Monday, January 24, 2011

Once a Week

So it looks like I am to be a once a week blogger....for now anyway. It's not that I don't have ideas or that I don't have anything to say. It's just that once a week seems to be the only amount of time I can carve out during this busy time of year.

This is the part of the school year when time move S-L-O-W-L-Y!!! We've had a few dreary days and it just saps all of my energy. I move like molasses and my brain goes all foggy. There is no way I could ever live in the Northwest. I would have a textbook case of SAD. It seems to have affected my students as well. My 8th graders have a serious case of 8th grade-itis and I feel like I have to tap dance to get them to pay attention.

There is good news, however. The countdown has begun. The Spring semester at our school goes sooooo fast! There are lots of fun activities that break up the weeks of regular learning and keep everyone refreshed. There are a few 4 day weeks and Spring Break to look forward to and then in a blink of an eye it will be Summer.

Now I love my school and I love my kids. Really, I do. But I have a new baby to enjoy and a house that needs my attention and a husband that would like for me to stay awake later than 10 pm and an energetic 6 year old who wants to show off her mad bicycle riding skills! My friend and I laughed and said that living life...going to dr's appointments, getting our hair done, going to the grocery store, eating, a full time job and our job job is taking time away from that. HA!

Ahh....the pesky need to have money to pay for pesky things like food, shelter and clothing. Such is life!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I wish I had something creative and enlightening to talk about, but all I can say is Sheesh! This week has been pretty frustrating. My students seem to have turned helpless and clueless. Put this together with middle school hormones and 8th grade-itis and it makes for a very looonngg day.

We also have a 6 year old little girl who is pushing every one of our buttons. Claire is a very strong willed, single minded young lady. I am told this these traits will serve her well when she is older and I just laugh and say, "If she lives that long!" Ahhh....I kid. I think. I think she is one of those types who will make a fabulous older kid/adult. She is just not a compliant kid often acts like a little grown up. What she has to learn is that there is an order to things. You have to be a kid and learn the ropes. Earn your rights. Pay your dues.

One of my strongest traits (so I've been told) is my deep well of patience. I guess God gave me this deep well because he knew he was sending me a wonderfully creative little girl who would charm every one around her while challenging (never rudely or defiantly...thank goodness) the world around her. She certainly blazes her own trail. She is not afraid to try new things or to challenge herself. She just does it on her own her own way.

Sheesh....At least I know that nothing worth while, nothing that has value comes easy.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Before and After #1

I decided to begin my before and after journey with my desk area. When we found out we were preggers, we had to clean out the junk to make way for the baby. A giant desk and credenza full o stuff had to find a home. The pieces of furniture made there way to greener pastures and all the stuff was pared down and put away as best as we could. One quick fix solution was to get a regular 6' table and put a table cloth on it. That way boxes could be put under it. There were still many random items that didn't have a place so they just sat on the table. This before pictures tells a sad tale:

so...first, I o poligize big time for the photography. I am learning...slowly. Moving on! The table is a mess (and this is sorta picked up). Nothing is hung on the wall, a wire basket is full of clutter, randomness galore! The funky, beat up box came from my great-grandfather's barber shop. I tried to get most of the dirt off, but it was starting to take off all the wonderful crackly paint too, so I decided to just let it be.

Well....isn't that much nicer? I hung the cool piece of ceiling tin put loose papers in the red magazine holders and made the wire basket more functional. The picture doesn't do it justice. Everything seems so tiny...and yellow. The caramel walls, the single overhead light, the yellow based table cloth makes for a crappy picture. I promise it looks better in person.

There is still much to be done. What you don't see (or see well) is the lamp that desperately needs a good coat of paint and a new shade. I hope to have an after, after update and, Lord willing, the photography will be better too!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

So, Hi....I'm still here

Sheesh! You make a resolution and then out the door it goes!! One of my top resolutions for this year was/is to keep up with this here blog. So far, not so great on that one. The last post was exactly 10 days ago. I blame getting back into the swing of things at school. It's been a little harder than usual to get going again. Two weeks back and I still don't have it all together.

Anywho....I do have a vision and a purpose for this blog. My dad told me one day, after I had been feeling particularly whiney and woe-is-me, that he hoped I was able to find my voice. At first I was a little miffed. It's not like I'm feeling lost or forlorn or anything. I'm just feeling scattered. I'm pulled in so many different directions as a wife, a mom to a 6 year old, a mom to an infant, a teacher, a colleague, a maid, a cook a friend ( it bad that friend is at the end of this list?). Wow! As I look at that list, maybe I am a little lost. At best, I'm drowned out by all the other noise in my life...not that the noise is's just loud.

Maybe what I need to do is not so much find my voice as I need to let my voice be a little louder (or a lot louder depending on the day).

Even if no one ever reads this little ole blog o mine, I want this to be a place for my voice to be heard. It won't be a design blog or a cooking blog or a parenting blog or a spiritual blog. It will be a patchwork quilt of all of those. Throw in some creative writing and photographs and it ought to be a colorful blog.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Food on the Table!!!

I am so excited about a website a facebook friend posted on her page today. I went to it and after a few minutes, I was hooked. The website is (drumroll please) Food on the!

I mentioned the other day that one of my New Year's Resolutions is to find new recipes to cook for my family and this website has me well on the road to keeping this resolution. This site asks you to identify up to 3 grocery stores you frequent the most, then to check your preferences for the types of meals you like to cook...poultry, beef, shellfish, vegetarian, etc. The next step lists cuts of meat on sale at your chosen store where you then check the boxes next to those you are interested in. Recipes based on your selections are generated in the next step. Here is where it get fun! Scroll through the suggested recipes and choose what sounds yummy to you. The selected dishes go into a cue and printable recipes and grocery lists become available at your finger tips. There are plenty of other features I have yet to explore, but this is enough to get you started.

The basic, free membership allows you to choose up to 3 recipes a week and gives access to 100 recipes along with organized grocery lists and other features. The paid membership offers quarterly, bi-yearly or yearly payments which gives you the ability to choose a complete weeks worth of recipes and access to thousands of recipes.

For now I am sticking to the basic, free option until I know whether or not I'm going to use it, but it is very user friendly so it looks promising. There is also a blog along with the meal planning part and there are recipes posted there as well. I already chose 3 recipes and cooked Smothered Pork Chops this evening. We all liked it and I can't wait to try the others.

I was able to plan my week in under 3o minutes and the recipes I looked at were easy, used real, regular ingredients that I already have on hand. Most food/meal planning websites put out unusual recipes or a new twist on regular dishes that require obscure or little used ingredients. Now I'm all for trying something new and different, but as a busy woman with two full time jobs as a teacher and a mom, I need easy, go to dishes.

I am very glad that I found this site and will keep you posted on how well the site works. If you try out this site, let me know how it works for you.

Happy Cooking!