Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Little Help At the Pump

I'm sure many of you have this information,b ut just in case....I have received emails with this information in the past, but I actually used the information from this site the other day. If you are hurting at the pump, like I am, below is a web address you can go to and type in your zip code and see where the cheapest gas is (per the prices called in the night before). I put my work zip, and home zip to find the cheapest gas, followed the trail to the station down the street, and it was accurate. I'm using this from now on when bargain hunting for gas, and I thought I'd pass along the link.
http://autos.msn.com/everyday/gasstations.aspx?zip=&src=Netx

Mary's Retirement Party


Mary was my first teaching partner (along with Sonia)....we were, and still remain the three stooges. We span across several decades age wise, but I've never laughed as much as when the three of us get together, there is no better team. She is the ultimate mentor, and one of the greatest blessing in my life. I feel so fortunate to have had the chance to know and grow with her through the years. I can't believe she is retiring, but I know she is far from finished teaching! As one of her most avid pupils, I can't wait to see what sort of lessons she will be teaching over the next year.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Mike's Surprise Shower


Today some of us gals at work surprised the lone guy on campus with a surprise shower for his upcoming wedding (including inviting his fiancee without his knowledge). The surprise was well planned, the shower was low key with chips, pizza and rootbeer ;o). Home Depot giftcards, and honeydo gifts were the theme gifts. Who knew I could be part of something low key? It was fun, he was happy. Mission accomplished. P.s. I only have one more shower to go in May, after a month of house warmings, retirements, graduations, showers, weddings, and birthdays, life slows down a tad in June. My brain, body, and the gift registry are very exhausted.

Monday, May 26, 2008

A Wickedly Fun Trip to Kansas City

This holiday weekend was spent driving to, enjoying time at, and driving home from Kansas City, Kansas/Missouri. Every good story begins, and ends with a little adventure on the road. Driving to Kansas City we (Mom, Aunt Lois, Holly, and myself) managed to make a few 'must stop' stops, which included a stop at the McDonald's that spans the tollroad in Missouri.

On the way home we were chased by some ominous looking clouds, and greeted by some super rain drops that forced us to pull over. I took a picture once I was done being scared, so I didn't capture the lightening or the clouds pulling away from the rest of the cloud pack, which is never good....plus, with a good tornado story fresh in my brain...my mind was racing.

Once a little sun found us we were able to continue on, with one more stop at Ozarkland, I didn't buy much, but I took a picture of what I plan to go back for ;o):a bobble head, moose, cookie jar (it's only these random road stops that hold things that require this many adjectives to describe, it made me laugh, and I bet it will be there the next time I drive through). They had a bear too, but it was too close to the front, I didn't want my picture taking to be discovered.


We spent the weekend in Downtown Kansas City, and spent a lot of time crossing bridges that zigzagged around the Missouri and Mississippi River. It was a really friendly city, with really cute homes, and old brick buildings that had a lot of history. I wish I had more time to collect stories, and capture pictures, but I'll give it my highest compliments, and I would say-I definitely recommend a stop if you ever get the chance.

The first evening we were there, we hit a local legend-Arthur Bryant BBQ, it was definitely an experience. Our conclusion was the meat was great, the sauce was a little too sweet for us Texas girls, but I won't forget the experience.

We also found a Kansas gift store, and anyone who has been shopping with me won't be too surprised by this photo op, here's a little tribute to Oz.

Sunday morning we headed to Independence, Missouri. I didn't realize how neat it was going to be. Not only is it the town President Truman called home for most of his life, and ran for office from (and there were tons of tributes to him), it is also the starting point of the trails West. There are a ton of influences from various European countries, and lots of famous 'old' sites to see. It was very quaint! Here are just a few things we saw.
The old train depot:

Independence Square Courthouse:

The start of the Oregon Trail:

Then it was off to see Wicked (per Holly's graduation destination), it was fabulous!


This morning, before leaving town, we went to City Market (equal to most large city farmers markets).

Then we went to see the Steamboat Arabia Museum. It was very cool. We had a chance to see a lot of products from the pioneer days that don't exhist other places b/c they are every day goods (like butter, and pickles) that were being carried upstream to mercantile stores before the boat sunk, and they were kept 'safe' under layers of mud, and eventually a cornfield covered the old wreck site as the rivers course moved through manmade and natural help. One of the men who helped unearth the treasure through a large excavation twenty years ago was even on hand to answer some questions. It was an unexpectedly fun way to end the trip! I can't do it justice, but the website can http://www.1856.com/

There were rooms....and rooms....and rooms full of the goods it was carrying:

My favorite were the beads, and buttons:

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Melissa and Kristen's Wedding Shower


Melissa and Kristen are two gals who are new this year to the school,and both getting married this summer. I've had the pleasure of getting to know them pretty well as we have worked on reading throughout the year,they are two fabulous teachers, and two really fun friends to have. Today some of the teachers hosted a duel fiesta shower for them.

Heather, Kathlyn, and Kristine (who will have a shower of her owns to celebrate in September as we anticipate the arrival of her newest family member).

Karen, Laine, Stacey, Sonia, and Chandra

Monday, May 19, 2008

Laminin

I learned this today:
Laminin is a molecule in our cells that hold our body together.

Worth a watch:

Houston Hurt


I attended another Ranger's game this weekend with pals from Sunday School. The Rangers lost, but played well against Houston (and we still won the Texas series-I had to get that in to compensate a little.).

It was so hot...and sunny, all 12 of us eventually moved up. It's not often you fight for the 'bad seats.'

I love a good sing-a-long.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

A Birthday Party Starring.....

My Aunt Lois

Friday, May 16, 2008

Hello, Cupcake!


I saw this book on Martha Stewart for the April Fools Day show, and I fell in love. I went and bought the book "Hello, Cupcake!" and have been dying for a reason to make some of the goodies from the book. This is my first attempt with the TV Dinner Cupcakes, which include drumsticks, peas and carrots, mashed potatoes, and gravy, and a brownie-all made from candies and icing. I made these for my aunt's birthday tomorrow, more details to come. They were so much fun to make, and really easy! The hardest part was finding the metal cupcake foil trays.
Linking To:
http://hoosierhomemade.com/cupcake-tuesday-mothers-day-cupcakes-vlog/

These are the Women We Come From

So....for one of Mom's Mother's Day gifts, and my Aunt's birthday gift, I put together an album I've been collecting pictures for and working on for awhile. I found some pictures of the women in my family around the age of 18 and created pages for each one. It was a lot of fun to scrapbook the pieces of our past! The lady on the front is even my great, great, grandmother. I'm glad my family has been taking pictures long before me.








A Little Pick Me Up

I've been thinking about my first group of students a lot over the last few weeks as they get ready to graduate. I remember I wanted to save the world, and didn't really understand the magnitude of that idea until I meet a class full of kids from a life full of drama. My first few years were TOUGH, but they are still my best two years. I've enjoyed all the students I've had, but those first few years were really special. I learned so much from the students, and then they went off into the world of junior high. The environment was rough, the obstacles ahead of some of those students in the next six years seemed almost insurmountable. Today, my old teaching pal and I went and surprised a few at the high school. We only had enough time to see four, but they were so excited to know we remembered, and WE were so excited to see all the successes they have found. For all the ones that aren't doing so well, and all the ones that dropped out...there were some really happy stories too. We are planning on heading to their graduation....I promised them I'd make it 6 years ago, and I made that same promise today. I can't wait! God has answered my prayers, six years later, I'm glad He took the time to show me He's always working in the hearts and lives of those we care about.

A Little Hope for Friday

Today my old teaching partner and I went to one of the high schools our first students are currently attending

Kristin's Baby Shower







Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Cupcakes and Check-Ups

I can't believe it's only Wednesday! Tomorrow I'm co-hosting a shower for a gal at work who is due in a few months with a girl. She loves all things Asian (including her husband whose family is from China, though she is not) and so I get to recycle my Asian theme, I'm excited, and also ready to be 'done' with it.....which is typically how I get once I've thought about something long enough! Tonight I iced 48 cupcakes and stuck mama, and baby cranes on each (you can guess the color scheme). I've said it before, but several years back a student from Korea taught me a few origami tricks, if he only knew how far that little trick would take me! I spent yesterday dipping fortune cookies in chocolate at school for favors with some other teaching buddies, it was a fun break from 'real work.' I'm sure I'll have pictures of that tomorrow. In other news, my ear needs some divine intervention. I finally went to the doctor after months of a 'clogged' up ear and hearing lose, and then Monday the rest of my head stopped up, my temperature went up, and my back hurt. A few months back I was at the doctor about a rash that suddenly appeared all over my arms and legs and wouldn't leave, and I was given a mega dose of steroids, and I had her look at the ear then, but she just saw a lot of fluid and chalked it up to allergies. I guess that answer was only good for a week or so more and I should have gone back in, it's a lot worse, and she couldn't (or wouldn't) tell me anything more than it's not normal. I got super powered antibiotics for the 'rest' of my issues, but.... It's now off to the ear, nose,and throat specialist and my prayer is that it's nothing but a case of stinky ears. My biggest issue yesterday as I felt yucky, was....really, how old is too old to wear your pjs to the doctor?
P.s. No, I did not wear pajamas, I just wanted to!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

MVP Mom


Today Mom and I had breakfast, she opened gifts, and then we headed out to the Ranger's game. Mom's friend gave us tickets, so we spent the day enjoying the sun and scenery from the stadium seats. As an added bonus, today's game was in honor of breast cancer and all the players hit with pink bats, and wore pink wrist bands. The Ranger's didn't win, but we had a great time. I never worry we will have anything less than a fabulous time b/c the glass is definitely always half full with Mom. How fortunate I feel on Mother's Day....and all the days in between. I have truly been blessed with the best Mom! This day was created for Mom's like her.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Graduation Filled Trip to Wichata Falls


Today, my 'little' cousin Holly graduated from Midwestern State University, Summa Cum Laude! She now has a BS degree is Social Work, and is on the hunt for a job in Dallas, which shouldn't be a problem to find after she enjoys a few weeks off. Everyone is so proud of her accomplishments. She's has a great brain, and an even greater heart. Sometimes it's hard to wrap my mind around the years that have passed, but I also have enjoyed all the changes those years have brought. I'm looking forward to seeing where the Lord takes her, and I'm so glad I get to call her family, and friend.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Results

I really wanted to have an amazing experience creating a fabulous Amish Friendship Bread.
Despite ten days of babysitting, three pages of notes, numerous conversations, interent research, three witnesses, and a notary present-I undergreased the pan, and undercooked the bread. Feeling a little unfriendly towards the Amish and their tricky recipe that came disguised as an easy project, who knew a ziplock bag contained my challenge for the week!
P.s. I should have probably thought twice about pulling directions from the internet about Amish bread....that's an antonym if I ever heard one.
P.s.s. I won't be taking pictures-if you can sympathize, you can imagine what undergreased, undercooked bread looks like when popped out, if you can't-you don't need to see the evidence anyway.
P.s.s.s. Check back in ten more days, I refuse to give up after one shot at this!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Max


Today I took Max to the vet. He now weighs 126 lbs, he's going on more walks! He, along with every other member of this house (minus the cat) wants to lose 20 pounds! He was very good. He did lick a few dog's faces when we passed, and a few vet assistants, and the vet....but I'd rather have a licker than a biter any day. Upon returning home, he got a new squeaky ball, his very favorite dog toy in the whole world. He spent the rest of the evening with it, he was sleeping on top of it earlier (he does this sometimes, like it's an egg he's planning on hatching), and when it's not under him, it's in his mouth. This dog keeps me entertained.

Crawfish Boil


Today my friend Sonia held her annual Crawfish Boil. I've been before, and I've tried the crawfish....this year....I stuck with the brisket. Regardless of whether you are a crawfish eater or not, it's really fascinating (to me). They bought a hundred pounds of crawfish which filled 4 full size coolers, and a plastic swimming pool. They are alive, until you throw them into a pot with corn/potatoes/onions/lemons/and tons of cajun spices. Next they get pulled from the pot and dumped into large pans, or straight down the tables on newspapers. Then the feasting begins....they work so hard for the little bit of meat inside each crawfish. People who enjoy the hobby eat plate after plate of crawfish. One of the guys I was sitting with went through at least five plates of shells, and that's typical....I left 3 hours in, but they planned to eat another six hours. Crack/Eat/Dump/Refill. It's not pretty, but it's pretty interesting!