Thursday, December 31, 2009

I can't believe I have been blogging for almost a year. It has been fun to go back and read all my posts from 2009. It's like a diary that you share with the world. Probably one of my favorite things is changing the background every few months. I added a winter background for January. Believe me, I saw my winter when I was back in Kansas for Christmas. We always seemed to stay one step ahead of it, so we didn't have any treacherous roads to travel on. We had to go through Oklahoma going to stay away from a storm. Of course that didn't bother me. We found a Garden Ridge to visit. I couldn't believe how bad the storm was in Oklahoma the day after we went through. I just read about a man who was buried under 6 ft of snow!

We had a great Christmas. It is always nice to see family this time of year. Both of our grandmothers are doing well considering one is 88 and the other is 95! The bodies may be weak, but the minds are pretty sharp! The highs most of the days were in the 20's. It made it very nice to stay in and read my book. I also go to experience one more time Kansas wind. One thing I wish Phoenix had was Dr. Pepper slushies. They were so go even when it was freezing outside. I guess it is a good reason to have to go back. Just kidding family!

Unfortunately, I brought a Arizona cold with me. I tried to be good and keep my hands to myself, but it is making it's rounds through everyone now. Sorry family! I have already put up my winter coat. It was 60 when we got home! Now I just have to remember where I put my gloves and scarf for next December!

Yesterday I took down all the Christmas decorations. It is always a little sad when I do that, but it was the best time. I realized I needed to get another storage box to store some more decorations, so off to Walmart it will be today. Hopefully I will get some cleaning in sometime.

I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year's. We are planning on going to a movie with family this afternoon and then out to dinner. I can't believe it's 2010 already!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I can't believe it is Sunday night and I have not written all week. I need to try to do better. I really don't want this to become a weekly blog, but that is what it has become. I guess Sunday is when I reflect on my previous week and prepare for the one ahead. Or maybe it's because sometimes it's just hard to think of things to write about. Any hoot, it has been busy one.

I attended an AVID critical reading workshop all day Tuesday and Wednesday. I thought it was very helpful and something I could definitely use at the school I'm at this year. I was the only elementary teacher there though. It is a whole different world with high school teachers. It's funny that I always say I could not imagine teaching high school. And high school teachers say they could not imagine teaching elementary students. I guess we all have our place. Good thing I don't have to teach in a one room school house. I would be in trouble.

Tuesday night we celebrated my mom's birthday. We ate at McGrath's Fish Market. I had my faithful shrimp platter. I'm not big on fish, but I love shrimp. We then capped off the birthday celebration with my Angel Pumpkin cake that I had made earlier. It was okay, but I think I have had enough pumpkin for awhile.

Thursday night I attend my first Alpha Delta Kappa sorority meeting/party. It was a lot of fun and I enjoyed getting to meet other teachers. The group has about 35 members and is made up of retired and current teachers. Next month they are having a mystery tour, so I'm looking forward to that.

I'm hoping this week goes fast. The 18th is the last day before our break. I think we are having our Arizona Christmas next Sunday night. We will be heading to Kansas later the next week.

I hope everyone has a great week!


Sunday, December 6, 2009

The month of December is flying by as usual. I know the month has 31 days, but sometimes it feels more like 20 with all the activities going on. It definitely has turned colder here. I have even contemplated turning on the furnace. This thought has not been turned into any action yet, but it is only December! We are expecting some winter storms next week. Of course winter storms here will mean cold rain with temperatures in the low 50's as highs. It will probably keep us from hiking until next weekend. We hiked the four mile trail last Wednesday. It is amazing how much easier it is getting. It was dark when we were coming back, but between the moon and the flashlight it was actually fun.

School is going pretty good. I have the opportunity to attend a critical reading workshop this next week. It is two days, but it is close to home. I might even be able to come home for lunch. It is geared more for high school and junior high students, but I think I will still be able to apply the main ideas to my intermediate school. And AVID will be here on Thursday and Friday. They are bringing some more people this time, so that should be interesting.

We spent Friday evening with our former Ohio neighbor's daughter who was in town for a conference. She had never been to Arizona, so we had several places we wanted to show her. We ate downtown at a Mexican restaurant that was within walking distance to her hotel. It was good and it allowed time for the traffic to thin out before heading to the other side of the valley. She thought it was so funny to see cactus with Christmas lights. I think the highlight of her night, however, was visiting Sprinkles Cupcakes. She could not get over that a store would only sell cupcakes! If only the bundt cake store would have been open we could have kept the sweets rolling. Well, I guess I did. She came back to our house for angel pumpkin cake. This makes me sound like I should be really overweight with all the sweets it seems I eat. I guess this is why I hike. So I can eat!

Yesterday morning, we helped our church with a community outreach in one of the poorest areas of Phoenix. This was the fourth year for Christmas in the Park. They had taken one of the local schools and set-up a carnival like atmosphere for the families (minus the rides). They had games, climbing walls, face painting, basketball, crafts, Christmas music, hot dogs and even presents for the kids. I work in one of the poorest schools in my district, but it seemed like the Ritz Carlton compared to this area. One mother came in with her three kids and said they had just moved into the area. They had been homeless for three weeks. As the families were leaving they were thanking everyone for making this Christmas special for their kids.

Last night I attended the annual Sylvan holiday party. There were lots of great food and it was nice getting caught up with several people who I don't see much anymore. I even won one of the door prizes! Let's just say I think I have one of the best looking bathroom around now!

I guess I have rambled on enough. Hope everyone has a great week!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Well it has been a pretty busy few days here. We had a very nice Thanksgiving with our family and friends. We had two special guests all the way from China celebrating their very first Thanksgiving. My parents and brother work with International Students Inc. and have become friends with these students. One is attending Arizona State and the other is going to the International School of Global Management. I don't think a smoked turkey has ever had it's pictures taken as much as this one did. It was fun watching their expressions as they tried to take it all in. They definitely had a sweet tooth. They really seemed to enjoy the Dream Pie, a staple at most of our family gatherings. After lunch, we all when on a little hike. It was a beautiful day to work off all those Thanksgiving calories.

It has always been a tradition to get up early the day after Thanksgiving to see if we can get any great deals the stores are offering. My family has probably been doing this for the past 30 years. Well this year would be no different. I set my alarm for 4:45 a.m. and met my mom at Steinmart by 6:30!! I know most people will find this weird, but I think it is fun to go out in the morning while it is still dark. However, I would only do this one day a year. I do have standards. I would not wait all night in line or be at any store before 4! We like to go out the day after Christmas too, but it's usually 8. And yes, we did find some good deals!! By noon, we were dragging so we went back to my parent's for lunch. Some of use took a nap. Later in the day, my whole family went to see The Christmas Carol. A great movie for the holidays.

Today I spent most of the day taking down fall decorations and putting up Christmas. I need to find a couple more extension chords, but at least the Christmas tree's lights are on. The weather has turned a little cooler here, so it kind of feels like the holidays. I never thought 55 degrees would seem cold!

I guess this is all for now. I hope everyone has had a great holiday weekend.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Well, I'm ready to get this short week started. I can't believe that the holidays are just around the corner.
I'm stuffed as I'm writing this post tonight. I tried a new taco soup recipe today. It was so good and easy!! Just the requirements I need to cook. I had it simmering all day in the crock pot which I think made the flavor even better. I'm thinking it might taste good for lunch tomorrow. Lunches are probably my least favorite meal. It seems it is so hard to come up with something that sounds good the night before! I'm really enjoying cooking, but coming up with the ideas are probably the most difficult. I found a great website that has a load of recipes. has practically any recipe you could think of and even more.

Yesterday I took my early childhood test for certification. My license is k-8, but I decided while I have the years of experience, to go ahead and see if I can get that on my certificate. There were over 1,000 people there taking tests, so parking was an issue. Fortunately I allowed enough time that even though I had to walk a mile, I still made it on time.

Later in the afternoon, my mom and I did some grocery shopping. BIG MISTAKE!! Everyone in Scottsdale had the same idea. Usually we shop around 9 or 10 at night when all is quiet and the aisles are clear. I definitely had to work on my patience skills because it was not quiet and the aisles were full of other people trying to get their Thanksgiving shopping completed. I know one thing. I will not be going to the store on Wednesday!!! If I can help it. :)

Well I need to get to bed. 5:45 will be here before I know it. Have a wonderful Monday!


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Wow what a week!! This has been a very busy, but nice week. Here is a very brief recap.

After class on Tuesday night, we had dinner with my dad and cousin who was in town from Dallas. We figured that it had been 17 years since we last saw each other!! It was nice to catch up. We had dinner at Monti's near ASU. We had never been there, but the restaurant has been a landmark in Phoenix for some time. Very rustic and western. I thought we were going to get lost as they seated us as it seemed we winded around and around.

On Wednesday, we did a very minor hike up Pinnacle Peak. We had not done this trail in several months, so I was hoping it would be easier since we have been hiking four miles every week for the last month. Well, what a difference a month made!! I felt like we could have gone further, but time did not permit it. It's nice all that hard work is paying off! With everyone schedules this weekend, we probably will not go out until next Wednesday.

Since Wednesday was Veteran's Day, I was off from school. My mom and I did some shopping. She took me to great consignment store. I found a sweater that will be perfect for Arizona winter. I think this will be a favorite place to shop. As great as it was to have the day off, it really confused me the rest of the week. I woke up on Friday thinking it was Saturday!! Oh well, at least I didn't miss Saturday!

Thursday night we went to Harkens theater to watch Journey to Everest presented by Mission One. Mission One supports key leaders and national missionary teams doing evangelism, church planting and holistic ministry among Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and tribal peoples in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. They are located in Scottsdale. The film was great. The director, David Kiern is developing movies that are adventure/faith documentaries. One thing I know after watching the movie, I have a long way to go before I would ever attempt to hike to Everest base camp!!

Well, once I realized that it was Friday and not Saturday I finally got myself to school. It was a pretty good day. I can't believe that Thanksgiving is less than 2 weeks away though. Friday night we decided to experience some of the local entertainment and went to Fort McDowell's Adventures. I was a little concern when we got off the highway and proceeded to go down and dark, dust road which felt like miles (it was only 2, but hey it was dark outside). I was pleasantly surprised when we finally got there. It is definitely a family event. It is set in an old adobe mission. They had everything form hayrides to Famous Dave's Barbecue. Live music complemented the evening. The only downside was how dusty the car got. Lucky for us, my dad likes to clean cars!!!

This morning, we got up early to help with the all work day at church. I was assigned to the administration offices. I dusted, swept, and cleaned a few bathrooms. We worked along with one of the full-time facilities members. Afterwards, I thanked her for the work she did. I know she gets paid, but that is still a lot of work they do every week. I did learn a very important cleaning lesson today. You should not overlook dusting the office chairs!! I came home this afternoon and cleaned ours. They were not a pretty sight!!

I guess this pretty much raps up the week. I'm not sure I was brief though. Hope everyone has a great weekend.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

I guess it has been awhile since my last post. I thought I would start out the night with some Christmas music. It may seem early, but I wanted to really enjoy the season. I think Celine Dion has a wonderful voice, so who better than to sing O' Holy Night. I hope you enjoy. Come back to hear more later."

We are trying to recuperate from our hike this afternoon. Again, I was hoping it would be getting easier. It is such a feeling of accomplishment when we come down that last mile. All the sweat and tears seem to be worth it. Okay, maybe not a lot of tears, but definitely a lot of sweat. We met a nice couple at the peak who told us about another trail that offered some wonderful scenery. I had to laugh when I asked them how often they do the Gateway Pass. They very politely said, "Oh we come out every day." I can only hope that someday I can say the same thing. Let's just say that if I did it everyday, I would look just like them. Not an ounce of fat to be found!!!

We celebrated my dad's birthday last night. They grilled steak and my mom made red velvet cake (I think I know why we are all hiking). He wanted a hiking pole and a water hydration pack. We found a great pole at Cabelas and today he found a camelbak to hold his water and any other supplies. I know I really like my pack. Can't imagine not having it when you are out in the middle of the desert.

School is going great. This week we had some visitors from the district office visit our sixth grade tutorial class. They seemed very excited to see the students using Cornell notes and working in learning communities. I'm currently developing an inquiry based science learning project that we will be conducting with the sixth grade next spring. I am hoping to have some collaboration with some local companies and higher institutions. I'm looking forward to the possibilities.

I guess it's time for a nice hot shower. Hope everyone enjoys the rest of their weekend.


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Yeah for short weeks!! This week was conferences, so we have had a couple of half days plus Friday off!! I think my mom and I are going to checkout the new Steinmart tomorrow. They have recently opened a store closer to us, so I have some high hopes. I guess we will see. Tomorrow night my family and I are going to dinner at a Mexican restaurant downtown and then to a one person play. It is The Screwtape letters by C.S. Lewis. Should be a lot of fun.

We did our 4 mile hike again yesterday afternoon. I wish I could say it is getting easier, but I'm not sure about that. The temperature was around 58, so that made it very pleasant. Unfortunately it didn't help me much going uphill. Once you make it to the "Saddle" it is mostly downhill, but the first hour is a killer. I usually am so excited to get out there, but once I start I'm like what in the world am I doing??? Lounging on the couch with my Sonic Dr. Pepper sounds so much better!!! A week later most of the pain is a distant memory, so I do it again to myself. We do get some great picutres of the desert.

I got the idea from my cousin to watch Mary Poppins
tonight. It has been a long time since I had seen it. Maybe a Disney marathon is in the future. I remember my sixth grade operetta when I played Mary Poppins. The only reason I got the part was my British accent. It wasn't particularly good, but it did make me stand out.

Time to call it a day. Have a great weekend.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Yesterday was hair day for me. Boy, did I need it!! I love to highlight my hair a little darker in the fall. Mandy added a little red for fun. Unfortunately, I'm noticing that I need to do this a little more often then say oh a few years ago!!! Surely it can't be because I'm getting older??? Last night we went over to my parents for hamburgers. All in all it was a good day.

Today I woke up early and decided to do some cooking. Hey, whenever the cooking bug hits you have to cook. I first made some pancakes for breakfast. Unfortunately we didn't have any syrup, so I had to make a run to Safeway (No shower, no make-up= kind of scary). Oh well, I figured I wouldn't see anyone. I got home and finished mixing up the batter. They turned out really yummy, so I decided to continue the streak and try a new recipe. I had bought all the ingredients to make chicken pot pie the night before. All being the key word. I was about half way through when I realized I had a can of cream of mushroom soup instead of cream of chicken soup. So that made another trip to Safeway with no make-up. I wore my sunglasses hoping to hide a little. Thank goodness I didn't see anyone. The chicken pot pie was delicious. I will definitely being making it more often. It is a Paula Deen recipe that Kelly had posted on her blog. I guess you could say I had a successful cooking day even if I made to two trips to the store within a hour. It is all about the results!!!

I took some pictures of my kitchen when I was finished. And then I took some after I cleaned up. Cooking would be great if you didn't have to clean it up!!

We finished up our day by going to Sunday night church. Paul Coleman formerly of the Newsboys helped lead the music. He sang several solos which were very good. It is amazing that Sunday night is the fourth service of the day and there is still over 1,000 people in attendance.

I guess I'm ready to start a new week. It is conference week, so that should be fun!! Have a good one!


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Happy Tuesday!! I never thought Tuesdays were particularly interesting, but hey it's one more day closer to the weekend. So far my week has been okay. AVID was here yesterday and today. They seemed to be pleased with our progress, so that is good thing. I have a couple busy weeks coming up with my sixth grade tutorial groups. Let's just say it should be interesting. We are working on Cornell notes right now. While that may not seem like a big deal to most for these students it is huge. I have been pleasantly so far. I'm also looking forward to our visit this Thursday to one of our local high schools to watch their tutorials. It should be a good learning experience for all of us.

After my class tonight, we had dinner at Chiptole and then ran to the store for a few items. We are planning on hiking our four mile trail tomorrow, so bottled water was a must tonight. I hope it is easier than it was last week. At least it will be cooler!!

I'm going to enjoy my Dr. Pepper and get caught on NCIS. Have a great rest of your week!


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Happy Birthday to my Aunt Mildred!! It was nice getting to talk to you on the phone today. Enjoy some brownies for me!

I started my morning with a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks. It is kind of funny I only go there in the fall. Since I'm not that big on coffee, a Dr. Pepper always wins out as my drink of choice in the mornings. I think the candle open house was a success. I'm not sure what the most popular was though. I enjoy the candy corn this time of year. I do know that I had a hard time deciding on which tea I wanted to get. I finally decided on a walnut/almond green tea that is delicious. These teas can either be served warm or cold. I thought this one would be a perfect for when or if the weather ever decides to turn colder. I hope she will come back next year. One of the ladies there made some delicious raspberry muffins. These were free, but I will pay in calories.

I'm watching the KU football game on t.v. right now and it's not looking good. I sure hope they can turn it around. I think it will take a miracle now. 24 to 3!!!! Not a good football day.

I guess this is my Saturday update.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

I can't believe it is Thursday night already. I guess it helped having Monday off, but this week still feels like it flew by. Today was a very busy day at school. We took 152 fourth graders to Arizona State University. They were able to watch a jazz concert and take a very quick tour of the campus. I thought it was funny that the highlight for some was noticing you could eat Panda Express on campus. We were also able to go through the tunnel on the football field. Afterwards, a member of the girls' basketball team spoke to the students about working hard in school. Arizona State has 67,000 students on their Tempe campus. Quite different then Wichita State. It was hot outside, but still fun for everyone.

We are still recovering from our four mile hike yesterday. Some of us were very anxious to try this path, while I was very hesitant. Everyone we talked to said it only took 1 1/2 hours. Well, 2 hours and four miles later we made it around this very large mountain. I think some of us failed to take into consideration that these people were probably in better shape than us. It did feel good to say we made it. I think our new goal is to try to do this trail twice a week. We will see how that goes.

I will be helping my mom with her candle open house this weekend. Hopefully we will have a good turnout. I wish the weather was going to be cooler. I think it could be a weekend of 100 degree temperatures. Not really feeling like fall.

I guess this is all the news for tonight! Have a great Friday!


Sunday, October 11, 2009

It is a beautiful Sunday here in Arizona. I just completed my first Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure. A friend and I walked the 5K along with a few thousand other people this morning in downtown Phoenix. We had a great time. I was amazed at all the people there. Breast cancer sure has come a long way in the last 60 plus years. We were able to wear tags that either said in memory of or in celebration of someone who had cancer. I wore two. My in memory was for my Grandma Zugmier, who died from breast cancer in 1945. My in celebration was for my mom and mother-in-law. I thought I might need a coat this morning. It was 63 degrees!!!! But I forgot this is Arizona and it warms up quickly. I felt kind of bad for thinking I needed a coat when in Kansas it really is cold!!

Today is my brother's birthday, so we will be celebrating later this evening. He is very hard to buy for, but I think he will like his gift. My mom has made him a lemon cake, so that should be good. Yesterday, I tried to make cake balls. I had heard some great things about them and they sounded easy. I was disappointed because the store didn't have almond bark, so I had to use white chocolate chips. The consistency was not right, but we managed. My friend pointed out that I probably had the chocolate chips too hot. I will have to remember that next time. And, yes I will try these again!!

I have another Monday off tomorrow. I'm really starting to get use to having four day weeks. I think I'm having lunch with a friend. On Thursday, I'm helping take 152 fourth graders to ASU. Field trips are not my favorite thing to do. We are attending a jazz concert and then touring the campus. Our time is very limited, so we will have to walk fast!! I will definitely be wearing my running shoes that day!!

I guess I have a few things to do before church. Hope everyone has a wonderful Sunday!


Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I think fall might be finally coming to Arizona. We had a high today that was below 100 degrees!! Break out the sweaters and boots!!! Well, maybe not yet, but hopefully soon. I so want another Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks, but when it is 100 degrees a cold Dr. Pepper sounds better. I guess I just need some patience. haha

A lot of blogs that I have been reading have been talking about fall in their state. I always like fall in the Midwest. The leaves and cool crisp air were always a welcome relief after a hot, humid summer. I used to buy mums and place them on our front porch. I don't see a lot of mums in Arizona, so when I saw a few in the grocery store last weekend I got really excited. I think it will need to get a littler cooler before I even think about getting some though.

My present from my brother arrived on Monday. It was a KU purse patterned off Vera Bradley. I have enjoyed using it the last couple of days. I don't think people in Arizona get the whole Jayhawk thing, but that is okay. It is a fun purse that I will enjoy using.

I'm starting to meet with a student at lunch on Wednesdays. She is very shy and doesn't have a lot of friends. Her regular classroom teacher was concerned about her, so I volunteered to spend a little bit of time with her. Today was our first day and I think she enjoyed it. I enjoyed it.

I guess it is time for bed. Hope everyone has a terrific Thursday!


Sunday, September 27, 2009

I guess turning 39 is not too bad if you make a whole birthday last three days. A few members of my family went on a retreat this weekend with church, so we were unable to celebrate all together until tonight. My mom had us over for dinner and cake. I asked for red velvet this year instead of my usual chocolate. It was very yummy. And I got to take some home with us! My brother's present has not been delivered yet, so tomorrow night we are going over to his house for me to unwrap it. My parents even want to come over. I can't imagine what it is that everyone would be so interested in seeing me unwrap it. Oh well, it should be fun. Yesterday my mom and I did a marathon of shopping. It was a lot of fun. I found a couple of cute shirts and the all important denim skirt that I have been hunting for. It has a flair at the bottom that I think will look really cute with boots. On Friday night, my mom and brother went with me to the As You Wish pottery studio and made a couple of pieces. They should be ready to pick up tomorrow. I'm very anxious to see how they came out. This was my first attempt at making something, so I'm hoping it doesn't look like a ten year old did it!

No shopping trip would be complete without a visit to Hobby Lobby. I love decorating for fall and they have so many cute things. I'm glad that most of my decorations can stay up through November.

I also registered for the Susan B. Koman Race for the Cure this weekend. The race if Sunday, October 11th. I'm hoping for cooler temperatures.

I have tomorrow off for fall recess. Looking forward to sleeping in!!

Hope everyone has a great week!


Monday, September 21, 2009

Well the week is underway. We had a great weekend but I was wondering at about 6 this morning where it had gone. I guess it would help if I went to bed earlier! Saturday evening was spent at the Thunderbird International School of Management's cultural night. We had been invited by one of the students who is attending classes there. He is from China and is working towards his masters in business. We experienced wonderful music and great food. We are looking forward to getting to know Jimmy better over the next few months.

On the way to get my haircut on Saturday I stopped at Starbucks and had my first Pumpkin Spice Latte. I had it made with soy and it was so good. I will definitely be having more of these!! You really don't experience autumn in the desert like you do in Kansas or Oklahoma. We just get excited that the temperature is below 100 degrees!!

Sunday was spent cleaning and going to church. The icing on our weekend was finally having Cardinal's win. I was starting to worry about them, but they pulled out a win on the dreaded "east coast."

Tomorrow I have a meeting with my advisor from NAU. I'm looking forward to finalizing my classes. I know that two years will be here before I know it. I'm just glad to get it started.

I guess I better close for today. Dancing with Stars is coming on at 8!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Well, it is 8:30 on Sunday night. We have had a nice weekend. I had lunch yesterday with Vikke and Lola. We decided to meet at Mimi's. It was so good. I had the crispy chicken salad with a blueberry muffin. Yummy! Afterwards, I came home and pretty much did nothing until it was time to go to my parents for dinner. I guess you could say motivation was not in my vocabulary. My parents grilled hamburgers and had peach glazed pie for dessert. Very Yummy!

I promised myself that I would get more accomplished today. We decided to go to Sunday night church, so this morning I did some much needed cleaning around home. I also made a trip to Target. I stopped at the new Paradise Bakery and picked me up a drink. I am so excited that they are right down the street from us. I even bought one of their cups, so I better like it a lot. The peach tea is very good. We left home around 3 and stopped at Home Depot and then to Chiptole. We had never been to Sunday night church. I was really surprised at how many other people were there. It was definitely more contemporary.

I guess it is time to get off the computer. Hope everyone has a great week!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I have made it to the half way point of the week!! I love short weeks. The weekend is just around the corner.

I have accomplished a lot considering the short week. Last night I finished my reading training.
Now all I have to do is pay for my hour and I will be able to get college credit!!! Hopefully this will be all I will need to finish up my reading specialist endorsement. I am planning on adding even more to my license this year. Today, I was in a multi- sensory grammar workshop. It was beneficial for half the day. I'm not sure about the second half though. Oh well, I did get a lot of great supplies. I also received notification today from Northern Arizona that I have been accepted, so I will be starting my ESL endorsement in January.

Before coming home this afternoon, I decided to stop by DSW. This can be dangerous. I love shoes. I really love cheap shoes!! They have so many to choose from. Of course, I found a cute pair. With my b-day certificates, they ended up costing me only $5.00!!

A friend of mine and I are trying to get a team together for Susan B. Koman race for the cure that will be in Phoenix on Oct. 11th. We will be walking for a mile. I have never done anything like this before, so it will be interesting.

I guess this is all for my mid-week update.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

I hope everyone is enjoying a wonderful Labor Day weekend. We are enjoying cooler temperatures with a little rain, so we are not complaining.

Yesterday my mom and I did a little shopping. It was actually 5 1/2 hours of shopping!! We wanted to take advantage of some of those summer sales. My most exciting purchase would probably be my $4.99 pair of shoes that had been marked originally $50.00!! You can beat that! They are kind of a high heel, but I think they will be a lot of fun to wear that is if I don't break my ankles!! I also had my mom try some Mojo frozen yogurt. I love that place. My favorite is chocolate ( and I mean chocolate) with fresh strawberries. It is especially good for those of us who are lactose intolerant.

My first week of my Wilson reading class went very well. Basically it is similar to other reading programs I have done in the past, so it has been a little of a review. I will, however, get to count it has one hour of college credit, so that is very nice. In talking with other teachers and with the state of the overall education climate in Arizona, I also decided that this should be the year that I work towards my ESL endorsement and then on to my masters in Bilingual Education. I took the huge step of applying (huge for me) to Northern Arizona's graduate school. I then sent of for my transcripts from WSU and OSU. So now I wait. I am planning on starting my ESL classes in January. I also believe that after I finish my Wilson class, I will have enough hours for my reading specialist endorsement! This really made me happy. Probably sometime next week I will head down to the department of education to get that on my teaching certificate. Oh how I dread going down there!!

We have found (totally by accident) a wonderful place to hike. It is the McDowell SonoranPreserve Trail. I am hoping that the cooler temperatures will continue through Monday, so we can enjoy the hike. Arizona offers a variety of venues so that everyone can enjoy it's scenery. I have been thinking about getting a camelbak to hold my water. Water bottles are okay, but that just don't keep the water cold enough.

I guess I have rambled on enough. Hope everyone has a nice weekend and a great week!


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Well, as usual the weekend just flew by. We have had a nice visit with my in-laws. We spent most of Saturday running around. We had lunch at 5 & Diner. This is always a yummy place to eat, but you always feel like you eat way too much when you are done. We ate kind of late, but breakfast still sounded good, so I had an egg with bacon and a pancake. Then, we drove them out to Pinnacle Peak and to Fountain Hills. There is a large fountain that goes off on the hour in the center of town that is fun to watch. You can actually see it from the air when you fly into Phoenix. We came home and had my pork roast for dinner. After church today, we grilled hamburgers for lunch. I had to have a MoJo yogurt later. It is especially good with fresh strawberries and pieces of cookie on it. I try to tell myself that it is yogurt, so it's good for you. Of course the cookies kind of ruin that logic. We then drove to the Biltmore. It is such a lovely area with some beautiful homes. It's kind of funny how these homes really don't look like they should be in the southwest. We capped off our evening with popcorn at my parent's.

I think I have my lunch ready for tomorrow. I'm really trying hard to prepare it the night before. I just have not gotten into a good morning routine. It is still hard to get up at 6. It would probably help if I went to bed earlier. I have a class this week that will be meeting from 4:30-8:30 on Tuesday and Thursday. Those will definitely be some long days.

Hope everyone has a great week!


Friday, August 28, 2009

It's Friday!!! And it is hot! It was 113 degrees today!! We were under an excessive heat wave today, so the kids had to stay inside for recess. That just makes me laugh. Back in the Midwest, it was the snow and cold temperatures. We. also had to put a new battery in my car this week. I was just thankful that my car decided to die in the garage and not on the 101!

I think I'm starting to get the hang of my new position in school. We were able to visit another AVID school in the Phoenix area on Tuesday. There were definitely some pros and cons. We loved how they did their tutorials with their sixth graders. We will be implementing a similar program soon at our school. I'm excited about the possibilities.

I'm going to be taking a two week reading class starting next week. It will meet on Tuesdays and Thursday from 4:30--8:30. I'm also looking into getting my ESL provisional certificate. I would probably not start that until January. With the position I have this year, I can take advantage of these classes.

My in-laws are visiting this weekend from Kansas. We went to one of our favorite pizza restaurants for dinner. I'm not sure what all we have planned, but I'm sure staying close to an air-conditioner will be a must. I put a pork roast in the crock pot that will have for dinner tomorrow. 20 hours later, it should be delicious.

Hope you have a great weekend!


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Well, I have been a bad blogger this week. I guess with school starting and new routines, I just got behind. However, I did make it through my first week!! Yeah!! Everything went great! Or at least there were no major problems that I could see. I'm really excited about the AVID program. It is so new in the elementary level, that there is a lot we are writing for ourselves. I did find out that in November I will be attending another AVID conference in San Antonio. I'm always looking forward to learning more. We had open house Thursday evening. I think the turnout was pretty good.

We are going to have a weekend that is below 100 degrees!! We had some light rain last night and I think there is a chance for even more today. This is suppose to be Arizona's monsoon period, but we are far from the levels of moisture that we should be at.

We are having dinner with my brother tonight. He is making pulled pork enchiladas, so we are really looking forward to it. Of course, anytime I don't have to fix a meal, I'm really looking forward to it! I need to get some extra work done around here this weekend because my in-laws are coming next week. Company is good. It means you can't get lazy!!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Monday, August 17, 2009

I can't believe it is Monday night!!! Where did the weekend go? A fellow teacher asked me if I had a nice weekend. I know we did, but nothing stood out in mind. Oh well, that is a good thing ( I think). Saturday was spent at a hair appointment and cleaning. Yeah for cleaning!! Not really, but it sure does feel good to have a clean house. I bought a pork roast on Friday and I was very disappointed when I went to put it in the crock pot Saturday afternoon. It had a really bad smell to it!! I had never smelled rotten meat before and let's just say I won't forget that smell any time soon! I was brave and bought another one. So, 20 hours later, we had delicious pulled pork. My brother had told me to cook it for 20-24 hours. It definitely made it very tender. This was a very easy meal that we will have to try again. I'm trying to plan our meals one week at a time.

Today was the first day of school. My morning was very busy. It went very smoothly getting all the students to their classes. The afternoon was a lot quieter. Of course in a few weeks that will change. I'm looking forward to working with these students. Our school day ends at 2, so today I left at 2:30. That felt weird. I'm used to a later day. I took advantage of the time and went to a teacher store and Staples. There is always last minute things you need.

We grilled hamburgers and corn tonight. You can't beat corn on the cob grilled. It was very yummy. I guess it's time to clean the kitchen. Hope everyone has a great evening!


Friday, August 14, 2009

It's Friday!!! I can't believe I finished my classroom today without feeling anxious or rushed. I guess the panic attack occurred yesterday, but today was smooth sailing. I can't thank Marti enough for sweeping and thoroughly cleaning every service area in my room. Marti is a good friend of the teacher who I will be working with this year. She gave up her time the last two days to help us. She even brought in her own shop vac!!!! I was able to leave at 2 today and meet my friend Vikke for lunch because of Marti's help. I think the biggest challenge to Monday will be dismissing 700 children safely from the campus.

I met Vikke and baby Lola for lunch today. We had a yummy salad at Paradise Bakery. Baby Lola was all decked out in a cute bow and an adorable onsie. She is certainly growing and changing. Afterwards, I went to a cute store Vikke had recommended. She had bought some cute flip-flops there last week that I had to check out for myself. Needless to say, we both now have the same shoes.

We met my family for pizza tonight at Oggi. It was so good. We are very fortunate to have some great pizza restaurants here in Phoenix. Then we did our weekly grocery shopping at Frys. I think that Fridays have become our grocery shopping night. It was so quiet and definitely not as hot. I love shopping, but grocery shopping is another story.

Well, I'm going to go finish my book. Hope you have a wonderful weekend.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I had a very busy day at school. I'm not sure you can tell by the disaster I left in my room, but all the same it was busy. The morning was pretty much devoted to meetings. Unfortunately, I spent most of the afternoon trying to put up a bulletin board outside my classroom. I had it all planned, but like most good intentions I hit a few road blocks. Of course it does not help that I am a perfectionist. When it was finally up (or so I thought), I was still just shy of the border needed to go around it. Oh well, we will finish it another day. My room was also very dirty. So with some Clorox wipes and elbow grease it is starting to feel a little more sanitary. I will try to take some pictures on Friday to show what if any progress I have made.

I think I will go read some of my book. I'm really enjoying Sundays at Tiffany's. Have a great night!


Sunday, August 9, 2009

I guess the last weekend before school starts (for teachers at least) is winding down. I must be getting older, because the time is flying by. And the Arizona heat has returned. We enjoyed some really mild temperatures the last few days. The cooler temperatures are getting me anxious for fall. Of course fall in the southwest is a lot different than fall in the Midwest. It is probably one of my favorite seasons wherever I am.

Yesterday we went with my parents to Prescott, Arizona. I enjoyed the drive except for the 20 miles of winding road between Wickenburg and Prescott. I have already put everyone on notice that I will not go that way again! I have terrible motion sickness, so all I can say is that Dramamine is my best friend and I never leave home without it. We enjoyed great barbecue at one of their local restaurants. They serve corn on the cob as a side. I love corn on the cob and never miss a chance to eat it. If I could have a garden in Arizona, I think it would be made up of entirely corn!! We then walked around a craft show they were having in the town square. I think I enjoyed watching all the dogs more than crafts. I have never seen so many people out with their dogs. Pushing dogs in strollers was really cute! We finally drove to a campsite near a lake that ONE day I might be inclined to camp at. I have to admit, it was pretty. On our way home we stopped at an outlet mall. We thought we hit a gold mine because after 5 all meals in the food court are five dollars. It doesn't take much to get us excited does it? We got home around 7.

Today we went to church and then spent sometime at the bookstore. I was needing a new book to read, so two friends suggested Sundays at Tiffanys. It looks good, so I'm anxious to start reading it. I need to get some laundry done, so I will close for now.


Friday, August 7, 2009

I had a great Friday. I started my day by stopping by my new school to see my room and to drop off a couple of boxes. I was pleasantly surprised when the assistant principal took me to my room. I have never had so much storage in a classroom before. I went from none last year to lots this year. I'm not complaining because you can never have too much. I also have a sink. I know for those non-teachers out there you are probably asking why would anyone get excited about a sink. Let's just say that it will come in handy with children moving back and forth. I also had to get a new I.D. badge. I will not use keys at this school; you just scan you badge and the door opens, so that is nice. Less stuff for me too lose!

I then met my mom at Desert Ridge. Desert Ridge is an outdoor strip mall. We both needed to get some things at JoAnns and Bath and Body. Between the two of us we bought a total of 7 hand soaps!! Midnight pomegranate is my favorite right now. Afterwards, we enjoyed a salad at B.J's. I'm not sure why, but the last couple of days we have not hit the century mark with our temperatures. I can't believe how much better 93 feels verses 100 plus!

It's time for bed, so I better close.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

It has been a quiet day here. I did some cleaning. I have also started to prepare my classroom, well at least mentally. I plan on going into school tomorrow and checking my room out. I have not seen it, so I need a visual reference to plan my classroom environment. This year my room will probably look very different than it ever has since my role has changed. I am excited about this new opportunity, but it will feel different. I have always enjoyed getting my room prepared for the new school year. I always felt this was a strength of mine. I definitely believe that classroom environment is vital to learning no matter what the age. I am working on gathering some pictures that relate to me and making an about me board. I found some cute ideas that will help me introduce myself to this new group of students I will be working with.

I'm also happy to report that Lucy and Ethel are STILL alive, so they will be having a new home next week. We ditched the snail (he was already dead) and they seem to be a lot happier. It has been awhile since I have had a class pet, so we will see how this goes.

I also signed up for some classes coming up that are offered through the district. I always feel like I never have time to take advantage of these, so I'm looking forward them.

I think I'm meeting my mom tomorrow to run some errands. On Saturday we are taking a "stay-cation." I heard this cute term used to describe vacationing close to home from one of the other blogs I follow. I think we are heading to Prescott and scout out some places to camp. Yes, you heard me correct. I did say camp. Of course everyone has different definitions of camping, so we will see. haha

I hope everyone has a wonderful evening.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

We just got home from visiting my husband's grandmother in Tucson. She is doing remarkably well in her recovery from hip surgery last month. Everyone is still amazed that she really is 94 years old. Since she and her sister (she lives in the same retirement center that Gr. T is recovering in) don't get out, we decided to take some of their favorite Mexican food to them. There is a yummy restaurant in Tucson called Mama Sanchez's. We picked up some carnitas and chips and salsa. Gr. T. does not have much of an appetite right now, so we were hoping this food might be something she would enjoy eating. We spent three hours visiting with them. I love listening to their stories growing up. They have definitely seen a lot of changes in their lifetime, some good and some not so good. I think it's great that they can be together during this time. We made another trip to Mama Sanchez on our way out of town for our dinner. I think I could eat chips and salsa until the end of time.

The storm clouds were moving in as we were leaving, but unfortunately they did not follow us back to Phoenix. I can't believe we have two more months of 100 degree temperatures!!!

I guess that pretty much sums up our day. I need to go through the school boxes tomorrow. Have a wonderful night!


Monday, August 3, 2009

Only seven days until school starts!!! I can't believe how fast the summer has gone. It definitely has been a busy one. I hope I can really enjoy these last few days of my break. I fixed some of my new tea tonight, fresh cherries white tea. It is so good. I have decided that I have been drinking way too much pop. My new goal is one pop a day and the rest drinking water or tea. Maybe I will even be able to drink less pop over time. You have to have a goal right??

Last week, we were able to take advantage of a few of the sights of San Diego after my classes each day. I think one of my favorite places to visit was La Jolla. I loved it for its shore line and of course the sea lions, who call it home. I also loved Coronado Island. The beaches were awesome. It was also fun to walk through the hotel del Coronado. I had been there twenty years ago, so it was neat to see it again. I heard on the news today, that San Diego had felt an earthquake. I had wondered what I would do in an earthquake. I guess I was just one week too late. The one thing I especially appreciated was the cooler temperatures. Most days were in the mid to high 70's!!

Today, I had my cleaning appointment for my teeth. I always hold my breath that I don't have any cavities. I love my dental hygienist. She is so sweet and feels bad that I have such bad luck with my teeth. I think I might be a hopeless case, but she always gives it her best shot!

I think we are planning on visiting Grandma T. in Tucson on Wednesday. She is still recovering from her hip surgery last month. Hopefully she will be able to go home later this month. I would like to bring her something, but I think she probably just appreciates the company. Unfortunately, she is blind, so that definitely limits her mobility.

Well, I guess this is all for a Monday.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

It is finally Saturday and I'm tired. We made it back to Phoenix last night from a great week in San Diego. It had been quite a few years since I had been there, so lots of things had changed. The official reason for my visit was to learn more about the AVID program that my school will be implementing this year. AVID is an acronym for Advancement Via Individual Determination. It tries to take students who have the potential and desire to go to college, but through personal issues may not go. We heard some awesome stories of kids, who either have no families or have had no one in their families ever attend college, have full rides next year to four year universities. Believe me when I say these kids have big goals. I have no doubt that we will be hearing about their accomplishments in the future. Several of them spoke on the difference AVID made in their lives and they would not be here today if it was not for AVID program. While this program has been in high schools and middle schools, it is now finding itself in 4-6 elementary schools. It is never too late to start talking about college. This is especially true for kids who are at risk. Our school will be implementing a lot of strategies and tools that will help at risk students become even more confident as they prepare for middle school, high school and beyond.

Well, I need to do some laundry. More posts coming from a great week in San Diego.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Well, the busy weekend has officially begun. Last night we met my family for dinner at Rumbi's. It is a restaurant with a Hawaiian theme and good food too. It is definitely a favorite of all ours. Today, I helped my mom at a fundraiser. A local church was helping raise money for mothers and babies in Uganda. My Mom sells Gold Canyon Candles, so she had a booth with her display. If you have never smelled these candles before I highly recommend them. Let's just say I have not bought a Yankee candle in the last five years. Unfortunately the turnout was very low. Hopefully next time they can get the word out about the show.

After helping her load up her car, the mad dash was on to get ready to leave for my workshop in San Diego which starts on Monday. It is amazing all the last minute things you need to do before you leave. My goal was to be in bed my midnight. It is 12:10 right now, so I'm not too far off. I am very excited to be learning about my new position while getting to know other teachers. I also pick up a few good books to read this week during my down time. I am especially looking forward to the cooler temperatures.

It's 12:15 now, so I better get to bed!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

We just got back from visiting my husband's 94 year old grandmother in Tucson. She was visiting her sister last week when she fell and broke her hip!!! She is during remarkably good. In fact, she is doing so well, she will only need a week and a half of intense physical therapy. Next week she will be moving into an apartment in an assisted living facility where her 90 year old sister lives. I know she will be anxious to get back to Kansas later in August, but in the mean time she gets to enjoy the Arizona heat. We will try to make it down again in another week after we get back from San Diego.

I guess I should be thinking about bed. I am having lunch with a friend tomorrow and cleaning house. Fun times!!!


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Well I guess it has been awhile since I posted. I can't believe it is July 21st. July is going way too fast!! Yesterday I finally got my gold crown. Nothing is ever simple when it comes to my mouth, but at least this one is finished. I then met my mom for lunch and did some shopping. I guess I'm getting ready to go back to school!!!! I was also able to meet my friend's new baby Lola. She was born on July 4th and is so cute. I don't even think the 110 temperature bothered her at all!!

We have a busy weekend coming up. I'm helping my mom with a fundraiser she is involved in on Saturday. She sells Gold Canyon candles. If you have never smelled them, I highly recommend that you do. They are great! And early Sunday, I will be heading to San Diego. I checked their weather and the highs are in the low 70's!! I have to remember to take a sweatshirt or something. I'm really looking forward to the week. It will be nice to escape the southwest's oven!

I need to go start my meatloaf for supper tonight. I think this is the 3rd time I have made it this summer. It is one of our favorites.

I guess this is the update for now.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Ok...When it's 100 degrees at 10:00 at night, you know that the summer heat has arrived in Arizona. It means that it is time to hunker down or escape somewhere up north. Our highs the next four days will between 110-113!!!! I just have to keep playing in my mind January through February weather back in the Midwest. Shoveling snow, scraping windows, freezing wind chills, and bitter cold nights. Ok...I am better. I'm glad I live in the desert (even in July and August)! My air conditioner and I will become best friends!! Oh by the way, we have yet to turn our furnace on even in the winter!!

Last night I attended two parties at the same time. I'm not sure if you have heard of let'sdotea, but it is a company that offers a wide variety of tea. I love tea and would really like to drink more of it (this time of year I prefer cold tea). But somehow coke in the morning becomes my drink of choice. I'm still trying to drink more water!! Coke just means summertime. Oh well, I'm digressing. My mom and I both went together. We bought some cranberry peach and fresh cherry. We were able to try both and they were very yummy!! They were great cold teas. The other portion of the evening was devoted to Uppercase Living. It is where you can put phrases, scriptures, or other words on your walls (or as I learned last night practically anywhere). I had been thinking about doing this to one of our bare walls in our dining area. I have not quite decided which one I want to get. They had a lot of cute ideas and so very easy.

I decided to be brave and count how many more weeks I have until school starts back up. Much to my surprise it is only 4 1/2 away!!!! The other day I thought it was time to dig through my school bag. I had personally been dreading this since I could kind of remember the stuff I had frantically stuck in the last day of school. But almost two months later, I was tired of looking at it. Can an open bag of pretzels go bad?? I decided not to look, but quickly threw it away. I know why did I keep that? I guess somehow it just found its way to the bottom of my bag. Out of side, out of mind. I know I'm bad!

Well, I hope everyone has a great weekend! As long as our air conditioner stays, we will too!!


Tuesday, July 7, 2009

I love summer!! It's a wonderful time to get to do the things I don't normally get to do. Today, I was able to go over to my 91 year old aunt's house for lunch and to play cards (she loves 3 to 13). We had a yummy lunch over at her club house. It was fun to be able to eat lunch while watching those crazy golfers play in the 100 plus temperature! I was glad I was inside. We stopped at Fry's on our way home. I bought some fresh salmon to have for dinner tonight. You can't go wrong with salmon, corn on the cob, and red potatoes for dinner!!

I am watching America's Got Talent wondering if this show is going to suck me in for the summer. I'm not sure yet. I guess I will have to wait and see.


Monday, July 6, 2009

Hope everyone had a nice 4th of July. Besides eating way too much, we had a nice quiet weekend. Half of us were a little under the weather yesterday, but made a nice recovery to end the weekend on a good note.

I was able to talk to my new principal today. She sounded so sweet on the phone. I guess I will be attending a conference at the end of July in San Diego for the AVID program that is being implemented at my school. I know, so tough. My days will be busy, but we will have lots of time to explore the area in the afternoon and evening. I was able to meet her later in the day. I'm really looking forward to being an instructional coach next year.

Tomorrow we are going to go visit my 91 year old aunt who lives in Mesa. She is getting ready to head to Iowa to spend a few months with family and escape the Arizona heat. She lives alone and still gets together weekly with her bridge group.

Well, I guess this is all for now. I want to finish The Shack tonight. Have a great evening.


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Fourth of July!!! I hope everyone has an awesome day. I decided to add some patriotic music to my blog for the holiday. I hope you enjoy. I remembered the Sandy Patty rendition of the Star Spangled Banner from 1986, when President Regan celebrated the bicentennial of the the Statue of Liberty (I know this dates me). I thought it was fitting again since they are reopening the crown today. It has been closed since September 11, 2001. I also have included America the Beautiful, by Ray Charles and American Soldier by Toby Keith.

We are celebrating the Fourth with family today. I did make my cupcakes. It's amazing how one box, four eggs, and some oil can taste soooo good. While they may not look like 4th of July cupcakes, they do have a certain birthday look to them, so that is close enough for me! Of course the highlight of the day will be some homemade ice cream!!

I was hoping we were going to get some monsoon rain last night, but I think it right around us. I love thunderstorms!! So if you have some rain falling today, enjoy it for me! I just hope it does not rain out any plans you may have! That is the good thing about rain in Arizona. Here for a few minutes and then gone. I guess we will just have to make do with 100+ temperatures!! I'm not complaining!! We don't have to shovel sunshine or heat!

Remember to thank a veteran or soldier today. Freedom is not free!!


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

It has kind of been a lazy day here. I don't think the temperature even made the century mark. Of course, 99 is still pretty hot especially when you are trying to do grocery shopping. We made our weekly trip to Frys and Costco. We really didn't get any groceries at Costco but we did get gas there. I'm making a soup tonight that I have probably not made in a couple of years. It is amazing how you fix something a lot and then you don't have it again for a few years! Oh well, I hope I can remember the recipe since I could not find it! We are living dangerously tonight!

I am going to try salmon patties next time we are at Costco. They were giving samples of it today. I really liked it and I think it would make an easy meal this fall. Sampling there can be lots of fun!!

I'm also trying to decide if I should just buy already decorated cupcakes for this weekend or make my own. I really wanted to make my own, but the thought of starting the oven and going through the work just does not sound fun anymore. Besides the
grocery store's cupcakes look a lot cuter!!


Monday, June 29, 2009

Well, I tackled my closet today. All I can say is, Oh my! I decided to start at the bottom and work up. It did not take me long to realize that this job would probably not get completed today. In fact, I should be working on it now instead of on the computer. I will get back to it or we will have to find a new place to sleep!! On a positive note, I did find some shoes I had not seen in awhile!!

I am so enjoying my summer break from school. It's fun to be able to do some of the simpler things that I don't get to do during the school year. This seems like the first summer in quite awhile that I have really been able to slow down and enjoy.

I'm on the hunt for cute July 4th cupcakes. We went to Borders tonight and I went through a couple of books, but did not find anything. I will try to look on the Internet for ideas. My mom is planning on making ice cream on the 4th, so I don't want anything too sweet.

I guess it's time to do some reading.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Saturday, June 27, 2009

It was a busy Saturday here. I promised not to complain too much about the heat this summer, but 109 is pretty hot. I spent the majority of the day cleaning and getting ready for my family to come over for dinner. I tried a new dessert I found called strawberry/banana pizza. I think everyone enjoyed it, but I would make a few adjustments the next time I make it. Very rich! I also had spaghetti, salad, bread and vegetables. This time of year in Arizona you try to figure out different things to make that don't require using your stove too much. I put the spaghetti in the crock pot which worked out really nicely. Now it's time to clean the kitchen up!


Thursday, June 25, 2009

I had the pleasure of visiting my dentist today. Hopefully you can detect the sarcasm. I thought I would be in and out with a simple filling in about 30-40 mins. Well, two and half hours and $600.00 later, I emerged with a temporary crown and another appointment to go get my permanent crown. I swear I have the worst teeth in the world!!! It's not like I don't get my teeth cleaned every six months or brush and floss daily (okay maybe not floss), but it seems like cavities follow me. My poor dentist!! I think I inherited my mom's small mouth and my dad's poor teeth!! I really make my dentist work for his money. He probably dreads seeing my almost as much as I dread going!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

I was finally able to finish cleaning the family room!!! Can I just say mini blinds are not fun!! And lucky me I have three more sets to do! Today, I also tackled the all allusive Longaberger baskets in the kitchen. When I was done removing the many layers of dust, they looked pretty good. Dust is a huge problem in Arizona. But what would you expect? This is the desert after all!!

My quest to find easy recipes continued tonight. I made my aunt's Mexican Lasagna. I thought it was too spicy. It definitely scored points for it's easiness. I just need to figure out how to tone down the spices. It is a keeper!!

Weekend recap - Saturday night we went over to my parents for hamburgers. We finished going through the rest of my uncle's things. Sunday after church we just sat home and relaxed. My parents came over later for popcorn. We had a nice little snack of watermelon waiting for them. It was very yummy!

After they left, we went for a drive (It doesn't take much to entertain us). We drove to a new shopping area in Scottsdale. A very impressive Apple store just recently opened there. It would not be my first choice in shopping, but it did look interesting.

Now I just need to figure out what to do about Father's Day. Summer is rolling along!


Friday, June 12, 2009

I had a great Friday. I was really excited to be able to meet a teacher who I use to work with. I love summers when you have the opportunity to catch up with friends. She is a gifted teacher and I'm always amazed at all the things she does for her class.

My parents finally made it home!!! We met them for pizza along with my brother. Afterwards, we went over to their house as they had a few things for us that they had brought back from Kansas. My uncle, who recently passed away, collected roosters. My mom gave me one of his rosters that is made with decorated glass and lights up. It will always be a special keepsake. I think I have found a perfect place for it in my kitchen.

And kind of took a back seat today. Oh well, there is always tomorrow!!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I finally finished cleaning the office and laundry area today. Slowly I will get things marked off my list. If anything we should be able to at least breath better!! I'm meeting a friend in the morning and I have an appointment in the afternoon, so we will see how much I get done tomorrow.

I'm also trying to find new meals that are easy and quick that I can use when school starts back up. My cousin and mom told me about these Idaho potato mix made with 100% Idaho potatoes. We tried them tonight and they were not too bad. We will definitely have them again.

I'm excited that my parents are coming home tomorrow. They have been in Kansas for the last month. This is the longest period of time they have been gone. With the wedding, visiting relatives, and of course my uncle's funeral they have had a lot going on.

I guess this is all for now. Hope you have a wonderful Friday!!

Monday, June 8, 2009

I'm tired!! I know it's summer, but I'm tired. After a week of classes and finishing up my certification, I finally get to start my summer break. What a great way to get things started by doing some housework. I have set-up a personal goal to tackle (and I mean tackle) one room in our condo every week to deep clean. I think I will start in the office tomorrow. I know it will not be fun, but when you are embarrassed to open the door, it's time to face your fears!!!

I usually don't mind too much reality t.v., but tonight I saw The Newlyweds. Oh my....I don't think this is one I will continue to watch!!!

I think I'm going to go to bed. Have a great evening!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Well, to say it has been an emotional roller coaster the last few days would definitely be an understatement. My cousin's wedding was wonderful! It was planned and prepared so beautifully. I think I might be a fan of the color yellow now. I was able to spend most of Friday morning with her as she got her hair done and finished the last minute preparations. I like to think that I was her personal assistant (or slave as her sister said it). It was a lot of fun and the memories I will treasure forever. All of my cousins humored me and allowed a cousin picture to be taken before the wedding. I had wanted this pictured since last summer when she got engaged. I had found special cousin frames that I wanted to give to them as a special gift.

As wonderful as the day was, there was a cloud hanging over us. My uncle had been diagnosed with cancer eight months ago. Those months were very difficult on him both physically and emotionally. It seemed that every time he went to the doctor the news would be getting worse. The last few weeks, he had started to use an oxygen tank as his breathing had become very laboring. The pain was also becoming unbearable. The only thing that helped a little was morphine. Through the help of my dad and brother, he was able to attend all the wedding festivities. But it took just one look at him to realize that the cancer was winning the battle over his body. When I told him bye on Saturday afternoon, I knew I would probably not see him again this side of heaven. Later that evening while at home his health deteriorated rapidly and he was rushed to the hospital. He continued to fight, but finally his body could not take it anymore. He passed way yesterday morning at the age of 59.

I would ask that you keep my family in your prayers. Especially my grandma. Everyone says burying your child is the hardest thing for a parent to do. But God is still on his throne and I look forward to the day when I will be reunited with my uncle and others who have gone on before me. What a wonderful hope we have that this world is not our final home.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Well, we made it to Wichita today. I was so surprised how much cooler it felt here. I'm just glad it's not humid. There might be hope for my hair tomorrow after all.

We went to the rehearsal and then to the rehearsal dinner. It was held at Timberline steak house. It was very yummy and I'm very full. I should not need anything to eat until cake time tomorrow night!!! I am picking up my cousins tomorrow morning to take them to their hair appointments. This reminds me of my own wedding almost 14 years ago. I remember going through the McDonald's drive through with my hair done and my veil on. I'm sure I was quite a sight!! I'm looking forward to hanging out with them.

Tomorrow is a full day, so I guess it's time for bed.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

School is over!!!!!! I made it through sixth grade!!!!! It was a crazy day finishing up with the class and then checking out with the office. I'm just glad that part is done, so I can enjoy my to trip to Kansas tomorrow for my cousin's wedding. I do have a lot of organizing to do when I get home. I am really looking forward to a wonderful summer with my husband!!

My brother and I leave at 10 tomorrow for our trip to Wichita. I wish hubs was going, but he was not able at this time. It is a short trip. We will be back to Phoenix on Sunday afternoon. I am mostly packed, so I think I will make it to bed at a good time tonight.

I'm sure I'm taking too many clothes. I am a terrible packer. Somehow three days of clothes turns into six days. Oh well, you need choices, right?

I will try to give updates to my fun filled weekend. I just can't believe my little cousin is old enough to get married. Time flies!!


Sunday, May 24, 2009 has taken me two days to write this post. I started it yesterday and will try to finish it today.

I can't believe I have only 1 1/2 days of school left. I think I will start bringing boxes home on Tuesday. The entire sixth grade is going bowling for their end of school party on Tuesday. As soon as we get back I have to run to Costco to get the cakes for their assembly the next day and bring them back to school. I did not have room in my refrigerator for all those cakes, so a nice mom is taking them. That will be a very busy day!! My goal is to be checked out of the school by 3 on Wednesday afternoon.

Lately, I have really tried to do more cooking on the weekends. It is just so hard to get motivated during the week while I am in school. This weekend I decided to make lasagna for us. I will have to say it came out pretty good. I fixed some fresh broccoli and red potatoes to round out our meal. I really want to lose some weight this summer. I hope to make our meals more nutritious. Oh, I also found the most delicious blackberries

Sunday, May 24th
After church today, I ran some errands for my trip to Kansas this week. My cousin is getting married on Friday, so I had a lot of last minute things to take care of. It should be a fun, busy weekend. I think we will have salmon tonight with asparagus. Maybe there is hope I can become a Paula Dean after all! Don't hold your breath!

Have a wonderful Memorial Day!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I can't wait for American Idol tonight!! It should be very exciting. I'm definitely hoping for a Kris win!! I can't believe all my "winter shows" are coming to an end. I was glad that Shawn Johnson won Dancing with Stars. September seems a long way off until the next season of DWS.

I have started to pack-up my classroom. I don't have as much stuff as I did seven years ago, but it's still a big job. I want to be totally out by 3:00 on Wednesday, May 27th. My flight to Kansas leaves at 8 the next morning, so there is lots to be done. Sixth graders to a great job taking things down!! I had to order three cakes from Costco for the sixth grade awards assembly next Wednesday. I'm hoping there is some cake left over!!!!! I would not want it to go to waste!!! The end of the year is so busy!!

Time to go watch some t.v.!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

I can't believe the weekend is over. I really can't believe we have 5 1/2 days left of school!!! We are enjoying the last few hours of the weekend watching Bonanza. It's fun watching these old shows. I am fixing a meatloaf and baked potatoes for supper. Yummy yummy!

Friday night I went out with a friend. We like to see the chick flicks our husbands would rather not see. My husband would go with me, but he is happy that I have a friend to see them with instead.

I spent most of Saturday cleaning, and then we had dinner with my brother. After church today, we just ran around and did our weekly grocery shopping. I always forget that going to Frys on Sunday is usually a mistake. It is a zoo there!! I will try to remember next week!!

I think I have decided on my Siesta memory verse for May 15th.

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

2Peter 1:3-4

Our minister is doing a series on the second book of Peter. I thought these verses were very powerful and meaningful to my life.

Well, I hope everyone has a wonderful and blessed week!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I'm tired. I don't know what else to say except maybe I need to go to bed earlier?!? The end of the school year is just so crazy. We are down to our last 6 1/2 days. The sixth grade is busy finishing their memoirs which is quite demanding and draining on everyone. Teachers included!! I'm tired.

I'm just glad tomorrow is Friday. Even if I will be eating pizza with 40 some kindergartners and sixth graders. Tomorrow is also the volunteer breakfast. Thank goodness for Costco!!! I guess I better go to bed. Tomorrow will be here before I know it!!!

Sweet Dreams!!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Wow!! What a week it has been. I'm so glad it's the weekend even if it's going to be busy too!!

The sixth grade Wax Museum was awesome on Tuesday! I was amazed at the great work they did preparing their presentations. We had a great turnout from parents, so that made it extra special for the students. I was very tired when I got home!

Today, the sixth grade presented their math games to the fourth grade. I had never done anything like that before and was extremely pleased with the results. All the students seemed to be engaged and enjoyed playing the games.

Tomorrow I have a haircut. I can hardly wait!! I went an extra week, so that it would hopefully look good for the wedding later this month. Tomorrow night, is the Scott M. concert at church. I'm really looking forward to it.

I think my mom wants to eat at the Elephant Bar on Sunday. We are still deciding whether to meet for lunch or dinner. If you ever come along the Elephant Bar, make sure you stop. It is one of our favorite places.

I guess it is back to relaxing on the couch. I will probably be asleep before 9! Oh well, that is a Friday night!


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

It's rock night on American Idol. I was not real crazy about it. I guess it's not my type of music. I just hope that Danny is safe tomorrow night. Thank goodness for DVR, so I can fast forward through the parts I don't want to hear.

Tomorrow is the sixth grade's Wax Museum. It will be a very long day. They will be presenting for the school throughout the day. In the evening, the parents will be here for the performances. It should be over around 7:30. It should be a lot of fun seeing them in their costumes. They have worked very hard learning about their historical figures.

This week is Teacher Appreciation. I received a lot of beautiful flowers today. They certainly brightened my desk. One student is bringing me a Dr. Pepper every day. I appreciate their thoughtfulness.

I am always searching for the perfect Mascara. I'm trying some new mascara that BooMama mentioned last night on her blog. It is Cover Girls' exact eyelights. It sounds great. I will have to keep you updated.

I think I have rambled enough tonight. Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday!


Saturday, May 2, 2009

I found the verse!!!!

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:19

I so need this verse. It's amazing how God ALWAYS knows what we need.
We had a pretty busy Saturday. We spent most of the day at church attending the Josh McDowell conference. We enjoyed listening to him and his son speak. The praise and worship music was awesome! Won't heaven be wonderful with all the heavenly music! Lunch was especially yummy since they served Chick-Filet. Afterwards, we made our weekly stop at Borders to browse through their books and magazines. I'm thinking about reading Josh McDowell's book, More Than A Carpenter. Finally, we had grilled hamburgers at my parents.
I'm trying to decide on my memory verse for May 1st. I'm still searching.


Monday, April 27, 2009

I'm tired tonight. I need to do some work, but Dancing with Stars is on, so work will have to wait! I'm burning my Sunrise Tangelo candle and it just makes the house smell like spring.

We had a pretty good weekend. We had lots of errands to run, so I felt pretty good crossing them off our list. Weekends just go too fast!!!

One of my cats is pulling his hair out. I have not been able to figure out why. I have decided to go back to the cat food we were on last fall for sensitive skin and call the Vet tomorrow. We have tried different things with no luck, so it's time to call the Dr. Poor Simba!

I have been reading about the bloggers in India for Compassion International. I can't imagine what they are seeing and feeling there. It would truly be a life changing experience. I take my life and comforts for granted living in the United States.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

My internal alarm clock woke up at six today. My one day to sleep in and I wake up on school time. I guess that means it's time to get this day started. So far, I have had my quiet time, washed two loads of laundry and brushed three cats. I need to go to Target, but that will have to wait since they are not even open yet!!

I want to share a couple things from my morning devotion today that really spoke to me. I love the book of Philippians. In Philippians 4:13, Paul states he has learned the secret to being content in every circumstance.

I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

It does not matter what stage of life you are in or how much (or little) money you have in the bank account. It does not matter if you are pounding the pavement looking for a job or are an executive making a six figure income. God will give us the strength to make it through whatever challenges we face in this life. Whether it be in a time of need or a time of plenty, God will see us through. Believe me, I needed to hear this for my own life.

Thanks for reading my blog. I hope you have a terrific Saturday!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I just heard on the news that Arizona is #1 in ID theft. Not good!!! I'm not sure why anyone would want to be me, but this is still very disturbing. Next, they are going to be discussing which restaurant in the valley had duck poop in it's dining area!!!!! Oh my! I think it's time to see what's on HGTV!!!!

We had a fire drill at school today. I understand the importance of practicing these drills, but I still don't like them. Unfortunately, I had to give my class the riot act regarding the proper procedures of leaving the room and lining up outside. One student asked me about their backpacks. They had spent a lot of money on them and didn't want to leave them behind!!!! I tried to explain this was SO NOT worth his life!!!

I can't wait to get the information on the child we are sponsoring through Compassion International. A group of bloggers are leaving tomorrow to travel to India with Compassion. I can't imagine the extreme poverty the people are living in there. They will be gone a week. I look forward to their updates.

Hope everyone has a great evening!


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I'm not sure if this is possible or not, but I'm in cake heaven. My parents bought a cake from Costco to take to their Bible study last night and we were the lucky recipients of some leftover cake. I just enjoyed a delicious piece and it was so good. It's the kind of cake that is sinful, but you are not thinking about calories as you are eating it.

As I'm writing tonight, my oldest cat Annie is sitting on my lap. She just recently turned 17. I can remember when I was in college and working on research papers, Annie loved sitting on my lap or watching me type on the table. She has arthritis, but does not do too bad considering her age.

Living on the west coast as caused me to become somewhat lazy. American Idol does not come on until 8 here which is two hours after it aired on the east coast. Now I would like to watch the show, but it is so easy to check what happened online. Lazy, I know. I guess Lil and Anoop went home tonight. It is going to be very exciting from here on out.

Well, I guess it's time for some laundry. Have a wonderful evening.