slice of my life

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Mostly about my Menu Plan

When did J get to be a big kid? It's all relative, I know.

We got info today about 6th grade orientation. 6th is in with the Jr. High here, so here we go. I am really excited actually! But didn't we just throw him in with the older kids and make him have to step up and be an even bigger kid before his time?

I have been wanting to write about my food fiasco! Saturday I picked up the AngelFood Minstries boxes (the last one in line---late!). I had to really work to get my frozen stuff into my freezer. I had paid for the AngelFood at the beginning of the month, and went big shopping last week. I planned 12 meals---12!---and then bought what I needed. I will have to go get fresh veggies and bread and milk, but the basic stuff is in my bulging pantry. And then I realize it is time for the AngelFood---enough food to feed a family of four for a week. I got a "special" box of 10 lbs. of popcorn chicken! And another additional box of 4 meals. This is a problem I am not complaining about---but I am pointing out my silliness. So, I basically now have 20 or so meals at the ready. Crazy!!

Here is my Menu list. I usually create the menu list and don't plan exactly which days I want to do stuff. I leave it up to the "feeling" of the day, allowing for thawing of meats and such. Or I thaw in the microwave, but that's a tricky prospect. Anyway---the list. May it inspire you as I am inspired by other bloggers' menus! ;-)

Chicken In a Crock Pot---salad, fruit, potatoes X made this one already
Chicken Tortilla Soup----made from leftover chicken from above----fruit, corn chips X
Salmon Fillets----macaroni and cheese, fruit, vegetable X
Chicken Parmesan----fettuccini, veggies, fruit X
Meat Rolls (family ground beef recipe)----veggie, fruit X
Pork Chops l"Orange----wild rice, steamed veggies; a crock pot meal first time recipe
Shake and Bake Chicken---mashed potatoes, veggie
Chili-----cornbread, fruit
Steak Soup----bread, fruit
Tacos---lettuce and tomatoes, cheese, refried beans (no fat), rice, fruit
Sesame Chicken (first time recipe)----rice, fruit, green beans with garlic

Those were the ones I planned out myself. The next list is what I'll make from the angelfood basic box. Side dishes are not bought for this yet.
Spaghetti and meatballs
Bacon-wrapped beef fillets
Pork roast---probably will Memphis-style BBQ it in the crock pot
Frying chicken---probably will roast
Salisbury Steak---yummy fast meal for a day I've been working
Bean Soup
Special Box #1 Popcorn chicken---several meals from this (probably for a night Larry works late)
Special Box #2 4 meals for 4---1 side included in the pack
Beef Stew
Chicken fajitas
Pork Chops and Rice
Chicken Alfredo

See how crazy? I am thanking my God I have so much to eat and to choose from!!

Coming up this weekend---the Family sees Willy Wonka at MSC OPAS. Free Blue Bell ice cream before the show! Yea! A basketball game Saturday evening---breast cancer benefit game, so I think it is the Aggie women's team. TROUPE lock-in for February Friday night---will Lar and I see a movie?? Sunday evening after church "favorite finger food" fellowship. Do we skip it and go watch the super bowl? Do we get a TV in there and make it a super bowl fingerfood night?

And why are things piling up on my special Family Holiday? Sticky Chins Day is February 8th. This is the anniversary of Lar's and my first date, way back in 1990. We went on an impromptu date on a Thursday night (it's Thursday again! More specialness!), to an ice cream place on Northgate called "Sticky Chins." If you know Northgate at TX A&M, it's a small thin building next to bottlecap alley. I don't know what is there now. Anyway, now we as a family celebrate the day by having ice cream for dinner---and regular food for dessert if we want. That night, I also have a Creative Memories thing I could go to, and Survivor starts that evening. Survivor!! I'm so excited. It'll be Heart Snack day at school. The 9th is the annual "Not-So-Newlywed Game" at church. All these things I will elaborate on when I get to them, but does it seem crazy busy already? Is it just me? Don't they all sound fun, though?

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Monday, January 29, 2007

Picture Post

Here are my pictures of Raccoons I took Saturday night. Another picture made my "picture of the day" on my Project 363 blog. B's Girls Scout troop leader threw some dog food on the porch and the raccoons came to eat. Later, after I left her there to ahve a sleepover, a oppossum came to eat as well.

This one was washing his food in the water dish. Lis told the girls that it had taken some time and building of trust before the raccoons would come up and eat like this with us watching from inside.

This next set of pictures is of J's TROUPE show on Sunday. It was his final performance of four. The show was called "Dear Edwina, Jr." and it's an adaptation of a Broadway show. It was very family friendly. Edwina is a girl who does a show every Sunday afternoon form her garage, and she gives advice to kids who write her letters.

J is a guy learning to "Say No Thank You" (song with the same title), no matter what kind of food is offered.

This queen was offering him all kinds of weird stuff.
She finally offered him some peanut butter and jelly. Yum! Remember---I'm taking pictures with no flash! So that is why they're a little blurry. Also, on Sunday, we got Primo seats on the futon at the front of the audience. B got to go to this show.

The group is singing "Frankenguest!" about a boy who is a terrible guest at a party. J is the one in the middle, next to the girl with the blue party hat.

Here is the Fork Fairy and the girl who needed to know how to set the table. Another picture from this song made picture of the day for Sunday on the Project 363 blog.

This one is during a song about how these guys didn't save money and needed advice. J is the one on the far left.

And finally, this one is our B after the show. Brown is sure in fashion this season! Yes, those are goucho pants.

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt, January 27th

The theme today is "Silver." Check out other hunt participants by clicking here. If you want to join in, click here for more info.

I decided to show some of my favorite things around the house that are silver in color. Only the earrings are real silver. (I think!) The two serving dishes are from Duncan Dining Hall on the Texas A&M campus. Mom got them for us from one of the Aggie Mom's Club Boutique sales one year. They used these serving dishes before we were students there. This is my silver watch I wear every day---nothing fancy! The tea spoon in of my flatware set I got when I married---Oneida "Anticipation" which I still love. (You might click on the picture to see the simple design on it!) And finally, the earrings, which were my Grandmother J's, which I wear ll the time.

These last two couldn't fit into the collage, so here they are. B decorated her bedroom door for Christmas in a silver theme, and it's still up. But I like it, too.

I have some really cool pictures of raccoons I saw last night, which I'll post later, but for one picture, go see my photo Project 363 blog. Next week's theme is "Gross!"

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Friday, January 26, 2007

Friday's Feast, January 26th

If you could take lessons to learn any musical instrument, which would you want to learn?
I'd learn the piano---it's so versitile.

Have you ever mistaken a person for someone else?
Sure, but nothing comes to mind immediately! I try to stay quiet to avoid making mistakes like that.

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being highest, how well do you keep secrets?
I'd say an 8. I think I do well, but I can't keep secrets from my husband!

Main Course
What's the closest you've ever been to a dangerous animal?
I guess behind glass at a zoo doesn't count? I was within 10 yards of elk and buffalo in Yellowstone. They might seem tame, but they certainly are not and they are HUGE! Very awesome.

When was the last time you lost your patience?
This morning. B doesn't want to be nagged every morning to get ready, but she is not getting ready herself, and gets mad when I tell her it's time to do something. I lose my patience when she starts fussing at me for fussing at her. I think I'm frustrated at myself and when the time gets so close to our departure time, I'm getting more and more frenzied!

Leave a comment if you partake in the feast!

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You may now refer to me as . . .

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Milady the Right Reverend Jennifer the Toothsome of Giggleswick under Table
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title


ABC Homemaking Meme

I got his from DandelionMomma , and I also enjoyed the post at JustEnjoythe Journey. If you know me, you know that Housework is not my favorite thing to do. I am happiest if I am being creative, and the cleaning aspects of housework are not creative! Washing clothes, dusting, cleaning floors, cleaning the bathroom---it's the same every time. Here's my take on the ABCs of Homemaking.

Aprons – Y/N? If Y, what does your favorite look like?
I bought a fruity one with an orange background one time at a teacher's conference when we were doing the Fruit of the Spirit for our school theme. It brings me happy memories, but I hardly ever wear it.

Baking – Favorite thing to bake
Cookies----I have some excellent recipes!

Clothesline – Y/N?
I had one in our previous house, and I'd like one now, but I think our dogs would think it was entertainment for them. So no.

Donuts – Have you ever made them?
Yes, long ago from biscuit dough from a can. After you deep fry them, shake them with some cinnamon and sugar---very good!

Every day – One homemaking thing you do every day
I guess dinner and dishes, although I try to do a load of laundry every day, too.

Freezer – Do you have a separate deep freeze?
No. never have and my parents didn't as I grew up, either, so I don't know what I'd do with one except have MORE Stuff on hand.

Garbage Disposal – Y/N?
no---but there is a switch for one here. Who would have taken it out and not put another one in?
Handbook – What is your favorite homemaking resource? and All and Taste of Home Magazine--such a treat when it arrives in the mail!

Ironing – Love it or hate it? Or hate it but love the results?
I hate it, but love the results. Some things are unwearable without it!

Junk drawer – Y/N? Where is it?
yes---in the kitchen, but it's specifically for scissors, batteries, can openers, toothpicks, twist ties, and paint brushes. I don't think it's so junky! Other parts of the house are more junked together than this! ;-)

Kitchen – Color and decorating scheme
Ug---I should have done something in the past 4 years toward getting my decorating scheme together! But generally, the vision is white cabinetry, cherry/fruit hardware, red accents and some dark blue. I plan on taking down this wallpaper above the cabinets, which is light blue stripes, and freehand painting cherries and scripture---that's the part I have not stepped toward.

Love – What is your favorite part of homemaking?
I love having it all done and resting in the cleanness. I like to Vacuum.

Mop – Y/N?
I use a Swiffer WetJet---my spaces are so small that I need to mop, and I like to just throw away the bathroom germs!

Nylons – Wash by hand or in the washing machine?
I throw them in the washing machine. I used to have a mesh bag for those and my bras! Where did that go?

Oven – Do you use the window or open the oven to check?
I usually only check for brownness, so I need to see it with the door open. I thought the window would be so much more helpful than it really is!

Pizza – What do you put on yours?
Canadian Bacon and mushrooms from a pizza place, but if I make it at home, it's usually sausage, onions, mozzarella cheese.

Quiet – What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment?
I'm on the computer!

Recipe card box – Y/N? What does it look like?
I am working on putting everything in a notebook. But the recipe box I have holds 4x6 cards and is green.

Style of house – What style is your house?
I guess it's like a ranch-style, if that's what you call a basically rectangle house with a garage on one end. (Although our bedroom sticks out to make it an L shape, really.)

Tablecloths and napkins – Y/N?
Not usually

Under the kitchen sink – Organized or toxic wasteland?
At one time, it was organized, but I really don't like to go under there much now!

Vacuum – How many times per week?
the living room probably twice a week, but a good allover once a week.

Wash – How many loads of laundry do you do per week?

X’s – Do you keep a daily list of things to do that you cross off?
Only sometimes.

Yard – Y/N? Who does what?
Yes we have one. I like to do the bushes.

Zzz’s – What is your last homemaking task for the day before going to bed?
I guess I would say clean up the kitchen after dinner. My "work" day ends at 9:00 if I can, and with putting B to bed, that's all I can do after dinner. Sometimes I'm folding clothes while watching TV, though. I'm not in a firm routine!

That was fun! Let me know if you answer, too!


Monday, January 22, 2007

My undercover personality

Your results:
You are Superman

Green Lantern
Wonder Woman
Iron Man
The Flash
You are mild-mannered, good,
strong and you love to help others.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

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New stuff

I just put up 4 days of pictures at my new Photo Blog----Project 363. Click that link or use the link on side bar to see my one photo for each day of 2007. Not that there was anything really interesting going on! :-)


Saturday, January 20, 2007

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt---Wild

I thought about this week's theme: WILD. I thought about all the times we've gone camping and been in the "wild" (that's as wild as I get---with water and an electrical hookup!). I thought about how wild my own children get when they're just tired of each other. I thought about how wild my classroom of 4- and 5-year-olds gets on a winter day. I thought about all the wild animals we've seen in zoos. However, inspiration came yesterday, as I heard the song "Reflex" by Duran Duran on the radio, and I thought of this picture in my high school album.

This is about as wild as it got during my high school days! This is one of my friends (I'll keep her nameless!), jumping from one bed to another in a hotel room 1000 miles from our homes. We were on a band trip to Disneyland, where we played a concert. We got to go to Wet 'n' Wild right after we got off our 24-hour bus ride. One of our fellow flag corps members had to be sent home---now that was probably real wildness! I was not a wild kind of teenager, but I had fun!

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Friday, January 19, 2007

Friday's Feast, January 19th

Which television shows do you just refuse to miss?
I have to see Survivor and The Amazing Race when they are going on. I also am getting where Monk is a required show.

Who did you last speak to on the telephone?
My husband before he came home from his work yesterday.

How many pillows do you keep on your bed?
6---two in shams we don't sleep on.

Main Course
Name one addition to your computer (software, hardware, etc.) that you'd love to have.
I'd love to have a CD burner. But also, this graphics card that J needs for a Lego game he has.

What is your favorite foreign food?
I am pretty sure most of what I eat is very Americanized! But I do love Italian and Mexican dishes of all kinds, and many Chinese and Thai dishes. But the very favorite of mine . . . fresh, authenic tortillas and salsa! Everything else I think of I know is Americanized.

Before J went to school, he posted a friday's feast, too---so check it out!
Ollie's Blog
(my little boy---he's growing up!)


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Winter Days

These first two are the deck accumulating ice---both because we had ice falling from the sky and because we had rain falling and then freezing. The kids have worked at chipping it off this afternoon---it was something they chose to do, not some punishment I had! ;-)

I like this picture of the icicles along the roofline near my bedroom.

Here's a close-up---it's really very beautiful!

These were also in our back yard, I thought very pretty with their coating of ice.

Larry came home at his lunch and took my car out---it had a flat this morning! (That's him in the background.) This is one reason we didn't go to school even though school was in, and running two hours late. He drove it so the fix-a-flat would work right. I also just didn't think it was any safer this morning than it was last morning after listening to the weather reports. Doesn't my car look like it has a beard?

As it turns out, we will have excused absenses for this day off at home! We played school---does that count for anything? B found math worksheets for J and me (multiplication), and Jamie gave us a lesson about Bionicle. The kids made many videos with our camera, and we played them on the TV. I made them do Bible reading, for my portion of the "school" day. Of course, we had lots of Science today---outdoors exploration! :-)

This last one is of a smile with one less tooth. B lost her tooth this afternoon as we were warming back up with hot chocolate and popcorn. It fell out---Daddy didn't have to pull this one! I LOVE all the toothy grins that B and her classmates have.

I hope you are enjoying your winter, too!

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Bad Weather Days

We've been on the alert for bad weather for a couple of days now. We have had lots of rain leading up to this cold weather, and usually around here, when the cold temperatures come, the dry air is with it, so it never snows, sleets or gets icy. This time, though, we've been hovering right below freezing for a day and a half, and won't go above freezing until tomorrow evening (according to So will we go to school tomorrow? I don't know! I haven't been out today at all. Larry made it to work before it started really raining this freezing rain this afternoon. It has made our deck really white with ice, and our trees and bushes are kinda icy, too. One of the biggest thrills is the icicles hanging from our roof line. B even ate one---or two.

I think I'd be happy just staying home one more day. I have been busy all day and have lots of other projects to get done!

But we shall see. I am waiting and watching those websites . . .

I have been keeping up with the picture a day on my other blog----click on "Project 363---My Photo Blog" to look at what's going on over there! I hope to post a few pictures of the snow---I mean ice---around the house sometime soon. :-) Happy days!

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt---Technology

If you're interested in seeing how others interpreted the theme "Technology" check it out here. If you wanted to join in, here is the way to join in.

This is my niece S and I on the computer around Christmas. My son took it with our digital camera (another piece of technology). S is only 17 months old, yet there are programs out there designed for little ones like her. She is pre-mouse in her technology use! ;-)

It's important to teach kids the use of computers (okay, maybe not babies!), since our dependence on them is only going to grow. On the other hand, I think we at our house are on the computer too much (me included). We keep the computer in the living room, and I plan on keeping it this way even as my kids get older.

I am excited about how technology has me connected to the world!

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Friday, January 12, 2007

What I am doing instead of cooking dinner

I saw this on someone else's blog and had to participate. I am not sure who's going to read this blog post, but I'll try to tag Rachel, Jan (but if you don't want to pollute your blog with something like this, Jan, just leave me a comment!), and Sarah F. I know these are looking at the blogs occasionally! I have always been terrible about playing tag!

Here are the directions:
1)Grab the book closest to you
2)Open to page 123, go down to the fourth sentence
3)Post the text of the following 3 sentences on your blog
4)Name the author and book title
5)Tag three people to do the same

Here I go . . .

She decided to see if she could blink over to the mainland on purpose. She was probably misbehaving, but it was such fun to be there, and she didn't see what harm it did. She closed her eyes and remembered the bedroom of the boy who'd heard noises under his bed.

Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg

by Gail Carson Levine

This is B's book, really, but we are reading it together. Her backpack is right here by me, so it was the closest book. It's about Disney fairies---Tinkerbell, Beck, and the star, Prilla. Prilla is sort of a misfit (she thinks) with no place in the fairy world. But I think she'll find out differently by the end. (See, no one else can "blink" over to the mainland.)

This lady and this lady (among others) have done the book tag! :-)
Now on to the kitchen! It's spaghetti tonight!

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Friday's Feast, January 12th

What comes to mind when you see the color orange?
If it is burnt orange, I think about UT (Texas). That's a rival school of Texas A&M, one of my colleges. So that is a repulsive feeling.
If it is bright orange, I think of UT (Tennessee). That was my parents' rival school, and while the feeling is not as strong, I still feel repulsed a bit.
On the other hand, if it's a bright orange marker in a multicolor collection, it's a feeling of completeness. I can now make a beautiful rainbow. ohm . . .ohm . . .

Did you ever get in trouble while you were in school? If so, what was it for?
I really didn't get in trouble much. Getting in trouble was one of my greatest fears. (Is?) I did get licks (paddle spankings!) twice in second grade (1978-1979). This is the age my daughter is right now. Once it was because my whole table was having a book fight, and we were hitting our books together in the middle of the table when the teacher walked in the room. The other time, a dog ran in our building and the whole class chased it back outside. Mrs. Smith lined up the whole class in the hall and gave us each a lick.

Which topping(s) make up your perfect pizza?
Canadian bacon, mushrooms, extra cheese, maybe bell peppers and onions (but I pick those two off and just leave the nice flavor on the cheese).

Main Course
Do you believe in UFOs/aliens/etc.? Why or why not?
I always say it's a possibility. My husband would take the opposite position. I say why not? I do not understand why it's a religious conflict----God can make this giant universe however he wants, and he does NOT have to tell us about everything. he didn't, I believe!

Plus, I am optimistic about stuff like this. I have always loved Star Wars and Star Trek, and I think it would be great to have a variety of created beings in the universe, getting along and learning about different ways of surviving in different types of worlds. (That's why Anthropology was my minor in college!)

What color is your bedspread/comforter/quilt?
Blue and white----a sort of Toile pattern with flowers.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

New furniture

This is the china cabinet. It matches the table and chairs . . .

And this is one chair. My great aunts and great-grandmother hand stitched these chair covers.

This is the coffee table. It is so fancy---much more than our lifestyle needs! But this is also from Aunt Sally's house, and Mom wanted to clear out the house of anything sentimental. So I ended up with three marble-topped tables. The coffee table, another oval taller table (see it on the other blog), and . . .

This table, which will go by my bed.

And this came from Aunt Sally's hall closet---take a look at the pictures on the box!! Totally halarious.

I am going to use it some time, to keep food hot or cold.

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Photos this week

One of the "side effects" of starting the Project 363 blog is that I am taking lots of pictures and am having a hard time deciding which one to use to represent each day. I am trying to stick with the format, one picture a day, but I've found it hard. I haven't yet come to a day where I did not take a photo at all! Anyway, go check out my "other" blog on occasion.

These are my "rejects" so to speak!

This is Angel. I took her picture through the window while she was sleeping outside on her very dirty blanket. Both dogs drag it around where they want it. I know it's kinda disgusting!! But she looked so cute there.

This is what came in the mail on Saturday---my certificate deeming me a Child Development Associate. I can now call myself an expert (of sorts) on preschool children---specifically on kids ages 3-5.

This is J's alcove---a Star Trek borg-type alcove. (Click that link to get an idea of what the original looked like.) We have been watching ST Voyager episodes we got from Blockbuster online. Seven-of-Nine came aboard in the last set of DVDs we got, so now J is able to go regenerate like her.

This is what I did Sunday afternoon after a nap---I moved the bookcase closer to the computer area. Not that anyone cares! It was a bit of work to get it all re-organized. This is in preparation of getting some new furniture in the house today. This move is to get a china cabinet into the dining area. But the good news is, I now have a shelf for the printer paper, and the dictionary is closer to my computer---which I use, don't ask me why, when I'm at the computer. (I know there are online dictionaries!)

This is B after school yesterday. We had stopped at Sonic to celebrate J's good report card. B will get hers today. I liked how her hair was shining in the sunlight, but I don't know if I captured that.

This is J at Sonic---but he was irritated with the sun being in his eyes, but was mad at the whole world because of that (He has hated having sun in his eyes ever since he was a baby!). J had come home from school early because he was running a fever. He also has a head cold. I had to get out with him, though, because I had to go pick up B. If he'd been feeling terrible, I would have gotten someone else to get B or something. And I wouldn't have taken him ot my next stop . . .

This last one is in my classroom. Since I had a feeling I'd be staying home with J again today (and I am!), I went from Sonic to my preschool to set up the classroom for my sub. J did go lay down in our workroom on a couch for a while, but he made stenciled snowmen like B is doing here. I wanted to get a few examples made for the teacher to know what I meant to do. And for the kids to see. The snowmen the kids make will go up on the bulletin board for January.

So this is a wrap-up of photos from my life. It's exactly what the title of my blog is---a slice of my life!

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Saturday, January 06, 2007

Saturday Photo Scavenger Hunt, January 6th

Today's theme is Memory. If you want to go see others' memory pictures, click here. If you want to join in click here.

I'm still in a Christmassy mood---this is my memory of Christmas. As I set up all my kids' presents, I wanted them to have that same feeling I remembered from my childhood. That overwhelmed feeling, a feeling like nothing else could be as wonderful as getting these presents this morning.
This picture is me, 1975, and I would have been 4 and a half. I am so glad my parents took this picture---to me, it sums up all my happy, sleepy Christmas morning feelings!
On a Photo Train of Thought, I am going to start a seperate blog for "Project 365." It's a picture a day for a year. I am thinking I won't post every day, but I will take pictures every day and try to update on my Mondays and Fridays (or Saturdays, like today). Unfortunately, I did not hear about this until Jan. 3rd, and double sad, I did not take any pictures on Jan. 1st or 2nd. So my project is 363 or maybe 365 through Jan. 2nd, 2008. Whatever! I'll give a link and put that on my sidebar when I get ready. And oh boy, are my pictures so far exciting! ha! Very not exciting. But each picture is supposed to represent the day somehow, and I am not afraid to set up pictures to make it represenative of my day.
I am checking off daily Bible reading and exercising for the year, too. So far, I have been reading every day except yesterday (no excuse!), and I have exercised 4 times this calendar week---and I still might do somehting today. I am staying on track so far!

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Friday, January 05, 2007

Friday's Feast, January 5th

Which celebrity (or celebrities) do you think will make headlines this year?
In a bad way? More stuff from Lindsey Lohan and her ilk. In a good way? I am just not sure. Maybe Reese Witherspoon.

They say that good things come in small packages? What is something little that you think is great?
Well, I have always thought this applies directly to me, a person of short stature! I also think of J's little present to me---some tri-colored gold earrings, little circles of dolphins (he knows I always say dolphins are my favorite animal!) That was a good small thing! But also, little kids are small things that are good, too.

Name a song that makes you want to dance.
Love Shack was my first thought. It's from 1989, the year I graduated from high school, so this makes sense.

Main Course
What is your favorite font?
I am pleased to know that other people have favorite fonts, too!
I use Century Gothic all the time. I use it when printing for my preschool classroom because it is the closest thing to ball-and-stick type of writing that we teach. No funny a or g for preschoolers! I don't know how to show you this on this blog with it's limited capabilities, though.

If you were to write a do-it-yourself article, what would it be about?
I have been told I could teach a class on making Big Books for preschoolers, so I could write a book about that.


Thursday, January 04, 2007

2006 in review--by questions

1. What did you do in 2006 that you’d never done before?
Completed my requirements for my CDA work

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don’t know if I wrote any down---so I guess that means if I made them, I didn’t keep them. This year, it’s 4 main ones. Be a daily Bible reader; be a regular exerciser (3-4 times a week); keep up with finances on the computer; make menu plans and shop with them in mind.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
My co-worker Shalada

4. Did anyone close to you die?
Yes---Larry’s brother Rusty (April), Great Aunt Sally (at a ripe old age in March), and Uncle John---my Mom’s brother (in November)

5. What countries did you visit?
only this one! the USA

6. What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006?
I hate to sound materialistic, but a newer car---one with a CD player?

7. What dates from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
April 1st----the day Larry’s brother died, so unexpectedly
June 10th---Jackie’s wedding

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Finishing my CDA requirements---this is two years of work coming together with my test on Dec. 8th. Still haven’t heard about the outcome . . .

9. What was your biggest failure?
no Christmas cards!! (but I really don’t care about that---I just let that go this year)

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nothing major
11. What was the best thing you bought?
I have to say it’s my new Crock-Pot! Or maybe the purse B helped me pick out. Both of these were purchased around Christmas with gift money.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
This isn’t exactly behavior, but I am proud to say my Mom graduated from TCU with her Master’s in Nursing this December.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Truly, there were times in 2006 that J’s behavior made me upset

14. Where did most of your money go?
I think the biggest chunk goes to our mortgage---but we made an extra payment through the year by paying a little every week----52 weeks= 13 monthly payments!

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
My trip to South Padre Island for an early childhood education conference---with my co-workers! Yahoo!

16. What song will always remind you of 2006?
Crazy by Gnarls Barkley

17. Compared to this time last year, are you: a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
a) happier---I feel optimistic
b) I’d say chubbier (not fatter!)
c) richer

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
exercise (then I wouldn’t be chubbier)

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
fussing at the kids

20. How did you spend Christmas?
with my parents here at my home

21. Did you fall in love in 2006?
not with anyone new

22. What was your favorite month of 2006? why?
I’d say July since it was quite a mix of fun and family time and beach time and taking pictures of trains and freedom.

23. What was your new favorite TV program?
Little People, Big World

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

25. What was the best book you read?
Memoirs of a Geisha ----this book is THE one I couldn’t put down and read the fastest.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I don’t know

27. What did you want and get?
K.T. Tunstall CD from Jamie

28. What did you want and not get?
a purse---so I went out and got it!

29. What was your favorite film this year?
I don’t see many---but the new James Bond one was great---maybe because we got to go out on a date and see it.

30. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?
I went to church and out to eat---it was Easter. I was 35 this year.

31. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
if I had been keeping myself closer to God

32. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2006?
Ask B what she thinks about what I am choosing---and maybe go with her idea!

33. What kept you sane?
quiet Fridays

34. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
Jeff Probst (I am not sure who to say!)

35. What political issue stirred you the most?
I guess illegal immigration, because it ties in so much with our kids being educated in two languages and people’s prejudices. (Although I still have to say, for the record, people should obey the laws we have out there----workers and employers).

36. Who did you miss?
Robin Anderson

37. Who was the best new person you met?
I’ll say Rikki---she’s very funny

38. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2006.
J needs to be let go of a little bit----I gotta stop micro-managing him.

39. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
From Crazy
Come on now, who do you, who do you, who do you, who do you think you are,
Ha ha ha bless your soul
You really think you're in control
Well, I think you're crazy
I think you're crazy
I think you're crazy
Just like me

40. What was the most unselfish thing you did in 2006?
Hard to answer that one! Nothing stands out to me.

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Over at Laurel Wreath, she asked everyone to post their hopes, dreams, and goals for the next year. How do we want God to move in our lives? Where do I want to be in December 2007?

I usually do resolutions. I don't keep them always, but I also re-evaluate my life at my birthday and at the beginning of a school year---not in any formal way, but I am more reflective at these times, putting forth goals for myself and seeing where I can improve certain aspects of life around here. I'm finally ready to do this year's post about my resolutions. I have been thinking about them for more than a week. Basically I need to get myself organized and more balanced. I need to be connected to God---to be within His will for me, and to be able to hear what He has to say to me. So what kind of steps do you take to reach such lofty goals? My resolutions are my little steps.

But first, this song keeps coming back into my head:

I am resolved no longer to linger

Charmed by the world's delight;

Things that are higher, things that are nobler

These have allured my sight!

I will hasten to Him

Hasten so glad and free

Jesus, greatest, highest,

I will come to Thee.

(You can hear it here: I Am Resolved ; words by Palmer Hartsough, music by James H. Fillmore, 1896)

That's an old-fashioned song we sing at my church, and it speaks to me as I'm reading people's resolutions and and resolving to do better this year.

1. Be a Daily Bible reader. One little encouraging note in the church bulletin this week made me think about this. Colossians 3:16---"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly richly . . ." First of all, to have that word within me, I am going to have to really read it. I can't know it without reading it. And my desire to have it richly within me has been helped along by the Quiet Time Bible Study (see the link on my sidebar). It has you read about a chapter a day and then asks questions about your reading. There are questions strictly about the text, and then application questions. I really like it. The meat is just God's word---not someone expounding upon a single verse for a whole chapter. And I really think that's where I need to be. I started it daily on Dec. 30, and I will not beat myself up if I do not do those questions every day! The real goal is to be in the word.

2. Be a regular exerciser. I have also done this ever since Christmas. Not every day, but about 4 times a week I want to do something. I am easily bored by routine, so I want to leave this open. This break, the exercise of choice is yoga, and I like it. I have two tapes in particular that I really like---one 45 minutes, one 20 minutes. I am feeling all stretched out and loose today! And my balance and flexibility always improves when I am doing yoga. I hope to lose a few pounds this year----but I don't have a step-by-step plan as of yet, so I know it isn't happening. The goal really is to feel better about my body.

3. Keep my financial records on the computer. I do much better with my spending and saving if I do this. I got this set up yesterday morning. I had to just start over and re-do everything in the Money program I'm using. It felt really good to have it all organized and up-to-date. Part of this resolution is to sit down and record the day's transactions every evening. I think once I get B in bed I will go directly to the computer and input receipts if there are any. I kinda think that has been my missing step before----a routine time to get that little thing done. I would let things pile up, and then I would have so much to do it took an hour or so to straighten things out---and I really didn't know what was going on in that account! Bad!!

4. Make Menu plans and shop with them in mind. I am actually pretty good at this, and when I am on a roll, I am cookin' great meals and saving money! I need to do it more consistently. Cooking is a creative activity (and I am all about variety and creativity), and it's one way I show my love to my family. Frozen pizza (last night!) isn't very creative, but it's the best we can do some nights.

So who do I want to be? I want to hold my temper in check---some days I have totally lost it this Christmas break! A Mom who is more patient and full of Godly wisdom. I want to be a better wife to Larry---to actually consider him more often in what I'm doing here at home. I want to be in control of housework. I want to be someone not afraid of the days to come------this is Proverbs 31---the wife of noble character. I have always loved this chapter, and it is a good goal to have:

10 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.

11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.

12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.

13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.

14 She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.

15 She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.

16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.

18 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.

19 In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.

21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

22 She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

23 Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.

24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.

26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:

29 "Many women do noble things, but you surpass then all."

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

31 Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

I am sure I can think of more goals for this year, and I may add them on later. But what is really great is that each new day is a beginning point, a fresh start. Hey! Even every hour is a fresh start, every minute!
This post has really been a train of thought writing process---whatever comes to mind in whatever order! I have been looking forward to getting this out of my head and into print, and I am glad to share it on my blog.

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Locomotives on Parade #21

This is probably the last "Locomotives on Parade" entry---ever! I think we have seen 26 of the 35 terains that were around, and we were lucky to see these other ones after the aution of the back in September.

Here's who we credit for putting this out in our community:

Banking On Texas
Sponsor: First National Bank
Artist: Lynn McDaniel & Todd Pollard

This one was at the First National Bank (which we didn't get to in our summer train excursions), but now it is at the Northwest corner of Sue Haswell Park. We liked the coins on the back---good for one in a bank!

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