Saturday, December 29, 2007

My Christmas recap

Just a little recap of the last few days:
  • Mike got over his stomach virus, so our traveling was delayed by a day. We exchanged gifts before leaving. I found this awesome charcoal corduroy sports jacket that I have been looking for since last Christmas. I finally found it in his size, quite unexpectedly! I think he was very surprised by it! Mike gave me a subscription to Flickr -- I will be uploading photos like crazy over the next several day!
  • Our first stop was Ohio to visit Mike's parents. We went to Bob Evans with Mike's parents, his sister, his brother and his brother's girlfriend. Then we went back to exchange gifts. Mike did his Christmas shopping while he was sick -- wow! My in-laws gave me some cupcake stuff (mini pan and the Cupcakes by the Cake Doctor book), and a big stack of CDs so I can back up all my photos! Mike asked for lots of old family photos scanned onto a jump drive -- it was really cool to look at those photos, and see the resemblances between family members!
  • Oh yeah, my brother-in-law gave me some awesome Winter Candy Apple lotion and soap! He's the best brother-in-law ever (and he reads my blog occasionally)! Thanks, Matt!
  • The next day we backtracked to Kentucky to visit Mike's extended family. Three get-togethers in two days -- whew! This was the first time we left Lola at home by herself -- just overnight, but eek -- it was scary to think of what she could do to the apartment! Turns out, she did a very good job of holding down the fort!
  • We went to a less-than-inspiring Christmas Mass (Mike was raised Catholic). Somehow, we expected the Christmas message to be about...oh, I don't know...Christ's birth. Kind of disappointing...
  • On Christmas day, we got up very, very early to drive to my parents' house. I think I did pretty well with my family's gifts -- I gave my mom some quiling supplies (she's been wanting to try it for a few years), a cute jacket for my sister, some books that my brother had been wanting, but couldn't find, and one of those jump-starters for my dad's truck. My parents gave me a gift card to my favorite clothing store. And Welcome Back, Kotter season 1. Oh, and this huge 300 page assortment of K & Co. papers -- wowzers!
  • This was the first Christmas that Mike and I planned ahead for our Christmas spending. We started a gift fund envelope, and have been adding to it monthly throughout the year. It feels so good to know that we can look at our bank statement without fear!
  • I made some awesome pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese icing! Yum!
  • We stuck around my parents' house a few day's for my dad's birthday. Mike roasted a duck for was awesome! He had never roased a whole duck before, so he was a little worried about how it would turn out. But my parents were totally impressed.
  • Today, my mom and I went to Black Barn Produce. It's king of like an old general store, and yes, it's in a black barn. Really neat stuff there. And they sell all sorts of cane sugar sodas that are pretty hard to find elsewhere.
  • I didn't take very many photos this year. Kicking myself a little, but hey, I got to live in the moment! :)
  • Has anyone ever seen the resin ducks that can be dressed up in seasonal attire? My mom has one, and wouldn't you know it -- some of the clothing is Lola-sized! Doesn't she look adorable in her Christmas scarf? :)

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! If you leave a comment, I'd love to know what you thought was the best part! :)

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!

I just wanted to wish everyone a merry Christmas! Enjoy time with your family and friends, and definitely make the most of your time with them!

Also, I'm happy to report that Mike is feeling much better!

I'll be sending Christmas trees out in a few days. If you want one, just let me know (JLizzie and Kat, that means you guys as well)!

And I may or may not be blogging over the next few days. I promise. :)

Friday, December 21, 2007

I win the Horrible Wife Award.

Some women give their husbands great gifts for, electronics, cologne...

I gave Mike a stomach virus.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

I feel like Oprah...

...because you get a tree, and you get a tree, and you get a tree! :)

If you signed up for the RAK, just send me your address ( I never intended to do a were all going to get one! I don't know if I will get these out before I start traveling (Saturday morning), but I will certainly try!

Thanks for all your get-well wishes. I started feeling much better this afternoon. I didn't feel so well this morning -- stomach cramps from not eating. I'm always so afraid to start eating after going though something like this. Today I ate my usual "get well" food -- cracker dumplings. Basically, saltines soaked in chicken broth. Simple, but oh-so-good for a recovery!

Mike just called to ask if I would mind if he brought home a pizza. I am one happy girl right now! :)

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Do you remember that half-day I was going to take off today? It turned into a full day. And not in a good way. I have a stomach virus. Last night was pretty bad, but I'm feeling better today. Now I'm just trying to re-hydrate myself. I sent Mike a text asking him to stop for popcicles on his way home. I'm getting hungry, but I just don't want to attempt food right now. So it's un-fizzy Sierra Mist and water for me today. Maybe some saltines if I'm feeling dangerous. :)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Three more days...

...until Christmas break begins! And I'm only going a half day tomorrow because I need to go to the dentist! Hooray for the half day part...not so much for the dentist, though! lol

This is what I've been busy with this week. This batch is going to a few of my coworkers.

Hmmmm...I'm sure I'll have some leftovers...seems like the perfect opportunity for an RAK! :) Just leave your name in the comments if you'd like a chance at one!

I finished a couple of layouts. This one is of my sister. It uses lots of Stickles, but you wouldn't know it from the scan.

This is one of my cousins. I keep thinking this page needs something else, but I'm not sure what. Any ideas?

I started this is one in April. I just finished it recently. I said my creative process was sometimes long and drawn out, didn't I? :) Is anyone familiar with the Mothman legend. It took place very close to where my husband grew up. The Mothman Prophecies (with Richard Gere) was loosely based on the legend. Very loosely. We went to the Mothman festival one day completely by accident while we were visiting his parents. Oh, and the Mothman even has his own museum -- it's a hoot! They even have a paint bucket carried down the street by an extra in the film -- too funny!

This page has been hanging in the store for the last few months, and I just got it back. I printed my little brother's college entrance essay. His theme was basically that we're all capable of big thing -- we just have to start. :)

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Oops -- I left some stuff out!

So I posted this list the other day. I just realized that my quiz was incomplete. Thank goodness there is Veronica to help me finish the list! :)

23. What is your favorite Christmas tradition? Mike and I celebrate our Christmas before we hit the road to visit all our relatives. (I think I'm going to start calling it the Bess Christmas Tour -- there are many stops!) He makes a really nice meal for us! Yes, I married a man that isn't afraid to cook.
24. Do you have a wreath on your door? No. I have many ideas for making one, but it just hasn't happened yet.
25. What's on your wish list? A Flickr account. Welcome Back, Kotter season 1. Anne Byrn's Cupcake book.

Friday, December 14, 2007

So what have I been up to lately?

I'm being moved to another classroom after Christmas break for an undetermined amount of time. Ugh! I have to have the contents of my classroom boxed up by Friday! You know, I was thinking just the other day, "The week before Christmas just isn't stressful enough. I need a challenge!" j/k Thankfully I didn't unpack too much from this summer, so this shouldn't be too difficult, right? I think a "reverse Christmas party" would be just the thing for this situation -- instead of opening packages, we put thing into packages! :D People will go for that, right? lol

Oh, and I stopped a fight from happening today! I didn't even think...I just moved in between them! I SO could have been hit -- what's wrong with me??? :)

I need to bring my camera to school soon so I can share what my students have been working on. They had a design challenge -- design and build a chair made entirely of cardboard. No glue. No tape. Just cardboard. Oh, and it had to hold a 150-pound person. I have to say I got some incredible designs! I can't wait to share these!

Poor Mike is sick. He actually stayed home today -- which he rarely ever does. He seems to be feeling better, though.

I'm finding a lot more time to scrap. Here are a few pages...I love 6x12, but oddly enough, I started scrapping some 12x12 pages late last night. I'll have them ready to share soon. Maybe. Sometimes my creative process is slow. :)

This is my friend Jenny. We went to the pumpkin patch with our Sunday School class back in October.

This is Mike in Maysville, in front of the hardware store where he got his first bike. The first of many. Seriously, bikes outnumber people in this apartment. :)
1) I love this photo. 2) I love KI lace!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A little Lola love + more

Eight more days of school, and believe me, my students realize it. Christmas break cannot come soon enough!

Having so much fun with Lola! I can't believe how much she has grown since I brought her home -- I think she's doubled in size! I've been making up nicknames for far, I've come up with "Lolar Bear" and "Loller Derby Queen". :) Here's a little Lola-love to share!

Every now and then, Lola becomes mesmerized by the TV.

Favorite Christmas activity? Sliding on stacks of Christmas cards.

Here are a few other photos I took just a few minutes ago while she was playing in our office. I think she has the prettiest eyes! :)

This weekend, we went to a Christmas party with some of our college friends. This is Mike holding one of the newest additions to the group. Who looks more uncomfortable? :) For those of you unfamilar with Mike, he's a bit freaked out by children. So of course, my friend Kat comes up with a plan to "drop" her baby into Mike's arms! (Don't worry, he was in no real danger of being dropped!) :)

I have to ask -- is anyone else excited about seeing the Chipmunks movie? At first I thought this would ruin one of my favorite cartoons, but after seeing some of the previews, I think this might be one of my "must see" movies for the Christmas season. It looks so cute!

I'm finishing a couple of new pages...I'll post them soon!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Get to know me at Christmas!

Found this here, and thought I would give it a try. This was fun -- feel free to join in! Be sure to post in your comments if you put this on your blog!

1. Wrapping paper or gift bag? Wrapping paper
2. Real tree or artificial? Artificial
3. When do you put up your tree? Usually the weekend after Thanksgiving
4. When do you take down your tree? A few days after Christmas, after all the travelling is over!
5. Do you like eggnog? No - I haven't gotten up the nerve to try it!
6. Favorite gift received as a child?
7. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes...I made it myself!
8. Hardest person to buy for? Mike
9. Easiest person to buy for? My sister
10. Worst Christmas gift you've ever received? Soap gift sets
11. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail
12. Favorite Christmas movie? Home Alone
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? When my grad class has wrapped up.
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? No
15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Mom's rolls
16. White or colored lights? We have color (my husband's preference), but I like the white lights.
17. Favorite Christmas song? God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
18. Traveling for Christmas or stay home? Traveling. Lots and lots of traveling.
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen (Oh yeah, and Rudolph!)
20. Angel or Star on top of tree? Angel
21. Open presents Christmas Eve or Morning? Christmas morning
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year? "The 12 Days of Christmas". To me, it's the holiday equivalent of "99 bottles of beer on the wall"

Saturday, December 8, 2007

I finished two pages!

This is my friend Jeannine at the pumpkin patch in October.

This was the name of a sandwich from our trip to Athens, OH. Cantrell is my maiden name.

I'll share some Christmas party pics soon! Have a great night!

A little 80s toy nostalgia

My Barbie and the Rockers post from last night got me thinking about some of my other favorite toys from the 80s. Here are some that I either had, or really wanted from back in the day!

Fluppy Dogs - They were so cute! I had the purple one. Actually, I think this one is still at my parent's house.

Rose Petal Place - I had forgotten about this one until recently.

Charmkins - This was one I played with a lot! From what I remember, they smelled very nice when they first came out of the package.

Secret Keypers - I had the snail. These were pretty cool, and I was really into snails and bugs around the time they came out.

Seawees -- the ultimate bathtime toy for me!

Mr. Men and Little Miss - Okay, so I just bought a t-shirt with Little Miss Trouble a few months ago! My mom just came across these books the other day. Loved them as a kid! And I just looked at the website -- they'll be on Cartoon Network in Feb. 2008! I'm pretty sure I'll still prefer the books, though.

A few others toys from the era that were pretty cool:
Get Along Gang
Shirt Tails
Wuzzles - Didn't really get into the Wuzzles, but my first backpack had wings and antennae.

I know there are gaps in my list. Feel free to post and fill them in!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Rockstar Barbie

Want to know something I like about being away from work? I don't have to dress like a teacher. Today, I wore my Rockstar Barbie t-shirt (anyone remember Barbie and the Rockers, Mattel's answer to Jem and the Holograms?) that Mom bought for me last year. It's one of those shirts that I would never have bought for myself, but I absolutely love it! It's so nice to feel and look relaxed.

Christmas shopping went so well today. I'm almost finished shopping for Mom, and I have a pretty good idea about what to do for Dad. Zack's item actually arrived today much sooner than I expected. After Mike got home, we went out for dinner at our favorite pizza place. Sausage and green pepper pan pizza -- yum!

I have a goal of scrapbooking tonight, and getting a page or two finished. I'll be sure to share my results later! Have a great night!

Christmas shopping!

I did a little Christmas shopping last night, now that I actually have time! My friend Sarah has a very nice employee discount at Cracker Barrel, and invited our Sunday School class to help her use it. I found a few ornaments (including the sweet sock monkey below), and a few gifts. I found my sister's gift at another store(not saying where, just in case she reads this). My brother's gift shipped yesterday. Now, I just have to shop for my parents and my husband (Mike takes care of the shoppin for his side of the family). I'm stumped. I can think of several things for Mike, but he's so insistant that he doesn't need anything that I always second guess myself. Maybe I'll do some more shopping (or at least browsing) today, since I have the day off.

Oh, yeah. Today was another snow day. I would show some lovely photos, but they look like the ones I posted on Wednesday. Only with more rain.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


All papers are uploaded and out of my hands! Off to enjoy a magazine. Maybe even a biscotti. Have a great night!

Thanks for the snowy wishes!

At 5:15 this morning, I recieved the announcement that we would be on a 1-hour delay. Not extra hour of sleep is nice. I got up to check the list of school closings on the local news...nothing. I looked as though the delay was all we would get, so I went back to bed to savor an extra 58 minutes of sleep. Ten minutes later, the phone rang again. This time, school had been cancelled! (Was there a blizzard in those 10 minutes?) It didn't look too bad outside, but snow was falling. However, I teach in the county to the north of us, and the weather was supposed to be worse the closer we were to the Ohio River. Mike, teaching in the county south of us, had no delay or cancellation. :( I'll have to be super nice to him when he gets home.

So, I promised photos of today's snow. I took these around 10:00 this morning. Try not to be jealous of all the snow on the ground. :)

I think if you look very closely at the front bumper, you'll see two falling snowflakes. :)

The view from my front door...I think I should build a snowman in honor of today.

Again, I'm sure we got hit harder to the north of us. I just think it's funny to look out my window and call this a snow day.

This is what I've been working on today:

My research analysis is due tomorrow at 6 pm. I am nearly finished with section 2/3 (the longest section). Section 3 is pretty brief...I get to talk about what I've already talked about. Shouldn't be that difficult. ;) Ugh...while I will enjoy having a piece of paper hanging on my wall that says I have a master's degree, I will be so much happier to know that I have this job requirement out of the way! (Summer 08!)

Back to work!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Think snowy thoughts for me

We have the potential for some snow tonight. Not a lot of snow, but snow that is well-timed. (Punctual snow?) The kind that accumulates just before the buses get out on the roads, and then gets all mushy around 10:00. So, I am now accepting all forms of snow vibes. :) Sigh. I heart snow.
I promise I'll take photos to share!

A snow day would make writing my paper so much less stressful (although I'm blogging right now, so how stressed can I really be?) I have to admit that it is proving to be a fairly simple paper to write. I took my online test tonight -- got a 90% -- GO BESS! :)

I wanted to share some photos of something I received Thanksgiving weekend. I know I've been going on about Ma a lot lately. Since Thanksgiving, she's been on my mind quite a bit. But the past couple of days, I've managed to think about her and smile, instead of getting sad. Anyway, Ma, being quite the seamstress, saved all her old buttons.

Inka, brace yourself! :)

There are some really cute, retro ones in there. And isn't that lemonade jar adorable?

Lol -- I have to share this. Right now, I'm watching an early Tonight Show with Jay Leno. You know the Thanksgiving edition where Jay shows the highlights of a mock parade route. To give you an idea of long ago this show was taped, the highlights include Judge Lance Ito on a sleigh, a special appearance by Joey Lawrence (and his hair), and a Bill Clinton joke that involve his love for Big Macs -- no Monica Lewinski references (I forgot that was possible)!

I should probably call it a night -- just in case the snow doesn't come!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Deck the halls with fuzzy kittens...

Here are photos of a few of our Christmas decorations. No tree photo yet...I need to straighten the living room first. :)

This is the nativity scene I made a couple of years ago with some tiny flower pots and large wooden beads.

I gave these cute little mice to Ma a couple of Christmases ago. They sing. :) She really enjoyed them. Mom gave them to me at Thanksgiving.

The Santa hat on the clock was Mike's idea -- he's brilliant! But he took this down last night. If I could reach it, I would totally put it back up there! :)

Incredibly life-like, isn't it? Yep, she's real and her name is Lola (because we are fans of the movie, Run Lola Run). Another kitten found in my classroom (seriously, who finds kittens in their classroom?) I knew about Lola being in my room for a couple of weeks, but said nothing because I didn't want anyone whisking her away like they did to the other kitty (who is doing quite well, btw). I kept her secret as long as I could so she could be with her momma, but one weekend she found her voice, and made everyone aware of her presence that Monday. As much as it pained me to take her away, my classroom was no longer a safe place at that point. Right now, we're treating this as a rescue (because I'm allergic, but thanks to the miracle of modern science, no big problems so far). She's growing on us every day. I think she's a keeper!

Lola must think she is part of the decor...she spends a lot of time under the tree! Waiting for Santa, perhaps?

Found out about this site tonight. If you guys try this, please leave a link in the comments below -- I would love to see your results. Pretty happy with mine, except that Mike is no fan of Katie Couric - lol! This was so much fun!

Lisa, we must both have blogging on the brain...I was writing this when you emailed! :)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Blogging again!

It's good to be back! I've been so busy lately -- just a little too much on my plate at the moment! With work, design team, extra school stuff, and grad class, this is the first night I've been home before 8:00 all week.

I updated my Flickr account tonight. I had to get some photos on there so I wouldn't waste my 100 MB for the month -- I got in right under the wire! Lots of stuff on there from the last couple of years.

I managed to do a little bit of scrapbooking since my last post:

My little brother started college this year...shaving has become less of a priority for him. So much so, that people started asking him if he was observing "no-shave November". Zack said he was participating in "no time to shave November". :)

And, of course, I had to scrap the pumpkin. This one didn't scan so well, though.

Since Ma passed away in November, Thanksgiving was tough. We would always go to her house, and she would fix so much wonderful food. We tried to keep that tradition going this year by having dinner at her house (it's what she wanted). It was the first time I had been there since she passed away. The food was good (because my Uncle Greg is awesome!), but it was so hard to be there knowing she wouldn't be busy working in the kitchen, showing off her quilts, or telling me I didn't have enough food on my plate. It just didn't feel right. So I've been down this week. Another reason why I haven't felt like blogging. Sorry to sound all depressing, but it feels better to get this out there. Hopefully future Thanksgivings won't hurt as much!

We're going to decorate for Christmas tomorrow. I'll share some photos later. I'm excited -- we didn't put the tree up last year. We put the gifts under Mike's bike. :) I thought about putting a few ornaments on it, but never got around to it.