Sunday, February 27, 2011

Solo 5-miler

Saturday is running group day.  I wanted to go, but my daughter had a 9:00 volleyball game.  I am very happy with myself because I got up and ran five miles before her game.  I haven't run that far by myself since a run or two this summer.  It's funny--until October I never really ran with anyone.  Now I'm hooked on the comradery.
It was a fairly easy run.  Though the weather was a little chilly, I dressed appropriately.  I completed the run in under 10:30 pace.  Peaceful outside--as if on cue, my ipod played Louie Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World" as I finished.   (I'll have to blog on the strange mix of music to which I run--it just screams "middle-aged Christian mom share an Itunes account with young teenagers")  I'm very pleased with the workout.  After sitting for 55 minutes watching my daughter's game, my old knees were able to waddle down the bleachers, too.  I'd say that is a successful run in my book.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mom's New Toy

I love coffee.  I prefer hot coffee, but will drink it lukewarm, cold, or iced.  I like my own brewed coffee (ranging from Kroger's brand coffee to expresso made from kona beans my husband brought me back from Hawaii).  I really loved my french press (until I broke it).  Love my ten-year-old Mr. Coffee expresso maker.  Starbucks, Caribou Coffee, Mr. Donut, or Tim Horton's drive thrus--they are all good.  I do not, however, like vending machine coffee--a girl has got to have SOME standards.
After two weeks of "research" (aka--salivating and surfing the web as well as surveying friends), I decided to purchase a Keurig machine.  I love it!  My husband and kids have now moved to the number two slot in my home.  I might have to buy a second machine if I work full-time next year.  The biggest problem I am having is to resist the temptation not to break my limit of two beverages a day.  Life is good!

Tortilla Chip Day

I've been trying hard to keep clutter out of our house.  It makes cleaning easy(er).  I contend I spend less money because I know what I have and I buy only what the family needs.  This being said, I did save part of the newspaper from January 1st.  The newspaper printed an article called "365 reasons to Enjoy 2011."

In my clutter free home (note:  said with sarcasm), I rediscovered this article to learn we should celebrate Tortilla Chip Day.  Guess what the kids and I will be enjoying for an afternoon snack?  I might even whip up a batch of my own homemade ones--yum!

BTW--tomorrow is "Pistol Patent Day."  I don't believe everyone needs nor deserves the right to bear arms, so I'll pass on celebrating.  I may just have a second helping of tortilla chips!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Running Group or Not?

Today I left the house at 7 a.m. and returned home at 5 p.m..  I feel I work full-time, but I technically work only part-time.  Anyway, I was glad to be home and see my children, but today is Wednesday--running group.  Running group meets Monday and Wednesday nights (my goal is to attend one of those) and Saturday mornings.  The thought of leaving the house for another two hours to run in the dark was very unappealing.  (The two inches of rain and 35 degrees was Monday's excuse not to go).  Once I am at running group, however, I find it very motivating. 
I reluctantly laced up my shoes to try and run a quick three miles at home.  There is really nothing quick about me.  No intentions of ever being that Boston qualifier; however, I logged in miles tonight when I really didn't want to exercise.  I ran three miles, ate dinner, soaked in a hot bath, and am now so tired that I may head to bed the moment the clock hits nine!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Parent of the Year Entry #2,173

We had to talk our mellow, sedate son into playing intramural basketball (for kindergarteners and first graders).  They play for six weeks:  30 min. practice and a 30 min. game.  Perfect for this age.  My son is actually showing some interest in this activity.
I felt ill on Sunday.  I didn't want to infect anyone, so I did not attend my son's game.  My husband, who informed just this weekend I didn't need an Iphone and he was about to get rid of his since he didn't use it much, did attend the game.  When they came home, I waddled downstairs and asked my son how it went.

"I made a basket!" my son beamed. 
My husband spun around and responded, "You did?!?!"
"Yeah dad, when you were playing on your iphone."
My husband is scheduled to have his iphone surgically removed from . . . well . . .

To daddy's defense, he claims he only had it on for about thirty seconds.  I can neither confirm nor deny this statement.

Parent of the Year Entry #2,172

My son had his big cub scout banquet this past weekend.  I just never imaged how much commitment is required for scouting.  This activity was supposed to be a father/son thing; however, we fired dad, and I played catch up to get my first grader to complete some required activities.  We did not know that we had missed a couple activities for his first level--which needed to be completed before he reached the next level (bear, wolf, tiger . . . I'm not sure of the pecking order here without looking it up).
The night of the banquet they called the ten first graders up on stage.  "Two of our scouts will be receiving TWO badges tonight," the emcee announced.  My son was one of them.  He thought he was something else.  Poor thing didn't know that he had slacker parents and the other eight boys had already earned one of those badges.  Well, he was thrilled and he's caught up.  It's all good.

Eating in the Bathroom?

For Valentine's day, my husband brought the family some VERY yummy cupcakes from an expensive "market" (you know it is expensive if it is called a "market" vs. a "grocery store").  These decadent cupcakes were vanilla cake with pink frosting perfectly piled on the top.  Inside had a thick chocolate and raspberry filling.  He bought six for our family of five, and only four of us ate one. 

The next morning he was coming from upstairs with what I thought was pink icing on his hands and heading into the bathroom.  My house is fairly clean; however, I would NEVER eat in anyone's bathroom.  I asked him what he was doing.  He answered that he was shaving.  It wasn't pink frosting on his hands.  He had run out of his own shaving cream and went and borrowed my daughers' pink shaving cream.  Whew!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Missing Book

The other day I got online and estimated that our family checks out about 400 books a year through one library system and another hundred through a second library system.  The majority of these are books I pick out for my classroom.  Even with online renewal system and email notification, we still get small fines here and there.
My daughter came downstairs the other day looking like she was about to get into the biggest trouble of her life.  Turns out that she found a paperback library book she checked out this summer and never returned.  Honestly, when I get their due/overdue email notices, I just forward them to the correct daughter and don't pay attention.  She racked up a whopping $8 fine.  To her relief, I just laughed.  An $8 fine spread over 500 books makes the library the best bargain in town!

Library Books

I am reading . . . or should I say WAS reading a really good book--Kathryn Stockett's The Help.  I'm about 275 pages into a 400 page book.  I planned to finish the novel on this upcoming 3-day weekend.  It was due on Tuesday, so Tuesday morning I got online to renew it.
My request was DENIED!  Someone else had requested the book.  It's like watching a good movie on television only for the power to go out fifteen minutes before the ending.  I thought about saying the heck with it and just pay a late fee.  I decided to do the right thing and return it.  I'm now on the wait-list.  Bummer!

Agua Samples

Our school cafeteria has been undergoing some wonderful changes lately.  One positive change is that they serve much more fresh fruits and vegetables.  Today, there was a table tent on each lunch table detailing facts about guavas.  Every student was given the opportunity to sample this non-traditional cafeteria fruit.
On the car ride to pick up my daughters, my son and I were discussing his day.  "Hey mom!  Can we get some agua like I had in the cafeteria today."  Good thing I saw (and tasted) the fruit or I would have never been able to decipher that one.

Another Pre-K First

I think I'm an effective teacher.  Love teaching pre-kindergarten (for now).  I am able to handle just about anything that comes up . . . however . . . I could not control my laughter today when reading a book a student brought in to share.
We are studying dinosaurs.  He brought this very detailed, lift-the-flap non-fiction book about dinosaurs.  Awesome!  I told him I'd only be able to read a few pages and flaps.  As I lifted one of the last flaps, I paused for a few seconds to see if my brain was playing tricks on me.  The student began laughing really hard and shrieked "That's dino dung!  You know . . . dinosaur poop."  Another "perfect" lesson plan out the window.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Etiquette Class

For dinner the other night we ate pasta and a salad.  No bread.  No side dish.  No desert.  I was tired.  I remember my husband going back into the kitchen to get a knife.  "I cannot eat a salad without a knife," he stated as he passed me.  I thought this was odd that I never noticed this before; however, strange things like this pop up even after nearly twenty years of marriage.
Then I noticed he was eating slowly with the tines of his fork pointing down.  He was not instigating the friendly bantering that goes on nearly every night at dinner.  Things started getting weirder.  Come to find out, he had taken part in a two-hour etiquette class along with the clients he was training.  Mr. Eat-a-Hotdog-In-One-Bite learned some etiquette!  The more he told us, the harder the kids and I laughed.  He left the table exasperated at us "barbarians" as he found us too difficult to educate.

Let's see if this etiquette class lasts through Saturday's hotdog at the basketball game.

Is Birdseed Poisonous?

My son is a very mellow, level-headed, non-risking seven-year-old.  We were working this weekend on some scouting projects to finish getting him to the next level.  One elective was to feed the birds.  I used some birdseed, old bagels, and crisco to make a feeder.  While spreading the seeds on the lard-covered bagels, he asked if birdseed was poisonous.  Of course not, son.  We are, after all, feeding it to the birds.
Where was MY head.  Who knew he was snacking on the birdseed when I wasn't looking.  This wouldn't be too awful if it weren't for the fact that I got the seed from a teacher who got it from a parent who got it from . . . I'm not sure.  It was also the same seed my pre-k students played in all week in their sensory table.

"No doctor.  I have no idea where he would have gotten this strange fungus."  Ha! Ha!

BTW--do not search for tongue fungus thru a search engine . . . even if looking for a funny picture for your corny blog.  I'm now nauseated!  Again . . . where was my head!

One More Reason to Get an I-Phone

I've been debating whether or not I want to upgrade my cell phone and get an i-phone (I've been saving my b-day and Christmas money!!!).  I came up with another reason to add to the "pros" list.  There is now an app where you can track your sins via I-phone.  That's just so wrong!
What if I accidentally leave my phone somewhere and someone searches the phone to find the owner . . .  SUPRISE!  Or . . . what if I lend my phone to my daughter.  Her and her friends are searching on it, find "sin tracker," and click on.  Or . . . that account gets hacked (like my gmail account did).  Or . . .

Let's not use this app as a "pro" for the new phone.  In fact, I'll erase the fact in my brain that the church even gave its blessing on such a thing.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Who's Project Is It?

Tonight my first grader and daddy are going to their weigh-in . . . for the Pinewood Derby.  I know that this is a long-standing Boy Scout tradition, but come on!  Who's project is it?  What seven year old boy is able to design and saw his own car?  Actually, not even the daddy at our house could do this.  Thank goodness for a skilled and willing grandpa!
We took the kit to Illinois for Christmas.  Grandpa (bless his heart) designed, cut, sanded (my son did sand about 3% of it), weighed, and spray painted the car.  I hope grandpa . . . I mean . . . I hope my son does well.  Actually my son designed the Lego add-ons, the numbers, and the initials.  Whew!  Now we can give him some credit for his car.

Six Sugars?!?!?!

Speaking of coffee, I did go through a Tim Horton's last week to get a coffee.  When I am at school all day, I order a large coffee, drink some on the drive and reheat the rest at lunch. 
I went through the drive-thru and ordered "a large coffee with two creams and two sugars."  As I was bumbling getting the radio turned down, looking for my coupon, and finding my money, the drive-thru employee repeated, "I'll have your large coffee with six sugars at the next window."  Six sugars?!?!?  When I laughed at corrected my order, the employee sounded almost relieved.  I think we both would have had a sugar headache just thinking about that much sugar in one cup of coffee. 

Mug Snuggie

I've seen several pictures of these mug snuggie things--not really sure what they are called.  I LOVE getting a cup of coffee from a coffee shop.  I think I have the balance down between "a sense of coffee entitlement" (aka--a coffee habit) and "a special treat just for me."  Now I have something cute to put around my cup.
Just for the record--I only can sew straight lines and have never made a pattern.  I traced this from a paper mug-thingy and tried my own.  Way to make my ninety-nine cent Tim Horton's coffee seem like something extra special!  Woohoo!  It doesn't take much to get me excited--ha! ha!

January Sewing

Here's my string jar by my sewing machine.  This is what I did in December and January.  Didn't sew much until recently.
I wonder if I can fill February's jar in February.  Could be my sewing goal for the month.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Speaking of Perspective

Why does ten minutes go so fast when you are running late and sooooo slow when you are sitting in Starbucks drive-thru?

Perspective on Weather

For the past two or three weeks, our temperatures have been exceptionally cold in our area--temperatures have been high of the teens.  I've even worn long underwear under my regular clothing to keep warm when I go out.


It hit 30 degrees & sunshine today, and I felt like taking off my coat.  Two months ago, I would be back in my long underwear.  It's just a matter of perspective.

Poor Dog

Regardless what people say, being a dog can be tough.  There is a quarter inch of ice on everything here in Ohio.  Schools anywhere near here are closed; many businesses are, too. 
But this ice is taking its hardest toll on our family dog.  She has fallen numerous times when I took her outside to relieve herself.  I only took her to the front yard--it really is too dangerous to walk on this ice.  Poor thing cannot get enough traction to . . . uh . . . well . . . take care of business.  If only all my friends could see me in my pj's, standing in my icy front yard grass for fear of falling, laughing at the poor dog who cannot handle changes in her routine. 

Twist on Prayers for Snow Day

What school-aged child (and some of us parents) hasn't prayed for a snow day?  We stay anxiously glued to the television or news website just waiting to see if school is cancelled.  At our house, this means waffles for breakfast, baking, maybe a movie together.  I love unexpected days off of school.

As we have our second snow day from school, I am reminded about the seriousness side of snow days.  One of the girls' teachers always tells them, "I'll pray for a snow day if you all promise to pray for the homeless."

How lucky I am to be sitting in my warm, well-stocked house!