Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Social Studies Project, A Migraine, and a Messy House

I'm back.

I feel as if I've returned from a foreign land.

Last week was consumed with a social studies project due at school on Friday for the fair.  This project involved a trip to Office Depot and Fed Ex Office.  But mainly it tied up my computer every evening after school.  The Dancer Girl did most of the work herself but there are times you just need a little help from your friends, i.e. Mom and Sister.
The project made it to school right on time.  It was one of those weeks when you say T.G.I.F. and you MEAN T.G.I.F.

Saturday was spent cleaning and organizing.  I had a list of tasks I wanted to tackle before Monday morning.  And if you know me, I love having a list of organizing and cleaning tasks to do.  "Help me or get out of my way" I said.   (More about some of the projects I did get to later)  By mid afternoon I was bedridden with a migraine.  I haven't had a migraine in months.  And when the symptoms first appeared, I admit, I was in denial.  Maybe it's because I haven't eaten anything.  Or Maybe it's just my imagination.  But soon the blurry vision, nausea and the "sparkles" couldn't be ignored.  I did not return to consciousness until Sunday mid afternoon.

Monday it was back to work feeling frustrated that the many fun projects I had on my to do list will have to wait another week.

I have photos to upload and stories to tell.  They will have to wait.  All of them except for one.  Do you tell people at work that you have a blog?  I sure don't.  Because there are times I discuss work relationships and events.  On Monday a woman I work with said to me out of the blue, "Does everyone have a blog nowadays?  I've gotten three emails from friends inviting me to read their blogs.  I didn't even know what a blog was!"  She then went on to talk about how the blogs had cute names and all but why would anyone think others would be interested in reading about their lives?  I just laughed.  And no, I did not tell her I have a blog.  Maybe one day I will............. nah.  I think I'll keep it a secret.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I think it's time

My new coat hangs in the closet.

My scarves hang on the hook.

Gumbo and Vegetable Soup recipes sit on the shelf.

Fireplace is quiet.

Where is our winter?  Today it was 75 degrees!

Mr. Snowman - bring us a chill.  Make it cold enough for cocoa.  We want a fire in the fireplace.  We want to wear our new coats and scarves!

Our snowman decorations are going back in the box this weekend.  I'm ready for some valentine hearts.  It's difficult to enjoy snowmen when I'm wearing flip flops everyday.

We'll pack up the snow and the winter trees.  

These snowmen have been wishing for weeks now.  So far, no luck.

What a crazy January.  


We had these Mexican Pizza Cups for dinner.  I found the recipe at www.dashingdish.com.  I've been stalking Katie's healthy recipes for food I crave and this was the first recipe I tried.  Wow!  We loved it.  
Find the recipe here: click here
It's quick and easy to prepare.
You probably have all the ingredients in your kitchen right now.
60 calories each!!


I can't wait to try another one of Katie's recipes.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

15 minutes organization blitz

I enjoy Laura at orgjunkie.com.  I enjoy her blog because I enjoy organizing.  Sorting and purging and rearranging is like therapy to me.  The Container Store?  LOVE!  Target Dollar Spot?  With all those cutesy little baskets and bins?  Double Love.

I was reading through Laura's 15 minute organizing ideas and I saw one that I desperately needed  caught my eye.

Organizing your spice cabinet.  Wow.  I have no idea what we even have in there!
What a mess.  (besides organizing, I'm sure I have some purging to do. )

This is the cabinet on the right of my stovetop. 
 This is the cabinet on the left.  
 First step:  take it all out.  Wipe down the interior.  I've had that step organizer thing for many years.

I put the containers in alphabetical order.

I then returned them to the shelves.  Starting on the back row I placed the containers in order going backwards in the alphabet.  So my spices are now arranged from B - Basil to T - Thyme.

I discovered several things during my 15 minutes of energy.  

1.  There are several spices I need to replenish.  For instance:  we are completely out of garlic powder.
2.  There were a couple of spices that needed to be purged.  Pumpkin Pie Spice?  I can't even remember the last time I used that.  
3.  When I organized my pantry I discovered I had a lot of soup. Well it's dejavu all over again.  

 Three celery seasonings?  I don't know any recipes I have that call for celery seed.  And celery salt?  I only know one.  Paula Deen's Beef Vegetable Soup requires celery salt.  It's been so warm here we haven't been in the mood for soup this January.
(today it was a freezing 58 at 3:00pm)

  And the vanilla made me laugh.  Three bottles of vanilla.  One of which is still in the fancy box.  So funny.  (yes, one is just vanilla flavoring and not the true blue stuff but still..........)

It may seem like a silly thing, but when you know exactly what you have at home you are much less likely to buy "just in case/I can't remember".

You'll probably also know that I Heart Kroger.

What will I organize tomorrow?  I'll have to go back to Laura's blog for inspiration.

Monday, January 23, 2012

I need a prompt

What should I blog about?  Hmmmmmm  My day was ordinary.  Nothing spectacular or interesting happened.  Oh sure, life in preschool is always interesting.  Still today was an easy uneventful day.

I weighed in at Weight Watchers.  As I sat in the meeting I was listening to the leader but I couldn't help but have a wandering mind.  It happens.

Just for fun, I'd like to tell you a few trivia facts.

Bobby Pins should be placed so that the wave side is down.  (learned that on the internet)

Peppermint repels mice.  Learned that one year when my classroom had mice.  We dipped cotton balls in peppermint extract and never saw another mouse.  And my room smelled like Christmas all year long.

Grits will kill ants.  Learned that because I live in Louisiana.  Everybody knows this.

When decorating a bulletin board, always begin in the middle and work out from there.   Begin with the letter in the center.

Always plan ahead.

Don't wait until the last minute to schedule a hair appointment.

Spanish Armada sailed in 1588


I can't wait to show you what The Dancer Girl did to her wall above her bed.  Photo to come!  Plus Valentine decor.  Since we haven't had much of a any winter weather, I'm reading to move on to Valentines.  Pink and Red Rock.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Feeling Awkward

Have you ever been to a social event and you felt as awkward as a middle school girl?  From the day I received the invitation I began to concoct ways to get out of going.  Maybe I'll be sick.  Maybe one of the kids will be sick.  Maybe I'm going out of town for the weekend.  Maybe I have ............... something.  Just anything to get me out of going.

Why didn't I want to go?  Because of that awful awkward feeling in the pit of my stomach.

I haven't always been that way.  Years ago I enjoyed going out and even entertaining in my teeny tiny apartment.  Every weekend was spent full of people, places and merriment.

This time I knew I really needed to attend.  I had wiggled out of a couple of other events and this time I needed to stand up straight and go.  It wasn't like anybody would purposely embarrass me.  It wasn't like I would be among strangers.  I would know every single person there.

So I went.  Made an appetizer to take and share.  Dressed casual but crisp.  Took a deep breath.  Marched out of my door with butterflies in my stomach.  This is so silly I told myself.  You are an adult.  You know how to behave. You know etiquette.  This isn't a fancy smancy thing.

But I still felt so awkward.  The evening was fine.  Being new in the city I didn't know most of the people mentioned or the events of the past.  So I just listened.  I made an effort to be relaxed and complimentary.   Everyone and everything was fine.

I was sure glad when the first lady said she needed to be getting home.  Then the second one said she had left her kids home and they weren't happy with each other.  So I seized the opportunity to thank the hostess and mosey on out.  Happy to have survived it.  Happy to return to my space.

Will I ever out grow this awkwardness?  I don't think it shows on the outside.  Maybe it does.  It's tough to be the new girl, even as an adult.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Everybody's Doing It

Cheese, nuts, turkey slices, bacon, eggs - that's what's on the menu.  I am surrounded by women who are doing the low-carb thing.   They talk about eating steak and eggs for breakfast.  I heard today the hardest meal to manage is lunch.  But the universal comment complaint I heard today is hunger.  I'm so hungry!!

I wonder if the low-carb fad is returning.  Maybe it never left.  Either way, it's back with a furry in my neck of the woods.

This week my fat pants felt slightly snug.  That is not a welcome feeling.  I guess it's the holiday eating finally catching up with me.  (And the oh so fantastic carrot birthday cake)
So I walked into the meeting room.  Again.  At Weight Watchers.  I've been a couple times before.  The first time was after my first baby was born.   I've always been successful with weight watchers.  The Points Plus system is easy to understand and almost easy to follow.  You will see results if you stick with it.   I like that I don't have to give up a whole food group.  I like that I can have just about anything within reason.

It's not a competition, but I am interested to see how we fare.  Which eating plan will be the easier to maintain?  Who will have satisfying results?  

I can do it.  It's a new beginning.


Weather Update:  at 3:00pm it was 80 degrees.     I think I'll drive way up north and drag Jack Frost down below the Mason Dixon Line.  We need you J.F.!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Is it hot in here to you?

Today the high was 67.   Yesterday the high was 75.  Tomorrow the high is predicted to be in the 70s.

For a girl who is HOT all the time, this non-winter is unpleasant.  I was so looking forward to the cold north wind, ice and sleet.  I was hoping for those days when even I'm cold!

Warm clothes and warm soup - aaaahhhhh  Am I asking too much Mother Nature?

Today I wore flip flops to work.

It was nice to open the doors to the classroom and let the fresh air in, but we usually do that in the spring,  NOT in January.  

We need some arctic air to blow down south.  Where are you Jack Frost?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Work In Progress

We moved into our new house in July.   We managed to designate areas for all most our belongings.  We did get the towels in the bathrooms, and the dishes in the kitchen.  Things like that.  Then school started, a new job began and we settled into the new place.  The holidays came and went in a blur.  Now it's January.  I've been rethinking many spaces in our new house.  I've been rearranging, organizing, purging, packing and stacking.

The first place that was begging for a makeover was our pantry.  Here's the before photo:
Ugh.  What a mess.  We could find what we wanted but.......... it was just a mess.  By the way, I have several other photos of the before pantry but really, who wants to see that mess?

So I took a quick inventory of what we had and what we would need to pull this pantry together.  I'm still working on the "cuteness" of the project, but at least now things are organized and easy to locate.

Here's a few after photos:

 A few baskets from Target's Dollar Zone and you got yourself organized can goods.
 Now everything is where it belongs.  And it's easy to tell where the ketchup lives. 
 What is it about soup?  I have so many cans!  Why do I have so many cans of soup?  I think it's because I'm in the store and I don't know if I have soup and so I just buy a couple just in case.  My pantry was in such disarray I didn't know what I had.  Now I know............ I HAVE SOUP!
                   As you can see, I still have work to do on the "cuteness" front. 

Next room to conquer:  my half craft room/ half video game room.  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What a day, what a day

Monday, January 16th was one of those days.

It began simple enough.  I had the day off of work.   I left the house for a dental appointment scheduled for 8:20am.  All that dental work from childhood seems to be breaking down all at once.  I guess it wasn't meant to last a lifetime.

I was almost to the dentist's office.  I mean, I was a stone throw's away and I saw the dreaded red lights in my rearview.  My first thought was "he's not stopping me!"  But oh yes, he was stopping me.  Now that's one way to start your day.  Going to the dentist AND getting stopped by the police.  He looked at my license and told me it was expired.  Well, yes, it expired Saturday on my birthday.  I just haven't had time to go by the DMV (who has time to do that?)   He did not ticket me for that.  He also did not ticket me for having the wrong address on my license.  He just kinda scolded me for driving over the speed limit and let me go but not before ruining my morning.

The dental appointment was quick and painless.  He did not even put my tooth to sleep.  He repaired the filling and I was outta there.

Arriving back home The Dancer Girl was waiting for me to help her with her Social Studies project.  I had this idea to blow up one of the photos she was using on her display board.  So I loaded a digital copy onto the jump drive, took it to Office Depot.  The Depot Lady was very nice and tried her best but could not get her printers to communicate with the computer.  So I took the jump drive to Fed Ex Office where the worker there told me he could do it, but it would be $35.00.  Wow.  Too rich for my blood.  I returned home empty handed.

Dancer Girl and I worked to finish the project.  I was relieved and almost amazed that she wanted to finish it on her day off from school.  And that she DID finish it.

All this driving around town was actually therapeutic.  Sometimes several minutes of that rocking 70's music is just what I need.

I took a couple of photos with my phone.  Yes, I took them while I was driving.  Therefore they are shaky and lopsided.  

 No matter what you do................ I only want to be with you!

Bay City Rollers - where are they now?  I'm going to have to google them.

And then I heard my favorite - Donny Osmond
Oh, and by the way, I was driving I.T. Girl's car.............. I left her radio on the 70's channel.  Hee Hee

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Once A Year Birthday Cake

Every year Ironman bakes this cake for me on my birthday.  This year on the day before the big cake eating day he asked me if I wanted "that cake" again this year.  Are you kidding me?  I wait ALL YEAR for that cake.  I only have it on my birthday.  The answer is absolutely 100% YES.  I want that carrot cake.

I would have taken a photo of the completed cake when it was still whole.  But we dug into it so quickly I didn't take time to get the camera.  Besides, this way you can see the best part of the cake.  

Here is the recipe courtesy of FabulousFoods.com

It is even better the next day.  Enjoy

Fabulous Carrot Cake Ingredients:
2 3/4 cups grated carrots
1 cup pureed pineapple
2 1/4 cups flour (or cake flour)
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Blend in oil then beat in eggs one at a time.  Stir in pineapple puree and carrots.  Mix until well blended.  Pour into 2 greased round pans.  Bake for 30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Remove cakes from oven and allow them to set for 5 minutes.  Remove from pans and cool completely on wire rack before frosting.

16 oz. cream cheese
5 cups confectioners sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Beat cream cheese until light and fluffy.  Beat in vanilla.  Gradually beat in confectioners sugar.  Frost cake when completely cool.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Birthday Eve

Tomorrow is my birthday.

Ironman came in from work.  Within the hour he, I.T. girl and The Engineer (who came home from campus for the weekend) left to "run some errands".

Very subtle.

I don't need a birthday gift.  There's nothing I really even want.  Well, I take that back.  One thing we need and yes, I want is a new vacuum cleaner.  I think Ironman is hesitant to buy one as a birthday gift because he knows that there was a day that anything to do with house cleaning or cooking was a huge No-No as a gift.  :)

I've shared this little story with ladies at work.  We've had a fun time remembering gifts given to us by our husbands.   Funny, funny, funny.  Some men are just not gifted in gift selection.

Mrs. W - husband once gave her slippers for there birthday.  Big, fluffy Tiger Head Slippers.  Like a small child would wear.
Mrs. R - husband once gave her a mop.  Yes, a mop.  Not a fancy mop.  Just a run of the mill cotton fiber mop.  For their ANNIVERSARY!  (and they're still married )
Mrs. C - husband once gave her a huge portrait of a strange woman.  The frame was as large as a hallway door.  Huh?  Oh we laughed at that one.
Mrs. D - husband bought her a very expensive handbag.  She did wish for a particular handbag.  The one husband presented to her at Christmas was the wrong color, the wrong designer name and the wrong type.

This year is different.  I have been asking around and shopping for a new vacuum cleaner. The search has narrowed but I haven't made a commitment yet.

Meanwhile the carpet is looking mighty sad.  Dirty and sad.

What kind of vacuum cleaner do you recommend?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Lost In A Maze Of One Way Streets

This morning I was just settling into another busy morning of preschool when my cell phone rang.   I glanced at my caller I.D. and saw my daughter's name.  Oh the feeling you get in your stomach when you see that.  Naturally I grabbed the phone in one swoop that would probably qualify me for the Cell Phone Hall of Fame.  I heard this shaky, almost crying voice say, "Mom..........."  Is there any sound worse than that?

I.T. was lost in a maze of one way streets downtown.  I'm not sure she's ever been downtown since we've lived here and I know for certain she's never driven downtown alone.  She began to tell me she was lost and she didn't know where she was and she didn't know how to find her school and continued to tell me how she got off at the wrong exit and she was so upset I took a deep breath and told her to find a place to pull over.

She pulled over in a church parking lot.  But she couldn't even tell me which church she was so upset.

I stepped next door and motioned to the classroom teacher.  I continued to talk to I.T. girl and thought that maybe my colleague could help me figure out where she was.  After what seemed like forever - but was probably 4 or 5 minutes - I.T. girl pulled closer to the church building and noticed the signage.  "First United Methodist Church".  Okay, just stay there.  I'm coming right now.

I grabbed my car keys at the speed of light, flew to my car, opened the door and tore down the interstate.  I managed to find her with the help of my G.P.S. (that we call Teckna)  Then I.T. girl followed me back to her high school.  Today was the last day of mid-term exams and so I walked her into the school office to explain what happened.  And to just make sure the administration would let her enter late.  "No problem", they said. Her tardy will be excused and she can go on to class.

Wow.  It was now 9:20am and I wanted to go back home and get in bed.

Alas, I had to return to my own school.  I did have visions of a slushy from Sonic.  It's a good thing there's not one along the route.

A final note:  make sure you have your portable GPS in your car and not in the drawer in the kitchen.  :)


In other news, The Dancer Girl and I ran up to Target this evening.  I had my eye on a few storage bins.  Our new house has a large pantry and I just can not manage to organize it  for both easy of use and cuteness.   I started on this project last night.  I shall take before and after photos.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Today was a long, l.o.n.g. day

Have you ever had a day that you thought would never end?  That was my day today.  It was just one thing after the other.

Someone had been in my classroom after school and didn't bother to clean up before they left.  So I was hit with that disorder when I first arrived.

A colleague was late to work which put us all in a bind.   It was one of those things that could not have been anticipated or avoided, but inconvenienced us all nonetheless.

Plans went awry.

Time creeped on.

I rushed home from work to meet the exterminator.  After the house was treated I decided to clean out my coupon binder as I was considering traveling to my vacation home Kroger.   I had many expired coupons to take out and many new coupons to file.

Sitting there alone doing tedious work can be calming to me.  It gives me time to think. I like organizing.  I like to alphabetize.
I waited for I.T. girl to return home from school.  After listening to her tales of that fake land of high school I decided she deserved some takeout.  So we ordered chinese.

Kroger can wait.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Making Healthier Choices

A moment of quiet, please:

LSU pelicans can't show their faces today.  

In other news, Ironman decided before Christmas that he was going to try to survive the eating binge that holidays bring, but afterwards it would be vegetables and fruits all the way.  This adventure began on Sunday.  Do you know what all that fiber does to you?  

Sunday we ate fruit, vegetables, soup and whole grain bread.
Monday we ate fruit, vegetables, brown rice, peas, sweet potatoes and soy milk.
Today we ate fruit, vegetables kabobs, whole grain pasta, walnuts and eggs.  (not all at the same time!)  I made a smoothie after work with soy milk, blackberries, blueberries and crushed ice.  

While I was cleaning the kitchen, I ate 4 vanilla wafers :)

Eating all this fiber has made me feel full.  Really fun.  Like "I can't eat another bite" full.  Today I had more energy than I've had in weeks.  

I'm sure tonight I will dream about Mrs. Winner's Cinnamon Rolls. 

I know I won't be able to sustain this vegetarian eating for long.  Eventually I'll have to add some fish and chicken.  Variety, as they say, is the spice of life.  Without it I'm setting myself up for failure.  

For now, though, I'll support Ironman by joining him in the garden of eating.  He's working out of town tomorrow................ hmmmm  what should I prepare for supper?  

Monday, January 9, 2012

Random Ponderings

I had a lot of "think" time today.

What kind of vacuum cleaner should I purchase?  We need one NOW.
Should I put Valentine Decor or Mardi Gras?
When will this rain end?
Did the weather guy just say sleet and snow is in the forecast?
Wasn't it 70 degrees Saturday morning?
Where is the nearest drive thru car wash?
What time is it?  That question is asked often.
What are we going to have for supper?
Did I remember to unplug the curling iron?
Did I pay Dancer Girl's lunch money?

Tonight is the BCS championship between LSU and Alabama.  I graduated from LSU.  I enjoyed every minute, however, most of those enjoyable minutes had nothing to do with football.   I wore my LSU Alumni T-shirt to school today.  Not a question, but I did think about my LSU days today.

Why do I still have a sore throat?  It's been almost a month.

When you know it's right, you just know it's right.

When will I find a pretty rug for the hearth room?

When I figure out the answers to all of these questions, I'll let you know!


Sunday, January 8, 2012

I Heart Having A Family

This morning when I got up and made my way through the booby traps to the coffee pot, I had to smile.  There was a WRECK in every room.  Just see for yourself.

Oh yes -   A big, big mess.   I could write a song.
My first thought was to take all these photos.  Then spend several hours cleaning everything, and then post "after" photos.

But you know what?  After thinking about it (as I was cleaning up everything) I decided that's not what I wanted to do.

I remember a time when I didn't have people living with me.  I remember when there was only one small basket of laundry.

And so today I am so thankful that I have a family.

 I'm thankful that The Engineer comes home, throws his books and shoes and backpack on the floor just like old times.  Because he's home.

 I'm thankful that I have to buy this many eggs.  Because I have that many people who live here who enjoy eggs.
I'm thankful that the laundry room proves a family lives here. I  love the hooks Ironman installed.  And I especially love that my daughter writes "A Rocks" on every single writable surface!

I love that my 17 year old asks Ironman to study with her.
I love that my 13 year old enjoys shopping with Mom.  (and cooking)
I love that my 20 year old likes to come home and just hang out with the parents.
Even if we're not doing anything special. 

I love being IN a family.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Saturday Morning Bah Mitzvah

Dancer Girl was invited to her friend's Bah Mitzvah.  I have never been to such a service.  I was delighted to escort her.  Not knowing what to expect still gives me those middle school butterflies.  The minute we stepped inside we were among family.  And that was definitely the ongoing theme of the celebration.   I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Seeing the legacy of generations, the friends from far, my daughter and her middle school friends.......... I loved it.  I am thankful we were all invited to share with H.R. on his special day.  I am thankful and honored to be a part of the extended family/friend community.

By the time I returned home it was well past noon.  And my list of "must be done today" items were waiting for me.  Oh my goodness, where to even begin!

I had a few packages to deliver to the post office.  But first they had to be packed, addressed and stamped.   I had sticky floor in the kitchen, bathroom mirrors that haven't seen windex in way too long, laundry piled high, mail to sort, bills to pay.  CALGON!! TAKE ME AWAY!!

I must confess a little secret that only Ironman knows about me.  I LOVE to clean the house. I love housework.  I know, CRAZY!  I love the sound of a vacuum, the smell of cascade and windex.  I love to sort, arrange, organize and purge.  So today was a good day for me.  Busy, but good.

Tomorrow:  MORE PHOTOS!  I can't wait  :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

I'm not complaining. Really, I'm not.

It's diet time again.  Or maybe I should call it "healthy lifestyle" time.  The NutriSystem/Weight Watchers/Jenny commercials are everywhere.  (When did Jenny Craig become just "Jenny"?)

Yes, I've gained weight.  I blame it on the stress of having a house on the market for a long 13 months.  L.O.N.G. thirteen months.  Oh sure, some people can't eat when they are feeling anxious and stressed.  I'm not a member of that club.

We finally sold the house.  Bought a new house.  School started.  I started a new job.  It was just one thing after the other.  So before Thanksgiving I talked to Ironman about my deciding it was time to put myself on the list.  Women, and especially mothers, tend to take care of everyone else and put themselves last.  We all know that is true.

But I had to get through Thanksgiving.  And then I had to get through Christmas.  (I know, I know.......... you don't have to tell me)

About a week ago I talked to Ironman again about my plan.  I asked him to please help me.  I  need his cooperation and help.  And I definitely need him to NOT sabotage me.  Even indirectly.   Now Ironman wears the same size jeans as the day we got married.  33X34. Yep, the same size. But he understood and agreed he'd behave.  :)

This week has been a healthy week.  I've eaten from all the food groups, steered clear of sugar and white flour.

Today after work I got home to hear of the big plans.  B/C The Engineer is returning to campus on Sunday we just have to go out to eat.  Mexican Food.  OH MY!!  Patti hungry and tired on a Friday evening + Mexican restaurant.  Not a good combination.

Ironman looked at me. "The eating is over after this meal"  Ha!  Where have I heard that before?

I'm having a difficult time getting started.  I know I can lose the pounds I gained over this last year.  But I need to get through that first day!  It has been frustrating trying to just get going.

Therefore I am putting myself first on the list.  I'm stocking the refrigerator full of healthy food choices.  Dancer Girl said she will ride her bike beside me every other day if I wanted to start walking again.  Yes!  I want to start!

I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Finished and Turned In On Time

Since Sunday afternoon my family has been entrenched in an assignment given by I.T. Girl's History Teacher.  My  middle daughter is in the 11th grade.   I'm not sure when the assignment was given by the teacher, but I.T. girl did not begin until Sunday.  And it was due today, Wednesday.

Oh sure, every now and then she'd mention it to me.  "I have this autobiography project I have to do."  Then she'd say, "I'm going to work on that autobiography project over the Christmas Holidays"  O.K.  I was pretty sure THAT wasn't going to happen.

I've never had to force coax I.T. Girl when it comes to homework.  She's relatively studious and her time management skills are usually pretty good.  Still, like her mother, many times the outcome is better under pressure.

And so as my family sat down for Sunday Dinner, I.T. girl began describing everything that was to be included in this project.  OH MY!!!   We decided we'd divvy up the work.  Several of the assigned items could only be done by I.T. herself.  But almost half of them were merely "looking up facts on the internet".

Here are some of the items:
A family tree with at minimum five generations.  Complete with dates of birth, dates of christening, dates of death, city and state of residency, occupation.  WOW!  Ironman and I both helped with that one.  We filled out a worksheet and then I.T. girl designed a "tree" and just copied our information.

A mission statement.  Obviously I.T. girl had to complete that one herself.

A list of 10 historical events that happened on your birthdate.

An imaginary interview with a well known person living or dead.  The Engineer helped with this one.  He wrote out an interview with Walt Disney.

A list of 10 memorable days in your life.  I helped her with this one.

And the list goes on and on and on.  There were 25 items to complete.

We all worked together for several hours Sunday,  then again on Monday.  Then again last night, Tuesday.  By 10pm the entire project was printed, placed in sheet protectors, snapped into a binder, signed, sealed............. and I.T. girl delivered it to her teacher today.

It was a monster of an assignment.

Homework wears us all out.  


So with that project behind us I hope I can have the time and energy to get back to my crafting and sewing and cooking and reading and all that stuff I enjoy.  

I'd like to make a few more of those paper trees.  Maybe using magazine pages this time.
I'd like to sew some pillow covers from luncheon napkins I bought at World Market.
I'd like to paint the wood pallet I pulled from a dumpster.  (I saw a super cute idea on pinterest)
I'd like to sit quietly and finish the book I started way back before the holiday madness began.
I'd like to take a nap!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

My 5 Strengths

I returned to work today after the Christmas/New Year Holidays.  Today was a day set aside for faculty and staff to enjoy a fun morning of inservice.  Don't we all enjoy inservice day?  As you can see I was not excited to return.  I hoped the morning would be worthwhile.

The faculty was assigned a book to read sometime in October/November.

Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath

 After reading the book and opening the envelope in the back with your one time only access code, you were to log on and take the online quiz.  This quiz would reveal your top 5 strengths.

I skimmed the book on Saturday.  I took the online quiz on Saturday.  Yes, I didn't do it until the deadline was nearing.  Still I heard other teachers admit they got up early this morning and took the quiz!  We do best under pressure.

My top 5 strengths:
1. Relator
2. Achiever
3. Maximizer
4. Developer
5. Discipline

I have to say, relator?  I was STUNNED it was my greatest strength.  I feel like I struggle to relate with others.  I've always said the most challenging part of my job is working with women.  And I'm a woman.  So I can say that.  It can be great working with other women but it can be difficult and frustrating.  

The book has a short chapter explaining each strength.  After reading it thoroughly scanning it I decided that many of the traits outlined for "relators" I do recognize.  So okay, maybe that is one of my personality quirks.  But a strength?  I just don't know.

We met as a grade level and read our list of strengths aloud.  Discovered others who have the same strength.  Laughed and discussed each one.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.
The next exercise took a little more thought.  We were to attribute a strength (or two) to those we work with on a daily basis.
When I read through the cards about me - WOW!  I was so .......... not sure what the word is.  But I was happy and relieved and almost proud (can I say proud?) of the strengths my work friends listed under my name.  I HOPE I have those strengths.
And, by the way, their lists were quite different from the computer generated one.


Someone even wrote in the word LOVELY along the side.

It absolutely made my day.
Have you ever thought about your strengths?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year 2012

This morning Ironman and I were the only ones awake.  The house was quiet and peaceful.  We scrambled some eggs, buttered some toast, and had a pot of coffee to share. I'm sure I married the right one.  (long story for another time)

 Then we decided to go on to church alone and let the teenagers sleep in.
It was so nice to sit in worship with just my husband.  I needed it.  I needed time to reflect, remember and rest in HIs care.  The service refreshed my soul.

On the way home we pulled into a nearby grocery store.  Obviously, we better not return home without food.  We filled the cart with necessary things.  I did not "fret" about the money because I'm thankful to have a houseful of hungry teenagers.

Anyway, most of the day Ironman and I have thought about the past.  Our teens leave the room LOVE and ENJOY when we sing old 70s songs and talk about the "old days"

Do you remember:
1. When stores were closed on Sunday?
2. When your 4th grade teacher threatened you with the metric system?  YOU MUST LEARN IT.  When you're an adult, all the USA will be using this system.
3. When your grandmother added bacon fat to all her cookin'?
4. The words to Kumbayah?  My kids had never even hear of that song.
5. Or the words to "Kookaburro"?
6. Or Neil Sadaka?  When I was a young girl, after my parent's divorce.........I wanted my mother to marry Neil Sadaka.  :)
7. Playing outside until the street lights came on?  Nobody ever checked on us
I rode my bike to school.  Every day.  1st - 6th grade

Love and Kisses

It's back to work for me tomorrow.