Monday, April 26, 2010

Menu Plan April 26 - 30

Here is what we are having this week:

Monday - Mom's Night out with the girls - leftovers for everyone else

Tuesday - Hamburgers with Sweet Potato Fries

Wedneday - Contessa's Stir Fry Chicken (this is a prepared, I know, I know, frozen  dinner that you stir fry yourself)

Thursday -  Get your own dinner

Friday - Out to eat - too much going on, everyone in different directions!!

Saturday - Crispy Rosemary Chicken and Fries - this is a repeat from last week, didn't get to it!

This is a crazy week.  If we eat any of these dinners I will be surprised!!  It seems every night we are all going in different directions.  Weird week for us now a days.  Now, when Jack was still at Pullen, this was the norm!  Ha!  But now, we usually are all here for dinner except game days of course!  Anyway, we will see how this works!  Better to have a plan!

What are you having for dinner this week?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A Teacher's Memories

I had something unusual happen this week which I didn't mention in Love Thursday.  I think because it warranted a post all its own.  I was contacted on facebook by a mother of a boy I had in my last class in Maryland.  That was the last class I taught full-time.  I think of those kids often.  It was such a fun class.  I had 4th and 5th graders in what they called a combination class.  This was the hated assignment, but I asked for it.  I loved mixing ages in a classroom.  Was it more work?  Yes, but the challenge kept me energized everyday.  This class in particular had some really great personalities.  They all got along well, and adapted well to my unusual methods of teaching.  The parents were also great.

This school was located in the suburbs of D.C., in Silver Spring, MD.  I did not live in the community and had to drive 30 minutes one way every day.  It was a quiet, mixed neighborhood.  My first year at this school was quite a culture shock.  From not being able to always understand the students' and other teachers' accents, to them not understanding mine.  From the level of professionalism of the teachers to the omni presence in the classroom of the principal.  From the intensity of the parents to the loneliness that filled me.  It was a hard year.  On top of all of that, I was sick.  I had been in the hospital just one week prior to being interviewed and hired to teach.  I was hired later so I started from behind, and of all things was hired to teach math!  I hated teaching math, but knew I had to take the job.  I knew many people who had been trying to get hired for years, and it only took me 1 interview.  Luckily the principal assigned a teacher's aide to me, Meg Flanders.  Had she not been there, I would not have made it through that first year, truly.  She translated for me and the kids, she graded the mounds and mounds of paper that was generated by the Montgomery county math program, she helped me fit in and make friends with the teachers and aides.  She was my lifesaver that year.

The next year I set out on my own and taught a 3rd and 4th grade class.  Many of the students I already knew from teaching them math, so the transition was much easier. And then the next year, most of those students stayed with me as I went to 4th and 5th.  It was magical.  I loved being in that classroom watching those faces light up and waiting to hear what new connection they would make.  What a year to end on.  Unfortunately, I had to leave before the end of the year.  It was one of the hardest things I had ever done.  But my husband had a job in North Carolina, and I had a 2nd grader and a 4 yr. old.  I didn't have enough money, nor did I want to hire a nanny to finish out the year in Maryland, so I quit.

On my last day, the kids and parents threw me a party.  We had all become so close, there were many tears.  They had brought different gifts, all of them from the heart and many of which I still have.  The last gift was handed to me by my 5th grade boys.  They had all chipped in and bought me a diamond necklace.  I was touched beyond words.  I have a photo a mom snapped, with tears streaming down my face and shock on my features.  I had teased the boys that the way to a woman's heart was diamonds, and did they listen.  Those boys' faces are all etched on my heart.  I will never forget them.

And now, one of them is in touch with me.  Well, his mom is.  He is getting married and has 2 small children.  Wow.  Time keeps marching by...they are no longer boys.  They are men.  I know they are kind, good men, because that day, ten years ago, I saw a glimpse of each of their hearts and all I saw was gold.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Love Thursday

This Thursday I am loving:

1.  Hitting golf balls with my husband at the driving range!  (doesn't matter which club I use, I hit it the same distance!)

2.  Having some quality time with my dear daughter.

3.  Discussing the future with my son and hearing his thoughts and dreams.

4.  Friends who come over and help me finish the things I cannot do in my kitchen.

5.  My mom who always tries to help me out, even when she lives hundreds of miles away!!  I love you Mom!

What are you loving today?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Menu Plan April 19 - 23

Monday - Chicken Spaghetti (my mom's recipe)  This was in the freezer!  :-)

Tuesday - Honey Hoisin Chicken

Wednesday - Taco Salad

Thursday -  Baked Salmon with Tomato, Spinach and Mushrooms 

Friday - Crispy Rosemary Chicken and potatoes

As we near May, our lives begin to get busier and busier.  All of the regular end of school activities along with the special senior activities, will keep us hoping.  I think I need to get some things in the freezer.  What are your favorite freezer meals?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Mix of Thoughts and Love Thursday

I am a rule follower.  Many of my high school friends and even college friends are snickering about now.  I know, I have been a rule follower for all of my life.  I don't like getting in trouble.  I don't know if I have a huge conscience, or I just want people to like me so much, I don't want to disappoint.  Now, this doesn't mean that I have never broken the rules.  In high school, while my parents were out of town, I drank, drove me, Steph, Aaron and Brit to a basketball game in Conway.  Then we went back to my house and drank more. I got up the next morning and took the ACT, and upon returning home found I had locked myself out of the house.  Someone had to break in to let me in.  I sat at the kitchen table facing the driveway for hours until my parents' car drove up.  I then RAN to the car and pulled my mom out to confess and ask forgiveness.  It was too much for me.  I am the person now who will put money in the meter just in case, even when the sign says free on weekends.  I get nervous when the stadium and/or theater is empty, and Jack wants to move closer...what, not sit in our assigned seats?  The two times I have gotten pulled over by the police, I have gotten warnings, because I think they saw the complete panic attack I was having and felt sorry for me.

Now that I have teenagers, I find myself worried about them getting in trouble.  I finally paid for a stupid parking pass for my son at high school, because everyday I was scared to death he was going to be towed.  (for my TX and AR friends, I don't know if things have changed there, but in the East, there is so little parking, they charge hs kids to park at their hs!!!  OUTRAGEOUS!!  I didn't want to buy a pass in protest....)  When I find that my kids have done something wrong, I worry about what kind of trouble they could have gotten into.  The police could have gotten involved, they could get suspended from school, they could get kicked out of choir/baseball.   Now, to be clear, I am not worried about the trouble they get into with ME!!!  I am not the kind of parent that worries about angering my child by upholding our family, I'm not talking about that.  I am talking about outside forces.  I don't want my kids to get in trouble with consequences that could change the direction of their lives.  Jail, death to name a couple.  You know, pretty common worries, don't all moms have these?  and dads?  Unfortunately for me, it seems my kids did not inherit my conscious or my fear of getting in trouble......

Interestingly, although I want people to like me, and don't want to get in trouble, I have no problem standing up for what I believe.  And what I believe, is very different from what I was raised to believe, theologically, at least.  So I am going against the rules of my childhood.  But I don't feel angst over this.  I am okay with it.  In fact, I feel that I am following in Jesus' footsteps even more now than ever.  For I believe he called us to stand up for and support all people, regardless of their race, gender, socioeconomic status, or their sexual orientation.  Jesus was a rule breaker.

Today is Thursday, which means I am to look back over my week to see what I love.  This week has been a hard week, as you may have noticed from a lack of bear with me.

This week I am loving....
1.  That I live in an area that is open to gays and lesbians.  That there are safe places for them to work, worship and live their lives.

2.  That my kitchen is in the final stages.  The floor goes in tomorrow.

3.  That I have a partner in life who loves me, challenges me, and stands by me in the dark and light times of life.  Who also does not let my "fears" of breaking rules, overtake my life.  Yes, I move closer with him at the ballpark and the theater, and leave our assigned seats!!!!  He is such a renegade!

4.  That my college freshman roommate found me on facebook this week.  I have thought of her so often through the years.  She and I had sooo much fun!!  She even talked me into skipping my first class ever!!!  Yep!  We stayed at the dorm and drank hot chocolate and watched a Christmas movie.  AND my dad showed up at my class and caught me skipping!!!!!!!

5.  That a dear friend from high school found me this week on facebook.  I had a great group of friends who were all older that were such a great source of support during my high school years.  We were missing just one and she showed up this week!

6.  That you, my readers, have read this far.

What are loving this week?  Or what rules are you breaking?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Menu Plan April 12 - 18 (a day late)

Monday - Spaghetti, salad, French Bread

Tuesday -  Southwest Salad with grilled chicken

Wednesday - Hamburgers w/Sweet Potato Fries

Thursday - Sausage and Pesto Pasta (maybe FINALLY this week I'll actually make this)

Friday - Pizza

What are you cooking this week?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Love Thursday - April 8

This week I am loving:

1.  Spending Easter with my family and not stressing over church.  Although I will admit I sort of, kind of missed being in church.

3.  Celebrating my husband's birthday!

4.  Of course watching even more flowers bloom in my yard.....although the pollen is KILLING me!!!

5.  Knitting with dear friends.  I met with Jackie and Betsy on Tuesday and today...Amy!!  Can't wait.  we are going to try a new yarn store.  I try to take lots of pics!!

That is what I am loving this week, what about you?  Leave me a comment telling me something you are loving!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Earth Day - April 6

I am going to be bluntly honest in this post.  I am not sure I am a very good "earth" person.  As I read some blogs on what they are doing, I realize I fall WAAY short!   I am vain.  There, I said it.  Erin on The Conscious Shopper has a challenge for the month of April, and that is to go without shampoo.  WHAT?  She has it very neatly outlined on how to go about this.  I read several people talk about the "adjustment" period.  But seriously, I cannot go without shampooing my hair everyday!  I just can't!  I like to look good. Now sure there are days I don't shower, when I am going to be home, working in the yard, or working in my kitchen or when I am too depressed to get to it.  But intentionally?  I just don't think so.  Go over and read her article and then come back here and tell me your thoughts.  I do think I could move to the shampoo bar.  In fact, when this bottle of shampoo is out, I will try it.  But no 'poo?  I don't think so.  Not yet!

There are other things I don't do well.  I get take out in plastic/styrofoam containers.  I have plastic storage containers in my home.  I can't really see myself taking my own containers for take-out.  Again, my vanity is too strong for that.

But there is one thing I did do this week.  I made my own dishwashing detergent!  Oh yes I did! And so far, it is working quite well, thank you!

So, tell me about your thoughts on "No 'Poo" and what are ways your vanity get in the way of doing good for the earth.  Then brag on yourself.  Tell us something good you have done!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Menu Plan April 5 - 11

Hope you had a great Easter!  We had a very nice celebration with just our family here at our home.  I bought beef brisket from a barbecue place, made a potato casserole, salad, and warmed some rolls.  It was tasty!

This next week we have two baseball games and a birthday to celebrate!  Here is what we are having:

Monday:  Shrimp Packs

Tuesday:  Hubby's 45th Birthday Dinner!  In our house, the birthday person gets to select where we eat...usually we go out!

Friday:  Hamburgers with Roasted Potatoes - I bought some meat from a local rancher.  We'll see how this tastes!

What are you having for dinner this week?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Crafty Friday - Produce Bags

Well, because of my deep cleaning and continued work on my kitchen, I didn't get to make many produce bags.  I got one completed to show you today.  I am excited to make more!  This one is about 8 1/2 x 11 inches.  It is good for small items.  I hope you enjoy!

Happy Easter, everybody!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Love Thursday - April 1

Today, I am loving:

1.  My kitchen nearing completion!!!  I started this renovation process back in October.  I worked really hard and I love how it is turning out.

2.  Friends who can and will do the work in the kitchen I can't do myself!

3.  Spring Break!  Both my kids have the same spring break this year!  Of course, Allie went to Virginia with her friend, and Stephen has been off with his friends, but they are off together, and the pace is slower!

4.  Having coffee with my neighbor.  I love you, Anna!

5.  My fabulous friend who was yardless and knew I wanted a pretty yard but couldn't make it happen!  For two years she has worked on my yard and this is the year it pays off!  Wow!  So many pretty things blooming!  And the good news is?  All perennials!

6.  The sun!  My moods, energy, outlook are all tied to the sun.  Welcome back!!!

These are just a few of the things I am loving this week, what about you?  Leave me a comment about what you are loving!