ethan was such a great guy, driving us there and back.

Unfortunately all good things must come to an end, and so did our vacation. Monday morning we packed up and head back to KS. It was a WONDERFUL trip which will hopefully be the first of many Labor Day Colorado Trips for us!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Random Chatter

~ Last weekend Ethan and I painted the spare bedroom in his house. I wanted to go with a neutral color that wasn't too blah... We decided on "Dust Storm." Which according to the little paint sample looked like a light brown/beige color. Well after getting it on the wall, there is the tiniest, teensiest, hint of pink in there. Ethan is not completely satisfied with the color, but we are NOT going to repaint it.

~ With the completion of the room I finally feel like I'm all moved in. No more unpacked boxes laying around the house!

~ This was my first official week back to work. Beginning with three long days full of in-service (yuck!) and then it's into the fire on Thursday as 197 middle school kids come filing into the building. It was a great first two days with kids and I am looking forward to all the learning will take place this year!

~ Apparently KC and Breck have not enjoyed my return to work. They have been quite spoiled this summer with lots of attention and a walk every morning. After a very busy week for me, and not even seeing the girls in the daylight until Thursday, they let me know how they felt loud and clear. One of the hay bails was somehow dragged out from the shed and into the middle of the yard. I believe it is their way of saying "take that!"

~ Ethan and I are planning a trip to Colorado over Labor Day to take in a Rockies Baseball game and enjoy the Mountains of Denver! I'm sooo excited I've never seen the mountains of Colorado!

~ Volleyball season has started and we have 33 girls out for the team this year. Should be a very exciting season with many new things brought to us by our new coach!

~ Anyone want to buy a boat??

~ I am in need of some new athletic shoes. This usually turns out to be a difficult venture for me. I wear a size 12 women's. How many stores do you think carry a 12 in women's? None. And if by chance they do, the shoes are always ugly. So in order to find the shoes I like, I have to order them off the internet...paying for shipping and the extra cost. The ones I found that I love are 109.99, not good. I have found a similar shoe that is on sale for 59.99...that will have to do.

~ FYI. If you are planning a trip to Brazil they charge the US 100$ for a tourist visa. They do this because the US charges Brazilians 100$ for a tourist visa. Gee-wiz!

~ I finished watching Alias...all 5 seasons. I feel sad that it ever ended. Good shows should be able to keep going, look at Law and Order.

~ Speaking of TV. I know my days of the week by what TV show I watch each night. Mondays is CBS and it's comedy line up, Tuesday is Fox with Fringe, Wednesday is Fox with Lie to Me, and Thursday is NBC with The Office (Friday I do have a life...or try to). Well Fox has decided that Fringe should be opposite NBC's "Must See TV" of The Office. Not good.

Friday, August 14, 2009

School Year's Resolutions

Being a teacher causes you to have a totally different calendar than the rest of the general population. Christmas and Thanksgiving breaks are two of your favorite times of the year because you get a well-deserved break. Spring Break is for visiting family you don't get to see too often. While Spring cleaning and big household projects are usually done during the summer months when you actually have time. And finally, probably the biggest difference is as a teacher is "New Year's Day." Yes we celebrate with champagne, confetti, and a kiss when the clock strikes 12 on January 1, but that really isn't a teacher's New Year. Our new year starts on the first day of school. A chance to start your classroom over again. New ideas, new materials, new students.

Every August, like every January, I think about the things I want to improve on from the last year and how I can make myself better. Only in August those items are school related and usually don't involve counting calories or heading to the gym. I make "School Year's Resolutions," and like New Year's resolutions, I tend to follow through with them until around October, if I'm lucky... Yet every year I still make these new promises to myself. Maybe this year I'll stick with them.

2009-2010 School Year's Resolutions:

1. I will NOT get behind in grading papers. I will keep the kids' grades updated hopefully every week, BUT will not go two weeks without entering a new grade.

2. My desk will have some sort of organization to it. No piles of ungraded papers in various spots on the desk and floor...see resolution #1

3. I will try my very best to not let those one or two VERY difficult students get to me. I will try anything I or my team teachers can think of to get positive results out of him/her.

4. I will not complain about my co-workers and their teaching habits. However I am aloud to complain IF something they do affects me negatively! (Gotta leave a little room to vent)

5. I will not hate my advisory. (Advisory is like a homeroom class at the end of the day...I have the same students every day for the last 25 minutes, and EVERY year so far they have been hell to end my day. This year it will NOT be like that!)

6. I will NOT go school supplies crazy and buy more of the same thing...I have more pens and sharpies, and rulers and notepads, and fun office gadgets than anyone I know!

7. I will not talk too much about my upcoming wedding. I will wait until someone specifically asks me a question to bring up the topic. (this one will actually be hard...I'm kinda excited and tend to over-talk it I think :) )

8. I will try not to get frustrated with all the IEP meetings for my special ed and gifted students. (Since I have a subject that can be easily modified...I have ALL the students, no matter what their disability, and I love them...but that means that I have to attend ALL the meetings...ugh!)

9. I will limit myself to only bringing home projects to grade. I enjoy my evenings and need that time to step away from school stuff. But projects tend to take me a long time to grading a few of those each night is ok.

10. I will use my planning period wisely. I tend to take that time to chill out and do a crossword. That, as Dwight from The Office puts it, "is stealing time from the company" (or in my case the school). I will use my planning period to grade papers so I won't get behind!

And there you have it. 10 promises I'm making to myself for my New Year. Maybe I'll re-evaluate these after the real New Year and see how I've done...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Truth About Marriage

Now that I'm getting married I am constantly getting "advise" from my married friends or coworkers. Sometimes the advise is good and I think "yeah Ethan and I will do that!" Sometimes the advice is funny and I think "oh I can't wait for those silly things to happen to us." And some of the advice is sad or depressing and I think "I am not going to let that happen!"

Here are some of the best...

~ At your wedding make sure you eat something. The first thing your dad and I did when we got to the hotel after the dance was go to the hotel restaurant (it was open 24 hours) and ordered dinner, your dad had stroginoff.

~ The key to a happy marriage is laughter.

~ Once you get married the romance stops. (I highly doubt that doesn't take too much for us to feel romantic. It's amazing how simply holding hands can make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside...I hope that never changes)

~ While you're dating everyone keeps asking when you'll get married. After you get married everyone will start asking when you're going to start having babies.

~ Marriage is about communication and sacrifice. You are no longer living for yourself.

~ Once you get married you won't have to have as much sex with him. HA (that one always makes me laugh...)

~ You will both be obligated to accompany the other to faculty Christmas parties, family gatherings, friends weddings, and anything else that he or she commits you to!

~ A family that prays together, stays together

~ If your marriage can survive long road trips and home remodeling projects, it can survive anything!

~ The best Valentine's Day gift for your husband is a new teddy.

~ After you've been married 30 years you can cut your hair as short as you want. He's stuck with you for that long, he's not going to leave you cause your hair is short.

~ After you have kids make sure that you have a "date night" once a month for just the two of you. Don't wake up 20 years later with the kids off to college and you having to get to know each other again.

~ Make sure the anniversary date is something easy for him to remember, close to his birthday or any other major holiday!

~ Go someplace on your honeymoon that you may never get to go again. It's your really only get one.

~ You will both lose all sense of Modesty. Once closing the bathroom door to go to the bathroom, you will eventually have one of you on the pot while the other is bushing their teeth. (HAHA)

~ He will want a shop, a man-cave, or some place to "get away"

~ You will want him to have a shop, a man-cave, or some place to "get away"

~ You now have to start shopping for items that are "neutral." Girls don't want to live in a house that looks like a bachelor pad, and Guys don't want to live in a home that looks like a flower garden exploded onto EVERYTHING!

~ With marriage you will work harder than you ever thought. Not just emotionally to keep your relationship strong, but real work. You will fix a toilet, paint walls, plant gardens, help move, and all sorts of physical labor that you didn't think about.

This is just some of the things that I've been advised about marriage. I am sure that Ethan has heard some wonderful tips from his married friends...hmmm, that could be an interesting blog...

Monday, August 3, 2009

The Perfect Moment!

I have mentioned before that Ethan and my engagement wasn't the typical Hollywood story that people seem to expect. Life happened. Ethan got laid off, we knew we wanted to get married, so after Ethan talked to my parents we announced our engagement. We decided to wait and get rings later after he found a job. (House payment or diamond ring...not a hard choice).

After months of praying and sending out resume after resume, Ethan was offered the full time position in Lincoln, NE where he had been doing contract work for the summer. Even though it isn't the ideal location or where we want to live permanently, Ethan accepted the job and we made plans to go ring shopping this Saturday. I was very excited, talking with Ethan all weekend about styles I liked and where we would go. All the while Ethan having quite different plans...

Ethan usually works a little later Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays in order to be able to leave work around 2 so he can be back in Wichita by 6. This week was no different, but he thought he might be able to sneak out of there by 12! I was excited :)

Well, I sure was surprised to see Ethan walk through the door 30 minutes early, claiming to have left just a little earlier than he had me believing. We enjoyed the extra few hours sitting on the couch and just enjoying being with eachother. Then Ethan suggested we practice dancing to our song we've chosen for the wedding. This isn't the first time we practiced...I can't seem to make it through the song without crying at the end, so we have to keep trying and trying. There we are dancing in the middle of the living room at 5:00 on a Friday, me trying to make it through the song without getting all teary. Finally the end of the song rolls around, and this is where I usually lose it...Ethan then slips a ring on my finger! I just cried and cried as he hugged me. For that little moment everything was PERFECT!

Ethan had it all planned out from the beginning of the week, when he was leading me on about Saturday and ring shopping together. He left work 4 hours earlier than normal and arrived in Wichita at his friend's Jewelry store. He picked out the PERFECT ring. It's a beautiful round diamond in the middle with 5 tiny diamonds on each side of the band. It was EXACTLY like something I would have picked out for myself. And what makes it better...he did it all by himself. I can't really describe in words how much more special this ring is that he picked it out. I just look at it in awe...

I have now caught myself staring at the pretty diamonds shinning on my finger many times through the weekend. I find myself waving that hand around more so that maybe someone will notice and I can show it off and tell the wonderful story!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Random Chatter

~ Last weekend my mom had a get-together with her college sorority girls (they do this every summer) and this year it was in Wichita. I didn't have anything to do on Friday so I went out to the lake house (VERY nice house...). We played on the lake and after a while a bunch of us decided to go over and try the rope swing into the water. It finally got to my turn and, either very stupid or brave, I got up on the 6 ft. plank to swing into the water. Problem: My legs hit the ground before I got to the water...NOT GOOD. The entire left side of my right knee is bruised and skinned up. My right shin is all skinned and since there's no where around the shin to really swell, it went to my ankle. Moral of the story...If you are a klutz do play on the rope swing!

~ Ethan laughed at me when I told him that sympathy!

~ My wedding dress came pretty!

~ I am in the process of moving into Ethan's house. There really was no point in continuing to pay 400/month + utilities when I'm never at the house in Cheney. Plus, with Ethan working contract in Lincoln, I'm here all the time and that will have to continue through the school year.

~ Along with moving into his place, means I get the "girl it up" just a bit. Not too much though...can't shock the poor guy, have to break him in gradually! HA :)

~ I made zucchini bread for the first time yesterday, my grandmother's recipe. Considering my unpleasant experiences with baking in the past and that I can never get my banana bread to turn out right, I was very nervous. However, it turned out wonderful! I'm going to make up more loaves and freeze them for later :-)

~ I broke a nail today while moving my stuff...I hate that!

~ Ethan and I have Engagement Encounter this weekend. We get to spend the whole weekend at the Spiritual Life Center in Wichita. I am looking forward to it, but something tells me I'm going to be very tired by Sunday afternoon...

~ School is starting in less than a month. I haven't done too much school work so far this summer since we're starting a week later than usual. Now, it's less than a month away, I haven't done hardly anything, I can't get into the school cause they waxed the floors, AND I have to pack, clean, and move!

~ I'm so very happy!!!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


In today's economy many people are trying to cut back and finding ways to save on certain items that they have been enjoying in order to pay bills, tuition, or survive on one salary. I like to consider myself pretty good at watching my money and saving. Lately I have been trying to save a little more each month. Through college I was able to have more than one job, take 16+ credit hours, have a social life, and still manage to save a little each month. Through those college years I learned very quickly which items were worth skimping on and which ones were well worth the extra dollar. Here are some of the things I do to cut back.

SKIMP on Movies: it cost 10+ for one adult to go to the theatre, plus popcorn and a soda. By the end of the night you're looking at a 50$ outing. Wait till it comes out on video and buy or rent it. Pop your own popcorn and snuggle on the couch. (Although this is much easier for me when Ethan has the big screen in the basement and it's like going to the movies anyway...only more comfortable!)

SPEND on Peanut Butter: For the most part I am a true saver with the "Always Save," "Kroger," or "Best Choice" brands. Normally they are just as good as the original for less. With that said, the cheap peanut butter is terrible. The peanut taste is either way off or there's no peanut taste and you pay for oily peanut butter. I will spend the extra for Jiff. It's always Jiff.

SKIMP on Restaurants: Ethan and I love to cook at home. This is a cheaper option for us because we end up with left overs to last the rest of the week. Although when we really feel like something different or going out to eat, we look for the deals. Two entrees for 20$ and other deals like that.

SPEND on Jeans: I am a total convert to the expensive jeans. I thought it was ridiculous to spend 80$ on jeans. That was until I tried on a pair of Silver Jeans. They fit PERFECTLY! Although because they are expensive, I have two pair and wear them only.

SKIMP on Bottled Water: I don't buy it. The tap water is fine at my place and Ethan's. If I ever live where the tap water is undrinkable, the Brita Water Filter pitcher is what I'll use. Much cheaper.

SPEND on Razors: The better the razor the better the shave. The cheaper the razor the more the pain (razor burn sucks).

SKIMP on Car wash: And basically any cleaning type jobs you can do yourself. Skip the 10$ car was and bust out the hose and your bathing suit and get a tan :)

SPEND on Exercise: I golf and swim. Golfing cost every time I tee off and swimming is a monthly fee for the YMCA. Both are worth it. They get me out and about. Taking care of yourself is definitely worth it.

SKIMP on Cable: Get what you HAVE to have. I cut back from 120$ a month to 60$ a month. I get Internet for 40 and 15 for my main channels, add in tax and it's half as expensive as having the extra channels.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Random Chatter

Ha...I started out with Sunday Chatter, and that soon changed to "Weekly Chatter" when I realized I could not always blog every Sunday. Now after realizing it's been many weeks since my last "chatter" I have decided to call it "Random Chatter!"

~ Yesterday was my "-1 Anniversary." I love that Ethan and I are getting married around a Holiday. It means we will always have at least an extra day to celebrate free from work. He got me a card, I was very surprised! :-)

~ My sister has decided that she is addicted to chocolate. This is something most of us who know her are well aware of. I told her to accept it and enjoy some chocolate cake. Jamie however, cannot do that. She has had me bet her that she can't stay away from Chocolate for a month. The terms: If I win, she cooks me dinner, if she wins I cook her dinner.

~ Ethan and I are in the process of trying to pick a photographer for our wedding. It really is a hard decision, but we've narrowed it down to 3. Whoever we go with I am sure we'll end up with beautiful pictures!

~ Little Copper is getting bigger. He is such a good mannered dog, and I love asking mom how he is and hearing what funny or silly thing he did when I call.

~ I bought my first watermelon of the summer on July 1. It was a very sweet and wonderful watermelon, making me wonder why I waited until July to get one!

~ While Ethan has been working in Lincoln doing contract work during the weeks I have been trying to find things to keep me busy during the day to make the week go faster. One day this week I cleaned the entire house, cooked dinner, made a potato salad, did laundry, went to the store. I call that my "mom" day. It was a day that sounded very similar to ones my mother has. The next day I helped Ethan's dad load sod in the back of the truck at a grass farm, helped lay the sod, got very dirty. This is my "dad" day!

~ Speaking of Lincoln...I'm praying extra hard, it might work out!

~ I love KC and Breck! I don't think I could ever live without a dog again. Good thing Ethan agrees with me. However, I'll have to keep working on him if I'm ever going to get a little daschound!

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Meaning Behind "I Don't Care"

I went to Kansas City this weekend to spend an evening out with some of my very best girlfriends from college. We always have so much fun together and I knew that this trip would be the same. After a very long decision process (which is the meaning of my post...) we decided to eat at a Thai restaurant in downtown KC and then walk to the Power and Lights district for a night of drinks and dancing.

I have now spent two weekends with two different groups of women (see mystery weekend) and one common phrase keeps popping up. "I don't care." I noticed myself saying it, my sister saying it, my mom, my friends, and numerous times throughout the trips. I started to think a little about how often I say it, and how often it gets said by women. Then I thought about how many different reasons their might be fore saying "I don't care" and how confusing that might be to men. I thought I would try to explain some of the reasons that I say "I don't care."

1. "I don't care." TRANSLATION: "I really don't care." This one I use mainly when trying to pick a place to eat. I am not a picky eater, and many of my friends can be. So I really don't mind where we eat most of the time. I can find something at any place that I will eat and probably enjoy. Many times I try to get out of the "I don't care" jam by giving a few choices of places that sound good, that way I have at least added to the conversation.

2. "I don't care." TRANSLATION: "My opinion won't really matter anyway." There may have been times when a woman gave her opinion or suggestion and it wasn't taken. This tends to happened a few times before we get to this point, but it does happen.

3. "I don't care." TRANSLATION: "I don't want to seem bossy." Let me clarify. I don't say "I don't care" because I am incapable of making a decision. I am very good at making decisions...sometimes I make them too quickly. But if every time I get to make the decision then I get the stigma of being bossy, or even worse...selfish because "we always have to do what Jill wants"

4. "I don't care." TRANSLATION: "I really do care and I'm testing you to see how well you know me, because you should know me well enough to read my mind and pick what I want you to without telling you" This one is many times used towards men. I hate this one. I've seen many of my girlfriends use this on their boyfriends/fiance/husbands and then end up mad when he didn't pick the right thing. I can honestly say I have never used this myself to date...but I can't promise it won't EVER happen...I am a woman, and we are complex and do things for reasons that we don't even know.

I am sure there are many more reasons behind the "I don't care" but these are the ones that I know and use (or have seen used). If you have any other ideas, don't hesitate to add to the comments!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Mystery Weekend

This last March, my mother came to my sister and I and said "I have an idea, and if you don't like it we don't have to do it, it's just a thought." Of course Jamie and I want to know the idea, we both know that we will want to do it not matter what it always has such great ideas.

"I would like to plan a trip for just us girls this summer," she said "I've always wanted to start a yearly tradition of simple trips for just us." Of course right away, Jamie and I are enthusiastic and start brainstorming ideas of where to go. "Here's the catch," mom says "I'm going to do all the planning, and I'm not going to tell you where we're going we all pile in the car and are ready to go. What do you think?" We LOVED the idea!

Over the course of the next few months mom enjoyed planning our weekend in secret and teasing us with little smiles and lines like "I just booked our hotel, and it's supposed to be the best hotel in the area." Jamie and I were so excited...finally counting down the days to our "Mystery Trip."

On Friday, mom picked us up and we left for our fun filled weekend. The destination??? Oklahoma City. This was a great place for us to go because we had all been through it a time or two on our way south to Texas, but never stopped to do much. Plus the Oklahoma City Memorial was there...something all of us had wanted to see. Our trip was filled with many fun things!

The Memorial:

We went to the memorial on Friday right after checking in to our hotel. This is something we wanted to make sure we did right away so that we wouldn't end up with bad weather and miss out. I was in the 6th grade with the bombing occurred and I remember watching the news and feeling sad. The main portion of the memorial is located outside, and there is a museum inside that takes you through the events of the day. It is VERY moving and emotional. A wonderful experience.

Wine Tasting:

On a whim we stopped into a little store in Bricktown in OK City. They had free wine tastings and we thought that it would be fun to try a couple. I think we tried most of the wines on the list (except for the really dry ones) and it was a very hard decision, but we each took home a bottle. Mine is called "dust bowl," Jamie's is "Skinny Dip" and I can't remember mom's but it was VERY good...I had a hard time choosing between the two.


The local area downtown that has lots of food, drinks, and entertainment. We spent most of Saturday evening and night down at Bricktown. We had a "Progressive Supper" where we ate appetizers at one place, main meal and another, and got marble slab ice cream at the end. There is a river walk and you can take a canal ride throughout the entire area. We took the boat that had cocktails. Mom and I had a "Sunrise" (cranberry and vodka) and Jamie had a "Mango Bango" which was some fruity drink that was yummy! I appropriately titled that the "Booze Cruise" :-)

All in all we had a fantastic weekend! We look forward to next year's "Mystery Weekend" which mom is already busy planning!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Walking the Dogs

I have mentioned before that Ethan has to dogs. KC and Breck. Both are a mixed breed of lab, both were free. I have come to love those dogs as if they were my own. One of my favorite pass times with Ethan is to take the girls for a nice long walk on pretty days. This can be interesting in many ways, but mostly due to the fact that they are both still considered puppies and get overly excited about anything.

Through our many walks Ethan and I have learned how to better handle each pup because each one is so different. So far we have found out...

~ KC will pull your arm out. She is just so excited to be going on a walk that every smell, sight, and noise will get her going.

~ Breck is weird.

~ KC is the larger and older of the two dogs. I walk KC. As mentioned above, KC will pull your arm out if you don't have a good hold. Well...the more you fight her the more she fights back. I have learned to just let her pull on the leash and choke herself. Eventually she gets tired of that and slows down. Ethan is a little less he walks Breck.

~ Breck will walk anyway, but a straight line. she will walk in zig zags in front of you. She will walk really fast to get ahead of you then stop until you pass her and walk really fast in front of you again. Breck will try to grab onto and chew KC's leash. She will also walk in circles around you. Again...Breck is weird.

~ KC will poop in the middle of the road before you even have time to drag her over to the grass.

~ Breck will bark at everything...but is a little scaredy cat in reality

~ KC will pee about 15 times during a walk.

~ Breck does not like cars.

~ KC wants to chase the cars.

~ Breck has the longest tongue ever!

~ KC gets very's gross.

~ In order to make the girls a little less crazy excited for the walk, we have found if you throw the tennis ball in the back for a bout 10 minutes before we go, they get tired sooner and will walk nicely by your side (except Breck, who can't walk in a straight line)

While Ethan is in Lincoln I am walking the girls by myself. Now there is NO WAY I can do that by myself, so I play with the ball and then put Breck in the cage, while KC and I walk. KC goes in the cage when we get back and it's Breck's turn. We just got by from our first try at this "single" walking method, and I think it went ok...just means there should be many more walks to come!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Weekly Chatter

~ I have spent a better part of the last week on the phone with family and friends discussing the new engagement and all the fun details that go along with it. Such an exciting time!

~ My sister is probably as thrilled as anyone that I'm getting married...besides me that is. She is of course the Maid of Honor and has already started looking up what her "roles and responsibilities" include. She has even given code names to my mom, herself, and me. I am BTB (Bride to Be), she is MOH (Maid of Honor), and my mom is MOB (Mother of the Bride). She will be the best MOH!

~ We have 4 days of school left until summer. It is my theory that the kids are extra crazy these last few weeks so that teachers are just as ready as they are (if not more).

~ Ethan just left for Lincoln, NE where he got a short contract position. He was gone just a couple days last week, but will be gone the whole week this time. I just hope the week goes fast and I stay busy to keep my mind off of him not being here.

~ It's graduation time again, and I always seem to have a hard time getting in to it. I have NEVER been real sentimental about graduations. Graduating from HS was no big deal to me, I had 4+ years ahead of me and no real close friends I was leaving. I looked forward to the new life and new friends I would find. Graduation from ESU was nice, but rather than celebrate the piece of paper handed to me...I wanted to celebrate the contract I signed for my first job. To me that was something to celebrate!

~ I tried a Papa Murphy's pizza last night for the first time...that is some gooood pizza!

~ waxed eyebrows, lip, legs, nails redone, hair cut...just a few of the things that I need to do. And all going to cost me a couple hundred bucks...damn its expensive being a girl!

~ Did I mention there were 4 days of school left? :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009



As of last weekend everything is official. Ethan and I are going to be married on July 3, 2010. I am absolutely thrilled and couldn't be happier. Everything we've been talking about the last couple months is starting to be put in motion. I have been waiting and wanting this for so long it's hard to believe I actually get to make those wonderful phone calls and pick out those pretty dresses!

As I begin the long and hopefully low stress process of planning a wedding, I can stop to pause and think about how my life has changed drastically in the last two years.

When I moved out to Cheney I knew that it was a small town with a good school, but small towns are made for families. Not single people. I knew that when I accepted the job, and I knew it when I moved into my little rental. My first year teaching I didn't notice too much change in my life than the previous couple years. I was soooo busy, practically living at the school. Trying to coach, be a good teacher, and stay caught up with everything. I just didn't notice how lonely I was.

Then my second year came around and I was a little less busy. I had my first year teaching under my belt and found myself at home more and more. That's when it hit me. I am lonely. I didn't like going home and not having anyone other than my mother and a couple friends online to talk to. I wasn't happy. Even though I had a good job I loved, there was something missing. I could fool most people, but in reality I was miserable. I am convinced that if something wouldn't have changed, and soon, I would have left Cheney.

Now...something happened that was a blessing in disguise, in more ways than one. I have told most of the story of my little nephew and what a blessing he was, but I never really explained how he helped me. At the time when I found out that Joe was expecting a son I was of course sad for him. But I was also mad. I was so mad at him, at God, and everything. It wasn't fair. I wanted nothing more than anything to find someone who I could love and have a family with. I was doing things the "right way" and Joe wasn't. Why did Joe get what I wanted? Then it hit me.

For the last few years before that point I had put God and my faith on the "back burner." Sometimes I would go to Church, sometimes I paid attention, sometimes I prayed. I never left my faith, I just didn't pay much attention to it. I truly believed that God had a plan for me, I new without a doubt that He wanted me to be a wife and mother, and I knew that all things good happen through Him. After I found out about Bryson and asked God "why not me" I got my answer. How can these things happen through God when He is on the "back burner."

So I tried to change. I haven't missed a Sunday Mass since the week I found out about Bryson. I talk to God more often. And I started opening myself up to new people and new experiences. It wasn't until then that Ethan came into my life.

I truly believe that if it weren't for Bryson I might still be waiting for the blessings I have today. I am happier than I have been in my life and my dreams are coming true. There is a reason for everything and all good things come through God...if you are patient.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Weekly Chatter

~ Ethan and I play Scrabble on the computer. We also go to Lowes just to walk around. We are exciting! (I really mean that...)

~ I am going to KC with my mom and sister this weekend to watch my cousin in a ballroom dancing competition. We will have that opportunity to watch dancing, shop, eat out, and stay in a hotel. Should be a great weekend!

~ Did I mention that this will be the first weekend I haven't spent with Ethan since Christmas...will we survive? Or for that matter, will he survive without me for a weekend...HA! (I am sure he will find something to do...)

~ The official countdown has begun...22 days till summer!

~ I have finally caught on to The Office. Thanks to netflix and the fact that it allows you to watch DVD episodes right on your computer I watched as much of the first 4 seasons as I could. I got hilariously caught up in the lives of Jim, Pam, Michael, and yes...Dwight! Now I await every Thursday night for a new episode. AND have started buying my own copies of the seasons. I have 1-3 now!

~ Ethan and I went and looked at the Parade of Homes here in Wichita. No we are not buying a house, but it is always fun to go and look at the newest things. We started out in houses that were nice, but small. Little square footage and lots of hallways (waisted space). The next houses were the "realistic" ones. Homes that we could afford and look for someday...maybe. Then we went up a notch to the homes that are too expensive, but if I took up another profession and E got a very high paying job we could afford...but not likely. And last we had some fun with the "Never in your wildest dreams" homes. These were huge and only if we win the lottery will we ever be able to even consider. (When we were finished E bought a lottery ticket...we didn't win.)

~ Ethan's dogs now know my car. They start to get really excited when I drive into the driveway. They are just so excited for people to play with! (Even though they get a lot of playtime with E)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Top 10 Reasons I Love Spring!

10: Longer Days. I love it when it stays lighter longer in they day. I am more motivated to stay "up and moving" when it's still day time at 7:30 as opposed to being ready for bed by 5 during the winter.

9: Light jackets, or even coats at all. I hate having to wear around a big bulky coat everywhere I go. It becomes a pain to keep track of, but yet, I have to have it because I freeze everywhere I go.

8: My legs stay shaved a little longer. During the cold months I can spend 15 minutes in the shower making sure every stupid annoying hair is gone, and then the minute I step out of the shower, I get cold and the pricklies are back! Arrrggg!!!

7: Walks. It is nice enough to start going for walks on Saturdays and evenings. They can be so much fun and good for you too!

6: Plants. I always get a little touch of spring fever and want to buy a couple new plants for my house. Two rules though...have to be inexpensive and able to handle intense neglect without dying!

5: Grilling. I know that summer is the typical "grilling" season, but how many people can wait until June to bust out the grill...not many. If we're not grilling then someone usually is and the smell make my mouth water every time.

4: Baseball games. I love baseball games, and I used to go to games all the time watching my brother play. Now that Joe is done with ball, I have a new player to watch. Ethan's nephew Brandon plays and we get to go to some of the games. Sunflower seeds, homeruns, and good weather...gotta love it!

3: Rain. I'm not talking about the rain that comes every day of the week...I'm referring to the night rain that leaves the morning smelling fresh and clean. What a great start to the day.

2: My free time. The spring is the only season during school that I don't coach. I have my afternoons off to enjoy the nice weather and not feel like I'm married to the school.

1: The weather! The warm sun finally shines and everything turns green or other bright springy colors. My March I am sooo sick of the cold and snow that any break in the weather causes me to be in a very happy mood (and hoping that those nice days fall on a weekend!)

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Weekly Chatter

~ I played an April Fools joke on my middle schoolers and my sister. I wore a fake engagement ring around all day at school...the result? "Hook, line and sinker" I got them all. I did sorta feel bad when I realized how mad my sister was when she found out it was a joke. She was soooo excited for me and telling everyone she knew. Needless to say she was not happy to find out the truth...

~ The kids were mad too. I had one block who wouldn't speak to me and every time I walked to the front of the class they would turn around in their chairs so their back was to me...and would switch if I walked to the back of the class. I praised them for their creativity!

~ Ethan's dad is one who really appreciates a good prank. He thought the joke was hilarious and laughed the entire time I told the story...he laughed harder when I told him the reactions of my kids and sister.

~ The tables soon turned as the next day Ethan ended up having to go to the emergency room for stomach pains. After different tests it was determined that he was going to need his appendix removed. This all happened while I slept in my own comfortable bed and at 6:30 I got a text that said "going to the hospital." Nothing else. Talk about freaking out...I quickly called and found out what was going on. I took half a day off and helped his mom take care of him the rest of the day.

~ He is healing very nicely and still a little sore, but he feels soooo much better than that night.

~ For the first time ever I am not going to be spending a holiday with my own family. I am staying in Wichita to spend Easter with Ethan and his family. I will miss many of our traditions, but just to make sure I don't miss everything, I bought Easter baskets and candy to fill them for E and I. He laughed at me, but he will enjoy the candy!

~ I get to have chocolate today!!! I never cheated...not even once this lent. But today E and I are making "Death by Chocolate" dessert to take to his parents tomorrow! YUMMY :)

~ My parents are getting a new little puppy. A free dachshund puppy who will be named either Gus or Chester...I hope they go with Gus...and I can't wait to see him!!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Humbling Moments

One of my students told me yesterday that she over heard two adults talking about Condoleezza Rice.

She thought they were talking about a brand of rice...


One of my 8th graders turned to me in shock and said...

"Washington DC is not in Washington State???"

Even better.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Lengthing the School Year????

Spring break has officially come and gone, with me not at all ready to return to my classroom today. I love my job, but I had a great break and I know what to expect in the last 9 weeks of school. My 8th graders, who have been a delight all year long, will have gained "8th-Grade-itis" meaning they realize they are about to be high schoolers and are WAY TOO COOL to be in the middle school. They then choose to be as annoying as possible and push my every button...

Now...whenever a teacher vents about their job it's not taken too seriously by the other "professionals." Why?? Because of the months June, July, and August. Those who aren't teachers automatically assume that the sole reason we all chose this profession was because of the lovely summer months. Now I will be the first one to admit that I LOVE my summer. BUT I became a teacher because I love working with kids, and wanted a job that I would be happy to get up and go to in the mornings.

I recently read in an article that President Obama would like to extend the school year either by more days on the calender or more hours in a day. Now, Mr. President makes some very big points stating how other countries are developing kids so much faster than we are, and lengthening the time spent in school would be good for our kids' futures. But I ask Mr. President, what about our teacher's present. How many law-makers (including our President) have spent even one week inside of a classroom? Do they realize that we spend more time with these kids than their own parents, that we're responsible for teaching them math, reading, science, budgeting and economics (ha...some of our "experts" must have been absent that day), make sure they get enough exercise, eat the right foods, work on tasks individually, work together in groups, survive the hallways of a middle school, council their emotional needs, teach them manners...I could keep going, but I'm sure you get the point. Does our President realize that I spend 5 days a week for 9 months of the year with 130 middle school kids.

I love my job. But without my summers and breaks I would lose my mind. These kids are great 90% of the time...but they are not my kids. By the end of May I am exhausted. I am short tempered, less patient, and just flat out tired. And I work at a school with VERY GOOD kids...I can't imagine working in some schools with more difficult students in more difficult situations. Teachers need those summers to "re-charge the batteries," and without them, we would quickly run out of juice. Just as much as I am ready for summer by May, come August, I'm rearing and ready to go for a new and exciting school year.

So, Mr. President before you make any big educational decisions, please talk to teachers who have "been there, done that" (and not just the one's who voted for you).

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My 180 Turn

I enjoyed high school. I don't have any horror stories about people being mean to me, I enjoyed most of my classes and teachers, and made lasting memories on a variety of sports teams. But the one thing I regret about my high school days is that I was not more outgoing.

I was a very shy elementary and middle schooler. I believe that that stemmed from one major goal; not drawing attention to myself. Throughout most of elementary and middle school I was at least a head or two taller than everyone else, I was easy to see. To add even more for people to look at, my face turns incredibly red when I get even the slightest embarrassed. So my first 10 years of school was spent trying to blend in and not give people any more reasons to look at me.

They by my Sophomore year something happened. My peers grew. I was still taller than everyone else, but it wasn't so drastic. I saw my height as a big positive rather than something to try and hide. I was still shy face would still turn red. I didn't want that to happen, so I still kept to myself for the most part. By the time my Sr. year rolled around I hadn't been to any weekend parties and I didn't have a large group of friends. I did have a couple real close friends who I would hang out with, but that was about it. The big difference between my Sr. year and my So. year...I wanted more. I wanted to be more outgoing and I wanted to have more friends, but I figured it was too late. All friendships had been established and people knew me as "nice." And we all know how hard it can be to penetrate those thick "clique" walls.

I waited for college. I couldn't have been more ready to try something new. It was a chance for me to start over, make new friends, and gain new experiences. And I did. My first two years at Hutchinson Community College I played on the volleyball team and established friendships that I still consider some of my best today. I love those girls, and miss them terribly. I just wish I was better at keeping in contact with them.

Today my face still turns red. Something I will never be able to change and will always hate. But that doesn't effect how I live my life. I have learned to laugh at myself (along with others) when I make my many mistakes. People who know me now can't believe I was this quiet, shy girl in high school. I love meeting new people and trying new things, and I am not afraid to go someplace I've never been before. I look forward to those challenges! I always tell people that if I could go back to high school with the personality and confidence I have now, I would have many more friends, but probably a few other people who didn't think I was just "nice."

Monday, March 2, 2009

Weekly Chatter

~ It's Girl Scout Cookie time! I bought four different kinds (to share with Ethan obviously).

~ It is also Lent. I always give up chocolate. This means I don't get to enjoy my Girl Scout Cookies yet.

~ This weekend was GREAT! I had a blast with Ethan and my family. I was sad to see Monday come, but there should be many more great weekends to come.

~ As we drove home Ethan and I stopped to take pictures of the Windmill farm in Beaumont. They are HUGE and actually pretty impressive up close. Beaumont has a historical hotel that allows planes to fly up and park right outside the little diner. E and I were going to stop for lunch, but since it was Friday we didn't know if they served fish, so we'll have to do that another time.

~ Last week had 3 absolutely beautiful days, perfect weather. Did any of those days land on my day off...NO! I take a personal day and it drops 30 degrees and snows that weekend. Stupid weather!

~ Spending the weekend at home has its consequences. I got on the scale this morning...not good. However I ate very well while I was home. I better make up for it this week.

~ ESU girls are conference champs!! The game wasn't a very good one but a win is a win and we still celebrated after with free pizza and beer...ahh the perks of your sister playing on the team :)

~ I am sooo behind in my grading, and since I am not willing to give up my evenings at Ethan's to stay home and grade papers (yuck), I am going to have to resort to taking some papers to his place to grade while we watch TV...maybe I will be able to talk him into helping me :)

~ The year is officially flying by. (And by year I mean school year, teachers have a totally different language at times) It is almost spring break already...and after spring break the year is pretty much over.

~ My nails are very pretty! They do a great job at Nail Envy on 21st and Maize.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Yea for the WEEKEND!

I have been looking forward to this weekend since January. Ethan and I had been trying to find one of my sister's basketball games to go watch where either he or I didn't have anything planned. We wouldn't have been able to make it to any games until the very last one on Feb. 28. That seemed like sooo far away at the time.

Now it's here. I am taking the day off tomorrow so E and I can have the whole day to do what we please. I will start out my day by getting my nails done while he figures out something to do for an hour...I'm not going to make him sit in there with me (I think that would qualify under "cruel and unusual punishment" anyway).

We plan on going into Wichita and enjoying the day test driving cars, taking pictures, and taking the "scenic" route home. We are even going to stop in Climax, Kansas, just so we can say we've been there! (That will make a GREAT story to tell mom..."Hey mom we just went through Climax!" haha!!!) We'll get to Burlington just in time for a yummy shrimp dinner and I'm sure lots of laughing and story-telling from my parents! Jamie's game is on Saturday and it will be so fun to watch her play...although I do believe I'll need to get E an ESU shirt, can't have him wearing a WSU shirt to the game! Sunday we're going to cook dinner for the family...manicotti. YUM!

I am so excited for my weekend you'd think I would have been packed early in the week all ready to go...Nope. I'm sitting here blogging knowing full well that E will call in about 20 minutes and have nothing packed and ready to go. I best get a move on!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Weekly Chatter

~ I had my nails done again for the first time in two years. I used to get them done back home in Burlington, but that ended up being too costly to go home and "hope" that I could get in to my very busy nail lady. My nails are now pretty pink and girlie!

~ I almost didn't get a paycheck this month...I am starting to feel helpless with the economy. All I can do is sit back and wait for the more powerful "big-wigs" in Washington to get us out of this mess. That's a very scary thought to me.

~ I have only three teaching days this week. In-service on Monday (suck fest!) and a curriculum day tomorrow. That means I get pulled from my classroom to sit in an office with other teachers and work on stuff. BORING! I would much rather be teaching!

~ Ethan and I had a great Valentines Day...We did absolutely nothing! We were lazy all day long until we finally decided to do some sort of physical activity and go to the store to cook something for dinner.

~ I am tired of being cold. I am tired of wearing sweat pants, my hands being purple, and heating bills. I told E last night that I was tired of being cold and he suggested that I cuddle up to him more...awwww!

~ I love the show "Lie to Me." I am learning all kinds of tells on how people lie. It is fascinating!

~ Ethan and I spent all day Sunday at his parents house. I love spending time with them, they really are great people. (Plus I LOVE hearing stories about him when he was little!)

~ I had to replace my car battery yesterday. I went in to the store and when I came out my car was deader than a doornail. I had someone jump me and I went straight to the Coop. 77 dollars later I was good to go. Considering the cost of other car repairs that could have happened, I think I got out pretty easy. Oh...and an annoying side-note. My radio has shut off due to the power going out and I have to have a code to turn it back on...yeah, my car is used and I can't find the code. Nice.

~ I haven't been home since Christmas Break. I will be going in a couple weeks with Ethan, and I can't wait!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Weekly Chatter

~ There is a fly buzzing around my house. It has apparently been dormant over the winter just sneaking around and eating food while I am at school because this is the biggest fly I have ever seen. He is now dead.

~ I hit a milestone today. 50 lbs. lost!!! Makes me very happy, but also a little scary to think I had that much weight to lose and how much more I would like to.

~ "Facebook Official": When I first started telling people I was dating E, the usual response was "why haven't you changed your status on facebook?" It made me laugh at how we have come to define relationships based on a personal website and we weren't truly together if our pages didn't read "in a relationship." For all you facebook fanatics out there...we are now "in a relationship" and facebook official!

~ My brother, John, is in Vegas right now. Maybe he'll win some "big bucks" and give a little to me. Maybe...

~ February is going to fly by. By the end of the month I will have had 4 weeks of only 4 teaching days (after inservice, sick days, and a personal day at the end of the month). That means that spring is just around the corner!!!

~ Saturday was a BEAUTIFUL day. E and I took the dogs (his two lab pups) for a walk at Sedgwick County Park. KC, the older one, thought she was going for a run and about pulled E's arm out of his socket a few times. Breck, the little pup, had never been on a leash before and thought it was going to eat her. She would whine and whimper whenever I got in front of her. They eventually calmed down and walked like good pups...well, we did take them on a 4 mile walk, so by the end they were worn out.

~ I'm still praying for E to find a job soon. Fingers are crossed too!

~ Valentine's Day is coming up. I have always been a Val-day hater, but this year I find myself looking forward to the day...hmmm, could that be because I have someone special to spend it with.

~ Even though I'm looking forward to V-day this year, I still think it's ridiculous to spend a lot of money on a day that greeting card and chocolate companies dreamed up. We will spend the day cooking dinner and hanging out together...I can't wait!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Sunday Chatter (On Wednesday)

~ I got my hopes up too early...there was a cute little townhouse for rent in Goddard. Two bedroom, one bathroom, large kitchen (with dishwasher!!!), basement, fireplace, and no lawn to have to mow...sounds perfect! The add had been up for a month. I called the Realtor and arranged to see it Friday evening. It leased Thursday afternoon, and there is NOTHING else to rent in Goddard. Nothing! "Fastest growing city in KS" HA!

~ I am finding myself spending less and less time at my house and more time other places :)

~ With as little time I spend at my house, it sure is messy...

~ I met E's family this weekend when we had a Super Bowl Party. It was so much fun! They are a great family and I can see why E is such a great guy!

~ E and I have a "Tuesday Dinner-Date-Night" each week when we cook something new (including dessert) and watch Fringe on TV. So far we have made fancy mac and cheese (so good), chicken alfredo pasta w/ homemade alfredo (yummy!), and tomale pie. We are off to a GREAT start and are enjoying searching for new recipes.

~ It's still cold...

~ There are very few really fun games out there for just two people to play. So far E and I have made do with playing games that are REALLY fun with 4 people, but are still good with 2. Scrabble (he usually smart, and such a good speller), Scategories (I usually win...more creative), pool (it's a toss up...he is probably better, but I get really really lucky!), and Jenga (whoever plays first usually loses seems to be the pattern).

~ I might have to change my Sunday Chatter to Weekly Chatter. I tend to not get home Sunday nights until later due to my increase time spent at E's.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Trying to Cheer Up

As I'm sitting here tonight watching the news while I eat I continue to feel more and more depressed. Top three stories of the night
~ Economy Gets Worse, more layoffs, more business closings, little end in sight
~ Tainted Peanut Butter...all the way back to 2007. May be the worst epidemic in the U.S. ever
~ Ice Storm slams half of the country, thousands without power

I pride myself on being a very optimistic and happy person. But even I am struggling to find reasons to smile lately. I thought it might be a good idea for me to sit down and write about the reasons I am so Blessed in order to remind myself that we should always look for the reasons to thank God, rather than blame Him for the downhill turns life can throw.

My family is happy and healthy. We have no major illnesses or catastrophes. I am always thankful for the family I have and how we are able to smile and laugh to make any situation better. I talk to my parents often. I got to see my brother Joe this weekend when he came to Wichita. Jamie is just a phone call away and she will always listen to my recent weight loss or will tell me she's happy for me when I say gushy-girly things about how things are going with E. I don't get to talk with John as often as I would like, but I know he is happier than he has ever been.

E. I don't tell him enough how much I enjoy his company and our long conversations. I pray everyday that he finds a job soon (he was laid off almost two weeks ago). He is amazing by always smiling and joking with me and never losing that "goofy" grin :). He gives the absolute best hugs ever!

I have a job. The school systems are feeling the money crunch as well, but I am pretty secure in my position. I am very thankful. There are so many people looking for work or worried they might lose their jobs. I truly feel for them and pray the economy picks up sooner than all those "experts" keep predicting.

The sun shined today. I hate the cold, that is well known by those who know me well, but the sun came out today and shined through my windows at school. The sun makes me happier...I hope it continues to shine and help warm us all up.

There I feel a little better...and I am sure that there are hundreds of other reasons for me to be thankful, but these are the BIG ones. I am now going to turn on some cheery Disney movie rather than the news and fold some laundry. I hope you all have a very Blessed evening and pray for those not as lucky.

Monday, January 26, 2009

How to Survive the Cold

I absolutely HATE the cold weather. I feel that it is only appropriate on a couple of occasions; Christmas and snow days. Other than that, it can just remain sunny and 70 all year round. There is good reason for me hating the cold. I lived in college in a very old and drafty house. We literally used duct tape on the door to cover the cracks. Once I moved out of that cold drafty crap hole I moved into a smaller and colder crap hole in Cheney. It has no insulation, none. I can literally feel cold air when I open my cabinets. Therefore, I keep the house heated at 70, but still freeze (and pay for it). I will find a different place to live, but I am picky.

I have had to learn to become quite creative on keeping warm and thought I would make a of things that I have tried and have been somewhat successful and warming me up.

10. Clean the house from top to bottom, all that movement will warm you might even get sweaty.

9. Coffee, hot chocolate, or tea...anything warm to drink will help for a little while. Problem: Only lasts a short time AND usually makes you have to get out from under the warm blankets to pee.

8. Piles of blankets...the more you pile on the warmer you are...all but your nose.

7. Duct tape, plastic, and towels or blankets used to cover drafty areas

6. Space Heaters: Although I don't have one here in would be a good investment I think.

5. Friction: Climb into bed and move your legs and arms around as fast as possible. Warming up the bed with friction and a great way to burn a few extra calories before sleep :)

4. Cook with the oven: Warms up the kitchen...and you can let it cool off when you are finished by leaving it wide open!

3. Laptop Computers: They are warm when they heat up, set it on your lap for a cozy IM chat or searching google.

2. Electric Blankets: Best thing ever!

And the #1 way to beat the cold: Date someone who's house is warmer and cuddle under the blankets at his house!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday Chatter

~ I had been cheering for the Colts in the race for the Superbowl. Now, let me explain. My interest in football has only recently grown. Everyone in my family has a team they cheer on each week, except me. I don't mind watching, but never was a "die-hard" fan. So, now that I'm liking football even more, I decided I needed a team to cheer on. I chose the Colts. Why? Two words: Peyton Manning. I LOVE his commercials and he looks so good in those tight pants. The Colts didn't last long...I needed a new team. Now, I'm cheering for the Cardinals. Why? Two words: Kurt Warner!

~ The economy sucks. It has sucked for a while now, but now that those I care about are starting to be hurt by layoffs I am paying more attention and hating it even more. I pray for a fast recovery for both the ones I care for and the economy.

~ Joe has been wanting to come to Wichita and hang out with E and I for the longest time. Next weekend we have worked it out so that he will come spend Saturday with us. He is so excited, Joe and E get along so well and I am looking forward to next weekend!

~ ESU Lady Hornets defeated Washburn! What the hell is an Ichabod anyway???

~ My new favorite TV show is finally returning to new episodes this week. The Fringe just happens to be one that E likes too. Tuesday nights will be spent cooking dinner and watching the show out at his place on the big screen!

~ We are having a biggest loser competition at school from now till May. I have decided to play. I don't really expect to win because I've already lost so much that I doubt I'll be able to lose enough to win. But this is a GREAT way for me to stay on track and reach my goal of losing 15 more by May.

~ My 7th grade basketball girls finished their season yesterday with a win in the Championship game! That made their record a perfect 16-0!!!!! I am so proud of their season and can't wait to see what they can do next year as 8th graders.

~ We have in-service tomorrow. Yea...

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Sunday Chatter

~ I love facebook. I can catch up with so many of my friends who I have lost touch with. And since I am one of those people who is terrible about writing or calling my friends...facebook solves that problem!

~ I have started watching seasons of "The Office" on my computer (thanks to Netflix). That show is hilarious! I recommend it to anyone who wants to just sit back and laugh.

~ I have a tiny TV...but there are other things on my "material" list that I would like to have before spending the money on a new TV. A new digital camera, new glasses (although, those should be on the "need" list), golf shoes, and much more.

~ How long can Christmas decorations stay up...

~ I love Sundays....go to church, relax on the couch, fall asleep to a movie or football, cook dinner. Just gotta love those relaxing days!

~ Why is it, when you need two stalks of celery for a recipe you have to buy a whole bag of it? If I was in business I would have a store called "Shopping for One" here people would be able to buy single stalks of celery and other items needed for cooking for one person. Sorta the opposite of Sam's Club.

~ It's probably a good thing that Christmas break happens during the winter. I would have a much harder time going back to school tomorrow if it was 75 degrees and sunny outside. But since it's freezing cold and the last place I want to be is outside, going back to work doesn't seem like that bad of an idea.

~ E and I went on probably had the cheapest date possible Friday night. I had a gift card to Texas Roadhouse and he had a coupon for a free appetizer. So after waiting about an hour and a half to be seated (we did go walk around walmart to kill some time) we had potato skins, salad, bread, steak and chicken for $5.00!!! Plus I bought a movie for $5.00 at Wally...How often does that happen, steak dinner and movie for 10 bucks!

~ My most favorite comerical right now is the one with Peyton Manning in different cities of opposing teams and he takes everything said by the people as something nice. "Take a hike" "You know I think I will do that...the weather here is sweet!" HAHA! I was sad to see the Colts lost last night...although it was a good game.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Reflection and Renewal

Each new year usually brings about two things. Remembering the past year's good (or not so good) experiences, and looking forward to the new year and setting personal goals. I take a little time out to reflect on the last year and how incredibly blessed I have been and to look at what I would like to accomplish in the next year of my life.

2008 was the year...

~ My nephew Bryson grew incredibly fast and learned all kinds of new skills. It amazes me how fast he went from crawling and scooting to running as fast as his little legs will carry him.

~ My parents surprise me once again of their patience, understanding, and love for their children all because they want us to be happy and healthy.

~ I started my new I love it and can't wait for the weather to get warmer so I can play again.

~ I lost 40 lbs. when I once thought that just loosing 20 would be all but impossible.

~ I realized that my sister and I have more in common than we used to. She has truly become one of my best friends in little less than a year!

~ I introduced E to the family. He fits in very well and my family continues to ask when I am bringing him around again.

2009 will bring...

~ Hopefully an improvement to the economy. I feel pretty secure with my job (we kinda need teachers) but those close to me could be affected. I pray that things improve soon!

~ Speaking of the economy. One of my goals of the new year is to start saving more...just a little each paycheck. I used to be really good about it, and I still am better than some, but could be doing more.

~ A new house for me to rent with a little garage, fence for a puppy, and not a ridiculously high rent.

~ A continued loss in weight. I have already exceeded expectations, it is now time to set those goals higher...I have more confidence in my ability to be healthier than I have in...well most of my life.

~ A lower golf score. :)

~ A cleaner house...

I probably should mention that I like to say "goals" rather than New Year Resolutions. I know that essentially it means the same thing, but I tend to achieve goals and forget resolutions. So there's a big difference in the wording!