Saturday, April 30, 2011

To Catch Up

I apologize for my absence.  It has been a busy week at school with the PSAE and trying to get lesson plans together for the remaining month.  (ACK.  ONLY A MONTH LEFT.  DIDN'T WE JUST START SCHOOL?!)

I'm not completely successful.  I have ideas about what I'd like to do for English II, but I truly wonder if they are going to be able to appreciate Antigone in our remaining time.  Realistically, I won't be able to give them any great or meaningful assignments, but that's something I'll probably rectify for next year.  One issue with teaching a class for the first time is that whole trial-and-error thing that drives me crazy.  I'm that person that likes to do everything perfectly the first time, and that, unfortunately, is never my reality.

I've also been a little bit concerned that I'm alienating people because I struggle to deal with some of my emotions.  I have several good friends at work, but I fear I push away from them when I don't know what to do with those insecurities.  To be honest, I don't always do a very good job avoiding those feelings--even when I'm trying.  So I guess the easiest way to keep from talking about it, and talking about it, and talking about it is to avoid everyone entirely.  Which really isn't effective either.

Shocking that I have few friends, right?

Yesterday, I got a new phone and SugarBean turned 5--not necessarily listed in order of excitement.  Because no matter how pumped I was to get an HTC Thunderbolt, SugarBean easily out-excited me by simply receiving several stuffed animals in coffee mugs.  (Note:  It's totally what she asked for.  Something about a tea party.  We got her a Zsu-Zsu puppy and a hotdog cart for the puppy to push.  And something called Squinkies?).

But I am super-pumped about my phone.  Favorite and I haven't updated for about five years so it was nice to let go of the dinosaur I had--not that my life was worse for having the dinosaur.

The weight loss journey continues.  I get to start adding carbs back into my diet tomorrow, and I'd like to go crazy.  Unfortunately, the diet suggests starting slowly.  More than likely, that means I'll add fruit to my breakfast.  Maybe I can talk Favorite into going to Cracker Barrell in the morning since we aren't going to church.

I have found that all that protein means that I don't eat very often, so any weight loss is likely coming from less eating on my part.  I still haven't cheated--a feat I find miraculous.  I really do want this to work on my body, but the longer I diet, the more I believe there is something more wrong with my body than I ever anticipated.  Quite frankly, it wants to be fat.  And I'm saying that as someone who has had tremendous willpower for at least the last two weeks (and for several diets in the past).  I'm realistic.  I don't want it all to come off over night, but a consistent loss for my efforts would be fantastic.

And now I'd better wrap it up before I start sharing all my woes and thoughts ;)  After all, I have a house to finish cleaning, lesson planning to finish and Bible study to complete. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge 4/27


1.  What is something that bothers you if it is not done perfectly?

Not to sound OCD or anything, but it bothers me when a lot of things aren't done perfectly.  That statement is actually pretty funny, because I rarely do things perfectly, but I demand perfection in so many areas of life.  It's likely the source of a lot of stress.


But it really irks me when people go about planning their classes with little to no real thought/work.  I spend so much time thinking through lessons and trying to anticipate conversations, etc., that it blows my mind to think other people come into their rooms with reckless abandon.

2. What is one of your best childhood memories?

Saturday morning breakfast.  My grandma and grandpa would cook biscuits, gravy, eggs, bacon, sometimes sausage, and grape juice and my ENTIRE family (seriously, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.) would come and eat.  I loved it.  I miss it now that my grandparents are gone.

3. Do you plan to watch the Royal Wedding and when was the last time you wore a hat? 

To be honest, I really don't care about the royal wedding because it is the royal wedding.  But I do have a thing for fashion and weddings.  I mostly follow the hoopla just to see what people are wearing (particularly the tiaras.  I love a good tiara).


Sheena and I just talked about the hat thing not too long ago.  I can remember when I wouldn't buy an Easter dress if it didn't have an accompanying hat.  And I don't think my pink Illini cap counts (I wore it last week).

4. Where do you fall in the birth order in your family? Do you think this has influenced your personality? 

I am the middle child and the only girl.  I think being the only girl has significantly decreased middle child syndrome.

5. Where do you think you spend most of your money?

Walmart.  It saddens me, really.

6. When you need to confront someone would you rather communicate in person, on the phone, by email or by letter? Why? 

It depends on the type of confrontation.  If I'm exploding mad, I will totally just let it fly.  For the most part, though, I prefer to have time to craft my thoughts and opinions.  Email gives me that opportunity AND I can also give someone else the chance to back up my statements by bcc them.

7. Dodge ball, freeze tag, kickball or jump rope? You have to pick one.


Freeze tag.  Totally.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

Dear PSAE, I love that you judge my working-my-butt-off-efforts on a few kids who are tired of testing, don't take the test seriously and don't understand half the questions.  Thank you for considering us when you made the rules.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Residential Ants

Ants.  I hate them.  I especially hate them crawling all over my mail.  So today I vowed to fix the problem.

I stopped by the trailer on my way home to grab the bug killer and turned around to face my mailbox's tenants.  When I got down there, I tried to pull the lever and then spray, but something was wrong with the spout.  And I?  Needed to get rid of those ants.  I mean, yesterday I ended up with ants in my car because they swarmed all over my Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

I'm pretty sure the people at Better Homes and Gardens wouldn't approve.

So being the resourceful woman that I am, I unscrewed the lid and starting splashing bug killer all over my mailbox.  And by all over?  I mean ALL.  OVER.

Did I mention I was still in my dress clothes?

And that traffic picked up right when I got industrious?

Because there's nothing like a slightly dressed up woman splashing bug killer all over her mailbox.  Oh, there's also nothing like using the entire bottle on my mailbox, the pole and surrounding land. 

I'd say we can be fairly confident I will be without ants in my mailbox for the remainder of the summer. 

And THAT, ladies and gentlemen is how you get a BETTER home (and maybe a garden...but not by your mailbox).

Monday, April 25, 2011

South Beach Day 8 (Or a Day in the Life of Dieting with PCOS)

The first two weeks of the South Beach diet don't allow any sort of carb.  In fact, dieters are limited to most meats, low fat cheeses, most veggies and that's about it.

I have been extremely strict, because I figure that if I'm going to do something, I'm going to do it well.  In fact, if you recall my temptation with Easter candy, I think you can attest to my willpower. 

Those things would lead one to believe that weight loss was inevitable.  In those first two weeks, women lose a crazy amount of weight.  And as of Sunday morning, I wasn't doing too badly.  I had lost 6 lbs--not as fast as my body used to lose weight, but a respectable amount.

Then, this morning, I GAINED TWO POUNDS.  I'm not sure why I gained two pounds as my day yesterday was filled with meat, eggs and green beans--all acceptable eating for the first two weeks on the diet.

But honestly, such is life with PCOS.  And this is what I've complained about before.  Willpower seems to have little to do with the situation.  I'm convinced that whether or not I want to be fat, my body is desperate to remain that way. 

It's SO frustrating.  Diets wouldn't be that big of a deal if there were effects as the result of actions taken.  That used to happen for me.  It hasn't for the last 8 or 9 years.

Is it any wonder that I end up quitting and eating what I want anyway?  My weight stays about the same when I do that--which is all of a 5-6 lb difference from when I'm dieting.

What's the point?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Prayer Monday 4/24


A hundred different blogs all recognized the fact that today (I'm writing on Sunday evening) is Easter Sunday.  I've spent parts of today trying to craft my thoughts about Easter.  The Resurrection.  Christ's rise from the grave.  But nothing I have seems adequate.

The message for Easter is hope.  Because Christ rose from the grave, we have hope in the life-saving message of the Gospel.  Because He didn't stay in the tomb, we can trust that the Message is, indeed, real.

And as I thought about those concepts, my mind wandered.  There are so many things in which I no longer have faith.  Situations where I feel like hope is fruitless.  Circumstances where it seems ridiculous to wish...much less hope.

But Christ is alive.  He didn't stay in the grave. 

For some reason, that makes all of those situations pale in comparison.  Even though I get tired and lose my sensibility or coping mechanisms, Christ does not give up on me or the possibilities for my life.  It's the whole reason He died.  Much more so, it's the reason He didn't stay in the tomb.

So my heart will praise Him.  Even when I can't or don't understand.  Even when I hurt.

He, after all, hurt quite a bit so my life would know Hope.

Prayer Requests
*  My Favorite's heart
*  My mother-in-law will be having surgery soon.
*  God's work in my body is becoming apparent.  I ask that you would continue these prayers so that it can work on its own.
*  My dedication to a new diet to help my body function as best as it can with this stupid syndrome.
*  My father's continuing recovery.

Savior,

Today I'm simply thankful that you were willing.  I think of you in the garden and imagine how difficult it must've been as you prayed for that cup to pass.  I know the anticipation must have been agony.  But I'm so thankful that you went anyway.  I'm so grateful that you endured death.  And I'm even more grateful to know that I serve a Living Savior!  Meet us along the road to Emmaus.  Speak to our hearts this week.  Let your words burn within us as they did for those men when you walked that stretch of road with them.

Thank you for your cross.             Amen.

Link Up.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

No Whammy

Today, I stood at my counter and evenly distributed candy for SugarBean and Tobe's (my little girl at church)easter baskets.

When I poured in the Hershey kisses, one was completely unwrapped. 

I stared for a minute; then picked it up and THREW IT AWAY.

South Beach, I hate you.

Organizing a New House

I think organization has to be simple or it doesn't work for everyone in the house.  And I think the first place to start is to have a place for everything.

Since my husband and I just built this house, I feel like I'm still trying to find places for all of the random stuff we use, but need to store.  That annoys the garbage out of me.  But here are a few things that have really helped me keep things in relative order until we are fully "moved in."

Baskets:  A good basket can hide a multitude of junk.  Favorite and I have baskets in our credenza.  Those baskets are designated for DVDs, XBox games, controllers, Favorite's Rosetta Stone and any cords that go to computers, etc.  In the sides of the credenza, we have several picture storage boxes.  In those boxes (which are hidden from view by the doors), we have our DVDs organized in alphabetical order.  Anytime we get a new one, I simply put it in one of the baskets and when I have time, I re-alphabetize them.  It may sound time consuming, but I only do that about once a month and it certainly keeps everything in it's place.

In my hall closet, I have a couple of canvas "baskets" to hold old washrags for cleaning, light bulbs, etc.  Mostly, I just like that baskets keep a variety of items in ONE PLACE for easy access.  Below my kitchen sink, I have several cleaning supplies organized for easy access.  And I plan to get metal mesh stacking baskets to put below my bathroom vanities.

Bookshelves:  Books will create more clutter in a home of readers than just about anything else.  It's money well spent to invest in a couple of really nice bookshelves.  That way, when a book is finished, you know EXACTLY where it belongs.

Accordion Files:  I have an accordion file sitting on the chest of drawers in my laundry room.  As soon as I come in every day, I sort the mail and file the things I need to keep for the tax man next year--insurance statements, Mary Kay information, receipts, etc.

Bills:  I don't have a desk system set up at my house yet :(, but that is my next real goal.  I plan to get a small desk to put between my bookcases in the front room.  I think a good organizer is key, but I think you have to create a system that works for that organizer.

Something like the above picture is actually really nice for keeping everything visible, functional and neat.  Frankly, that's one of my major rules for my desk:  keep it visible but neat.  I've found it keeps me from purchasing doubles, etc.  (In fact, I don't use my middle desk drawer at school.  I have various tin buckets on shelves behind my desk that store pens, pencils, paperclips, etc.)

Favorite's junk:  When Favorite comes in from work, he has a wide variety of things that he simply threw on a junk table in our trailer.  I solved that problem in the new house by moving our chest of drawers to the laundry room.  The top drawer has a really nice organizer in it (I got it from target.  Picture below) and he can throw spare change, his wallet, his watch, his name badge, etc in there and know exactly where everything is the next time he sees it.  PLUS, I can shut the drawer and not worry about the madness inside!  The other drawers in that chest are going to be used for extra sheets, towels or things that Favorite needs (bullets, etc).

*  Closets:  I hang everything I can (we have a pretty big closet), and I make sure it's all facing the same way.  Then (and you might find this a little crazy), I order my clothes like the colors of the rainbow.  It makes it easier to find red when you feel like wearing red.  Currently, my clothes are separated like this:  cardigans together, pants together, dresses/nice shirts, tshirts.  We have drawers in our closets that hold socks, under armor, etc.  Oh, and we were bright enough to invest in a closet organizer system that is adjustable.  So if our needs change, our closet can, too.



Clearly, this is not my closet.  But it's the system we have (Rubbermaid Homefree) and it was money well spent.

*  Make-Up:  All of my make-up, skin care, brushes, etc. goes into one of these:

That organizer goes into a drawer in my bathroom vaniety.  Every morning, I can pull everything out together and put it all away together.  It stays out of sight, and, bonus, when I travel, all I have to do is grab the tote.  It has everything I need.

(NOTE:  I do have extra make up that I don't use on a regular basis.  I organize that stuff below my sink and get it out on an as needed basis.  But let's face it, most of us have a regular routine that doesn't include 47 products every morning.  Organize those things together so you can cut your morning routine down and get out the door faster...or sleep longer).

Next steps?  I need organize my laundry room.  It's been kinda neglected because we're still finishing some projects so it's the first room that gets muddy or nasty.  I haven't put up shelves to put my cleaning supplies on yet, but I intend to do so and I just bought a sign that says "Laundry" to make the room look really cute :)  Oh, and I did invest in a boot rack and a boot tray.  they are awesome because Favorite keeps all of his shoes (all 3 pair) in the laundry room and I keep a few pairs of flip-flops at the ready.  The rack keeps them out of the floor and the tray keeps water and mud in one place.

Oh, and if you are just putting a laundry room together, I highly recommend a utility sink.  It honestly helps keeps our house clean because we can wash shoes, the dog, etc. out there, dry it off and then come into the house.

Any questions about how I create systems that work for me?  Just ask :)  Oh, and leave suggestions.  I love finding new systems to encourage organization.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Um...Right.

Pictures should be a bigger part of this blog.  I realize no one wants to read pages and pages of writing.  Even I like to look at a good picture every now and again.

But the truth is I'm not a photographer.  And most of my pictures look like a 7 year old with a disposable camera took them.  Well, that, and I'm just a pretty wordy individual...at least, when I'm writing I'm fairly wordy.

I apologize for that.  I hope that my description is enough that you can create your own picture.  It's my goal to be that kind of writer. 

And today I found an amazing wallet.

So yeah, writing and wallet-finding.  Things I really enjoy.

And this post had next to no worthwhile content.

You're welcome.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Benefit of Isolation

One of the themes in Of Mice and Men is isolation.  Several times in class we've discussed how one can feel isolated and alone even in the presence of a hundred different people.  It's created some interesting conversation, because the students realize that isolation CAN happen in a crowd, but that goes against everything they know about the technical definition of the word.

It's had me thinking because isolation is my protective language.  When I feel like things are falling apart or I can't get myself together, I tend to spend long hours by myself.  Since Favorite works an opposite shift, it's not difficult to find those hours.

What do I do in isolation?  Well, if I were being less than honest, I'd tell you I take baths and read--which isn't entirely untrue.  I do both of those things.  Sometimes more than once a night even though I could be more productive.  (Honestly, though, I'm a little afraid to hang things by myself in the new house as Favorite is pretty particular about holes in the new walls.)  If I were being completely honest, I would tell you that I cry.

It's a funny thing that isolation affords me.  It affords me the comfortability to feel what I actually try to avoid on most days.  I don't have to be afraid that someone is going to brush me off, move me on, or regard my feelings as "less than" because they are "going through worse circumstances" or because I need to just get over it already especially considering that they have been dealing with their circumstances for much longer than I have. 

And so, by myself, I can feel those things.  Deeply.  Sometimes those feelings scare me.  But for those moments alone, I'm allowed to actually feel them (split infinitives aside). 

In a lot of ways, isolation is a relief.  Particularly from the days when it smothers me and I don't have that time to myself.  Of course, that may change interpretations of Of Mice and Men.

I'm just wondering though.  Maybe there are moments when isolation isn't a bad thing.  Maybe it's meant to be a relief (although, there are certainly people who are a relief to me.  My Favorite.  My brother.  My STBSIL.  My Parents).  And some days, I'm just not sad to be alone.  I need alone...to be sad.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Homework and the annihilation of study guides

Homework.  When I was student teaching, I actually gave very little homework.  Most of it consisted of a reading assignment or, for the honors students, research.  Obviously, students have to work on papers at home because no amount of time in the classroom seems sufficient (and we can't spend 5 days every time we write a paper).

But as I started teaching, I veered away from that mindset.  I don't think I did it purposefully.  I think I was simply overwhelmed with the task of determining what each day would hold for each class.  With student teaching, I had the ideas of my cooperating teacher to underwrite my own.  Needless to say (but I'll say it anyway), it was a big change when I took my own classroom.

Recently, I've revisited the idea of homework, and I can almost guarantee that I will be offering next to none next year.  I don't like the results of most of the homework assignments I've given, and, embarrassing as it is to admit, I wonder at the worth of some of those assignments.

But no homework?  Will require a lot more planning--and way more class activities.  On the front end, that's a LOT more work for me.

One "homework" type assignment I've never been pleased with has been the concept of a study guide.  I realize early high school students often need guidance when it comes to studying for tests.  In the past, I've always provided a paper study guide and then played Jeopardy! with the students to prepare.

I hate it.  Here's why:
  1.  I felt like I was giving them too much guidance.
  2.  I didn't really feel like they were adequately displaying their knowledge.
  3.  They weren't always completing the guide and were unprepared for the exam.

So today I tried something different based on the curriculum meetings we've been having at school.

I had the students create Alphabet Books (for To Kill A Mockingbird).  Here's what I did:

I labeled several smaller pieces of posterboard with post-its that went through the alphabet.  I put more than one letter on each card and gave them options:

  1.  You can choose one letter or split your card and use every letter on your posterboard.
       Ex:  Just use the letter "Y" or split your board into 4 and use W, X, Y and Z.
  2.  For each letter, you must write a word that begins with that letter AND relates to the novel.
  3.  You must draw a picture that relates to that word.
  4.  You must write one sentence that explains how that word relates to the novel.
  5.  This is a whole class activity so there can be NO overlap.  Check with your classmates to make sure your word/person is only being used once.

I gave the class free reign to split the assignment as they saw fit.  I also only gave them 45 minutes and told them we would need the last ten minutes to review.

When the last 10 minutes came, I held up each board and we went through the entire alphabet as it relates to To Kill A Mockingbird; however, I did not simply take their word for the letters.  I also asked questions:  "What else can the letter "A" stand for besides Atticus?"

It was a hit.  The students loved it.  I felt like we reviewed the novel in its entirety and I really feel like they are well prepared for the test tomorrow.

The best parts?  EVERY.  SINGLE.  STUDENT.  WAS.  INVOLVED.  They were all yelling things about the novel back and forth to one another and helping with letters.  It was beautiful, controlled chaos. 

Another best part?  The grading consists of a simple participation grade.  For such a worthwhile activity, I'm pretty pleased.

Now all I have to do is revamp all of my curriculum so we're DOING something with what we're learning as opposed to simply filling out a worksheet.

Phrases from High School

"You'll have that."

A current phrase from my Juniors.  And I'm sorry, but I just think it's inane.  Does anyone else feel like you could add "yup" to the end of every sentence and get the same result?

Yeah.  Me, too.

Wednesday Hodgepodge 4/20--With Bunny Ears

1. What are your plans for Easter Day/weekend?

Actually, I have no idea.  I know that I'll probably sleep in on Friday and there is lesson planning to be done on Friday or Monday for the coming week.  Oh, and there's laundry to do, and I really need to mop the floors.  Since I'm on this South Beach Diet thingy, I'll probably have to cook some for the coming week.


Oh.  I guess it appears as though I've already filled my weekend.


2. Besides Jesus, what one person from The Bible would you most like to meet and why?

Enoch.  I want to know what kind of person he was before the Lord took him.  He must've been wonderful.

3. What is one modern day convenience you didn't have as a child that was easy to live without?

Cell phones.  Don't get me wrong; there is a certain convenience to having a cell phone, but all in all, I don't recall my childhood being ruined by my inability to text "lol" to my friends at regular intervals.  And frankly, I don't need to talk to everyone to recap my day.  Most of the time, I don't like to talk on the phone, but I feel obligated to keep my cell around in case something goes wrong.

4. Are you more right brained or left brained? If you don't know what that means there is an interesting little quiz here

I am  right brained; however, there are some skills I have acquired on the job that have significantly upped my left brained score.  So while I am pretty consistently right brained, I still like organization in the classroom and have developed skills to cope there.

In the past, I would've told you right brained whole hog.  I'm even left-handed!

5. What is something you intended to do today but didn't? Why?


I intended to put on foundation so I wouldn't look as scary when I went to work.  I didn't because it afforded me another 15 minutes of sleep this morning.  (I didn't really do my hair either.  Welcome to pony-tail-land.)

6. Cadbury Creme Eggs or Reeses peanut butter?

I had a really, really bad experience with peanut butter, so outside of crazy cravings (which almost never happen), I can't eat it anymoreSeriously, spend 3 hours puking peanut butter because of some crazy e coli outbreak and you won't be able to stomach the flavor either.  Quite literally.

I do LOVE Cadbury Creme Eggs.

7. Who was your favorite cartoon character when you were a child?

I'm not really sure.  I can remember that I LOVED DuckTales and She-Ra Princess of Power...oh, and who can forget My Little Ponies?  My mom said, before I could read, I would scream, "GET THE NAME; GET THE NAME."  She or my dad would have to run into the room and tell me the name of the cartoon (ex. "Ponies on Parade") and then I would say it aloud and contemplate it as though in it was a code for world peace.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

I'm tired.  Everything makes me tired.  And I'm tired of being tired.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

South Beach Day 3

I would say that I'm not a complainy, whiny person except that I am a complainy, whiny person so there's no point in hiding the actualities.  I'm not complainy about everything, and I do think there are a number of situations where we need to suck it up and do what we know is right.

But you will never hear me say that about dieting.  If you have struggled with your weight, been on a diet or get frustrated with the whole weight loss nightmare, you are totally welcome to complain as much and as often as you want.  I'll probably stand off to the side and cheer you on.  I might throw in a few helpful comments (i.e. "Let's buy baseball bats and beat all skinny people until they are as swollen as I am!").

Yet I know that those comments and complaints really aren't helpful.

So I'm not going to complain.  I know this is my body and I have to do what is best for it.  Even if I really just want to hide in my bedroom, down a bottle of cabernet and go to sleep.  But that would be cheating as I am in the no-alcohol phase of my diet (and since I can't drink on Metformin anyway.  But since a few of you are probably concerned that I'm a full-blown alchy, please note I wasn't much of a drinker to begin with).

I'm on the South Beach Diet.  In the first two weeks of the diet, there is no fruit, sugar, or any type of carb.  So basically, we have meat, cheese, vegetables and mayo.  Oh, and I can occasionally have a sugar-free fudgecicle.  And I can limit servings of fat free yogurt and cottage cheese. 

In all actuality, though, it hasn't been that bad.  I haven't wanted to chew off my own arm or rummage through my car to see if I can find the one remaining piece of chocolate I dropped some months back. 

The compromises are minimal:  I actually have to cook for myself, but I had forgotten how much I really enjoy cooking.  I have to learn to plan before I eat.  That last one is my epic fail for life.  I am notorious for eating what's available when I'm hungry.  And before you get all "That's why you're fat" on me, realize that I don't stock my pantry or fridge full of gross, bad-for-you junk.  But convenience foods don't work for a PCOS body (at least, that's what I'm told...and research in my own body proves it to be true).

I am currently listening to the new doctor.  And while I'm not sure his advice will get me to the end I want, lack of heart disease can't be a bad thing for anyone.  I suppose I also wouldn't complain about a smaller pant size.  Though right now, that matters to me very little.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Broken Records

Sometimes you can't explain the ache.  It's constant.  Sometimes it's so strong, and other days it's just a nagging whisper.  But it doesn't go away.

It doesn't matter if the people around me hope I'll get new subject matter or just stop talking about it.

And I wonder how many people are plagued with an ache they just can't smother.  The circumstances may be a little different--loss of a spouse, loss of a friend, loneliness, displacement, uncertainty, etc.--but the ache is probably similar.

There's no talking it away, and some days I wonder what I would say anyway.  The last thing you want to be is a broken record, but when your heart is broken, it seems to skip back to the same tune.

Some days, other people say it better than you ever could. Today, Katie Rowe said it for me: "My eyes are wide open to what I do have, but they are also wide open to what I'm missing. Last night as I was looking at a picture of us with Reese I asked the Lord, 'How is this ok?' I immediately felt in my heart His answer. 'It's not. And it won't be until we are all together in Heaven.'"

Prayer Monday 4/18

 
 Some days there's just not a lot to say.  I'm sitting silently before God today, girls.  Just praying.
 
Praises
*  It looks as though things in my body are looking up.
*  Women's Bible study is really turning into such a blessing for me.

Requests
*  My heart
*  My family
*  My women

No prayers today as I am just going to sit silently before God.  I'm praying for a miracle.  I love you for participating.  I love you for praying.  I thank you for interceding on my behalf.

Link Up.





Saturday, April 16, 2011

How I Make Posting Decisions/My Doctor Visit

A while back, I read the Pioneer Woman's Ten Important Things I've Learned about Blogging; however, I thought the post deserved a revisit.  I mean, I really enjoy writing, but it's impossible to write a blog without really kinda wanting others to enjoy what you write.

But I laughed at her first suggestion.  She said "Be Yourself" but then qualified that statement by saying, "Write as if you’re talking to your sister.  Unless you don’t get along with your sister.  Or don’t have a sister."

Now, here's the deal:  I don't have a sister.  I have Big Bro and Lil Bro.  And I'm pretty sure that there's no topic out of bounds for either one of them.  Which could indicate a possible TMI nature in my blog that I feel I've kept to a minimum since beginning three years ago.

But before posting, I do think, "Hm...would I talk to the bros about this topic?"  And then I think, "Aren't these the same boys who talk about sex at the dinner table?  Or make inappropriate comments because they make my mom blush?"  So you see I might have a problem declaring something appropriate for blog readership.

And while I do want to give you a doctor visit update, I don't want to go too overboard.

So, here we go:

I went to see a new doctor yesterday and I wanted to propose marriage really, really liked him.  He was  kind.  He listened to my frustrations and he talked to me like I wasn't stupid.  Those things alone earn him an award in my book.

But here's the great part:  my ovaries no longer look the way they did when I was first diagnosed with PCOS.  Some of you may not understand what that means, so you should go here to look at the picture.  All of those black spots that look clear are actually cysts.  And in that picture, you can count about 8 of them.  Mine?  Had more than eleven.  On each ovary.  Yow.

Yesterday, when we looked at them, they looked clear.  I did not see one black space.  That doesn't mean that they are completely clean, but it does mean that there are no cysts big enough to show on an ultrasound.  That news was huge to me.  HUGE.  It means that all of you who have been praying for my body to work are seeing some answers to your prayers.  Thank you.

The hard news?  I really do need to step up weight loss.  As many of you already know, this is the most difficult part of PCOS.  I've struggled with weight my entire adult life.  This doctor suggested getting rid of carbs.  So I guess that's what I'll be doing for the next month or so.  I eat oatmeal every morning, so that will probably be the last thing to go, but the good news is that I don't really eat a lot of bread anymore.  My loves these days include potatoes, but I can exchange those for sweet potatoes for a while and not feel deprived.

Bascially, I'm back on that wretched PCOS diet I did sometime last summer. 

But I can feel good about doing everything I can until I've actually done everything I know how to do, right?

So here we are.  I may update recipes, etc, but I'm probably not going to post weekly weight loss successes/failures.  Like I said before, I don't want to get competitive because I generally end up frustrated when someone loses 5 lbs in one week and I lose 0.3 lbs.  It's hard, and I know you understand.

But I feel good about where we are.  And I was relieved after this appointment.

And now I need to stop my dog from licking the couch and do my Bible study.

Adieu.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

It's Me Because...

*Stick with me.  The first part of this will sound boring, but I promise it won't stay that way*

In a curriculum development meeting today we watched a video about best practices in classrooms.  Best practice indicates that if you want children to understand a concept, you  must give them many opportunities to relate to that concept on several different levels.

One teacher was covering the concept of symbolism, and she asked her classroom, "If you could describe yourself as any kind of car, what kind of car would you be and why?"

One student answered, "A Ferrari because it's fashionable and fast."

Quickly, I responded, "I would like to believe I'd be a Ferrari, but I think I'm more than likely a station wagon--out of date, frumpy, amusing to see, but can hold its weight in passengers."

So I'm just curious:  Based on this particuarly classroom discussion, what kind of car would describe you and why? 

Oh, and be honest...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wednesday Hodgepodge 4/13--or Why I Won't Eat Lamb

1. Would you rather talk to everyone at a crowded party for a short time or have a significant conversation with two people?
I would rather not go to the crowded party as I have issues being in large rooms filled with people I don't know.  But if my party loving friends were to drag me out of my house (because, of the three of us, I'm probably the most likely to protest showering and going out), I would rather find two people I KNOW and have a conversation with them. 

Actually, let's be realistic.  I'm going to stand there and attempt to have conversation while the sparkly bits at the party actually capture my attention.

2. What objects do you remember from your parent's living room?
My mom just recently got rid of these huge wooden end tables and her enormous coffee table.  They were very 70s-esque, but I loved those things.  I think I loved them because I was familiar with them.  Her living room now is so much more chic.

Oh, and she had these amazing orange and brown curtains.  Classic.

3. Do you hog the bed? Steal the covers? Snore?
My Favorite is 275 lbs and 5'8" yet he's not fat.  So even if I were to put up a good fight to hog the bed or the covers, I would lose to the gorilla who sleeps beside me.  When we moved into the new house, I was so grateful to have the funds to buy a king size bed, because we have been cramming our bodies into a queen bed (I'm not a small girl) and Favorite would take up 3/4 of the bed if he simply laid flat on his back.
I don't generally snore.  Favorite would rival most freight trains.  I just pinch his nose shut.  He says it's smothering him.  I say it's survival.  You be the judge.

4. Speaking of Easter dinner....what is your favorite way to cook/eat lamb? Or does just the thought of that make you squeamish? If you're not cooking lamb what will be your entree du jour on Easter Sunday?
I have no problems with eating a lot of different animals, but I've never warmed to the idea of eating sweet, little lambs.

5. Let's throw some politics into this week's mix-oooohhh...Do you know the whereabouts of your birth certificate and when was the last time you had to produce it to prove you're you?
I'm pretty sure my mom has a copy of my birth certificate (Yes, I'm 30 years old and my mommy still keeps stuff.  What of it?).  And I don't think I've had to present it since I got married almost 8 years ago.

6. As a child, how did people describe you?
My childhood nickname was motor mouth.  So I was clearly a quiet and shy child.
One of my parent's favorite stories about me goes like this:  I was about 3 or 4 when they took me to the supermarket one day.  I was gone for all of 3 minutes when my mom heard me say, "There she is.  That's my mom!"  She looked up to see me IN the cart of a big, black man who told my parents that I informed him I was lost and demanded that he put me IN his cart in order to help hunt down my mom and dad.

So, obviously, shy.

7. What do you complain about the most? 
I complain about everything.  It's my spiritual gift.  But lately, PCOS, I think.  Or my lack of time management skills.  Which are being displayed pretty artfully here since I'm using my time to answer these questions.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Ronnie, there's nothing wrong with the word hurty.  And if you would use your time constructively, you would already have The Kite Runner read.  Think about it, man.  Think about it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Waiting On (Fill-in-your-blank)

Waiting.

I understand patience is supposed to be a virtue, but it's clearly not one automatically encoded on our DNA.  And in my experience, the only people who do have patience are the ones who aren't in a season of waiting.  (Or people who just like to dish out advice.  I'm giving up on the advice circuit.  I have nothing to teach anyone about the virtue of patience.  Or weight loss.  And sometimes English.)

I get that patience is one of those developed skills--you know, if you do it over and over again, you finally get it down.  But what I wonder is why can't Jesus just ask us to take up smoking?  I'm pretty sure that's a habit I could develop much more easily.  Or running.  I might actually be better at running than waiting--which is totally putting this waiting thing into perspective.

But let's be realistic for a minute.  My real problem with waiting has nothing to do with waiting at all.  It has a lot more to do with my inability to be in the here and now.  I've posted about it before, but allow me to repeat the fact that I am no stranger to preoccupation.  (Or cookies.  I'm no stranger to cookies either.)

I have no idea how to "fix it," though.  I'm trying to take joy in the things I'm doing right at that very second, but let's face it, finding joy in a bowel movement just isn't normal.  Well, it might be normal for some people, but it's not something in which I typically find joy.

Sometimes there's just no focusing.  So I'm practicing the art of sharing those things with God and then trying to do what I need to do for that day. 

So far, I've graded several stacks of papers, put away laundry, stayed up to date on my Bible study and worked on a bit of lesson planning for the week.

I've gotten a lot done...which is proof that you can totally lose your mind and still function.

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Short Post on Why I Hate the PSAE

Today I was reminded why I hate the PSAE and No Child Left Behind soooo much.

I miss the inquiry education was meant to bring.

I miss simple conversation that leads to great revelations.

I want my students to love learning because it means discovery.

And, as my brother has become fond of saying, it makes me all hurty inside.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Prayer Monday 4/11


I'm in a season of my life where I just feel like I can't do anything well.  Please keep in mind that I said "feel" because I know it's not true.  I've just been so preoccupied.  Favorite has brought that to my attention in the last week--not that he needed to.  I know I'm preoccupied.  Sometimes my heart just aches, and I feel like I'm not even the person I used to be.  That thought disturbs me.  I'm still trying to work through it.

I long to be deeply satisfied with God.  I know there was a time when I had that satisfaction.  I know that we have to work at relationships in order to maintain that sense of satisfaction.  But lately, I feel like preoccupation has taken over my heart.  I don't go through a day that my mind doesn't wander.  I don't do a Bible study without my mind wandering.  Shoot.  I can't even have a real conversation without my mind wandering.

So this week, my prayer requests for myself are simple.

1.  I want God to grow a love in me for His word--a love that draws my heart to Him.  I want that love to drive me to Him in prayer.  I want that love to push me to welcome others (even when I feel it's awkward) and I need that love to find a deep satisfaction in Him alone--heartache or not.

2.  I have some dear friends who are going through a private situation.  They have received some conflicting information and are unsure as to what awaits them in the future.  I know that any outcome here will come by God's hand, but I am certainly praying for healing for them.

3.  My Favorite.

4.  Please pray for the hearts of the women involved in Bible study.  We need to find a way to depend and rely on each other--to require relationship from one another.

5.  My father is still healing from knee surgery, but doing very well.  Please pray for his recovery.

Father, I'm just asking that you pull me heart.  I need to seek a depper relationship with You.  There's so much going on around me and I feel like I'm missing it because my mind is not present.  I don't want to miss the people and events that are meant to be a part of my life.  I don't want to miss you speakingto me.  I just pray that you would draw my heart.

I ask that you touch the women who participate in Prayer Monday.  Touch Kate and Sheena as they go to a new work week.  Help Tara find a church.  Be with Casey.  Guide Armanda as she and Steve lead a small group and minister to their son.  Touch those who are joining for the first time or those who participate by reading.  Make us witnesses, disciples, real.

Amen.

Link Up.

To You for Yesterday

Ladies,

I appreciate your sweet comments for yesterday.  I'm not going to publish them because I feel like they are personal--between me and you.  But thank you just the same.

I'm trying to keep it real here in blogland (if that's possible since you really only get a slice of my life), and sometimes that means sharing my fear.  Sometimes I feel crippled by it, and that's something I'm working through honestly with God.

As one of you pointed out, I am very blessed to have the opportunity to work with someone different if I don't feel my doctor is sufficient.  I'm sorry you don't have that same luxury (ask your doctor about Metformin.  It's been wonderful for me).  I certainly don't want to sound ungrateful for that luxury.  I'm just a little bit afraid.

This is one of those issues I feel is simply up to God.  We spend so much time praising doctors and fertility medications, but the truth is it is by His hand that we receive those blessings at all.  The best fertility doctor and procedure does not shake God from His throne.

So I'm praying for His blessing.  I'm praying for a double portion from Him.  But that doesn't keep me from going through real moments of terror.  Those moments don't keep me from continuing my relationship with Him.  I'm just still figuring out how to navigate it.

(PS.  Prayer Monday post to come later this evening)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Trembling

I despise the unknown.

I don't like most new things.

I am not looking forward to my appointment on Friday.

Actually, I'm terrified.  Frankly, I'd like not to need a different doctor.  I'd like to be one of those miracle women who never deal with the beast of PCOS.  I'd like to have the opportunity to shock myself with a miraculous, unsuspected pregnancy and a completely normal weight.  I'd like to go to one doctor whose only responsibility is to check me at the normal points during pregnancy and deliver a baby.

I don't get those things.  Instead, I have to weigh the options regarding physicians.  I get to determine who knows more about a disease I don't understand myself.  I get to inspect BBT charts like they are holy scripture and realize that mine aren't necessarily indicative of any pertinent information. 

And those things reside in my little Pandora's box with the miniscule amount of hope I manage to cling to like a parachute. 

Sometimes I just have to rant about it because I feel like I'm going to explode with fear.  Lots of fear.  Fear that tells me that this is the rest of my life.  Fear that indicates that I have kept Favorite from playing a role he truly deserves.  Fear that we will eventually resign ourselves to life as we know it.

It's the unknown. 

It terrifies me.

Words: Real and Imagined

Dad's surgery was successful.  The doctor informed us that the inside of his knee was a mess, but they were able to put it back together.  I'm going back over to see him today, but I imagine he might be feeling differently as the epidural has likely worn off.

Thank you for your thoughts and prayers for him.  You might continue as he will be going home with my mom the non-nurse in a few days there is therapy yet to come.

In other news, my older loving brother made fun of my use of the word "hurty."    Now listen.  Sometimes you just need a specific word to explain a feeling that's difficult to explain.  I suppose it's not a real word, but I certainly have my own fair share of made up phrases.  Granted, not all of them are originals, but I certainly use them like they are.  For example,

*  Hurty
*  Nervy
*  Stabby
*  Wonky

I'm thinking I like words that end with "y," but if Shakespeare can coin phrases, why can't a backwoods English teacher from a tiny high school in the middle of nowhere?

And I wonder, do you use made up phrases?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thursdays Are More Manic Than Mondays

I don't really love lists.  I prefer paragraphs when it comes to prose, but today I am out of transitions so I cannot possibly connect these thoughts.

1.  My dad's surgery is tomorrow.  He has needed a knee replacement since I graduated from high school (so clearly it's only been about a year or so.  HA!).  We're thankful he's getting to have the surgery, but I'm always a little apprehensive to see people I love go in to an operating room.

2.  Still no tables from Target.  I'm all hurty inside because I'm so excited about outfitting my house.  I also haven't ordered the LAUNDRY sign, but I'm sure going to correct that problem.

3.  My STBSIL found an awesome set of knives.  She is a crazy deal hunter downer (yes, I am an English teacher.  Why do you ask?).

4.  I'm thankful for close friendships recently.  I've taken so much joy in a few people who have shared struggles and burdens with me.  I'm more thankful for them because they are willing to talk.  And talk.  And talk.  And talk.  You all know who you are.  Thank you for the blessing of your involvement.

5.  I still feel free.  I love being in this place.  I wish it were a LONG season in my life.  I love seeing people come out the other side of heartbreak who teach me about humility and faith in the process. 

6.  I loved this.  And, like Rachel, I want to know people...form relationships with them...stay involved with them...know I can depend on them and they can depend on me.  That type of relationship was one major reason I was disillusioned with facebook.  So if you read, tell me who you are--not superficially.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Big Manila Envelopes Filled With Random Bits of Fun

Is it weird that I'm excited to give my freshmen manila envelopes filled with random items?

I love lessons that require them to think outside the box and relate that material to the literature at hand.  Currently, they are reading Of Mice and Men.  It's the first time we've used it in the curriculum in about 10 years (I wasn't there back then), and it's been a hit.  Tomorrow, my students will be looking at their array of items and determining what they might symbolize.

Yep, it's a lesson on symbols.  Then, we're going to discuss symbols in the story--like rabbits.  Or mice.

Although, it might be funnier to take those items to the office and have the administration determine what they symbolize.  As I was asking for suggestions, they were stuck on iphones and what they might symbolize.  Wonder what would happen if they have to determine what a paperclip symbolizes as opposed to an iPhone?

Wednesday Hodgepodge 4/6

1. National Read a Road Map Day falls on April 5th. Would people say you have a good sense of direction? Do you rely on a GPS when you drive somewhere new? When was the last time you used a map? 
Maps?  Are for suckers.  Or people smarter than me.  Whichever.  Favorite and I use the GPS which can be quite the adventure if you don't know what you're doing.  Like if you put your destination in as the via point (and then it takes you 2 hours to get to a location 15 minutes away).  Or if you haven't updated said system for quite some time and run into road construction.  Every time you hear that thing say, "Recalculating" you know it really wants to say "HEY MORON!  I GAVE YOU EXPLICIT INSTRUCTIONS TO GET TO YOUR DESIRED LOCATION, BUT NOOOOOOOO.  WE HAVE TO VEER OFF THE CHOSEN PATH.  ROAD NOT TAKEN MY REAR END."

2. What's your favorite cookbook?
I can't choose.  I've compiled my favorite recipes from several different cookbooks and those tend to be my go-tos as far as meal planning goes.  I modify and change so that it's easier for me to create something I'll enjoy.  I have one from a colleague's aunt that is just top of the line.  I have a pink Better Homes and Gardens one that is just amazing.  And I have this hardcover cookbook that I stole from my mom that I absolutely love.  Whether it makes me weird or not, I just love reading cookbooks.  I used to do it every morning while I ate breakfast at home.  I kinda miss that now.

3. What painting would you like to "walk into" and experience? Why?
Anything by Degas--the images are just so ethereal.  I like the idea of feeling that way after years of realizing that the size of my hind end has me firmly anchored to the ground of reality.

4. What annoys you more- misspellings or mispronunciations?

So have I mentioned that I'm a high school English teacher?  Both bother me, but in different contexts.  I can allow certain spelling mistakes, but I cannot tolerate their, there, and they're.  Or then and than.  Or misuse of apostrophes.  Can I count all of those as spelling mistakes?  They drive me crazy.  I just think, "You are shaming your high school English teacher right now."  Although, I might take those things a little more personally (whether or not I should).

I'm a lot more lenient on mispronunciations because it's difficult to determine sound if you've never heard anyone say it.  And those dictionary pronunciations don't always help with emphasis, etc.

5. What is something your mother or father considered important? 
My mom and dad always emphasized school.  I found that a little funny considering that neither one of them attended college, but I kinda think that's why they thought school was so important.
My mother also believed in cleanliness.  She would clean house at home and then go to other people's houses (as a guest) and clean there, too.  It's a gift (or compulsion.  Whichever).
My family has always emphasized the necessity of humor.  This is a lesson I internalized more than any other one, because I can laugh in the most inappropriate of moments. 

6. Do you like or dislike schedules?
I like them, but sometimes I think they need to be amended to suit the "teachable moment."

7. Let's have some fun with National Poetry Month (that would be April)...write your own ending to this poem-

"Roses are Red
Violets are blue..."
My dishes are white
but I never did like to make poetry rhyme.  Actually, I can't stand Emily Dickinson and am pretty sure the world wouldn't have lost anything if her sister-in-law would've burned her poetry like Emily ASKED HER TO.  Ugh.  It pains me to read anything that follows the pattern of "The Yellow Rose of Texas." 

Incidentally if you'd like to read the history behind that little ditty you'll find it here.

8. Insert your own random thought in this space.
Target has delayed shipment of my end tables.  I'm distraught, people.  Horribly distraught.  But I'm making up for it with my new dishes (I luuuurrrrrvvvvvveeee them).  And if Favorite isn't look this weekend, I'm probably going to start putting things together for that laundry room.  Every laundry room needs a huge sign that says "LAUNDRY" right?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Lesson Planning Fear (Or why I'm not a superstar in the classroom)

Lesson plans.  They kill me.

I'm constantly trying to find ways to work out of the box.  Make the students be more active learners.  Diminish my role in the classroom.  Increase their responsibilities.  Cut out a little of the grading load.  Decrease homework but increase productivity.

Frankly, this semester it's felt like an insurmountable task.  But today we met with a curriculum advisor.  We had the opportunity to talk about what we're emphasizing in the classroom and how we can shift focus to something.

You know what I learned through this meeting?

I'm already doing a lot of stuff right.

Whew.  It's seriously a load off of my mind, because there are so many things I don't feel I do well.

Let's list them so you can get a better idea of my insecurities.

I don't feel like I...
Teach writing well.  Have them write enough of the "right" things (whatever that may be).  Give them enough class time to work.  Give them only assignments that matter.  Avoid busy work.  Cover enough grammar concepts.  Explain grammar concepts well.  Cultivate enough conversation (even though I think it's the great equalizer).  Always give them a real connection to the literature.  Explain why it matters.  Let them discuss whether or not it does matter.

And the list goes on.

But I do feel like I'm learning about these concepts.  And I'm hopeful that in five years, I'll be a teensy bit better at taking a minor role in the classroom so the students are in the spotlight.

Because even though our test scores may not indicate it, I'm interested in being the best possible teacher around.  I want to be a superstar in the classroom.  I want to push the students to do something more, but I also want them to leave really feeling like they've "gotten" something.

But it's hard to indicate all of those wants in one lesson plan.

Monday, April 4, 2011

To Write

Not that long ago, lady at my church paid me a tremendous compliment.  She told me that I was a writer and that she loved to read the things I've written because she relates to them so well.

Wait.  What?

Don't get me wrong; I love to write.  It's cathartic.  In fact, it's more cathartic than burning my trailer would probably be.  When you finally get something down just exactly right (on the rare occasion I can accomplish it), there's a sense of absolution.  But I've never really thought of myself as a writer.  Writers occupy this high and mighty place in my mind.  I've never put any of my words in the same category or on the same pedestal.

Recently, I've been trying to talk to the people who matter to me about the things that bother me.  I'm sure it's been a supremely enjoyable process for some of you (please note the sarcasm in the statement, you all.  I realize it's painful).  In fact, just today I was sharing something with a friend and she commented, "Yeah.  I read that on your blog."

My thought:  You read my blog?

Ok, wait.  Let me clarify.  I figure people occasionally pop in (ha.  I just typed "pooped" in.  Gross) and make fun of my misfortune (you know, like in house building).  But it doesn't always occur to me that there are people who regularly check out the things I write here...or even that the things I am writing would matter to them.

I don't mean that in a self-deprecating way, either.  That's just not how I see my blog.  I mean, seriously, how many of you need to see multiple pictures of my Favorite in his Target hats?  Sure, I write to share things.  But I mostly I write because I find a sense of peace and joy in the process.  I write because I don't know myself if I don't. 

And while this thought probably does not really flow out of the previous ones, women's Bible study has me wondering how much different life would be if more of us lived our lives openly.  If my attempt to figure myself out (it's going badly) helps someone else in the teensiest way, isn't it worth it to give them the opportunity to read? 

Granted, I don't think it'll ever replace face-to-face interaction.  But it's definitely nice to believe that someone "gets" something you love--Pulitzer or not.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Prayer Monday 4/4


This has been an unusually liberating week for me.  After opening my heart about our loss, I feel free to be upset when I feel upset and happy when I feel happy.  I don't feel jealous or angry of others who are finding themselves in the situation I wish I were in.  Isn't that amazing?  I'm giving the glory to God, because the last year has indicated that this is nothing I am capable of doing on my own.  Trust me when I say that this is nothing I could accomplish on my own.

I'm confident that God will continue the good work He's started in my heart (Phil. 1:6).  There are still a lot of uncertainties in my life right now, but, for the first time in a while, I'm comfortable with the fact that it's in God's hands.  But let me also say I honestly believe God is going to honor my request.  I really do.

There was so much I got out of our women's Bible study this week.  The lessons were dense and each day spoke to a particular situation in my life.  I've been reminded over and over again that the Lord's faithfulness endures--even when my life is less than...um...happy?  Joyful?  Organized?  On schedule?

The sermon I listened to this morning shared that exact same sentiment.  And when it was over, I was able to be joyful for something that would've normally reduced me to tears.

God has been faithful to me.

Praises
1.  I just started paying more attention, and it appears as though my body is starting to do the things normal bodies do.  I eat well, and lose weight (like a normal human being).  I have hormone fluctuations (which I'm maybe not so grateful for when I'm moody).  I'm not starving.  I haven't been completely exhausted at the end of the day.

2.  The sermon this morning was just for me.  And I'm grateful to have heard it.

3.  My lil bro has found a church and seems to be finding his place in that church.

4.  Women's Bible study!

Prayer Requests
1.  Still asking for prayer for my body.

2.  My Favorite

3.  I have a couple of personal requests I don't think I should post on my blog.  One is for a friend of mine and one is a personal request for myself.

4.  My father will be having surgery on Friday.

5.  I will be seeing a new doctor on the 15th and I'm a bit apprehensive about this appointment.

Father,
I'm so grateful for your willingness to meet us where we are.  Your Love endures forever.  Thank you for your guidance, presence and comfort.  I just ask you touch the women who participate in this group.  I ask for Your touch on their lives.  I especially ask that you be with Tara this week.  Make Your presence known, Lord.  Give Kate and Amber traveling mercies and guide Sheena on her job endeavors.  Touch Casey as she finishes the semester and be with Armanda as she and her husband lead a group into a deeper relationship with You.

For those who simply lurk, I ask for an extra portion of Your blessing this week.  Draw those who do not know you into a personal relationship.

Amen.

Join Up, Ladies :)

Saturday, April 2, 2011

A Visit from SugarBean

This is my niece, SugarBean.  Sometimes she makes weird faces for the camera.

But today she came over becaue her daddy and Favorite had to get plastic on the high tunnel green houses we are putting up on the farm.

So we decided to make French Toast.

SB loves to crack eggs, so she cracked them in a bowl and started mixing.  She's been cracking eggs since she was a mere year old, so this was all old hat to her.

We dipped the bread and then put it on the griddle to cook.  We put a chair up next to the griddle so she could help "flip" but she informed me that it was "hot as blazes" by that griddle and she "was sweating up a storm."  So she ended up backing up.


Then we ate.  Well, we ate and watched Spongebob (who I don't really care for much).  I had to sprinkle cinnamon on top of her french toast because "that makes it smell AND taste yummy."


She finished the first piece and wanted more, but she also wanted to make sure I wasn't gonna "put the new piece in the leftover syrup.  'Cause that's gross."


So we finished our morning with more cinnamon, more syrup and fantastic conversation (because, honestly, she's hilarious).  We talked about how she's getting ready to turn 5 (at the end of the month) and how next, she'll be six.  She tested for kindergarten yesterday and told me there were some things she "just didn't do."  I asked her what she didn't do and she said, "I knew the letter "F" but I didn't know what sound it made.  But it sounds like 'fuh'." 

Now we're playing XBox Kinect.  So cool.  She named her panther Max.  The kid loves animals.  She tried to talk me into bringing her baby chickens to my house so she could watch them.  But, ya'll, I draw the line at baby chickens.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Pedestal Hosting

Since many of you couldn't picture what I was telling you about, I searched until I found the original site that gave me this idea.  Keep in mind, these people really liked aqua.  I will be doing red, yellow and orange.  But tell me this isn't cool.

And another:


I'm pretty sure I'm going to leave off the scalloped edges (just not me).  But see how perfectly square dishes work on these?  And I love the white because it pretty well matches everything.  I thought this idea was so cool, though.

Now maybe you can weigh in.

An Idea that Requires Feedback

After yesterday's post, I think I've decided to buy square (yes, square.  I like square.  I have no idea why.  I just like clean, definite lines.  So, square) dishes.  I'm pretty sure I'll probably just get them in white.  I've never wanted white dishes before, but this is my reasoning:

I'm going to make display pedestals for parties.  I'm going to paint them red, orange and sunflower yellow.  Then, I'll have some color going on with serving dishes, but it won't actually be the dishes themselves.  And they'll be different heights--which is always appealing, right?  And the dishes will fit perfectly on top (theoretically) when I'm done.

Sounds good, no?  At least weigh in here.  I'll try to find a picture of what I'm talking about later.