Sunday, December 27, 2009


I'm not quite sure what happened between Christmas Day and the morning after, but BOY HOWDY! The Christmas Spirit got sucked right out of some people, I tell you. I did my usual "the day after Christmas" shopping routine...I rolled out of bed, still a little hung over from all the ham and fudge the day before, spot-combed my hair, brushed my teeth, threw on the clothes that were laying on the floor beside the bed, and headed out the door. My first stop is always Hallmark, because I almost always LOVE their Christmas stuff. This year, I arrived on their doorstep at 8:36 a.m., late by "morning after" standards, and found myself EARLY! They didn't open until 9:00! But good news for all of you worrying right now that I stood there and froze my fanny off for the next 24 minutes--JoAnn's Craft Store was right next door and OPEN! Since I had been to JoAnn's approximately 4 times a week for the 3 weeks leading up to Christmas (craft supplies for class, etc.), their selection was not a surprise. I spent $3.00 to replace some used-up supplies, and headed back to Hallmark. I have found that there are 2 types of people (women) that go to Hallmark the day after Christmas. The people, who like me, want to replenish their bow and wrapping paper stashes, and THE OTHERS. These OTHERS that I speak of are the women who collect Hallmark ornaments. And most of them are CRAZY. Now, if you are a Hallmark-ornament-collecting-non-crazy woman, I WOULD LIKE TO OFFER AN APOLOGY FOR MY OVER-GENERALIZING COMMENT. THE WOMEN WHERE I WAS SHOPPING WERE NUTS. They had no problem knocking small children upside their heads with their shopping bags if it meant getting the coveted Star Wars Luke Skywalker ornament, and more than one heavy sigh was uttered, suggesting the rest of us had better GET. OUT. OF. THEIR. WAY. Now, far be it from me to screw with people (um, yeah, right), but I'll admit that I may have stood a little longer than necessary and fondled one too many ornaments just to mess with 'em. Yeah, I don't even collect the ornaments. This year Hallmark decided to put all of the ornaments right next to all of the wrapping supplies, so THEY DID IT TO THEMSELVES.

I made the usual rounds after that: Pier One, World Market, Target, and Barnes and Noble. Everywhere I went, people seemed to be unusually cranky. What had been DECK THE HALLS WITH BOUGHS OF HOLLY the day before became I'LL DECK YOU IN THE AISLES, AND IT'LL BE MY FOLLY the day after. Sheesh. So to you, lady, who tried to run over me in the Pier One parking lot and then stared at me with your CRAZY EYES while I shopped inside, I say STAY HOME NEXT YEAR. Or at least have a cup of eggnog in the parking lot.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Student: Do you know the difference between roast beef and pea soup?

Me: Um, yeah.

Student: No, this is a joke.

Me: I know, I'm just messin' with ya.

Student: Do you want to hear the joke?

Me: Um, yeah.

Student: What's the difference between roast beef and pea soup?

Me: I think I've heard that one before.

Student: Really?

Me: No.

Student: Do you know?

Me: No, what the difference between roast beef and pea soup?

Student: Anybody can roast beef, but nobody can pea soup!

Me: That's the funniest joke I've ever heard!

Student: Yeah, me too.

The best part was when he told me the same joke 5 more times the same day, and I had to pretend it was as funny each time as it was the 1st time he told me! Good times...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


I think that there should be a date of expiration on all uneaten Halloween candy. I mean, what kid who's worth his weight in Snickers has any left come December 1st, anyway? Haven't their parents eaten what was left? (Ahem) I knew today was going to be rough when I was greeted at my classroom door by several of my students who had graciously accepted a classmate's offering of leftover Halloween candy. For breakfast... At 7:30 a.m... By 10:00 a.m., I had sent one to the nurse's office with a tummy ache, explained to Evan that little girls didn't like to be called "honey buns" by little boys, and tried to come up with an answer for why dogs and cats have thicker skin that humans (that was during math class). By afternoon recess, our boy's bathroom pass had been thrown up on the roof. Luckily for us, Jessie had said a prayer when she went out to use the restroom, and God had told "her heart and brain" that the culprit had been either Daniel, Joseph, Connor, or Michael. Well, at least that's one less problem for me to think about. Sigh. When's Christmas?

Sunday, November 29, 2009


I'm a little bit back. Here's a grocery list of what's been going on around here, and why I have been MIA lately!

New job--check
Working 2 jobs now--check
Sinus Infection--check
Pneumonia (from working 2 jobs?)--check
Strep throat (from working with germy little people?)--check
Shuttle driver for kids in sports, etc.--check
Holidays upon us--check

Soooooo, I am going to try to incorporate blogging back into my crazy life, I miss it oh, so much! If anyone is still out there that I used to blog-stalk, I promise I'm really trying to come and read your posts...probably on the weekends! I'm so glad to be back in the classroom, and I know these precious little people that I am in charge of all day will provide me hours of funny blogging stories for you!

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Well, the weekend has come and all but gone. There's just not enough Saturday and Sunday to go around, what with all of the house-cleaning, neighbor-visiting, clothes-washing, kid-playing, and fun-having that happens! I am definitely voting in the next election to extend the weekends by a day. Just think of all the fun we could have! Holy cow! Why didn't someone think of this earlier? Why do we work 5 days and only have 2 days off, anyway (traditionally speaking, I mean...and schools, you know, the traditional ones)? What kind of raw deal was that? Clearly, 3 to 4 would've been a much happier ratio. Someone didn't have their thinking cap on when that one was decided.

Well, off to bed to gear up for another 5 day work week! Only 5 days until next weekend!

p.s. Speaking of calendar type things, this site has lots of cool calendar freebies for your computer, to print out, and even for your blog!

Monday, September 7, 2009


I will be back over the weekend, God willing, but until then, this is what's been happening here...this used to be my favorite black tee shirt. It is covered in the dying efforts of a favorite yellow blanket (that has been washed about a thousand times without issue). I had to vacuum out my washing machine. 3 times. It was bad. Really bad. Have a super Friday, and I'll be back soon!
Oh look! My other favorite black tee shirt...

Sunday, August 16, 2009


I'd like to share a new author friend with you! She and I have never actually met, but I feel that we would totally be BFF's if she knew I existed. Not that I'd stalk her or anything, that would be wrong. Here's a video clip she made discussing her new book, "Such a Pretty Fat". Her website is here. The book that I just finished is called "Bitter is the New Black", and tells her story from money-making wench to unemployed, humbled lover of dogs. There were so many funny one-liners in this book, I found myself grabbing for a tissue to dab at the Diet Coke running from my nose on more than one occasion. Now with school starting, there will be less time for reading, but I'll definitely make time for these books!

Friday, August 14, 2009


For all of you who are really done looking at my dog's boy parts (I didn't even clear that photo that I used in my last post with him first, how rude), I thought I'd post something different. This table has been with us since my husband and I were married 14 years ago. It has seen many things: Cherrios, sippy cups, craft projects, building blocks, and the occasional magazine. It was well loved by crayons, feet, and sometimes bottoms. It used to sport a fashionable (not) padded bumper around its perimeter to keep little heads from smooshing when they ran into it. It had that weathered look without spending even one day in the sun. But still, I knew it had potential beyond what it had already given to us. So I give you the transformation: from COFFEE TABLE to GAME TABLE!

The kids and I sanded, painted, and then painted and sanded some more, and it was a fun family project! Hubby even got in on the action--he marked off the squares for us to paint The checkers and chess pieces will be stored in the drawer in the front, and my next project is to find (or make) comfy floor cushions for sitting on while playing. I'm going to check out some after-summer clearance sales on outdoor cushions at Pier One or World Market. Does anyone know when summer officially ends here in Arizona?!

Friday, July 31, 2009



If you don't get this, click here: Dirty Dancing with Patrick Swayze
because you're really young.

Monday, July 20, 2009


I've had one of those days.

Do you know how sometimes you DRIVE somewhere that you've been

a MILLION times,

and when you arrive and get out of the car you


You don't remember anything significant about the drive? It's almost a little EERIE. That was today for me. I did the usual stuff around the house, did some work, and ?? I can't even remember. It was an insignificant day. Now I know what you're thinking--there's no such thing. And you're right. I hate that today passed me by. I was here, alive and well in all the moments that today's 24 hours had to offer, and I feel like I blew it. But tomorrow's another day, and I resolve to be grateful, thankful, happy, and present in it.


Saturday, July 11, 2009


Thank you, Bee and Rose, for passing on the info. from April Showers on how to make a blog button! I am much better with the old-fashioned kind of button maker, I'm afraid, and even though the instructions were very simple to follow, I still had issues. Heavy sigh. I gave it my best shot, and at least there's something up there in the corner to show for it! It's been a good weekend so far; we've played some games, watched some movies, and spent some time with good friends. Isn't that what it's all about?! We had a yummy dinner tonight complete with a recipe for ribs from a friend, and lots of fresh veggies! Even the dog had his way with a few carrots and some spilled mashed potatoes! Besides a little work that needs to get done tomorrow, I have really high hopes of getting in that great room of mine called my CRAFT ROOM (or more commonly, the place where the kids go to watch t.v.) I'm thinking of attacking my scrapbooks from another direction--one I started a while back when I was feeling overwhelmed with the incompletion of it all. I decided to do a book for each major "theme" in our lives, and expand from there. For example, I have a book entitled "HALLOWEEN". It certainly doesn't contain all the photos I take for that given holiday (hello, have we met?!), but just a sampling of a few pictures of the highlights. I also have a book called "BIRTHDAYS" with a 2-page spread for each birthday party for each child. Since my husband and I were married over the July 4th weekend, that holiday holds special significance not only as a national holiday of our great country, but as a celebration of our marriage. I have tried to take a family photo each 4th of July weekend, and these photos go into the "JULY 4TH" book. You get the picture (pardon the pun!). I also have a "YEAR IN REVIEW" book concept, and that one is a bit overwhelming because there are so many years that remain undone. With the 365 day photo challenge from BECKY HIGGINS, future years may be easier. Especially if I actually remembered to take photos every day. Ugh. Anyway, here are a few photos of the books as they are right now, and some other projects. With any luck, I'll be working on them here and there throughout the rest of our (rapidly disappearing) summer! I think the temp. here is supposed to be 156 degrees or something like that tomorrow--I don't watch the weather reports anymore--really, what's the point? The only thing I know for sure is that I now need oven mitts to grasp the steering wheel of the car and open the doors from the outside, and tongs to remove the keys from the ignition once we get where we are going. It's the price we pay for our beautiful winters here in Arizona. And I can say that, although I've had 2nd degree sunburns before, I've never lost a digit due to frostbite. I figure I'm about even.Photo tour of our home.

Year in review book, no journaling yet, only notes.

Another page of the same book, ready for pictures.

Birthday book, year 2. Incomplete, naturally!

Thanksgiving photos, recipes, traditions.

Book of Christmas cards from one season, not decorated yet.

Just a fun school idea that the kids and I did here at home.

ABC book of baby's first year, the first book project I had ever done.

Another book of Christmas pictures and letters from family and friends. I put these out every year in a Christmas basket so that we can look through them and remember years gone by!

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Just an ode to summer today. Yes, we live where it's hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk in the summer (never been tested by me, just an urban legend we like to pass on). Yes, sometimes the car does smell like burning ass when you get in--especially if you have leather seats. And yes, I have gotten 2nd degree burns while wearing 50 SPF on an overcast day at the pool. But still, summer also means lazy days, not having to get dressed until noon--heck, not getting out of bed until noon most days--and catching up on all the projects that there's never any time for during the school year. So far, here's what we've accomplished:
  • WE HAVE BASEBOARDS!!!!! We put wood flooring in a couple of years ago, and due to time and budget constraints, we weren't able to add the baseboards until now. YEA!
  • We have recovered our dining room chairs. Okay, we used duct tape because the staples wouldn't go through the wood, but they're MOSTLY done.
  • Rearranged furniture in the living room--just awaiting the addition of the game table and some floor cushions!
  • Sanded and partially painted the re-purposed coffee table to be a game table--waiting for a windless day to finish.
  • Pajama pants--lots and lots of pajama pants!
  • Reorganized pantry.
  • Clean (but you have to look REALLY quickly) playroom (I wasn't quick enough to get a picture, darn it).
  • Painted picture frames for ART GALLERY wall.
  • Organized and labeled files (just an OCD thing...)
  • New recipes tried.
  • Lots and lots of salsa made.
  • First-ever attempt at LETTERBOXING in Sedona.
  • Working out, rock climbing, and basketball at the Rec. Center.
  • Lots of movies, friends over, and wine-drinking (just the adults).
  • Standard-issue Super Dog Cape made for Super Dog (sometimes the "S" stands for Stupid, sometimes for Silly) by the daughter.
I still plan to get a handle on my scrapbooking--at least a start. I still plan to reread Stacey Julian's book to be re-inspired to take control!

On a sadder note, the Something Lovely that I was going to make? Um, not so much. My journal ended up looking like a bit of a fabric-covered nightmare. Luckily, I googled journal covers, and found this great tutorial for any who are interested. Maybe one day I'll learn to read the directions first--but why ask for permission when you can ask for forgiveness?

Thursday, June 25, 2009


I'm off to try to make something lovely today. Not sure what it's going to be--I made LOVELY salsa last night (a family favorite, I make a batch almost every week!), and cleaned all the LOVELY bathrooms, so now I'd like to go make a scrapbook, fabric, journal something-or-another. Vague enough?! I have a few hours before basketball games tonight, so thought I'd try my hand at a fabric-covered journal. I have a bit of a journal addiction--I've never met one I haven't liked (or purchased, perhaps). I love to buy the old style composition notebooks when they go on clearance after the back-to-school shopping is done and then cute them up with paper and doo-dads. My daughter and I were on a PAJAMA PANTS binge a week or so ago; here are some of the fabrics we used.

Yes, that is CROSSWORD FABRIC you see--I'm a big fan--WORD NERD, I am. So off I go to CREATE. If the result is picture-worthy, I'll post it! Have a great day!

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Do you remember having knees like this? It brings back some great summer memories for me. My knees still look a little like this, but that is another story, and it probably involves cleaning. Or being clumsy. Or stairs. If I close my eyes, I can still smell the fresh cut grass and hear the distant buzz of the lawnmowers all over our neighborhood. I can hear the voices of my friends as we played freeze tag for the zillionth time in our front side yard (the size of a regulation baseball field--I had it so rough). I can taste the carrots pulled directly out of the garden dirt, wiped off on my shorts, and maybe--if a parent happened to be watching--rinsed off with the garden hose. I have not, since my childhood, tasted a carrot, radish, or peas as delicious as those were. I can smell the hamburgers and hot dogs grilling on the barbecues, and picture all the dads out back (we had no fences) watching the kids play while they grilled. Here's to summer, to the all the great memories, and of course, to the knees of summer. Ah, to be a kid again.

Monday, June 8, 2009


Flaves of the day: Pineapple-Mango and Strawberry from Bath and Body Works. Makes you want to eat a fruit salad.

In the spirit of getting myself ready to organize, I thought I'd pass on some pretty pictures to inspire! These images give me a sense of calm and happy--just like a picture of the ocean, or of a lovely dirt path down a clearing in the woods. Okay, maybe not JUST like that, but works for me! Here's my little cleaning/organizing routine.
  • Fire up the fragrance burners with a combo. of invigorating, fruity scents--think clean house, here. (see above)
  • Put on some favorite music--either dance music, 80's music, or something a little jazzy, like Nora Jones.
  • Put on the most comfortable, old, soft "cleaning uniform" you can find--my favorites are my circa 1990 Old Navy 4th of July tee shirt and yoga pants.
You are now ready to begin any domestic task that awaits you! I am going to go create some labels for my files right now, and I'll post pictures later.
Now without further ado, courtesy of REAL SIMPLE, here are the promised pictures!
This is a good look for a closet...if you only have seven shirts.

Disclaimer: The lovely "boy and girl closets" will only look this way up to the point
where the boy and girl enter the room.

Now, go forth and organize!