Monday, December 30, 2013

Remember me?

I am sitting in our new, albeit, dog-chewed chair listening to the sizzling of my husband cooking dinner in the kitchen.  I have a laptop that works and a lapdesk which makes it super easy to type while sitting away from the table.  (Thanks hubby for the Christmas gifts!  Now I can finally get back to blogging!)

Did anyone else feel weird this Christmas?  I just felt like I was off.  It could have been the Icemagedon that caused schools to be closed a mere 4 days after returning from a week-long Thanksgiving break.  It could have been that because of said ice storm, I had to cancel my cookie exchange this year.  I was way excited because it was going to be in our new house, I was going to use my grandma's Christmas china, and I had the menu all planned out. It also could have been because there were only three weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Oh well, Christmas decorations are down, and I am on to the next projects. 

I have been feeling so overwhelmed lately, so overwhelmed.  I just feel like I have a mountain of things to do before the baby gets here in 8 short weeks.  Some of my projects don't even have to do with baby girl, I just know that once she is here, a lot of other projects will be placed on the back burner for a  while. 

In the upcoming posts, I will be sharing with you the progress on our house, baby girl's nursery, and a couple DIY pinterest projects that I actually did!  Shocking.

My wonderful mom came up today to help me out with life because I am seriously struggling.  She is such a calming presence.  A few weeks ago my hubby said, "I know most people don't really like their MIL, but I like mine because she calms you down."  He will even suggest me calling her when he has tried his best to calm me down, but I am still worked up.  I can't wait to show you some of the stuff we did today.  If you want a sneak peak, check out my instagram on the side bar of my blog.

It won't be so long next time, I promise,

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Baby Mama Drama Update

How far along am I? 19 weeks

Cravings: I can always go for Papa John's pizza with garlic sauce, but that was the case before I was pregnant, too.  I mean, it is so good.  I have enjoyed citrusy candy much more than I did before I was pregnant (sour patch kids and starburst)

Physically: I feel great.  This week was especially exhausting because of parent-teacher conferences.

Emotionally: I have had a couple of big breakdowns lately.  Last week, we painted a huge portion of the inside of our house.  We had lots of help, which was so nice because we got it all done in one day; however, it started off kind of rocky trying to mesh everyone's different painting styles.  I couldn't handle it.  Lots of tears. I remembered my husband's birthday (yay!), but we both had Bible Study the night of his birthday, his dad took him out the next evening, and by Wednesday I had completely forgotten to do anything:(  Womp.  Womp.

Feelings about the baby: I think I felt the baby kick this week, but it could be gas because that likes to hang around, too.  Sometimes I really don't feel like I am pregnant.  We have had several sonograms because of my earlier issues.  Even then, the image on the screen seems like just a movie instead of something INSIDE me.

We will be going for our 20 week check-up soon and will hopefully find out the gender.  I would be okay without knowing, but I think Anthony would really like to know.  We have a boy and girl name both picked out but will be keeping those a secret until the baby is born.

I haven't told my students or their parents yet.  (Minus the parent that the counselor shared the information with.  Good grief-adults and sharing information that is not theirs to share.  I could write a whole couple blog posts about that.)  BUT, I won't be able to keep it a secret for much longer as my belly continues to expand.  A student the other day asked if I was pregnant.  I pretended not to understand what she said.  Soon though, I need to have a better response than I ate a big lunch.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

When the monster was gone

To continue with how awesome school was on Friday, we had dropped the monster off at the vet to be spayed Friday morning.  So, I got to come home and take a nap without hearing her whining voice in the cage.  My husband and I were able to eat dinner without her stealing food from the countertops.  (Oh btw, she jumped all four paws on the kitchen table the other day.)  We were able to watch tv without having to get up a bazillion times to take remotes, shoes, decorations, and trash out of her mouth.  We were able to sleep in the next morning.  We were able to fold our laundry without her taking the folded clothes and dragging them around the house.  It was wonderful...and then we had to go and pick her back up from the vet.

End of Story.  She is completely back to normal, oblivious to the fact that she has stitches that she ripped open on Sunday while my parents were here because she was acting like a crazy idiot.  Currently she is climbing all over Anthony's dad.  She is a full time job.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The best day of School so far

The other day a friend from my old school asked me if I felt like I made a good decision leaving and going to a new school.  I had to think about it for a while.   Even though there are some good things (the students are smarter, the students behave in a social acceptable manner, I have parent involvement), there are also some negatives (more is expected of the students-we don't want just passing, we want commended, I have more parent involvement).  I miss my good, good friends at my old school.  My new team is nice, but I am not to the point where I can talk to them about whatever.  (Look out, Debbie and Kriston, the time is coming where you will soon hear of my bathroom habits!)  After a few days of mulling over the question and listening to a lot of feedback from different people at my old school, I decided that even though I am unsure about whether I love, love my new school, I know that I would not being doing well at my old school with the new principal, and the low, low students, and the obnoxious behavior problems, and the lack of support from administration.  I know that this would be my last year in the teaching profession if I had stayed there.  At least, at my new school, I feel a glimmer of hope that I might last a little longer.

But let me tell you about the best day of school so far.  I have had some rough ones; every day is not wonderful.  First off, I had scheduled my observation for PDAS for Thursday.  That's right, my new principal let me tell her when I wanted her to come and observe me.  What a pleasant surprise as opposed to in the past having to wait two weeks on pins and needles never knowing when I might be observed.  Now, it is done, and that makes me happy!  Secondly, it was pouring rain and cooler on Friday morning.  Hello fall weather!  I grabbed an iced hazelnut coffee from McDonald's on the way to work.  How could the morning get any better?

Well, beside the fact that it continued to be dark and gloomy the rest of the day, the students finally clicked with how I wanted math workshop to look.  Ideally, students are able to work interdependently on their investigations and math problems while I pull struggling students to meet with me.  All week, we had been working on talking and helping people at your table if they are struggling, so the confusion can be solved before they all come bombard me with questions.

This is a conversation I overheard from one table:
W was telling S (struggling student) how to solve a problem.  R butted in and told W to "make sure you tell him WHY he needs to do that."  Be still my heart!

Friday I also assigned some teacher helpers.  Students would check in with other students for specific problems.  The teacher helpers would give them a sticker if the problem was correct or send them away to go work on the problem some more.  I saw written in red pen on a student's paper, "please solve in another way."  Love it!

And then while we were discussing how math workshop went, my students told me how "efficient" and "beneficial" the teacher helpers were.  Need I continue?

Because I did not have to check in with students who had little stumbling blocks, my really confused kids were able to have some awesome ah ha moments!

Friday continued to be awesome because I had a parent come make copies and cut things out for next week.  Because my plans were already in, all I had to do after school was file my copies and head out.
School was awesome on Friday!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Wish we could do this in Texas...

I am reading all my posts from my relatives and friends who live in Michigan, and I am getting so jealous!  I have only been to one apple orchard in Michigan, but it was the best experience.  It was right in the middle of fall.  The leaves were brilliantly colored.  I remember walking through the orchard with my aunt, grandma and family kicking the leaves up with my feet.  There was an old, sticky building where we got to watch the apples been smooshed, and pressed, and juiced, coated with caramel, and whatever else they do.  Afterwards, we sat down in the cool air and munched on warm apple donuts and sipped apple cider.  Oh, what I would not give to be able to have that tradition down here in Texas.  (Sad face!)

I am definitely going to need to find a fall recipe this week to quench this need.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Can I get some queso with that?

I am not the biggest Mexican food fan.  I mean, I can eat fajitas or a quesadilla, but I don't crave the stuff.  I do have a particular weakness for queso.  Mmmm queso!

If you live around Denton, and love queso as much as I do, this post is for you:
Sidenote-I do not do spicy.

1. Mi Taza:  This is my new fav place to go!  It is right by the house, too!  Their queso is amazing.  There may be some peppers and whatnot in there, but it tastes like straight up cheese. 
2. Mazatlan:  Mmmm yum!  Great seasoning and consistency.  It is free at lunch time, too.
3. Chuy's:  I only go at happy hour to get the free nacho bar, so I am not knocking the free, BUT their queso ranks pretty low.  It is pretty runny and seems to get spicy each time I go.  I have to eat it with the beans, so I don't burn my throat.  (Again, spicy weeny)
4. Fuzzy's:  My old roommate, Candace, introduced me to their queso.  I get it without the pico de gallo on top.  It is a yummy white cheese queso, and their chips are amazing!
5. El Guapo:  The first time I went here, I really loved the queso.  The second time, it was definitely spicier.  Lame sauce.
6. El Fenix:  too generic
7. Mi Casita:  I used to stop here all the time on my way home from work.  Thank goodness we moved.  This has a great seasoning, so it is not just cheese, but it isn't spicy.  The best of both worlds.



Monday, September 2, 2013

Feeling like fall yet?

It is September!  That means that is the season for fall, right?  Even though it is hovering in the upper 90s-last week it was in the 100s-, I am anxious for fall to be here.  If you weren't with me last season, you can check out some of my obsession here or here.

I haven't pulled out my stuff just yet, but if you need a little pick me up before fall weather actually hits or before you get a chance to drag out your stuff, here are some quick ideas:

1. Candle or new Scentsy scent
2.  New Dish Towel
I always get a new one of these from my sweet mommy at the beginning of each season.  In fact, I just got my new fall one tonight!
3.  Add a scarf to your outfit
Even in hot weather, you can pair a scarf with short-sleeved or sleeveless shirt or dress.
4.  Stop by Starbucks for a Pumpkin drink

5.  Or make something pumpkin of your own.  Check out the recipe link at the top of this page or for pumpkin waffles.

6.  I saw some pumpkins at the grocery store.  How fast would that be to go grab one to get you in the festive mood?!?

These quick fixes might help put you in the fall mood and might convince the weather to do likewise!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Adult-Rated Bedroom

Right after signing all our papers
So a few months ago, we bought our first house!  We are learning to be do-it-yourselfers.  Here are some pictures of our progress
It has a mix of stone and brick on the facade.  There is a little area by the pillars where some old wooden rocking chairs
would look super nice to sit in when it is NOT 100 bazillion degrees. 

My pinterest inspiration.

Orange, orange, orange!  We repainted it gray.  
Anthony and I spray-painted our wooden furniture.  It looks really nice, but it is still a little sticky even months later.  We like the look but not the texture.
Ikea curtains--I love these.  They are so different, and they coordinate really well with our gray and yellow flowered quilt without being really matchy-matchy.
Our big window that faces the front.
I had to use my expert sewing skills to take the curtains up on the smaller window.  Such a ninja!

We are needing to find and purchase yellow lamps, but that may be another spray paint project because I cannot find them anywhere.  Eventually, I will get some more pictures of the rest of it.  We just finished up the master bath last week.  More to come later.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Day One is in the Books

Wow!  Today went by so fast!  What is really nice about team teaching is that halfway through the day, you get to get rid of those kids, get some new ones, and repeat the lesson you already have taught.  It makes the end of the day so nice!  Although, if today was any indication, that probably is going to have some behavior issues.

I wanted to document some differences and similarities I noticed between teaching at a Title 1 school and teaching in Lantana.

Although I expected all students to come with all of their supplies, a few of them were without.

Several parents picked up items on my wish list, and the students brought them today.  Yay!

What really struck me as a big differences was not so much between Title and nonTitle but really the layout of the school.  Or I guess maybe where I am positioned.  The cafeteria is like a few seconds from my room.  Special areas are just around the corner for the most part.  When students are finished at lunch, they can go directly outside to the playground which is right by our room.  At my last school, I had to walk all the way upstairs to get to the cafeteria and walk way out to the playground after lunch.  It was ridiculous.

Dismissal was a little crazy in the hallway, but we don't dismiss from our rooms until the end of school bell rings.

I can't think of any other differences right now.  My feet hurt the same at Title 1 or not.

I somehow managed to ruin the sauce for dinner tonight.  Oh well, it is pasta and cheese!  It can't be that bad.

We made it, day one, teachers!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Back in the kitchen again

Good Sunday Morning!
Hubby is at the gym, and I figured I could get a blog in before we headed to church.  This week has been a whirlwind of inservice.  I even went up to school Saturday to wrap my head around what is going on.  We will say that is my one Saturday for the school year.  School starts tomorrow, and I am excited to get back in the groove.  For the most part, I really do love teaching.  I am hoping that I will be able to form good relationships with people at my new school that will make going to work super fun.

I am not going to be too ambitious here or anything, but I have got to start meal planning again.  I have been so lazy this summer.  Nothing sounded good, so it was hard to cook anything.  Before the end of the school year last year, we were packing and moving, so I wasn't cooking then.  So, I am going to try three meals this week.  With leftovers, that should be plenty.


YIELD: 4-6 SERVINGS INGREDIENTS: 13.25 oz whole wheat linguine, 1 package, you could use any other pasta of your liking 1 cup cottage cheese, or low fat cream cheese, I did this once and it works well 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, plain, I used 2% fat 3/4 cup unsweetened soy milk 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated 2-3 tablespoons blue cheese, I used crumbled blue cheese 1/4 cup Manchego cheese, cubed 8 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed out and drained 2-3 garlic cloves 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch, to prevent curdling Pepper flakes, optional DIRECTIONS: Add all the ingredients, except the pasta of course and the spinach, to your food processor and process until smooth. Pour sauce in a non stick pan and add the chopped spinach. Over a low to medium heat, heat the sauce through for a minute or so before adding the pasta. Add the pasta to the sauce and heat until sauce starts to thicken and adhere to pasta, about 3-5 minutes. Add pepper flakes if using and serve.
This looks super easy and super yummy.  She has a really pretty picture on her website, too.  I will probably not use all the fancy cheese and will add some shredded chicken.

Hamburger Steak with Onion and Gravy

I have done something similar to this before called Salisbury Steak.  The picture on the website is with corn and mashed potatoes, and that looks really good!

Friday: BBQ Pulled Chicken

This is one of my recipes I got from my sister.  Super easy.

So, if I was a productive girl, today I could...
1.) make the alfredo sauce, bag it, refrigerate it
2.) make and brown the steak patties
3.) cook and shred the chicken (it's crockpot) and put in the freezer

Doing those steps would make for a much less messy kitchen during the week when I have absolutely no motivation to clean.

Hollar!  Now to make a grocery list...

Have a great week,

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

College is so expensive!

Baby Mama Drama Update: Symptoms seem to be decreasing.  Thankful for all of the sweet words of encouragement.  I have been taking it super easy.

It's that time!  Students are headed back to school.  Some of my girls that I mentored at church are headed to college.  What an exciting time!  College was one of my favorite memories.  I loved going and playing ultimate frisbee late Thursday nights.  I was somewhat hardcore--I even had cleats!  I loved living in the dorms.  I made and solidified some really great friendships.

Classes didn't exactly make the top memory list, but the expense of college can definitely make a dent that is hard to erase.  Even though colleges and things associated with college seem to be rising in price, there seems to be some good programs out there to alleviate some of the money stress.

One such program is RentBack.  Rentback is a new initiative that allows students to rent the textbooks they ALREADY OWN to other students.  This is awesome because you can make 2 to 4x more money compared to what you would make through buyback options.  I know I always felt gipped when I sold my books back at the end of the semester, especially if I hadn't cracked the book once!

Another program, Campus Book Rentals, lets students rent textbooks.  Here are some perks:
*save 40-90% off of bookstore prices
*free shipping both ways
*you can HIGHLIGHT in the textbooks
*flexible renting periods
*this company donates to Operation Smile with each textbook rented

If college fees have you bogged down, check out these great alternatives.

Happy School Year,

Monday, August 19, 2013

Monster Lovin'

So, at the beginning of the summer, we thought it would be a brilliant plan to add to our family.  So, we drove way out to the middle of nowhere to pick up this little jewel. 
Her name is Gentry--after the Ranger's outfielder.
I had NO idea how much work a puppy was.  I now understand why my dad never let us get a dog.  We had chickens, and turkeys, and ducks when we were younger.  No poop to clean up, super cute when they are little, and stay outside.  Plus, they grow up super fast.

Currently, she is mostly potty trained.  She is working on not jumping.  Most of her razor sharp teeth have fallen out, thank goodness.  She still enjoys chewing on anything she can get her hands on.  At any given time, there is scraps of whatever she is chewing all over the house.  Lately, she has been super cuddling, which makes me not contemplate getting rid of her all the time. 
Zoey, Anthony's dog from when he was younger, comes over and plays with Gentry from time to time.  Mostly Gentry just nips at her, but Zoey is a good sport.

Not a fan of baths, but she is so cute when she is wet.

Her first photo op.

I snagged this picture at a concert last week.  She looks so dignified.  Julie, my MIL, worked with her a lot while we were gone to Cancun. 

I couldn't help it.  She didn't hate it as much as I thought she would.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The day my pregnancy got scary

I started at my new school last week Thursday and was planning on a similar day of inservice on Friday.  I woke up Friday morning with more than just the dread of going back to school.  Something was seriously wrong with my body and potentially my baby.  (I am not going to go into great detail about it because some people feel the need to give their opinion on everything, and I am not looking for your medical opinion derived from my blog post.)

Thankfully, Anthony had not left for work yet, so he was able to be with me the whole day.  We went right to the doctor, who met us about 1.5 before opening.  She performed a sonogram to figure out if the baby was still alive.  Honestly at this point, I had been preparing myself for the worst and had even imagined how to tell people that I had miscarried.  Amazing, our baby was moving all around and had a strong heartbeat.  What a relief!

She sent us off to get a more detailed sonogram.  It was scheduled for later that afternoon.  I rested most of the day.  I wasn't able to watch the sonogram being performed, but Anthony said it was really neat to watch the technician zoom in on the heart and see it beating, measure the femur, and see its arms moving.  We left.  An hour or so later the doctor called and said that the radiologist could not find anything wrong with the sonogram or any indication of anything that could be causing my symptoms.  At first I was really excited, but then I realized that just because they couldn't find anything doesn't mean that everything was ok.  My symptoms were telling me otherwise.

I was an emotional wreck Friday night, but thankfully the Lord granted me sleep, and I was not up all night dwelling on what could be.  My mom came up on Saturday and just sat with me.  Sometimes you just need your momma.  I had a friend come over and sit in bed with me, and I have numerous people praying for me and baby Houston.  My new team at school, who didn't even know I was pregnant, before the incident have been amazing.

I am anxious about returning to school tomorrow.  (Don't worry, I will be sitting in a chair all day for inservice.)  Not knowing about something, especially the well-being and future of your baby, is a tough pill that I have to continue to swallow.  Thankfully, God has a plan for my baby and me.  Thankfully, He has surrounded me with believers who remind me that God is faithful.

I am looking for some verses of Scripture to put on notecards as I had back to work.  I do not want this pregnancy to be about me.  It needs to be about God and His glory, regardless of the outcome.  It needs to be about how I am desperately trying to cling to Him in my most fearful moments.

Will you pray for me and my baby?  Will you share some verses of comfort or song lyrics\ hymns that I can take with me this week?

Yummy Goodness Comfort Food

I used this recipe for two different family functions this summer.  It seemed to be a big hit, and it is so easy to make.  Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures unless you want me to take a snapshot of the little bit of leftovers that are still in the fridge and should probably be in the trash.

32 oz. frozen hash browns
8 oz. cubed ham or bacon
2 cans cream of chicken soup
16 oz. sour cream
2 C. shredded cheese
1.5 C shredded parmesan cheese

Mix everything together except the parm. cheese.  Put in lightly greased 9x11 pan.  Sprinkle parm. cheese on top.  Bake on 375 for 1 hour.

We used it as a side for a BBQ, but my family has also had it with breakfast before.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

I am sew cool!

A while back I got a perfect sewing machine at an estate sale for $10.  BAM!  I had taken a sewing class in college for fashion design, and I had really enjoyed.  Plus, how was I going to make all my cute DIY projects on Pinterest without a sewing machine.  My mom sewed a lot while I was growing up.  I remember her making us doll clothes, curtains, matching Easter outfits, and even a few formal dresses.  I so regret not taking her up on her knowledge and skills and being interested in sewing.  She could have taught me so much.  Thankfully, her and my father, who has become quite the tailor and reupholsterer, are close by when my machine starts making weird noises or something gets stuck.

I was way bored a few weeks ago and decided to make a reusable grocery bag.  I had picked up some material for cheap at a garage sale earlier this summer, and I found a pattern at  It had directions for piping.  I neither had it or knew how to put that in, so I opted out.  The pattern also requested denim or heavy material, which I would def recommend it you have it on hand, but mine turned out ok. 
Obviously, I am a beginner...

but I did see some improvement, which is encouraging.

Ta-da!  Grocery store ready!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Baby Mama Drama

To add to buying a house, getting a dog, Anthony getting a promotion, me switching schools, we are going to have a baby.  Eek!

Already wearing maternity pants and shorts.  I don't have a noticeable baby bump, but I am definitely expanding. 

My BFF sent me and hubby some goodies.  Hubs loved them.  If you can't read the note, it says for a boy or a girl, so we will be ready for baseball season.

And since we don't have a baby to dress up yet, I had to dress up my furbaby.  She is so cute!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What's really happening during the movies

Progression of what hubs and I do during movies:

First met--used movie time to inch closer and closer to each other on the couch.  Ever slyly, or course.  I would lean forward to get a drink of water and when I would lean back I would move ever so slightly to the right.  Before the end of the movie, BAM! I was sitting right next to him.  I still remember him reaching over and grabbing my hand for the first time while watching a movie.

Dating--We would go out to Blockbuster and rent a movie knowing full well we would be spending the time lip-locked.  Seriously, why did we even bother renting the movie?  and seriously, we were apparently love starved.

Married--Netflix a normal 90 minute movie.  We have to watch it in about three separate time periods because we are about to fall asleep.   We just got a Lord of the Rings movie.  We are never going to be able to finish it.


P.S. Guest bloggers welcomed.  Swap buttons for free!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Pretty Muddy Dallas Review

 A few weeks ago, my friends and I participated in Pretty Muddy 5k.  It was my first mud run, and Grania's first 5k.  Pretty Muddy had everything prepared.  Registration was quick and easy.  They even had a bag check to hold on to your stuff.  Not only did we a Pretty Muddy tshirt, we got a free Old Navy shirt, bag, and flip flops.  You should check to see if there is a Pretty Muddy event coming to a city near you, because you don't want to miss it!

Alexa, Grania, and I pre-race.

Running up a huge hill toward the end.
Having a ball!

I lost my hat and had to go back for it.
We walked a little, okay, a lot.

Jumping hay bales.

The end is in sight!
One of my favorite pictures.

The truly muddy part.
Grania got a little stuck.

We are finished!

Admiring our mudwork!