Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Good news is sometimes not as good as you think...

Today we hit 3 months on the adoption list and thought, about a week ago, that life was just merrily going along our own way...

then, we got an e-mail that Annie wanted to talk about a matching. We went nuts! Someone was actually looking at us????? How exciting!

Questions immediately sprung up:

Kelly: How far along is she? Has she been taking prenatal vitamins? Is she having a boy or a girl? Where is she from? Is the baby ok?

Gary: Should we start buying Legos????

Then, the excitement died down. We found out that others have looked at us before this time and did not choose us. Reality slapped us in the face. Hmmm...I guess I never thought that we would be shopped to potential birthmoms and not know about it. I guess I should have figured that, but it is weird to think that major decisions (I am talking life changing decisions) could be in the works, behind closed doors, and we would have no knowledge of them.

This new development has opened our eyes to the fact that it is really going to happen for us, maybe not today or tomorrow or even before the New Year, but rather in God's time. I understand why it can't be in our time, but it still does not make it easy at this time of year.

So, Gary and I ask that you keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we wait, patiently, for the right birthmom to come along and say, "These are the people who need to love my child forever." And while you are praying for us, drop God a text, e-mail, IM, or whatever happens to be your preferred mode of communication these days, to help those birthmom's out there with adoption plans to make the right choice, whatever that may be...

Ponderings along the way,


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Our Adoption Story Update...

Today marks 2 months on the waiting list. I am still very much at peace with the wait, besides, we are very early into it (average wait time is 12-18 months). My students hope we get a call this year so they can celebrate (any reason for a party is a good one to them). Since our social worker, Annie, told us to start buying things now, at least the big stuff, that is what we are looking at for Christmas ideas...hint, hint, family members who read my ramblings. A friend suggested I register at Target. To me, that seems strange, since I am not pregnant, and we have not gotten an official call... yet, but I guess it could be smart. I will have to think on that one.

For now, we just ask for your prayers. We know God has a little one out there for us, I just hope and pray that it is sooner in his plans than later. All in God's time, I have to remember.


A poem for headache sufferers like me

Mirror, Mirror, on the wall...
I hate headaches, one and all.

Sinus, tension, migraines, too,
They all leave me feeling blue.

Weekends should be headache free,
Time for God, family, and me.

If your medicine leaves you out of luck,
Do as I do, and find a Starbucks!

That is the only thing headaches do for me, they leave me inspired to write:)


Saturday, October 4, 2008

Fudgesicle Lemonhead

Last fall, I had the chance to sit in on a workshop with one of my favorite children's poets, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, in one of my all-time favorite cities, Manhattan. Rebecca talked about how she came up with some of her poems by randomly selecting words she really likes and putting them together. I love writing poetry and often find myself writing them in my head as I make the long morning commute to school.

As I am having my students generate lists of words they really like, to use as seed collections in their journals, I thought it would be fun to share two of my favorite words in the form of a Haiku. Enjoy!

Fudgesicle Lemonhead
Sugar rush, ears red
Tongue biting, sour pucker
Opposites attract

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Buying Diapers...HELP!!!!!

So now that we are on the official Caucasian Infant Waiting List or CIWL as I will refer to it, our social worker says we should start buying baby things as we never know when we will be getting THE CALL.

Gary thinks this means buying all the toys his mom never let him play with because the pieces just might get sucked up in the dreaded vacuum. That means Lego's, tinker toys, K-Nex, etc. I think our priorities are slightly eschewed.

My question to all of you moms out there who have young ones or who have had young ones recently is this: What is a good price for diapers???? Target recently had 192 infant diapers on sale for $29.00. Is this a good buy??? I have absolutely no clue, help!

Lost in baby land,


Darn you Ike

I am sad...

Not for myself, but for my hubby. He was really looking forward to biking tomorrow at Dogwood Canyon. The colors would be starting to come out on the trees, the weather is beautiful, and if you breathe really deeply (ok, just pretend for a moment) you can smell fall in the air.

Thanks to Hurricane Ike, Dogwood is closed! How sad to ravage one of God's truly beautiful places in the Ozarks.

Guess he will just have to bike at the lake and pretend he hears the rush of waterfalls as he zooms passed a DUCK making a splash in the water. Just ignore the Wacky Quackers, dear. Sais La Vie...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Long time...no blog

First, I want to apologize to those friends and family who do follow my blog, whether they post a comment or just call me on the phone to talk about it. I have been lost in what is called, Beginning of the Year Teacher Land! It is not my favorite place to be lost in since it usually means an overwhelming number of demands on my work life and not enough time spent on my personal life. I love the beginning of September because school starts, and I get a fresh batch of 6th graders to love on plus my birthday is the first week, but I also love September to end. The ushering in of October usually means less imminent due dates at work, the kids are starting to get in the swing of things at school, and my hubby is half way through his football season which equals more time spent with me!!!!

So, here is a quick update on my last month:

1. I turned 38. That seems like a dreaded number, but really it is just an even number with only a few factors (had to get a math lesson in there somewhere).

2. We FINALLY have been approved to adopt!!! It was one long summer, but now it is just up to God to find us the right birth mom who wants us to become a forever family for her child. Keep us in your prayers!

3. I catered to all of my hubby's needs while he spent five miserable days battling a sinus infection. I honestly thought the world was coming to an end the way he carried on.

4. I spent my first home football game with the paramedics, hooked up to a breathing machine, all because some highschooler thought they needed to wear an entire can of Axe Body Spray (which I am highly allergic to) to impress all the nonexistent girls, who might possibly want to date him, sitting in Kenna's and my section. Was that crass at all???? Poor, guy, maybe he really does need the body spray. Thank heavens I do not teacher jr. high!

5. Hubby is now catering to me (thanks to the fun cowbell I got at above football game)! I decided to stupidly play chase with my favorite pooch the other night and slipped, falling with my foot completely upside down and backwards underneath me. One loud popping sound, a wave of nausea, and I am sure a few choice words later...I could not feel my foot and thought I might either want to die or pass out. After hubby coach took me to see the athletic trainer at the HS since the local ER in B-town was on a 5 hour backlog, it was decided that I could have fractured fibia in my left ankle. Took the next day off to rest, ice, compress, elevate my ankle and have x-rays done. Prognosis: Severe sprain, hyper extended all the ligaments and tendons, and possibly a small tear in a ligament (but too swollen to tell for sure right now). So, I am hobbling around like an idiot in an air splint and crutches for the next few weeks.

6. My students are the best!!!! They have been taking care of me hand over foot. I even have my own little posse who have taken to getting me ice, water, my lunch tray, and I even have one little guy who has designated himself my personal bodyguard! He walks down the hall in front of me saying, "Back away from the foot!" Isn't that precious!!!!

That is my life right now in a nutshell. More pondering later...


Saturday, August 30, 2008

You know you love to teach middle school when...

Someone let's one rip in the hallway, and all the boys go, "Sweet!!!!!"

Your slowpokiest student tells you he just can't move any faster because his toe might fall off.

You respond back to him that in 6th grade toes are not allowed to fall off on Thursdays, only Fridays, and he believes you.

You write stories about something hiding under your living room rug, and the kid's stories are sooooo amazingly filled with details that you are all laughing so hard you cry.

You teach a math lesson, after taking a year off from math, and every child in the room "Gets it!"

Your kids come back in from a hot, sweaty day at recess and you just about pass out from the odor that is radiating out of every one of their pores because they do not seem to know what deodorant is and you would rather they NOT "Raise their hands if they're SURE." (Yes, we allow them to wear deodorant at our school.)

Your students favorite way to communicate with you is through Facebook and they tell you that, "You Rock!"

You are reading aloud to the kids and there is a line in the book that says, "I have not seen this many balls in one room since Elementary PE," and the boys all start laughing so hard that one kid falls over backwards in his chair.

They won't admit it, but they really do truly still love to have you read picture books to them.

your kids are so comfortable with you that they accidentally call you mom:)

And finally, the number one way to know you love to teach middle school is when a parent tells you that you are the reason their child loves to get up every morning, with a smile on their face, and go to school!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Adoption Update

We got an e-mail on Friday that our home study is finally finished and that we have been recommended for adoption! I spent Friday night madly going through the home study to check for any errors, so that Annie (our wonderful social worker) can get it finalized with her supervisor and sent on to St. Louis for final approval. We are hoping to get a call in the very near future telling us that we are finally approved and on the official list. I feel like my life is nothing but a giant waiting line right now. Please keep us in your prayers that God will find the right birthmom for us and the wait will not be too long. Gary and I can't wait to finally have a baby to hold in our arms and call our own:)


Friday, August 22, 2008

First Day Jitters

I am always a basket case right before heading back to school for a new year. I can't sleep, and when I do, I have the strangest dreams like going surfing with the new PE teacher! When was the last time I had the chance to surf in B-town?????? This year though, I somehow managed to get a full night of sleep the evening before. Maybe it is God telling me I need all the rest I can get because I am going to need it this year, or maybe I am just getting used to teaching after 9 years of first days. Whichever the case, I did survive the first day and from the looks of it, have a pretty sweet class. Who knows, they could turn out to be like that cute little monkey on Night at the Museum and turn into holy terrors today!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted...

I have been on a blog vacation. My mom and 7 year old niece from Washington State came out to visit us for a week. Living in B-town, all I can say is, "I am exhausted!!!!!" I never knew how tired you could be after a week of theme parks, water slides, funnel cakes, shopping, horse shows, frozen custard, IMAX, and my first ever trip to Build-a-Bear. Who ever thought that buying an animal skin, stuffing it, bathing it, dressing it in its own cute little hot pink outfits (plus the multitude of accessories available), naming it and giving it a birth certificate, would make money??? Can you say $$$$$$$$$$$$$????

Think these pictures sum up our fun in B-town. Now, back to cleaning house before the next batch of company arrives ready to tear it up. Calgon, take me away!!!


BubbleShare: Share photos - Find great Clip Art Images.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Picture Book Suggestion: Punk Farm

As part of my job, I get to read lots and lots of children's picture books as I look for that elusive great book to use as a mentor text in my reading/writing lessons. I think I will start sharing a few of them for those parents out there who have little ones that love to be read to at night. I will have to tell you though that even my 6th graders love having me read to them just as much or even more than I ever could have imagined. As one of my friends' kids just told me the other day, "You sure know how to pick out the best books, they are sooo funny!"

So, thinking of Alana and the boys (actually R and the hilarious head/login incident made me clear this was a book for them), here is my first entry:

Punk Farm followed by Punk Farm on Tour.

These farm animals are soooo rockin' that they even have their own website, where you can listen to their punked out version of popular kids' songs from the book as you read, and their own pretend myspace page (not a real one, very safe for the kids to visit and pretty hilarious). So, all of you moms and dads out there who always wanted to rock out, now is your chance. Susie, your kids will LOOOOOVVVE these books too! I can just picture "T" doing the air guitar!

As for teachers, great for character studies, voice, circular stories, etc. My 6th graders went nuts over these books and even created new characters for the band, plus song ideas.

So, in the immortal words of Punk Farm, "You Rock Colorado!!!!"


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Curvaceous Update for July

Dragged myself in for weighing and measuring today. Here are the results:

weight lost - 4 pounds

fat lost - 3 pounds

inches lost - 3

Total weight lost for year: 14 pounds

Car batteries dead: 1

Sounds out of my mouth upon realizing this: Priceless


Where I'm From

Time: 8:07 a.m.

What I am doing: Procrastinating

As I sit here doing everything other than going to Curves like I am supposed to (it is the dreaded weigh and measure day), I was visiting a fellow teachers' blog about her writing territories assignment she is making up for her kids the first week of school. Now for those of you who do not teach, a writing territory is part of your life that only you can write about. The kids make lists of all sorts of things in their lives that could be interesting writing starters (seeds) and post them in their notebooks so on the day when they are sitting there with nothing to write about, they have a whole list of ideas to turn to. So, this blog post reminded me of a writing project I had my 6th graders complete last fall. We wrote Where I am From poems. I created my own to model for the kids, and then they wrote one about themselves, then interviewed a family member and created one for them so we would have parallel poems. The kids loved it and the parents loved getting to spend actual real live face time with their prepubescent child.

You are asking where this is going? Well, I thought for the fun of it, I would share with you my poem. Call it a meme of sorts in poetic form. Mine inspired a whole group of teachers to write one of their own. It gives you a great opportunity to reflect on yourself as a child growing up in whatever decade that might be. Thanks to teacher and author Nancy Atwell for the basis of the idea. Maybe this will encourage you to create one of your own. It was a lot of fun tripping down memory lane. Hope you enjoy my trip and maybe it will spark an interest or memory in yourself.


I am from Barbies, Mad Libs and Clue
Playing soccer with the boys, running like the wind, Alley Wiffleball in gym and cheating at Spotlight
I am from albums, 8 tracks, cassette tapes & CD’s
Madonna as a Material Girl, Michael Jackson in Thriller, Hair bands and the Go-Go’s
I am from Crushin’ on Tom Cruise as Maverick in Top Gun, loving the brat pack and Molly Ringwald, Harrison Ford in Star Wars and Indiana Jones
I am from dancing with Kevin Bacon in Footloose, Friday the Thirteenth and slasher films, ET phoning home
Wishing I lived like the kids on Family Ties, The Cosby Show & Growing Pains
Not like the kids from Roseanne, Married with Children or the Simpsons
I am from Pop Rocks to Zotz, collector Pez dispensers to Razzles (first it’s a candy…then it’s a gum)
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, reading Lord of the Rings and Nancy Drew
I am from blowing up Julie’s mom’s first microwave oven, cordless phones, and the rise of Apple Computers
I am from Nixon and Watergate, Jimmy Carter and his peanuts, Reagan as a president (not an actor)
I am from 26 years in Washington State, with a sprinkle of California (like gag me with a spoon you know), Idaho and New York thrown in
Mount Saint Helen’s erupting, the Pepsi Challenge, and the space shuttle Challenger flaming in the sky.
My life is like a bad 80’s movie with a splash of chick flick thrown in
Even though life in the 80’s may have been the decade of excess, today, I still Want My MTV.

Kelly Christine Neal

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tales of a Non-scrapbooker

Help! So, hubby and I have made it through the home study portion of our adoption. Super Cleaning Woman came out for apparently no reason other than to hear, "Is your entertainment center always so dust free?" I almost died of laughter at that one being a pet owner who has to dust and vacuum religiously! Although, hubby and I do have an arrangement made with our marriage vows. He will dust the house (job I loathe) if he never has to clean a toilet 'til death do us part. "I do!" So, I know that on toilet cleaning days, which I think I have OCD in this area, at least the dust bunnies will be rounded up and the spiders will have to build new homes.

Now to the real reason I screamed help at the beginning of this gibberish, we now have to make an album so that the agency can basically sell us to the birth moms. I am panicked never having scrapbooked in my life! I have told friends, when invited to their scrapbooking parties, that I will come to a party when I have kids. Who needs to scrapbook just yourself???? Now, I am at that point and have no abilities to turn paper into anything looking remotely cute. So, I am calling in reinforcements. Does anyone know if you can print pages from Smilebox? If so, I am technically savvy enough to handle that, I think... Also, any tips on just scrapbooking would be greatly appreciated as some of my pictures obviously predate the digital age of the camera, cue the dinosaurs. Thanks in advance as we are now one step closer to having our baby hopes and dreams realized!


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Blueberry Heaven

As I was standing at the sink today pondering over what to do with the 14 pounds of blueberries I recently picked here, (yes, we went a little nuts), I thought I should share two of my favorite recipes involving said berries. The first is Blueberry Buckle which is the yummiest coffee cake and can be made with any type of berry. I remember as a kid, waking up on a Sunday morning to the most amazing and heavenly aroma wafting up the stairs and tickling my nose. Good grief, now I want to make some!!!

The second recipe is for a lowfat, but still very scrumpdillyicious blueberry smoothie. Gary and I indulged in one of these the morning after our berry picking adventure. To double the recipe, just add another half cup of berries and another half cup of milk. Enjoy!


Blueberry Buckle

Beat together:
3/4 c. sugar1/4 c. butter2 eggs1/2 c. milk
Sift together:
1 1/2 c. flour2 tsp. baking powder1/2 tsp. salt1/2 tsp. nutmeg1/4 tsp. cloves
Stir into egg mixture then carefully fold in 1 quart blueberries or 10 ounce package frozen berries.
Top with:
1/2 c. sugar1/3 c. flour1/2 tsp. cinnamon1/4 c. butter
Mix until crumbly.
Bake in preheated 375 oven about 45 minutes until top springs back when lightly touched. Serve warm cut in squares.

Blueberry Breakfast Shake

1/2 cup blueberries , picked over and rinsed
1/2 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup skim milk
2 tablespoons honey
5ice cubes

Place all ingredients in the jar of a blender, and process until smooth. Serve immediately in tall glasses.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Exercise Woes

This summer, I decided that exercise was going to be a priority in my life. I am not going anywhere, have few obligations and no excuses. Besides, if Gladys, my 83 year old workout buddy at Curves can be ready to hit her 1000 workout, I have absolutely NO excuses. So, I dusted off the elliptical and my Curves membership, put on workout wear (no spandex here girls) and hit the fitness trail. My exercise regime has consisted of not only the above mentioned modes for working up a sweat, but biking here (B-towners, did you know you can get an annual pass for $45)and walking the pooch and myself around more than just the block. Sooooo, why when I stepped on the scale yesterday had I gained 4 pounds?!?! The numbers are supposed to go down, not up! I know, you will all tell me I have gained muscle and not fat (blah, blah, blah), but my brain says, "Who cares" if the numbers don't show it! We are a society driven by the numbers, and I don't like what I saw. I figured with my recent bout with food poisoning, I would have purged enough to show some weight loss, but alas, no.

I am not giving up though. Everyone says it takes 21 days to make or break a habit, and I am now officially addicted to endorphins! Besides, Sadie, the best pooch ever, is loving her mommy's new found addiction. Now, if I can just get up the courage to go have my physical done for our adoption, life will be grand. I am just afraid the doc is going to say that I am suffering from Death by Chocolate! But that is another hurdle to jump...

Monday, July 7, 2008

Poison...Not the 80's band

Here it is, the Monday after the 4th, and I am down with what my hubby says is food poisoning. What a way to kick off his one and only week at home before football starts. Oh, the joys of living in B-town and being a "Raw, Raw" Pirate wife. Think the aforementioned poisoning stemmed from hubby's dire need to eat here after church, or he would just die. Normally we can't eat there as said hubby has a severe "blow up like a pufferfish" allergy to shellfish, and we all know what other restaurant chains with the above mentioned fried chicken eatery. Found out they do not fry the chicken in the same grease, so he was appeased, and two hours later, I felt like I was in the bathroom at a bad 80's hairband concert (hugging the porcelain God with one end and a bucket with the other). Why is it in times like this that your pastor decides to call???? I am sure Dave loved hearing me scream at hubby to get me a bucket before I lost it on the floor. Alana, I think bathrooms should be our discussion this week in blogland:)

Needless to say, I am starting to feel better thanks to a lot of the pretty pink stuff and some 7-up. I have to suck it up and feel better by tomorrow as I have to turn into Super Cleaning Woman!!! Why you ask? Our friendly social worker, Annie, is arriving on Wednesday afternoon to finish up our adoption homestudy. Yeah!!!!!!! So, for now, back to the couch, my comfy blanket, and more 7-up...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Introducing New Blog Bling

For those of you who thought I maybe fell in a hole and couldn't get out, well, I am back! Anyone who knows a teacher (personally) knows that May is survival of the fittest and hope you come out breathing month! I made it through my first year of 6th grade (loved the change) and thought I should celebrate with a new fun layout. I owe it all to this amazing designer. I did take her header and customized it to my liking (which she encourages you to do). Let me know what you think. More thoughts to ponder later...


Sunday, April 13, 2008

All good things must come to an end...

As Gary and I were wandering around the landing a week ago, we noticed that our favorite new establishment, Piztros, was dark. Was it a power failure? No, the restaurant has shut down! "Why!!!" was screaming in my mind. We had just eaten there a few weeks ago and had to wait 40 plus minutes for a table with the in-laws. I knew there had to be a reason, so I got on the horn with Susie and she checked out the website. Sure enough, the B-town site no longer existed. I was royally bummed...

Well, as we all know, usually with the bad, something good must come out of it. As Susie, the kids and I were shoe shopping yesterday, looking for brown sandals, bought some X-appeal sneakers instead (My students will love me!). Was that a run-on sentence or a fragment??? Oh well, such is the world of blogging. Back to the main topic at hand, good food. We ran into a friend of ours who informed us that this yummy establishment bought Piztros out and is coming in to take its place. Yea!!!!!! Think we will definately have to have a girl's night out once it opens. Any takers????

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Delicious Divas

As you can tell by my title I, too, Alana, love alliteration! Last night, I had a much needed night out with the girls here to help celebrate my great friend Susie's 19th, 21st birthday. How confusing was that? She will appreciate it. We had a blast, laughing, eating fabulous food, sharing stories, eating more fabulous food, and joking with the waiters about us "old women", or as Seth called us "much cuter older sisters" having my space and facebook accounts. What century does he think we were born in? This is the technology age for heaven's sake. I figure, if my 80 year-old grandpa can e-mail and make slideshows here, then I can blog about my randomness and hope that maybe someone out there in cyberspace finds my musings food for fodder, or just a way to pass the time on a rainy day.

Back to my randomness...

So, being the queen of the quarter pounder sized backside, of course food was my topic of choice last night. Susie and I have this wicked idea that we should open a cupcake/mini trifle patisserie. OOH LA LA, my years of french class have done me well today! For the non-french speakers out there, that would be bakery. Wouldn't it be fun to be surrounded by guilty pleasures all day, teasing and tempting the helpless victim walking by with our sinful creations? I might actually lose a much needed pound or two baking for someone other than mon amore et moi. What a concept!

As I was surfing the net this morning, rather than sleeping in on a Saturday (darn brain for waking me up), I stumbled upon this amazing blog I just have to share. This truly made me realize that there are blogs out in cyberspace for literally anything you want to know about. So, cupcake lovers of the world, UNITE and check out this blog.



Sunday, March 9, 2008

Follow the Yellow Brick Road

We have finally landed after a second weekend making the long trek down to Little Rock to see the fertility guru. I feel like Dorothy on the yellow brick road trying to find the elusive Emerald City and never quite getting there. After my appointment on Saturday, I decided that now I feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog's Day as we have to venture back to LR on Friday! Will it never end!!!!

I just want one weekend where I can get my housework done, spend time with my hubby and best dog ever, and actually attend church. Instead, the house is a mess, laundry needs to be folded, I can't find the power cord to my laptop (heaven forbid I left it in Little Rock), and I really need Calgon to take me away from all these science fair projects! If I ever see another science fair project it would be too soon!

Ok, enough mindless chatter...on to fertility news. After an ultrasound, it looks like I have small ovaries. Now, I could have told them this ages ago as they never can seem to find my left one until they have thoroughly probed me to where I truly think the probe is going to come shooting out of my belly button like on of those creatures in the movie, Alien. So, having small ovaries means I am either starting to have a decline in egg production already (37 rather than 41), or I am just a late bloomer this month. We do know the clomid (crazy drug to make you have multiple births) is starting to work as I have had the worst hotflashes ever this past week. I never knew someone could sweat from their feet so much! If this is any indication of what menopause is going to be like, heaven help us all gals!

If I am just a late bloomer and really do surge this week, then it will be all happy, happy, joy, joy for the hubby. We do have to have a test at the beginning of my next cycle that will determine whether we need to stop treatments and go the adoption/egg donor route only or continue on and change to injections. Either way, I am nervous, but know it is all in God's hands. I know he will eventually get me to Oz.

Monday, March 3, 2008

What's Cookin' Italian Style

After reading my friend, Cindy's blog about what she is cooking for dinner, I have decided to post some of my favorite meals or desserts here. Tonight, with the impending threat of snow (Yay! No ice! Boo, we will be going to school until the cows come home!), I raced to Wally World with all the other idiots out in B-town land who forgot to shop yesterday. I actually had a legit reason for procrastinating on the shopping. I spent the weekend in Southern Arkansas visiting the fertility guru and catching up with an overdue visit to the hubby's family.

Back to the racing to Wally World...So as I am racing down the aisles, knowing that if I don't set a new land speed record for making it around the store at faster than a snails pace with the doom of snow gloom looming (wow, what a rhyme), my car is going to freeze shut and I will be stranded.

As I was looking for frozen strawberries to make pancakes with whip cream, a snow day tradition for us, I spied the most wonderful bagged pasta dish I have ever cooked! If you have never purchased a Bertolli Bagged Pasta Meal, it is soooo worth it. Nine minutes in the pan, a little salad & garlic bread on the side and voila! A Mediterranean style dish without any trouble. We chose the Rosemary Chicken, Linguine, & Cherry Tomatoes version tonight. All I can say is, "Yum-my!"

But for now, Ciao Bella!


Saturday, February 23, 2008

Becoming Curvalicious

So my friend Susie and I have been talking a lot about being somewhere in our 30's and needing to take charge of our bodies. My hubby and I took advantage of B-town having to do a snow makeup day last Monday and played hooky (legit, hooky of course). That afternoon, I decided to haul my quarter pounder bum back into Curves. Transferred my membership from B-town over to my neck of the woods back in August, but what good is a gym membership if you don't use it?

Working out just once reminded me of how much I missed it. I love Curves! It is so great that you can go workout and feel like you don't have to put on makeup or squeeze yourself into some tiny little thing hoping that your extra curves don't hang out everywhere in the process. Other gyms have intimidated me in the past, but not this one. The people are so friendly and encouraging, the workouts never boring as you are constantly changing machines, and the time goes so fast, maybe because I yak the whole time:)

If you have never checked out Curves ladies, I encourage you to do so. I have worked out 5 days this week and feel like I have so much more energy. Even ran circles around the house with the pup just for fun. Hey, what else is there to do on our bizillionth snow day????

No matter what type of exercise you do, remember this challenge, I am becoming curvalicious, how about you????

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Summer Vacation

I know summer vacation is still 68 school days away, +/- heaven forbid, any more snow days thrown in, but on a nasty, rainy day like today, I can't help but dream of a far away locale. This place is like mecca to me: all sun, hot sweaty guys running around, the best food in the world, ice cold drinks, and all for less than $100.00 a person per day. What is this dreamland, you are asking???? Drumroll please....Turner Field, the home of the Atlanta Braves! I am sure Susie is dying in her seat right now.

Baseball season is my favorite time of year. I know it is dangerous to live in Cardinal Country and root for the Braves, but it all goes back to my little brothers playing on the Atlanta Braves' little league team back in the early 80's. We just became instant Braves fans and have seen them through the good, the bad, and the really ugly.

Well, this is probably the final year for my favorite player and future hall of fame pitcher, Tom Glavine. He is just so leveled headed in a game of cry babies and spoiled brats. He was once part of the Braves' Young Guns' Starting Rotation, a force to be reconned with back in the early 90's. Traded to the Mets a few years back, he is back with the best for one last glorious season. Lucky for me, I married a fellow Braves fan. After digging on the internet for the 2008 schedule, we found that they will be playing our illustrious Cardinals for one three game homestand in June. How can we pass it up I said to dear hubby???

Hopefully, my dream will come true, and we will be road trippin' it to Hot'lanta in June. Ballpark hotdogs, humidity up the wazzu, and enough tomahawk chopping to last a lifetime! Atlanta, here we come!

Adoption 101: To choose or not to choose, that is the question

So my hubby and I have officially jumped into the adoption pool. Right now I feel like with all the paperwork, we are entering with our swim floaties on just trying to muddle through the shallow end. We are not even close to being ready for the diving board yet! The amount of paperwork and questions about what you will or won't accept is crazy! Why can't God just say, here is the baby I have created for you, now it is your job to love it unconditionally like I do for you.

After some long, long, and very tedious thought and prayer sessions, Gary and I decided that any child who could potentially have anything in our families' backgrounds is very acceptable to us. There are many things we are willing to discuss, but I just don't know if I have enough unconditional love to care for a child with a drug background. Is that selfish of me? I guess my thought is that if I cannot have a child on my own, then I can be a little more choosy. Besides, I don't do drugs, so I would never have a child addicted to meth at birth. Sound logical? I hope so because I really don't want to sound shallow. I know through all of this, I just have to trust in the Lord to know, as a child of his, what I am cabable of caring for and loving with all my heart.

Through all of this I have learned that we are very lucky that we have a God who is willing to love us no matter what and is not selfish except for in the fact that he wants us all to come to know him on a personal level.

Thank you Lord for loving me unconditionally!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Falling in the hole or choosing to walk around

"You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself" - Jim Rohn

I found this quote as I was checking my daily igoogle today. I have personally decided that God is speaking directly to me through igoogle. In the immortal words of Depeche Mode, maybe it is my Personal Jesus, maybe I am just very tired in the mornings, but someone is definately talking to me, and I am starting to sit up and listen.

In class yeterday, we read and analyzed a poem about walking down the same street everyday and noticing a large hole. The question in the poem was, "Do you fall in the hole and blame others, fall in and realize it is your fault, fall in and never get out, fall in and get out, walk around the hole or take a new street?" This is so much like trying to lose weight, or any other habit a person has made the wrong personal choice about.

And that is the key statement, it is all about what YOU choose. No one can make me eat that candy bar sitting on the counter or the soda that is soooo calling my name down the hall in the teacher's lounge. Only I can take control of the situation. So, I really have to ask myself if I want to keep falling in the hole, or am I going to climb back out and take a new street? Things to ponder today...

Saturday, February 2, 2008

On the road to happiness...

"If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes." - Andrew Carnegie

Ok, so I have jumped into the blogosphere for myself. I already have a blog I use with my 6th graders, and they love it. I just have had no personal time to create one for myself until now. I have spent the last two glorious days enjoying some much needed snow days. They are my favorite unofficial holidays as any teacher knows. It has given me the chance to ponder about life, weight loss, love, weight loss, friends, weight loss and finally, weight loss. Or, in my case, it is acutally weight gain that I am pondering right now as I just got off the eliptical, huffing and puffing after 20 of the longest minutes of my life. Why have I done this to myself??????

So, as I was setting up my igoogle homepage, I came across an inspirational quotes and pictures widget with the above quote and knew it was time to start the blog! Susie will be thrilled that she has another blogging buddy!

I ask myself, "Why now?" Well, the quote says it all...I want to be happy. Not that I am not a happy person, but I am a very stressed out, dedicated to my job and nothing else person who really needs to start focusing on me, my family and the body that God has so kindly lent to me. I don't want to end up at the pearly gates one day and have God ask me what I have done with this body he gave me and have nothing good to say. So, here I am, a rambling fool, laying it all out there. You are going to get the good, the bad, and the ugly, but hopefully, I am on the right road to happiness. Will you join me in this trek?

random ponderings and happy wishes...