Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Fill-In, TAAFOMFT, and students. I'm just glad this title started with "Friday".

  1. I was so tired this morning...this thing where the sun is still out at 8:30. is really messing with me.
  2. Last month I went to a conference and took Shopgirl with me, and I left my book in my backpack for about a month after I came home because I am bad at books
  3. Why some people are satisfied with being miserable is beyond me.
  4. Curiousity about what was going on in my classroom was in my thoughts today. 
  5. One of my father's favorite sayings was actually in the form of turkey calls :)
  6. You say your allergies are driving you mad? --I know that feeling!
  7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to German movie night, tomorrow my plans include some Derby watching, and Sunday, I want to avoid the rain...but I don't think that's going to happen!

The new challenge is up over at TAAFOMFT -- your favorite music style.  I am a sucker for all things mellow and indie.  The kind of music you hear at the end of shows like One Tree Hill, Scrubs, and ER.  A lot of my favorite songs have come from OTH, so I thought it would be a good idea to list them.  Julie mentioned on the blog that the pink woodgrain is one of her favorite papers -- I could not agree more!  I've been hanging onto this one for a little while, waiting for the perfect time to use it. 

I feel the need to share some student antics.  Today at school, several student organizations participated in Unite to Read.  This is where we invite the 3rd graders from the elementary schools to participate in some activites based on a certain book.  There was a little down-time in between sessions...this is what my students did to keep themselves entertained: 

Normally I don't show pics from school, but since no one is identifiable, I think we're good.

And of course, I can't forget the include the message they wanted to welcome the 3rd graders with:

Teenagers.  Yeesh.  :)

I hope your weekend is great! 

Thursday, April 29, 2010

This has been a great week!

Tuesday night, I got to spend time with one of my very favorite friends. Charlie (the lady in the pic rocking the faux-hawk) used to teach in the same department that I do. She moved away a couple of years ago, and  this week stopped by while on a road trip with her sister.  I was so happy to see her (1) because it's been a year since I last saw her and (2) because she'll be deploying to Kuwait in the fall for a year.  Believe me when I say that she is one of the most positive, upbeat people I know.  She recently kicked cancer's butt, and the other night was telling us that she sees the fact that she's being deployed as a sort of a validation that things are back to normal with her.  (Oh boy...I am not that good at seeing the silver lining.)  I've missed her so much, but it's just so funny how you can pick right back up where you left off with someone you haven't seen in so long.  Mike and I are hoping to road trip with a couple of other teachers this summer to visit her before she leaves. 

I just realized I forgot to give you a Lance update!  He is doing fantastic -- he's at 100% engraftment (which is very, very good), and was discharged from the hospital a week earlier than expected.  They're still staying near the hospital and going every other day for tests and treatments, but praise God he is doing so well!  If you could, please say a prayer that he continues to eat well...he's been on a feeding tube, but has been eating well on his own...Amanda's latest report mentioned that if he was able to keep 25-30 ounces of formula down today, the tube comes out tomorrow! 

And tomorrow's Friday!!! 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mike needs the computer tonight... it's list time!

1. Something is up with the barometric pressure ears feel like they've been to a rock concert, and I feel the inevitable headache coming on.
2. We are rewarding Juniors with a "junk food buffet" before testing. Being on a healthy kick at the moment, I am kind of sickened by this idea, and am thinking about donating a fruit tray just to rock the boat a little. :) Also, WHY do we want to pump kids full of sugar?!
3. I want to learn how to make my own veggie burgers.
4. 14 weeks soda-free on monday!
5. I got to hang out with some really great people last night. Hopefully I'm able to post about it tomorrow.
6. Ugh! Head pressure.
7. I am so proud if my freshmen...they are doing so well with the Anim8or tutorial I assigned them!
8. It's bedtime. Goodnight everyone! Have a wonderful Thursday!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I hope it was worth the wait.

I don't know if it's fair to call this a best, it's more like a work-in-progress.  At worst, it's me throwing random things into a food processor.  But I wanted to share with you my first Larabar attempt. 

Let me start by saying that the hardest part was finding dates.  Which sounds like something I would have said in high school. Or college, for that matter.  :)   But I finally found them at Meijer over the weekend.  (Hint: Use pitted, not chopped.)

So, all I did was throw a handful of dates (6-8) into the food processor, followed by a small handful of almonds.  Then the fruit.  And some spice if you're feeling adventurous.  I put the mixture into a pan for individual brownie squares, so I baked them on low heat (no more than 300 degrees) to dry them out. 

My first batch was apple.  I added 3-4 apple slices with some cinnamon and nutmeg.  This one turned out to be the best consistency (thick), and tasted great! 

My second batch was carrot cake.  I had a few leftover vanilla-flavored almonds, then added carrots and cinnamon.  Not bad, but the consistency was not to my liking.  Too crunchy.  But not awful.  I just have a thing about textures. 

My last batch -- otherwise known as my favorite batch -- was chocolate strawberry.  Strawberries, cocoa, and just the tiniest bit of sugar to balance out the cocoa.  I didn't think about the strawberries being so much juicier than the first two batches, so they stayed in the oven longer because the mixture was so moist.  But definitely the best tasting.

I would say I used a little more dates than almonds, which after looking the Larabar packaging again, probably should have been reversed, or at least even.  The dates made my bars just a little too sweet, so cutting back on them would improve the flavor.  I'm also thinking that if I make a batch that's too moist, adding some oats might be a good way to make it thicker. 

One good thing with these bars is the batches I make turn out small -- each batch made about 8 squares.  So if I mess up a batch, I don't feel all that bad about it.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Not a recipe

I know I promised a recipe today. However, Mike had some work to do on the computer tonight for school, so that takes priority. Hopefully tomorrow I'll have my thoughts together.

Buy I hope your Tuesday is spectacular! :)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday, you were a fun day.

Today was food bag Sunday.  This means our Sunday School class bags food for some local students to take home on the weekends.  Lots of fun...especially if you enjoy assembly lines. 

We had Thai food after church.  We weren't exactly planning on it, but after Sunday School, our friends' son, Micah, came up to me and asked, "Can you ask Mommy and Daddy if they want to go out to eat with you?"  I wondered for a second if he meant that his mom and dad wanted us to go eat with them, but Micah is a very bright child...he knew exactly what he was asking.  So I walked over to Stacy just to check if she sent him over.  Nope...I was right.  But, it turns out that we all up for Thai food, so really, the kid made a great suggestion. 

I bought two new pairs of running shoes today.  I usually buy a new pair every two years, and that was when I wasn't running.  I've noticed lately that my feet hurt when I run on the trail, and I decided that it was time for a change.  I love my old pair of Adidas, but they've been retired to "casual shoe" as of today.  After a great deal of searching, I decided on Saucony -- one for trail running, and one for street running.  I stumbled upon the trick to finding a good fit...wear shoes that are not comfortable (for me, that means no arch support, no ankle support), and just keep trying on shoes until you let out a comfortable, relaxed sigh.  Those are your shoes.  :)

We also went grocery shopping.  As I was putting the groceries away, I found Lola hanging out in a new spot:

I just love her to bits.  <3

I have a recipe to share tomorrow.  Well, a recipe in progress at least.  I'm in one of two modes in the kitchen...follow the recipe to the letter, or just start throwing ingredients together until they make something.  Tomorrow, you get to experience the latter. 

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Lazy Saturday, I heart you.

Today was just one of those lazy days.  I woke up early with Mike, since he had to spend the day at a history professional development.  I had grand dreams of going into town and finding my perfect pair of running shoes.  Instead, I stayed home because the threat of nasty storms loomed all day (I don't drive in bad weather if I don't have to).  But the bad weather didn't really start until this evening...much later than predicted, of course.  So I edited photos.  Drank three cups of coffee.  Went for a walk in the backyard.  Painted my nails black.  Watched reruns of Beverly Hills 90210.  Took a nap.  Did a little work around the house. 

Also, I have a confession.  I accidentally shut Lola in the coat closet on Thursday.  Poor girl.  I think she's forgiven me...just look at her face in the photo Mike took tonight.  Pure excitement and happiness, right? 

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Fill-Ins

Could this week have been any longer?  Methinks not.  I'm so happy to see the weekend!  Have great one!
  1. Where are my mind right now?  Yep, that about sums up the work week.
  2. If wishes were horses, then I think seawishes would be kind of cute.
  3. I'd like to see my family soon.
  4. When I was a teen, I thought I'd wind up an old maid.
  5. One of my mother's favorite sayings was "Rebekka is my favorite".  (I'm kidding, Mom! But can I assume you may have said that at some point before I was five?)  :)
  6. I'd have a hard time doing without my car.
  7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to not being at work, tomorrow my plans include spending a little time with me, and Sunday, I want to work on a special scrapbook project!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

I forgot to mention...

...that I did this for the first time on Sunday:

I look like a natural, don't I?  :)

Mike talked me into it.  I didn't want to do it.  At all.  But that's what comes with a big yard, right?   I only had to mow the flat spot, and I have to admit that it wasn't all that bad. 

Two days later, the yard was covered in dandelions!  They are completely ridiculous this year.  It doesn't even look like we mowed. 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What do you call a technology teacher without a functioning computer lab?

The title of this post is not the start of a hilarious joke.  Nor is it the start of a horrible joke (well, in a way it is).  No, just my situation today.  Thank you, McAfee, for shutting down my entire lab with your so-called virus update.  We weren't even allowed to turn the computers on.  I am not a person who gives free days, but I'm not too proud to admit that I let some kids play with LEGOs, that a permission slip or two was written for kids to go to the gym, and some random card game might have been dug up from the depths of my storage closet.  In my defense, (1) I'm usually prepared to pull out the occasional emergency assignment when the internet is down, but the thought that I wouldn't be able to access my entire computer never occurred to me; and (2) I did put a writing prompt on the board, though, once I started thinking clearly after the initial panic faded.

It is comforting to know that having absolutely nothing for my kids to do is so totally out of the norm for me that it felt like (figuratively) teaching with my hands tied behind my back.  Also, it's nice to know that I can still sort of teach with a figurative problem like that. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Berea College on The Mickey Mouse Club (1955)

Did you know that in 1955, The Mickey Mouse Club highlighted Berea College (my alma mater) in a segment?  I didn't either until tonight.  The clip is only a couple of minutes long, but worth watching.  When you see the part with the ladies weaving, know that that was my first labor position.  Except I never learned how to weave because I knew how to sew. 

(Also, we had our Knife-and-Fork dinner tonight, and I just have to share the quote of the night from our 4-year old friend Micah:  "I love it when you are excellent and you bring dessert.")

Monday, April 19, 2010

My favorite snack

I absolutely love Larabar.  It's my planning period snack (7:30-12:15 is just too long to go without food).  Seriously, the ingredients more or less come from a tree, and you can count the number of them on one hand most of the time.  These are my three favorites:

There is one teensy drawback...they're so expensive.  I usually buy mine at Walmart (where I can only find one of my top three) because they're $1.08.  Sometimes Kroger has them on sale for $1.  But sometimes they cost twice that amount.  I'm a fancy snacker. 

I decided to look online for recipes so I could make my own.  I found this oneAnd this oneThis one looks to be the most promising. But I don't know that I'll be saving much money.  Mostly because I don't know the going price of dates.  But it's worth a try if the numbers work, right? 

On an unrelated note, I hope I can breathe through my nose tonight.  Stupid allergies. 

Also, thanks for the well-wishes for Lola.  She's much better now.  I have a feeling she ate one of the peppercorns I dropped when I was refilling the pepper grinder, and it didn't agree with her.  

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Weekend recap

Mike had to go to a training for one of his classes, so I spent an hour at the Peddler's mall.  There wasn't much that interested me, so no photos to share.

Then we went out shopping.  Mike really wants a kayak.

I found a cute lunch tote.

We saw a Lexington Legends game with Jon and Alisha.

Dave the Horn Guy (who I guess was on America's Got Talent) performed several times.  Far more entertaining than the baseball game.

I woke up this morning feeling soooooooo sore. 

Lola and I took a long nap.  She's been sick this weekend, so I think we both needed it.

Today, we did some yardwork...there were so many dandelions to pull it was ridiculous.

My allergies are hitting me hard today, so other than the yardwork, I've been a little lazy.  I hope your weekend has been great! 

Saturday, April 17, 2010

2010 Raggedy Ann 5K

I ran the Raggedy Ann 5K this morning.  It was a very chilly 45 degrees.  I think that's why I look kind of weird and uncomfortable in the photo below (that's Ashley next to me).   

I haven't run 5K since September.  My goal, as always, was to run without stopping.  I'm going to say that I achieved this goal, even though I did stop once.  But that was just because my shoe came untied.  Even then, I briefly considered just going on.  But I still had more than a mile to go at that point, so I stopped.  But other than that, it felt like a good run.  I kept replaying Jay-Z's "Run This Town" for the last half-mile -- I think that might be my favorite song to run to.   Oh, and I completely lost my focus on the last tenth of a mile because I rounded the corner to see Mike with the flip camera in one hand, and the iPhone in the other.  Funny sight.  :)

I finished at 38:08 (according to the time Mike was keeping).  But it still felt like one of the better 5Ks I've run, despite this being my slowest time.  I really hadn't put much time into training. 

Oh, and I thiink I'll be running my 10K in July.  But for now, I'm very tired and sore, and I need to sleep.  Goodnight, all! 

Friday, April 16, 2010

Butterfly Crafts and Friday Fill-Ins

The new challenge is up over at Butterfly Crafts. Even though I'm not on the written challenge team, I wanted to make a layout for the latest challenge anyway. This month's written challenge is to tell what Spring means to you. For me, it's those first signs that get me all excited. I blogged these photos a few weeks ago, and thought they would be perfect fot this challenge!

And, my Friday Fill-In for the week:
  1. I'd like to take a day off soon.
  2. One of my most favorite romantic memories is "so phenomenal that it hurts the brain to remember it". :)
  3. Last night, I had popcorn chicken and an english muffin for dinner.
  4. Sorry for the excessive blogging. Okay, not really. :)
  5. Can we have our tax refund now?
  6. One of my worst temptations is soda; but anymore it's not so hard to resist!
  7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to going to the Amish grocery with Ashley, tomorrow my plans include running a 5K and Sunday, I want to spend some time with Mike!

Have a great weekend! I'll be back tomorrow with some pictures from the 5K.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

New TAAFOMFT Challenge

I really like the new challenge that's up over at TAAFOMFT -- favorite city!  I chose Berea, KY as mine.  I won't say too much about it on this post, since I just posted about it on Sunday.  The title of the page comes from our school song.  Which is seriously the school song with the most depressing tune ever.  But I still love the town.  :)  I hope you'll join us on this challenge! 

Tomorrow is Friday!  Who else is happy about this?  It's been such a long week.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

A Wednesday list

  • The 5K is this Saturday!  I don't care about time, only about finishing without stopping.  Am I ready?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  I never know.
  • I have finished the 10 volumes of The Walking Dead that are available at the library.  That still leaves volume 11.  Also, it seems the librarian's opinion of Mike went down a few notches when he checked these books out. 
  • Java Chip Frappachino ice cream is amazing.  And one of the few things less healthy than the drink it is named after. 
  • Did you notice the Formspring box on the left?  Please ask me some questions! 
  • Stuffy.  Bleh.
  • My sister changed her relationship status on Facebook today.  This is a big deal.  :)
  • I bought some new scrap supplies today.  And just used some of it to make a page.
  • April 14, 2010.  12:05 am.  The moment my Google Reader had zero unread items. 
  • Check out Sarah's blog for a super nice giveaway!  (Hurry!  There's only a little time left.)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Couples retreat weekend recap

So after our trip to Berea, we continued down the interstate to Cumberland Falls.  It's gorgeous -- if you ever get the opportunity to go, you really should. We missed the turn off for the lodge, and so we kept driving down the road...fortunately the next turn off was a parking area for the falls. 

Mike thinks this rock looks like an alligator...especially when the water level is higher.

We checked into our room.  It was a little cramped (see below), but the lodge was very nice.

Later, we had a short message, then played the newlywed game.  Mike and I scored 85 out of a possible 205...probably because of answers like this:

In case you're wondering, the question was "What was the most romantic thing you've ever done for your wife?"

Saturday, the message was about being yourself, and took a test to determine our personality types.  Mike and I are both introverts...that part we knew without the test.  More specifically, Mike would be categorized as "serious reflection" (desirable qualities: gifted, loyal, self-sacrificing, idealistic, aesthetic, analytical, perfectionist, and sensitive; problematic qualities: self-centered, moody, negative, theoretical, impractical, unsociable, critical, revengeful, and rigid).  My personality is characterized as "undemonstrative strength (desirable qualities: calm, easy-going, leader, diplomat, dependable, efficient, practical, conservative, and humorous; problematic qualities: stingy, fearful, indecisive, spectator, self-protective, selfish, and unmotivated).  This was on-the-money, for the most part.  :)   Also, it's a natural tendency to notice the problematic qualities first, so the goal is now to focus on the desirable qualities. 

We had the afternoon to spend as we chose...eight of us went hiking together to Eagle Falls.  Absolutely beautiful, and it was so much fun to go in such a big group.  And it was a nice 5-mile hike  There were a lot of things on Saturday that reminded me of being in college.  I liked that.

Mike and Forrest being rebels:

Cumberland Falls in the background:

Climbing the rocks at Eagle Falls:

Scrunchy McNoseface. 
(I made this face in just about every photo this weekend.)

Stacy...neither of us felt like climbing over rocks, so we stayed below.

Around 10 o'clock there was a mass ice cream craving taking over our group.  We drove 20 minutes to civilization for some Ben & Jerrys.  Again, it felt like college.

On the way out, we spotted a "Master of Disguise" quarter machine...the guys had to try it.  :)

Sunday, after morning worship, we headed out...but the Hunts and us (is that grammatically correct?  I can't think of another way to say that...we and the Hunts?) made a stop along the way to have lunch with Tiffeney and her husband Brian. 

Best couples retreat ever.  :)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Just a quick photo post

Just wanted to share a couple of pics from our trip.  I meant to write about our trip, but honestly, that first day back to work from Spring break is rough.  So I hope you enjoy the photos, and I'll be back tomorrow with more.  :)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Did you miss me?

I bet you didn't even know I was gone, right?  Good.  I like slipping away undetected.  :) 

Mike and I have been away for the last few days at our church's annual couples retreat.  We spent the weekend at Cumberland Falls.  I had never been before, but it was so nice.  More about that later.  Today, I want to share the trip there.

We had to pass by one of our favorite places to get to the retreat -- Berea.  This is where Mike and I went to college.  That town just brings back so many great memories. 

We went to Berea Coffee & Tea.  I had never eaten was all froofy when we were in college.  Not a college hang out at all.  The atmosphere has changed a lot -- it's hip and artsy, without all the pretension.  Plus, I think I had the best roast beef sandwich ever while I was there. 

After lunch, we walked down to Robie and Robie, a really great used book store.  Mike found a book on Ohio that he had been keeping an eye out for, so he was happy.  :)

I didn't take any pictures, but I have to share that we stopped by the library, which has made a drastic change for the better since the last time we were there.  And we found two copies of Volume 6 of The Walking Dead that we had been waiting for.  No library cards, since we don't live in a surrounding county, so we each sat down with our own copy to read.  (By the way, we found out at the retreat that Mike and I are both introverts...who would have guessed?) 

Then we walked around campus.  We have a gorgeous campus.  I'm so happy I went to school there.  Here's the quad:

And one of the main buildings on campus.  Also, one of the prettiest photos I've taken with my phone. 

And before we left, we walked by our spot -- the steps in front of my dorm from Jr/Sr year.  This is our spot because we had our first very, very, very awkward kiss here.  (To be fair, it was my first kiss ever and I had no idea what to do.  So I froze.)  It's also the spot where Mike proposed to me.  So, it's pretty much the happiest spot on campus. 

I'll share more of our trip tomorrow.  I'm very tired from all the travel.  Plus, we still need groceries.  And lesson plans.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

What I've been reading...

Funny, I'm not an avid reader.  When I get into a book, it's great...but really, it takes a lot to get me to that point.  (Yes, it took a few attempts for me to even find the desire to read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.)  I really should make more time for books than I do.  So it's kind of surprising that I currently have enough reading material to constitute a list! 

An example of one of those books I read, but forget about, even though I was enjoying it.  1) It's a quick read...I would have had it finished weeks ago if I hadn't stuck it in my backpack and forgotten about it.  I kind of like Steve Martin's style...he is a man of many talents (including banjo-player...who knew?) 

I don't read comic books.  I am not into the current zombie-craze.  Then why on earth am I reading a comic book series about a zombie invasion of apocalyptic proportions?  I actually heard about this one on the local news, as AMC recently announced the development of the story the television series. As it turns out, the creator/author of this series is from my town.  Not only that, but the book starts here as well.  One would think it would be very easy to find this series at the local library, no?  Actually, no.  My local library does not carry it.  (This could lead me into a long rant about the atrocities of this particular you're made to feel like you're being a huge bother if you dare disturb the librarian at the front desk to check out a book.  Or how an author with multiple books of a similar nature is scattered throughout a variety of sections.  Or how it's more "video rental" than actual library.  But I shall save that rant for another day.)  One library in the surrounding area has the volumes (the volumes are released six issues at a time).  Mike and I tore through the first five volumes, and are not so patiently waiting to someone to return volume six.  Funny, the zombies are neither the focus, nor the truly scary part.  The unpredictable actions of the survivors make this a compelling read.

Oh yes, this list includes non-fiction.  Historical non-fiction, at that.  Goodness  knows we have a lot of that sitting around the house, what with Mike being an awesome history teacher and all.  I guess it was inevitable that I would eventually break down and read something of his.  Is it bad to admit that tv made me want to read this?  We've been watching The Tudors recently, and I'm finding the history all soap opera-y and fascinating.  And The Six Wives of Henry VIII is a surprisingly interesting read.  My reading of it has been kind of scattered -- I'm skipping around and not reading cover-to-cover, but I think that's okay.  By the way, Jonathan Rhys Meyers looks nothing like 300 lb. Henry.  Just saying.  :)

I'd love to know what you're reading. With summer break just around the corner, I'm in need of some recommendations.