Friday, December 31, 2010

A Preview of 2011?

Currently, I am sitting in the living room contemplating the idea of putting together another bookcase.

Favorite, however, is trimming out the back bathroom.  Singing.  Miranda Lambert.

You've not lived until you hear a grown, hairy man sing "I'm just like you, only prettier."

I am not lying.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Debts to Pay

I owe you:

Pictures of my kitchen cabinets (I know.  But right now I'm going back and forth between two houses and I keep forgetting to grab my camera cord so I can show you pictures.  And baby, it's cold outside so I'm not getting it now).

A solid look into the Coach gorgeousness that my parents gave me for Christmas.  If you're lucky, I might actually get a picture with the soon-to-be sister-in-law so you can be doubly wowed by the beauty that is our handbags.

The opportunity to see my cute, cute, cute yellow teapot in my awesome kitchen.  While I'm at it, I'll attempt to get a picture of the furniture (!) they are delivering tomorrow.  We can't have all of it at once, but we're getting the couch and the "Big Man" chair and I am pumped.  Sitting in bag chairs is getting really old.

A joyous view at the television we'll be bringing home (once we pick it out).  Favorite's parents were VERY generous this year and have basically bought us a television.  Now all we need is to figure out the fireplace situation so I can get the living room arranged (and yes, it is driving me crazy, thank you).

A list of the books I'm going to pick up (as of now) this year.  I ended this year by rereading The Chronicles of Narnia and I was struck by the magic of allegory all over again.  Sometimes I'm amazed how fiction will often shove me to my knees in prayer much faster than nonfiction.  I am really excited because I received several gift cards to Barnes and Noble and I'll be looking for a devotional for Favorite and I.  We've decided we can spend 15 minutes together in the morning doing our devotional since that's about all the time we have (unless it's Friday or Saturday).  I'm really looking forward to it.

A brief glace into the shopping expedition I'll be taking on Wednesday.  Sephora (I just heard angels singing) is calling my name.

A couple of house update pictures.  We are hoping to hit some sales this week and purchase some things for the house--bookshelves, barstools, the perfect fireplace (yeah, I'm not holding my breath for that one).

So hold on to your horses and pray that my memory improves regarding that camera cable. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Although It's Been Said, Merry Christmas to You

It's been an interesting year.

Favorite and I took on a few projects:

We lost some things that were very dear to us:


We watched some people we love make a committment to a future of togetherness (sorry her eyes are shut--it's the only picture I have of that night):


And, of course, Favorite tried on a hundred hats in between every significant event:

We've watched people change jobs, move on to new stages of life and thrive in the circumstances.

We've laughed this year.  We've cried more.  We've learned what love really is.

And through all of it, we're so very thankful for the child in the manger who is the Savior of the World.

He is born, Christ the Lord.

Come, let us adore Him.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

For the Love

A former student (not mine, just one who attended hometown high) recently posted that she wants to get married and followed it up with a few explanations as to why marriage sounds appealing.

Her thoughts were pure and sweet and everything that they should be regarding marriage this stage in her life.  In fact, I was almost jealous that she gets to see it from this viewpoint.  Then I realized how much sweeter it is from my side of the fence.

I've been blessed with a man who is a provider.  He sacrifices, comforts, teases and works.  He tells hilarious stories from work, gets angry when schedules clash and misses me when we don't see each other.

He holds my hand and gets in my personal space.  He snores at night but often throws all of the covers on me because he's too hot.  He lets me read when he's trying to go to sleep and turns his light off when I'm ready to go to sleep.

His companionship is more than I imagined a relationship would be in a marriage.  His support has been invaluable--one of the things that has kept me together when I had every reason to fall apart.

But he lets me...fall apart, that is.  It doesn't scare him to let me cry.  And sometimes, we cry together.

Marriage has been a process for us.  We've discovered, learned and grown.  But it's been a blessed process because he's really the ooshy, gooshy wonderful I've painted him to be.

It's likely that not everyone believes our relationship is ideal.  It's certainly had its ups and downs; however, there are so many things you don't see--the ripples of experience and emotion that have gradually changed the waters of who we are individually and as a couple.

"Many waters cannot quench love;
rivers cannot sweep it away."
Song of Solomon 8:7

Monday, December 20, 2010

Just Keep Thinking

Two blessed weeks.  Two.  To read.  To rest.  To think of lesson plans for the next semester.

There won't be any turning my mind off in the next two weeks.  Every book I read, every movie I watch, every conversation I have and every life circumstance I face is going to help feed the ideas for the lessons I need to teach. 

I'd like to say those lessons will be compelling.  I'd like to say they'll change students' lives and they'll see the world in an entirely new light.

But I'm not unrealistic.

I know things don't change over night.  And I know it will be difficult to find a way to make Shakespeare's background a little more interactive.  But I'm still hopeful.

And I'm also open to input.  I would like to utilize the idea of a forum, and even though I've asked the same question a hundred times on Twitter, no one will answer my questions.  So much for changing my teaching life.  Yet that doesn't change the fact that I'm really interested in giving my students the opportunity to do some authentic writing.  Sometimes I get tired of reading the academic mumbo-jumbo students call papers.  I just want something real--an opinion, a thought, a few ideas.  Not every English paper requires research.  In fact, most of them require a real ability to unpack information.

And I need to find a new way to help them unpack those thoughts and opinions...while I keep thinking.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Flog Me with the Blog Stick

I realize it's been a while since I've posted.  And, unfortunately, tonight's posting isn't going to be that great either.  I just thought I'd check in before all of my followers believed I met my demise.

So I'm here--cleaning, polyurethaning, grading and recovering from a nasty sinus infection.  Tonight, I'm heading to bed early to try to recover. 

I'm really hoping we won't be in school tomorrow.  Of course, I have a small, $5 bet riding with another teacher on our attendance (he maintains we'll be there).  It would be nice to win...haha.

But stay tuned.  I have lots of plans for sharing when I've hit the Christmas holiday.  I'm hoping to recuperate a little then.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Lovin' the Viking Life

If I believed in past lives, I would tell you that I must've been a viking in one of mine, because I'm really warming to this living in my unfinished house thing.  It's like an adventure where you get to see the puzzle go together one piece at a time.

Would it be nice to have doors on the bathroom when I pee?  Of course.  But you can't have everything all at once.

Currently, I'm listening to Favorite and his dad scream "ARG" at each other.  Ha.  Only joking.  They're actually attempting to get the plumbing on my kitchen sink up and running.  Today, Favorite and my Uncle almost finished the flooring in the laundry room and installed the door to the garage (which equals awesome).  Tomorrow, my dad will be here to join the festivities which may include getting doors put in place.  Hoorah!

I promise I'm going to update you with pictures of my beautiful kitchen cabinets soon.  Stay tuned for that to happen :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Letter Series: My Apologies to the Pastors and Wives

Dear Pastors and Wives of the local Baptist Association,

Hot water is a luxury.  Cold water is available to the masses.  Last night, I was the masses.  That might explain why I showed up to your annual Pastors and Wives Christmas dinner dressed like the defunct hippy.

In my defense, I didn't KNOW it was your annual Christmas dinner.  I just knew that my MIL invited Favorite and I to eat a meal she had cooked for a group of people so we wouldn't have to find food.  It's not like we're scavengers.  We've just had an interesting set of life experiences in the last couple of days.

Despite those interesting circumstances, you should know that I now have hot water and no longer have to contemplate the various sinks in which I can pee because we got a toilet installed, too.  Of course, none of those things explain why I showed up to your Christmas dinner.  But if you really want that story, I'll start from the beginning.

I didn't really want to live like a viking.  That was Favorite's idea.  Unfortunately, viking-hood was thrust upon me.  By whom?  Well, by the trailer, actually.

See, a hot water pipe busted sometime last week.  We're not really sure when it happened, but I noticed it on Saturday.  I was in the shower washing my hair and, all of a sudden, icicles came out of the shower head and pelted me.  I was being attacked by a force I couldn't fight.  The only thing I could do was scream.

Favorite, being the protector that he is, jumped up and ran into the bathroom and said, "What?!  What's wrong?!  Are you OK?"

"Whoo.  I'm fine...but the water is COLD!  I don't think our hot water is working."

Favorite responded, "Well, we've got a leak.  I noticed it yesterday.  I'll see what I can do later."

Unfortunately, later never really came.

In our defense, it's difficult to work on two separate projects at once, and since we have no intention of staying in the trailer, we decided to throw our efforts to the house.

So last night, we decided it would be in our best interest to move our bed and sleep up there so we have access to hot water.  On the flip side, however, my husband informed me that our lack of trim, closet organizers, grout, sink faucets, flooring (in the laundry room) a banister and other odds and ends meant we weren't going to be living comfortably in the house.  Nope, we have to live like vikings...vikings who carry their belongings out and don't leave anything in the normal places...like drawers.

But vikings can't be bothered with things like food preparation--even though they get hungry.

So I just want you to know that I put on the only pants available to me at the time.  I'm sorry they were fleece camo.  I realize that's not exactly festive enough for the prestigious occasion you were hosting last night.  I'm also sorry that the only shirt I had to wear was the blaze orange one they gave me for Project Graduation last year.  Vikings work with what they've got, you understand.

I did want to let you know that the food was excellent, and I really appreciate the obviously sorrowful looks you gave me and Favorite as we walked in the door.  The good news is I'm going to be ok.

Vikings can take care of themselves.

Sincerely,
Crys, the newly crowned viking princess of Happy House's Holiday Ho-Ho Farm.

PS.  I'll have you know that while you were all pitying my condition, our "friends," Pastor Mark and his wife Mandy, were laughing hysterically at our misfourtune.  What would Jesus do, indeed!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Tonight Will Be the Last Night

At least, I pray it's the last night I have to go without hot water.  I may have to trek up to the house in order to get it, but I'm willing to make that journey. 

It's been a long weekend.  The water coming into the trailer is COLD because it's freezing outside.  Needless to say, Favorite managed to get the hot water in the new house up and running.  Here's to washing your entire body with something other than an antibacterial cleansing cloth!

And unfortunately, that will be the extent of my blogging this evening.  I have to patron a laundry mat and find a shower curtain so we can make the water happen.  Wish me luck (and stay tuned for pictures from the new and awesome kitchen cabinets).

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Steam and Coffee: Or, what I did this evening

The Shark Steam Mop/Vacuum is AWESOME!  Seriously.  At first I thought it was leaving dusty streaks, but it turns out when you have a really dirty floor, you have to switch out pads.  And since I've had a hundred dirty boys running through my house day in and day out to lay flooring, my floor was DIRRRRRRRRTY.  Seriously.  Christina Aguilera doesn't even know.

On another note, the holiday Folgers commercials make me cry.

Don't judge me.

In the [Almost] End

The grading is almost done.  Christmas shopping is half done (anyone know where you can find a monkey pillow pet/blanket?).  The semester is almost over.  Sheesh.  I should be really happy today, but I keep thinking about everything that has to happen over the next few weeks.  And then I keep thinking about the stuff for which we don't have time.

For example, our trailer now has a water leak.  The leak is somewhere after the water goes through the hot water heater because we are losing HOT water.  When you add this to the accidental hole in the ceiling and the crematorium, you see why we are so ready to move.

But the house doesn't have all the floors yet.  The cabinet guy is coming tomorrow, but we're also going to need toilets before we can move.  Yep...those are a bit of a necessity if you aren't an outdoors sort of girl (and I'm not).

My speech team kids are going to be upset with me, but I decided we wouldn't go to the tournament scheduled for Dec. 11.  I have some personal reasons for not going, but I'm not going to be able to explain those reasons to the kids and I genuinely feel badly for not taking them.  But I'm also afraid of putting too much on myself that day so maybe it's a good idea to stay home?  I don't know.  Those questions are so hard to answer any more.

But I have more day to go.  Maybe I'll be able to do a happier post this evening.  Maybe I won't get to post this evening since I'm steam-cleaning. 

Or maybe I'll enjoy steam-cleaning so much some sort of steam induced euphoria will take over my current demeanor.

PS.  I'd like to take some time off and just attend the Passion 2011 Event.  Wouldn't it be nice to let go for four days and spend all of your time learning about the Savior?  That sounds so relaxing to me at the moment.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Today Was NOT a Fairytale

How do you deal with a child who has severe authority issues in a classroom of regularly defiant students? 

It's taken me all semester to get them to the point where they would do what I asked because I asked them.  Now I've been dealt a hand I don't know how to play. 

Such is the nature of education.  Joy to the world.

I just feel like I'm running out of steam.  I, again, tried to stimulate conversation in English I only to be met with blank stares and "Yeah, I agree with him."  I said, "This is discussion.  You can agree with him and provide your own examples."  Then the crickets started chirping and I had to beat myself away from standing up and screaming, "I KNOW YOU TALK...YOU NEVER SHUT UP IN THE HALLWAY!"  *sigh*  Just proof that you can lead a horse to water but, according to my Uncle Jason, sometimes the thing will stand there and die of thirst just to spite you.

Thankfully, however, English III has turned in some papers that are really worthwhile.  Their opening paper discussed definitions for education...and I was truly impressed with how well thought out their responses were.  Turns out, they do sometimes listen when we talk.  And it's such a blessing to learn that particular fact.

I've also really been enjoying English II.  I think it's hard not to like a class of kids who just have great personalities.  We've had our fair share of struggles, but they've been a ray of sunshine for me this year.

On a lighter note, the cabinet guy is coming to install on FRIDAY!  :)  I'm so excited.  Favorite will have almost all the flooring down so I will very quickly update you with a few pictures--more than likely on Saturday.  I'm also going to get to try my Shark Steam cleaner for the first time this week and I'll be sure to let you know how to get ahold of one of those (for a decent price) if it works out as well as I've been told.

Here's hoping tomorrow will be a better day in the classroom.  If not, I may drink the hand sanitizer.